Stessl 6100 Coastrunner
based on 8 feature reviews
Boat Test Analysis:
Boat supplied with Suzuki 140hp XL four-stroke, Dunbier Glider dual-axle trailer, tie-downs, targa rod rack, carpeted cockpit floor, four rod holders, hydraulic steering, plumbed live bait station, painted topsides, dual batteries, LCD sounder and LCD colour chartplotter.
Stessl’s latest big centre cab alloy model delivers big-hearted value in a craft that’s not too shy to head out to real blue water fishing. Test report JAMES HILL, photos by Baitbox.
Stessl 6100 Coastrunner Boat Test
In tougher economic times fishos don’t give up on their piscatorial passion, but they do start to count their pennies. That’s why boats like the Stessl 6100 Coastrunner make sense.
This is a big-hearted, centre cab, plate ‘tinnie’ that delivers strongly on offshore fishing value. Most importantly, it focuses directly on what fishermen need for offshore fishing and not on stuff they don’t need. The result is a big volume boat with a simple but very efficient interior with 360-degree fishing access.
For around the $50,000 mark this is a very appealing craft because you’re getting true blue water capacity in a boat that’s the right size for offshore work without being too massive for trailing.
I could well imagine the 6100 Coastrunner as a great ‘share boat’ between two or three fishing mates. It’s better than most boats for partnering because it’s big enough to take all partners out together and tough enough to stand up to above-average usage.
And even if you’re not considering a partnership this is a good deal. I say that because, with a recommended power range of 115hp-150hp, the Coastrunner is an affordable boat to operate in the six-metre class. Tow weight is not excessive and physical dimensions don’t stop you parking her at home.
With this design Stessl uses what it calls the Platetrix hull. Essentially, this is a welded plate hull that delivers a beamy, full-volume hull with a variable deadrise from bow to stern. This ensures the boat is not too deep Vee at the transom for fishing, yet sharp enough up front for rough water.
It's been a few years since the TBF team got alongside the Stessl brand but it’s obvious they haven’t been idle. This new Coastrunner is a very impressive design and you can buy it in three model sizes – 530, 560 and 610 all with a centre cab configuration.
Through Gold Coast dealership, Coastal Powerboats, we were able to put this baby through her paces earlier this summer.
It’s always interesting to see how boat brands evolve over time and in this new series you can see the DNA from earlier Stessl boats. In particular, you can see a hint of the earlier Trihull design within the aggressively large downturn chines. These give the Coastrunner the benefits of added lift and great at-rest stability.
Sure many fishos are looking to downsize on their next boat purchase to save on running costs. However, there’s no doubt that if you are going to do serious offshore fishing it’s hard to downsize too far. When you're out among the big waves you appreciate a bigger size boat like this one that’s 6.3m overall and has a solid feel in the water.
From the moment we first spied the big 6100 Coastrunner at the ramp we liked the cut of her jib! The big plate boat looked a treat with her green hull and crisp white decks.
We also love the raised, up-flared bows and the deep walk-around interior that gives 360-degree fishing access and a cabin where you can chuck your gear. And that’s important because loose gear in a boat can get underfoot when you are fishing.
I also like the way the Coastrunner gives you a deep, walk-around that can be used offshore because it runs full-depth up to the bows. So there’s less chance of falling overboard!
The hull measures 6.3m overall including a fastback transom with Porto-Fino style recessed landing deck. It also includes a small stub anchor bowsprit with welded bowrail.
The hull is quite full-volume due to its convex sections and provides a generous 2.5m, which is right on the maximum allowable trailer width. Hull depth is also a very generous 150cm.
The cockpit gives you quite good internal freeboard because there’s no attempt to include a self-draining deck. I think that’s a pretty sensible approach for most Aussie anglers because many still like to bottom-bash while standing up against the cockpit gunwales.
You step aboard the 6100 Coastrunner via a folding stainless steel ladder at the transom, then over the rear deck into the cockpit. A transom door is an optional extra you can order but it’s an added cost you might want to forego to keep cost down.
The cockpit features a carpeted floor with raised side stowage pockets and a totally free work area behind the helm/passenger seats that is impressive.
A rear folding lounge is another optional extra, but again, it is something you might pass on if you are a hardcore fisho.
The walk-around gives you easy walking access forward up to the bow where you find another fishing space that’s free of any seating.
This is a sensible layout, even if a little short on seating.
I particularly like the walk-around that lets you quickly move from the helm to the bow or stern areas when docking or launch/retrieving the boat.
Structurally, the Platetrix hull is a pretty tough critter and provides 4mm bottom panels and 3mm side panels. This is backed by a very strong 12mm x 100mm high keel and internal framing and stringers that form a grid pattern over the bottom. The maximum unsupported distance between framing and stringers is 39cm so it’s no surprise this is a very rigid hull and feels rock solid on the water.
The warranty on these Stessl Platetrix hulls is three-years.
Mounted on a dual-axle Deluxe Glider-Pad trailer the test boat weighed approximately 1570kg on the road, loaded with a full tank of fuel. This puts the 6100 Coastrunner comfortably within the towing range of larger cars like the Ford Falcon that has a 1600kg tow capacity (standard hitch). It’s also comfortably within the tow range of popular four-wheel drives like the Toyota Hilux Ute (2200kg) and the sleek Mazda CX-9 (2000kg).
Our test boat also was fitted with a hardtop/targa that’s design to hinge down to reduce overall height when trailing, or parking. That said, this is a pretty tall trailer craft and you mightn’t get her under some older/lower carports and garages.
Launching the 6100 Coastrunner at the delightful Runaway Bay we enjoyed motoring out through the quiet waters of the marina with the big Suzuki 140hp motor. There’s no doubt these are one of the quietest motors on the market and tick over almost whisper-quiet at trolling speed.
Out on the Broadwater we found the waters ruffled by a light southern and took the opportunity to get the big green boat up on the plane. And plane she did, flying fast with the big four-cylinder Suzuki on the back.
With the down-deflecting chines keeping the spray down the big Stessl moved along cleanly and without fuss. She rode comfortably over the small chop so we headed for the Seaway to test her mettle in the more bumpy waters outside.
We weren’t disappointed at all. The big Stessl hopped over the incoming swell nicely and with virtually no slamming. Most impressive was the fact hardly any spray came over the gunwales except for one occasion when I copped a wave breaking sideways.
Running the boat back into the Seaway we appreciated the way the Coastrunner sat very nicely on the backs of the waves and didn’t try to dig and spear-off. Admittedly, you could broach any boat if you were stupid enough but with sensible steering you could handle some pretty big seas in this boat.
After a few more runs inshore and at different angles to tide and wind we came away pretty impressed with the 6100 Coastrunner. We did notice at times the boat was wind-influenced by the hardtop. However, that was soon overcome by crew weight trim and/or correction with steering angle.
The adding of the boat’s front and side clears might further aggravate the heeling problem, but I doubt you really have to go the trouble of transom trim tabs. This style of hull is pretty stable and shouldn’t need electric trim tabs.
I liked the helm position and found the pedestal seat comfortable and sight-lines pretty good from the wheel. The boat is comfortable to drive in a seated or standing position and you have seat slides to adjust to your leg length.
Our test boat was also fitted with hydraulic steering that really makes the steering light and very easy.
My only criticism about the helm position was the space between the helm and passenger seat was a bit of a squeeze. However, that’s now being fixed by opened up the space between the seats and making the cabin about an inch wider either side.
At-rest stability is quite good and the aggressive chines certainly help keep the boat quite stable when fishing.
The 6100 Coastrunner is designed to run with single extra-long outboards of 115hp -150hp. It certainly has a lot of grunt with the 140hp Suzuki we carried out the test as the following GPS results show:
3500rpm 14 knots
4500rpm 24 knots
5200rpm 31 knots
These are pretty acceptable speeds for a boat this size and most boaties will be happy with that. I believe the speeds might be a touch better once the motor is run in and there is some refining of the propeller size.
I’d be interested to see how the boat also goes with the Evinrude 130hp ETEC motor that’s an alternative motor package offered for the same price. The Evinrude being a two-stroke would most likely give better mid-range speed and be a good match for this boat. That said, the Evinrude won’t beat the Suzuki for outright quietness.
And what about a 115hp motor? From the results of this test I’d think a 115hp would be a bit under-powered but I’m prepared to be proven wrong.
The boat comes standard with an in-floor 150-litre fuel tank and this should give quite good range when heading out to wide blue yonder. Also, if you are heading out there it’s good to know the test package came with dual batteries so you’d always have one battery free to start the motor. That’s something that gives me peace of mind when I’m offshore.
The Stessl features a noticeable bow flare up front that is enhanced by the high bowrail and anchor bowsprit. The bowrail has a narrow split at the bows so you can feed the anchor line directly to the anchor roller without a hassle.
Up front you also get a big, self-draining anchor well and mooring bollard. The walkway is wide to move for’ard and I like the way the bowrails extend well back to give you added security on the side decks.
Moving aft you find a curved, tinted Perspex windscreen and a hinged hardtop that has wires to lock it down. The helm area is naturally narrower than what you get with a cuddy boat, however, still wide enough to give you comfortable side-by-side pedestal seats. There’s also a big dash area with space to mount motor gauges and flush-mount Lowrance HDS-7M colour chartplotter and Furuno FCV-620 Colour Fishfinder. This is a pretty serious electronic package and just what you need when you are fishing deep waters.
The dash area also provides a recessed stowage area, six-ganger switch panel and two drink holders. A factory-fitted VHF marine radio is another option you can order from the factory.
The cabin is basic but does provide a place where you can sit and even catch a nap with the optional cabin cushions. The factory is now also offering an ‘extended cabin’ version that gives you full-length sleeping bunks and space for a porta-loo toilet.
This boat naturally scores high in the fishing stakes because it devotes so much space to fishing. I also like the way side pockets are raised high off the floor so they don’t get in the way and that makes it easy to reach the contents. I also like the flat side decks that make a good spot to sit. It’s also good to see four rod holders and room to add extra ones as well.
The boat comes with a raised cutting board incorporating a live bait tank. There’s also a six-pack rod rack (targa) on the back of the alloy hardtop.
Today, boat buyers are very much value-conscious. That’s why I think alloy boats like the 6100 Coastrunner are selling well because they give you a lot of boat for your money.
The big Stessl 6100 Coastrunner might be a plain boat when put up against the more elaborate imported US fibreglass console boats but is vastly cheaper to buy.
The Coastrunner looks pretty good on the water with its flared bows and smart targa hardtop. Many fishos will be proud to pull up to the ramp with this boat so in terms of ramp cred the Coastrunner doesn’t let you down.
I might mention that although the 6100 Coastrunner package is pretty much geared to hard-core fishing it's still possible to make her more appealing to the family. Adding the options of cabin cushions, rear three-quarter lounge, rear door and the like will soften her hardcore edges and maybe even win over the wife.
BOAT TEST ANALYSIS
Boat supplied with Suzuki 140hp XL four-stroke, Dunbier Glider dual-axle trailer, tie-downs, targa rod rack, carpeted cockpit floor, four rod holders, hydraulic steering, plumbed live bait station, painted topsides, dual batteries, LCD sounder and LCD colour chartplotter. Price $53,800 Coastal Powerboats ph 07 5526 0858.
Brand Stessl 6100
Coast Runner Whiteline6000
alloy centre cab
2.4m Rated power
Power as tested
840kg Mercury175 Mercury150
160L STAR RATING
Finish Helm Set-up
Ride Safety Features
Dryness Value for Money
*Data ESTIMATED by the TBF team when accurate information is unavailable. Maximum star rating 5 stars.