STICK ‘EM UP!
…it’s the new Stacer OUTLAW range
By Warren Steptoe
Stacer has thrown down the gauntlet to other aluminium boat builders with its exciting new Outlaw range of boats that offers smooth-riding, heaps of stowage and personal space, and great angler functionality.
I have to say that Stacer’s new Outlaw range is somewhat misnamed. Far from encouraging law breaking and rebellion, the boats are intended for the somewhat less dramatic pursuit of fishing. Serious fishing at that, albeit with as much family and social boating thrown in as you like.
The Outlaw range is a new one for Stacer, following the evergreen and ever popular Top Ender concept in all of its contemporary iterations, including unpainted or painted hulls, with tiller steer, side and centre console models. Outlaws come in 429, 449, 469, and 489 sizes (the numbers representing nominal 4.3 to 4.9 metre lengths as usual). The boat seen here, the 529, is the flagship model at the top of the range at a nominal 5.3m: actual hull length is 5.2m with an overall length just under 5.5m including the bowsprit. The snazzy graphic wrap is from the options list.
Like its stable mates, the 529 Outlaw is constructed from 3mm thick bottom sheets and sides, making for a robust hull weighing in about 450kg for the bare hull. With a 2.25m beam, and above knee height sides, the 529 is a big boat. It is as well as suited to the short hop inshore coastal journeys beloved of Top End and FNQ barra fishers, as it is to the big estuaries and open bays bream fishers farther south inhabit.
Stacer’s variable deadrise stretch formed Evo hull has been further developed in 2013, and is now called Evo Advance. For those not aware of what Evo represents. The stretch forming isn’t as radical as Quintrex, particularly in the bows area, and therefore the ultimate rough water ride falls somewhere short of the big Q’s Millennium hulls. Nevertheless, Evo hulls remain a significant cut above your average tinny when the water surface is less than glass smooth.
Not having the radical stretch forming, and flared bows, of the Quintrex Millennium hull, might be seen as a plus by some. The Stacer hull is fuller in the bows, which makes for a roomier bow casting deck. I am told by heavier set folk than I that the fuller bows make the boat a little less “lively” underfoot with, can I say, a more solidly built person up on the bow casting deck.
Not that a mirror calm Coomera River proved any test on the day. But after many an hour in different Evo hulls of all types and sizes, I’m happy to say there is significant difference between an Evo hulled Stacer and other brand aluminium boats. If in doubt, go for a test run.
Carpeted bow and stern casting decks in this boat are standard, as is its 95-litre underfloor fuel tank, two transducer brackets, a transom step, rails, and an aft live bait tank. A larger live well underneath the bow deck, an electric mount on the bows, and a rod locker along with fancy paintwork and shade top, seen here, are optional.
The 115 hp Evinrude E-Tec outboard on our test boat represents maximum rated power for the Outlaw 529. As you’d expect from any of the gutsy direct injected E-Tec two strokes, flat-water acceleration was brisk. If looking at this boat with social wake toy games in mind, in addition to fishing duties, rest assured it has ample mid-range torque for some serious fun.
BB&B’s official GPS registered a top speed over 75kmh thanks in no small part to the E-Tec swinging one of Evinrude’s timeless Viper stainless steel propellers. These props have been around forever, and haven’t remained in production so long for nothing. What impressed even more though was the way the E-Tec was absolutely loafing along around 3000rpm, while maintaining 30-35kmh cruising speeds; call it 20 knots, if you prefer. For long runs to favourite fishing spots, almost regardless of the kind of water involved, the Stacer Outlaw 529 has what it takes.
Inside, both bow and stern casting decks are raised about 300mm above a centre deck area that’s plenty deep enough below the side decks to support the legs when fishing rough water. I guess this in itself makes the 529 Outlaw worth consideration for general inshore and big bay fishing outside the barra, bass and bream fishing this magazine specialises in. The low centre of gravity afforded by the positioning of the centre deck area makes a lot of sense when fishing rough water.
A pair of Stacer’s comfortable swing over backrest pedestal seats can be turned 180 degrees to face aft for trolling, and the port side (passenger) seat has a choice of two sockets; one forward, and another farther aft to adjust trim at speed, or to free the cockpit’s aft end if that suits the fishing happening at the time better.
The Outlaw side console has been kept simple, which frees floor space to stow tackle boxes and ice boxes. Comfort at the wheel is to my mind an important aspect too often left in the too-hard basket by boat. If the relationship between the steering wheel and helm seat in this boat isn’t comfortable for the hour plus at the wheel Top End barra fishers consider the norm, Stacer at least have the forethought to offer an adjustable seat slide on the options list.
I was disappointed over the lack of rod stowage in what is an appealing fishing boat in every other respect. In Stacer’s defence, a rod locker is optional, however, I’m damned if I’ll change my opinion that proper fishing boats should have at least a basic system to stow a half dozen or so rigged rods safely out of harm’s way.
Underneath the stern casting deck there’s a live bait well and a built in tackle compartment port side, with the starboard side left as a stowage compartment, which in our test boat, was partly occupied by a water separating fuel filter and the oil tank for the E-Tec outboard. In between these two compartments is a centrally located (starting) battery compartment, on which point I note the good sense in a battery tray provided in one of the bow deck lockers.
Underneath that bow casting deck there are four separate compartments, which together fully utilise the stowage space available. One large hatch in our test boat was devoted to a sizeable rotomoulded locker that looked to me to be an excellent fish box. I know we’re all into catch and release these days, but that doesn’t change the fact that taking a couple home for the table is still a way to value add to our fishing; and too many fishing boats have nowhere to put fish should you wish to take some home, so they finish up making a bloody slimy mess on the carpet.
Forward of the bow casting deck on the foredeck, anchoring duties are taken care of by a shallow rotomoulded anchor well. It’s a bit shallow for offshore lengths of rope though, so if you carry lots of rope and a big anchor, it might be a good idea to fit a bungy chord across it or something to keep the ground tackle aboard on rough trips.
Our test boat’s monster Bimini shade top will be a popular option I imagine, and as a bloke who’s always looking for shade but hates sacrificing the back cast room a Bimini steals, the way this one could be stowed inside a zip up sock is a wonderful idea.
In summary: Stacer’s 529 Outlaw, and indeed the entire five sizes of Outlaws available in the range have a great deal to offer barra, bass and bream fishers with remarkably few negative points on their scoreboard.
BOAT – Stacer Outlaw 529
MATERIAL – 3mm aluminium sheet, transom, sides and bottom
LENGTH – 5.23m
LENGTH OVERALL – 5.48m
BEAM – 2.25m
HULL WEIGHT – 452kg
FUEL CAPACITY – 95 litres
MAXIMUM POWER – 115hp
MAXIMUM ENGINE WEIGHT – 242kg