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Stacer 649 Ocean Ranger Boat Review

Boat Review Date: December 2012
Author: Mike Brown

The name Stacer brings to mind smallish pressed aluminium boats, which is reasonable because that is what most of them are. The review boat, though, is something new and different: 6.49 metres long in plate aluminium, with 5mm bottom and 4mm sides. There is still a touch of pressed in it, with a stylish concavity above the chine aft.

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The cuddy cabin seems to take up an unfair share of the length, but this is an illusion caused by its roof continuing all the way to the anchor well; there is no foredeck. And there is no need for one: the windscreen centre opens, as does the centre section of the roof, giving walk-through access to the bow.

The cockpit deck is in chequer plate – good for grip and easy to clean, but keep your shoes on in summer. There is plenty of deck area for three or four fishermen; three cruiserweights at the rail tested stability and found it above average.

The boat is clearly set up for fishing. The bunks could be used for sleeping, but mostly the mattresses will be left at home and the carpeted surfaces will carry gear. Or instead they could be fishing platforms, with extra anglers standing in the opened hatch.

A bait board and shelf plus rod sockets bolts onto the transom. To one side of it is a bait tank, and ahead is an under deck catch tank. At the opposite end of the boat two bow rail supports double as sockets for reef picks. All very tidily done.

The driving position is good. Very good swivel seats are pedestal mounted on top of cave lockers, carrying driver and offsider at a height to give sightlines through mid windscreen. Both have well placed footrests. The seats have the rare feature of grab rails on their backs for standing passengers, who otherwise have the use of the Targa or the fold down rear lounge.

Weather protection is effective. The height of the driving position and the wrap around windscreen should keep spray at bay – not that we had any – and for those who like such things a set of clears is standard to close the gap between windscreen and Bimini.

Recommended power is between 115 and 175hp. The 150 Evinrude E-TEC fitted probably has close to the ideal output: top speed in the mid thirties, effortless cruising in the low to mid twenties, sharp acceleration and good response to power trim. An up market set of Volvo Penta trim tabs is also fitted, but they would probably only be used for levelling with an off centre passenger load.

The sea was barely rippled, but we had a short swell instead that, together with a wide open throttle, allowed us to make some kind of assessment of the hull’s behavior. There were no surprises, which is always a good start. Response to wheel and throttle was predictable, and the smallest burst of power trim set us up for downwind, upwind and everything in between. As expected the ride was good, but movements were strong enough to make us notice and be glad of the well-placed hand holds.

When we returned to the jetty I reflected on an observation I had made on launching: if I were to buy this boat I would have a strip of HD polyethylene glued around the rubbing strake. This would convert it into a real protective strake rather than something to be protected itself.

The Stacer’s package included an aluminium multi roller trailer made by Telwater, Stacer’s parent company. Its structure looked rugged and competent, and the ease of driving aboard rounded off the day effortlessly.


Price as reviewed               $62,900

Price from                          $58,900

Hull length                          6.49m

Beam                                 2.4m

Fuel capacity                      160L

Power range                      115hp – 175hp

Motor fitted                        Evinrude E-TEC 150hp

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