Room to fish and have your family along – but best of all, Stacer’s new Nomad gives you more room in your bank account because she is so affordable.
What boat buyers want today is affordable boats! That’s the message loud and clear from the market and it is especially the case with fishermen.
Stacer is one local boat brand that is responding well to this market demand with a good range of ‘affordable’ fishing-oriented alloy boat models.
Stacer has also done the market research and focused especially on console boats in the $15,000-$30,000 price range.
A year ago I tested a Stacer called the 449 Northern Fisher that really hit the mark in affordable fishing. This open tinnie was right on the money for low cost fishing. And a key point of achieving this aim was doing away with a painted hull.
A year later, we’re looking at another affordable Stacer model but this time the tinnie has a painted hull and still comes up at an affordable price.
The Stacer 489 Nomad is the perfect solution for those people after a roomy, good all-round fishing boat suited to inshore fishing. And whether you’re into bottom-bouncing or fast pace lure casting for surface predators you’re going to love this large-size Nomad.
The side console steering set-up on the 489 Nomad opens up most of the boat for fishing. She also features a low casting platform for’ard of the console to give you more elevation for lure fishing.
Compared to earlier model Nomads we’ve looked at this boat has noticeably more hull volume and enjoys the benefit of the new EVO Advanced hull that provides a sharper bow entry and deeper hull Vee for improved performance and a smoother ride.
According to Stacer’s marketing department, they listen to their customers and the feedback was people wanted more hull volume and they wanted more boat for their dollars. In essence, this is what the new 489 Nomad is all about – giving fishing enthusiasts more boat for their shrinking budgets.
One of the ways they’ve managed to reduce costs over previous Stacer Nomad models is by removing the level flotation feature. This has not only reduced manufacturing costs but also given back more room in the cockpit and allowed for large side pockets, which is just what the average fisho wants.
Another change you notice with the new Nomad is the complicated Mod Pod transom has been replaced by a much shorter pod that gives you more cockpit space, and brings the angler closer to the transom. Again, this is a practical move and a good response to buyer feedback.
The new Nomad ‘ticks the box’ on a number of other fronts like a live bait tank in the stern deck, fitted VHF radio with aerial and two flip-back pedestal seats that have a choice of three floor slots. Coupled with great new colours and decals this makes the new Nomad a great fishing boat for the Aussie angler. And, may I say not a half bad boat for general family boating as well.
Our test boat from Enterprise Marine, Sydney includes a F70 Yamaha four-stroke, single axle alloy Stacer trailer, Lowrance HDS sounder/chartplotter. You get all this for a special winter-time special price of $31,250.
Design: Overall length is just a touch off 4.9m while beam width is 2.2m and hull depth (keel to gunwale) is 108cm. This delivers quite a roomy boat that compares very well with other trailer boats in the five-metre size range.
The new Stacer Nomad also incorporates the distinctive Stacer topsides with wide clinker panels and an interesting ‘speed hollow’ just above the chine edges. The latter is a unique feature of the Stacer EVO Advance and helps to both smooth the ride and help give a cleaner wake as the water shoots out to the stern.
The hull features quite a lot of fullness in the bow area, but also enough Vee entry below the chine edges to cut through bay wave chop easily. The Vee’d hull sections flow back to a moderate Vee transom with a slight gull-wing effect caused by extra wide chine flats at the side.
The above shape helps the Stacer 489 Nomad to get on the plane quicker and also run with less demand on fuel consumption. Interestingly, the same combination of wide chine flats, plus the speed hollows help to dampen the roll rate and make this boat quite stable when you’re out on the water fishing.
At the stern is a short, full-depth pod and the motor well has a drop-down hatch into the cockpit so you can carry the bigger size four-stroke motors.
This design also features a small external keel to protect the bottom, plus it helps to reduce the drift rate when you’re fishing.
Our test boat looked quite a treat on her trailer with attractive dark grey topsides, white decks and stylish red/black Stacer graphics. It’s a nice-looking package, especially with a folding bimini stowed in a neat envelope cover. The whole package screams “take me fishing!”
Structurally, the Stacer 489 Nomad is going to stand up well to many years of service. OK, it’s not really a boat for blue water fishing however solid enough for general estuary and occasion close reef fishing trips. It has a 3mm bottom panels, 2.5mm topsides and 3mm transom.
The hull also has a series of internal framing, floors and fully welded side decks. There is also foam flotation in the bottom to basic flotation standard. It’s rated to carry five people according to the basic flotation standard on the Australian Building Plate (APB).
With a hull weight of 430kg we were looking at a total trail weight of about 850kg for the test boat with a Yamaha F70 four-stroke outboard on the back. This means she can hook up nicely behind popular four-cylinder cars like the Nissan Dualis (1400kg) Toyota Camry (1200kg), Subaru Forrester (1400kg) and the Jeep Compass (1500kg).
Performance: Catching up with our test package at the Bayview ramp in Pittwater, we enjoyed looking over the boat, taking photos and having our morning coffee.
Slipping the Nomad off her trailer was a breeze due to her custom Stacer trailer with side rollers and runner strips. It’s a nice looking package with C-channel alloy frame, plastic wheel mudguards, mag sports wheels and LED lights.
The Yamaha F70 fired up first go like a good four-stroke and we were soon motoring off quietly down the dark green waters of Pittwater.
There’s no doubt this new generation of clean-tech motors is really pleasant to be about and you simply don’t have any smoke and very little noise.
As with the Northern Fisher models this new Stacer is quite stable and you can move about the boat underway without upsetting the trim too much.
I have to admit the side console puts the helmsman’s weight to one side. However, in practice the boat sits well especially as you go fast on the plane.
Talking of helm seats, the 489 Nomad comes with three floor slots for the two pedestal seats provided. And you can move these chairs about, including to the front position on the casting deck for fishing.
Underway, we found it a good idea to have the passenger sitting in the portside seat position next to helmsman so he balanced up the trim. If you were driving the boat solo you’d probably use something like an ice-packed esky on the portside to do the same thing!
Lifting the throttle we soon had the Stacer speeding along doing about 20 knots in cruising mode. Going a bit faster we trimmed the bows up a bit and had her really flying in the light wind-ruffled waters of the bay.
The boat felt good at speed and I found the low windscreen actually gives you a bit of wind/spray protection.
Still moving fast, we sliced across some low wash and did some fast turns, all of which the 489 Nomad handled well and with good manners. Seems there are no obvious vices with this hull and the side hollows in the topside do a good job of deflecting bow spray back aft so you get a pretty dry ride.
The moderate Vee bottom does have its limitations in terms of how hard you can travel in really bumpy water. However, for typical bay conditions and especially afternoon sea-breeze chop she is going to be pretty much at home and riding reasonably comfortably.
I have to say the new EVO series 3 hull does ride better than its predecessor and gives a pretty good result for a boat that’s not a deep Vee.
The TBF team loves the side console steering because it gives you lots of room to stretch your legs and delivers excellent all-round vision. Here you also find an attractive three-spoke sports wheel, electric slim-line throttle box, set of motor gauges, 4-ganger switch panel and a handy shelf pocket to stow your small bits and pieces like phone, etc.
The Nomad comes standard with 4:1 ratio mechanical non-feedback steering that’s very workable in this size of rig and level of horsepower. Certainly, we found her easy enough to steer during our three-hour test session.
We found this Nomad also pretty good on the at-rest stability test. We could have our crew on one side without danger of tipping the boat over. This means she will be well-suited to two anglers’ stand-up casting.
Access aboard is reasonably easy thanks to a rear landing step on the portside of the transom. However, I would suggest you add the optional transom Maxi stainless steel extension ladder if you’re taking the family out.
Power: The Stacer 489 Nomad is designed to take motors in the range of 50-75hp. If you take the full factory package you get an Evinrude ETEC 70hp clean tech motor, however, our boat came with the dealer supplied Yamaha F70 four-stroke that is also a pretty nice engine. With two people aboard the GPS results were as follows:
3500rpm 15 knots
4500rpm 22 knots
5500rpm 28 knots
5700rpm 30 knots
These are not fast but acceptable speeds for a boat used for fishing and no doubt operating with two anglers aboard. However, it also suggests that a 50hp motor might under-cook the performance. I would think that for general family boating with five people aboard you need to go to the maximum horsepower of 70 or 75hp.
And talking of power, the 489 Nomad comes standard with a 77-litre in-floor fuel tank and deck filler. It also has a rear under deck shelf for dual batteries and comes with an accessory kit.
I also like the way the Nomad comes with a bow mount to take an optional electric thruster motor.
Our boat was also fitted with LED navigation lights, which you really should fit to any fishing boat because you never know when you’re going to be coming home late on a fishing trip!
While we ran no formal fuel tests I’d expect this rig to be fairly economical to operate., especially if you keep the speed within the cruising range of 22 knots/4500rpm.
Deck layout: Nomads are designed for coastal estuary fishing with a short bowsprit incorporating a bow roller, plus Tee bollard and a moulded plastic lined bow anchor locker.
You also get a polished alloy bow rail, extruded coamings and two plastic rod holders per-side. There’s also low grab handles astern as well as a fully carpeted floor, plus three stowage lockers under the for’ard casting deck.
The casting deck is one step up from the main cockpit level, which makes it very easy to use when you’re moving around the boat with a hot hook-up. It also provides enough freeboard security so you can use it in more open waters than a calm river or lake.
Moving aft you find a nice helm console located to starboard with a low windscreen and a grab rail. This gives you a couple of drink holders and comes fitted with a VHF radio and aerial.
Our test boat included the Lowrance HDS 5 colour sounder/GPS chartplotter so you could find popular fishing marks.
The interior also features large side pockets, which give you loads of room to stow hand lines and other fishing gear. This is a great feature of the boat and something that keen anglers are going to love.
However, what I really love about this boat is the very comfortable padded pedestal seats with hinged backrests that enable you to quickly make them forward, or rear facing without having to twist the seat. This, combined with a choice of three floor slots, including one on the casting deck, makes for a very practical fishing layout.
Back aft is a live-bait well and cutting board. You can further add to the fishing package by adding options like a transom berley bucket, cockpit lights and a for’ard live bait well.
We found the interior freeboard quite suitable for safe stand-up casting and there is heaps of room for two anglers to work without getting in each other’s way.
Verdict: This boat is the result of some intelligent market research by one of our most successful boat brands. I think it says a lot that the Stacer 489 Nomad fits within the ‘affordable’ price range and gives you a lot of interior room.
It is interesting to note that in a tough market, fishing boats are doing a lot better than general recreation boats – tinnies especially. And the style of boat people are buying is the centre or side console steering station. There’s no accident about this because I think buyers have finally figured out that console boats give them the best value for money in terms of fishing space.
While you could call this a serious fishing boat there’s no reason it can’t be used to ferry the family around on summer day cruises. Indeed, you could use the Nomad to tow the skiers on their jet tube, go swimming and do everything you’d do in a runabout.
So there you go – another great tinnie from Stacer, which comes as a ready-to-go package with a three-year limited factory warranty.