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STABICRAFT MAGAZINE ISSUE 01

MAG

STABIMAG

ADVEN ENGINETEURRE INSIDE! S

ISSUE NUMBER ONE KINGS OF THE COROMANDEL W W W. S TA B I C R A F T. C O M

KINGS OF THE COROMANDEL

• AWESOME FISHING ADVENTURES! • OWNERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD • ULTIMATE STABICRAFT BUYER'S GUIDE • SNEAK PEEK: NEW 6.9M CENTRECAB


STABI-HOTSHOT

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STEALTH FIGHTER The Stabicraft R&D crew rode aboard this 1600 Carbon Fisher on their adventure to the Coromandel Peninsula. The F90HP Yamaha took them from Kuaotunu, well out past the Mercury Islands and back on a single tank of fuel — 35 nautical miles in a day ain’t bad! You can read all about the Coromandel kingfish in this issue. Model: Stabicraft 1600 Fisher Length: 4.85m Beam: 2.02m Seating capacity: 5 Fuel capacity: 60L Max HP: 90HP Engine: Yamaha F90 Type: SOHC 16-Valve In-line 4 Displacement: 1.83L Dry weight: 162kg (20.3 inch leg)

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M A G A Z I N E

CONTENTS 88

NORTH TO ALASKA

There’s no better boat for the rugged Alaskan conditions than an aluminium-hulled Stabicraft.

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18 24 44 52 60 70 74 92 93

SON OF A STABI

STABIMAG chats to extreme Kiwi fisherman Matt Watson.

ALLOY SHOOTOUT

Four pumping plate rigs fight it out bow-to-bow in The Captain’s Alloy Shootout at Jervis Bay, NSW.

COROMANDEL KINGS

The Stabicraft R&D department invades the Coromandel Peninsula in search of kingfish and snapper.

WHITE CAPS AND SILVER MACKS

The Captain tackles northern NSW in one of the first Stabicraft 2750 Centrecabs to hit Aussie shores.

A BOATING ICON IS BORN

Stabicraft celebrates its 30th anniversary. We take a look back through the history book.

SCIENCE UNDER THE SOUTHERN SEA

REGULARS

06 STABI-BOSS

Paul Adams welcomes you aboard STABIMAG

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STABI-TALK

Jandals, thongs or flip-flops? Learn the lingo.

10 STABI-STAFF

Meet a few of the friendly faces behind Stabicraft.

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STABI-TECH

Mike Stenton is the head design guru for Stabicraft.

14 STABI-PARTNERS

Check out Daniel Ierodiaconou’s commercial class 9.2m Supercab.

The crew that makes it happen.

BUYERS GUIDE

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

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

16 STABI-GEAR

86 STABI-PARTNERS

The crew that makes it happen.

OH M.Y WHAT A RIDE From a garage on the beach to the biggest Stabi dealer in Australia, it’s been one hell of a ride for M.Y Marine.

IMMORTAL DEALER Kev & Ian’s Marine Services are celebrating 30 years in the boat business.

94 STABI-PARTNERS

The crew that makes it happen.

96 STABI-WORLD

Find your local Stabicraft dealer, worldwide.

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STABI-BOSS

WELCOME aboard STABIMAG! Paul Adams is the head honcho and vessel design visionary at Stabicraft, the largest boat manufacturer in New Zealand — and working damn hard on its mission of global domination. He’s pretty excited to crack open his hot-off-thepress copy of the launch issue of STABIMAG.

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“COME AND JOIN THE ADVENTURE. THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE.”

love to make stuff. I’ve always had the passion — and skill — to visualise, solve and create. I was able to put this into practice in 1986 when some work colleagues and I decided to create a robust alternative to rubber inflatables. The result was Stabicraft! Sure, they worked well, but they weren’t everyone’s cup of tea. So, over the years, we’ve applied some serious “design thinking”, as we like to call it. Essentially, we now design boats around the customer’s needs, whether it be for performance, fishability or just looks. It’s great for the team to receive the awards they get, but there’s nothing more rewarding for me than seeing a Stabicraft cruising in any waters, whether it’s the inlets of Alaska, the tropical reefs of New Caledonia, the fjords of Scandanavia or the never-ending coastlines of New Zealand or Australia.

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Stabicraft is 31 years old now, and the company is lucky enough to be experiencing a huge surge in demand. There are more than 30 dealerships worldwide, on three continents. Yep, the Stabicraft family is growing —and our latest addition is the one you’re holding in your hands right now: STABIMAG! I hope you enjoy reading about how it all started and the cool adventures of Stabi owners around the world. And make sure to take a sneak peek at some of our exciting new stuff. If you’re not riding aboard a Stabicraft already, what are you waiting for? Come and join the adventure. There’s always room for one more. Cheers


STABICRAFT CEO PAUL ADAMS PROJECT MANAGER DANIEL UPPERTON PUBLISHING PARTNER MOBY DICK CONTENT ADVENTURE ENGINEERS (THE CREW WHO HELPED MAKE IT HAPPEN) BRAD DANNEFAERD / 2570 SUPERCAB BRAD HOUG / BOAT COUNTRY CONNOR BURKE / 1850 FRONTIER CREW FROM THE CAPTAIN’S ALLOY SHOOTOUT DANIEL IERODIACONOU / 9.2M SUPERCAB GENE DENTON / 1850 SUPERCAB KEVIN GRIFFIN / KEV & IAN’S MARINE SERVICES MATT WATSON / 2570 CENTRECAB MICHAEL ROZAKIS / M.Y MARINE MIKE STENTON / R&D GUY MURRAY CONDER / STABICRAFT 509XR POEN NIEMANDT / 2100 SUPERCAB SHAINE PASK / 2100 SUPERCAB THE CAPTAIN MAGAZINE TOM WEBB / 1550 FISHER TRAVIS SWANSON / RON’S HONDA CENTER 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 BLUE STAR GROUP.

www.mobydickcontent.com

www.stabicraft.com

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STABI-TALK

LEARNIN’ THE LINGO BY PAUL ROBINSON

01 02 KIWI: JANDAL AUSSIE: THONG YANK: SLIDE BRIT: FLIP-FLOP

The preferred footwear for most boaties when ashore is known as a “jandal” (Japanese sandal) in New Zealand, thong in Australia, “flip-flop” (go figure) in the UK and “slide” in the US — where a thong’s primary purpose is to separate the pert butt cheeks of women who are in much better physical condition than an abalone fisherman from Stewart Island.

KIWI: CHILLY BIN AUSSIE: ESKY YANK: COOLER OR ICE CHEST

In Australian waters this essential piece of equipment holds the beer required for a successful fishing foray. In the US, where this tool is called a “cooler” or “ice chest”, such a word would be considered a derogatory reference to First Nations people of Alaska and Canada. In New Zealand waters, it is called a “chilly bin”. To an Aussie this may sound like a “chilly bun” — not to be confused with cold sandwiches.

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When navigating foreign waters, the Stabicraft crew often runs aground on the shoals of the local lingo. One word or phrase in Australianese can mean something completely different in NZ or North America. In the interests of better communication, we trawled up a few commonly confused bits of wordage.


03 04 05 KIWI: TOGS AUSSIE: COZZIES OR SWIMMERS YANK: TRUNKS

“Cozzies” or “swimmers” help Aussies glide through the water like greased marlin. In the USA the locals splash about in luggage-like “swimming trunks” while Kiwis prefer to swim in the totally nonsensical-sounding “togs”.

KIWI: BRO AUSSIE: MATE YANK: PAL OR BUD

Aside from the skipper’s righthand bloke or blokes, a “bro” in NZ can be a good friend or someone in a pub who has pissed you off and is about to feel the power of the punch. In the US, that same unfortunate can be a “pal” or “bud”, while Aussies prefer “mate”.

KIWI: PONTOON BOAT AUSSIE: PONTOON BOAT YANK: PONTOON BOAT

Strictly speaking, a flat boat that floats on, er, pontoons; the Wikipedia definition is “small inflatable pontoon boats are one- or two-person, catamaran-type boats, designed for leisure and fishing”. In Oz, the emphasis falls on “leisure, this term often referring to a “party boat” packed with party people, er, partying until they vomit and/or fall overboard. In the land of the more respectable Kiwis, this is a boat carrying a life preserver.

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STABI-STAFF

MEET SOME OF THE TEAM

Meet a few of the Stabi crew. One thing that stands out about the team who help construct the Stabicraft legend is that they’re a committed bunch — and extremely proud of what they do.

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Y E A0 RS

DARYLL WINTER

OWEN MILLER

Best thing about working at Stabicraft? The staff. We have some very skilled tradesman working here who consistently produce work of the highest quality. Worst thing about working at Stabicraft? Having to deal with frustrations caused by outside suppliers. But we work through them. What has changed over the years? Boats have become more complex, with many more options available than 10 years ago. Even “basic” boats can be highly customised. Describe Stabicraft in five words: Leader, innovative, quality, safe, respected. What is your favourite model? 2050 Supercab. What do you do in your spare time? Camping with family, boating and running a photography business.

Best thing about working at Stabicraft? We always have new challenges to overcome and new models to work on. The overall attitude of everyone is definitely one of the best things. Worst thing about working at Stabicraft? The restraints. I guess we all need rules. What has changed over the years? Staff numbers. There were 12 workers when I started and now there are about 90. Also, once Stabi was only known in New Zealand, now we’re known worldwide. Describe Stabicraft in five words: Quality, reliability, pride, value, team. What is your favourite model? 1550 Fisher. What do you do in your spare time? Motorcycles, shooting, fishing and family.

Length of service: 10 years Current position: Purchasing and supply coordinator Past positions: Store manager, store assistant

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Length of service: 20 years Current position: Fabrication manager Past positions: Team leader of WC1, WC2, WC3, WC6


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PETE CRAWFORD

Length of service: 10 years Current position: Big boat specialist Past positions: First Stabi apprentice (2IC, WC3) Best thing about working at Stabicraft? Working with modern equipment and friendly workmates. Worst thing about working at Stabicraft? Can’t think of anything. What has changed over the years? The size of the company, style of boats and how we build them. Describe Stabicraft in five words: Innovative, modern, proven, quality, style. What is your favourite model? 2750 Ultracab. What do you do in your spare time? Spend time with my family, drive my classic car and go jet boating.

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STEPHEN GILBERT

Length of service: 15 years Current position: Finishing and logistics manager Past positions: WC3 fabricator, custom team fabricator, WC1 team leader, WC2 team leader, project team leaders Best things about working at Stabicraft? The people, the product, the image and the name. Worst thing about working at Stabicraft? The imitators and the copycats. What has changed over the years? The image of Stabicraft — from the once “ugly” pontoon boat to the iconic vessels of today. Describe Stabicraft in five words: Innovative, diverse, robust, unique, iconic. What is your favourite model? 2400 Supercab. What do you do in your spare time? Car enthusiast, dirt-biking, music, snowboarding, camping, kayaking.

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STABI-TECH

R&D GUY

Mike Stenton is the head design guru for Stabicraft — and one of the main reasons why these vessels are such great performers in the wet stuff. Here he reveals the inside story on how the new 6.9m Centrecab came into being. We reckon his words of wisdom should be bottled.

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ccording to Mike Stenton, Stabicraft’s main man in the design department, the idea for the 6.9m Centrecab was born through social media feedback after the 2750 Centrecab was launched. The punters were pushing strongly for a 2100 or 2400 Centrecab, so the Stabi design team took the project on board and started nutting it out. Collaboration was the key in turning the concept into reality. After finding out what the punters were looking for, Mike and the team made a list of the challenges they faced in meeting that demand then put the winning solutions together to make it happen. The biggest challenge, of course, was finding the time to get it sorted in the middle of all the other Stabi projects they had on the boil. One hell of a lot of gear had to be packed into the first 6.9m Centrecab, built for Gene Denton from Whitiangler charters. He’s a charter operator from the Coromandel chasing kingies, snapper and marlin. Sound and vision involved 41 Hella LED Lights, two Fusion 10” subwoofers, two amplifiers, four 8” speakers, four 6” speakers and twin Fusion head units. The getwhere-you’re-going gear included twin VHFs and a Garmin 24” screen with three transducers (including a through-hull). Throw in four tuna tubes with twin

3700GPH pumps, twin live bait tanks, each with an 800GPH pump, plus four batteries. Then the team had to create a survey-standard wiring loom to fit it all together. Mike reckons that “any custom boat has challenges, but Gene’s boat has more of everything than we have ever fitted — ever!” The team incorporated various design elements of several other Stabicraft models in the 6.9m Centrecab to maximise the new boat’s performance. Arrow Pontoons from the 2500 hull meant a wider beam, and the Game Chaser Transom from the 1850 supplied great backing-up capability. In the fishing department. Using the 2500’s wing-style coamings gave good surface area for butts, rods and multiholders, the 2750 Centrecab’s walk-around, and the 2500 Ultracab’s wide tread plate floor. Box bearers from the 2400 Supercab helped the team fit in a 300L fuel tank, plus the 2500UCXL’s vee berth extension. For Mike, good design is simple, clean and functional — but he does have his favourites. “My favourite model is the 2500 Ultracab XL. It’s a full team project with awesome functionality and a wickedly aggressive look.” And his ideal Stabicraft of the future? “Less models, more innovation, greater functionality.”

“ANY CUSTOM BOAT HAS CHALLENGES, BUT THIS BOAT HAS MORE OF EVERYTHING THAN WE HAVE EVER FITTED — EVER!”

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03 DESIGNS

THAT MIKE RECKONS ARE THE DUCK’S GUTS

01 Ford GT40

02 AC Cobra 427SC

03

SR71 Blackbird

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STABI-PARTNERS

WAR PAINT

SALT WATER AND SUN ARE A LETHAL COMBINATION AND MARINE PAINT HAS TO BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND ONE OF THE TOUGHEST ENVIRONMENTS ON THE PLANET. THAT’S WHY STABICRAFT USES PPG ON ITS ALLOY SEA CREATURES.

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tabicraft has been using PPG paint to protect its boats — and make them look great — for about 20 years. As you can imagine, they get through a hell of a lot of the stuff. In fact, last year, more than 2500 litres of PPG paint, primer and thinners were slapped and sprayed on assorted Stabis. It’s not just about the final finish — although that’s always fantastic. Paint technology has changed rapidly in recent years, as has boat design, and PPG is all about innovation — not only to stay in front of the competition, but to meet increasingly tough environmental requirements. The company recently released a water-mixable product called Envirobase, which has a low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). VOC is basically the smell, and the lower the VOC, the happier the environment. Another major breakthrough is PPG’s Ultra High Solid technology within paint — meaning you can cover the same area in one coat instead of three,

yet still maintain the required thickness. Obviously, this also means less time painting the boat. Which is a plus, right? Like Stabicraft, PPG paint has a pretty wide global reach, which means great customer support. If you happen to confuse soft sand with a crunchy reef and your paint is compromised, it’s great to know there’s a local PPG retailer at the ready — all you need is a paint code. PPG marine paint and Stabicraft — yep, they stick together! www.ppgpaints.co.nz

PPG paints have been the paint of choice for Stabicraft boats for about 20 years.

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Solid haul of snapper from the Coromandel Peninsula, marked up on up the Deep Blue Series of Furuno sounder.

GET INTO THE DEEP BLUE

THE R&D BLOKES AT FURUNO HAVE BEEN BURNING THE MIDNIGHT — AND WEEKEND — OIL TO CONCOCT A NEW SMALL BOAT SERIES OF SOUNDERS.

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uruno’s new DB-7 and DB-9 (Deep Blue Series) sounder/plotters are a welcome response to customer demand for a compact combo unit. Furuno gear is typically associated with highend performance and is the choice of commercial vessels globally and the Japanese manufacturer saw an opportunity to fill the gap in its product range. Kiwi company Electronic Navigation Ltd (ENL) got the call to help design these beauties, but wanted to be sure they’d be different from others on the market. A major requirement was that the sounders be easy to operate. ENL added a clear, minimal-step user interface, and fast processor for quick response times. Not that there isn’t some pretty cool tech stuff going on. The Deep Blue sounders feature Blue-Beam technology that allows the sounder to have Dualindependent range mode where you can be in 200m of water using low frequency to scan the bottom and set

the high frequency to scan the top 20m of water looking for bait fish. And if you pack the boat away for the winter, there’s an option for a built in quick tutorial to get you back up to speed with the DB-7 and DB-9 when you crank it up again the following summer. After heaps of testing — and plenty of feedback from famous fishos like Matt Watson and Jed Radaly — Furuno’s brand-new babies are ready to rock your boat. Check them out at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show, May 17-20, in Auckland. www.furuno.co.nz

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STABI-GEAR

FANCY STUFF

YOU’VE GOT THE BOAT — NOW YOU NEED THE GEAR. STYLE IT UP ON AND OFF THE WATER WITH THIS OFFICIAL STABICRAFT MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE AT WWW.STABICRAFT.COM/SHOP

STABICRAFT BEER COOLER – $12.00

Beer cooler, stubby holder or your classic tinny tub — it doesn’t matter what you call it, it does the same job in any part of the world: keeps the nectar cool.

STABICRAFT POLO – $59.99

When its heaving down and blowing 40 bastards of fury, slip into the Stabicraft polo — then mosey on down to your local to enjoy a few brews in style.

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STABICRAFT HUTCHWILCO LIFEJACKET – $100.00

As Matt Watson says, the best lifejacket is the one wrapped around your Stabi. However, if you do find yourself adrift in the drink, let this baby rip, lie back and wait for the makos to start circling.

STABICRAFT VEST – $99.99

Waterproof and windproof, the Stabicraft Vest is the ideal boating companion. If you’ve recently got into CrossFit, then there’s the added bonus of “no sleeves”, so you can really flaunt those brand-new guns.

STABICRAFT JACKET – $99.99

Leather is out, microfibres are in. The Stabicraft Jacket is the perfect companion for hoovering your fresh catch with friends on the beach as the night chill begins to set in.


STABICRAFT CAP – $29.99

Protect your noggin from global warming’s relentless assault on your skin with a bad-ass Stabicraft cap.

STABICRAFT BEANIE – $19.99 When it’s so cold outside your nipples could cut glass, simply wrap the Stabicraft Beanie around your nut and stop your precious thermal life force from escaping.

STABICRAFT MAGAZINE ISSUE 01

STABICRAFT HOODY – $99.99

While some cultures frown upon the practical hooded sweatshirt, we at Stabicraft believe everyone deserves the opportunity to be comfortable on board their rig — and channel their inner graffiti artist if the mood takes them.

MAG

STABIMAG

ADVENTURE ENGINEERS INSIDE!

ISSUE NUMBER ONE KINGS OF THE COROMANDEL W W W. S TA B I C R A F T. C O M

KINGS OF THE COROMANDEL

• AWESOME FISHING ADVENTURES! • OWNERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD • ULTIMATE STABICRAFT BUYER'S GUIDE • SNEAK PEEK: NEW 6.9M CENTRECAB

STABIMAG

Like what you’re reading? Why not get your best mate a copy of STABIMAG, available in print or digitial formats. Check it out at www.stabicraft.com

STABICRAFT DNA TEE – $39.99

Like Wolverine, every Stabi owner inherits a certain DNA that makes them bad-ass. Why not show the world?

STABICRAFT DICTIONARY TEE – $39.99

Say it with me now: “Stay-beecraft”. Not: “Stab-eeeeeeeeecraft”! A tee for those who need reminding.

STABICRAFT ‘S’ LOGO RANGE – $39.99

The cornerstone to the Stabicraft branding, the ‘S’ for Stabicraft (go figure) is made up of two interlocking pontoon bows. It’s a neat little story to tell your jealous mates — about why Stabicraft is that little bit cooler than everything else on the water.

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

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STABIWORKMEN

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SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

SOS: I NTE RV I E W STA B I M A G I M A GE S M a t t Wa t s o n

SON OF STABI

MATT WATSON IS THE FISHING GUY, THE KIWI EXTREME FISHERMAN AND HOST OF LEGENDARY TV PROGRAM ITM FISHING SHOW. HE RATES STABICRAFT SO HIGHLY HE’S EVEN HELPED DESIGN ONE. MATT TALKS TO STABIMAG ABOUT — WHAT ELSE? — FISHING IN STABICRAFT BOATS.

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STABIWORKMEN

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TABIMAG: G’day Matt, welcome to the first issue of STABIMAG! Tell us a bit about yourself. What sparked your fishing addiction? MATT WATSON: I’m from a commercial fishing family and all I wanted to be was a fisherman. I started working on weekends on my uncle’s commercial boat from the age of 12, and had logged 3500 sea hours by the time I was 18. I just wanted to be a commercial fisherman, but I discovered marlin when I was 19 and took a different path. When and why did you decide to start the ITM Fishing Show? It was 2003 and I was working on game-fishing boats and loving it — but it took me away from my wife and children for weeks at a time. I was missing birthdays, anniversaries and everyday things that families do because I was away at sea. I knew whatever I did, it had to be fishing-orientated, and I’d moved away from commercial fishing for ethical reasons. So it seemed obvious — start a fishing show! Got to love blind optimism and naivety.   Describe your work in five words: Not enough time actually fishing. BIG BALLS. BIG FISH. LITTLE BOAT: Urm, yeah, Matt caught this giant tuna on a handline. ‘Nuff said.

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What’s your rig and why’d you choose her? The 2750 Centrecab, because I designed it in collaboration with Stabicraft. I was asked yesterday by a mate who was out with me sword fishing on my 2750, what I would change on the boat. I honestly couldn’t come up with anything. What engines do you run and why? I’ve run Evinrudes for 20 years. I’ve had a great run so that builds trust and loyalty — and now there are the G2s and they’re incredible! My 300HP G2 rips my 2750 out of the hole, which isn’t surprising given the power advantage of the two-stroke. But it’s the economy that has really impressed. I’m trolling in an 8.3m boat, using 6.2 litres per hour, and my mate is trolling alongside in a 6m boat with a brand-new leading brand 150HP four-stroke, and he’s burning 8.5 litres per hour. So more power, more economy and less servicing — it’s a pretty easy decision. Tell us about some of the other gear? Honestly, there’s not enough room here. Since it was launched, I’ve upgraded the electronics to the Furuno TZtouch2 with multi-beam 3D sounder and a DFF3 sounder for the deep stuff. So now I’ve got three 2kW transducers integrated into the hull and I’ve been getting incredible results. What are some of the other Stabicraft models you’ve run over the years? 580HT, 389 Explorer, 389 MWLE, 629, 759, 2570SC, 1720MWS, 1850MWS. RIPPER OF A RED: What’s thekill longest run you’ve ever made in a Stabicraft? “Don’t a fish for your On thetake maiden voyage the first Stabi I helped ego; only what youof need to eat.the Get389 a photo for (Matt your Watson Limited design, MWLE ego and release the fish Edition), I fired up the 40HP E-TEC that had only that’s what I do.”

been bolted on the day before and ran 60 nautical miles off the west coast of the South Island to fish for giant bluefin. I was out for 18 hours, covered 149nm and got a 500lb bluefin tuna. What’s your most memorable catch? In my 389 MWLE, I got a 500lb black marlin — the last fish I ever caught in that boat. It’s not close to the biggest, or even the most physically challenging fish I’ve caught, but it was special because it was the first black marlin I’d caught in NZ waters. I’d made a plan to go and get it on that day, and it came off. Have you ever been to sea and caught bugger-all? Please say “yes” and make us mere mortals feel OK. Only yesterday, in fact. I went sword fishing and stopped to catch gemfish for bait in 350 metres. It was my son’s first time out this deep, so I let him wind up the gemfish, but it got eaten by a very big swordfish. We fought it for more than five hours before breaking it off — and then it was home time. So I hope you feel better — I’m still hurting a little. It was the biggest one I’ve had on in a long time, and my sword average has now dropped below three a day. What’s a typical day? Get up early, drag the kids out of bed. Go to my office to work on production, sponsorship and day-to-day business. Try to ignore the texts from my mates who are out fishing, because that really rips my sack when I’m wading through emails. But then there’s the “untypical” day at work that involves jetting off somewhere in the world to chase big fish.    Tell me about FreeFishHeads and why you started it? About six years ago, I was on the beach with my kids and my daughter got a fish spine in her foot.

RIPPER OF A RED: “Don’t kill a fish for your ego; take only what you need to eat. Get a photo for your ego and release the fish that’s what I do.”

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STABIWORKMEN

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX: xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxx

SURF’S UP: Matt is internationally famous for his fishing stunts. Catching a marlin from a surfboard was his favourite.

FREE HUGS: Although the famous Gannet Man video was a setup. It was still a damn impressive dive. Stabi salutes you.

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The spine was part of a rotting pile of snapper heads and frames, and these piles of hundreds of fish heads extended all the way down the beach. The beach stunk and there were flies and maggots everywhere. Aside from the desecration of the beach, it was the waste that shocked me — all that food just dumped! The sad irony was that there were locals just metres away, casting a line in the hope of catching a kahawai or maybe snapper so they could have a fresh fish meal. Now the people dumping the heads aren’t bad people, they just don’t know what they’re throwing away, or they feel embarrassed to offer what they consider rubbish to someone else. The solution was right in front of me: we can clean up the beaches, provide a fresh fish meal for families that love fish heads, and perhaps even bring Kiwis together through the act of giving and receiving. So I started freefishheads.co.nz, where people with fish heads they don’t want, can make contact with people who would love to come and get them. More recently, I launched an app to make it even easier to give or receive fish heads. Every kilo of fish that is utilised is a kilo of fish that is conserved in the ocean. The family that receives your bin of fish heads doesn’t go and set their net to catch fish for dinner, because they already have it. And what’s more, you’ll most likely make a new friend. What else can recreational anglers do to help?  Don’t kill a fish for your ego; take only what you need to eat. Get a photo for your ego and release the fish — that’s what I do. And be active in fisheries conservation. In NZ, it’s easy because all you have to do is be a member

of LegaSea and you’re adding your weight to many campaigns that are underpinned by the mission to restore all our fish stock to abundance for all Kiwis to enjoy. We’ve all seen the Gannet Man video. Did you really jump out of a helicopter to grab a marlin? No. I did try, but we only had the chopper for one afternoon. So I kept leaping off the roofs, flybridges and towers of various boats for 11 months with varying success. Then, on the very day I swore I would give up, we got the now famous shot — literally as the sun was setting. What’s been your favourite stunt to date? Hand-lining that giant bluefin must’ve been fun? Hand-lining the bluefin wasn’t overly fun. The first time, I tore the muscle off my elbow. That was on the maiden voyage of my 389 MWLE and that fish was 500lb. The second time, in Nova Scotia, that was 800lb, I had a broken hand from a boxing fight I’d had the week prior, so that made it hard. But it’s true of both fish that I enjoyed the feeling once I’d completed the job. My favourite was catching a marlin on a surfboard.   What trip would you love to do next and why? I’d love to do a trip with my family, with a bit of fishing and free diving, where they’d get to see and experience things I’ve been showing them photos of for years. And the only cameras around will be for the family holiday snaps! Nice one, Matt. Thanks for your time.

“HAND-LINING THE BLUEFIN WASN’T OVERLY FUN. THE FIRST TIME, I TORE THE MUSCLE OFF MY ELBOW.”

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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

ALLOY SHOOTOUT Words a nd Im a ge s T he C a p ta in

FOUR PUMPING PLATE RIGS FIGHT IT OUT BOW-TO-BOW IN THE CAPTAIN’S ALLOY SHOOTOUT AT JERVIS BAY.

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ore the wa Bef r

T

he only good thing that comes in tin is beer, right? Some among the glass-lovin’ class still beat that drum on Facebook forums. Their opinion is probably based on the rocky ride they took in Uncle Bob’s old tinnie in 1987, with eight relatives and Rufus the family labrador hanging on for dear life on the bow. If you still share that view of tinnies and plate boats, you’re sadly missin’ out, because some of these rigs can seriously slay. In fairness to the Facebook haters, there was a time when plate boats weren’t so appealing. They were rough to look at and rougher to ride in. They smelt like a rotten oyster’s armpit and the trailers they rode on looked like they were made from derelict railway tracks. But the Plate Boat Builders Guild got together, or so we reckon. They formed a pact and we suspect they had a secret mission statement (see hereabouts). We’re glad they did, because the flotilla that fanned out on Jervis Bay was deliciously refined — a testament to the aluminium engineering that’s gone into plate boats in the past 10 years or so. The Captain’s crew would be proud to own any one of those on show at Jervis Bay, the scene for The Captain’s Alloy Shootout.

PLATE BOAT BUILDERS’ SECRET MISSION #2007 • Plate boats shall look as cool as a black giant trevally driving an AC Cobra. • Plate boats shall ride soft and turn smoothly without throwing Rufus over the side. • Plate boats shall put chiropractors out of business, once and for all!

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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

High-rider

OZSEA 650 HARDTOP

W

hen we heard a couple of blokes had left the Bar Crusher factory to build their own boat, our ears pricked up. This rig would have to be dropped into the alloy shootout. We expected the Ozsea to have a Bar Crusher-like look and ride, but we were wrong. Barry Fox and Brendan Tilders have been building Ozsea boats for about two years. They’ve pumped out a dozen or so from the factory in Seaford, Victoria, and one of their customers is Todd Templeton, who got wind of The Captain’s alloy shootout. Accompanying Todd were his brothers Guy (co-owner of the boat) and Benn. The trio are hard-drinking, harddriving and fun-loving. The boys were here to test their rig against some of the best production boats in the 6.5m plate class. Some boats drive through the water and some boats drive over the water. The Ozsea sits firmly in the latter class, with its full bow and strakes up forward. The hull transitioned effortlessly to plane, skipping confidently along the surface leaving every judge with a smile, particularly Jack from The Captain, who has a hankering for drifting the rear end of boats at 30 knots. Comparing the Bar Crusher and Ozsea galloping side by side, the difference was

The Ozsea 650HT and 175HP Suzuki was the perfect marriage of horsepower and hull.

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“SOME BOATS DRIVE THROUGH THE WATER AND SOME BOATS DRIVE OVER THE WATER. THE OZSEA SITS FIRMLY IN THE LATTER CLASS.”


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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

pronounced, the Ozsea striding effortlessly from wave to wave in the 1m wind chop, the Crusher sawing through it and working harder. Some judges thought it was a little drummy at speed; others reckoned it could be easily fixed with some headlining in the cabin and wheelhouse. The fuel figures flattered the Ozsea: the 175HP Suzuki using less fuel than the 150HP Mercurypowered Surtees between the 1000RPM and 4000RPM range. The Ozsea also had a marginally higher top speed than the 200HP Suzukipowered Bar Crusher, pushing out 36 knots. The Ozsea and 175HP Suzuki were probably the best marriage of motor and metal on the shootout. What didn’t marry up for some judges was the floor height vs internal freeboard. Sure, it had selfdraining decks, but the high floor reduced the internal freeboard significantly. The tape measure indicated it was 20cm shallower than the Stabi. Granted, not everyone is 6ft 2in (1.9m), but this is a 6.5m boat and we’d be tackling 3m seas. The stability score averaged seven from the judges. We reckon a ballast tank would be a welcome addition, particularly on those wintery days trolling in big, sloppy seas and potentially wrestling 150kg giants over the gunwales. The large, airy wheelhouse proved

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a big hit, giving the Ozsea a tough old-school look. It featured the highest aperture from the top of the dash to the top of the windscreen, perfect for scanning for birds and bait schools. Surtees owner Garry said he wouldn’t mind some ventilation in there, particularly with a fuel smell hanging around. Below the windscreen, two 10-inch Garmin sounders sit neatly on the dash. The welding is super-strong, if a little rough in parts. It was particularly noticeable on visible areas such as the shroud around the cabin entrance and under the wheelhouse roof. To be fair to Barry the builder, some of the work (like the enclosed cabin) was requested by Todd late in the build process. They’re pretty easy fixes for next time round. While Barry’s at it, some footrests would also be handy. It wasn’t a gold-medal performance from the Ozsea, not compared to the highly refined production boats on show, but nevertheless it was an encouraging outing worthy of the Captain’s coach’s award. The 650HT does several things incredibly well: it rides nicely at speed, has a great layout with heaps of space and a killer wheelhouse design, not to mention the 150L kill tank. Those things aren’t easy to get right. With some further refinement and a few more tricks, the Ozsea will definitely be up to playing with the big boys.

Thumbs up • Killer cabin

• Self-draining decks (if a little high) • Best visibility from helm • Simple and uncluttered layout • High fun factor • Top speed on water • Super-efficient hull and engine • The beer base • Typically clean Davey Marine fit-out • Suzuki 175HP killed it • Welded super-strong, if a little rough

Thumbs down

• Least stable with least freeboard (but it did have draining decks) • No ballast • Most agricultural finish • Occasional fuel smell in cab • Hardtop not lined • No footrests • Gunwale tops could get slippery • Smallish fuel tank (150L)

Top of dash to top ofOzsea windscreen 650HT 73.5cm

Bar Crusher 670HT 59cm Stabicraft 2100 53cm Surtees 650 Workmate 43.5 (30cm from top of Raymarine screen)


The welding is super-strong, if a little rough in parts.

The Ozsea has a great internal layout with heaps of space. Commercial operator Tony Barber said it’d be his pick for offshore work duties.

“THE LARGE, AIRY WHEELHOUSE PROVED A BIG HIT, GIVING THE OZSEA A TOUGH OLD-SCHOOL LOOK.” Todd offers the camera crew a free under-hull inspection.

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“THE CAPTAIN’S CREW RATED THE WORKMATE THE BEST RIDE OF THE SHOW.”

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Bolt in over all ain Us s

SURTEES WORKMATE 650

I

f the winning boat of the shootout was judged by the owner most contented with his own boat, then Garry and his Surtees would come up trumps. After bashing his way around the bay and open sea in all the boats, Garry boldly declared, “Well, the end result after being in the other boats is that I’ve made a good decision”. He’s found his perfect boat, which is the ultimate goal for any boat owner. It didn’t win the hearts of all the judges, though. In fact, the Surtees proved to be a bit of a polariser… The Captain’s crew rated the Workmate the best ride of the show. Commercial operator Tony even rated it the most “confidence-inspiring boat” he’s been in. The owners of the Stabi, Bar Crusher and Ozsea, however, rated it no better than the Bar Crusher and well behind the Stabicraft for ride. Such is the nature of the judging process — we’re all entitled to our opinion, right? But seriously guys, what the fug were you thinking? Did you even leave the dock? But I digress, The Captain is a democracy and the great thing about a democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to say something silly. Perhaps we’re the silly ones? But I digress, again. Everyone (other than Garry) did agree on

The half-cab Surtees model didn’t have the best visibility from the helm — but that’s not what Garry wanted in his fishing rig.

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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

Garry’s 4.2L V8 Touareg makes light work of the Surtees package, lightest rig in the shootout.

The Workmate has the biggest deck space by far – and gunwales 35.5cm wide!

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Thumbs up for high steering position, as well as the $15K of Raymarine gear. Sadly, there’s no room to flush-mount them.

Thumbs up

• Softest ride here (equal first for overall ride) • Garry’s found his true love • Biggest fishing deck by a mile • Dominant drifting boat, four on the side • $15K of interconnected Raymarine gear • Magnificent gas pedestal seats • Biggest gunwales on show (too big?) • Light 6.5m option (BMT package is half a tonne lighter than the Bar Crusher)

Thumbs down

• Low throttle position • Poor visibility from helm • No king of cool • Unsightly rope to activate ballast • Drain plug hard to access • Bang for buck? • Thirsty Merc at low revs

Gunwale width at widest point Surtees 650 Workmate 35.5cm Bar Crusher 670HT 32cm Ozsea 650HT 27.2cm Stabicraft 2100 21.7cm

“THE BUILDER THAT DESIGNED AND BUILT THIS BOAT REALLY PUT SOME THOUGHT INTO IT.” one thing, though: the performance below the gunwales was better than the performance above the gunwales. To be fair to the Surtees guys, this was the Workmate model that features a half cabin rather than the more expensive (and heavier) Gamefisher model with a full cabin and three-piece windscreen. Even so, it’s the half-cab that Garry rates so highly because of his need for deck space. We can imagine Gazz and three or four mates on one side of the boat, bobbing along on the drift, sitting restfully with the ballast tanks full, hauling in flatty after flatty. This deck was huge, as were the gunwales, and if deck-space-fordollars was in the judging criteria, it would have killed it. However, most judges couldn’t fall in love with the half-cab’s narrow windscreen, particularly after Garry had mounted the Raymarine screens within the aperture. As one judge said, “a school of marauding bluefin could pass by the bow and there’s a good chance you’d miss it.” The Surtees certainly had some competition in the windscreen department: the Ozsea had 44cm more viewing space (measured from the top of the sounder/dash to the top of the windscreen).

Everything below the gunwales was on point, though, using minimalist design to maximum effect. Tony Barber gave it the highest praise, saying, “the builder that designed and built this boat really put some thought into it and knew what they were doing. I’ve been on the water since I was 12 and I’ve never been in a boat I felt so comfortable with.” The clip-on seats and rod holders are adjustable along the full length of the side pockets and they held more gear than an aisle at Whitworths. The rear seat folds down in the same way as the Bar Crusher and Ozsea, concealing a couple of batteries and switches. Everything in the electronics department is easily accessible and up and out of the slop. A live bait tank sits in the port side. It’s a bit low for regularly switching live baits, but on the upside, it made a nice position for a dunny stop. Gazza didn’t win the coolest rig — and at $100K for a half-cab, he also fell short in the bang-forbuck category. But in the unofficial category of, “fug you all — I’ve got my perfect boat”, the Surtees got 10 out of 10. We reckon the ride alone was worth the two-hour drive from Sydney to Jervis Bay, even if the other owners didn’t think so.

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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

of e HSV the sea Th s

BAR CRUSHER 670HT

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he Bar Crusher made the best first impression, rolling into JB atop a black-rimmed Easytow trailer hauled behind a rumbling burgundy 200 Series Cruiser. The Bar Crusher design team clearly got all the lines right on this #fishingweapon. The angles are imposing yet well-proportioned, and it was no real surprise that she romped home in the coolfactor category. The crew of Steve and Frankie also made the best first impression, with matchymatchy hats, matchy-matchy black-rimmed glasses and a cucumber-cool attitude. It was clear the Italian-bred boys had done some serious sea time together — the rig perfectly decked out for long-range touring with slide-out Engel fridge, 19-inch TV, pie warmer, tackle storage galore, fish bins and trick lighting. Every touring option was ticked off, complementing a 280L fuel tank and the longest cabin in class. The Bar Crusher has plenty of other tricks. The flip-forward window hatch is a cool feature not seen on the other rigs. It’s perfect for letting the breeze flow in on those long, calm summer days trolling

The “cool-factor” category was a shoe-in for the 670HT.

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“THE BAR CRUSHER DESIGN TEAM CLEARLY GOT ALL THE LINES RIGHT ON THIS #FISHINGWEAPON.”

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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

Thumbs up

The flip-up window is perfect for letting the breeze flow in on those long, calm summer days.

on the east coast, before sliding out the Engel fridge from under the passenger helm seat and reaching for another Carlton Dry. The design and detail on the ‘Crusher stood out from the fleet, its DNA echoing years of well-practised boat building. One of the judges mused that the options list limited the 670 to a two-man game-fishing rig, and a few suspected the extra weight created drag through the sea. It was particularly noticeable through turns when it bogged down like it had sandbags in the rear, costing points in ride and handling from the judges. Commercial fisherman Tony mused that it needed either bigger trim tabs, a different prop selection or engine height adjustment. Stability didn’t need any adjustment on the 670HT. The flooding keel made sure of that. Spooning side by side in the cabin would be no problem for the boys — no accidental rumpy-pumpy to worry about with

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400 to 500 litres down the guts. The ballast water can be easily expelled and the flap closed at the press of a button. It’s a good feature for mooching about in water no deeper than 60 cm around Steve’s home port of Tooradin, at the northern end of Westernport Bay, Victoria. Steve has plenty of sea time under his belt, particularly in big seas. Hell, he practically has a PhD in boats! So we asked him why he chose alloy given the perception of ‘glass being a better-handling ride in big seas. He says, “I’ve been in a lot of boats, and the main reason I chose alloy was that it’s easy to maintain and clean, you can pull ’em up on beaches and they’re light to tow. You might compromise the ride a bit with a plate boat, compared to a big ‘glass boat, but they’ve definitely come along way in the past 10 years. There would be a lot of alloy boats out there that would outperform ‘glass boats.” Touché.

• The king of cool • Matchy-matchy crew • Super tourer • Killer cabin in this class • Biggest fuel tank in class • Window hatch and awesome wiper • Winning fit-out • High build quality • Cold beers and hot pies

Thumbs down

• Over-snug game-fishing for more than three • Dragged bum through turns • Different engine or prop set-up? • Some harsh edges in key spots (passenger grab rail and footrests at helm) • Smallest deck space • No grab rail on roof at front

Cabin length from forward bulkhead to end of cabin Bar Crusher 670HT 170cm Stabicraft 2100 162cm Ozsea 650HT 158cm Surtees 650 Workmate 150cm


If this deck doesnt’t make you want to pack the Tiagras and go game fishing, then nothing will.

The Crusher offers the biggest cabin in the class.

“THE DESIGN AND DETAIL ON THE CRUSHER STOOD OUT FROM THE FLEET.” The Bar Crusher was the heaviest rig at Jervis Bay, and it sure felt like it on the water.

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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

“WINNING THE QUINELLA OF THE MOST STABLE AND BEST RIDE IS AN IMPRESSIVE FEAT.”

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SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

! R E N WIN

or of the s brad eas La

STABICRAFT 2100 SUPERCAB

W

e reckon the Stabicraft 2100 is the labrador of the seas. It’s safe, predictable, and by the end of the alloy shootout it was everyone’s best friend. It hasn’t always been that way for the Kiwi constructor. Not so long ago, the Stabi was considered an ugly duckling with a bumpy ride that did nothing to sway Aussie voters. But the R&D team took a long sip of L&P, got their shit together and now deserve a 2100 per cent pay rise because every judge (bar one) rated the 2100 the best overall rig on Jervis Bay. Safe and stable: that’s what we expect from a Stabicraft. The scores for stability at rest (rock’n’roll) averaged nine-plus from the judging panel — no surprises there. What was a surprise to the judges was the quality of the ride. It was judged best ride in class from the owners of the other boats and equal first with the Surtees when all the scorecards were tallied up. Winning the quinella of the most stable and best ride is an impressive feat. Steve rated it, “soft underfoot, tracks straight, handles extremely well — I’d buy one if I didn’t have a Bar Crusher.” Tony said, “it was on rails, very balanced, sat well in the water and travelled very nicely.” It looked like a tank and felt like one, too. Where other rigs added bits to complete the picture, the Stabi had it all built in. It was resolved. The built-in bait station with split lid was the standout feature of all boats.

The Stabicraft looked like a tank — and felt like one, too.

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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

! R E N WIN

Many of the features such as seat boxes, footrests and storage are built into the hull design of the Stabicraft 2100.

“Missy” Mel takes a nap after putting a respectable dent in the Jervis Bay squid population.

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The Honda 150 punched out some very impressive numbers.

Thumbs up

• Supreme ride and stability • Highest internal freeboard • Quietest ride (foam-filled) • Best bait station configuration going around • Family favourite for safety • Built-in strength • Impressive Honda numbers!

Thumbs down

• Not the king of cool for everyone • No dive door for big fish • No built-in tackle storage • Rod holders don’t inspire confidence on 1000-pounders • Steering wheel and throttle position a bit low for tall guys • Deck-wash/bait-pump tap position not easily accessible • Not overly optioned at $100K (but still won best bang for buck)

Internal freeboard at middle of cockpit Stabicraft 2100 83cm Bar Crusher 670HT 80.5cm Surtees 650 Workmate 74cm Ozsea 650HT 63cm

“THE BUILT-IN BAIT STATION WITH SPLIT LID WAS THE STANDOUT FEATURE OF ALL BOATS.” Others wondered why more boats didn’t have the same configuration. Either side of the bait station sit two sturdy fold-down seats that double as steps. You can barely tell they’re there when folded away. The driver and passenger footrests are moulded into the bulkhead and the storage compartments are part of the lifering structure. These built-in features all added to the structural rigidity. There were no extra welded bits to improve strength (like the struts on the Bar Crusher, running from the floor up to the side pockets at midships). Garry said, “the dollars are built into the strength of the hull.” Bang for buck was an interesting topic of conversation. The Stabicraft won the category unconvincingly, averaging 7.9 out of 10. It seemed none of the boats really blew away the judges for value. At $100K for the Stabi, most expected a few more options. Maybe some built-in tackle storage or a dive door? Some of us left the shootout thinking, what else could we get for $100K that offered the same versatility as the Stabicraft? Let’s be honest, though, no amount of Sailor Jerry was going to definitively answer that question. Owner Greg was best qualified to answer the question of Stabicraft

value. He cut his teeth in a Haines Hunter V17L, and then later skippered a Seafarer Viper with twin 175s — two boats with pretty big reputations. With his next boat he wanted something that would be “the complete package”. Greg also confessed that he is a bit of a Malcolm Douglas fan and sees himself touring the Kimberly in a beat-up hardtop tinnie at some stage in his life. (If Malcolm was around, he might take issue with that scarf though, Greg.) Greg first laid eyes on the Stabicraft 2100 at Webbe Marine. He was sold on its smart layout — from the cabin all the way to the bait station. He’d heard good things about the ride so he handed over the $100K and 12 months and 100 hours later he hasn’t looked back. His co-pilot is Missy (Mel), an avid fisho who loves being out on the water. Greg says she’s the one who is first up in the morning, packing the boat, skippering and catching most of the fish. Now that she’s seen the capabilities of the Stabicraft (thanks to the experienced hands at the alloy shootout), Mel says she’ll never travel anywhere slower than 30 knots — and that the seagulls had better watch their feathered backs.

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FEATURE ALLOY SHOOTOUT

B o at sp e c s

MODEL OWNER LENGTH BEAM DEAD-RISE BOTTOM SIDES TOP SIDES FUEL TANK SELF-DRAINING BALLAST TANKS BMT WEIGHT HULL WARRANTY RECOMMENDED MIN HP RECOMMENDED MAX HP

BAR CRUSHER

OZSEA

STABICRAFT

SURTEES

670HT Steven Cerra 6.7 metres 2.35 metres 20 degree 5mm 4mm 280L No 400L 2400kg 5-year hull warranty 150HP 200HP

650HT Todd & Guy Templeton 6.5 metres 2.47 metres 15 degree 5mm 4mm 150L Yes No 1800kg (est.) NA 140HP 200HP

2100 Supercab Greg Vidler 6.4 metres 2.3 metres 20 degree 5mm 3mm (tube) 200L No No 2000kg (est.) 3-year hull warranty 130HP 225HP

Workmate 650 Garry Dunn 6.5 metres 2.34 metres 20 degree 5mm 4mm 200L Yes 300L 1650kg 10-year hull warranty 115HP 200HP

ENGINE SPECS

ENGINE SPECS

ENGINE SPECS

ENGINE SPECS

ENGINE MAKE MODEL TYPE DISPLACEMENT WEIGHT

Suzuki DF200 lean-burn 4-cylinder 2.9L 241kg (531lb) on 25” shaft

Suzuki DF175 4-cylinder 2.9L 237kg (523lb) on 25” shaft

Honda BF150 V-TEC 4-cylinder 2.4L 220kg (478lb) on 25” shaft

Mercury 150 FourStroke 4-cylinder 3L 206kg (455lb) on 25” shaft

FUEL BURN / SPEED

FUEL BURN / SPEED

FUEL BURN / SPEED

FUEL BURN / SPEED

1000 RPM 2000 RPM 3000 RPM 4000 RPM 5000 RPM WIDE-OPEN THROTTLE

2.6L per hour @ 4.9 knots 6.8L per hour @ 7 knots 15.5L per hour @ 8.4 knots 25.6L per hour @ 23 knots 43.7L per hour @ 30 knots 5700RPM / 63lph / 35 knots

2L per hour @ 4.6 knots 6.8L per hour @ 7 knots 14L per hour @ 13.5 knots 24L per hour @ 23 knots 44L per hour @ 31 knots 5800RPM / 60lph / 35.6 knots

1.8L per hour @ 4.5 knots 4.8L per hour @ 6.8 knots 12L per hour @ 10 knots 19.2L per hour @ 16 knots 31L per hour @ 27 knots 5800RPM / 52lph / 33.3 knots

3L per hour @ 4.7 knots 7.5L per hour @ 7 knots 16.3L per hour @ 16 knots 24.8L per hour @ 23 knots 40L per hour @ 30 knots 5500RPM / 54.5lph / 32 knots

*Fuel figures conducted running downhill in a 15-20 knot breeze with three adults onboard

CUSTOM BITS

PRICE PAID NAME ADDRESS

PHONE WEB

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OPTIONS

OPTIONS

OPTIONS

OPTIONS

Easytow alloy trailer, Engel fridge, Raymarine A128, TV, pie warmer

Precision trailer, 2 X Garmin 7410X, Virb camera, custom seats

Dunbier trailer, Lowrance Gen3, HDS12

Dunbier trailer, $15K of Raymarine gear, ES97/ES98, auto-pilot

PRICE

PRICE

PRICE

PRICE

$113,000

$80,000

$103,000

$100,000

MORE INFORMATION

MORE INFORMATION

MORE INFORMATION

MORE INFORMATION

Bar Crusher Boats 5 Quality Drive, Dandenong, South Vic 3175 Australia 0408 776 080 www.barcrusher.com.au

Ozsea Plate Boats Factory 4, 3-4 Patrick Court, Seaford, Vic 3198 Australia 0417 327 581 / 0408 862 684 www.ozseaplateboats.com.au

Stabicraft Marine 345 Bluff Road, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand +64 3 211 1828 www.stabicraft.com

Surtees Boats 2909 State Highway 30, RD2, Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand + 64 7 322 8461 www.surteesboats.com


SCORING CRITERIA 1. COOL FACTOR Criteria: Is this a boat that would turn heads at the ramp? 9 or 10 – It’s a neck-breaker with plenty of drool. 7 or 8 – Gets an admiring stare. 5 or 6 – Gets an approving nod. 2. IN THE SADDLE Criteria: How is the ride and handling on this boat? Think about the softness of the landing, feedback through the hull, handling characteristics, ride into the sea — and in a trailing sea, heeling into the wind, general performance and fun factor. 9 or 10 – It’s the Phar Lap of the sea. 7 or 8 – She trots nicely, but you have to hold on in a canter. 5 or 6 – She’s a buckin’ bronco! 3. ROCK ’N’ ROLL Criteria: Does this boat have good stability at rest? Is it the type of boat you’d want to take to the 12 Mile Reef and jig, or to the shelf and troll for marlin all day? 9 or 10 – It’s an absolute oil rig with only moderate roll in a sea. 7 or 8 – Pretty stable underfoot, but you can definitely feel the sea move under the hull. 5 or 6 – Rocks and rolls more than a rubber duckie in a typhoon. 4. DESIGN & DETAIL Criteria: How well is this boat designed for its intended purpose? Think about the layout, cabin access, dash size and angles, dive doors, gunwale usability, storage, etc. Don’t focus on the boltons; we want to know about the boat’s functionality and comfort levels in its raw form. Also consider the quality of finish, including the welds, paintwork, fittings and joinery — and general quality of finish. 9 or 10 – It’s the perfect bluewater battleship, just add water and accessories. 7 or 8 – Everything you’d need, in the right spot. 5 or 6 – It’s fitted out like an old Land Rover, but she’ll do the job. 5. BANG FOR BUCKS Criteria: What sort of value does this boat represent? Think about the hull price (as well as total BMT replacement cost), relative to its performance, features and quality of finish. Would you buy it? 9 or 10 – Unbeatable bang for buck — just take my money. 7 or 8 – It’s good value. 5 or 6 – Value is OK, but I’ll keep my options open…

Scoreboard

Bar Crusher 670HT

Tony Trav Jack Garry Steven Todd Greg Average Grinners Cool Factor 8 9 8 7 n/a 10 8 8.3 Winner In the Saddle 7 8 7.5 8 n/a 8 8 7.8 Rock’n’roll 8 9 8 7 n/a 9 8 8.2 Design & Detail 9 8 9 9 n/a 10 8 8.8 Winner Bang for Bucks 8 8 7.5 7 n/a 8 8 7.8 Total score 40 42 40 38 45 40 40.8 Average TOTAL 245

Ozsea 650HT

Tony Trav Jack Garry Steven Todd Greg Average Grinners Cool Factor 7.5 8.5 7.5 5 7 n/a 8 7.3 In the Saddle 8 8.5 9 7 7 n/a 7 7.8 Rock’n’roll 7 7 8 7 6 n/a 7 7.0 Design & Detail 6.5 7 7 7 7 n/a 7 6.9 Ouch! Bang for Bucks 7.5 8 8.5 6 8 n/a 8 7.7 Total score 36.5 39 40 32 35 37 36.6 Average TOTAL 219.5

Stabicraft 2100 Supercab

Tony Trav Jack Garry Steven Todd Greg Average Grinners Cool Factor 8.5 7.5 8 6 8 7 n/a 7.5 In the Saddle 8 8.5 8.5 9 9 10 n/a 8.8 Joint winner Rock’n’roll 8.5 9.5 10 10 9 9 n/a 9.3 Winner Design & Detail 9 9 8 9 8 9 n/a 8.7 Bang for Bucks 8 8.5 8 8 8 7 n/a 7.9 Winner Total score 42 43 42.5 42 42 42 42.3 Average TOTAL 253.5

Surtees 650 Workmate

Tony Trav Jack Garry Steven Todd Greg Average Grinners Cool Factor 8 7 8 n/a 7 7 7 7.3 In the Saddle 10 9 9.5 n/a 8 8 8 8.8 Joint winner Rock’n’roll 8 8.5 8 n/a 8 8 8 8.1 Design & Detail 8 8 7.5 n/a 7 7 6 7.3 Bang for Bucks 7 8 8.5 n/a 6 7 6 7.1 Total score 41 40.5 41.5 36 37 35 38.5 Average  TOTAL 231

The Stabicraft won because

Five of the six eligible judges rated the Stabicraft their top pick. Stability at rest was a lay down misère. Surprisingly to some, the 2100 took home the best ride at the shootout thanks to nines and 10s from the owners of the Bar Crusher, Surtees and Ozsea. The $100K Stabi also bagged the best bang for buck.

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STABI-ADVENTURE TEST

COROMANDEL

KINGS WHEN THE CREW FROM THE STABICRAFT DEVELOPMENT DIVISION INVADED THE LAID-BACK COROMANDEL PENINSULA, R&D WAS PRETTY QUICKLY REPLACED BY R&R — BECAUSE THE LOCAL STABI JOCKEYS KNEW EXACTLY WHERE THE BIG FISH WERE BITING. SORRY BOSS. Word s and images by the Sta b ic r a f t R&D D e p a r tm e nt

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SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

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STABI-ADVENTURE TEST

T

he Coromandel Peninsula is on the North Island of New Zealand, about three hours from Auckland, but it’s everything Auckland isn’t. White sandy beaches and rocky shoals nestle below mountains covered in native rainforest. It’s friendly, laid-back and unspoiled. Seaside towns are dotted along a narrow road that snakes along the shoreline of the Firth of Thames on the western side of the Peninsula. Small coves are fringed with flowering Pohutukawa trees and weatherboard homes. Tractors patiently rust away in well-kept yards. The sleepy peninsula wakes up at the change of tide when local fisherman launch their tinnies in pursuit of kahawai, snapper, kingfish, sharks and marlin out wide. Murray Conder is one of them.

BACK IN THE DAY

Murray runs and co-owns a Holiday Park in the tiny seaside town of Te Puru. He’s a Stabicraft man from way back — almost 20 years, in fact. Back then, Murray had a boat shop in Tauranga and wanted to develop a boat brand. He saw Stabicraft was going places, so cheekily rang up Stabi CEO Paul Adams and said, “Alright, I want to take on a franchise.” As Murray reflects, “Back then they had the big round pontoons; a bulldozer if you like, that’s what people used to call them. But they were an innovative company, prepared to change things. It just grew and grew and grew.” The DNA of today’s models can be traced back to Murray’s early feedback, he reckons. “When we first took on Stabicraft, they never had any anchoring — they all drift-fished. We got together with Paul and said, ‘OK, these boats need to be designed to hold 100m (328ft) of chain and rope’. So we helped design the anchor bins. We also helped with the internals of the boat including the seating, fuel tanks and bunks. Then, of course, there was the live-bait tank. Me and my sons wanted to fish with live bait, so we designed the tank, put the plastic in front and Stabicraft built it.” The success of the franchise is evident in Murray’s own DNA. His three sons all work in the boating industry, all related to a Stabicraft boat. Murray’s knowledge of Stabicraft is only surpassed by his knowledge of the local fishing scene, having fished it for almost 40 years. So STABIMAG popped in for a visit. Yes, we admit it — we were towing a kitted-out, black carbon 1600 Fisher packed with fishing rods and a few beers —

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"THE COROMANDEL PENINSULA IS ABOUT THREE HOURS FROM AUCKLAND, BUT IT’S EVERYTHING AUCKLAND ISN’T."


THE LINE-UP: Murray's Stabicraft 509XR Wide squares off against the R&D department's 1600 Fisher Carbon.

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STABI-ADVENTURE TEST

RED ALERT: This nice snapper was caught on half a bonito, unweighted.

"THE FISH CAME THICK AND FAST AND WITHIN A MATTER OF HOURS WE’D LANDED A LARGE FEED OF PAN-SIZED SNAPPER AND KAHAWAI."

MIGHTY MURRAY: Murray organised a big ol' snapper fry-up for the R&D department.

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all in the name of product research, just in case the Stabi Boss is reading this. The Firth of Thames is reasonably shallow, no deeper than 26m, with little bottom structure. But it can whip up with some serious wind swell and the snapper seem to love it. Murray offered to take us for a run in his trusty old Stabi — and we hadn’t even offered him a beer. This research trip was getting sweeter by the minute. “What time should we meet, Murray? 5am? 4am?” “Jeez, you fellas are keen,” Murray laughed. “Let’s make it 11am. Don’t worry, we’ll catch fish on the outgoing tide and the first of the run in.” Now these are the kind of gentleman’s hours a crew could get used to.

THE FISH ARE BITING

We finally rolled down the long concrete ramp and hit the water in Murray’s old-model Stabicraft 509XR Wide. It’s called Black Heart, after the rum. The name is a throwback to his sponsored fishing days when, somehow, he managed to stay sober long enough to win competitions. After gliding over glassy seas for about 10 minutes we landed at “the spot”, 13m–14m deep in the channel. We deployed some baited snapper snatches and jigs, as well as some lightly weighted pilchards on suicide hooks. It didn’t take long for Murray’s boat rods to start flopping downwards and the old monofilament to start stretching. The fish came thick and fast and within a matter of hours we’d landed a large feed of pan-sized snapper and kahawai. Some kingfish assaulted our baits in mid-water, so a live salmon was sent out as an invitation. A hammerhead took interest and eventually munched the poor little roughie into chum. A ginormous bonito was sent back into the briny, cut in half lengthways and pierced with a couple of 6/0 hooks. Soon the rod started clattering like an old Land Rover. One of the STABIMAG crew mounted the gunwales and began the battle to subdue a big snapper.

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STABI-ADVENTURE TEST

After turning its head, he claimed victory, but when the 4kg red slid into the net, Murray muttered that it was “only 3kg”. Back at the boat ramp, he disappeared with the chilly bin. “Er, not planning on sharing the snapper, Muzz?” we enquired. “Yeah, of course, fellas. I just dropped it over at the fish shop. They’re going to cook it up real nice for us. We’ll have it for tea!” You beauty. Even after a beating in his own backyard, Murray had organised a big fry-up. You don’t get that kind of service every day.

MERCURY RISING

Our glassy session was topped off with a delicious dinner on the cabin deck. We could definitely get used to this style of fishing and hospitality. We probed him for a few more choice spots and he suggested we try working around on the other side of the Coromandel Peninsula, out by the Mercury Islands. Best of all, he knew of another local fisherman — Gene Denton, a fellow Stabi jockey. Gene is a charter operator running Whitiangler adventure charters by day, police officer by night. We got on the scanner to inform him of our mission. “Boys, jump in the car and meet me at Kuaotunu boat ramp,” Gene shot back. “I’ll get ya onto some big kings. Just obey the speed limit, eh? Don’t wanna have to book ya!” Good point. Mr Adams probably wouldn’t appreciate a speeding ticket on the expenses claim. We got up at 3am and sliced our way through the dirt roads over the rugged mountains. We met Gene at sunrise and launched the 1600 Fisher on a shallow sandy ramp. Gene had brought his boat

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along — a blue 1850 Supercab running a Yamaha 130HP engine. After a quick live-bait pit stop for jack mackerel, we motored out past the mighty Mercury Islands towards an underwater mountain range. Stacks of marauding kings sat above the pinnacles and every live bait we set down got snuffled. It may sound like a turkey shoot, but this required serious ammunition. Short rods, locked-up Saragosa drags and coloured 80lbplus braid connected to circle hooks were the weapons of choice. After a couple of hours and 10 kingies well over the magic metre mark, we pleaded for mercy. “That’s enough Gene! Please, let us go back to the Invercargill factory.” He just smiled, saying, “C’mon fellas, man up. They get to 30kg around here.”

WHITIANGLER ADVENTURES

Gene’s motto is “new day, new adventure” — and there is no shortage of new adventures to be had in his local waters on the Coromandel Peninsula. To get onboard contact Gene on +64 21116 5074 or email him at info@whitiangler.com. To see what’s boating check out his Facebook page www.facebook.com/whitiangler/.

A JOB WELL DONE

After icing our swollen elbows, our thoughts turned to icy beers. Luke’s Kitchen was our salvation. This rustic seaside cafe in Kuaotunu has hot pizza and cold German beers on tap served to the beat of some rhythmic tunes. The friendly, raven-haired waitress wore a T-shirt that advised: “Make Pizza, Not War”. In total agreement, we ordered a few more pints plus a delicious triple P pizza featuring prawn, pepperoni and pesto. Job done, we wallowed in German hops and kingfish glory, looking out towards the majestic Mercury Islands and beyond. It was surely a damn fine day to be working in the Stabicraft research department.

TE PURU HOLIDAY PARK

If you want to enjoy life in the slow lane, give Murray Conder a call at the Te Puru Holiday Park. Be sure to drop your catch off at the local fish ’n’ chip shop. +64 7 868 2879; www.tepuruholidaypark.co.nz

"IT WAS SURELY A DAMN FINE DAY TO BE WORKING IN THE STABICRAFT RESEARCH DEPARTMENT."

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ADVENTURE TEST STABICRAFT 2750

WHITE CAPS &

SILVER MACKS THE CAPTAIN TACKLES NORTHERN NSW IN ONE OF THE FIRST STABICRAFT 2750 CENTRECABS TO HIT AUSSIE SHORES.

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WO R D S a n d I M A GE S Th e C a pt a i n

S

tabicraft recently put together a fully decked-out, custom 2750 Centrecab for gun Kiwi fisherman Matt Watson — you know, the crazy bloke that catches marlin from surfboards and giant tuna on handlines? Anyway, the boat was so well received, Stabi decided to put it into production. Northside Marine in Brisbane snapped one up straight away, then wired up a sounder and dropped on a pair of shiny new F150 Yammies. Looked like The Captain was heading to Queensland. Matt Watson fishes bloody hard, so we were pretty confident that this 8.4m, full-walkaround beast was going to max out the fishability spectrometer. Just to be sure, we called up a snapback cap-wearing mate who fishes just as hard, Jason Hedges. Based in Kingscliff, northern NSW, Jase has caught more mackerel in his time than The Captain has had homemade dinners. These days he pings poppers over shallow reefs and hauls fat kingfish off deep-water pinnacles on jigs. He also guides for Nomad Sportfishing in his spare time, helping wealthy overseas anglers catch the giant GTs of their (wet) dreams. At the moment, Jase is looking for a boat to get back into the commercial/charter game, so we teed up a fish with him on Northside’s shiny new 2750.

SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

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ADVENTURE TEST STABICRAFT 2750

BIG BLOW

As we lined up the Tweed River bar crossing, all we could see on the other side was whitecaps. Jase dropped the throttles on the 2750 and powered the big girl through the slop. The sharp entry into the water combined with the arrow pontoons meant she punched the spray out and away, while any water that landed on the windscreen or top of the cab drained neatly off to the flanks. It’s usually hard to measure stability while you’re underway, but you can always feel it in a Stabicraft. The boat runs flat across the water and doesn’t wallow on its sides at low speed. The 2750 can be fitted with trim tabs, but you’d probably only need them if you were hauling lots of people and gear extra-long distances. With the big fish bin in the cabin completely empty, we noticed some acoustics through the floor when steaming into a head sea. But it’s by no stretch of the imagination a loud ride — especially with the foam-injected pontoons. Speaking of the cabin, it’s not every day you see a centrecab that rocks a lock-up bi-folding door as standard. All four of us on board cruised out comfortable and dry within the cab.

CAST OFF

After an unsuccessful bait-gathering session, we pointed the 2750 south towards a spot imaginatively named “9 Mile” in search of topwater action. Jase fired huge Cubera poppers over the shallow reef from the forward casting platform, while Bill Hull from Northside played it cool, ripping metal slices across the surface from the rear cockpit. Bill showed the young bucks how it was done, hooking up and subduing a chunky 4kg (8.8lb) mack tuna. Not to be overshadowed, Jase grabbed the tuna and said, “Thanks Bill, that’ll make great bait,” before nonchalantly sliding the confused fish headfirst into the massive tuna tubes. A lot of fishing innovation really has gone into this boat, particularly at the pointy end. To maximise the amount of flat fishing space, Stabi have designed a casting platform that extends along the bowsprit. This means you can’t actually see the anchor from the helm of the boat – a bit of a challenge for the skipper, but awesome for the casting crew. The bow rail is rolled in to give you something to lean against while you’re chugging big poppers or swimming shiny stickbaits, and the anchor

FISTFUL OF STICKS: With a range of species calling Tweed Heads home, we packed a mixed bag of tackle.

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KILLER CAB: Even with the walkaround configuration, there’s still seating for six burly blokes.

“A LOT OF FISHING INNOVATION REALLY HAS GONE INTO THIS BOAT, PARTICULARLY AT THE POINTY END.”

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ADVENTURE TEST STABICRAFT 2750 winch is tucked neatly below deck alongside storage hatches for ropes, spare lures, leader or any other bits and pieces you’d use up on the bow. The non-skid that Stabicraft runs on their gunwales also extends to the bow and feels great underfoot. It’s a shame the rest of the boat was left with raw checker plate, as we could’ve fried an egg on the floor at midday. In fairness, Stabicraft does offer tube floor matting or teak imitation cabin flooring as optional extras.

BLACKS & MACKS

“THE BIRDS WERE IN A FRENZY AND MANTA RAYS WERE LAUNCHING FROM THE WATER 5M (16FT) INTO THE AIR.”

After bagging a few more mack tuna, we were in the middle of a team meeting to decide our next plan of attack when someone yelled, “Marlin!” A free-jumping black was hightailing it across the surface less than 100m (328ft) from the boat. Jase jumped into action setting a spread of lures and working the area. After no nibbles, we pulled the pin and went for round two on the livies. We filled the big 70L (18gal) live well up with yakkas, but could only muster one slimy mackerel (marlin candy around these parts). With the tide about to change, we cruised back to where we had spotted the marlin. The weather was so rough, the other boats had called it quits — but we were just getting started. The change brought the reef to life. Huge bait balls had formed right on the surface, the birds were in a frenzy and manta rays were launching from the water 5m (16ft) into the air. We drifted the reef edge for about five minutes before the little Tiagra 16 with the live slimy on it got an inquiry. Smack! The bait got aggressively bill-whacked by a little marlin, which then turned away uninterested — hadn’t his mum told him not to play with his food? We retrieved the slimy to find him looking like he’d been beaten to a pulp with a baseball bat. With only yakkas left in the tank, we switched our efforts to Spanish mackerel. Jase brought out his neat pre-made rig bag and delicately removed his secret Spanish weapon: a wire rig with a circle hook, treble stinger and lumo skirt. We lined up another drift and sent the yakkas to work on the new rigs. It didn’t take long before the Tiagra 16 went off again, but this time it found another gear — this reel was about to take off. A heated battle dragged out before a fat 15kg (33lb) Spanish mackerel was hoisted over the gunwales. We’re not sure what was more impressive, the fish or the fact that four blokes were all leaning over the same side of the boat at once and the 2750 didn’t budge.

HELLUVA FIT-OUT

After high fives all round, we struggled to cram the big mack into the esky. We inspected the underfloor fish bins and decided they were too big. You’d need 200L (52gal) of ice to keep them cold for a day, but on the other hand, you could fill them with half a tonne of Spanish mackerel. The Captain’s not sure how practical this would be for a recreational fisho, but commercial blokes would be drooling over payload possibilities. You could fit anything from half a BCF store to a juvenile megalodon down there. Other features in the rear cockpit of the 2750 include the classic Stabicraft bait station.

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SAFE ‘N’ SOUND: The Stabicraft 2750 Centrecab features a lockable bi-folding door as standard.

LEFT: There’s almost $10K worth of Garmin electronics, including twin 10” screens and a 4kW radar. BOTTOM LEFT: Commercial fishos will be frothing over the underfloor fish bins. RIGHT: There’s an extra-large tackle drawer underneath the bait board. BOTTOM RIGHT: Storage galore underneath the casting platform.

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ADVENTURE TEST STABICRAFT 2750

TOOOONA TUBES: Two of these babies come as standard the tuna tubes that is, not the fish!

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Usually, the centralised compartment holds batteries, live bait tank and baitboard. We’re big fans of that set-up. This one was a little different — the live well has been moved to the port side of the transom, replaced by a big tackle drawer underneath the baitboard. It doesn’t look as tidy and we’re undecided whether it’s more or less practical. It looks like we’ll have to go fishing with Bill again! Inside the cabin it feels like a US Army troop carrier. There are four inward-facing fold-down seats, which work well. For the skipper and first mate there are two Softrider pedestals — the most comfortable seats we’ve ever plonked our weary buttocks on in a Stabi — and with the addition of a bolster, they are also great for leaning against. One of The Captain’s favourite Stabi features is the berth extension/cargo barrier, which comes standard on the 2750. This boat is just turn-key after fitting out the engines and electronics. The standard features list is almost three times longer than the options list! However, The Captain would love to see some additional internal storage, especially those great cabin side pockets we’ve come to love in other models. And it did get mighty sweaty in the cabin, even with both windows cracked and the optional Maxwell roof hatch open. A 12V or USB powered fan would probably sort that in the interim, but a more permanent factoryfitted solution would be better.


Boat specs

TWINS GET THE GRINS

The Yamaha punched out a clean set of fours. At 4000RPM we were travelling at 40km/h (24mp/h) and burning 40L/h (10gal) combined — incredible numbers for an 8.4m (27ft) rig. In fact, combined with the 500L (132gal) fuel tank it can travel 500km (310 miles), almost enough to get from Cooktown to the tip of Cape York in one whack. Although the F150XBs had plenty of poke and killer efficiency, if The Captain owned this ride he’d be going up to twin Yamaha F200XCAs, which are lighter and have flyby-wire controls. That’s not even close to maxing out the hull though. You can strap on up to 500HP and still be street-legal — yeehah!

NAILED IT

After an awesome day on the water, we slid the boat back onto the trailer and pulled her out of the drink. It was such a bonus to be able to tow this boat with a stock Land Cruiser — there aren’t many 8.4m (27ft) rigs you can do that with. Stabicraft have done an awesome job of bringing a commercial boat feel into the production boat category. It definitely has Matt Watson’s DNA all over it (not literally, we hope) and if Stabicraft asked The Captain or Jase to design a boat for them, we couldn’t have nailed it any better.

STABICRAFT 2750 CENTRECAB Length: 8.4m (27ft) Beam: 2.49m (8ft) Dead-rise: 21.5 degrees Seating capacity: 9 Dry Hull Weight (approx): 1,990kg (4,387lb) Fuel capacity: 500L (132gal) Standard HP: Twin 150HP Maximum HP: Twin 250HP ENGINE SPECS: Model: 2 x Yamaha F150XB Type: DOHC 16-Valve In-line 4 Displacement: 2.67L Weight: 228kg (502lb) PRICE: Starting from: $198,868 with twin Yamaha F150s and Dunbier trailer As tested: $221,945 SUPPLIED BY: Northside Marine 2294 Sandgate Rd, Boondall, Queensland. (07) 3265 8000. www.northsidemarine.com.au MORE INFORMATION: Stabicraft Marine 345 Bluff Road, Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand +64 (3) 211 1828. www.stabicraft.com

“IT WAS SUCH A BONUS TO BE ABLE TO TOW THIS BOAT WITH A STOCK LAND CRUISER.”

P ro s

& Con s

PROS

• Walkaround configuration was epic • No boat disperses water off a roof better than a Stabi • Four blokes working a fish all on the same side in a trailer boat is unheard of

CONS

• Not being able to see the anchor was a bit of a challenge • We missed the internal storage • Could’ve fried an egg on the checker plate floor • Large floor cavities (kill tanks) created more than usual noise levels.

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STABIHISTORY

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A BOATING

ICON I

BORN CELEBRATING ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2017, NEW ZEALAND’S STABICRAFT MARINE IS THE LARGEST BOAT MANUFACTURER IN A COUNTRY FAMED WORLDWIDE FOR ITS MARINE INNOVATION AND VESSEL DESIGN TECHNOLOGY. Wo rds a n d i m a g e s by t h e St a bi c ra f t R & D D e pa rt m e n t

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STABIHISTORY

WHERE IT ALL STARTED

Back in 1986, in a backyard workshop in Bluff, the southernmost town in the South Island, the first boat in what would become the Stabicraft lineage was built on the welding tips of Paul Adams and Bruce Dickens. A year later, the boys moved a few kilometres north to Invercargill and the name Stabicraft was given to the range. A dynasty was born. The first vessel was designed and built to service the demanding needs of abalone divers, working long days on coastline exposed to the relentless Southern Ocean. Such a boat needed to endure potential “interaction” with rocks while providing the positive buoyancy and stability to perform in conditions that included occasional swampings and rapid changes in loading. The solution the pair came up with was a 3.5m (11.4ft), rigid-hull, aluminiumchambered beast dubbed the Ally Duck. Its immediate success proved the concept as a commercial reality. A new category of commercial vessel was born and Stabicraft has led the development of the class ever since.

STABICRAFT GOES GLOBAL NICE ABS: The boat had to withstand swampings, rapid changes in loading and rogue ab divers.

In 1994, the Stabicraft team expanded its manufacturing base to its current HQ on the Bluff Highway in Invercargill, extending production capacity to meet growing demand. With a growing network of Kiwi dealers handling the local market, Stabicraft started to think globally, initially exporting

to British Columbia in Canada, then the US and across the ditch to Australia. The company also agreed on a licensing arrangement with UK manufacturer Thanetcraft, which marketed and sold Stabicraft boats under its own brand.

THE RANGE EXPANDS

Initially focusing on commercial applications, Stabicraft boats began to get increasing attention from the recreational boating scene. In 1996, the company unveiled the 550XC, the first vessel designed and built expressly for the family and recreational market. Within a year, this increased focus on recreational fishers led to the development of the Generation II pontoon, the first significant design change in a decade. The Generation II had a more streamlined profile and better functionality, making it even more enticing to dads who were looking for more family comfort and safety in a boat that could also crank out the performance when required. By the end of the ’90s, demand in Australia had led to the establishment of a dealer network, which served to increase demand in this large boating market. This also brought the Stabicraft concept to the attention of the United Nations and other global aid agencies. Back home in New Zealand, the 630HT won “Best Fishing Boat” at the 1998 Auckland Boat Show, cementing the vessel as top dog in the demanding offshore fishing market.

WORKIN’ STABI: The first of the lineage was designed and built to service the demanding needs of abalone divers.

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“THE SOLUTION THE PAIR CAME UP WITH WAS A 3.5M, RIGID-HULL, ALUMINIUM-CHAMBERED BEAST DUBBED THE ALLY DUCK.”

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STABI-HISTORY

ASK THE DOC: Doc Warner’s Lodge boasts the largest privately-owned Stabicraft fleet in the world.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE

BIG RIG: The Delphinidae is the largest Stabicraft ever built. It was too big for the factory doors, so the rear wall was taken off the building to get the boat out.

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As early as 1994, CEO Paul Adams had begun to take a serious interest in the American Pacific Northwest, including the states of Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Aluminium was already the product of boatbuilding choice in the region, but locals had yet to discover chambered buoyancy, a concept particularly well suited to the challenging conditions of these often icy latitudes. In 1999, Stabicraft donated two vessels to the Keiko Foundation, to assist the return of captured orca whales to Icelandic waters. Meanwhile, the Jean-Michel Cousteau Oceanographic Institute purchased a 630HT for its research facility in California. In the mid 2000s, the acclaimed Doc Warner’s Lodge in Alaska was looking for a safer boat to service its self-guide fishing model. The lodge team realised the virtually unsinkable Stabicraft, with positive buoyancy built into a “life-ring” shape surrounding the hull, was ideally suited to the rigours of use on Excursion Inlet. Two vessels were ordered and put into immediate service. Today, the lodge has the largest privately-owned Stabicraft fleet in the world with 31 hulls. Last year, Doc Warner’s Lodge proclaimed itself an exclusively Stabicraft facility. The Pacific Northwest market continues to perform beyond expectations for Stabicraft, driven in part by the specifically designed Ultracab series as well as the 2750 Centrecab.


“IN 1999, STABICRAFT DONATED TWO VESSELS TO THE KEIKO FOUNDATION, TO ASSIST THE RETURN OF CAPTURED ORCA WHALES TO ICELANDIC WATERS.” LEFT: A Stabicraft 425 with Evinrude jet power awaiting delivery. BOTTOM LEFT: The original factory in a backyard workshop in Bluff. BELOW: The factory today showcases state-of-the-art fit-up bays. RIGHT: The 2750 Centrecab is growing in popularity around the world.

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STABI-HISTORY

BETTER BOATS BUILT SMARTER

By 2005, expansion at Stabicraft HQ allowed for a production capacity of 1000 hulls per year. Numerous compliance certifications had been met to service its various international markets and customer types, from family boaters and offshore anglers to search-and-rescue and commercial fishing applications. Celebrated angler and TV host Matt Watson had come on board, marking the beginning of an enduring relationship that would include an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in the US. A student of the Six Sigma manufacturing process developed by

Motorola in the 1980s, Adams — named a member of the NZ Order of Merit in 2007 for services to business — continued to explore improvements in technology and organisation. Better boats built smarter continued to be the company mantra. The adoption of Autodesk Inventor 3D modelling software for the 759SC Sport was one example of this innovation focus. The vessel’s 2008 launch heralded the introduction of revolutionary Gen 3 pontoons, which, coupled with a slight hull modification, gave improved on-water performance and was the first boat designed where options could be retrospectively fitted.

“CELEBRATED ANGLER AND TV HOST MATT WATSON HAD COME ON BOARD, MARKING THE BEGINNING OF AN ENDURING RELATIONSHIP.”

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NEXT GEN: In 2008 the company launched the revolutionary Gen 3 pontoons, giving better performance and fit-up options.

HIT THE BRAKES: The press brake turns 2D components into 3D.

CUT ‘N’ SHUT: One of two ART CNC routers in action at Stabicraft HQ.

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STABI-HISTORY

ARROW PONTOONS, GAME CHASERS, ULTRACABS AND MORE

TOP: The 1850SC Arrow pontoons hard at work. ABOVE: Fleet of 6.9m models built for Australian Customs and Border Protection. BELOW: Sealegs and Stabicraft collaborated and today there are over 60 of these vessels in operation.

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With great success comes great responsibility. By the late 2000s, the Stabicraft brand was a household name in its two largest markets, New Zealand and Australia. In 2011, the launch of the 1850 Supercab with Game Chaser transom and Arrow pontoons marked one of the most important milestones in the company’s history. Allowing marked improvements in hull performance, particularly for offshore game fishermen, these two features put subsequent models well ahead of their competitors. Stabicraft continued to go from strength to strength. The 1600 Fisher Carbon won international design acclaim at the 2016 Red Dot Awards and further commercial success was underlined by big overseas orders — such as nine boats for the Australian Federal Police deployment operating in Honiara. The company then began a collaboration with amphibious vessel designer Sealegs. This led to the release of the 2100 Supercab ST range built specifically for boaters who need to adventure further and now also available in Scandinavia. With international success a highlight of the past couple of years, Stabicraft Marine reckons the sky’s the limit. In fact, Adams and the team are already working on their Scandinavian accents.

“THE LAUNCH OF THE 1850 SUPERCAB WITH GAME CHASER TRANSOM AND ARROW PONTOONS MARKED ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MILESTONES IN THE COMPANY’S HISTORY.”


KEY MOMENTS IN STABICRAFT HISTORY 1986

Paul Adams and Bruce Dickens build their first rigid-hulled, aluminium-chambered boat — the 3.5m (11.4ft) Ally Duck.

1988

Powerboat Centre in Christchurch becomes the first Stabicraft dealer. First Stabicraft hulls exported to British Columbia, Canada.

2002

2011

2003

2014

Dan Lomax appointed Stabicraft representative in US. Customised 14m (46ft) Delphinidae, built for Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura. The largest Stabicraft ever built, it is too big for the factory doors, so the rear wall is taken off the building to get the boat out.

2004

Registers and complies with Australian Builders Plate level flotation standards — the first manufacturer to sign up to standards that become mandatory in 2006.

2005

$1 million HQ upgrade/expansion. Production capacity now 1000 boats per year on a single shift. TV star Matt Watson officially becomes an ambassador for the brand.

1850 Supercab marks a major design change. Greatly improved ride and performance. Stabicraft and Sealegs create 2100 Supercab ST. First African dealership (Zambezi Marine) and new dealership in Tahiti. Stabicraft commercial delivers eight 6.9m model boats to the Northern Territory Police; nine 8.8m model boats to the Australian Federal Police in Honiara, Vanuatu.

2015

Wins Westpac Southland Innovation Award. 1600 Fisher wins national Purple Dot Design Award. 2750 Centrecab launched as a class-leading offshore sportfisher after extensive collaboration with Matt Watson.

1994

Boats exported to distributors in the US and Australia.

1996

The 550XC unveiled — Stabicraft’s first boat for the family/recreational market.

2016

1997

Stabicraft attains New Zealand Way brand accreditation — a joint initiative of NZ Tourism and TradeNZ to mark quality, excellence and environmental responsibility. Generation II pontoon launched.

1998

Trans-Tasman Marine appointed Stabicraft distributors in Australia. 630HT wins “Best Fishing Boat” at Auckland Boat Show.

1999

Company donates 4.3m and 5.15m cabin boats to Free Willy Keiko Foundation. Launch of Fisher and XR Sport. Jean-Michel Cousteau Oceanographic Institute buys a 630HT.

2001

St John Ambulance uses a 703HT during America’s Cup Regatta in Auckland. Manufacturing capacity increases to 500 boats per year. Stabicraft adopts CPC compliance plate — an independent quality control standard approved by Coast Guard and MIA (Marine Industry Association).

2006

Recognised by Southland Chamber of Commerce Export Forum as Exporter of the Year. 609HT wins “Aluminium Boat of the Show” at Christchurch Boat Show.

2007

Stabicraft uses Autodesk Inventor 3D modelling software on new 759SC Sport G3. First vessels exported to Doc Warner’s Lodge, Alaska — now owner of the largest private fleet of Stabicraft hulls in the world. Managing director Paul Adams named member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to business.

1550 Fisher becomes the highest-selling model. 2500 Ultracab XL launched specifically for the Pacific Northwest market after extensive market research and feedback from local boating professionals. Becomes blueprint for further Ultracab developments like 2750 Centrecab. NZ International Business Awards Finalist for Excellence in Design. Company wins Export Southland Company Recognition Award. 1600 Fisher Carbon wins international Red Dot Design Award.

2008

759 SC Sport is launched with the revolutionary Gen 3 pontoon, which, coupled with slight hull modifications, gives improved on-water performance. It is the first boat designed with multiple options that can be retrospectively fitted, adding value to the second-hand market. Matt Watson takes delivery of the first one. Stabicraft supply Doc Warner’s Lodge with eight 589 Frontier Alaskan Specials purpose-built for the US lodge-style fishing market.

2017

Stabicraft Scandinavia established.

2018

Stabicraft 2100 Supercab wins The Captain’s Alloy Shootout. First ever STABIMAG launched!

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COMMERCIAL-STABI

SCIENCE

UNDER THE

SOUTHERN

SEA

WE CAN’T SHOW YOU DANIEL IERODIACONOU’S FACE. THAT’S BECAUSE IT’S HIDDEN IN OCCY INK, CLAD IN 7MM RUBBER OR BURIED IN THICK BOOKS FOR VERY CLEVER BLOKES. THE CAPTAIN SLUNK INTO DEAKIN UNI IN WARNAMBOOL, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, TO MEET THE PROFESSOR AND FIND OUT WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON DOWN BELOW — AS WELL AS UP ABOVE — IN HIS COMMERCIAL CLASS 9.2M SUPERCAB.

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D

eakin University marine biologist Associate Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou — aka “the fish hypnotist” – spends a lot of time on, in and under the sea. He and his crew of sea scientists have been putting together 3-D maps and video of the underwater world off the Victorian coast — charting the topography of undersea valleys and mountains, ancient river systems, volcanic cones and lava flows. They’ve also been checking out the marine life and mapping sea floor habitats and have now charted more than 5500sq km (3417sq miles) of Victorian coastal waters using acoustic multi-beam sonar technology. “We’ve uncovered seascapes we didn’t know existed — from giant kelp forests to extensive sponge gardens. Some areas rival the corals of the Great Barrier Reef in terms of their complexity, colour, beauty and marine life,” the prof says. Spending childhood holidays at Lorne, watching his father spearfish and dive for abalone, Ierodiaconou has always been fascinated by the sea. He completed his first Pier to Pub swim at the age of 10 and was scuba diving by 14. After high school, he studied marine science at Deakin University, on the Warrnambool Campus where he ended up on the staff list.

SO WHAT DOES DAN DO WITH THIS UNDERWATER INFO?

“First, we collect physical information to characterise the seascape, then obtain biological collections. We integrate this information to make predictions about species distributions, abundance and connectivity of habitats. For the first time we have an accurate and comprehensive picture — including hotspots for marine plants and animal communities. Many of the locations we’re currently working in haven’t been visited since Matthew Flinders circumnavigated Australia and took depth readings from The Investigator in 1803. Coastal marine habitats are under threat from human use and a changing climate, and without this data it’s difficult to make informed management decisions. For example, in some areas, marine communities are changing due to climate change and range expansion of certain species. The research helps us understand the reef so we can sustainably manage our marine estate. What we’re doing now is important, but the real value will be in 10, 20 and 50 years’ time when the data is revisited to determine our impact.

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT THE GREAT SOUTHERN REEF? “The Great Southern Reef extends along the southern coastline of Australia. Scientists estimate it to be worth over 10 billion dollars to the economy, it’s home to a bounty of marine life in its cool temperate water — good news for recreational and commercial fishers — including the abalone and southern rock lobster that thrive in its seaweed forests. The reef was born about 60 million years ago when Australia started to separate from Antarctica. As the new continent moved north, the southern waters became geographically isolated, the distance from other continents

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COMMERCIAL-STABI

1 and the nature of ocean currents allowing species to evolve on their own. The upshot is that nearly 80 per cent of the plant and animal communities in these waters are found nowhere else. We’re on the doorstep of one of the largest upwelling systems in the world. In summer, prevailing south-easterly winds drive deep cool nutrient-rich water to the surface. This is the larder supporting commercial fisheries, one of Australia’s largest gannet colonies and Australian fur seals — not to mention the annual blue whale visits. It can be a challenging place to work, but if you get it right, the ocean is a bounty — from kingfish to southern bluefin tuna, quality bottom fishing and yes, rock lobsters in abundance.”

TELL STABIMAG A WEE BIT MORE ABOUT THOSE DELICIOUS ROCK LOBSTERS

“The prized lobster makes its home in the crevices of the southern reef surrounded by their favourite foods and algae — there’s a reason Phyllospora comosa kelp is known as ‘crayweed’. Their life cycle is complex. The larger the female lobster, the more eggs she can store under the tail. Once hatched, lobsters are at the mercy of ocean currents for nine to 24 months. They can travel quite a way in that time — the lobsters on a single reef may be related to larval supply thousands of kilometres away. They go through a number of biological changes (metamorphosis) before they

4

1: The doorstep to one of the largest upwelling systems in the world. 2: The reef was born 60 million years ago. 3: A legal lobster could be 10 years old. 4: Deakin’s purpose-built research vessel Yolla.

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2

“WHAT REALLY TURNS DAN ON IS THE DIVERSITY AND BOUNTY OF MARINE LIFE. THIS IS THE IDEAL PLACE TO BE A MARINE SCIENTIST.” settle. Most people don’t realise the legal-size lobster you see in the shops or in the water could be 10 years old and they get much bigger than that. This is why management of the fishery is so important; what we do now will impact stocks for decades to come. Catching lobster is not for the fainthearted. Often, to get near a lobster a diver has to squeeze into tight cracks — a bit challenging in a rolling swell. Amateurs often get stuck. The tendency is to lunge quickly, but this often leaves you with a handful of antennae. A lobster needs these to feed, so this damage limits the chance of their survival. The key is to go slow and ensure you get a grip on the base of the horns before engaging. Hold on tight and adjust your position to ensure you can extract your dinner.”

3

STABICRAFT TO THE RESCUE

Always fascinated by the sea, the prof developed Deakin’s purpose-built $650,000 research vessel Yolla, which boasts the most advanced sonar system in the world, Its latest-generation multi-beam sonar system is capable of measuring 400 beams up to 50 times a second (1.2 million soundings a minute!) to image the seabed, and remotely operated cameras are tracked underwater to provide video footage from deep below the surface. The vessel the scientists chose was the custom 9.2m (30ft) Stabicraft. Why? “The key is seaworthiness and stability. We don’t tend to work a lot in bays, so we need something that can handle tricky conditions in the Southern Ocean. The Stabi provides us with a stable platform to get the work done. For example, we spent six weeks mapping off Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park, the southernmost point of mainland Australia. We had tried to map the area twice before with larger ships, but were blown off the water with bad weather. Most of the research vessels with the type of kit we carry are 25m (82ft) plus. We wanted to be able to do the same quality of work, but on a cost-effective platform, and needed to be able to get to sites quickly to maximise weather windows and get out of the way when it blows. The Stabi’s trailer-ability is an advantage for mobility, and the twin Suzuki 250s allow for speed to 40 knots while also generating the juice to run a full computer rack and scientific gear.”


BREAKING DOWN BORDERS THERE’S SOMETHING ELSE DOWN THERE

“This region is also known as the Shipwreck Coast. It has some of the largest waves on Earth, treacherous coasts with high cliffs and limited safe harbour. Navigating these treacherous waters was a bit more of a challenge in the days of sail and steam, accounting for more than 600 known wrecks along the coast.” In the course of their research, the prof and his team have added another name to the ‘known’ list. They imaged the MV City of Rayville, the first US vessel sunk during WWII. She was blown up by a German mine in November 1940 off the coast of Cape Otway, in more than 70m (230ft) of water. With their high-tech sonar and remotely operated vehicles (ROV), the scientists were able to snap the first detailed images of the wreck. “It was very exciting to see the City of Rayville for the first time. Sponges and sea whips have colonised the exterior of the wreck and the hull is an artificial reef, attracting and providing habitat for fish.” As well as old shipwrecks, the prof’s underwater spies also spotted the ‘Drowned Apostles’ — shorter, submerged cousins of Victoria’s famous Twelve Apostles tourist attraction. The 7m (23ft) limestone columns sit 50m (164ft) under the surface about 6km (3.7 miles) offshore. Fascinating stuff, but what really turns Dan on is the diversity and bounty of marine life. This is the ideal place to be a marine scientist.

STABICRAFT’S COMMERCIAL CHOPS

Stabicraft Marine was the first in the world to weld the positive buoyancy of the inflatable into an aluminium workboat. The positive buoyancy chambers don’t just add buoyancy, they give Stabicraft boats the broad shoulders necessary to plane at low speeds in rough water, giving better acceleration when it’s really needed. Sure, any boat can punch into waves, but the ultimate handling test is the steep following sea. Even in these conditions, Stabicraft are renowned for tracking true, without broaching.

Boat specs

STABICRAFT 9.2M SUPERCAB Name Yolla Length 9.14m (30ft) Beam 2.95m (9.6ft) Draft .6m (1.9ft) Fuel tank 750L (198gal) Weight 5,600kg (12,345lb) ATM ENGINE SPECS Engine make Suzuki Model 2 X DF250Z Type V6 Displacement 3.6L (0.95gal) Weight 263kg (579lb) PERFORMANCE Survey speed 4 – 6kn Cruising speed 20 – 25kn WOT 40 kn Fuel consumption 15 l/h @ 5kn 70 l/h @ 25 knots NAVIGATION Plotter Furuno TZt14 Autopilot Furuno NAVPilot-711 Radar Furuno DRS4D Sounder Furuno 50/200 kHz Full specs www.marinemapping.org/technology SUPPLIED BY Richardson Marine 1056 – 1058 Raglan Parade Warrnambool VIC 3280 Phone: (03) 5562 6373 www.richardsonmarine.com.au

Stabicraft started exporting to Australia in 1994 and its commercial presence in the marine industry took a huge stride forward with the securing of the Australian Customs and Border Protection contract in 2008. The brief was to supply 7m (23ft) vessels to Class 2C Survey requirements (up to 30Nm offshore). Each vessel had to be equipped with the latest marine safety equipment, firearm lockers, manual bilge systems and capacity for a crew of six. Stabicraft’s chambered life-ring significantly helped these vessels obtain its 2C offshore survey rating with respect to the reserve buoyancy requirements. When the life-ring is filled with marine Microlen foam, the vessels obtain the highest safety ratings making Stabicraft a natural choice for commercial clients. After the success of the original delivery, eight more 6.9s were delivered, each vessel required its own set of drawings and separate clearance by an approved naval architect. In 2011, a final order of two more 6.9m (22ft) Supercabs were delivered, showcasing Stabicraft on the commercial stage and leading other Australian government agencies to choose Stabicraft as its preferred commercial manufacturer.

STABI ADVENTURES IN ALASKA

At the end of the 2007 fishing season, Doc and Linda Warner of Doc Warner’s Lodge, Alaska, had four of their boats swamp and capsize, leaving their guests in the freezing waters of Alaska’s Excursion Inlet. They went in search of new vessels for their unguided fishing trips and landed on Stabicraft. Impressed with the reserve buoyancy, high sides and wide gunwales, they ordered three boats as a “test”. Since then, Doc Warner’s has replaced its entire fleet with Stabicrafts.

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STABI-SHOWROOM

BUYER’S GUIDE ALL THE SPECS AND FIGURES TO GET YOU OUT THERE

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EXPLORER

14.1ft (4.3m)

4

FRONTIER

External Beam

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

Maximum HP

Baby of the fleet

The 1410 Explorer is designed to be a safe, low-maintenance option for small boat buyers 1410

30HP

40HP

98kg (216lb)

20”

N/A

14.1ft (4.3m) 15.5ft (4.72m) 18.5ft (5.6m) 20.5ft (6.2m) 21ft (6.4m)

360 degrees of awesome

4 5 6 7 6

30HP 5HP 90HP 115HP 150HP

ADVENTUR ENGINEERE

OWNER: CONNOR BURKE OCCUPATION: BUILDER LIVES: JAMBEROO, NSW, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 1850 FRONTIER ENGINE: SUZUKI 115HP FISHING WEAPON “She’s a bit of a weapon — she goes straight through waves. It never feels like she’s going to tip to the side. You do feel confident in it. That’s their motto at Stabicraft and they definitely come through with it.” WHY A CONSOLE “We like to get up high on the casting platform and flick soft plastics. We drive the boat with the Minn Kota with the spot lock on and get up into the shallow water. We’ve got big plans to go to the Northern Territory and catch a metre-long barramundi.” BEST FEATURES “The bait tank is awesome. It holds 66L (17 gallons) — that’s a lot of bait! The Suzuki 115HP runs like a dream. The gunwales are massive, too. You can always find a seat somewhere — and even walk right around the whole boat.” ELECTRONICS “Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3 9 sounder — we find them easy to use. We’ve got a Fusion stereo as well. The main batteries are concealed in the rear, up high where it’s nice and dry.” STORAGE “There’s massive storage pockets for seven-foot rods. We’ve got a massive 105L (28 gallon) esky right in the guts. We’ve also got storage under the casting platform, including another two batteries for the Minn Kota.”

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1.7m (67”)

With its shallow draft and fantastic stability the 1410 Frontier is a popular hull for inshore and lake fishos The 1600 offers nice wide coamings and comfortable area to sit on but has full-length cut-outs to store the longest of rods 1410 1550 1850 2050 2100

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Length Feet (Metres)

Boat Model

STABI-SHOWROOM

40HP 75HP 115HP 175HP 225HP

98kg (216lb) 166kg (366lb) 220kg (485lb) 250kg (551lb) 288kg (635lb)

20” 20” 25” 25” 25”

N/A 60L (16gal) Optional 120L (32gal) 200L (53gal) 275L (73gal)

1.7m (67”) 2.02m (79.5”) 2.24m (88”) 2.24m (88”) 2.3m (91”)


Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Easily towed and handled, weighing from as little as 145kg (320lb) 1.27m (50”)

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal Beam

EXPLORER & FRONTIER

16°

2.5mm (3/32”)

3mm (1/8”)

687L (181gal)

145kg (320lb)

390kg (860lb)

5.4m (17’8”)

The 1550 is the perfect stable platform for someone who needs big-game features packed into a sub-5m vessel The 2050 Frontier NT has maximised deck space for fishing, transporting gear or both! 1.27m (50”) 1.46m (57.5”) 1.65m (65”) 1.65m (65”) 1.8m (71”)

16° 15° 17.5° 17° 20°

2.5mm (3/32”) 2.5mm (3/32”) 3mm (1/8”) 3mm (1/8”) 3mm (1/8”)

3mm (1/8”) 4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”) 5mm (13/64”) 5mm (13/64”)

687L (181gal) 984L (260gal) 1570L (415gal) 1740L (460gal) 1720L (454gal)

“THE BAIT TANK IS AWESOME. IT HOLDS 66L (17 GALLONS) – THAT’S A LOT OF BAIT!”

145kg (320lb) 415kg (915lb) 545kg (1202lb) 650kg (1433lb) 850kg (1874lb)

390kg (860lb) 740kg (1631lb) 1200kg (2646lb) 1800kg (3968lb) 2100kg (4630lb)

5.4m (17’8”) 6.0m (19’9”) 6.7m (22’) 7.2m (23’8”) 7.9m (25’11”)

SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

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FISHER 1410 1550 1600 1650 1850

External Beam

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Length Feet (Metres)

Boat Model

STABI-SHOWROOM

Compact fishing and family boating

Measuring 15.5 feet (4.7m) the 1550 Fisher is an easy-to-handle-sized boat no matter the occasion The use of Arrow Pontoons has given the 1650 Fisher a softer, drier ride without compromising safety and reliability 14.1ft (4.3m) 4 30HP 40HP 98kg (216lb) 20” N/A 1.7m (67”) 15.5ft (4.72m) 5 50HP 75HP 166kg (366lb) 20” 85L (22gal) 2.02m (79.5”) 16ft (4.85m) 5 70HP 90HP 185kg (408lb) 20” 60L (16gal) Optional 2.02m (80”) 16. 5ft (5m) 5 60HP 100HP 173kg (381lb) 20” 100L (26gal) Optional 2.15m (85”) 17.8ft (5.4m) 6 90HP 115HP 220kg (485lb) 25” 120L (32gal) 2.15m (85”)

“IT DOES PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING BETTER THAN ANY OTHER 15FT TINNIE I’VE BEEN IN.”

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SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ


Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal Beam

FISHER

The 1600 Fisher Carbon is equipped with a resin-infused carbon-fibre composite cabin The 1850 Fisher features the innovative Game Chaser Transom, Arrow Pontoons and rear fold-up seats as standard 1.27m (50”) 1.46m (57.5”) 1.46m (57”) 1.65m (65”) 1.65m (65”)

16° 15° 15° 17.5° 17.5°

2.5mm (3/32”) 2.5mm (3/32”) 3mm (1/8”) 3mm (1/8”) 3mm (1/8”)

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

687L (181gal) 984L (260gal) 1459L (385gal) 1490L (394gal) 1570L (415gal)

230kg (507lb) 415kg (915lb) 494kg (1089lb) 460kg (1014lb) 545kg (1202lb)

460kg (1014lb) 740kg (1631lb) 1000kg (2205lb) 1100kg (2425lb) 1200kg (2646lb)

5.4m (17’8”) 6.0m (19’9”) 6.5m (19’8”) 6.2m (20’4”) 6.5m (21’4”)

ADVENTUR ENGINEERE

TEST PILOT: TOM WEBB OCCUPATION: APPRENTICE CHIPPIE LIVES: MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 1550 FISHER ENGINE: HONDA 60HP Tom loves his diving and fishing, and father Matt wants something safe and indestructible. Stabicraft rang Tom and told him to “grab some mates, the dive compressor and fishing rods, and meet us at the local ramp in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. You’re test riding the new 1550 Fisher. Oh, and better tell your old man to bring Salty Dog, his Formula 233, as well. We’ll need a fast camera boat to chase down you young blokes.” Here’s Tom’s diary review of the 1550. PRE-TRIP PLANNING “Did some research on the Stabicraft. Holds five blokes, but think I’ll go with three. Scored a compressor unit so should be interesting to see how the Stabi cops the weight of three guys plus a compressor, dive gear and a box full of scallops. Weather is forecast to blow 25 knots (29 mph) from the south-west, the worst possible wind pattern to have on my turf, Port Phillip Bay. I’m assured these things are like Sherman tanks, but float much better. They say the Stabi Fisher has almost 1000L (264gal) of sealed buoyancy and 4mm alloy sides. Mum, stop worrying, your favourite son is in good hands!” TIME TO ROLL “The Stabi is loaded up, swallowing all the gear deep inside

the side pockets and in the 70L (18gal) fitted esky. My favourite squid jigs go in the tackle drawer that slides into fitted compartments. The rearward-facing seats flip up and the shiny stainless compressor gets dropped in. It fits like a glove. Dad says, “Let’s roll!” — so we drop the hammer on the little 60HP Honda and tuck in behind the Formula. It gets out of the hole and onto the plane with ease, despite carrying half a tonne of payload. We look ahead at the Formula as the gyro stabiliser works to level the 24-degree hull. Meanwhile, we’re running dead flat — no heel to speak of. She shoulders up to the moderate sea effortlessly. Despite the 15-knot (17-mph) wind, we’re as dry as a chip.” SCALLOP DIVE “Tie the Stabi behind Dad’s boat and suit up for a dive. The big fat gunwales are awesome to sit on. Even though three blokes are moving around the boat, the Stabi barely rocks or rolls. It’s noticeably more stable than Pa’s Quinny. It’s also got nice deep internal freeboard — up to my thighs. We pluck about 100 scallops in 10 minutes, plus spider crabs. We sit on the gunwales eating noodles and admiring our handiwork.” PUNCH TO THE FORT “After polishing off the noodles we punch straight into the sea toward South Channel Fort for a dive. It’s bumpy now and the Formula slips away. There’s a grab rail on the windscreen, which also acts as the pivot point for the front hatch. We stand

up and hang on tight. It’s bloody good to be able to drive while standing up in a 15ft boat. Admiring the awesome flip-up hatch, which makes beach landings and anchor drops a breeze, I wonder if the Stabi engineers were inspired by Luke Skywalker’s snowspeeder.” BOLTING HOME “After the photo shoot, we break left and bolt for home with the sea and wind on our rear quarter. We’re full-noise, but riding perfectly flat and landing predictably every time. It doesn’t bang like the tinnies I’m used to. The Stabi loves a following sea and the boys are loving life. Dad roars past at 88km/h (55mph) to remind us who’s boss, then we conk out of fuel within arm’s reach of the jetty — but 25 litres (seven gallons) in a day really ain’t bad. We clean up the scallops and Dad cooks them on the barbecue in his favourite garlic sauce.” IN THE WASH-UP “The Stabi grew on us the more we drove it. It does pretty much everything better than any other 15ft (4.5m) tinnie I’ve been in. Best of all, it’s stable and purposeful, with all-round storage and gunwales that double as seats. It punches well above its weight, staying straight and true in a quartering sea and dominating in a trailing sea. Safety is not an issue with 1000L of closed buoyancy, and the low running costs fit my budget perfectly. It ticks all the boxes and at under $40K, it just might sneak into the garage next to Salty Dog.”

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External Beam

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Length Feet (Metres)

Boat Model

STABI-SHOWROOM

SUPERCAB Bluewater battle wagons

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 2100 ST 2400

18.5ft (5.6m) 20.5ft (6.2m) 21ft (6.4m) 25.4ft (7.75m) 24ft (7.3m)

6 7 7 6 8

115HP 115HP 130HP 150HP 200HP

140HP 175HP 225HP 225HP 250HP

220kg (485lb) 235kg (518lb) 327kg (721lb) 327kg (721lb) 537kg (1184lb)

25” 25” 25” 25” 25”

120L (32gal) 150L (40gal) 200L (53gal) 200L (53gal) 300L (79gal)

2.24m (88”) 2.24m (88”) 2.3m (91”) 2.3m (91”) 2.3m (91”)

ADVENTUR ENGINEERE OWNER: POEN NIEMANDT OCCUPATION: BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION LIVES: AUCKLAND, NZ BOAT: 2100 SUPERCAB ENGINE: YAMAHA 150HP THE OLD RIG “My first Stabicraft was a 1750 Frontier called Nauti Buoy, fitted with a 100HP Yamaha.” BEST ADVENTURES “I was deepdropping for a bit of puka (hapuku) out wide at the 155 line. I sounded around and found some marks, did the usual dummy drift then set up for the first actual drift. About halfway through, a big game boat nudged up alongside. The skipper leaned out of the flybridge and politely asked if we were lost. I told him we knew exactly where

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we were and that my 12” Garmin was working perfectly well. He mumbled something and left us to continue with our drop. Not once did I feel unsafe in that little boat! We did some great trips, including overnighters at Great Barrier Island and Port Fitzroy.” THE NEW RIG “When it came time for a bigger boat, I traded up to a 2100 Supercab fitted with a 150HP Yamaha. This is a great set-up! It’s fitted with a Garmin 7412xsv, Hella light bars and deck lights, underwater lights on the transducer bracket, and a Fusion package.” BEST FEATURE “The best feature of these boats is their stability — and the confidence that gives you in very rough conditions.”


Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal 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 an extra three feet of length 1.65m (65”) 1.65m (65”) 1.82m (72”) 1.82m (72”) 1.82m (72”)

17° 17.5° 20° 20° 19°

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

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

1570L (415gal) 1694L (448gal) 1720L (454gal) 1720L (454gal) 1833L (484gal)

740kg (1631lb) 904kg (1993lb) 960kg (2116lb) 960kg (2116lb) 1260kg (2778lb)

1250kg (2756lb) 1500kg (3307lb) 1900kg (4189lb) 2750kg (6050lb) 2400kg (5291lb)

6.7m (22’) 7.2m (23’7”) 7.9m (25’11”) 9.0m (29’6”) 8.5m (27’10”)

ADVENTUR ENGINEERE

OWNER: BRAD DANNEFAERD OCCUPATION: MD CERT LIVES: NEW PLYMOUTH BOAT: 2570 SUPERCAB ENGINE: TWIN EVINRUDE 115HP ETECS BRAD’S BEST ADVENTURE “I headed out wide with my partner, Rachel, to see if we could find a southern bluefin tuna out from Waihau Bay on the East Cape. We were almost 50km (31 miles) offshore when we had the first strike. Rachel fought the fish with just a bottom-fishing gimbal and after 40 minutes we had our first bluefin tuna on board! That far offshore, I was happy to have the peace of mind of being in a Stabicraft with twin donkeys!”

ADVENTUR ENGINEERE

OWNER: SHAINE PASK OCCUPATION: GM TOYOTA TAUPO/ROTORUA LIVES: TAUPO BOAT: 2100 SUPERCAB ENGINE: YAMAHA 150HP

THEN & NOW “I chased tuna in the early ’90s from a Stabi 605, but finally got my own last year. The timing was perfect as now I’ve got a wife and two kids to enjoy it with me. We’re ready for a lifetime of memories!”

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2500 ULTRACAB XL

Commercial class

Designed to meet market demand for small, light, trailer-friendly, all-weather boating Easily fits five or six adults inside and be super comfortable, while fishing four lines off the back deck 2500 UCXL

25ft (7.62m)

ADVENTUR ENGINEERE

TEST PILOT: TRAVIS SWANSON DEALERSHIP: RON’S HONDA LOCATION: ALASKA, USA BOAT: 2500 ULTRACAB ENGINE: TWIN HONDA 150HP ALASKAN ADVENTURES “We load the Stabi up with the Zodiac and paddleboards and go exploring for all kinds of wild stuff. Alaska is a world of extremes. There’s fishing for salmon and halibut, as well as hunting and sightseeing salmon sharks, humpback whales and seals.” THE ULTRACAB “It’s a killer design that brings family and friends closer. You can easily fit five or six adults inside and be super-comfortable, fishing four lines off the back deck. It’s a great all-round boat. You can bring the family out, bring the kids out, they can stay inside and be warm with the cab heater, but with the glass back they can still see people fishing.” THE FUNKY CABIN DESIGN “We get high humidity and cold weather, so fogging is an issue — the pilothouse design deals with that.” TWIN HONDA POWERPLANTS “They’re very quiet, very fuel-efficient, good topend speed, good cruising speed. It’s just a good package. The 100-gallon (378L) fuel capacity is great. We can do 90 miles (145km) one way and 90 miles another way, and still have fuel in the belly.” RIDE AND HANDLING “The Generation 3 Arrow Pontoon designs are fantastic as far as limiting spray and giving more internal beam — and they still give great stability. The Game Chaser Transom is great when nosed up to the beach, and the shore wash just deflects off the back.”

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9

300HP

External Beam

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Length Feet (Metres)

Boat Model

STABI-SHOWROOM

400HP

584kg (1288lb)

25”

378L (100gal)

2.56m (101”)


Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal Beam

ULTRACAB XL

Designed by a US customer and now oneof the most successful vessels sold into the region New Generation 3 Arrow pontoon designs limit spray and give more internal beam 1.97m (78”)

19°

4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”)

2096L (554gal)

1630kg (3593lb)

3500kg (7716lb)

9.4m (30’10”)

“WE GET HIGH HUMIDITY AND COLD WEATHER, SO FOGGING IS AN ISSUE — THE PILOTHOUSE DESIGN DEALS WITH THAT.”

SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

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2750 CENTRECAB

Walkaround fishing machine

The 2750 Centrecab is the brainchild of New Zealand fishing prodigy Matt Watson Wide walkaround up to the forward deck gives the 2750 a fully utilised fishing area 2750 CC

27.5ft (8.4m)

9

300HP

2750 ULTRACAB XL

External Beam

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

CENTRECAB

Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Length Feet (Metres)

Boat Model

STABI-SHOWROOM

500HP

278kg (613lb)

Twin 25”

500L (132gal)

27.5ft (8.4m)

9

300HP

Commercial class walkaround

500HP

278kg (613lb)

Twin 25”

500L (132gal)

2.49m (98”)

“IT HAS A LOT OF NICE FEATURES THAT’LL GET YOUR LADY OUT THERE.”

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2.49m (98”)

Commercial fishos will love the under-floor storage Lean-forward glass and immense cabin space accompanied by 360 degrees of access to every usable space 2750 UCC XL


Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Sharp entry and arrow pontoons punches spray out and away It’s not every day you see a centrecab that rocks a lock-up bi-folding door as standard 2.04m (80”)

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal Beam

ULTRA CENTRECAB XL

21.5°

4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”)

2909L (768gal)

1990kg (4387lb)

3500kg (7716lb)

10.2m (33’6”)

The centrecab can hold six burly blokes, with four flip-down seats facing each other, and dual seats facing forward Complete walkaround with the water draining off the side walkways and not back into the cockpit 2.04m (80”)

21.5°

4mm (5/32”)

ADVENTUR ENGINEERE

TEST PILOT: BRAD HOUG DEALERSHIP: BOAT COUNTRY LOCATION: WASHINGTON, PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA BOAT: 2750 CENTRECAB ENGINE: TWIN HONDA 225HP PACIFIC NORTHWEST ADVENTURES “We go salmon fishing, crabbing, clamming and shrimping — anything to do with the water! The weather can get real rainy, cold and wet. It helps to have a nice comfortable, stable boat — a good platform to work the pots in and out of the water and collect your harvest.” THE SWITCH TO ALLOY “More and more people are switching to aluminium. The beaches here are rocky with barnacles on a rough bottom — it tends to chew up a glass boat. Aluminium boats are a lot less maintenance because you can just wash ’em off.” POWER & HANDLING “This boat is powered with twin Honda 225s for 450HP. Cruising at 38 knots, you’re burning about 16 gallons (61L) per hour between the two. Top speed is in the

6mm (15/64”)

2909L (768gal)

1990kg (4387lb)

3500kg (7716lb)

10.2m (33’6”)

SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

fifties (in the eighties, if you’re talking kilometres). The fuel capacity of this boat is about 132 gallons (500L) giving about a 250-mile (402km) range. Driving this boat is like driving a Ferrari on water. It turns and corners like nothing you’ve ever driven before.” THE CENTRECAB “It has a complete walkaround with the water draining off the side walkways and not back into the cockpit. There are four seats that face each other in the centre cab. And then there are the driver’s seat and a passenger seat plus a vee-berth upfront. With the glass wraparound cabin, you can see everything around you.” CROWD-PLEASER “It has a lot of nice features that’ll get your lady out there. She’ll come out with you because she’s gonna have a potty and an enclosed cabin with some heat. But when you park it, you’re gonna have to answer some questions — there’ll be people gathering around. I’ve left it at the dock for a short period and come back to a small crowd wanting to know all about this vessel.”

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STABI-PARTNERS

Wakefield Metals have been supplying Stabicraft with aluminium for over 25 years. Last year alone, Stabi used more than 400 metric tonne of alloy!

HEAVY METAL MUSIC LIKE BATMAN AND ROBIN, STABICRAFT AND WAKEFIELD METALS WORK AS A TEAM TO PRODUCE THE ICONIC ALLOY BOATS BELOVED OF FISHOS AROUND THE PLANET.

L

ast year, Stabicraft used more than 400 metric tonne of alloy in building its sea monsters. The boat manufacturer’s heavy metal comes courtesy of Wakefield Metals (formerly Mico Metals), which has been supplying the Stabi factory with the stuff for more than 25 years. The relationship goes back to the early 1990s, when much of the aluminium Stabi used was manufactured in NZ and Australia. But the quality of the local stuff was a bit hit and miss, so Wakefield began importing aluminium in volume from Bahrain, supplying a product with a consistently higher finish, which appealed to builders as tinnies became more sophisticated. Manufacturing was also pretty basic back then, with cardboard cut-out templates for each part marked onto sheet or plate and then cut by hand. In 1997, Wakefield

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started supplying Stabicraft with kitset boats, pre-packed and pre-cut, which meant a big reduction in manufacturing times. It was win-win. With the dollars it saved in the building process, Stabi could then invest more in R&D and design, improving the process still further. Wakefield Metals’ close relationship with Stabicraft has always been about quality products, developing value-add solutions and working closely with the design and production teams to develop such sheer genius outcomes as the extruded pontoon sections. www.wakefieldmetals.co.nz


NEXT-LEVEL FISHING BLA GETS A BRAND-NEW STABI TO DEMO ALL THE EXCITING GIZMOS THAT THE HUMMINBIRD AND MINN KOTA R&D BOYS HAVE HAD ON THE BOIL AND ARE NOW READY TO ROCK.

T

he blokes from BLA (Boating, Lifestyle & Adventure) are pretty damn excited. Reason being, they have a brand-new toy on the way. It’s a Stabicraft 1850 Frontier, an 18.5ft, centreconsole packing a mighty punch in the form of the powerful lightweight Mercury 115 Pro XS — maxing out the boat’s HP rating. The 1850 is currently in survey, but when the BLA crew get their hands on it, they intend to utilise this lethal fishing weapon for on-water training for their Humminbird and Minn Kota Pro Store network right across the country — and maybe even a few fishing competitions along the way! Needless to say, as one of the largest marine parts companies in the world, they’re fitting out the Frontier with some pretty trick gear. It will run, count ’em, three Humminbird sounders, equipped with MEGA imaging. The Humminbird Solix Mega is using a 1kW transducer, while the Helix series is rigged up with one sounder at the console, which is paired via ethernet to a sounder sitting on the bow — all linked to the Minn Kota electric motor. No fish can hide. Ocean LED underwater lights help stimulate and attract fish through pulsing light frequencies through the water — and they look great!

BLA’s new Stabi will also feature SeaStar Hydraulic steering, a Balex Automatic Boat Loader for the ramps, USB chargers from ScanStrut to keep all the personal gear running and a monster sound system from Clarion Marine. The lucky bloke who gets to captain this sweet rig is Tauranga local Lucas Allen, a certified skipper and salt-water fly-fishing guide, who will be piloting this beast to BLA dealers for on-water experiences over the coming year. Keep an eye out for other Minn Kota features like “Spot Lock” — basically a GPS virtual boat anchor that can hold a boat from four to seven metres “on the spot”. The improved version has a heading sensor mounted to the transom and linked to the main motor via Bluetooth. The remote (which usually works around the neck) has simple functional buttons for easy use. LINK is another great option where, using Ethernet, the motor is controlled via the Humminbird Sounder, letting you mark a waypoint and then tell the Minn Kota to go to it — and even circle the structure. www.bla.co.nz

BLA’s 1850 Frontier features three Humminbird sounders, a 1kW transducer, Minn Kota electric motor, SeaStar Hydraulic steering and Balex Automatic Boat Loader.

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STABI-DEALER

NORTH TO ALASKA

The smart folks at Ron’s Honda Center soon woke up to the fact that there was no better boat for the rugged Alaskan conditions than an aluminium-hulled Stabicraft. And they’ve never looked back.

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“ALASKA IS THE WORLD OF EXTREMES,” SAYS TRAVIS. “WE NEEDED A BOAT THAT COULD HANDLE OUR TOUGH CONDITIONS”

Everything is bigger in Alaska... the people, the trucks, the boats and even the halibut.

SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

R

on’s Honda Center started almost 50 years ago in a small rusty shed in Alaska, USA. Back then, owner Ron Swanson fixed broken chainsaws. The outfit he built now supplies rural Alaska with the bulk of its ATVs, side-by-sides, boats and outboards. Unfortunately, Ron passed away in 2003, but now his son Travis holds the reins. They may be the largest Honda dealership in Alaska, but Travis still maintains a friendly small-business approach. “Personalised customer service and highly knowledgeable sales staff are the cornerstones of our success”, he says. Twelve years ago, Ron’s Honda Center became a Stabicraft dealer and it proved a game changer for the business. “Alaska is the world of extremes,” says Travis. “We needed a boat that could handle our tough conditions — we’re always pushing through ice packs, hitting small icebergs or beaching the boat as there are only a couple of harbours. That’s also one of the reasons you don’t see many fibreglass boats around here. Aluminium is just a better material for our world, and Stabicraft makes one of the toughest aluminium boats going round. It’s more than just a job for Travis, who loves the landscape he works in. “It’s an eco-explorer’s paradise, surrounded by glaciers with waterfalls cascading down the ranges. In some places, there are no roads, so you’ll need a chopper, kayak or boat to get there. In season, there are hordes of schooling salmon, and halibut in the deeper water”. But Trav is just as content to soak up the spectacular

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STABI-DEALER scenery and watch the wildlife — puffins, humpback whales, sea lions and salmon sharks. “They’re a relative of the great white,” Trav says, “and one of the fastest sharks in the world — clocked at over 80kmh.” The salmon sharks are only present a couple of weeks of the year, feeding on the salmon before heading off into the Pacific. Travis teases them up with silvery herring, drawing them close to the boat for photo shoots, often with some of the documentary makers who travel great distances to capture the sight. Travis also had a hand in developing Stabicraft’s 2500 Ultracab design, which was built primarily for the North American market. “It has a fully enclosable cab with a pilothouse design,” he says. “The reason we love our forward-raking windshields over here is because when you have high humidity and cold weather, you get fogging from your breath on the windscreen. Having it further away from your face greatly reduces this. On another note, it’s about goddamn time the Kiwis listened to us Americans. We know what we’re talking about.”

Travis uses his 2500 Ultracab to get up close and personal with the salmon sharks, which come into Prince William Sound for only a couple of weeks per year.

Ron’s Honda Center supplies rural Alaska with the bulk of its ATVs, side-by-sides, outboards and boats.

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05 QUESTIONS FOR TRAV

01

Describe your customers in five words: Independent, capable, hardworking, adventurous, unique.   If Stabicrafts were cars, what would they be?  Ford Ranger Raptor truck — functional, but very capable.   What’s your favourite Stabi and why?  2500 Ultracab — because it was designed by us!   Best-selling Stabi at Ron’s Honda Center? 2500 Ultracab.   What other brands do you support?  Honda, naturally. We got rid of the other boat brands to focus on Stabi.

02 03 04 05

CONTACT DETAILS

RON’S HONDA CENTER 35770 Kenai Spur Highway, Soldotna, Alaska, 99669, USA. 907 262 5235 / 1800 478 5235 www.ronshonda.com info@ronshonda.com

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STABI-DEALER

OH M.Y WHAT A RIDE!

From a garage on the beach to the biggest Stabi dealer in Australia, it’s been one hell of a ride for M.Y Marine.

M

.Y Marine set up shop on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in the early 1990s. The workshop was a tiny garage in Safety Beach, cradling the southern mouth of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Owner Michael Rozakis started as a marine mechanic before diving into boat sales. After earning a pretty good reputation for its hard work, M.Y Marine relocated down the coast to Dromana. Today, it’s the Mornington Peninsula’s largest retailer of new and used boats, motors, trailers and accessories. M.Y also sells more Stabicraft boats in Australia than anyone else. “It wasn’t easy being one of the first dealers in Australia”, says Michael. “The first boat was a 580 Hardtop and the importer literally dropped it on my doorstep, even though I wasn’t interested. Fortunately, it was snapper season, so I took it out, encountering some pretty rough conditions. It wouldn’t do a thing wrong; it was incredible. Customers started to enquire about the “interesting boat in the yard”. Those “interesting” looks didn’t appeal to everyone, as Michael discovered. “Mates would drop by and ask me if I’d designed it in the back yard one night when I was pissed. However, they could never fault the welding.” From humble beginnings, things grew steadily, mainly because the boat performed so well on the water. “Eventually I was selling boats into Sydney and further north,” says Michael. “I’d meet the new customers at Bermagui (halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on the Australian east coast) and we’d go shark and tuna

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fishing, and then have a bottom bash. The customers would love it and I’d come home with a feed of fresh fish.” More than most, Michael has seen Stabicraft evolve. He cites the “life-ring” as a significant milestone. “I’ve seen the round drum-shaped pontoons, the D-shape and now the arrow pontoon,” he says. “They just get better and better. As a company, Stabicraft is great to deal with. I’ve had several brands come and go, but Stabicraft is the one that’s stood true. They never baulk an issue, in fact they’re easier to deal with than local suppliers.” The recreational appeal of Stabicraft boats eventually spilled over into the commercial market. As Michael says, “Being such a tough, safe and stable boat, they’re perfect for commercial applications. We’ve delivered boats for Marine Rescue services, Coast Guard, Maritime, Parks Victoria, Border Protection, Game Authority, Water Board, Country Fire Authority, universities and dive clubs. We even delivered nine boats to a ladies college for training purposes — they wanted the safest boat on the market.” He reckons a few things set M.Y Marine apart from the rest. “We’re a family-run business and our service and professionalism are second to none — and we’ve been boating and fishing for most of our lives. We specialise in customised fit-outs and take the extra time to make sure the customer is satisfied with their choice.” The future looks sunnies-bright down at M.Y Marine. “We’re redesigning the showroom with a state-of-the-art fit-up centre. It’s all part of our evolution — rather like the Stabicraft brand.”


05 QUESTIONS FOR MIKE

01 02 03

Describe your customers in five words: Adventurers, hard-core, commercial, loyal, discerning. If Stabicraft were a car? It’s the Hummer of the sea, with the finish and class of a Land Rover. What’s your favourite Stabi? I love the 829 Weekender. There’s nothing better than taking one into Bass Strait and beyond.

04

Best-seller at M.Y Marine? The 1850 Supercab followed by the 2400. The 1550 is also doing exceptionally well in the small boat market.

05

What other brands do you support? Honda, Yamaha, Garmin, Raymarine, Dunbier.

CONTACT DETAILS

M.Y MARINE Nepean Highway/Ponderosa Place, Dromana Victoria 3936 (03)5987 0900 / 0408 030 889 www.mymarine.com.au michael@mymarine.com.au

IMMORTAL DEALER

Kev & Ian’s Marine Services are celebrating 30 years in the boat business in 2018.

K

evin Griffin and Ian Potts started Kev & Ian’s Marine Services in 1988 as an outboard servicing centre. In 1991 they sold their first Stabicraft (a 720 Hardtop). Almost 10 years later, in 2000, Ian sold out to Kev. Today, the operation employs seven staff in a 1600sqm (17222 sqft) premises. The team has sold more than 1000 Stabicraft vessels in their time, mostly to fishos. However, one of the more interesting boats they delivered was a 659 Hardtop, sold to the squillionaire owners of a superyacht called Alumercia. The entire hardtop had to be removed before the boat could be stowed in the yacht’s tender compartment — such was their desire for a Stabi. Kev reckons Stabicraft has set the standard in innovation. “They’ve gone from a craft that was dissed as an ‘ugly duckling’ to a vessel that is truly world class.”

CONTACT DETAILS

Kev & Ian’s Marine Services 18 Mahia Road, Auckland, New Zealand +64 (09) 267 4999. www.kev.co.nz web@kev.co.nz

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STABI-PARTNERS

YAMA-YEA-HA! YAMAHA AND STABICRAFT HAVE HAD A STRONG PARTNERSHIP FOR QUITE A WHILE NOW. ONE OF THE WAYS THE JAPANESE MANUFACTURER SHARES THE LOVE IS BY SPONSORING BOSS CHARTER FISHO GENE DENTON.

T

hree years ago, Gene Denton from Whitiangler charters approached Yamaha with a proposition. He was looking at a new Stabicraft 1850 Supercab and wanted to power his rig with an F130 Yamaha. He bought the engine through Whitianga Marine, which helped fit and sea test it to ensure everything was tuned to perfection. It turned out to be a match made in heaven. Gene loves his fishing and his Stabi, so Yamaha couldn’t have got a better advocate for its donk. He’s racked up over 1000 hours plucking countless fat fish out of Mercury Bay and all around the Coromandel — and talking up his prized Yamaha engine to anyone who’ll listen! He even takes the local Yamaha crew for the occasional mission — that’s how happy he is with his F130.

But Gene’s going to be even happier soon. He’s got a new Stabi 6.9m Centrecab in his sights, the Whitiangler II. Needless to say, it will need a new donk on the back and Yamaha is keen to oblige with its new 225HP V6. The powerto-weight ratio, 4.2L capacity and variable cam timing will guarantee Gene optimum performance, reliability and economy. And if Gene’s happy, then the blokes at Yamaha can look forward to plenty more summer fishing missions! www.yamaha-motor.co.nz

Gene Denton from Whitiangler charters loves his Yamaha outboards. He currently runs a 130HP on his 1850 Supercab, but plans on upgrading to a 225HP when his new Stabi 6.9m Centrecab rolls off the production floor.

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TRUE MARINE ENTERTAINMENT

Fusion products are designed in New Zealand from scratch specifically for the harsh Kiwi conditions.

FUSION SUPPLIES THE NEXT-GENERATION SOUND SYSTEMS FOR STABICRAFT’S BEASTS OF THE DEEP.

O

ne of the many reasons Stabicraft owners find it hard to wipe the grins off their faces is that the soundtrack to their fishing adventures comes courtesy of Fusion Entertainment. As the global leader in Marine Electronics, Fusion Entertainment first teamed up with Stabicraft in the mid-2000s as their official audio partner. From the get-go it was a perfect fit. Unlike many brands, which are often just car audio units repurposed for marine use, Fusion products are designed in New Zealand from scratch to sound awesome, even in the harsh Kiwi salt water conditions. Now that Fusion is owned by Garmin, all stereos are manufactured in their state-of-the-art facilities in Taiwan. The sound systems are rigorously tested both in-house and out in the real world under tough saltwater marine conditions — including on ocean racing yachts where the units are pushed well beyond what they would encounter in everyday recreational use. Fusion works closely with the Stabicraft design team when it comes to product selection and placement on any new boats on the drawing board. Stabi boss Paul Adams and Fusion Director of Sales Glenn Orr are totally on the same page when thinking about the next big thing in the recreational marine sector. Fusion also gets involved in cross-promotional work with Stabicraft. For example, Matt

Watson’s current vessel features Fusion Signature Series speakers, amplifiers and sub-woofers. Matt tells us that he can credit a good number of his hook-ups to the bass notes being transferred through the boat hull, attracting predatory fish. Matt says Bob Marley is a big favourite with marlin! Fusion also work with Stabi brand ambassador Gene Denton, the Whitiangler, who has a stunning new Stabicraft in the works with an epic sound system and quite possibly the loudest trailer boat system installed in NZ. This year will be Fusion’s biggest yet in terms of new product and technology. They’re planning to unveil the all new Apollo Series installed on two Stabicraft 2750s at this year’s Hutchwilco New Zealand Boatshow, May 17–20, in Auckland. www.fusionentertainment.com

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STABI-WORLD

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

Location Soldotna, Alaska Website www.ronshonda.com

BOAT COUNTRY

Location Everett, Washington Website www.boatcountry.com

Y MARINA

Location Coos Bay, Oregon Website www.ymarinaboats.com

STH MARINE

Location Pape’ete, Tahiti Website www.sthmarine.com

R

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STABI-WORLD

NEW ZEALAND DEALERS

MARINE NORTH

WHITIANGA MARINE CENTRE LTD

Location Whangarei Website www.marinenorth.co.nz

Location Whitianga Website www.whitiangamarine.co.nz

GULFLAND MARINE

Location Auckland Website www.gulflandmarine.co.nz

KEV & IAN’S MARINE

MASTER TECH MARINE

Location Auckland Website www.kev.co.nz

Location Tauranga Website www.mastertech.co.nz

ROLLOS MARINE

Location Hamilton Website www.rollosmarine.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

D&E OUTDOORS

KP MARINE

Location Kapiti Website www.kpmarine.co.nz

MARINE & WATERCRAFT

Location Ashburton Website dneyamaha.co.nz

Location Blenheim Website marlboroughmarine.co.nz

POWERBOAT CENTRE CHRISTCHURCH

Location Christchurch Website www.powerboatcentre.co.nz

STABICRAFT MARINE Location Invercargill Website www.stabicraft.com

READ MARINE

Location Dunedin Website readmarine.co.nz

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

BILL’S MARINE

Location Cairns, QLD Website billsmarine.com.au

NORTHSIDE MARINE

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

MANDURAH MOTOR MARINE

Location Mandurah, WA Website mandurahmotormarine.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

M.Y MARINE

Location Melbourne, VIC Website mymarine.com.au

DEEGAN MARINE

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

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