STABIMAG 04

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STABICRAFT MAGAZINE ISSUE 04 RE

ADVENITTHU

STABIMAG

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ISSUE NUMBER FOUR W A L K T H I S W A Y I N T H E A L L - N E W 2 2 5 0 U LT R A C A B W T W W W. S TA B I C R A F T. C O M

WALK THIS WAY! THE INSIDE SCOOP ON THE ALL-NEW 2250 ULTRACAB WT!

• TUNA TAMING BATTLING BLUEFIN TUNA WITH THE HUNTERS CLUB

PLUS • TOURING STEWART ISLAND, OREGON, PORT STEPHENS & MORE

• HOW TO BOATING & FISHING TIPS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

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STABIHOTSHOT TUNA TAMER

The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT powering the Hunters Club boys to Milford Sound and their record southern bluefin tuna haul was powered by a Yamaha 225HP outboard. Part of the 4.2L V6 stable, this thoroughbred has been around for more than a decade and has a proven track record for power and reliability. It’s recently been beefed up, borrowing tech and styling from its big brother — the V8 425HP XTO. A new exhaust system redirects bubbles away from the prop when operating in reverse and below 2500RPM, resulting in cleaner water and more thrust in any direction. It’s ideal for manoeuvring around the marina or boat ramp, even handier for negotiating big fish. The new cowling features more aggressive styling, yet still has that unmistakable Yamaha look. STABICRAFT 2250 ULTRACAB WT Length: 6.8m (22’3”) Beam: 2.5m (8’2”) Deadrise: 17° Max adults: 8 Dry-hull weight (approx): 1485kg (3273lb) BMT weight (approx): 2370kg (5224lb) Fuel capacity: 378L (100gal) Standard HP: 150-250HP Maximum HP: 300HP ENGINE SPECS Make: Yamaha Model: F225 Type: 24-valve DOHC V6 Displacement: 4.2L (1.1gal) Weight: 263kg (580lb)

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M A G A Z I N E

CONTENTS 16

COVER STORY BLUEFIN BATTLES

In the spectacular surrounds of Fiordland’s Milford Sound, a 49-year-old record was finally erased from the New Zealand spearfishing record book.

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26 30 40 50 58 70

WALK THIS WAY The new Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is the ultimate tourer.

REGULARS

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STABIBOSS

STEWART ISLAND BY STEALTH

A hunting tour of the Stewart Island group in New Zealand aboard a Stabicraft 1450 Explorer.

THE FAM BAM

A family fishing crew who use their Stabicraft 2100 Supercab like a floating caravan while touring Australia’s east coast.

THE LOVE BOAT

For Tom and Helena, the secret to a perfect marriage has been their shared affection for fishing in a red Stabicraft 2500 Ultracab XL.

Stabicraft CEO David Glen on the year that was.

08 STABISTAFF

Meet some of the friendly faces behind Stabicraft boats.

10 STABIPARTNERS

Simrad will find you fish and Wakefield Metals talk elements.

12 STABIPARTNERS

Tips and tricks to keep your Ultralon flooring in good shape.

14 STABIGEAR

Look fresh on and off the water with official Stabi merch.

AERIAL assault

We attack Port Stephens in Australia by sea and air. Our trusty steeds are a Stabicraft 2250 Ultra Centrecab and an R44 helicopter.

BUYER’S GUIDE

The full Stabicraft line-up with all the specs and figures you need to get you out there.

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STABIDEALERS

We catch up with a boatful of our awesome dealers.

104 STABIWORLD

Find your nearest Stabicraft — wherever you are in the world.

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STABIBOSS

BUSINESS AS UNUSUAL The new boss reflects on a crazy 12-month ride.

W

ell, the first week was interesting. New Zealand went into level 4 COVID-19 lockdown on Wednesday, 25 March 2020. I’d barely met the management team and staff before we all had to head home for at least four weeks. If we didn’t know about Zoom before then, we soon would. One year on, it’s now a regular feature — and an invaluable tool for our business. Despite the initial fears of the pandemic’s impact, and the subsequent restriction of recreational boating in various regions around the world, Stabicraft has not been adversely affected. In fact, there have never been more shiny new Stabicraft models roll out the factory door. To all those new owners, congratulations and welcome to the Stabi family. Also, hats off to our dealers from around the world who made delivery of new boats possible under some pretty trying circumstances.

Special mention goes to Webbe Marine in Sydney, Australia. These guys took out our 2020 Overall Dealer Award for exceptional performance. One Stabicraft model has shone brightly in the past 12 months — the new 1450. This baby has been so popular we’ve had to do things a little differently here in Stabiland. We’re teaming up with some highly qualified engineering partners to build more than 500 small boats (1450 and 1550 models) in 2021. It is a big investment, but we’re committed to delivering on the demand for these pocket rockets. Back in the main factory, we’ll be focused on building more of Stabicraft’s larger models. Here at Stabicraft, we’ve gone from scary times to exciting times, for sure. Cheers

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STABICRAFT CEO DAVID GLEN PROJECT MANAGER DANIEL UPPERTON PUBLISHING PARTNER MOBY DICK CONTENT

“TO ALL THOSE NEW OWNERS, CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME TO THE STABI FAMILY.”

ADVENTURE ENGINEERS (THE CREW WHO HELPED MAKE IT HAPPEN) THE CAPTAIN / COOL STORYTELLERS TANIA CASEY / STABI WHIPCRACKER JAMES JUBB / STABI SNAPPER THE HUNTERS CLUB / SHARP SHOOTERS TIM AND BEC SMITH / 2100 SUPERCAB TOM WOOD AND HELENA MYERS / 2500 ULTRACAB JAMIE CULVER / 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB JAKE NEVILLE / 1550 FRONTIER TIM CRISP / 1550 FISHER EYTHAN AND BRYCE PURTON / 2400 SUPERCAB ROWAN HOOK / 2250 ULTRACAB WALKTHROUGH SCOTT AND MEGAN DAVIS / 2750 ULTRA CENTRECAB STABICRAFT DEALERS ART DIRECTOR BRENDON WISE SUB EDITOR PAUL ROBINSON STABIMAG IS PUBLISHED BY MOBY DICK CONTENT ON BEHALF OF STABICRAFT. ALL MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY THE COMMONWEALTH COPYRIGHT ACT, 1968. NO PART OF STABIMAG MAY BE REPRODUCED, REPLICATED OR ADAPTED IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM STABICRAFT. PRINTED BY BRIGHTPRINT LTD. WHILE CARE IS TAKEN BY THE PUBLISHERS, THEY ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PUBLISHED MATERIAL, THE ACCURACY OF INFORMATION IN THE COPY, ILLUSTRATION OR ADVERTISEMENTS CONTAINED WITHIN STABIMAG THE CONTENT IS PROVIDED FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY, IT IS NOT INTENDED AS ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. THE READER SHOULD VERIFY ALL IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND SEEK INDEPENDENT ADVICE PRIOR TO MAKING ANY DECISIONS.

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STABISTAFF

MEET THE CREW

Turning raw metal into beautifully handcrafted aluminium artwork is no easy feat. These are some of the blokes who help make it happen.

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Y E A7 RS

Y E A R.5 S

BEVAN KIDD

CHARLEY MANSON

What’s a top tip you’ve learnt in your position? Communicating and resolving problems in a hurry is a surefire way of getting the job done. The best thing about working at Stabicraft? Stabicraft has a great group of people all trying to produce the best product they can. The worst thing about working at Stabicraft? No time to relax! There’s always another boat to start or finish. What has changed over the years? Staff levels and the number of boats we’re producing every year. Describe Stabicraft in five words. Busy, supportive, innovative, versatile, unique. What is your favourite model? 2250 Ultra Centrecab. What do you do in your spare time? Relaxing, watching my children play sport and classic cars.

What’s a top tip you’ve learnt in your position? The secret to a good windscreen seal is to thoroughly prepare the surfaces. We use primers and a V-notch in the end of the sealer gun nozzle to provide a good thick layer of sealant to the area. When the windscreen or windows are pushed into place with some pressure the sealer spreads and creates an excellent seal. The best thing about working at Stabicraft? Plenty of variety and good people. The worst thing about working at Stabicraft? Getting up at 4.30am. What has changed over the years? No itchy fibreglass bonnets now. Describe Stabicraft in five words. Almost never a dull moment. What is your favourite model? 2250 Centrecab. What do you do in your spare time? Read books, shoot ducks, upholstery, movies, woodwork, walking and sleeping. I also love spending time with my grandchildren.

Start date: March 2004 Length of service: 17 years Current position: Manufacturing Supervisor — nightshift Past positions: Welder 2IC, Coach Work Centre 3, Work Centre 4 Lead Welder

Start date: August 2007 Length of service: 13.5 years Current position: Final Assembly Team Past positions: Coach Work Centre 1 & 6, Flow Champion, Work Centre 2 Welder

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Y E A.5 RS

Y E A R.5 S

COLIN SWEENEY

Start date: September 2007 Length of service: 13.5 years Current position: Nesting Specialist Past positions: CNC Router Operator What’s a top tip you’ve learnt in your position? Develop an understanding not only for the boats, but also the machines that produce them. The best thing about working at Stabicraft? Being part of a proud team dedicated to excellence for an awe-inspiring brand. The worst thing about working at Stabicraft? Rainy mornings riding a pushbike to work. What has changed over the years? The procedures and technologies we use to produce our beautiful boats. Describe Stabicraft in five words. An innovative, passionate, driven company. What is your favourite model? 2500 Ultracab XL. What do you do in your spare time? Dance and play the guitar (both badly). Do not invite me to your party.

LESTER HEADS

Start date: October 2011 Length of service: 9.5 years Current position: Quality Control Past positions: Coach Work Centre 1 & 6, Flow Champion, Work Centre 2 Welder What’s a top tip you’ve learnt in your position? A good eye for detail, willing to listen, learn and adjust — and communicate. The best thing about working at Stabicraft? Working with so many different staff in different departments. Watching people go from strength to strength. The worst thing about working at Stabicraft? Simon’s glorious beard is starting to bug me! What has changed over the years? About 40 of us laughing and poking fun at each other has grown to more than 100 of us laughing and poking fun at each other. Describe Stabicraft in five words. Challenging, proud, gratifying, fun, exciting. What is your favourite model? 1550 Fisher. What do you do in your spare time? I’m a very amateur dart player. Keeping it that way in case it becomes an Olympic sport.

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STABIPARTNER NAVICO

DIGITAL WIZARDY FOR NEW STABIS

NAVICO IS THE PARENT COMPANY TO A FAMILY OF FAMILIAR BRANDS INCLUDING LOWRANCE, SIMRAD, B&G AND C-MAP. THIS COSY CREW OF DIGITAL WIZARDS HAS NOW TEAMED UP WITH STABICRAFT FOR 2021, WITH ALL STABI VESSELS BEING OFFERED FACTORY-FITTED LOWRANCE OR SIMRAD ELECTRONICS OPTIONS. Get excited — the Elite Fishing System (FS) is the latest model in Lowrance’s line-up of mid-range fish finder/chartplotter displays, combining a full line-up of fish-finding tools with a display that is easy to use and install. Fish beware, because the Elite FS offers ActiveTarget Live Sonar and extreme high-resolution Active Imaging with Lowrance CHIRP Sonar to SideScan and DownScan Imaging. Stabicraft 1450 Explorer, Frontier and 1550 Fisher models will be fitted with the newly launched Lowrance Elite FS seven-inch displays with Active Imaging Transducer with the option to upgrade to a nine-inch display. The 1850 Fisher and 1850 Supercab models will be offered with a Simrad NSS evo3s seven-inch display, along with Active Imaging Transducer — again with an upgrade option to nine-inch. All offshore Supercab, Centrecab and Ultracab models will have Simrad NSS evo3s 12-inch or 16-inch displays, along with the option to upgrade with radar, autopilot and engine integration — and new Simrad Command digital

switching solutions will be available on selected models. All factory-fitted. Available in nine-, 12- and 16-inch models, the Simrad NSS evo3S allows users to experience off-the-chart levels of built-in functionality under all conditions, using charts, radar and sonar. With a built-in GPS receiver and high performance echo sounder, upgraded charting, support for Halo dome and open-array radars, as well as an industry-leading range of Simrad autopilot systems, all your on-water activities are covered. Not enough? There’s more. Stabicraft owners can now benefit from simplified installation, including a vessel certification. Plus, you’ll take home an extended warranty. Just add water! More information on Lowrance HDS Live at www.lowrance.com More information on Simrad NSS evo3S at www.simrad-yachting.com

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STABIPARTNER WAKEFIELD METALS

METAL LESSON

THE WAKEFIELD METALS CREW HAS SUPPLIED THE SHINY STUFF TO STABICRAFT FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS. IN THIS ISSUE OF STABIMAG THEY SHARE A FEW CHOICE FACTS ABOUT ALUMINIUM (AKA ALUMINUM, IF YOU’RE READING THIS IN THE USA) INCLUDING HOW TO CARE FOR IT. First, let’s head back to high-school science class for a short refresher. Aluminium is the third most plentiful element in the earth’s crust, comprising eight per cent of the planet’s soil and rocks (oxygen and silicon make up 47 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively). The primary source is bauxite, which is mined and processed to produce alumina. This is then smelted and cast into slabs or “billets” — each weighing up to 30m/t — for further processing into sheets, plates, coils and extrusions. Other elements are added at the smelting or re-melting stages to produce different grades or alloys. The reason that it’s bloody good stuff to build boats out of is because it’s lightweight, easily workable, strong in all temperatures, non-magnetic, and non-toxic. The surface of aluminium quickly oxidises to form an invisible barrier to corrosion. It’s also 100 per cent recyclable. KEEP IT CLEAN Aluminium, like all metals, is “living” — it reacts to the environment it’s placed in. The marine sheet and plate come from the 5000 series of aluminium and the higher levels of magnesium produce better corrosion resistance, but you still need to give it some love. The more severe the environment, the more reaction leading to corrosion. And the most severe environment for an aluminium boat is generally salt water. So a fresh-water clean as soon as possible is always advisable, but stay away from cleaners high in acid. The internet is full of ways to restore the look, with a vinegar solution being one of the most common. As with anything, the more effort, the better the result.

CORROSION COP An anode is also a critical part of your boat, designed to sacrifice itself to help protect other metal parts of your vessel from corrosion. It’s especially important for boats in a marina, where there are many different metals reacting to salt water. The Wakefield crew gives the tick of approval to fitting stainless steel fittings to your aluminium boat. However, if there is moisture present between the aluminium hull and the stainless fitting, the aluminium, being the less noble metal (one that resists oxygen and corrosion) will deteriorate while protecting the more noble stainless steel. WAKEFIELD WINNING In the past 12 months, Wakefield Metals has supplied more than 500 tonnes of aluminium to Stabicraft, as well as to other Kiwi customers from industries including building and construction, dairy, transport and sheetmetal processing. It’s not just alloy, either. Wakefield Metals is NZ’s leading diversified importer and seller of aluminium, brass, copper and stainless products, and specialty architectural products. It’s been their business for more than 75 years, so you can sleep easy knowing your bluewater battlewagon with the Stabi badge is built with the good gear. For more details, check out www.wakefieldmetals.co.nz

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STABIPARTNER U-DEK

FLOOR FIT

EVERYTHING BOLTED AND GLUED TO A STABI HAS A REPUTATION TO LIVE UP TO. THE FLOOR IS NO DIFFERENT. FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES, STABICRAFT HAS TRUSTED U-DEK AS ITS PREFERRED FLOOR SUPPLIER. LIKE THE PRODUCT, IT’S A WELL-BONDED RELATIONSHIP. WHAT IS IT? U-Dek flooring is a lightweight, closed-cell foam that is nonabsorbing and UV-protected. It acts as a shock absorber underfoot, allowing boaties to fish longer and in more comfort. It also adds grip, improving safety in all wet areas. As a bonus, U-Dek flooring dampens hull and engine noise. It looks damn fine, too, and can even be customised with names and a logo during the routering process. U-Dek flooring comes formulated with a 3M

acrylic-based, high-bond, pressure-sensitive adhesive for easy peel-and-stick installation. However, like many other parts of your boat, it will need a little love. Here are six handy tips from the crew that supplies U-Dek flooring. For more details, check out www.udek.com

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06 TIPS FOR

KEEPING YOUR FLOOR FIT 01

As boaties, we all know the sun can be a bit of a bastard to our boats. U-Dek flooring is no different. Even though it could double as Superman’s underpants, it’s best to keep it covered in a garage or under canvas out of the elements. Generally speaking, the operational temperature of U-Dek flooring is 80°C (176°F). It’s also best to avoid leaving reflective items such as water bottles, tools or inflatable toys on U-Dek flooring for long periods. These objects can refract/reflect light, thereby concentrating the beams to a level that can be destructive to the decking.

02

Clean up spills and dropped items as quickly as possible to avoid the chance of permanent stains or damage. This includes cooking fats, sauces, bird poo, blood and squid ink.

03

For general cleaning, use U-Dek Cleaner and water along with a medium-bristled deck brush. Spray directly on a cool surface and not in direct sunlight. Lightly move around the cleaner with a soft or hard bristle brush. Let sit for 15–30 seconds. Add a small amount of water to the surface and lightly scrub again before rinsing. Repeat if necessary. Also safe to use on upholstery and carpet.

GIVE ME YOUR LOVE: To keep your U-Dek flooring in good shape you’ll need to give it some love.

04

To remove rust stains left by errant sinkers and swivels, use a capful of Grunt cleaner. Apply on the rust stain and allow to soak for three to five minutes. If necessary, use latex/nitrile gloves to massage the cleaner into the brushed or embossed texture of the decking. Rinse with water. Repeat if necessary. The rust stain will eventually be removed.

05

To remove suntan lotion, use the U-Dek Cleaner alone with a medium-bristled deck brush. Put small amount of the U-Dek Cleaner on oil. Dip medium bristled boat brush in warm water and work around until oil is out. Rinse with water. Repeat if needed.

06

Do not use the following products on U-Dek flooring: mineral spirits, Grunt cleaner (not as a general cleaner — OK for Tip 4 application only), acetone (if it must be used, avoid the adhesives as much as possible) bleach (if used, dilute 1:1 with water).

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STABIGEAR

STABI GEAR

WANT TO LOOK AS SHARP AS YOUR STABI? STYLE YOURSELF UP WITH THIS OFFICIAL STABICRAFT MERCHANDISE AT WWW.STABICRAFT.COM/SHOP

UFLEX PRO CAP WITH S LOGO $29.99

This five-panel snap-back cap is 98 per cent cotton for cool and two per cent spandex for added stretch factor. The pre-curved peak features the Stabi “S” logo and six rows of stitching — which has got to be better than one, right? This crown among caps comes in black or charcoal, one size fits all.

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STABICRAFT SKULL BEANIE $24.00

Out on the boat, a beanie is essential for cold mornings or under-theradar stealth missions. Fleece-lined and 100 per cent acrylic, this baby will keep your ears toasty and your temperature above freezing. Available in a stealthy black or charcoal, one size fits all.

STABICRAFT MEN‘S CHINO SHORTS $72.00

Pre-washed for that lived-in feel, with a comfortable midrise fit, these chino shorts are 98 per cent cotton with two per cent elastane so you can get your stretch on if required. And because you need somewhere to stash your stuff, they have a flat front, two side angled pockets and two back pockets. Available in black.

STABICRAFT MEN’S MILANO V-NECK PULLOVER $110.00

With winter on the way, staying warm on the boat is a no-brainer. The Milano not only looks the goods with its contemporary V-neck style and ribbed side panel, but its 50 per cent wool/50 per cent acrylic construction will keep icy winds at bay. And because there will be dirty business, fortunately, it’s also machine-washable.

All prices are in NZD and exclude shipping. Please visit our website shop to purchase.

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STABI ADVENTURE BLUEFIN BATTLES IN A 2250

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SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

BLUEFIN BATTLES In the spectacular surrounds of Fiordland’s Milford Sound a 49-year-old record was finally erased from the New Zealand spearfishing record book. After a mighty battle, a 54kg (119lb) southern bluefin tuna wound up on the pointy end of a spear, smashing the previous record by a whopping 42kg (92.6lb). Dave Shaw from The Hunters Club, creator of the South Seas Spearo TV series, talks us through the stoush from on board the Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT they rode into battle. WO R D S & I M A GE S Th e H u n t e rs C lu b

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STABI ADVENTURE BLUEFIN BATTLES IN A 2250

S

TABIMAG: Tell us about the mission? DAVE SHAW: For the new series of our show

South Seas Spearo, we decided to set our sights on spearing a southern bluefin tuna, a feat that hasn’t been achieved in New Zealand waters for close to 50 years.

Epic. Is this a new phenomenon?

Spearing a southern has been on the wish list for all top New Zealand spearos for the past five years since populations started bouncing back and large numbers started being caught out of areas such as Waihau Bay on the East Cape and along the south-western corner of the South Island. A few guys in the team had tried and failed to get a spear into a fish, so we expected this mission to be the first of many before we’d eventually strike gold and get enough material for an episode.

Who made up the salty crew?

Dwane Herbert is a New Zealand spearfishing legend, with multiple national titles to his name. Having regularly dived commercially in the area, Dwane has extensive knowledge of the Fiordland coastline and what it takes to find these elusive tuna. Julian Hansford is Dwane’s regular partner in crime and also a multiple NZ national champion.

MILFORD SOUND Milford Sound, aka Piopiotahi, is 288km (179 miles)

from the nearest airport at Queenstown. The drive takes about three and a half hours by car — longer when towing a boat — as State Highway 94 is a winding beast and includes a tunnel through the rock. Fiordland is a primeval place where ancient forest climbs to jagged peaks. Colonial writer Rudyard Kipling reckoned this place was one of the world’s major wonders and UNESCO agrees, tagging Fiordland National Park a World Heritage site in 1990. It rains here. A lot. It’s officially the wettest place in NZ, with a mean annual rainfall of 6412mm (252in). Which means there are spectacular waterfalls cascading from the cliffs into the sound. The rain is also handy in keeping the world’s entire sand fly population from eating you alive. Still, no pain no gain, eh? The sound runs 15km (9mi) inland from the Tasman Sea and its sheer rock faces soar up to 1200m (3900ft). The surrounding mountain peaks are higher still, with 2723m (8934ft) Mount Tutoko the big daddy. Carved out by glaciers during the Ice Ages, the fiords are crazy deep in places, dropping almost vertically hundreds of metres even close to the rocky coast, while the offshore waters are some of the most unpredictable in the country, with massive Southern Ocean swells a regular occurrence.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

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HE’S A CHAMP: Julian Hansford is one of the South Seas Spearos and also a multiple NZ national champion. He also took out cutest Oodie-wearing spearo on Milford Sound — however, Sam Wild is contesting the result.

“SPEARING A SOUTHERN BLUEFIN TUNA IS A FEAT THAT HASN’T BEEN ACHIEVED IN NEW ZEALAND WATERS FOR CLOSE TO 50 YEARS.”

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STABI ADVENTURE BLUEFIN BATTLES

TOP SHOT: The speargun Dwane used to pin the record tuna was more suited to spearing kingfish and snapper. Thankfully, his shot placement was perfect.

“DWANE’S SHOT PLACEMENT WAS PERFECT AND HE KNEW ENOUGH TO NOT PUT TOO MUCH ‘HURT’ ON THE FISH DURING ITS INITIAL RUNS TO ENSURE THE LINE DIDN’T BREAK.”

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As salty as they come, Julian knows first-hand the challenge involved in finding and stopping these big blue freight trains. Underwater cameraman Sam Wild — he of the ginger moustache and hoop earring — is also a keen spearfisherman and the butt of most of the lads’ jokes and pranks. But he takes it all in his stride and seems to be as attractive to the ladies as he is to the camera lens. I’m the producer of South Seas Spearo and the main photographer/videographer on the trip. I’m responsible for retrieving the magic moments from the unfolding chaos.

What were your pre-trip expectations?

We had a pretty decent weather window. The first day was forecast to be a little choppy, but we hoped to get out and familiarise ourselves with where the albacore were holding in the hope of encountering a bluefin among the schools once the weather settled on the second day. The thought of banging over a tuna within minutes of getting in the water was not on the radar! Our initial goal was to get in and spear a couple of albacore, both to get our eye in and also to provide a bit of material for the episode to build up to the eventual southern bluefin tuna encounter, which we all figured might take a year or so of filming and half a dozen trips to achieve. Which is why when about 200 of the fish suddenly showed up, Dwane was massively undergunned.

Tell us about gear for pinning giant tunas.

The spearguns we intended to use for shooting 50kg-plus (110lb) bluefins were lying in the cockpit of the boat. The gun Dwane had just attached to the rampaging tuna was a small snapper/kingfish gun — the shooting line was worn and frayed from a summer of hard use in the Coromandel, so he dared not put too

much pressure on the fish or he’d risk a catastrophic gear failure.

So how did he manage?

Dwane’s skills and experience allowed him to get the job done without any major dramas. His shot placement was perfect and he knew enough to not put too much “hurt” on the fish during its initial runs to ensure the line didn’t break.

Tell us how to pin a record.

There are a few schools of thought when spearing big fish. You can place a shot just in behind the gill plate, which is what Dwane did. That provides a strong base to hold the fish. Or you can try to stone the fish with a single shot to the brainstem, which kills it instantly, but is a much harder shot to make. Or you can effectively demobilise the fish by shooting it in the sinewy flesh close to the caudal keel where the tail meets the body, taking out its only means of propulsion. A slip tip tends to be preferred for shooting larger fish, as it’s less likely to tear out than a traditional long spear shaft.

What did you do with the fish?

We ate it raw — sashimi is the only way to go with a fish of this quality. The tuna was divvied up amongst the four of us, as well as the people who had helped out with planning and preparations in Te Anau and Queenstown. And it went down an absolute treat.

Nice. What’s your advice for anyone else contemplating their own Milford mission?

Pick your weather window well and try and drive the Milford Road — the wickedly winding State Highway 94 — when you’re fresh, rather than spending longer behind the wheel than necessary. It’s a tricky road for towing a big boat, so ensure your vehicle and brakes are up to the task.

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STABI ADVENTURE BLUEFIN BATTLES IN A 2250

WILD SMILES: Sam, Julian and Dwane share the love. The excitement was too much and they soon got nude (see over page).

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“THE TUNA WAS DIVVIED UP AMONGST THE FOUR OF US, AS WELL AS THE PEOPLE WHO HAD HELPED OUT WITH PLANNING AND PREPARATIONS IN TE ANAU AND QUEENSTOWN. AND IT WENT DOWN AN ABSOLUTE TREAT.”

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STABI ADVENTURE BLUEFIN BATTLES

PARTNERS IN BRINE: Dwane and Julian reflect on the record 54kg capture.

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Why did you pick a Stabicraft for the job?

We were generously loaned a 2250 Ultracab WT by our mates at Stabicraft. Dwane had been on the boat previously and spoke highly of it. The 2250 was fitted out with a Yamaha 225HP and full Garmin electronics package. She performed well in the sloppy weather early in the day — a 2m chop and gusty winds — and had ample deck space for the massive amount of gear we had aboard, including camera cases, dive bags, spearguns and fishing equipment.

What would you rate as the Stabi’s best features for this mission?

Having the walk-through is great for a number of reasons — such as allowing me to move forward to film without a misstep putting me in the drink, which is always a possibility when attempting to navigate around the side of a cab. The rather clever seating arrangement — which allows full use of the width of the boat — was noted by all the guys, so that’s a winner. Spearos like to keep things simple and spacious. But the main benefit

I found was in rapidly ventilating the cabin with fresh air to combat the persistent flatulence of the fellas onboard! It also worked to rid the cockpit of sandflies, Fiordland’s eternal plague.

Do you have any feedback for the Stabicraft R&D team? Probably a clear livebait tank — or at least a window to allow you to see into the well. We almost forgot we had paua and crays in there on the final day!

Any other trip highlights? What’s this nudie pic?

A nice bottle of rum was dispatched dangerously fast on the steam back into Milford, which also involved a short detour to a waterfall for a nude team pic on the bow. We were staying in a campervan without any shower/washing facilities, so it was a great way to wash off the carcass at the end of a memorable day. On the way out, we’d actually said something along the lines of: “If we shoot a tuna today, we’re coming home nude. It had to be done.”

“IF WE SHOOT A TUNA TODAY, WE’RE COMING HOME NUDE. IT HAD TO BE DONE.” WE’LL JUST PARK THIS HERE: Definitely one to share with the grand kids one day.

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STABITECH

WALK THIS WAY

The new Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is the ultimate tourer.

L

ate last year, Stabicraft launched its exciting new 2250 Ultracab WT. The new WT (walkthrough) model is the natural follow-up to the original 2250, launched in 2019. It’s making waves all around the globe and since hitting the Pacific Northwest coast in the USA, the 2250 has become by far the most popular Stabicraft in what was already a pretty impressive fleet. COASTAL EXPLORER Responding to popular demand, the new Ultracab WT model features a full-height walkthrough in the forwardleaning cabin, allowing easy access to the foredeck. It’s the ideal boat for island-hopping or coastal exploring, as well as undertaking fishing operations. The Ultracab WT concept came about courtesy of feedback from Stabicraft’s Pacific Northwest customers. The original 2250 has become a favourite, thanks to its size and versatility making it ideal for all kinds of fishing and coastal adventures. But customers wanted more. “They wanted an easier way of embarking and disembarking in the islands and along the rugged coastline,” says Stabicraft New Product Development Manager Daniel Upperton. “Plus they wanted access to the bow for more sightseeing and entertaining options.”

(BELOW) WATERTIGHT DESIGN: The three-piece doorway folds down to form a step and can be operated single-handedly.

DESIGN MASTERCLASS So Stabicraft’s engineers were given a new brief: build a walkthrough version of the 2250 featuring a large, forward-raking cabin. Never the sort of crew to shy away from a challenge, they responded with a design masterclass — the 2250 Ultracab WT. The walkthrough is designed around a spacious forward-leaning pilothouse. This configuration creates more space in the cabin, improves visibility from the helm and prevents windscreens fogging in cooler climates like you find in the Pacific Northwest. The new doorway features a three-piece construction. Firstly, the fold-down bottom section forms the

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“THE WT CONCEPT CAME ABOUT COURTESY OF FEEDBACK FROM STABICRAFT’S PACIFIC NORTHWEST CUSTOMERS.”

(ABOVE) FORM & FUNCTION: The forward-leaning pilothouse creates more space in the cabin, improves visibility from the helm and prevents windscreens fogging.

KEY FEATURES • New walkthrough feature with forward-leaning pilothouse (Ultracab) in 2250 size • Fully welded aluminium floor • Arrow pontoons (life-ring) and Game Chaser transom as standard • Vee berth and convertible cabin berth capable of sleeping four adults (option) • WT and WT Offshore options • Proven Stabicraft rough-water performance, strength and stability STABICRAFT 2250 Ultracab WT Length: 6.8m (22’3”) Beam: 2.5m (8’2”) Deadrise: 17 degrees Max adults: 8 Dry-hull weight (approx): 1485kg (3273lb) BMT weight (approx): 2370kg (5224lb) Fuel capacity: 378L (100gal) Standard HP: 150-250HP Maximum HP: 300HP

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STABITECH steps from the cabin; then the frameless glass centre pane lifts up to slide into a roof slot; and finally the centre pane and roof slot slide rearward into the cabin — a bit like a garage door. Each section is mounted with oil-dampened gas struts and can be operated single-handed. When it’s open, the large doorway provides easy access. When closed, the walkthrough becomes a secure, watertight compartment. As Dan says, “The walkthrough feature is ideal for young families or mature couples wanting to make the most of their time on the water, visiting friends and families on remote islands, hunting for crabs or clams, or just taking in the wild Northwest landscapes.” Overnighters are now also on the cards. With an optional vee berth (65.1in/1654.4mm long) plus a convertible double-cabin berth (74.9in/1902mm long), the Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is capable of comfortably sleeping four adults. HARD-CORE PERFORMANCE Hard-core fishermen won’t be disappointed in the 2250 Ultracab WT’s on-water performance, either. This model has got hard-earned Stabicraft DNA built into its bones. The welded aluminium floor — no timber or vinyl wrapping here, folks — helps with overall strength and longevity. And the legendary arrow pontoons offer the stability Stabicraft boats are famous for — whether deep-dropping off the Continental Shelf or crashing across the notorious Umpqua River Bar in Oregon, USA. They also add rigidity to the hull and help make Stabicraft vessels unsinkable. FEELING GAME? The 2250 Ultracab WT also features the Game Chaser transom as standard. Originally, this transom was designed for backing up on game fish. However, the design has also proved a huge winner for skippers who want to nose their boats into the shoreline. The transom effectively dissipates wave action at the stern, thereby minimising the jolting of rough water on both boat and passengers. Below decks are as bulletproof as you’d expect from a boat crafted by this Kiwi company. The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is underwritten by more than 30 years of boat-manufacturing experience. There are two packages available, the 2250 Ultracab WT and the 2250 Ultracab WT Offshore. The Offshore model features a three-quarter width transom, fish box with port-side gate and provisions for a third battery.

“THERE ARE TWO PACKAGES AVAILABLE, THE 2250 ULTRACAB WT AND THE 2250 ULTRACAB WT OFFSHORE.” (BELOW) GAME ON: The transom effectively dissipates wave action at the stern, improving safety and passenger comfort.

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WINNING WALKTHROUGH

We always knew the 2250 Ultracab WT was a damn fine thing, but it has just received a seal of approval from the experts. Our new walk-through model has won a “Best of the Best” Red Dot Award for global product design in 2021. Regarded as the Oscars of product design, the Red Dot is one of the world’s largest design competitions where 20 international professionals judge thousands of submissions on innovation, feasibility and functionality. And Stabicraft is in good company as the winners are often globally recognised names — last year, the Ferrari SF90 Stradale and Honda E electric car won “Best of the Best”.

(ABOVE) HELLO BOYS: When open, the large doorway provides easy access through the cabin.

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ADVENTURE TEST 1450 IN STEWART ISLAND

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STEWART ISLAND BY STEALTH

Drew Avery won his dream trip — a hunting tour of the Stewart Island group with Pure Salt Charters, escorted by the deadeyed crew of The Hunters Club. Their mothership is a 26m steel beastie with a hot tub — winning! But to get ashore to hunt white-tailed deer they’d need a small, versatile, tough-as-nails tinnie. Enter the Stabicraft 1450 Explorer.

SEE THE VIDEO VIDEO AT YOUTUBE OUTUBE.C .COM/ OM/ STABICRAFTN ST ABICRAFTNZZ

W O RD S By T he H unte rs C lu b / M o by D i c k Co n t e n t IMAG E S b y J a m e s J u bb a n d Th e H u n t e rs C lu b

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ADVENTURE TEST 1450 IN STEWART ISLAND

D

rew Avery is the lucky bastard who won a trip of a lifetime. Mind you, he earned it. His submission to win an all-expenses-paid trip included a video titled “Stabicraft’s Biggest Hunting Fan”. In the intro, he sprouts: “I’m not going to tell you how keen I am, I’m going to show you!” before launching his well-worn 459 Stabi from Wellington to the Marlborough Sounds — crossing Cook Strait twice in a single day. Stewart Island would also test the skills of The Hunters Club, along for the trip to fine-tune their spear tips, rifles and lenses. It was a place they’d explored before, but this time they were aboard the mothership Flightless, under the command of the Pure Salt crew.

MISSION ACCEPTED

The camouflage crew had a seven-day window to circumnavigate the entire island. This would give them time to soak up the coastal scenery from east to west, as well as the seldom-visited south-west fringes. Just 30km (19 miles) across the rugged Foveaux Strait from the southern tip of the South Island, Stewart Island/ Rakiura is densely forested, hilly and mostly uninhabited by humans — 400 at the last census — with about 80 per cent of the island designated as national park. With relatively few natural predators — apart from The Hunters Club — there is a diverse population of native birds and a large population of white-tailed deer as well as smaller numbers of red deer in inland areas. The favourable mid-winter weather turned on some amazing diving opportunities. Although chilly, the water afforded epic visibility and a couple of interesting encounters with local wildlife — especially the feisty sea lion that took a shine to underwater cameraman Sam Wild (must have been a female).

COASTAL EXPLORER: The chilly waters offered epic 25m (82ft) visibility. The 1450 Explorer was entrusted for cruising the coastline.

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XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX: xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx

NICE TUB: Flightless, the 26m (85ft) mothership, features a hot tub to warm cold bodies after underwater adventures.

WELCOME ABOARD THE MOTHERSHIP

STEWART ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

NAME: Flightless SPECS: 26m (85ft) in length with an international survey BASICS: 17 beds, three bathrooms and hot tub on the top deck to warm up after cold-water missions LUXURIES: Water maker, ice machine, washing machine, dryer, bean bags GEAR: Kayaks, paddle boards, fishing rods and tackle, dive compressors, dive cylinders, dive gear and, er, yoga mats FEATURES: Hiab marine crane and large dive platform with ladder for easy access to the water, 3D Sounder for intricate mapping of what lies beneath the surface MORE INFORMATION at puresalt.co.nz

DWANE HERBERT IS A NEW ZEALAND SPEARFISHING LEGEND, WITH MULTIPLE NATIONAL TITLES TO HIS NAME.

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ADVENTURE TEST 1450 IN STEWART ISLAND

YAMA-WHO? The 25HP Yamaha fitted to the 1450 Explorer was whisper-quiet — ideal for stalking deer along the coastal fringes.

NO DWANE, NO PAIN: Dwane from South Seas Spearo plucked an occy under instructions from the chef.

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DAY TWO TURNS IT ON

On day two, the crew were greeted with a glassy cove and 25m underwater visibility. It didn’t take long for an enthusiastic Drew to get at the crays among the cracks. “They had an escape route, so I had to be sharp about what I did. I managed to get the first one, then dropped down and nailed the second one, so happy days!” he says. Cameraman Sam called it one of the best doublegrabs he’s ever seen. Later, Drew nailed his first trumpeter on a spear, while South Seas Spearo Dwane scored an octopus. After the morning dive the boys relived the epic dive from the sanctuary of the hot tub while looking out over their happy hunting grounds.

THE DEER HUNTER

In the afternoon, the boys loaded rifles and backpacks into the 1450 for a deer hunt. Their window of light was narrowing, but they spotted a white-tailed deer feeding on grass. Approaching by boat in the surging water was too dangerous and would also alert the deer to their presence. Even though deer — understandably — aren’t used to predators approaching from the sea, their keen

sense of smell and twitchy nerves would sense danger and the hunters would come home empty-handed. It was decided the best tactic would be to dismount from the boat onto rocks, then take a long-range shot. Drew confessed that his mates back home had given him some advice: “Don’t miss on national television.” Fortunately, he made the most of his opportunity from 150 yards — adrenaline pumping and cameras rolling. “Good kill, right in the neck”, was the call after the rifle shot echoed through the valley. The beast was loaded onto the 1450 and that night’s dinner became a seafood and meat banquet that included paua and venison dumplings, deep-fried octopus, smoked fish and a cook-up of delicious muttonbird. There was one fail — the mysterious telescope fish dish. Its Latin name translates to “poor flesh” and even after being smoked low and slow on the onboard Traeger grill, we agreed that was an appropriate description. But what a day for Drew. First, stonking crays, then his first trumpeter, then a white-tailed deer. It was time for a beer. Chugging down a cold Moa, Drew rated it: “the best day of hunting and diving in my life.”

BUT WHAT A DAY FOR DREW WHO RATED IT: “THE BEST DAY OF HUNTING AND DIVING IN MY LIFE.”

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ADVENTURE TEST 1450 IN STEWART ISLAND

HE DREW FIRST BLOOD: Drew rated the baby Stabi a hunting weapon thanks to its stability, storage and usability.

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“EVEN THOUGH DEER — UNDERSTANDABLY — AREN’T USED TO PREDATORS APPROACHING FROM THE SEA, THEIR KEEN SENSE OF SMELL AND TWITCHY NERVES WOULD SENSE DANGER AND THE HUNTERS WOULD COME HOME EMPTY-HANDED.”

BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 1450 EXPLORER Length: 4.42m (14.5ft) Beam: 1.89m (75.7”) Deadrise: 15° Max adults: 4 Dry hull weight (approx): 265kg (584lb) BMT weight (approx): 655kg (1444lb) Fuel capacity: Tote tank Standard HP: 25 Maximum HP: 40

ENGINE SPECS Make: Yamaha Model: 25HP 4-Stroke Type: SOHC In-line 2 Displacement: 432cc Weight: 57kg (126lb)

MORE INFORMATION

Stabicraft Marine 345 Bluff Highway, Invercargill, Southland NZ +64 3 211 1828; www.stabicraft.com

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ADVENTURE TEST 1450 IN STEWART ISLAND

THE 1450 FINDS ITS FEET

We used the Stabicraft 1450 Explorer as the main tender for the mothership. Despite its small size, this boat has a huge carrying capacity and was perfect for lifting on and off the big boat with the onboard crane. It’s built tough, which is an absolute necessity when dropping off and picking up hunters and gear from Stewart Island’s rocky coastline when there’s a bit of a swell running. There were a couple of hefty collisions with sunken rocks as the guys hastily clambered ashore before they were spotted by the deer, but the Stabi simply shrugged them off. It’s an extremely stable platform even with quite a few blokes on board. The seating arrangement is well thought-out — and surprisingly dry for a boat of this size. The only downside was the underpowered 25HP motor. Even though the Yamaha was whisper-quiet mooching around the bays, we missed the extra horses. “The 1450 has been an absolute beast of boat,”

Drew says. “Everything about it is so usable. The sides are high enough to lean against if you’re trying to get a shot off, and wide enough to sit on. There’s lots of storage and it’s nice and stable for glassing the clearings. But I don’t know how the missus is going to feel when I order one!”

SUBDUING STEWART ISLAND

They key to getting the most out of a Stewart Island trip is not to set your sights too high. Enjoy the trip for what it is — a chance to get away and spend time in one of New Zealand’s most remote and beautiful locations with good mates. If things go well, then fantastic, but hunting is a tricky beast at the best of times, so there’s no point getting down on yourself if the going gets hard. Our most experienced Stewart Island hunter spent five solid days before finally nailing a deer, whereas a couple of the newbies managed to bag deer on their first outings, so a bit of luck certainly comes into it.

“IF THINGS GO WELL, THEN FANTASTIC, BUT HUNTING IS A TRICKY BEAST AT THE BEST OF TIMES, SO THERE’S NO POINT GETTING DOWN ON YOURSELF IF THE GOING GETS HARD.”

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TARGET ACQUIRED: Drew nailed the white-tailed deer with a 150yd (137m) shot from the rocks.

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THE FAM BAM ADVENTURE TEST: 2100 SUPERCAB

IN JERVIS BAY ON THE NSW SOUTH COAST, A FAMILY CREW HAS PERFECTED A NOMADIC FISHING LIFESTYLE — WITH A CUSTOMISED STABICRAFT 2100 SUPERCAB RIG AS THEIR FLOATING “CARAVAN” OF CHOICE. WO R D S by Th e C a pt a i n I M A GE S by Th e C a pt a i n , s u ppli e d

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SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

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ADVENTURE TEST 2100 SUPERCAB

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n a beach at Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast, sits possibly the happiest game-fishing couple in Australia, Tim and Bec Smith. Tim is a dead keen fisherman who now loves nothing more than getting behind the wheel of his Stabicraft 2100 Supercab, while his wife, who recently bagged her first marlin off Batemans Bay, works the rods and reels. The third member of the crew is their daughter, 10-year-old Roxy, who is learning the ways of the sea hunt. This family travels the coast, using their Stabi like a seagoing caravan — but neither Tim nor Bec actually like eating fish. Tim does a bit of everything in his day job — from swinging a hammer as a chippy to working at Webbe Marine in Kirrawee, south of Sydney, helping get their boats out the door. Bec is a superintendent for NSW Ambulance. “I used to fish as a kid and Tim’s had boats pretty much as long as we’ve known each other, about 20 years,” Bec says. “Since we got this boat, the family has

“IT’S A BIT OF A REFLECTION ON OUR LIFESTYLE,” BEC SAYS OF THE NAME. “WE’VE BEEN SET BACK BY A LOT OF THINGS, BUT TIM AND I JUST KEEP GOING.”

been fishing together, generally going after game fish. We get out in the summer a fair bit and chase marlin and dollies (dolphin fish).” The couple have had their Stabi, Resolute, for two and a half years and are pretty stoked with it. They’ve made the transition from centre console to cabin and aren’t going back. “It’s a bit of a reflection on our lifestyle,” Bec says of the name. “We’ve been set back by a lot of things, but Tim and I just keep going. As a young bloke, Tim was into waterskiing — and paid a heavy price. After five knee surgeries and a couple of back ops, he’s pretty happy with the Stabi ride. “I’ve had quite a few ski boats, but I’m getting pretty soft in my old age and don’t like getting wet, so I’m happy to sit behind a windscreen,” he says. “I find myself sitting down a lot of the time, which I haven’t been able to do in any other boat. It’s very stable and I don’t feel too tired or in need of another back surgery at the end of the day. The Stabi is our first hardtop and it’s so comfortable it prolongs your day on the water — and when the wind comes up you can still stay put.”

Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia

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DEALER DIRECT

Tim bought his Stabicraft 2100 Supercab from Webbe Marine — and loved it so much that he ended up working part-time for the Kirrawee dealership. “I bought the boat from Gavin and Ash at Webbe Marine,” Tim says. “They’re absolute legends with their after-sales service. Anyway, I kept in touch and when a casual job washing boats came up, I applied and it’s evolved from there. When the boys have got a lot on, I help out, and get paid to talk about boats. It’s awesome seeing people pumped to pick up their boats, whether it’s a Stabi or a sailfish. They’re always happy and excited when you take them out on the water.”

ON THE LAUNCH PAD: Tim and Bec rig up their 2100 Supercab with all the gear at the Callala Bay boat ramp.

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ADVENTURE TEST 2100 SUPERCAB

BEAM ME UP: The generous 2.3m (91”) beam means Tim and Bec can comfortably fish off each corner of the stern.

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LITTLE LEGEND: Tim and Bec’s daughter, Roxy, loves all the creature comforts of the 2100 Supercab. Especially the cabin for watching TV.

SAFETY FIRST

One of the main reasons Tim and Bec bought the Stabi was to take their young daughter fishing and spend more time together as a family unit. “Every now and then, I take the boys out, but my main fishing crew is my family,” Tim says. “I wanted Bec to get more involved with fishing. She wasn’t a huge fan of the centre console plus we had nowhere to put Roxy, so we started looking at hardtops. Like all kids, Rox loses interest pretty quick — there have been plenty of times we’ve had a marlin on the leader right next to the boat and she’s been in the cabin watching TV. We can do our thing, but we do it together as a family. It was great seeing Bec land her first marlin and hopefully Rox can get onto a couple next year. It’s good watching her confidence levels go up.” Obviously, with a kid on board, the safety factor was a major consideration. “The Stabi has always been on top of my safe boat list,” Tim says. “It’s got a reputation for being bulletproof with a smooth-riding hull.” Bec is also a fan. “It’s a nice break from work — you get out there on the water and you’re on your own,” she says. “As a mother, it just feels really safe. It’s nice and stable, the cabin is great and the high sides make me feel more comfortable when Roxy is fishing. You’re a long way offshore, but the Stabi feels safe. And Roxy’s getting more interested in fishing. She was so excited when I got my marlin.” Tim is just rapt to have a family that loves fishing. “I know so many blokes who have to lie and sneak out of

the house just so they can go fishing,” he says. “It’s quite the opposite for me. I get home and Bec’s got the boat hooked up and ready to rock and roll. All we’ve got to do is put her in the water. It just works. We’re not relying on anyone else — if the weather’s good we just pack up and go — and there are no more of those 4am ‘sorry mate, can’t make it’ phone calls!”

NOMADS OF THE ROD

Tim and Bec have developed a nomadic fishing lifestyle — and the Stabicraft is a crucial ingredient. “We’ve put a few kilometres on the boat,” Tim says. “We try to take it places and use it more like a floating caravan. We’ve had a few trips up to Fraser Island and 1770 in Queensland. Here on the NSW South Coast in Batemans Bay and Jervis Bay, we primarily go game fishing.” “We’ve had a couple of trips up to Queensland chasing GTs, trevally and coral trout,” Bec adds. “And we do have some exchanges of words when we lose a few fish!” Our current location is Jervis Bay, around two to three hours’ drive south of Sydney and highly rated for its game fishing — notably the Tubes, where you can be fishing in 50m (164ft) of water only 10m (33ft) from the cliffs. “Obviously, someone has to keep a steady hand on the helm,” Tim says. “But when the wind’s blowing, you can always find a sheltered spot.” “We like it here in summer,” Bec adds. “It’s always good to be out on the water and Roxy can have a swim around if we’re not fishing, or you can have a BBQ on the white sand beaches or kick a ball around.”

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ADVENTURE TEST 2100 SUPERCAB

FISHING MISSION

The Stabicraft test team cruised down to Jervis Bay with good intentions of heading out to the shelf and maybe knocking off a couple of yellowfin. The reports were good that a few were getting caught, but the weather window was getting shorter by the day. So Tim decides to head to Callala Bay where we might be able to hide out of the wind. He has Resolute in full warpaint and ready to rock. After loading up all the Tiagras and riggers, we head for Point Perpendicular and the Tubes. However, the weather conditions turn from “less than stellar” to “shit” pretty damn fast. The wind is humming at around 15–20 knots and the sea is lumpy on a good solid 2m (6.5ft) swell. Waves are coming over the roof, but no-one is too fazed. With one good idea shot, Tim decides on plan B — bottom bashing for flatties and snapper before coming back ashore for a spot of lunch. Tim reckons Bec is on the rod 90 per cent of the time, and she proves it by nabbing first a flathead then a reasonable size snapper. “That’s the beauty of Callala Bay — you can always salvage something out of the day,” she

“WE LOVE GOING OUT AND GETTING GAME FISH AND ENJOY CATCH AND RELEASE,” BEC SAYS. says. “I don’t really have any technique and usually don’t take too much notice of the gear we’re using.” “Today was about suck it and see,” Tim says. “We had all the Talicas and Tiagras out, but it wasn’t meant to be. I thought I was onto something big at one stage and got pretty excited, but I caught nothing” Not exactly true — Tim did catch something. A selfconfessed “OCD” neat freak, who likes everything in its place, he’s a bit embarrassed to tangle his line in the prop. “That’s a first — I’m always telling other people to keep their line away from the prop, but I was daydreaming, watching another boat, and before I knew it I’d spooled about 100m of line,” he says.

TIME FOR TEA

Lunch features some tasty sandwiches and as the conversation turns to all things cuisine, Tim and Bec confess that despite being mad keen on fishing, they don’t actually eat fish. “We love going out and getting game fish and enjoy catch and release,” Bec says. “We only eat stuff that moos or clucks and aren’t really into seafood,” Tim chips in. “But we keep our friends and family well stocked!” While munching a sandwich, Tim runs down the Supercab’s specs. “It’s 6.4m (21ft) long with a 1.8m (6ft) internal and 2.3m (7.5ft) external beam. The internal freeboard is about 800mm (31.5in) and she’s got a 200L (53gal) fuel tank although you can now get a 250L (66gal) option.” Tim rates the tow weight with gear at about 2100kg (4630lb), which he pulls easily with his trusty tradie Ford Ranger workhorse. “We’ve put about 1200km (746mi) on the trailer so far,” he says. “It doesn’t take long to rack up the klicks with a few trips up north.”

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BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2100 SUPERCAB Length: 6.4m (21ft) Beam: 2.3m (91”) Deadrise: 20° Max adults: 7 Dry hull weight (approx): 960kg (2116lb) BMT weight (approx): 1900kg (4189lb) Fuel capacity: 200L (53gal) Standard HP: 130HP Maximum HP: 225HP

ENGINE SPECS Make: Honda Model: BF200 Type: 24-valve SOHC V6 Displacement: 3.58L Weight: 285kg (628lb)

HIGH AND DRY: The wide gunwales on the 2100 Supercab mean you can stand and spot fish without worrying about ending up in the drink.

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ADVENTURE TEST 2100 SUPERCAB

GO, GO GADGET: Tim reckons if you can use a smart phone, you’ll have no problem wrangling a Simrad. He’s running an NSS12 evo3.

CREATURE COMFORTS

Pretty handy on the tools, Tim has knocked together an impressive passenger “lounge” for chilling and watching lures. “Because we’re game fishing, we mostly pull lures around and 90 per cent of Bec’s day is looking backwards,” Tim says. “We did the first season with the standard seats, but Bec wanted a bit more comfort. So I pulled the seat out and fabricated up a sort of trolling lounge. It’s got tackle storage above and houses an esky underneath.” “The custom lounge has been great for me, although sometimes there’s a battle with Rox over who gets to sit there, but it’s made trolling much more pleasurable,” Bec says. “It also folds down into a bed. We’ve gone with the extended vee berth in the cabin, which has been great for overnighters. There’s heaps of storage underneath and in the pockets on the driver’s side. All in all, it works really well for a family.”

Although the bed is the major modification, Tim’s also added a few other things like solar and lights. “Those are more for our trips up to the reef in Cairns where we chew through quite a bit of power with the TV and fridges. Other than that, she’s pretty well standard.”

GRUNT FACTOR

Tim and Bec run a Honda 200 on the Stabi 2100 — and they love it. “I’ve never had a problem with Honda,” Tim says. “The boat goes really well with the 150, but the 200 just takes it up a notch. It’s got a bit more linear torque so there’s always that little bit of extra power when you need it. Electronic gizmo wise, the Stabi rocks a Simrad NSS12 evo3 with a TM275 low/high wide transducer, GMT2 and “gauges that came with the Honda”, plus a VHF radio and AIS (automatic identification system). “It’s a pretty standard fit-out these days,” Tim says. “The Simrad gear is pretty easy to use — if you can handle a phone, you’re all over it.”

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TIM AND BEC’s TOP FIVE TIPS TO KEEP THE KIDS ENTERTAINED ON BOARD As a family we have created some great memories on the boat, whether we are heading offshore for a full day trolling or exploring inshore waters, these are some of the things we find keep our daughter Roxy entertained.

1 2 3 4 5 >

Make her feel a part of the crew by giving her jobs such as setting up the outriggers or putting up the aerials.

Roxy likes to have her own rod and reel. This gives her ownership of something on the boat, something to take pride in. Resist the urge to snatch it from her when the big one goes off! No-one likes a hangry child. We make sure we have plenty of food and drinks on board. Having the comfort of the hardtop helps prolong our time on the water, as Roxy can get out of the weather and chill out in the cabin.

If all else fails, technology is your friend. Having a phone, laptop, tablet or even a TV on board goes a long way. Usually, these five things prevent the dreaded “I want to go home”.

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ADVENTURE TEST 2500 ULTRACAB XL

THE LOVE BOAT

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FOR TOM WOOD AND HELENA MYERS, THE SECRET TO A PERFECT RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN THEIR SHARED AFFECTION FOR FISHING IN A RED STABICRAFT 2500 ULTRACAB XL. WO R D S & I M A GE S by Th e C a pt a i n

SEE THE VIDEO VIDEO AT YOUTUBE OUTUBE.C .COM/ OM/ STABICRAFTN ST ABICRAFTNZZ

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ADVENTURE TEST 2500 ULTRACAB XL

CORVALLIS, OREGON, USA

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T

om Wood and Helena Myers run an adult foster care centre in the Pacific Northwest town of Corvallis, Oregon. On the side, they have a small farm in nearby Deadwood where they raise Scottish highland cattle and, er, yaks — but more about them later. To hear Tom talk, this neck of the woods is an outdoor paradise, with elk, deer, bear, cougars and bobcats roaming the forests, and great fishing in the lakes and rivers, with salmon running twice a year right on their doorstep. Then there’s the North Pacific Ocean. What makes Tom even happier is his recent purchase — a Stabicraft 2500 Ultracab XL. You see, Tom just loves fishing and the fact that his wife has fallen in love with their new boat means he gets to go fishing way more often — because now Helena comes too. “My last boat was aluminium, but my better half would never come fishing with me,” Tom recalls. “The one time she came out, she caught a halibut, but on the way back the autopilot went out. There were no railings and she said she didn’t feel safe — that it was too noisy and she felt like she was actually in the fishbox!” When they got back to shore, Tom took the boat to get the autopilot repaired at Y Marina in Coos Bay — and

DREAM TEAM: Tom Wood and Helena Myers from Corvallis, Oregon are smitten with their Stabi 2500 Ultracab XL.

“NOT ONLY WAS IT SAFE AND COMFORTABLE, BUT IT HAD A HEATER, COOK STOVE, REFRIGERATOR, SINK AND A SELF-CONTAINED FLUSHING TOILET.” then bought a new boat. Helena had taken one look at red Stabi 2500 Ultracab and decided it was the boat for her. “This was a weekend model with all the features,” Tom says. “Not only was it safe and comfortable, but it had a heater, cook stove, refrigerator, sink and a selfcontained flushing toilet. It’s got everything you could want, including a large fishbox in the centre, more storage up the front and a beer (or cup) holder by every rod holder.”

PLAYING IT SAFE

Regularly fishing the unforgiving North Pacific, Tom rates Stabicraft’s hard-earned reputation for safety as its biggest selling point. “It’s probably the best decision I ever made for a boat. In the Stabi you feel safe — unlike in some other boats, you know you’re always coming home. It’s a good all-round craft, built very solid and super stable. I thought that would be the boat to take care of us out there.” The first time he took his new boat out on the water, the 2500’s performance reassured him he’d done the right thing. For a start, twin Yamaha 150HP engines delivered tremendous acceleration. “She cornered well and felt really good to drive. With the twin engines you can literally turn on a dime, so it’s the easiest boat to get into the dock. Tom also runs a 25HP Yamaha kicker. “It’s fuelinjected and starts immediately. We have variable troll control so we can kick it up 50RPM at a time and dial in

ON THE TOW In a land of monster trucks, Tom tows his Stabicraft

with a van, which gets him quite a few hard looks on the highway and at the boat ramp. However, this is not an ordinary van. “It’s a conversion by Quigley Motors” he says. “It’s 4WD with a 7.3L diesel engine and a Banks Six-Gun tuner to boost the horsepower. It’ll tow anything — I can take it up any hill in Oregon and hit the top still doing 45– 50mph (72–80km/h). It’s an interesting van.”

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ADVENTURE TEST 2500 ULTRACAB XL

BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2500 ULTRACAB XL Length: 7.62m (25ft) Beam: 2.56m (101”) Deadrise: 19° Max adults: 9 Dry hull weight (approx): 1630kg (3593lb) BMT weight (approx): 3500kg (7716lb) Fuel capacity: 378L (100gal) Standard HP: 300HP Maximum HP: 400HP

ENGINE SPECS Make: Yamaha Model: 2 X F150 Type: 16-Valve DOHC Direct-Action In-line 4 Displacement: 2.67L Weight: 228kg (503lb)

ENGINE SPECS Make: Yamaha Model: 25HP 4-Stroke Type: SOHC In-line 2 Displacement: 432cc Weight: 64kg (141lb)

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the perfect trolling speed.” And using between 2.4 and 2.7mpg, Tom reckons the Stabi’s 100gal (378L) fuel capacity delivers a range of about 200 miles (322km) easy. Stabicraft’s Arrow pontoons are also a winner with Tom. “I’ve never actually been in a boat with pontoons before,” he says. “The weirdest thing is when you’re going at high speed and hit a wave, you can actually hear the air squirt out from the sides. Air funnels down inside along the hull and keeps the boat up out of the water. It makes it very stable and flat-riding.”

PERFECT HOST HELENA ON THE HELM: Helena does it all. She skippers the Stabi, cooks lunch and even reels in the salmon!

When the Stabicraft travelling inspection crew rocked up to check out Tom and Helena’s current state of Stabi happiness, the plan was to head out into the Pacific to see what was lurking on the bottom. However, the notorious Umpqua River bar had other ideas. “It was a freezing morning and we hit the water just after daylight and ran straight up to the bar, but it was closed,” Tom recalls. “With 12ft to 14ft (3.7m–4.3m) swells and breakers in the centre of the bar, it was way too rough, even for a Stabicraft. So we decided to head upriver and fish for chinook salmon.” Five minutes after Tom dropped in a couple of bait plugs loaded with his special tuna belly and garlic mix, Helena was posing holding a fair-sized chinook. The rest of the day passed in a blur of trolling amidst constantly changing scenery — from sand dunes to forest to sheer rocky cliffs. At one stage a black bear checked us out from the riverbank. The Umpqua is a very large river system some 111 miles (179km) long and a premier steelhead fishing river according to Tom. “We’ve got everything — shad, sturgeon, smallmouth and striped bass, chinook and silver salmon. There are two salmon runs each year — in spring and fall (autumn) — and the chinook can go up to 50lb (22.7kg).”

“THE WEIRDEST THING IS WHEN YOU’RE GOING AT HIGH SPEED AND HIT A WAVE, YOU CAN ACTUALLY HEAR THE AIR SQUIRT OUT FROM THE SIDES.” PILOTHOUSE PARTY

Tom is a big fan of the cabin on the 2500 Ultracab XL with its forward-raking windscreen. “It gives the boat a unique look — so unique that it often takes us hours to get away from the boat ramp because people want to take pictures and talk about the boat,” he says. “The forward-leaning windscreen is a great improvement. You don’t get as much water hitting the windscreen, which gives you better visibility, it doesn’t steam up as much and also acts as a sun visor to cut glare and reflection — plus it looks cool!” Helena and Tom often use the roomy Stabi cabin as their

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ADVENTURE TEST 2500 ULTRACAB XL

home away from home. “It’s very comfortable to sleep in,” Tom says. “We usually put the boat in the water in the middle of the week before halibut season to beat the crowds. Then we spend the night before the season starts at the boat slip, wake up in the morning, cook breakfast and we’re ready to go. Meanwhile, 100 vehicles are trying to get in to launch and we’ve saved money on a motel.” The “cooking breakfast” part is pretty easy, thanks to the Stabi’s diesel heater, which doubles as a cooktop. “You can fry eggs, even cook yak meat on it,” Tom laughs. “It’s nice to have a hot meal when you’re out on the ocean.” The heater holds two gallons (7.6L) of fuel, which Tom says can heat the entire boat for quite a while. “We’ve used it every day for over a week and hardly made a dent in it.”

“INTRODUCED AT ABOUT FOUR YEARS OLD TO FISHING, BOATS AND THE SECRETS OF THE OCEAN BY HIS FATHER, TOM IS HAPPIEST OUT ON THE WATER.” ELECTRIC DREAMS

Tom is sold on the versatility of his Garmin 7610 XSV chartplotter. “It does anything you want,” he says. “You can record the bottom, do your own sound recordings, even hook it up to a camera so you can film your deck while you’re catching fish. That’s paired with a 1k/W Airmar transducer, the new low-frequency high-wide CHIRP. If it’s down there, you’re going to see it.” The 2500 is also equipped with autopilot and radar, which Tom rates as a “good thing to have”. “We were coming back from tuna fishing and the ocean had been beautiful. But when we got back to shore, we were all fogged in. We couldn’t see anything, so used the radar with the chartplotter GPS — and watched out for rocks. It put us right down the centre of the bar and we came right in, no problem.”

BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE: The folding table inside the 2500 Ultracab XL is perfect for lunch on the water.

LIFE IS GOOD

Introduced at about four years old to fishing, boats and the secrets of the ocean by his father, Tom is happiest out on the water. “We had old cane poles with a line attached and I’ve always loved catching fish,” he says. “But the best part for me now that I’m older is taking people out who have never caught a fish and watching the look of joy on their face when they hook one up.” He is also more than happy with his Ultracab XL. “Awesome is the only word to describe this boat,” he says. “It’s well-designed, safe and performs extremely well. I wouldn’t change anything apart from maybe a little more deck space and a little more engine. But really, I don’t think I’ll ever want another boat.” Can’t say it fairer than that.

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SCENIC SALMON: It doesn’t take long for Tom and Helena to get connected to a nice chinook. Smoked salmon, anyone?

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ADVENTURE TEST 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB

AERIAL ASSAULT SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

JAMIE CULVER RUNS A RUGGED STABICRAFT 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB OUT OF PORT STEPHENS — AKA PORT OF GOLD — ON THE NEW SOUTH WALES COAST, 150KM (93 MILES) NORTH OF SYDNEY. HE HAS QUITE A REPUTATION FOR GETTING IT DONE, SO WE DECIDED TO HITCH A RIDE TO CHECK OUT HIS BOAT — AND THE FISHING. WO R D S & I M A GE S by Th e C a pt a i n

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ADVENTURE TEST 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB

HELI ON THE HUNT: The R44 helicopter holding the camera crew hunts down Jamie’s 2250 Ultra Centrecab en route to Broughton Island.

Port Stephens, NSW, Australia

F

or those in on the secret, Port Stephens in NSW is fishing heaven. For starters, the estuary here is twice the size of Sydney Harbour. From its mudflats and mangroves to the 16 islands in the estuary and offshore, all the way out to the continental shelf, this is a unique fishery with something waiting for anyone who cares to bait a hook. Game fishermen call this place the “Port of Gold” and it’s renowned as marlin central when the offshore action heats up from January to March and the black and striped marlin are competing with assorted other billfish to jump on the hook. What better reason to venture into these bountiful waters than to spend the day on a fishing mission aboard Jamie Culver’s Stabicraft 2250 Ultra Centrecab? It’s been a bit of a logistical nightmare to get things organised, but Jamie’s pulled out all the stops. His good mate flies choppers out of nearby Newcastle and a camera crew is about to climb aboard in the hopes of getting some pumping aerial shots of Jamie’s Stabi blasting out through the Port Stephens heads.

TAKE TO THE SKIES

It’s 5.30am at the Aero Logistics hangar in Newcastle and the camera crew is attempting to convince chopper pilot Tom to take the doors off his Robinson R44 so we can risk life and limb to capture that perfect action shot. Turns out Tom has no issues with impromptu modifications. Rip the doors off? No problem. Tom fuels up the R44 while we stow the gear. Pretty soon we’re flying north above the sand dunes of the 32km-long (20-mile) Stockton Beach, which from the air resembles nothing more than the world’s biggest cheesecake. We’re in radio contact and arrive at Port Stephens in time to catch Jamie and his 2250 flying through the heads and making for open water. We track him through the heads at wave height and Tom pulls some epic aerial manoeuvres to give us every possible angle. The big cliffs, crystal-clear water, beautiful beaches and steep drop-offs make for a very scenic backdrop. We follow Jamie as he does a lap around Broughton Island then fly back along Bennetts Beach. The wildlife is out in force and from our eye in the sky we spot a huge school of salmon, several pods of dolphins and three great white sharks hanging around near a group of surfers. Hopefully, they’ve already eaten. Tom puts the chopper down in Port Stephens and it’s time to go fishing.

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BEACHY KEEN: Stockton Beach, just south of Port Stephens, looking mighty fine from the sky at sunrise.

“TOM FUELS UP THE R44 WHILE WE STOW THE GEAR. PRETTY SOON WE’RE FLYING NORTH ABOVE THE SAND DUNES.”

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ADVENTURE TEST 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB

WELCOME ABOARD

Jamie welcomes us aboard his Stabicraft 2250. He’s still pumped from the photo shoot. “I didn’t know choppers could fly that low,” he says. “At one stage you guys were right beside us. It felt like we were shooting a James Bond movie!” Originally a Sydney boy, Jamie moved up to Port Stephens a few years ago and is a social worker for the Hunter New England Health youth services team. He is also an unapologetic fishing addict. “You can fish for snapper and kingfish then head out wide and deep drop,” he says. “You’ll find kingies, dhufish and bar cod on the outer reefs and there’s all the game-fishing action on the continental shelf with the marlin and tuna runs.” Along with its abundant fishery, Jamie also rates Port Stephens for its natural wonders. “I’ve travelled up and down the coast for tournaments and I’ve come to appreciate this place more and more,” he says. “All the islands and the wildlife — you see massive schools of mulloway in the surf, penguins, seals, whales.” At the mention of the trio of great whites that the camera crew spotted from the chopper, Jamie smiles. “They’re regular visitors. That’s why I prefer fishing to spearfishing.”

THE ODD COUPLE

We’re now heading to Broughton Island and The Sisters reef where Jamie hopes to snag a kingie or two. Along for the ride is his fishing sidekick, Riagan Dowling. They’re an odd couple. Passionate about recreational fishing, Jamie is big on catching his own food and sustainability of resources. “What I like most about fishing is eating what I catch,” he says. Jamie is raising his three young kids on sea-fresh sushi. Riagan, on the other hand, comes from a family with a commercial fishing background. He allegedly exists on a diet of chips, chocolate and Coke (Coca-Cola). But the combo works. “Riagan is the king of the beach,” Jamie says. “He likes to fish the beach and I like to fish the reef — and between us, we usually come up with a few fish.” We test this theory by chucking some stickbaits at The Sisters, but there’s nothing happening. The boys decide we’re a bit early for any kingie action and we continue north. After a few hours of fruitless search, we realise the theme for the day appears to be “struggle”. Riagan tells us a westerly has been blowing everything clear for the past few days and says the best part of the day for fishing was probably while we filming from the chopper. We’re running plastics with fairly light jigheads and fishing anywhere from 8m to 40m (8ft–131ft) with the same zero result. Jamie remains upbeat and talks up the virtues of Broughton Island as a sure-fire snapper sanctuary. “It’s snapper ground everywhere. It’s just a matter of looking at your contour lines and finding where the reef breaks are, throwing plastics and hoping a big angry red jumps on it.” He disses any preference for sinkers and the drop down, saying snapper prefer slowly wafting soft plastics drifting down to the sea floor. “There’s not a lot to it, but once you hit the bottom, it’s over — you’ll either get snagged or catch a fish you don’t want.” It’s tough going, but we hang in until sunset when Riagan finally hooks a substantial snapper on a soft plastic in shallow water close to the island. Looking a touch envious, Jamie confesses the snapper is not his lucky fish. “I’ve yet to break into the nineties,” he laughs. “My biggest snapper was 87cm (34”), but it had a big nose so I was probably cheating.”

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“ALONG WITH ITS ABUNDANT FISHERY, JAMIE ALSO RATES PORT STEPHENS FOR ITS NATURAL WONDERS.”

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“HE RECKONS YOU’VE GOT TO RIDE IN A STABICRAFT TO UNDERSTAND JUST HOW GOOD IT IS.”

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HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER

With so much fishless time to kill, the skipper gets talking about his 2250. The boat’s toughness and safety rep were crucial in persuading Jamie to pull out his wallet. “I go fishing, not boating,” he says. “I run it aground, I run into things — rocks, jetties, wharves, trailers — so I didn’t opt for paint, either. I like to take the stress out of fishing, the safety anxiety, and just have a good time. The foam-filled pontoons are a great safety option, but they’re also good for cutting down noise.” Jamie first checked out the 2250 walkaround with a sports cabin at the Sydney Boat Show and was immediately hooked on the forward-raking windscreen. “It’s not for everyone, but it gives me 33 per cent more cabin room.” He also liked the fact that there was a lot of substance with the style. “It’s a really heavy boat — 1.8 tonne dry hull weight — almost as heavy as two 2100 Supercabs. That’s a lot of boat and it really helps with the ride.” He reckons you’ve got to ride in a Stabicraft to understand just how good it is. “The ride is second to none. They kind of suck to the water and in a following sea you don’t get the roll or pitch — the pontoons seem to right themselves.” Jamie reminds us that earlier in the day, around the back of Broughton Island, at one stage we had the prop completely out of the water. “At times like that, or when you come off the back of a wave, you tend to brace yourself for that big crash — but it never comes. The Stabi rides like a glass boat, but it’s also a tough fishing boat.”

RADAR & ROCKET LAUNCHERS

The safety factor is a big issue for Jamie, because he likes to take what he calls the “anxiety factor” out of the equation so he can just enjoy every day on the water. “Safety and confidence are a big thing for me and that’s what the Simrad gear offers,” he says. “We all have close call stories — like me hitting marker buoys at night coming out of the estuary! The radar gives you that extra set of eyes.” Just as importantly for Jamie, it’s also a big part of his fishing gear. “It’s a must when you’re fishing. It’s such a big ocean out there, so if you can find birds working over sauries or spot other boats working an area, you can really hone in on the fishing. That cuts down on fuel time and helps you get a better result.” Also helping Jamie get a better result is his impressive battery of rocket launchers up top. He reckons the big range of fishing options in Port Stephens means you want all your gear along for the ride so you don’t ever miss an opportunity.

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“I USED TO LIKE HAVING TWO SCREENS. BUT BECAUSE THE 16-INCH SIMRAD IS SO BIG, YOU CAN RUN THE SPLIT AND REALLY NOT HAVE A COMPROMISE.”

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BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB Length: 6.85m (22.5ft) Beam: 2.55m (101”) 2.5m in Australia Deadrise: 19° Max adults: 8 Dry hull weight (approx): 1787kg (3940lb) BMT weight (approx): 2520kg (5555lb) Fuel capacity: 300L (79gal) Standard HP: 225 Maximum HP: 300

ENGINE SPECS Make: Yamaha Model:DF300 Type: 24-valve DOHC V6 Displacement: 4.169L Weight: 259kg (571lb)

MORE INFORMATION

Stabicraft Marine 345 Bluff Highway, Invercargill, Southland NZ +64 3 211 1828; www.stabicraft.com

“THE RADAR GIVES YOU THAT EXTRA SET OF EYES. IT’S SUCH A BIG OCEAN OUT THERE, SO IF YOU CAN FIND BIRDS WORKING OVER SAURIES OR SPOT OTHER BOATS WORKING AN AREA, YOU CAN REALLY HONE IN ON THE FISHING.”

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“It’s a bit ridiculous,” Jamie laughs. “You can actually fit 11 50-wide Tiagras up there and they won’t touch each other — I don’t know why you’d want to do that, but you can. It lets you take the day as it comes — you might be fishing for snapper, stickbaiting for kingies, deep-dropping for cod and then trolling home for whatever — and you don’t have to compromise your trip.” Jamie’s a U-Dek convert, appreciating the grip factor and reduced stress on the body over the course of a day’s fishing. “I used to think it was a bit flashy, and it was so easy to hose down the blood and guts of the chequer plate floor, but now I wouldn’t be without it.” Unfortunately, there is not much in the way of blood and guts to hose off the deck today, and with Riagan’s solitary snapper looking like the sum total of the day’s haul and time running out, Jamie makes the call to head back to Port Stephens.

CABIN FEVER

Tucked in the surprisingly roomy cabin, talk naturally turns to all things electronic. The Stabi is styling a Simrad NSS16 evo3, which sits nicely in the dash. “I used to like having two screens,” Jamie says. “But because the 16-inch is so big, you can run the split and really not have to compromise.” He’s also running a TM275 transducer paired with a S5100 CHIRP sonar module, which he reckons is a great set-up for he and Riagan’s mix of inshore work and offshore sportsfishing. “The S5100 is a must for game fishermen. It allows you to have control of your water column so you can fish high and low CHIRP. For instance, when I’m at the Car Park (see breakout), it allows me to run a low CHIRP and still keep an eye on the bigger picture of bait and fish. And when you move towards the high CHIRP, you can change the range and just focus on

raising a marlin. So if you’ve got fish under the boat in 60m of water, you can see them quite clearly, but also watch everything else going on down there.”

FUEL FOR THOUGHT

Flying back to port, Jamie is holding the 2250 at a steady 40 knots. At 6.85m (22.5ft) overall — 8m (26ft) on the trailer — the Stabi is a fair bit of boat, and with the 300HP Yamaha hanging off the transom, Jamie is a definite fan of his 300L (79gal) fuel tank. “The more the better. We covered more than 100km (62 miles) of coastline today with two trips to the island and back at a fair clip, and it’s good not to have to worry about refuelling. With the 2250, you don’t really get a lot more top-end speed with the 300s, but I wanted to hold the performance of the boat with a heavy load. With four blokes and a heap of gear — ice, fish, camping gear — you want to have that option. It’s good to be able to go further offshore and to do a bigger variety of trips without having to constantly refuel.” Back at the marina, Jamie insists we keep the fish and even gives us a couple of slabs of beer. We’re gobsmacked, because usually it’s the other way around with us passing out the beer as bribes for letting us tag along on the fishing mission. As we unload the camera gear, talk turns to weather. We’ve had a pretty top day, but Port Stephens can apparently get nasty when Mother Nature is in a foul mood. “You can be out on the shelf and a summer storm rolls through and it can get pretty wild,” Jamie says. “Or you can be fishing further up the coast and have a southerly change come through. And in certain boats, you just have to sit and wait it out. But I tend not to look at the weather so much anymore. In the Stabi, I know I’m going to make it home, no matter what — it’s just a matter of how long it takes me.” Which has got to be a plus.

THE CAR PARK Jamie says this spot, about 24 nautical miles off the coast,

is an annual summer paradise for game fishermen — one of the choice jewels in the Port of Gold treasure chest. Sonamed because the congregation of boats resembles a supermarket car park, the “car park” moves up and down the coast a bit, depending on the bait and bite, and is at its most intense from January to March. “It’s a unique part of the continental shelf where the EAC (eastern Australian current) races down and breaks away,” Jamie says. “The water eddies up and the bait holds up. When that happens in summer, the marlin aren’t going to be very far behind. You can get huge tuna runs, black and striped marlin, and six species of billfish.”

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“BACK AT THE MARINA, JAMIE INSISTS WE KEEP THE FISH AND EVEN GIVES US A COUPLE OF SLABS OF BEER.” RIAGAN TO THE RESCUE: Jamie (left) and Riagan save the slow fishing day with a solid snapper at sunset.

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STABISHOWROOM

BUYER’S GUIDE

FACTS AND FIGURES TO HELP YOU PICK YOUR PERFECT STABI

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40

30

Max engine weight

Rec HP

Max persons

Dry tow weight

Dry hull weight

Max HP

EXPLORER

EXPLORER

Height on trailer

Length on trailer

Length

Boat model

STABISHOWROOM

Baby of the fleet

The 1450 Explorer is designed to be a safe, low-maintenance option for small boat buyers 14.5ft (4.42m)

1450

5.7m (18.7ft)

FRONTIER

1.44m (4.72ft)

265kg (584lb)

655kg (1444lb)

4

125kg

360-degree visibility

The 1450 Frontier side console comes in a Sportfish or Profish configuration The 1450 series pays homage to one of the most successful and versatile boats in Stabicraft’s history — the 1410. 14.5ft (4.42m)

1450

5.7m (18.7ft)

1.81m (5.93ft)

290kg (639lb)

720kg (1587lb)

4

50

40

165kg

#

MYSTABI

OWNER: JAKE NEVILLE OCCUPATION: FISHING GUIDE/AUTO ELECTRICIAN LIVES: JERVIS BAY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 1550 FRONTIER ENGINE: YAMAHA F70 HIGH AND DRY “I’ve only owned my 1550 for around three months, but I’ve already clocked 70 hours on the Yamaha F70. Towards the end of February, we sent it from our home in Jervis Bay to Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays. The plan was to chase predominately giant trevally on the reefs and barramundi in the rivers. We found a tonne of fish and unfortunately got her high and dry on the big tides. We ended up sitting on the sand for six hours, but managed to find a few crabs in that window. We also did a 188km (117mi) return run deep into the reef systems. That’s 94km (58mi) each way — pretty impressive for a sub-5m (16ft) boat. She loved it, found a bunch of fish and managed to get the boys their first GT.” SOLID AND SAFE “Having a background in guiding, I’ve always appreciated Stabicraft boats. Their build quality and stability blows me away. Having something solid and safe is high on the tick list for me. The first Stabicraft I went in was a 2050 Frontier, and from that day, I always wanted one. I’ve just come out of a Haines 445 (the legendary riding hull) and my 1550 punches harder, turns better, goes wider, looks better and catches more fish. I also love the community associated with the brand.”

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g

Fuel tank volume

Total sealed volume

Hull thickness

Tube thickness

Deadrise (degrees)

Internal beam

External beam

Leg length

g

FRONTIER

20”

N/A

960L (253.6gal)

Easily towed and handled, weighing as little as 655kg (1444lb) 1.89m (74.4”)

1.35m (53.14”)

15°

3mm (1/8”)

3mm (1/8”)

The Sportfish comes with a side console and upholstered seat as standard as well as an Icey-Tek chillybin The Profish features stainless steel rod holders, dash windscreen and dual boarding platforms as standard 1.89m (74.4”)

1.35m (53.14”)

15°

3mm (1/8”)

3mm (1/8”)

20”

N.A

960L (253.6gal)

BEST BOATING TIP “PUT YOUR BUNG IN — IT BLOODY HELPS!”

BEST FISHING TIP “FIND THE BAIT, FIND THE FISH.”

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FISHER

Max engine weight

Rec HP

Max HP

Max persons

Dry tow weight

Dry hull weight

Height on trailer

Length on trailer

Length

Boat model

STABISHOWROOM

Compact fishing and family boating

Measuring 15.5 feet (4.72m) the 1550 Fisher is an easy-to-handle boat no matter the occasion The 1850 Fisher features the innovative Game Chaser Transom, Arrow Pontoons and rear fold-up seats as standard 15.5ft (4.72m) 18.7ft (5.7m)

1550 1850

6m (19.68ft 7.4m (24.47ft)

1.92m (6.29ft) 2.2m (7.21ft)

415kg (915lb) 775kg (1708lb)

850kg (1873lb) 1357kg (2991lb)

5 6

75 140

50 90

235kg 322kg

#

MYSTABI

OWNER: TIM CRISP OCCUPATION: JEWELLER/OWNER OF ADELAIDE JEWELLERY REPAIR SPECIALISTS LIVES: ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 1550 FISHER ENGINE: MERCURY 60CT KIDNEY SLAPPERS “I’ve owned my 1550 Fisher since December 2020. The most epic trip I’ve taken her on would be Lower Yorke Peninsula. We fished two days and bagged out on kidney-slapping King George whiting and big meaty tommies. We travelled 48nm on 60L (16gal) of fuel, but on the way back we were still 12nm from the boat ramp with only 42 per cent fuel showing on the SmartCraft gauges. I was very nervous watching the fuel get down to 11 per cent by the time we returned to the boat ramp. I’ve since fitted a tote tank and connecting hose, so if I get caught short, I’ll have a back-up fuel supply.” FIRST STABI “My first boat was a 12ft tinnie, only good in fine weather. I wanted something I could take out in moderate seas. My local dealer, Christies Beach Marine, was a Stabicraft dealer and my first impressions of the boat were good. She was solid, roomy and uncluttered. Being well over 6ft (1.8m) tall, I needed something with a large freeboard to lean against while fishing and to be able to stand up under the canopy with plenty of headroom. I arranged a test drive on the 1850 Fisher and was so impressed with the way it handled the moderate seas. It pushed the water under the chines almost like a hovercraft. Being stable at rest was a plus and it loved the following sea. My wife and I felt really safe in it, knowing it couldn’t sink. So we purchased it!” LONE RANGER “Recently I sold the 1850 Fisher and have downsized to the 1550 Fisher. It definitely punches above its weight. I’m able to beach launch it with ease by myself, even on Lower Yorke Peninsula where the ramps are sub-standard. It has all the same capabilities of my old 1850 Fisher — sitting closer to the bow it rides much drier by pushing water out to sides. It’s well thought-out and designed with the user in mind. The massive windscreen makes it easy to see out, and there’s loads more storage, and wide and long gunwales for storing rods and tackle. They’re also comfortable to sit on and wide enough to stand on. It’s half the weight of the 1850 Fisher, so it’s a breeze to move around by myself. The Mercury 60CT gets out of the hole quickly and is economical. Most importantly, every time I pull it out of the garage, Benny, my Jack Russell gets so excited. It’s apparently possible to pass on Stabi DNA to man’s best friend. This one is definitely a keeper!”

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Total sealed volume

Leg length

Hull thickness

Tube thickness

Deadrise (degrees)

Internal beam

External beam

Fuel tank volume

kg g

FISHER

Optional 60L (15.85gal) 150L (39.6gal)

984L (2599gal) 1496L (395.2gal)

Built-in tackle trays, a purpose-built cooler and a full walk-through windscreen The 1850 is available in standard, sportfish, profish or offshore configurations 2.02m (79.5”) 2.3m (90.5”)

1.46m (57.48”) 1.72m (67.71”)

15° 16°

3mm (1/8”) 3mm (1/8”)

4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

20” 25”

BEST BOATING TIP “GET A TOTE TANK HOSE FITTED.”

BEST FISHING TIP “PRE-TIE RIGS BEFORE HEADING OUT SO YOU DON’T MISS OUT ON VALUABLE FISHING TIME.”

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Max engine weight

Max HP

Max persons

Dry tow weight

Dry hull weight

Rec HP

SUPERCAB

Height on trailer

Length on trailer

Length

Boat model

STABISHOWROOM

90 115 130 200

322kg 289kg 289kg 528kg

Bluewater battlewagons

The 1850 is designed to meet market demand for small, light, trailer-friendly, all-weather boating The big brother to the 1850 Supercab, the 2050 Supercab has a longer deck and cabin than the 1850 version 1850 2050 2100 2400

18.5ft (5.64m) 20.5ft (6.25m) 21ft (6.4m) 24.1ft (7.35m)

7.3m (23.95ft) 7.9m (22.91ft) 8.1m (26.57ft) 9m (29.52ft)

2.77m (9.08ft) 2.81m (9.21ft) 2.87m (9.41ft) 2.91m (9.54ft)

740kg (1631lb) 925kg (2039lb) 960kg (2116lb) 1287kg (2837lb)

1362kg (3002lb) 1549kg (3414lb) 1684kg (3712lb) 2250kg (4960lb)

BEST BOATING TIP “MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GOOD ELECTRONICS. IF YOU FIND THE STRUCTURE AND BAIT, YOU’LL USUALLY FIND THE FISH. WE’D BE LOST WITHOUT OUR GARMIN GEAR.”

6 7 7 8

140 175 225 250

BEST FISHING TIP “BE PATIENT AND SPEND THE TIME ON THE WATER. WE SPEND BIG DAYS ON THE WATER AND A LOT OF THE TIME GET THE REWARDS LATE IN THE AFTERNOON WHEN MOST PEOPLE HAVE HEADED BACK IN.”

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g g g g

Total sealed volume

Fuel tank volume

Leg length

Hull thickness

Tube thickness

Deadrise (degrees)

Internal beam

External beam

SUPERCAB

Designed with the serious fisherman and explorer in mind, the Stabicraft 2100 Supercab is the “compact large boat” The 2400 is the big brother to the Stabicraft 2100 Supercab with almost one metre (3ft) extra in length 2.24m (88.1”) 2.24m (88.1”) 2.3m (90.5”) 2.3m (90.5”)

1.65m (64.96”) 1.65m (64.96”) 1.8m (70.86”) 1.8m (70.86”)

17.5° 17.5° 20° 19°

3mm (1/8”) 3mm (1/8”) 4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

4mm (5/32”) 5mm (13/64”) 5mm (13/64”) 6mm (15/64”)

25” 25” 25” 20”/25”/20”

120L (31.7gal) 200L (52.83gal) 200L (52.83gal) 300L (79.25gal)

1422L (375.6gal) 1694L (447.5gal) 1720L (454.3gal) 1833L (484.2gal)

#

MYSTABI

OWNERS: EYTHAN AND BRYCE PURTON OCCUPATION: UNDERGROUND MINERS LIVE: ULVERSTONE, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 2400 SUPERCAB ENGINE: MERCURY 250 V8 TUNA TIME “We’ve owned our 2400 Supercab for about 12 months, but something pretty special happened on the 17th of April. We came up with a plan to head to the east coast of Tasmania to see if we could find the first barrel there for the year. We decided to go down to Pulfers Reef, which normally holds a lot of bait. As we pulled up on the reef, we put a spread of lures out and started to work the area. It was loaded with bait. After around 30 minutes of trolling there was a huge bust-up that started out of nowhere, We did two laps around it before the lure in the rigger got smashed and we were on. After a short fight, we had the 87kg (192lb) bluefin on board. The crew members were Bryce, Eythan and Darren Purton, and Bradley Lewis.” SWORDS AND STABIS “We’ve had some pretty epic swordie sessions. We battled 25-knot winds and 1.5m (5ft) seas to catch a 73kg (161lb) one off the east coast of Tasmania. We got tight at around 2.30pm and after a 45-minute fight, had it to the boat. We also fished the Tasmanian Broadbill Championships and captured a 201kg (443lb) swordfish, the biggest weighed in for the competition. That’s the great thing about our Stabi — it allows us to fish in conditions that are just not possible for most other boats. We always feel safe.”

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ULTRACAB

Max engine weight

Rec HP

Max HP

Max persons

Dry hull weight

Dry tow weight

ULTRACAB

Height on trailer

Length on trailer

Length

Boat model

STABISHOWROOM

Commercial class

The 2500 Ultracab is an innovative approach to the forward-raking windscreens commonly found on traditional pilothouses Incorporates a unique aesthetic that is unmistakably Stabicraft while housing multiple interior design innovations 2500 2500 XL

25ft (7.62m) 25ft (7.62m)

9.5m (31.16ft) 9.5m (31.16ft)

2.99m (9.80ft) 2.99m (9.80ft)

ULTRACAB WALKTHROUGH

2225kg (1405lb) 2225kg (1405lb)

3245kg (7154lb) 3245kg (7154lb)

9 9

400 400

300 300

575kg 575kg

300

200

575kg

Commercial class

The 2250 Ultracab Walkthrough features a full-height walk-through in the forward-leaning cabin The ideal boat for island-hopping or coastal exploring, as well as undertaking fishing excursions 22.5ft (6.86m)

2250

8.6m (28.21ft)

2.98m (9.77ft)

1467.5kg (3235lb)

2477.5kg (5461lb)

8

#

MYSTABI TEST PILOT: ROWAN HOOK OCCUPATION: OWNER WETTIE SOUTHLAND SPEARFISHING STORE LIVES: INVERCARGILL, SOUTHLAND, NEW ZEALAND BOAT: 2250 ULTRACAB WT ENGINE: YAMAHA F225 BORROWING THE KEYS “I’ve owned old and new Stabicrafts and it’s the subtle things in the design and manufacturing that always keeps me coming back. I was lucky enough to be selected as a Stabicraft Ambassador, and when the option came to try out this beast of a boat, how could I refuse? We decided to take it into Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, but as everyone knows, it doesn’t matter if you’re going for one day or five, you take the same amount of gear. This was like a luxury event and the storage space was insane — four divers with camping and hunting gear and we still had space free. Not only is the sound set against an awe-inspiring backdrop, but it has some of the best cray diving in the South Island. We’re also extremely fortunate that due to the nutrient-rich water from the fiord we get deep-water species such as hapuka as well as southern bluefin tuna, kingfish and other South Island staples such as blue cod and tarakihi.” STABI LOVE “I always get asked why I love Stabis so much, and it’s always the same answer — I want the best boat on the worst day and to come home safely. The 2250 Ultracab Walkthrough is a weapon. From cray diving right in close to 16km (10mi) out cruising in a 2m (6.5ft) swell, this boat makes you feel safe. And like all Stabicrafts, it will get you home in one piece.”

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UC = 25”/30”/25” UCXL = 25”/25” UC = 25”/30”/25” UCXL = 25”/25”

378L (99.85gal) 378L (99.85gal)

2096L (553.7gal) 2096L (553.7gal)

20”/25”/20”

378L (99.85gal)

2051L (541.8gal)

Leg length

Hull thickness

Tube thickness

Deadrise (degrees)

Internal beam

External beam

Total sealed volume

kg

Fuel tank volume

kg kg

ULTRACAB WT

Designed for a US customer and one of the most successful vessels sold into the region

2.54m/2.5m (100”/98.4”) 2.54m/2.5m (100”/98.4”)

1.97m (77.55”) 1.97m (77.55”)

19° 19°

4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”) 6mm (15/64”)

Red Dot 2021 design award winner for best of the best

2.54m/2.5m (100”/98.4”)

1.97m (77.55”)

17°

4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”)

*2.5m (98”) external beam on all Australian-delivered models

BEST BOATING TIP “MAKE SURE YOU’RE AWARE OF THE LOAD IN YOUR BOAT. FOUR GUYS IS FINE. FOUR GUYS AND DIVE GEAR IS FINE. FOUR GUYS, CAMPING GEAR, DIVE GEAR, SIX HAPUKA AND A BOAT FULL OF CRAYS CAN BE DANGEROUS. WE WERE LUCKY THE 2250 IS A BEAST OF A BOAT AND HANDLED IT NO TROUBLE. BUT IT’S EASY TO GET OVERLOADED IN SMALLER OR UNDERPOWERED BOATS IF THE WEATHER TURNS.”

BEST FISHING TIP “HEAD OUT PREPARED. NOTHING RUINS A TRIP LIKE RUNNING OUT OF SINKERS, NOT HAVING ENOUGH BAIT OR HAVING NOWHERE TO KEEP YOUR CATCH. INVESTING IN GOOD GEAR AND HAVING SPARES WILL ENSURE YOU DON’T GO HOME DISAPPOINTED. OH, AND A TOUCH OF GOOD LUCK NEVER HURTS.”

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CENTRECAB

Max engine weight

Rec HP

Max HP

Max persons

Dry tow weight

Dry hull weight

CENTRECAB Height on trailer

Length on trailer

Length

Boat model

STABISHOWROOM

Walkaround fishing machine

The market asked for a smaller version of the 2750 Centrecab and Stabicraft responded with the 2250 Centrecab Wide walkaround up to the forward deck gives the 2750 a fully utilised fishing area 22.5ft (6.86m) 27.5ft (8.38m)

2250 2750

8.6m (28.21ft) 10.2m (33.46ft)

ULTRA CENTRECAB

2.9m (9.51ft) 3.12m (10.23ft)

1611kg (3551lb) 1990kg (4387lb)

2451kg (5403lb) 3010kg (6635lb)

8 9

300 500

200 300

405kg 575kg

200 300

405kg 575kg

Commercial class walkaround

The 2250 Ultra Centrecab has become an instant classic in the Stabicraft fleet Lean-forward glass and immense cabin space accompanied by 360 degrees of access to every usable space 22.5ft (6.86m) 27.5ft (8.38m)

2250 2750

8.6m (28.21ft) 10.2m (33.46ft)

2.9m (9.51ft) 3.12m (10.23ft)

1611kg (3551lb) 1990kg (4387lb)

2451kg (5403lb) 3010kg (6635lb)

8 9

300 500

#

MYSTABI OWNER: SCOTT AND MEGAN DAVIS OCCUPATION: US ARMY LIVE: RIVERVIEW, FLORIDA, USA BOAT: 2750 ULTRA CENTRECAB ENGINE: TWIN YAMAHA F200S PLAYING GULF “We’ve only owned our 2750 Ultra Centrecab for six weeks, but have already taken her on some epic adventures. Recently, we ran 30 miles (48km) out into the Gulf of Mexico in what was supposed to be 3ft (0.9m) seas but ended up being six footers (1.8m) in four-second intervals. We still landed kingfish. I really need time off work so I can take it out every day.” WHY STABI? “We wanted a Stabicraft for the stability and safety first and foremost. We also wanted a cabin boat due to the storms that roll up suddenly in the gulf. Quality was another deciding factor. When we were looking at glass boats here in Florida, the quality just wasn’t there for the price. My wife opened a door on a popular brand at a boat show and literally had it fall off in her hand. Four out of the five trips we’ve taken so far, the weather has been garbage, and never once did we feel unsafe. And we stayed dry.”

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g

Total sealed volume

Fuel tank volume

Leg length

Hull thickness

Tube thickness

Deadrise (degrees)

Internal beam

External beam

ULTRA CENTRECAB

The 2750 Centrecab is the brainchild of New Zealand fishing prodigy Matt Watson 2.54m/2.5m (100”/98.4”) 2.54m/2.5m (100”/98.4”)

1.97m (77.55”) 2.01m (79.13”)

17° 21.5°

4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”) 6mm (15/64”)

25” 25”/25”

300L (79.25gal) 500L (132.08gal)

2051L (541.8gal) 2909L (768.4gal)

The 2750 Ultra Centrecab is an aggressive and spacious version based on the popular 2750 walkaround platform Complete walkaround allowing water to drain off the side walkways and not back into the cockpit 2.54m/2.5m (100”/98.4”) 2.54m/2.5m (100”/98.4”)

1.97m (77.55”) 2.01m (79.13”)

17° 21.5°

4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”) 6mm (15/64”)

25” 25”/25”

300L (79.25gal) 500L (132.08gal)

2051L (541.8gal) 2909L (768.4gal)

*2.5m (98.4”) external beam on all Australian-delivered models

BEST FISHING TIP “LEARN WHAT SPECIES ARE IN AT WHAT TIMES OF YEAR FOR YOUR AREA AND TARGET YOUR BAITS TO THEM. HAVING FRIENDS WHO ARE PROFESSIONAL CAPTAINS DOESN’T HURT EITHER.”

BEST BOATING TIP “PUT THE PLUG IN THE BOAT, PUT THE PLUG IN THE BOAT, PUT THE PLUG IN THE BOAT. ADVICE WE RECEIVED WHEN PURCHASING OUR FIRST BOAT AND SOMETHING WE STILL REPEAT EVERY TIME WE HEAD TO THE RAMP.”

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STABIDEALER

IN THE WAKE OF THE VIKINGS

The dragon-prowed longships that once carried Viking raiding parties across the seas are no more, but the team at Stabicraft Scandinavia reckons their rugged aluminium workhorses are a worthy successor.

A

thousand years ago, the Norsemen, aka Vikings, crossed lakes and oceans in longships made of wood. Despite the harsh climate and treacherous waters, they transported men and equipment over vast distances to plunder, bargain and explore. These days, the longships have sailed into history, but Scandinavians still love the sea, and fishing and boating are popular pastimes. Stabicraft Scandinavia was officially launched in Gothenburg, Sweden at the start of 2018 and is the only Stabi dealership in Europe. According to sales manager Ove Johansson, the larger models have been the Scandinavian market’s best-sellers, with the 2750 Ultra Centrecab the most popular by far and perfectly built for Nordic conditions. Stabi Scandi is also an agent for Mercury and Suzuki outboards. Boats are used all year round if the weather permits.

CONTACT

STABICRAFT SCANDINAVIA Kajgatan 1, 542 30 Mariestad, Sweden +46 0501 39 31 20 www.stabicraft.se info@stabicraft.se

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Despite strong winds during autumn and winter, many fishermen still head out chasing salmon. The Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea and the Great Lakes offer extremely tough conditions in low temperatures, which places high demands on boats and their equipment. Ove says that when Stabicraft was first presented in Scandinavia in 2018, the boat was profiled as a “workhorse” — a safe, dependable vessel that would do the business fishing and adventuring in the wild Nordic waters. “Four years later, Stabicraft has exceeded all expectations,” he says. “It is regarded as a premium boat that can meet the modern Viking’s tough demands on boats and equipment, and has safety features possessed by no other brand.”

FISHING IN SCANDINAVIA They like their fishing in Scandinavia. Along the Norwegian coast, you’ll find world-class deep-sea fishing. Norway is most commonly known for its cod, coal fish and halibut fishing, but there are many different species. The inland Baltic Sea is surrounded by Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Denmark — but Ove rates it as the home of Europe’s best salmon fishing and says that every year, several fish over the magical 20kg mark are caught here. Nearby Denmark loves salmon so much that it organises Europe’s largest fishing competition on the island of Bornholm every spring, which is broadcast live on national TV. Over four days, more than 400 boat teams try to catch the biggest salmon. Sweden’s two biggest lakes — Vänern and Vättern — provide drinking water to more than one million people and the high-quality water is home to several unique fish species. Lake Vänern holds an unofficial world record for a landlocked salmon at 20.4kg, while Lake Vättern has one of the southernmost stocks of Arctic char, which often grow to an enormous size.

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STABIDEALER

BUILT FOR BASS STRAIT

Other boat brands couldn’t bear the brunt of Bass Strait, so Ed Richardson from Richardson Marine in Warrnambool gave the Kiwi crew from Stabicraft a call. He hasn’t looked back. Neither have the dozens of Stabi owners now plying the cool, clear waters of the Southern Ocean off the south-west coast of Victoria.

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IG-READY

Ed’s been a Stabi dealer for almost 10 years and reckons they suit his hometown coast for all manner of fishing duties, but especially for underwater diving operations. “Stabis just seem to perform no matter what you do with them, especially as dive boats,” Ed says. “It doesn’t matter where you put the weight — compressors, hose reels, multiple divers. The cabin models have great vision through the large windows and the arrow pontoons ride well. They work in your favour with great stability and the nice wide gunwales give you somewhere to sit and get your gear on. The options fitted to Stabis suit what we do down here — the dive door through the transom, the boarding ladder — you can still get up there with your fins on. There’s plenty of space to store your gear away in those side pockets — and with the live well we’re able to run that tank all night and keep the crays alive for the next day.”

TWIN-SPIN Ed is also a fan of twin motors for diving applications. His choice is Suzuki. “We need to be able to get in close to reefs and then back out. The twins coupled with the Game Chaser transom work so well, they hold you nicely in any kind of sea, which definitely works to your advantage in the Southern Ocean.” On a recent trip to King Island aboard a 2400 powered with twin DF140 Suzuki outboards, Ed burned 264L (70gal) over 265km (165mi). “It was definitely the most efficient boat on the trip,” Ed says, clearly sold on Suzuki power on Stabi boats. “The dual 140s on most boats tend to be that number. We power everything with Suzuki — we’ve had such great success and support.”

HOW TO DIVING DUTIES Ed uses portable Hookah compressor units, perfectly suited to adventuring the coastline and islands of the Southern Ocean. “You can run two to three divers and have multiple dives through the day, and not have to fill the tanks,” Ed says. “You’re more streamlined in the water with just a wetsuit, weight belt and regulator. You use less energy, too.” Ed also uses a custom, removable alloy reel and can run two 80m (262ft) hoses on that with a Y-piece and 15m (49ft) runs. The hose floats on the surface and drops down to the diver. Although he has the physique of a football player, when Ed describes the undersea environment in his home waters, he sounds like a seafaring poet. “As soon as you get in the water, you’re weightless,” he says. “It’s a beautiful feeling, enjoying the underwater environment followed by the thrill of seeing a big cray. You’ll generally find them where there’s a bit of current running past — somewhere they can feed from their ledge. They like to be somewhere they can retreat and protect themselves. Try to grab them by their horns, if you grab their legs, they’ll throw them off. The bigger the cray, the bigger the battle.”

CONTACT Richardson Marine

1058 Raglan Parade, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia (03) 5561 2665 www.richardsonmarine.com.au

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STABIDEALER

SOUTHERN COMFORT

As far south as you can go without falling off the edge of New Zealand into the wild waters of the Southern Ocean, Stabicraft Southern is the spiritual birthplace of the rugged aluminium boat that took on the world.

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ased in Invercargill at the bottom of the South Island, the blokes at Stabicraft Southern know they live in a pretty special part of the planet. “Within an hour or two’s drive, you can be surrounded by some of the best freshwater lakes and rivers in the country,” says dealer principle Hayden Sayer. “Oh, and then we have Foveaux Strait on our back doorstep.” Hayden reckons the fishing is pretty good, with blue cod, trumpeter and grouper all eager to jump onto a hook. Then there’s the crayfish, paua (abalone) and oysters.

“The best time to visit is during oyster season, from March to August,” Hayden says, licking his lips at the happy memories. The dealership was born in 2018 as Stabi sales started to soar and the Stabi bosses decided they needed a separate retail dealership arm. It appears to have been a smart move as Stabicraft Southern is selling around 60 boats a year and has taken out two Stabicraft dealer awards in the past two years — Premier Dealer in 2019 and Elite Dealer in 2020.

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HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT OUTBOARD AND PROPELLER

By making sure that your Stabicraft is fitted with the appropriate outboard size and correct propeller pitch you will ensure you’re getting the best performance out of the boat by optimising the engine’s fuel economy.

With a full-time staff of seven, Stabicraft Southern offers — apart from Stabis, obviously — full marine servicing and supports brands such as DMW Trailers, Yamaha outboards, Garmin, Fusion and Minn Kota. Hayden says they sell to a range of customers from Otago and Southland who come from a different walks of life. “Selling boats is great because the customers are always so happy and excited to be making the purchase. Buying a boat is a want, not a need and Stabi customers are hardworking, honest, loyal, adventurous and friendly.” Although Hayden admits that the current shortage of boats as a result of high demand during 2020 is a bit of a bummer, he reckons Stabis usually pretty much sell themselves. “All the models sell well, but for us this year, the 2500 Ultracab XL has been very popular.”

HOW TO LAUNCH AND RETRIEVE YOUR BOAT Make sure that your trailer is in the correct depth of water as this will ensure that your boat loads level and straight every time.

CONTACT Stabicraft Southern

345 Bluff Highway, Kew, Invercargill, New Zealand www.stabicraftsouthern.com hayden@stabicraft.com

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STABIDEALER

GOT THE GONG

The boys at Webbe Marine took out the 2020 Stabicraft Overall Dealership of the Year Award. Gavan and Ash give us the inside scoop.

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2020

OVERALL AWARD

Awarded to:

Webbe Marine

Stabicraft Overall Dealership of the Year

Paul Adams Founder

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avan Daly and Ashley Faraj from Webbe Marine started selling Stabicrafts seven years ago. After visiting the factory in Invercargill to see what all the fuss was about, they had been so impressed they signed up then and there as Stabi dealers. Since then, the Webbe Marine boys have gone from strength to strength with the brand. In fact, they just took out the 2020 Stabicraft Overall Dealership of the Year Award — no biggie, they just sold more Stabis than anyone else in the world and generated the biggest dollar volume Stabicraft has ever had. Asked the about their secret sauce, Gavan gives us the lowdown. “After getting caught short with stock last year, we decided to forward-order a huge bunch of Stabis. Then COVID hit and a lot of other dealers were cancelling their orders. We decided to stick with it.” “Those first couple of weeks, the phone didn’t ring at all,” Ash chimes in. “We started getting pretty nervous.” But it all worked out in the end.“There’s been a bit of a groundswell with the Stabicraft product in Sydney of late,” Ash says. “Our market share has been growing and growing. People are seeing more and more Stabis around Sydney and come to us to see what all the fuss is about. And the marketing push from Stabicraft over the past few years has been incredible. The brand has become cooler and younger, which has expanded our potential customer base. Having a magazine like STABIMAG is also bloody handy to show customers — it’s not just a brochure, it’s seriously informative.”

CONTACT Webbe Marine

17 Yalgar Road, Kirrawee, New South Wales, Australia www.webbemarine.com.au gavan@webbemarine.com.au ashley@webbemarine.com.au

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STABIDEALER

ADAMANT FOR SUCCESS

A dealership is only as good as their staff, and Adam Marshall from Marine and Outdoors lives and breathes Stabicraft.

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ocated in Blenheim, on the doorstep to the scenic Marlborough Sounds, Marine and Outdoors is the region’s premier Stabicraft dealer. Stabi sales are headed by general manager Adam Marshall, a genuine ambassador for both the brand and the Marlborough Sounds. Having spent eight years working at Stabicraft, predominantly in the sales team, as well as having a hand in new product development and user-based research. Adam’s knowledge base is unrivalled when it comes to Stabicraft vessels. He’s a firm believer that Stabi’s suitability for Marlborough’s wide variety of fishing, diving and water adventures is unbeatable. “Whether you’re looking for something for inshore fishing or diving, or an offshore fishing weapon, Stabi has you covered.” Adam says. Adam’s influence in Marlborough was notable immediately after his move north in 2018. Capitalising on his hands-on knowledge of the brand, Marine and Outdoors won Stabicraft Australasian Dealership of the Year in 2019, in Adam’s first full year and business has been on the rise ever since. Adam has sold 350-plus Stabi’s, and over 100 of those sales have been since heading the Stabi sales at Marine & Outdoors.

FISHER KING Adam’s enthusiasm for getting out on the water in a Stabi goes beyond the working day, having owned four Stabis of his own — two 1650 Fishers and two 1850 Supercabs. He’s spent countless hours on other models doing what he describes as “research and development”. This R&D included winning the 2017 Mercury Bay Fishing Competition in both the marlin and snapper categories. “The Coromandel was a scheduled stop on my Bluff to boat show road trip in the recently released 2750 Centrecab,” Adam recalls. “I’d been fishing my way up the country and was fizzed to spend three days fishing the Mercury Bay Fishing comp with an epic crew. Day one was an absolute ripper and after hauling a 172kg (379lb) striped marlin on the deck, I didn’t think life could get any better. But even with a sore hand (and head) from day one, I decided to snapper fish on day two. My second drop resulted in an 10.8kg (24lb) snapper and another headache that evening. I retired from fishing for a while after that weekend.” Adam’s latest challenge has been trying to nail a kingfish on a spear. “I spent last summer thrashing our 1450 Frontier demonstrator on a mission to spear my first kingfish. After countless hours of swimming with little success, I finally managed to peg a respectable

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CONTACT Marine and Outdoors

14 Horton Street, Blenheim, New Zealand +64 (03) 578 0569 www.marineandoutdoors.co.nz sales@marineandoutdoors.co.nz

one after having about 25 fish school up around me. Another unreal feeling and a day on the water that I’ll remember forever.” While Adam’s role may be to guide customers through the buying or building experience, he’s got a lot more to offer. A genuine desire for customers to get the most of their new vessel is a real driver for Adam and his local knowledge is evident as he enthusiastically gives customers the ins and outs of the best local spots or how to get the most out of their boat. It’s not uncommon to find customers who are now friends at Adam’s desk on a Monday, recalling fishy tales of their weekend out on the water.

MATCH THE MOOD WITH EXCEPTIONAL SOUND

XS SPORTS MARINE SPEAKERS AND SUBWOOFERS An understated addition to the XS Speaker Range.

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STABIDEALER

MERCURY RISING AT MY MARINE

Some things have changed down at MY Marine, but one remains the same — Stabicraft is the number-one brand in this liquid playground called PPB (Port Phillip Bay).

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Y Marine started from humble beginnings in a Dromana garage on the Mornington Peninsula, one hour south of Melbourne. Owner Michael Rozakis cut his teeth as a marine mechanic before making the leap to selling Stabicraft boats, becoming one of the very first international dealerships. Today, MY Marine is one of the biggest sellers of Stabicraft boats in the land. While Stabicraft has been a constant at MY Marine, Michael isn’t one to stand still. The refurbished shop features a state-of-the-art fit-up centre and expansive showroom. They’ve also got a new power supplier — Mercury outboards. Michael says he could no longer ignore the demand. “Mercury outboards have evolved to the point where customers want them on the back of their Stabis. They deliver performance with the economy — and look so damn cool.”

HOW TO FISH PORT PHILLIP BAY MY Marine’s top customer is Gawaine Blake (left), who runs a black 1850 Fisher fitted with a 135HP Mercury outboard. Gawaine has spent his life uncovering PPB’s secrets as a commercial operator and fishing guide. Here, the cofounder of Salt Guide shares his five favourite species and choice tips on how to catch them. 1/ KINGFISH These hoodlums have returned to The Rip at The Heads in big numbers. A feed of kingfish will test your tackle — and never disappoint the family when served fresh. HOT TIP: Run multiple baits — ideally, live-baits. 2/ WHITING The bread-and-butter species of Port Phillip Bay, whiting offer fishing fun for the whole family. HOT TIP: Fish in the current with an extended paternoster rig and keep moving until you find the fish.

3/ SNAPPER “Big Red” is to Southerners what barramundi is to Territorians. Nothing beats the first run of a larger model. HOT TIP: Fish the freshest bait you can find and use deadly sharp hooks. I like Gamakatsu. 4/ SQUID You can’t beat a face full of ink — just ask the kids! No fish species can resist fresh squid and neither can the family when it’s served with hot chips for dinner. HOT TIP: 3.5-size jigs offer the ideal sink rate. 5/ GUMMY SHARK Nothing tastes better in beer batter than fresh gummy shark. Available year-round in all weather conditions. HOT TIP: Run a paternoster rig with a single 8/0 circle hook.

CONTACT MY MARINE

Cnr Nepean Highway & Ponderosa Place, Dromana, Victoria, Australia. +61 (03) 5987 0900 / 0408 030 889 www.mymarine.com.au michael@mymarine.com.au

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STABIDEALER

THE REASON Y

Y Marina in Coos Bay, Oregon, sells a hell of a lot of Stabicrafts — boats tough enough to take on the rugged coastline and unforgiving waters of the Pacific Northwest.

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ill Harless established Y Marina in 1969 in Coos Bay, Oregon, as a sporting goods store. Then he started selling outboard engines and small fibreglass boat packages, gradually growing the dealership into a full-service marine. In 1997, Scott Lancaster and Marge Nicholas bought the Y, which was recently named one of Boating Industry’s Top 100 Boat Dealers in North America. Not long ago, Ryan Lancaster stepped into an ownership role alongside his father, Scott, following Marge’s retirement. With 24 people on staff, Y Marina is a full-service sales, parts and service dealership and has been a Stabicraft outlet for many years. There is also a satellite sales store in Florence, 50 miles (80km) north. Other brands supported include Yamaha outboards, E-Z Loader trailers, Garmin, Lowrance, Simrad and Raymarine. Its customers are mostly sport fishermen from all over the US and Canada who prefer heavy gauge aluminium boats 12ft-30ft (3.7m–9m) in length. Ryan reckons the business is on track for a record year in 2021, having averaged about US$2 million in Stabicraft sales over the past couple of years. “it’s a great product and an amazing ride with a hell of a following,” he says. “It’s like the Harley-Davidson of the aluminium boat world.” He describes the typical Stabicraft customer as: “educated, outdoorsy, analytical, adventurous and determined”. Ryan’s personal favourite is the 2250 Ultra Centrecab, one of Y Marina’s best-selling models alongside the 2500 Ultracab XL and 1550 Fisher. He reckons Stabis are the perfect boat in which to enjoy the attractions of the Pacific Northwest. “We’re surrounded by water and there are lots of boating and fishing opportunities to be had statewide. The fishing is very diverse — from ocean fishing to smaller lakes and rivers.” Diverse the fishing most certainly is — from Pacific halibut, coho and chinook salmon, black and lingcod in the ocean; to coho and chinook salmon, striped, large and smallmouth bass, rainbow trout and shad in the rivers; and kokanee salmon, hybrid, large and smallmouth bass, crappie, blue gill, trout and catfish in the lakes.

FULL PACKAGE Y Marina prides itself on its custom

fit-outs. “Of late, we’ve been doing more and more electronics and accessories systems,” Ryan says. “These systems include bow-mounted trolling motors, GPS systems, radar systems, FLIR cameras, Helm Master EX, autopilot systems, downriggers, tuna outriggers and crab davits.” The Y Marina team works closely with customers to design the systems and lay out custominstallation designs for each individual boat and need. “We have a delivery foreman who takes each customer out on the water to give them a full tutorial of their complete package — their new boat and its new electronics system.”

CONTACT Y Marina

1307 Newmark Avenue, Coos Bay, Oregon, US 2520 Highway 101, Florence, Oregon, US www.ymarinaboats.com ryanlancaster@ymarinaboats.com

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STABIDEALER

BILLFISH BUSTER

Ocean Sports Marine is located smack-bang in the middle of fishing paradise. Just add a Stabicraft and you’ll be into the action.

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ike Stables, head honcho at Ocean Sports Marine in Whakatane, New Zealand reckons the key to getting onto the fish in his neck of the woods is fresh bait and working with the tides. Oh, and don’t forget local knowledge. Common catches include huge kingfish, hapuka, bluenose, snapper and terakihi. When the cold water turns up, you might even be lucky enough to snag a southern bluefin tuna. Whakatane is located on the North Island’s Bay of Plenty and, along with a pretty impressive species hit list, is famous

for, er, kiwifruit. Makes sense, we suppose. Along with selling Stabis, Ocean Sports Marine offer a full service department for all brands of outboards and sterndrives. They also offer an electronics fitting service. When we ask Mike to describe the sort of blokes who buy Stabicrafts, he only needs five words, “Assertive, proud, positive, good buggers.” And when it comes to his favourite model, “I’ve been running the 2250 Centrecab for the last five months and take it out to Ranfurly Banks (100nm round trip) with ease,” he says.

CORRECT SET-UP GETS RESULTS Mike reckons, it’s one thing to sell

a customer a new boat, but it’s another to have it perfectly set up for them. “We have a second-time Stabicraft customer who came out of a 1550 Frontier and into a 2050 Supercab,” Mike says. “His family was getting too big for the console so he needed to upgrade. We worked to the customer’s specs and ended up running a Yamaha F150 for power and fuel economy. He then wanted to be able to see the bottom in 500m (1640ft) and we consulted with Furuno and decided on the TZ Touch unit through a 1kW transducer. His goal? Catch a marlin. The definition on the wide transducer was exactly what the customer was looking for and on the second trip out in the boat, he nailed a marlin. When he got back to the ramp, he said to me with a big smile, ‘This marlin business is easy Mike, I don’t know what everyone else is talking about.’ Really taking the time to listen to the customer and see what type of fishing they are going to be doing and then setting them up perfectly is something we take pride in at Ocean Sports Marine. It all comes down to good gear, a well set-up Stabi and right time, right place.”

CONTACT Ocean Sports Marine

32 McAlister Street, Whakatane, New Zealand +64 (07) 308 4242 facebook.com/oceansportsmarine sales@oceansportsmarine.co.nz

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SHOW ME YOUR ARMADA Galleon Marine in Richmond BC have been selling boats on the waterfront by the Fraser River for 50 years. It’s fair to say they know what they’re doing.

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alleon Marine started as a small service centre 15 minutes from the ocean and saltwater fishing — and just five minutes from Vancouver International Airport. It’s a small, family run business with eight fulltime employees, offering full sales, service, and parts support for all of its boat lines and three engine lines. “We are also a dealer for Garmin Marine electronics and can fully equip a new boat to suit our buyers’ needs,” says sales manager Ian Binstead. The current owners bought into the business in 1985 and the small shop started to grow in popularity as word got around. When a couple of British Columbia small boat manufacturers

got some attention, Galleon took on both lines. They then added Johnson/ Evinrude outboard motors and, a year later, became a Yamaha Marine dealer, only the second Canadian outlet for Yamaha outboard motors. Other brands Galleon supports include Volvo Penta and Mercruiser sterndrives, Garmin Marine, Fusion Marine, Scotty and Burnewiin. But the boys here are pretty excited about adding Stabicraft to the Galleon roster. “We expect Stabicraft to be a highly sought-after boat on our coast,” says Ian, whose favourite Stabi is the 2500 Ultracab XL. “The safety aspect of the chambered hulls and the high-quality fit and finish will make them a bigseller, for sure.”

BRITISH COLUMBIA Stretching along the Canadian

west coast, British Columbia, aka BC, is a maze of waterways, remote islands, inlets and rivers, and spectacular mountain and forest scenery. Vancouver Island provides some sheltered waters inside the Strait of Georgia, while on the other side of the island lies the open water of the North Pacific Ocean. These waters offer a variety of destinations for sport fisher and cruiser alike, but are best known for their salmon fishery. While all five species of Pacific salmon — chinook, chum, coho, pink and sockeye — can be found, chinook is the most prized by anglers and is present year-round. You can also catch red snapper, halibut and lingcod along the many reefs up and down the coast, as well as sole, spot prawns and Dungeness crabs. Different species seem to like different areas of the water column, so slow trolling with a downrigger is the best method to target them. Locals say there’s no secret to catching fish here — it’s all about time on the water. The more time you spend out there, the more fish you’ll catch.

CONTACT Galleon Marine

8211 River Road, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada +1 (604) 273 7544 www.galleonmarine.com sales@galleonmarine.com

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STABIDEALER

FISH WHITI

You know the saying, “God’s Country”? Well, we’re pretty sure it came about after someone visited New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula. One lucky bugger that lives there is Shane Conder, and we recently dropped into his dealership, Whitianga Marine.

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hane Conder, director of Whitianga Marine, reckons Stabicrafts are the Toyota 79 Series LandCruisers of the sea. “If someone wants an adventure on the water while still knowing they’ll get home safely, a Stabi is a perfect fit.” Shane explains. “This region features boating islands, caves, excellent diving, good fishing inshore and game fishing offshore.” Nestled away in Mercury Bay, on the eastern seaboard of the Coromandel Peninsula, Whitianga Marine has been operating for 20 years. They’re a family oriented, one-stop shop and offer their customers boat sales and service, chandlery, bait and ice. When we ask Shane what the worst thing about

owning a boat dealership is, he says, “I never get enough time to go fishing in the summer months!” Speaking of which, you’ll find snapper, kahawai, gurnard, kingfish and large pelagic all around the Coromandel Peninsula — and if you’re in town, Shane will point you in the right direction. If you’ve got fresh/live bait or jigs, you’re in for a chance of hooking a monster. Shane describes his customers as “adventurous” and reckons that’s why Stabicraft is such a good fit for his dealership. He’s been involved with Stabicraft since 1997 and reckons, “Stabi gets in the blood and now I wouldn’t have anything else. They’re the best alloy boat on the market.”

CONTACT Whitianga Marine

233 South Highway, Whitianga, New Zealand www.whitiangamarine.co.nz whitiangamarine@xtra.co.nz

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“ IT’S JUST I JUST KNOW WHEN I GO OUT THERE AND TURN THE KEY

GOING TO

GO

– GENE DENTON: WHITIANGLER PROFESSIONAL CHARTER SKIPPER

20 7-20 201 Ma rin e E n gi n e s

/YamahaMarineNZ

yamaha-motor.co.nz

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STABIDEALER

GOT WOODBINE

With outlets in both Auckland and Hamilton, Woodbine Marine has got the top half of the North Island pretty well sorted when it comes to Stabis.

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oodbine Marine is a family business, specifically, the Harvey family. Fishing and boating has played a major part in their history and the opportunity to get involved in the boat industry came on the back of general manager Sam Harvey winning a jet ski world title and being offered a dealership opportunity. Apart from being agents for Stabicraft, they represent Buccaneer and Yamaha, and boast a state-of-the-art workshop facility for servicing, repairs, re-powers and new boat installs. Woodbine also sells and supports DMW, Enduro and Voyager trailers, along with Garmin, RayMarine, Simrad and Fusion electronics. The Auckland outlet was established in 2006. A few years of success prompted the owners to set up a second dealership recently. Sam says Hamilton was chosen due to its proximity to Auckland, rapid growth and potential opportunities. “The Waikato is a large area and with Hamilton being the centre of the Waikato, our opportunities for sales and service spread from Raglan in the west to Thames in the east and Taupo in the south.”

Sam reckons Woodbine can’t lose servicing these popular fishing and recreational boating destinations. “Raglan on the west coast is particularly popular for large saltwater fish like tuna and tends to attract experienced fishermen with larger craft,” he says. “Thames and the Coromandel are popular family boating and fishing destinations with species such as snapper, kingfish and tarakihi, as well as marlin further out. The sheltered water on the east coast is attractive to both experienced and less-experienced boaties in craft of all sizes. And Lake Taupo is very popular for family boating as well as freshwater fishing for rainbow and brown trout. The plus is that all three destinations can be fished year-round, depending what species you’re targeting.” He may be biased, but Sam reckons the secret to catching fish in this part of the country is “great boats with reliable outboards from Woodbine Marine Hamilton!” And he’s more than happy with Woodbine’s Stabicraft partnership. “Who wouldn’t sell Stabis given the opportunity? They’ve set the bar for product vision and design.”

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HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BOAT Sam reckons new boats — and used, no matter how old — must look as close as possible to having just come out of the factory. “There is a perception that because a craft is made of aluminium, it doesn’t need the attention you might give to a fibreglass boat,” he says. “The opposite is correct. For personal satisfaction, reliability and resale value, proper cleaning is rewarding. • After a day of use in salt water, I suggest the following: • Spray with fresh water • Apply car wash or washing detergent (car wash will have a wax in it) • Scrub with a soft brush or sponge, no different than cleaning your car • Rinse with fresh water • Wipe with microfibre towel. This will limit the streak marks on the paint and alloy finish • Make sure the engine is cleaned as per manufacturer recommendations • Continually wash and check your trailer, giving special attention to the brakes, particularly the calipers and pads. Also, check tyre pressures and the rollers. When storing, chock the tyres and if possible, release the handbrake.”

CONTACT Woodbine Marine Auckland

245 Ti Rakau Drive, East Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand +64 (09) 265 1623 woodbinemarineauckland.co.nz Woodbine Marine Hamilton Corner Te Rapa Road & McKee Street (Entrance 175 Maui Street), Pukete, Hamilton, New Zealand +64 (07) 5950 100 woodbinemarinehamilton.co.nz

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STABIDEALER

BAIT, BURLEY AND FREE SALT ICE For the team at KP Marine, it’s a toss-up what they love doing the most — fishing or selling Stabis. The great thing about their job is that they can do both.

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n the outskirts of Wellington lies the coastal community of Plimmerton. It’s a great spot for fishing and boating. Which makes it a great place to sell Stabicraft. From humble beginnings 25 years ago selling and maintaining outboards, KP Marine has evolved to become Wellington’s biggest boat shop. When the Kiwi capital’s last Stabicraft dealer closed its doors in the early 2000s, KP saw the opportunity to stock and sell a leading brand staring them in the face. Now, alongside a fleet of new Stabis, KP Marine sells Honda, Suzuki and Tohatsu outboards, trolling motors and all the big electronic brands. They offer a full workshop, boat accessories, fishing/ diving gear, bait, burley and free salt ice — as well as fishing tips, catch reports and up-to-date advice. “People reckon we’ve got the best range around — and they love the free salt ice,” says sales boss and mad-keen fisho Kev. “All our customers are good bastards who share the same ocean-

besotted passion as all of us.” Kev reckons this region is blessed by diverse fishing and boating grounds in close proximity. Water temperature ranging from 10 to 23 degrees means a lot of species to target — from blue cod through to game fish. “We have sheltered waters around Kapiti and Mana Islands, as well as Wellington Harbour,” Kev says . “For deep-water enthusiasts, there’s Cook Strait and the South Coast Trench, and for the more adventurous, a steam across to the Marlborough Sounds or D’Urville Island.” Kev says selling Stabis is a nobrainer. “They have industry-leading performance and their on-water capability in all conditions always exceeds expectations.” Although KP Marine’s best-selling Stabis are the 1550 and 1450, Kev’s personal favourite is the 2250 — “a vessel that can handle anything.” And the worst thing about selling boats? “Being stuck here talking boating when the weather is good.”

HOW TO PROP A BOAT CORRECTLY To check if your current propeller is correct for your boat, first you need a flat calm day. Start from the idle position with the outboard trimmed low, and give the engine full revs in one continuous motion. At the same time, bring the trim up to the point just before cavitation occurs and you should be able to pull full revs within approximately 20 seconds — 6000RPM on most brands, but you need to check the engine specs. If this is achieved, you have the correct propeller. But if you can’t get these revs, you require a smaller-pitched propeller as your engine is labouring. If you pull these revs too easily or hit the rev limiter, you’ll need a higher-pitched propeller, which will give you better hole shot and top-end speed.

CONTACT KP Marine

3 Plimmerton Drive, Plimmerton, New Zealand www.kpmarine.co.nz boats@kpmarine.co.nz

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FEEL THE POWER

Powerboat Centre in Christchurch was the original Stabicraft dealer and since the two brands got together, the only way is up.

HOW TO SET UP A BOAT All Powerboat Centre’s boat fitouts are completed by factorytrained technicians. Then each completed package is on-water tested, which includes making sure the engine is reaching the manufacturer’s recommend RPM and that it is mounted at the correct height. They also test any extra components — such as washdown kits, auto anchors, GPS and fish finder operation. The boys at Powerboat Centre want their customers to pick up their new boat package and head out knowing that everything will work just as it should, first time.

L

ocated on the appropriately named Ferry Road in Christchurch, Powerboat Centre opened its doors in 1973 with two employees. Still on the original site, the crew is now 10 strong and they boast one of the largest undercover showrooms in the country, offering retail boat and motor sales, accessories and a full workshop service. Back in 1988, when Stabi guru Paul Adams had just made his first boats and was looking for a retail outlet, Powerboat Centre was the first Kiwi dealer to put their hand up. “They’re the most innovative aluminium trailer boat in NZ,” says sales manager John Philips. “Our best-selling models are the 1550 and the 1850 Supercab, but I rate the 2500. The foam-filled pontoons make them pretty much unsinkable.” John also rates the fishing in the

CONTACT Powerboat Centre region. “Whether you’re into freshwater lakes, coastal or offshore boating, we have it all. The offshore species are varied, we have grouper ( hapuka), trumpeter and blue cod. And recently, with the development of an offshore mussel farm to attract fish, we are seeing lots of kingfish.” He says these days the secret to catching fish is all in the tech. “With larger boats, people are more comfortable to travel to remote locations where GPS and sounder technology, plus electric trolling motors, allow you to pinpoint the best locations.” Selling mainly to family customers who enjoy the outdoors life, the dealership also sells Yamaha outboards, Watercraft and DMW trailers, and Simrad, Lowrance, Garmin and Humminbird electronics.

401 Ferry Road, Christchurch, New Zealand +64 (03) 389 1146 www.powerboatcentre.co.nz

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STABIWORLD

INTERNATIONAL DEALERS STABICRAFT SCANDINAVIA

Location Moholm, Sweden Website www.stabicraft.se

QUALITY BOATS

Location Mont Dore, New Caledonia Website www.qualityboats.nc

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RON’S HONDA CENTER Location Soldotna, Alaska Website www.ronshonda.com

RON’S HONDA CENTER Location Palmer, Alaska Website www.ronshonda.com

GALLEON MARINE

Location British Columbia, Canada Website www.galleonmarine.com CLEMENS MARINA Location Eugene, Oregon Website www.clemensmarina.com

BOAT COUNTRY

Location Everett, Washington Website www.boatcountry.com

CLEMENS MARINA Location Portland, Oregon Website www.clemensmarina.com CLEMENS MARINA Location Gladstone, Oregon Website www.clemensmarina.com

Y MARINA

Location Coos Bay, Oregon Website www.ymarinaboats.com

Y MARINA

Location Florence, Oregon Website www.ymarinaboats.com

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STABIWORLD

NEW ZEALAND DEALERS

WHITIANGA MARINE

MARINE NORTH

Location Whangarei Website www.marinenorth.co.nz

Location Whitianga Website www.whitiangamarine.co.nz

GULFLAND MARINE

Location Whangaparaoa Website www.gulflandmarine.co.nz

KEV & IAN’S MARINE

MASTERTECH MARINE

Location Auckland Website www.kev.co.nz

Location Tauranga Website www.mastertech.co.nz

WOODBINE MARINE

Location Hamilton Website www.woodbinemarinehamilton. co.nz

OCEANSPORTS MARINE

Location Whakatane Website www.facebook.com/Ocean-SportsMarine-Ltd-391330454383168

TREV TERRY MARINE

Location Taupo Website www.trevterrymarine.co.nz

BAYS BOATING

Location Motueka Website www.baysboating.co.nz

KP MARINE

Location Mana Website www.kpmarine.co.nz

D&E OUTDOORS

Location Ashburton Website www.dne.co.nz/dne-outdoors

STABICRAFT SOUTHERN

Location Invercargill Website www.stabicraftsouthern.co.nz

MARINE & OUTDOORS

Location Blenheim Website www.marineandoutdoors.co.nz

POWERBOAT CENTRE CHRISTCHURCH

Location Christchurch Website www.powerboatcentre.co.nz

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AUSTRALIAN DEALERS IN & OUTBOARD MARINE Location Darwin, NT Website iomarine.com.au

NORTHSIDE MARINE

Location Brisbane, QLD Website www.northsidemarine.com.au

HI-TECH MARINE

Location Wangara, WA Website www.hitechmarine.com.au

CHRISTIES BEACH MARINE

Location Lonsdale, SA Website www.christiesbeachmarine.com.au

RICHARDSON MARINE

Location Warrnambool, VIC Website richardsonmarine.com.au

WEBBE MARINE

Location Sydney, NSW Website www.webbemarine.com.au

MY MARINE

Location Dromana, VIC Website mymarine.com.au

DEEGAN MARINE

Location Ulverstone, TAS Website www.deeganmarine.com.au

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