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STABICRAFT MAGAZINE ISSUE 02 STABIMAG

ADVENTURE

WITH CONFIDENC E

ISSUE NUMBER T WO U N L E A S H E D 2 2 5 0 U LT R A C E N T R E C A B

2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB

ALL-NEW 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB BREAKS COVER IN STEWART ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

W W W. S TA B I C R A F T. C O M

• 3 TOUGH RIGS FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST OF THE USA PLUS • THE DNA BEHIND STABICRAFT'S UNIQUE GAME CHASER TRANSOM • 12-PAGE BUYER'S GUIDE FEATURING EVERY MAKE AND MODEL STABp000_COV FINAL.indd 1

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STABIHOTSHOT

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STORM TROOPER The Stabicraft R&D crew rode aboard this 2750 Ultra Centrecab XL on their adventure to the Pacific Northwest coast of the USA. It’s fitted with 500L (132gal) fuel tank and twin F200 Yamaha outboards so owner Dave Larson can do 200 nautical miles at sea and still come home with 50L (13gal) in reserve. Model: 2750 Ultra Centrecab XL Length: 27.5ft (8.4m) Seating capacity: 9 Fuel capacity: 500L (132gal) Max HP: 500HP Engine: 2 X Yamaha F200 Type: DOHC 16-Valve In-line 4 Displacement: 2.8L Dry weight: 222kg (489lb) each

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M A G A Z I N E

CONTENTS 18

COVER STORY

The R&D crew put the all-new 2250 Ultra Centrecab though its paces on a hunting trip in New Zealand’s deep south.

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STABIS IN THE USA The Captain tests a trio of Stabicrafts off the US Pacific Northwest Coast.

REGULARS

06

STABIBOSS

Paul Adams talks going global in issue #2 of STABIMAG.

BLOODLINES

The Captain’s crew voyages to the edge of the world, well, Tasmania, in the 2400 Supercab.

08 STABISTAFF

Meet some of the friendly faces behind Stabicraft boats.

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STABIPARTNERS

BILL KILL

Billy Dee, bossman at Zeikel Fishing Australia, chats to STABIMAG about his 2050 Frontier.

BUYER’S GUIDE

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

STABI DEALERS

Webbe Marine brings boutique customer service to Stabi customers in Sydney’s southern suburbs.

STABI DEALERS

We catch-up with Gulfland Marine, Stabicraft Southern and Kev & Ian’s Marine

Humminbird and Minn Kota link up to help you hit the honey hole.

12 STABIGEAR

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

14 STABITECH

Design guru Mike Stenton talks about the Game Chaser Transom.

82 STABIPARTNERS

The paint pros from Powderline and Sievwright brush up.

92

STABIPARTNERS

The U-Dek crew talk flooring while Fusion beats the drum. FI Innovations focus on foam and Wakefield Metals muse on metal.

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STABIWORLD

Find your nearest Stabicraft from across the globe.

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STABIBOSS

GOIN’ GLOBAL

Stabicraft CEO Paul Adams reflects on three decades of exporting Stabis to the world.

W

“IN THE US, THE FEMALE PARTNER HAS A LOT MORE INPUT IN THE BUYING PROCESS.”

e launched our first Stabicraft 32 years ago, but to be honest, it seems like yesterday. Now you can find Stabi dealerships across three continents — Australia, North America and Scandinavia — along with a few Pacific Island nations. Stabicraft went global after Alex Grzybowski, a marketing graduate from the University of Vancouver, visited New Zealand with his girlfriend in the late ’80s. Sure, he checked out the scenery and had a good time, but his holiday went next level when he came across a Stabi. Alex’s eyes glazed over as he imagined the rugged tinnie with the distinctive looks plying his home waters in the Land of the Maple Leaf. One thing led to another, and even though it was only Stabicraft’s first year of operation, we managed to score an export grant to send a few Stabi models to the Vancouver International Boat Show. Australia was our next serious export market. In 1992, an ex-Invercargill lad by the name of Richard Jones, who was living in Sydney, reckoned he should be our Australian distributor. One handshake later, the Trans-Tasman Marine was born. Pretty soon, Stabicraft become known as the Kiwi crew producing the ugly boats that rode like a dream. We’ve learned a fair bit since then. The first lesson was how to pronounce “aluminium” when talking to Yanks in trucker caps. Switching it up to “alumin-um” improved

conversation – and sales – in the USA. We also discovered that in the American market, the female partner has a lot more input in the buying process than they do in this part of the planet. So, in Stabis destined for the US, you’ll find a lot of options like diesel heaters and potties. Another lesson was that the expectations of Aussies are a bit higher than Kiwis. For example, Aussies expect paint as standard. Who knew? Kiwis prefer to keep things simple. But perhaps the biggest export lesson was that we had to treat each market individually, do our homework and listen to what the punters have to say. One of the highlights of exporting our boats are the cool and interesting people we meet, and discovering what their boating needs are. You can see how we’ve evolved the Stabicraft range to meet those needs. Don’t apply the scattergun approach and don’t get too greedy. Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re reading STABIMAG and thinking, “Jeez, I wish they’d build a model to (fill in personal wish list here)” — don’t be shy, drop us a note. Maybe your feedback can help open the next Stabicraft market?

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STABICRAFT CEO PAUL ADAMS PROJECT MANAGER DANIEL UPPERTON PUBLISHING PARTNER MOBY DICK CONTENT ADVENTURE ENGINEERS (THE CREW WHO HELPED MAKE IT HAPPEN) ANDREW JAMES / 2400 SUPERCAB BILL DIMITROPOULOS / ZEIKEL CHRIS SOUTHWICK / 2500 ULTRACAB XL DAVID LARSON / 2750 ULTRA CENTRECAB HADLEY DEEGAN / 2100 SUPERCAB JAMES JUBB / COVER STORY PHOTOGRAPHER JOEL ENGLISH / 1550 FRONTIER JOHN FILES / 2750 CENTRECAB MARK HATELY / 2400 SUPERCAB MIKE STENTON / STABI DESIGN GURU MOE HAMED / 1850 SUPERCAB PATRICK DANGERFIELD / 1550 FISHER SCOTT SAYER / 2500 ULTRACAB THE CAPTAIN / COOL STORY TELLERS TIM BARNETT / THE HUNTERS CLUB 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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STABISTAFF

MEET A FEW OF THE CREW

These boys have been pumping out Stabis for quite a few years and reckon they wouldn’t want to work anywhere else — except maybe when it’s the middle of a Southland winter.

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Y E A9 RS

TREVOR BARBER

DARRYL MCLEAN

Best thing about working at Stabicraft? The teamwork involved in building a quality product. Worst thing about working at Stabicraft? Can’t think of anything. What has changed over the years? Boat design is getting better all the time. Describe Stabicraft in five words: Going forward building great product. What is your favourite model? 1850 Supercab. What do you do in your spare time? Spend time with the grandchildren and family, play snooker and go fishing.

Best thing about working at Stabicraft? The staff, facilities, training infrastructure and the hours — all up, it’s a pretty friendly working environment. Worst thing about working at Stabicraft? Scorching hot Southland summer days stuck in the workshop. What has changed over the years? Our name and our manufacturing procedures are now known around the world. Plus we can give people from other countries the chance to work here and experience our Kiwi lifestyle. Oh, and Stabis look way better than they used to! Describe Stabicraft in five words: Safe, innovative, quality, 100 per cent Kiwi. What is your favourite model? 2400 Supercab. What do you do in your spare time? Spend time with the family at Colac Bay in our caravan. I also like a few rounds of golf, mountain biking, and watching the All Blacks, Warriors and V8 Supercars. I’m a bit partial to the odd bit of home handyman action, as well.

Length of service: 20 years Current position: Fuel tank installer Past position: Finishing team

Length of service: 19 years Current position: Press operator WC 6 finishing department Past position: Second-in-charge WC 1

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KEN STENTON

SIMON SWALE

Best thing about working at Stabicraft? The people, and being able to contribute to developing new ideas. Worst thing about working at Stabicraft? The pressure to keep up with demand. What has changed over the years? Everything. Originally, everything was designed and made by hand. Now we have a design team and modern equipment for things like cutting and pressing. Describe Stabicraft in five words: State-of-the-art, idiot-proof, tough, reliable. What is your favourite model? 2250 Ultra Centrecab. What do you do in your spare time? Spend time with family, play around with muscle cars and go fishing.

Best thing about working at Stabicraft? Working with a great bunch of people — and who wouldn’t love building boats? Worst thing about working at Stabicraft? Winter — when it’s wet and cold here, it’s bloody wet and cold! What has changed over the years? What hasn’t changed is more the question. But one thing never does, and that’s our determination to build the best rigid pontoon boat in the world. I’m proud of that. Describe Stabicraft in five words: Brand-focused, quality, busy, innovative. What is your favourite model? It’s hard to go past the 1850 Supercab, but I’m really keen to have a play in the new 2250 Centrecab. What do you do in your spare time? Take advantage of my family’s love to play as much lawn bowls as I possibly can!

Length of service: 24 years Current position: Team leader/quality control/ welding training Past positions: Team leader WC 2, 3, 4, 6

Length of service: 13 years Current position: Planning manager Past positions: Dealer relationship manager/sales support

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STABIPARTNER BLA

TECH GAME CHANGER! HUMMINBIRD AND MINN KOTA SHARE MORE THAN JUST A PHYSICAL ADDRESS. THEY BOTH HAVE A PASSION FOR FISHING AND WON’T REST UNTIL THEY’VE SET YOU UP FOR THE PERFECT FISHIN’ MISSION. If you haven’t used a Minn Kota and don’t understand what it does, then you must be living in a desert. If that’s you with the sand in your ears, here’s the rub. In short, it’s a GPS anchor that uses an electric motor off the bow of your boat to lock onto the one spot with all the accuracy of a laserguided missile. And it’s just as deadly. You can now hover effortlessly over the honey hole, at any depth, fine-tuning your micro-jig action. Minn Kota and Humminbird have teamed up to link the two systems. Sensibly, they’ve called it the LINK system. You’ll now have complete control of your Minn Kota directly from your Humminbird Sounder. With LINK, you can impress your mates and dupe the fish with three impressive tricks:

Humminbird Virtual Remote

VIRTUAL REMOTE: Control your motor from a virtual remote on your Humminbird screen. Take command of speed, steering, Spot-Lock and Advanced AutoPilot directly from your fishfinder. SPOT-LOCK: Stay glued to your favourite fishing spot with state-of-the-art algorithms for the most accurate hold ever. And Spot-Lock Jog lets you move your Spot-Lock five feet in any direction just to make sure that bommie is covered from every angle. CIRCLE MODE: Exclusive to LINK, just tap Circle Mode, select distance from the target, then cast to the sweet spot while orbiting. For more information check out www.humminbird.co.nz

Spot-Lock

Circle Mode

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MINN KOTA TROLLING MOTOR

MINN KOTA i-PILOT and i-PILOT LINK GPS SYSTEMS

HUMMINBIRD FISH FINDER ON THE BOW

HUMMINBIRD FISH FINDER IN-DASH

MINN KOTA TROLLING MOTOR FOOT PEDAL MINN KOTA TALON FOOT SWITCH MOBILE APPS

Humminbird FishSmart Minn Kota Talon Minn Kota i-Pilot

MINN KOTA TALON REMOTE

MINN KOTA TALON SHALLOW WATER ANCHORS

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STABIGEAR

STABI GEAR

STABI BOATS DESERVE STABI CARGO. ACCESSORISE YOURSELF BY LOADING UP WITH OFFICIAL STABICRAFT MERCHANDISE AT WWW.STABICRAFT.COM/SHOP

STUBBY BEER COOLER $12.00

It’s a simple concept, but then the great ideas usually are. It keeps the amber fluid cold and your hands dry — and is ridiculously easy to operate. Brilliant!

STABICRAFT DNA LONG SLEEVE TEE $44.99

Show the world that the blood of a boating bad-ass runs through your veins in the Stabicraft DNA long sleeve tee.

STABICRAFT HUTCHWILCO 150N LIFEJACKET $100.00 Of course, in a boat as stable and safe as a Stabicraft, your chances of ending up outside the boat swimming with the fishes are slim to none. Should the unthinkable happen, this buoyant baby will save your bacon.

STABICRAFT SOFTSHELL VEST $94.99

If the concept of “sleeves” fills you with horror — either because your guns are Incredibly Hulkish or you just have a free spirit — the waterproof, windproof new PRO2 vest is for you. It’s got lots of pockets, it’s warm, and did we mention it has no sleeves?

STABICRAFT SOFTSHELL JACKET $99.99

Water-resistant and windcheating, this microfibre marvel will keep you warm on your boat or on the beach cooking up the catch at the end of the day. After which, that adjustable waistband might come in handy.

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STABICRAFT CAP $29.99

Your head doesn’t deserve to slow-cook in the midday sun. Keep your head together in style with a bad boy Stabicraft cap.

STABICRAFT BEANIE $19.99

When it’s so cold out on the water that even the penguins are on life support, conserve essential life essences and maintain your brain inside a Stabicraft Beanie.

STABICRAFT BUMPER STICKER $2.99

The perfect Stabicraft gateway drug, this sticker does not restrict its adhesive behaviour to bumpers or beer coolers. Slap one of these transparent, waterproof little suckers wherever you please. Every time you see it, you’ll hear a little voice saying, “Some day, son, a Stabi will be yours.”

STABICRAFT RED/GREY “S” HOODY $74.99

Hoodies get a bad rap, but styling Stabi’s interlocking pontoon “S” logo on your chest, you’re equally ready to spray a mural, bust a move or lock horns with a marlin. And your head stays warm.

MY DAD DRIVES A STABI TEE $34.99 Style up the mini-mes in this Dr Brainwash-approved range of kids’ gear from the Stabi clothing lab — featuring dads, grandads and, of course, Stabis galore. In black or grey.

STABICRAFT OUTLINE TEE $24.99

This classic black tee with its subtle Stabi branding says you’re a sophisticated but lowkey guy who just happens to have a weakness for bad-ass boats. Got a problem with that?

STABICRAFT GREY/BLACK “S” TEE $44.99 Rock Stabi on your chest in this tee featuring the Stabicraft “S” logo, rendered as two interlocking pontoon bows. It’s just that little bit cooler than the rest — like Stabis.

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

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STABITECH

R&D GUY

Stabicraft design guru Mike Stenton is responsible for the team that make Stabis go as good as they look. In 2011, when the 1850 Supercab was born, the bosses threw down the gauntlet — “Mike, we reckon your team can design a better transom.” Mike’s team thought so, too. So that’s what they did. When it was released to market it made a huge splash, in a good way. In fact, it exceeded Mike’s expectations, which is saying something. He doesn’t get carried away with hyperbole.

STABIMAG: Mike, what led to the new Game Chaser Transom? MIKE: We’d had customers asking: “Wouldn’t it be good if we could back up faster and easier when chasing game fish or backing into the slop?” We’d also noted fishos were always trying to get closer to the water at the rear of the boat. The four-stroke outboards of the day were getting heavier, but when the new 1850 Supercab arrived, we were given a clean slate for a fresh transom. Paul just laid down the challenge, saying: “Show us what you can do”. It was time to innovate — a word I always love hearing from the boss. What did you have to consider from other parts of the Stabicraft business? From a production aspect, the goal was to reduce the componentry, but add strength. Essentially, creating more with less by engineering strength into the hull structure. This was also the design thinking: more with less. And we had to consider the dealer fit-up specialists. We wanted to give them the best, most accessible transom to rig up engines, rigging, plumbing and electronics. That sounds like a monumental challenge. How did you turn it into reality? It sounds like a cliché, but we had a long list of ideas and just started brainstorming. We’d either build on the idea or tear the damn thing to pieces. We focused on a small list of really good ones, refining them with

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MORE WITH LESS: Mike’s team was challenged with the task of adding more strength with less parts.

“IT WAS TIME TO INNOVATE — A WORD I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM THE BOSS.”

BACK ‘ER UP: The Game Chaser Transom does its thing on Gene Denton’s 1850 Supercab powered by a 130HP Yamaha outboard.

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STABITECH

everyone’s input. Then we grabbed an unfinished boat and started mocking up a new transom in cardboard. Having a full-sized model helped us evaluate and improve the concept. What were the biggest speed bumps you hit? Time is the biggest challenge. It’s hard to allocate time for innovation, not knowing where it’s going to end up. Doing more with less also challenged our design thinking. But when people started saying, “That makes perfect sense” or (we love this one) “Why didn’t someone do this sooner?”, then we knew we’d cracked it. How does the Game Chaser Transom actually work? Good question. It’s V-shaped with soft edges so water flows around the transom instead of into your boat. The design also adds extra buoyancy for reversing while heavily loaded. Steering is more direct, so it goes where you actually want it to go. What models does the Game Chaser Transom now sit on? The 1650FIA, 1850SC, 2050SC, 2100SC, 2400SC, 2250CC, 2750UCC, 2500UC, 2500UCXL (Note: this is Mike’s favourite Stabicraft — “great functionality and a wickedly aggressive look”), 2750CC, 2750UCC and the new 3050UCXL prototype we’ve just finished. Any surprise lessons after you went to market with the Game Chaser? We learned from the Pacific Northwest that they often nose their Stabis onto the rocky shorelines to collect clams — any time they want to do something ashore, really. This leaves the transom exposed to swell and wave action. Our feedback was that the sea washes around the Game Chaser Transom, rather than slapping against it — which typically jars the boat and forces it up onto the rocks. That was a bonus and a nice surprise. OK, I’m a game fisherman and want to travel backwards as fast as possible. What’s the best Stabicraft configuration to make this achievable? Twins? Trimmed up or down? Model? Well, what’s your budget? What’s the towing vehicle capacity? How far do you have to travel to your fishing spot and what speed do you want to cruise at? Mate, these questions are way too practical for this time of day. Please indulge us. The fastest I can recall in testing was a singlepowered 175HP 2050 Supercab trimmed in neutral. Great, thanks Mike. Maybe your design team can now get to work on a trailer my wife can reverse?

“IT’S V-SHAPED WITH SOFT EDGES SO WATER FLOWS AROUND THE TRANSOM INSTEAD OF INTO YOUR BOAT.”

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TURN THIS WAY: The V-shaped transom greatly improves steerage in reverse. That’s no small task in outboardpowered trailer boats.

PUMP UP THE VOLUME: The Game Chaser Transom also adds extra buoyancy for reversing while heavily loaded.

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STABICOVER STORY

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SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

SOUTHERN COMFORT W O RD S b y T im Ba r ne tt & IM A GE S by Ja m e s Ju bb

The 2250 Ultra Centrecab is the new Stabicraft model everyone’s talking about. When its big brother 2750 hit the water, fishos around the world went ga-ga. The market then asked for a smaller version and Stabicraft responded. Led by Mike Stenton, the R&D team worked day and night to develop the 2250. In true Stabicraft form, the concept went through a rigorous testing regime. One of these tests included a hunting trip to New Zealand’s deep south. For Tim Barnett, co-presenter of the popular New Zealand TV series Red Stag Timber Hunters Club and a commercial free diver for 20 years around the Kiwi coast and Chatham Islands — mostly using small aluminium boats — this was a mission he’d sell his missus to go on.

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STABICOVER STORY

Stewart Island, New Zealand

ADVENTURES AHOY: The R&D team decided Stewart Island would be the perfect test ground. We’d also need some tough bastards to do the dirty work. Don’t let their white gumboots fool you.

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S

tewart Island/Rakiura sits at 47 degrees south in the heart of the Roaring Forties. Only 16nm across Foveaux Strait from the South Island port of Bluff, it might as well be on another planet. The island’s 1746sq km (674sq mi) are mostly covered in dense bush, most of it (1400sq km / 540sq mi) New Zealand’s newest national park. There are more real (feathered) kiwis here than anywhere else in the country, but less than 400 actual people. And it rains. A lot. Every day. This is ideal country to test Stabi’s new 2250 Ultra Centrecab. The waters around Stewart Island can be some of the roughest and most unpredictable in the country. The coastline is remote and rugged, while the heinous seas teem with fish, sealions, penguins and shellfish. There’s also an abundance of wildlife out of the water. The majority of the island is covered in thick bush to the shoreline and it’s home to one of the few populations of whitetail deer outside the US, which draws hunters from around the world. There is no better testing ground for a new boat than Stewart Island — and no tougher crowd to please than the commercial fishermen who harvest this rugged coast. Our mission was to circumnavigate Stewart Island, exploring the lesser-known, more remote south and southwest while putting the new 2250 Ultra Centrecab through

“THE WATERS AROUND STEWART ISLAND CAN BE SOME OF THE ROUGHEST AND MOST UNPREDICTABLE IN THE COUNTRY.”

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STABICOVER STORY

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THE WATERS AROUND STEWART ISLAND CAN GET PRETTY UNCOMFORTABLE, PRETTY QUICKLY, SO BEING SMART ABOUT SAFETY IS, ER, SMART.

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STABICOVER STORY

some serious white water. The targets were whitetail deer, a good feed of crays and pauas — with a bit of spearfishing on the side. For this trip, we’d assembled a motley crew of expert hunter-gatherers — tough bastards all. Dwayne Herbert is a spearfishing legend with multiple national titles, commercial free diver and fisherman. Based in Bluff, he’s got an extensive knowledge of the Stewart Island and Fiordland coastlines. Our token ginger is keen spearo and hunter Sam Wild, who owns the NZ Spearo Forum. His day job as an underwater photo/videographer has included gigs with the Red Stag Timber Hunters Club and Piri’s Tiki Tour. James Jubb is the boss photo/videographer and you can appreciate his piccies herabouts. He’s got years of experience and is an avid outdoorsman. Then there’s Doug, who likes a bit of hunter-gathering, but has a much more important reason for joining this mission. A contract engineer working for Stabicraft in the development and building of the 2250 Ultra Centrecab, Doug’s job is to see how well the boat does its job. At least, that’s what he told his boss.

THE SET-UP

The waters around Stewart Island can get pretty uncomfortable, pretty quickly, so being smart about safety is, er, smart. We make sure we stow the EPIRB and Garmin within reach, plus life jackets and general safety gear. Warm clothes and a good sleeping bag are a must as it gets damn cold that far south. Even though we’re hoping the hunt will be a good one, we pack plenty of food, water and a few emergency beers. A good thick wetsuit is a must for spearfishing the icy waters — plus a decent set of freediving gear, an accurate speargun, a good paua tool and gloves for catching crayfish. Our fishing gear is a pretty basic set-up with a double-hook rig to catch a feed of blue cod as quickly as possible. To worry the whitetails, we’ll need a rifle. A Sako 85 Finnlight calibre .243, mounted with a Leupold VX-5HD 2-10 x 42mm scope and loaded with Federal Fusion 95 grain ammo will do the business. Throw in a rangefinder, good binoculars and a trusty set of gumboots — and we’re locked and loaded.

CRAY TALES: Holding a spearfishing national championship, Dwayne Herbert was entrusted with snagging some crays.

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“EVEN THOUGH WE’RE HOPING THE HUNT WILL BE A GOOD ONE, WE PACK PLENTY OF FOOD, WATER AND A FEW EMERGENCY BEERS.”

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STABICOVER STORY

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A CONTRACT ENGINEER WORKING FOR STABICRAFT IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND BUILDING OF THE 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB, DOUG’S JOB IS TO SEE HOW WELL THE BOAT DOES ITS JOB.

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STABICOVER STORY

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“WHEN IT COMES TO HUNTING STUFF, THE 2250 ULTRA CENTRECAB IS A DREAM MACHINE THAT INCORPORATES SOME FLASH DESIGN FEATURES FROM PREVIOUS STABI MODELS.”

THE PREY

Stewart Island has a long history of commercial fishing and most of the small island community are involved with fishing or tourism — often both together. As commercial free divers, Dwayne and I have harvested paua (abalone), kina (sea urchins) and sea cucumber all around the island. Crayfish are abundant in these waters, often living in cracks, caves and rocky boulder areas. Pauas are also plentiful. Found in inshore areas, often around small boulders, they make for a quick and delicious feed. Free diving is a pretty good way to catch crays and paua. On the fishing front, trumpeter and blue cod are on the menu. The trumpeter is a top table fish found in good numbers around Stewart Island. They’re a treat for spearos as they’re not often encountered in the rest of New Zealand. Also damn tasty, blue cod are found in good numbers and easily caught on rod or handline. But the main targets on this trip have four legs. Stewart Island whitetail deer often come down to the beaches to feed on kelp, which supplements their diet, or they can be spotted in small clearings along the coast. This is a unique opportunity to hunt whitetail from a boat and the Stabi proves to be the perfect shooting platform. It’s stable, stealthy, doesn’t draw too much water and when we need to, we can nuzzle up to the shoreline and dismount to hunt our quarry.

THE PREDATOR

BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2250 ULTRACAB CENTRECAB Length: 6.9m (22.6ft) Beam: 2.55m (8.4ft) Australian beam: 2.5m (8.2ft) Deadrise: 19 degrees Seating capacity: 8 Dry hull weight (approx): 1630kg (3594lb) Fuel capacity: 300L (79gal) Standard HP: 150HP Maximum HP: 300HP

ELECTRONICS

Furuno TZtouch2 15.6” Furuno TM260 1kW transducer Furuno TZtouch Solid State 25W 36nM Radome Furuno NAVpilot Autopilot system

ENGINE SPECS Model: Yamaha F300XCA DEC 6YC Digital Gauge Displacement: 4.2L 6-cylinder Weight: 260kg (573lb)

PRICE New Zealand: from $138,995 with 150HP outboard & trailer Australia: from $129,995 with 150HP outboard & trailer United States: from $69,995 with 150HP outboard & trailer

When it comes to hunting stuff, the 2250 Ultra Centrecab is a dream machine that incorporates some flash design features from previous Stabi models. Arrow Pontoons from the 2500 hull provides a wider beam for better stability, and the Game Chaser Transom from the 1850 supplies excellent backing-up capability. This means manoeuvring in reverse in those tight, tricky, rocky areas to drop off the shooters is pretty sweet. And the platforms at the stern with an access ladder make for an easy exit from the water for us spearos. In the fishing department, using the 2500’s Wing-Style Coamings gives good surface area for butts, rods and multiholders. And there’s plenty of room to move with the 2750 Centrecab’s walkaround, and the 2500 Ultracab’s wide tread plate floor. The 360-degree walkaround makes it so easy to hit the beach and jump off onto the rocks when the hunt is on — and is a good platform to glass and shoot off. On the logistics side of things, using box bearers from the 2400 Supercab helped the design team fit in a 300L fuel tank — plus the 2500 Ultracab XL’s vee-berth extension — that big boy tank gave us all the gas we needed for our long-distance adventure. Forward-facing windows keep the screen mostly clear of splash and spray, and create a shit ton of extra space in the cabin. With many conventional cabined boats, during rough weather you need to be aware of the dash to avoid smacking your face. The forward-facing window on the 2250 means you’d actually have to try to get your mug close enough to cop a biff. There also seems to be a lot less sea spray and/or rain on the windscreen. Combined with the twin window wipers, this gives us excellent visibility during stormy conditions. The heater is also an asset when temperatures get to freeze-your-arse-off cold. It pumps out the heat like a volcano on steroids, keeping us all nice and toasty.

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STABICOVER STORY

COOKING THE CATCH CREAMED PAUAS

INGREDIENTS: • 3 minced pauas • 3 thinly sliced pauas • 2 finely sliced onions • 1 or 2 tbs cornflour • 1L (34oz) or more of cream • Knob of butter or a bit of oil • Salt and pepper METHOD: Add butter to a medium-sized wok. Once melted, add onion and cook until translucent. Add paua and cook until sliced paua starts to curl (around 2 minutes). Add cornflour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cream gradually until pauas are covered. Cook for a further 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

CRAYFISH

INGREDIENTS: • Crayfish • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic • 100g (3.5oz) softened butter METHOD: Heat up the barbecue. Mix up the garlic and butter. Slice crayfish in half lengthwise and remove the poop tube. Smear a decent amount of garlic butter on top. Cook shell-slide down until most of the meat has turned white. Flip over to finish and brown the meat side.

BLUE COD OR TRUMPETER

INGREDIENTS: • Blue cod/trumpeter • Tempura batter • Flour • Rice bran oil METHOD: In a non-stick pan or deep-fryer, heat up oil until hot. Slice cod/trumpeter fillets into small pieces. Coat in flour and dip in prepared tempura batter. Deep-fry until golden brown, turning if necessary.

TRUMPETER SASHIMI

INGREDIENTS: • Trumpeter • Wasabi • Soy sauce METHOD: Slice trumpeter fillets thinly (2–3mm thick) across the grain. Lay on plate. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

VENISON

INGREDIENTS: • Venison • Flour • Egg • Breadcrumbs • Salt and pepper • Oil METHOD: Thinly slice venison steaks across the grain. Roll in flour then dip in beaten egg, seasoned with salt and pepper. Roll in breadcrumbs. Shallow-fry quickly in a hot pan until golden brown on each side and pink in the middle.

BBQ BOAT: Seafood fare included a good feed of crays, pauas and trumpeter, along with whitetail deer from the shoreline.

SWELL CHASER

Putting the 2250 Ultra Centrecab through its paces in some challenging sea conditions is a blast. It’s awesome in the rough weather, performing well above my expectations. There is minimal pounding when we’re speeding through the short, sharp chop, and in a fat swell, she lands way softer than I expected. We are all pretty comfortable in some big seas. To be honest, it’s the softest-riding aluminium boat of its size I’ve ever been in. Exploring remote corners of Stewart Island is also a major buzz and sparks a bit of inspiration for future trips. We take down three deer — with the added bonus of Sam and Doug both shooting their first whitetails, Doug’s a nice four-point buck — and we come away with a decent feed of venison. And, of course, we harvest some awesome fresh seafood, cooking up a couple of hearty meals on the boat.

FEEDBACK FROM THE FRONTLINE

The 2250 does everything we ask of it and a bloody sight more. Overall, we’re pretty impressed and there was nothing much we’d change apart from a couple of minor points. I reckon move the USB ports so the cables aren’t so close to the gear lever — which is a bit too close to the steering wheel. I’d also round off the sharp lip on both sides of the boat, but mainly the one next to the gearshift as our elbows and hands copped a bit of abuse in the rougher weather. The step for both passenger and driver could do with adjusting, possibly with a flip-up option to give more room to steer in rougher weather. Space inside the cab is at a premium, but weighed up against not having a 360-degree walkaround, it’s a compromise worth making.

HORSEPOWER FOR A DEER HUNT

We test three different Yamaha outboards on the 2250s — a 150HP, 225HP and the 300HP. The 150HP is surprisingly quick, powerful and, given a light to medium load, is perfect for someone trying to stick to a budget. But we reckon the 225HP will be most people’s preference for power, efficiency, speed, budget and performance. It damn sure finds the sweet spot for the 2250. The 300HP is unreal. It’s very quick out of the hole, but has about the same top end as the 225HP. It’s a great choice for people carrying heavier loads (as we are on this trip) and where budget isn’t as much of a concern.

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“THE 2250 DOES EVERYTHING WE ASK OF IT AND A BLOODY SIGHT MORE.”

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STABIFEATURE STORMING THE STATES

SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

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UNITED STABIS OF AMERICA

THE CAPTAIN’S CREW TOUR, OREGON, ON THE US PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST — ON A TRIO OF STABICRAFTS Wo rds a n d i m a g e s by Th e C a pt a i n

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Garibaldi, Oregon

“ER, G’DAY MATE, THIS IS THE CAPTAIN FROM AUSTRALIA. CAN YOU TAKE US FISHING?” WE MUMBLE DOWN THE PHONE.

v t . n i a t p a c e h t .w w w

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T

he Captain’s crew is in Garibaldi, Oregon, on the US Pacific Northwest coast. Huge mountain ranges covered in tall timber peer over the rugged coastline. Icy rivers meander out to bays where creaking timber trawlers and newer steel ones are docked sideby-side like old draught horses, taking respite before their next offshore stint hauling tuna and crab from the Pacific. The two major industries are timber milling and fishing, but bounty hunters also come to these parts in search of the legendary Bigfoot, rumoured to live deep in the lush fir forests. However, it’s the fishing we’ve come to investigate. The salmon run is on and recreational fishermen are milling about the bay in open tinnies, many of them tiller-steer. They’re also pulling crab pots and nuzzling into the shores to collect clams. We reckon it’s the perfect habitat for wheelhouse game boats, suitable for bay fishing, but with the capability of mingling with the commercial fishing fleet hunting albacore. Kiwi boat builder Stabicraft thinks so, too. They’ve been making a huge dent in the Pacific Northwest boat market since launching here more than 20 years ago. We’d called our man at Stabicraft to see if he could organise us a local ride. He’d given us the numbers of three Stabicraft owners — John Files, Scott Sayer and David Larson. All we had to do was convince these guys it was a good idea to let some Australian blokes they’d never met jump aboard their boats and catch their fish. Oh, and we’d need some comfortable beds. It went a bit like this:

“Er, g’day mate, this is The Captain from Australia. Can you take us fishing?” we mumble down the phone. “Hello? No, I’m sorry, we’re not looking to change internet providers at the moment. Thanks for your call,” comes the response. Several confused phone calls and emails later, we finally persuade the three Americans to show us a slice of Oregon — and give us a ride aboard their Stabicrafts.

GOOD OL’ AMERICAN HOSPITALITY

It’s a long and sweaty slog across the Pacific before we touch down at Portland International at 10pm. The plan is to meet John Files’ wife, Julie, at a little farm they own near the airport. By the time we arrive, it’s well past midnight, but Julie opens the door with a welcoming smile. After making us tea, she ushers us to our rooms, saying, “You boys need anything, y’all don’t hesitate to ask, OK?” Now, we’ve stayed in some interesting places during our travels, but the jet lag mixed with shag pile carpet, embroidered pillows and crocheted doonas makes us wonder if we’ve travelled back in time. It doesn’t matter — we’re snoring in less than a minute. We’d planned a lay day to recover from the flight and check out some of the cool cafe culture Portland is famous for. The region is one of the most progressive in the US, with legalised same-sex marriage and pot smoking par for the course. But Julie isn’t having a bar of it. At 8am, she charges in to our room, “Wakey, wakey boys! Time to get moving.” Before we can prise the sleep from our eyes, she’s made breakfast and handed us printed instructions on how to get to the fishing shack. “Let’s get moving, got to beat the traffic!” The Captain’s breakfast reefer will have to wait.

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DAB FOR THE CRAB: Crabbing is a popular part of Garibaldi life, with Dungeness the main target species.

Dann

y

THE FISHING SHACK

Julie

The fishing shack is a few hours from Portland in the coastal town of Rockaway Beach. It’s a hot spot for salmon and tuna, and John and Julie keep a Stabicraft 2750 Centrecab berthed at Garibaldi Marina. Julie proudly parades her adopted Aussies around the dock like a couple of celebrities. By the time we reach the shack, we’ve met the entire town — and are ready for another siesta. Just as we lie down on the quilt-covered beds, Julie hollers, “You boys can’t go to sleep, it’s happy hour and friends are coming over.” In the living room, we’re amazed to see more than a dozen faces glued to a TV screen watching The Captain videos. “Well, this is embarrassing,” we splutter. “The Aussies are awake everyone, come say hi!” Julie announces. The last reliable memory we have is of a guy called Danny, with a Glock pistol on his belt and a halfgallon bottle of rum in his hand, saying, “They say if I feed you guys Captain Morgan we’re going to have a mighty good time!”

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“JOHN IS A BIT OF A TECH GEEK, EVEN SELLING HIS GPS DOG COLLAR PATENT TO GARMIN.”

DEADLIEST CATCH: John’s Yammie-powered 2750 Centrecab is equipped with a crab pot hauler.

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SALMON STUD: Danny has mastered the art of catching coho salmon. Delta divers trolled at two to three miles per hour in the morning work best.

“CHINOOKS CAN BE CAUGHT WITH THE COHO TECHNIQUES ABOVE, BUT YOU’LL USUALLY FIND THEM IN DEEPER WATER.”

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BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2750 CENTRECAB Length: 8.4m (27.5ft) Beam: 2.55m (8.3ft) Australian Beam: 2.5m (8.2ft) Deadrise: 21.5 degrees Seating capacity: 9 Dry hull weight (approx): 1990kg (4387lb) Fuel capacity: 500L (132 gal) Standard HP: 300HP Maximum HP: 500HP

ELECTRONICS Simrad 4G Radar Simrad NSS12 Evo2 Simrad VHF radio

ENGINE SPECS Model: 2 x Yamaha F200 Type: 16-valve, DOHC in-line 4 Displacement: 2.8L Weight: 222kg (489lb) each

PRICE New Zealand: $214,830 Australia: $201,940 United States: $165,254

DINNER SORTED

“Wakey, wakey boys!” It’s still dark outside and we’re not sure if it’s all been a dream. The seedy feeling in our stomachs and pounding headaches confirms it’s not. We’re hung-over and jet-lagged, but after a big pot of black coffee we level out and prepare for the day’s fishing. We’ll be chasing Pacific salmon — chinooks and cohos specifically. They’re a highly prized sport fish on every dietician’s wish list thanks to their high nutritional content. When it comes to salmon, the only way The Captain knows how to catch them is at his local cafe, served with avocado, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. John and Julie look to have the fishing caper sorted, muttering in some strange language about flashers, hoochies, spinners and cut plug herring. It doesn’t matter, because after a few hours on the water, we’ve hooked a beautiful silver-flanked coho salmon, destined for the smoker. Crabbing is a big part of Garibaldi life. It involves dropping a cage with fish bait, tied to a float, then picking it up hours or days later. Fortunately, John deployed some crab traps the previous day. He hauls up the pots and suddenly massive Dungeness crabs are crawling all over the Stabi cockpit. Skipper John might look like a mild-mannered accountant, but his Centrecab (appropriately named Happy-Ours) is set up for serious fish slaying. It’s fitted with 420HP of triple Yamaha power out back (OK, one is a trolling motor), a 500L (132gal) fuel tank, downriggers, customised rod holders and a custom crab pot hauler with a winch. John says it was Julie who decided to buy the boat,

JOHN’S SALMON TIPS

John has a few pointers to get you hooked on salmon fishing. Techniques vary depending on species, location and conditions.

OCEAN COHO SALMON

Early in the morning is the time to chase ocean coho. Delta divers work well fishing under the surface, travelling at two to three miles per hour (4km/h). When the fish hits, simply stop and fight it. Downriggers are also employed. Coho like bling, so 360 flashers with hoochies and/or spinners will work (bright colours on sunny days, dark colours on cloudy ones). Cut plug herring or whole anchovies bent to spin tightly work well, too. As the day progresses, the fish usually move from on top (6–15ft / 2–5m) to deeper (25ft / 8m). We run several depths and adjust the other rods when we find the best depth.

OCEAN CHINOOK SALMON

Chinooks can be caught with the coho techniques above, but you’ll usually find them in deeper water (towards the bottom). A sliding drop line about an arms length with a 16oz (0.5kg) weight allows you to drop down and present a spinning cut plug herring on a 6ft (2m) leader just off the bottom, trolled at a speed of about one mile per hour (1.6km/h). As the salmon enter the bay and rivers, the bite becomes more tidal with the best times an hour before to an hour after tide change. I like the high tide change better than low tide, but both are good. I’ll put a sixbead chain swivel halfway down the 6ft (1.8m) leader so it won’t twist up if weed gets on it with the rotating herring. As you move up the bay, water temperatures rise and spinners seem to get the bite.

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STABIFEATURE STORMING THE STATES (BELOW) FLUFFY FEATURES: Scott’s 2500 Ultracab XL comes complete with a full kitchen, fold-down table and a poodle that looks like it’s been on a 48-hour bender.

“As soon as she heard about the positive buoyancy and the fact they’re virtually unsinkable, she was sold.” John is a bit of a tech geek, even selling his GPS dog collar patent to Garmin. He’s fitted out the boat with Simrad, running a bangin’ NSS12 Evo2 display with a 4G radar upstairs. Who thought you’d need so much tech to catch salmon? When we think about salmon fishing in the Northwest, we picture Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It — quietly wading down a gentle stream, fly rod in hand. But John is far better looking than Brad Pitt.

BLOODBATH

The fishing is hot in the bay — and apparently even hotter out wide — so we get on the blower to beef farmer Scott Sayer, owner of a Stabicraft 2500 Ultracab XL. He doesn’t take much convincing and a few hours later, rolls down the ramp at Garibaldi Marina. “G’day mates!” Scott says in his best Aussie accent, shaking our hands. We’d expected a cap-wearing farmer in denim and cowboy boots, but Scott struts down the dock with a miniature poodle wedged under his arm wearing a pink sweater (the poodle, that is), its tongue hanging out like it had been on a 48-hour bender. Was this the Oregon way? Perhaps the pooch is bait, we muse, smiling and avoiding eye contact — with the poodle and Scott. Like his poodle, Scott’s Stabi is a one of a kind. He’s peeled the decals from the boat and engine cowlings so it doesn’t look like anyone else’s. “People ask if it’s a military prototype,” he says proudly. Today we’re heading 60 nautical miles offshore, in convoy with John Files’ Centrecab. We’ve packed 200kg

(440lb) of ice on board each boat, hoping for a large ice bath of tuna. The bag limit is 25 fish per person and we get the impression we’re not going home until the boat is “plugged” — it physically can’t hold any more fish. Nearing the GPS mark that signifies the hot bite, the crew deploys the lures. It’s a glass-off and Scott runs a combination of two rods and two handlines. His favourite lure comes out — the cedar plug, which is basically a piece of untreated wood with a hook jammed up its butt. We pretend to be impressed, asking where the Pakula lures are stashed, but Scott just gives us a quizzical stare. The twin Yamaha F150s are spooled up to seven knots and the trap is set. By 1pm that afternoon, our opinion of the cedar plug has changed. The kill tank and three additional coolers are packed to the brim with albacore tuna. “Hey Scott, where can we get one of those cedar plugs?” we ask casually. But he’s too busy bleeding and packing albacore on ice to hear us.

ULTRA AWESOME

Boat plugged, we head back to Garibaldi Marina to get some much-needed shut-eye. Scott has set up his 2500 Ultracab XL for overnighters. It’s got a full kitchen with a sink and cooktop, as well as a huge double berth in the bow. The handy drop-down dinette table can be folded away against the wall to create a second sleeping nook. Speaking of sleepovers, Scott has also equipped his 2500 with serious spotlight action: front and flank light bars. In the sounder department, a Simrad NSS12 Evo3 sits neatly in the dash while the 4G radar on the hardtop scouts for birds lurking above unsuspecting tuna schools. Get those cedar plugs ready.

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“HE PEELED THE DECALS FROM THE BOAT AND ENGINE COWLINGS SO IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE ANYONE ELSE’S.”

BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2500 ULTRACAB XL Length: 7.62m (25ft) Beam: 2.55m (8.3ft) Australian Beam: 2.5m (8.2ft) Deadrise: 19 degrees Seating capacity: 9 Dry hull weight (approx): 1630kg (3593lb) Fuel capacity: 378L (100gal) Standard HP: 300HP Maximum HP: 400HP

ELECTRONICS Simrad 4G Radar Simrad NSS12 Evo3 Simrad VHF radio

ENGINE SPECS Model: 2 x Yamaha F150 Type: 16-valve, DOHC in-line 4 Displacement: 2.6L Weight: 228kg (503lb) each

PRICE New Zealand: $183,313 Australia: $172,314 United States: $141,010

TUNA TAMERS: Scott and his old man, Jack, with one of many albacore tuna destined for the dinner table.

Jack

Sco

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CRUISIN’ DOWN THE 101: Highway 101 is Oregon’s version of The Great Ocean Road.

id Dav

HIGHWAY 101

We give Julie a big bear hug and say our goodbyes to the cedar crew and Rockaway Beach. Next stop is Charleston, the biggest commercial fishing port in Oregon, four hours south on Highway 101. This famous stretch of road wraps itself along the west coast of the US, starting in Los Angeles, California and running all the way up to Seattle, Washington. In Charleston, we meet up with retiree David Larson. He describes the area as “a mini Alaska”. His ride is a brandspanking-new Stabicraft 2750 Ultra Centrecab XL, towed by a black Caterpillar-powered GMC, which makes a Dodge Ram look like a Suzuki Jimny. Prior to retiring, Dave ran Larson Industrial, which specialised in welding and machining — so he knows a thing or two about quality fabrication. The Ultra Centrecab XL features a big cabin with the pilot house-style windscreen, walk-around configuration, a massive 500L (132gal) fuel tank and a nine-person payload. He can do 200 nautical miles at sea and still come home with 50L (13gal) in reserve.

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“NEXT STOP IS CHARLESTON, THE BIGGEST COMMERCIAL FISHING PORT IN OREGON, FOUR HOURS SOUTH ON HIGHWAY 101.”

GHOSTBUSTER: David’s 2750 Ultra Centrecab XL cuts through the early morning Charleston fog.

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“WE DODGE THE ROADSIDE DEER AND ARRIVE AT THE CHARLESTON BOAT RAMP SAFE AND SOUND.”

TOUGH TRUCK: Dave’s Caterpillar-powered GMC makes a Dodge Ram look like a Suzuki Jimny.

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BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2750 ULTRA CENTRECAB XL Length: 8.4m (27.5ft) Beam: 2.55m (8.3ft) Australian Beam: 2.5m (8.2ft) Deadrise: 21.5 degrees Seating capacity: 9 Dry hull weight (approx): 1990kg (4387lb) Fuel capacity: 500L (132gal) Standard HP: 300HP Maximum HP: 500HP

ELECTRONICS Simrad 4G Radar Simrad NSS12 Evo3 Simrad VHF radio

ENGINE SPECS Model: 2 x Yamaha F200 Type: 16-valve, DOHC in-line 4 Displacement: 2.8L Weight: 222kg (489lb) each

PRICE New Zealand: $223,886 Australia: $210,453 United States: $172,220

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL

Over an evening beer, we tell Dave about our salmon and tuna adventures. He’s impressed and eager to show us his backwaters, suggesting we go bottom bashing the next day. We happily agree, heading back to our motel room with dreams of hauling shimmering red snapper with iridescent blue fins over the gunwales the next day. A big fog rolls in overnight. We dodge the roadside deer and arrive at the Charleston boat ramp safe and sound. We’re glad Dave has a Simrad 4G radar installed because we’re literally driving blind. After navigating the bar, we cruise five nautical miles down coast and pull up on a patch of reef that lights up with fish on the sounder. We thread soft plastics onto heavy jig heads and start twitching on the bottom. Before too long, we’re hauling in strange sea monsters one after the other — each one uglier than the last. Dave assures us they’re all delicious, but the camera lenses are working overtime to make them look even remotely edible. One particularly repugnant fish is the cabezon, poo-brown and covered in spiky fins. It makes a guttural grunting noise not too dissimilar to the koala (look it up on YouTube). Our dreams of soft, white snapper flesh evaporate.

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But nothing is thrown back and we fill the kill tank with black rockfish and copper rockfish before pulling the pin when a weather front rolls in. We know this because Dave has a Sirius Weather Module hooked up to the Simrad NSS12 Evo3. The crook weather won’t trouble the boat, but Dave’s worried about the Coast Guard — if they reckon the bar crossing is too dangerous, they’ll shut the entrance, making it a federal offence to come through. If that’s the case, we’re spending the night in a sloppy sea. It’s the first time we’ve seen the Weather Module in action and it’s damn impressive. With the water temperature overlay, we’re even able to look for temperature breaks within a 220 nautical mile radius — a seriously cool feature any top-water game fishermen can appreciate. Fortunately, the bar is still open, so we cruise back into the bay, checking on the crab pots we’d laid earlier. Before long, the Stabi is crawling with Dungeness and red rock crabs. We’re certainly getting used to tiptoeing around these clawed critters. We steam into Charleston Marina just as the Coast Guard decides to close the bar down. A close shave.

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(ABOVE) BOTTOM DWELLER: If you think this cabezon looks ugly, you should hear the grunting noise it makes...

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STABIFEATURE STORMING THE STATES

LEGENDARY LOCALS

The US might get a bad rap from time to time, but our Northwest mission has been one of the most hospitable and productive trips The Captain’s crew has ever experienced. Reels screamed — but not as loud as Julie when the tuna hit the deck — and every crab pot yielded a healthy meal. And Mother Nature put on a fine show. The fall (autumn) clear skies and calm sea showcased the Pacific Northwest in all its rugged beauty — although no Canon lens could make those cabezons look good. The boats performed with typical Stabi efficiency. If there’s a more versatile boat — capable of hauling pots up the side one day, running along the rocky shore to collect clams and then heading offshore the next — we’d love to see it. The satisfied customers say it all. We made some life-long friends and look forward to returning the favour sometime soon. Late nights, early starts and hearty feeds are guaranteed.

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“WE MADE SOME LIFELONG FRIENDS AND LOOK FORWARD TO RETURNING THE FAVOUR SOMETIME SOON.”

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STABIFEATURE STORMING THE STATES

STABI SUPER STYLING

Confused by all these Centrecab, Ultracab and Ultra Centrecab configurations on Stabicraft boats? So were we. But we came to appreciate the benefit of each on our trip. The Centrecab is all about fishing. The cabin is a little narrower due to the full walkaround, but there’s still a little berth and troop carrier-esque seating for four behind the captain and first mate. There’s stacks of room for casting off the bow — in fact, you can fish right up over the top of the anchor windlass. The Ultracab is a pilothouse configuration with a forwardraking windscreen. The Yanks reckon this comes into its own when fishing in cold conditions as it helps prevent fogging. There’s no walkaround on the Ultracab as you’ve got bulk cabin room. Appointments include multiple berths, foldout table and cooking facilities. It’s like a caravan that you can also happily take 60 nautical miles offshore. The Ultra Centrecab features the pilothouse design, but with the full walkaround configuration. The fishy factor is also much higher on this baby than the standard Ultracab, with more of an emphasis on cabin space rather than creature comforts. What model would we pick for Australian east coast game fishing and bay hunting for snapper? We’d have the standard Centrecab fo’ sho’. Neat lines, lots of room for fishing — that’ll do us just fine. We wouldn’t say no to the Simrad NSS12 Evo3 with the Sirius Weather Module, either. Just got to keep the Ultracab brochure away from Mrs Captain, otherwise it might be a different story. Stabicraft — you know our delivery address.

“THE BOATS PERFORMED WITH TYPICAL STABI EFFICIENCY. IF THERE’S A MORE VERSATILE BOAT WE’D LOVE TO SEE IT.”

Ultracab

DEALER DELIVERED All three boats were delivered by Y Marina, located

in Coos Bay on the beautiful Oregon coast. Y Marina has been selling boats for more than 30 years. It’s the largest indoor showroom between Seattle and San Francisco. Now, if you’re on Stewart Island in New Zealand, cynically thinking it’s the only dealership in that region, you’d be wrong. It’s a 22,000 square foot facility, built on two acres and loaded with Stabicrafts kitted out for the Pacific Northwest. Meet the guys at www.ymarinaboats.

MORE INFORMATION: STABICRAFT MARINE

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

Centrecab

Ultra Centrecab

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TA K E I T T O T H E

EXTREME

The all new Yamaha XTO Offshore outboard is one beast of an engine, designed to deliver maximum power and thrust. The result of years of collaboration with top boat designers, the XTO has been built from the ground up to provide the ultimate in power and efficiency offshore. In fact, there’s nothing ordinary about this engine: It’s our most technologically advanced ever. This 425HP, 5.6L V8 introduces an industry first fully integrated electric steering system, the highest compression ratio on the water and engineering touches like iridium spark plugs and quad thermostats. It’s purpose-built for extreme power, durability, control and reliability. The XTO is another testimony to Yamaha’s enviable reputation for innovation and building big horsepower engines in a class of their own. yamaha-motor.co.nz

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STABIFEATURE TACKLING TASMANIA

SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

BLOOD LINES WHILE FILMING FOR THE CAPTAIN, NICK WOOD VOYAGES TO THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, WELL, TASMANIA, IN A FLEET OF SERIOUSLY SPECCED-OUT STABIS. DESPITE ENCOUNTERING HIS WORST SEAS EVER, HE IS KEEN TO PROVE HIS METTLE. W O RD S by Ni c k Wo o d & I M A GE S by Th e C a pt a i n

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STABIFEATURE TACKLING TASMANIA

RED ROCKET: We don’t often see ETECs on Stabicrafts, but the 250HP G2 pushed the 2400 beautifully. It’s also red so it goes faster, right?

South East Tasmania, Australia

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M

y introduction to The Captain and his adventures came several years ago, inspired by a trip he made to these very waters in Tasmania. At the time, I said I could do a better job of filming — me and my big mouth. Well, my day of reckoning soon came. The Captain told me the plan was simple: fly down to Eaglehawk Neck in Tassie, meet up with father-son duo Mark and Matt Hateley — then go and catch a swordfish. “OK, so just the one swordfish then?” I sarcastically responded, before packing my tripod and camera gear and heading south on a no-frills, red-eye Virgin flight.

EDGE OF THE WORLD

The geography of the south-east Tasmanian coastline is well documented, but for the uninitiated, it looks like volcanic rock has been pushed out from the seabed via an icing bag. Large sea cliffs stand proud, creating a wonderful backdrop for some world-class tuna fishing, accessible to just about anyone with a boat. On our trip we’d be lording it up on Mark’s Stabicraft 2400 Supercab. Also along for the ride was Hadley Deegan. No stranger to boaties on the Apple Isle, he owns Deegan Marine, which is located on the north coast of Tassie. Just about where your left front tooth would be if you took a bite out of the Apple state, and is the only Stabicraft dealership on the island. It’s no country for virgin skippers, but fortunately Hadley always has a firm hand on the helm and one eye on the sea. As we were to discover — he’d need it.

THE NERVE CENTRE: The brain behind the boat is a Simrad NSS12 Evo2 and 1k/W EMR transducer boosted with a BSM-3 module.

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STABIFEATURE TACKLING TASMANIA

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“MARK AND MATT HAVE A TYPICAL FATHER-SON RELATIONSHIP. THEY BICKER LIKE FISHWIVES ON MARKET DAY, BUT UNDERNEATH THERE’S A RAW AFFECTION.”

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STABIFEATURE TACKLING TASMANIA

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SWORD SEARCHING

BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2400 SUPERCAB Length: 7.3m (24ft) Beam: 2.3m (7.5ft) Deadrise: 18.5 degrees Seating capacity: 8 Dry hull weight (approx): 1260kg (2778lb) Fuel capacity: 300L (79gal) Standard HP: Twin 200HP Maximum HP: Twin 250HP

ELECTRONICS Simrad NSS12 Evo2 1k/W EMR transducer

ENGINE SPECS Model: Evinrude E-TEC G2 250HP Type: Direct-injection V6 two-stroke Displacement: 3.44L Weight: 253kg (557lb)

PRICE New Zealand: $164,300 Australia: $155,000 United States: $115,010

SUPPLIED BY Deegan Marine 102 Eastland Drive, Ulverstone, Tasmania. (03) 6425 2238. www.deeganmarine.com.au

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

“THE WEATHER IN TASSIE CHANGES QUICKER THAN AN AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER.”

Before we had a chance to fish the Neck, it was decided we’d meet up with a couple of highly regarded sword gurus. They’d flown over from New Zealand especially to catch one. They suggested we head north to St Helens, a small town on the east coast where solid reports of sword bites were coming in. You don’t have to go far to catch swords in Tassie. In fact, you can usually see land from the fishing grounds, which for any Australian sword fisherman is rather novel. Hadley brought along the 2400 Supercab’s little bro, the 2100 Supercab, which would become my home for the next few days. The sea off St Helens was as calm as a world yoga conference, but we had technical problems. The Kiwis were using phone apps to pinpoint deep channels and undersea mountains. Unfortunately, the topology didn’t match the sounder diagnostics, leading to general confusion. Dropping for swordfish in deep water needs pinpoint positioning, and we were all getting a bit frustrated. We came up short, but got to know each other bobbing around the ocean in our Stabi fleet. The weather in Tassie changes quicker than an Australian prime minister, so we reverted to the original plan, heading down to Eaglehawk Neck.

FAMILY TIES

Mark Hately is a consummate outdoorsman — hunter, diver and, best of all, keen trout fisherman (anyone who waves a trout rod rises a notch in my eyes). He and Matt have a typical father-son relationship. They bicker like fishwives on market day, but underneath there’s a raw affection, which is on show during long days at sea. Food is a common bond — the catering aboard Mark’s boat rivalled the MCG on a winter’s day — hot coffee at regular intervals and a steady supply of hot dogs and pies emerging from the galley. We spent the next day dropping stitched squid into the murky depths then watched the rod tips nod up and down like a Texan oil derrick. The banter was good and the smallgoods kept coming from the cabin. Alas, there was no sword bite. Thankfully, it was only a short journey back to the ramp. Over the next few days, our target species changed and so did the weather. Oily seas and epic sunrises were replaced with grey brooding skies and walls of water crashing across our bows. Fortunately, the Stabicraft is built for this kind of pounding — and I’m not just saying that because The Captain’s crew plied me with rum (they often do, but that’s instead of actually paying me). Nope, I’ve been on all kinds of boats — from Cootacrafts to Haines Hunters — and I’m just as happy working out of a Stabicraft as any vessel I’ve been in. The stability is a given, but the versatility and ergonomics are unparalleled. Everything just fits, which is important when you’re packing more lenses than a Ted’s Camera Warehouse into every nook and cranny.

FINE BREW

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STABIFEATURE TACKLING TASMANIA

The weather was brewing into a horrid tempest, and it gave us hope the tuna would come on the bite. Waves towered over the Stabis as we skulked up and down the coast, lurking beneath the limestone cliffs as 40-knot winds blew over the top. I was in the 2100 with Hadley at the helm. After a few hours, we got a call from Mark on the 2400 — “We’ve got a tight line!” I fired up the video camera and peered out of the solid cab — all that stood between us and the 4m (13ft) waves crashing over the bow. Watch the video if you don’t believe me. The weather was atrocious and we could barely see Mark in his Supercab, but there he was, braving it out in some of the worst weather I’ve experienced at sea. A flock of gannets circled in the distance while his Stabi disappeared for 15 seconds at a time behind huge walls of water, only to reappear on the crest of a wave, bow pointing skyward. We could see the school getting closer, Mark and Matt on the radio urging us along. When we finally hooked a 10kg (22lb) school fish, the conditions were chaotic, but Jack from The Captain’s crew made one of the best gaff shots I’ve ever seen. I filmed it all from the relative comfort of the cabin. Job done, we headed back to the protection of Tasman Island to see how Mark and Matt had faired. They were soaked and freezing, but holding up a couple of nice bluefin. They weren’t trophy fish, but we all savoured the flesh that had demanded balls of steel to procure from the ocean.

SEXY SET-UP

QUANTUM OF SOLACE: The weather was atrocious when chasing bluefin, but we still found some solace in the lee of Tasman Island.

Mark’s boat has been set up perfectly for his style of fishing. There’s no live bait tank at the back. Tasmanians don’t generally fish livebait, sticking to trolling or bait. This gives more space at the stern with a cutting board and storage underneath where most tanks are installed. There’s a 300L (79gal) fuel tank and a 250HP Evinrude E-TEC Gen2, which is a little noisy, but very efficient at trolling speeds of five knots, burning approximately 6.8 litres an hour. Mounted in the dash is a Simrad NSS12 Evo2 with radar, 1k/W EMR transducer boosted with a BSM-3 unit to give it better clarity in deeper water. The boys are into their cray fishing so there’s also a pot hauler that can be dropped onto the gunwale. It comes in handy, as Mark’s 72-year-old dad finds pulling pots in a bit of a grind. It also has detachable outriggers and the pie warmer, naturally. This is the fifth Stabicraft to enter the Hately fleet. It started with a 609, then the 659 — two, in fact. Then along came a pair of 2400s. If that doesn’t entitle the Hately family to a $100 gift voucher in the Stabicraft canteen in Invercargill, NZ, we don’t know what does. Hopefully, when The Captain sights the video of this trip, he’ll sling me a food voucher for my next Virgin flight.

“OILY SEAS AND EPIC SUNRISES WERE REPLACED WITH GREY BROODING SKIES AND WALLS OF WATER CRASHING ACROSS OUR BOWS.” 60 | ISSUE 02 www.stabicraft.com

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BRAND MAN: Stabicraft owners don’t get much prouder than Mark Hateley. His old man even owns an identical 2400.

RIGGED AND READY: The 2400 Supercab punches into a massive head sea.

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STABIWORKMAN

BILL KILL

BILL DIMITROPOULOS, AKA BILLY DEE, BOSSMAN AT ZEIKEL FISHING AUSTRALIA, COULDN’T FIND THE PERFECT BOAT. HE OWNED AND SOLD 25 RIGS BEFORE FINDING HIS PERFECT MATCH IN A STABICRAFT 2050 FRONTIER.

Inte r vie w: STABIMAG Im a g e s: Bil l y D i m i t ro po u lo s

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SEE THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE.COM/ STABICRAFTNZ

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STABIWORKMAN

CHILLIN’ AND GRILLIN’: When Billy Dee isn’t dragging wahoo over the gunwales of his Frontier, he’s hanging out at his fishing lodge in North Queensland.

S

TABIMAG: Welcome to STABIMAG, Billy Dimitropoulos. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Call me Billy Dee, for short. I’m 40 years old, with four kids, two chihuahuas and a house in Sydney. Prior to starting my Zeikel fishing tackle business, I ran a creative agency called Deep Digital.

Sounds painful. When did you first start growing gills?

My old man got me addicted to fishing when I was four. He’d wake me up every Sunday morning and we’d take the tinnie down to Rose Bay in Sydney. We’d paddle out to Shark Island where we’d fill the bucket with flatties and take them home for a feast. I bought my first boat when I was 14 — a centre console, naturally. Since then, I’ve always owned some type of boat.

Tell us about the Zeikel brand.

It just happened, it really wasn’t planned at all. I’ve always been involved in creating brands, so that part was easy. I wanted an online business and coupling that with my love for fishing, I thought, “Hey, here’s an idea!” I researched manufacturers in China, sent a few emails around and within no time it all just happened. I wasn’t expecting it to take off like it did — it’s been mental.

Where did the name come from? Zeikel sounds like the zit that turns into a freckle.

I get asked that a lot — wish I had a better story. I was sitting in my office with the team trying to come up with a name. We went back and forth for ages until one of the

boys called out from the back of the office, “What about Zeikel?” That was his name — Zeikel — and he was such a strange dude. He’d come to work in a suit and no shoes, different but unique. I liked it and the name stuck.

Our other halves get angry when we leave a couple of fishing rods in the lounge room. How did you convince yours to let you turn your entire house into a tackle shop?

My partner is a legend. She’s pretty patient, given we have so much shit lying around the place. But she’s involved in the business, so understands it’s all part of the gig.

We hear there’s also a Zeikel Fishing Lodge. Where is it and how many rods do we have to buy to score an invite?

I reckon I can hook you up. The lodge is in North Queensland, about an hour north of Townsville. It’s on the cusp of the Hinchinbrook and an epic place to fish.

Describe your work in five words.

Epic, fun, rewarding, painful (sometimes).

Run us through your boating history — from the first tinnie you ever owned to the battleship you cruise around in now.

My first boat was a 14ft (4.3m) Horizon CC tinnie with a 40HP Force outboard. She didn’t last long. As I got older and could muster up more coin, I flipped so many damn boats. I can’t remember how many, but way over 25. I always struggled to find the perfect one until I jumped into my Stabicraft Frontier for the first time.

v t . n i a t p a c e h t .w w w

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Sydney, Australia

“I ALWAYS STRUGGLED TO FIND THE PERFECT BOAT UNTIL I JUMPED INTO MY STABICRAFT FRONTIER FOR THE FIRST TIME.”

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STABIWORKMAN

KING STING: Billy bicep curls a solid kingy caught out of his Frontier.

SUNSET SESSIONS: Billy heads for the horizon aboard his 2050 Frontier.

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Why did you choose a Frontier?

Because it was exactly what I’d been searching for — epic big hull, alloy (we treat ’em mean up north), aggressive, soft-riding, lots of freeboard, layout and safety. I could go on and on. We travel wide up north — the closest reef is about 40nm, and we fish anywhere up to 120nm offshore. The Frontier is just the perfect boat for what we do — pop and jig.

So it’s all about sportfishing, eh? Can we interest you in 2750 Centrecab?

Funny you should say that, I just might have something in the works. :)

What other Stabi models have you been running? I also owned a 2100 Supercab, awesome rig!

What are your favourite Stabi features?

Aesthetics. Yes, it’s true. I just love the look of them — they’re so tough.

If you could change one thing on a Stabi, what would it be?

I’d like somewhere to tuck my toes into when jigging. No big deal, but it’s the one thing.

Duly noted — are you reading this, Mike Stenton? What would the ultimate Stabi look like?

It would look like a 2750 Centrecab (insert drool emoji).

What outboards do you run?

We love our Hondas for their fuel-efficient reliability and mega warranty. We also like the extra weight. Strange, I know, but it’s not an issue for the Frontier, and it cushions out your landing a bit more — in most boats, anyway.

“AESTHETICS. YES, IT’S TRUE. I JUST LOVE THE LOOK OF THEM — THEY’RE SO TOUGH.”

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STABIWORKMAN

What about the electronics department?

We’ve run Raymarine for years. It’s an innovative company that continues to produce great gear.

What other fruit do you have on the Frontier?

She’s pretty much standard. I went with the extra-long casting platform because we do a lot of sportfishing. She’s running on a wicked Transtyle trailer that has done about 10,000km (6,213mi) without any maintenance. We added some Deck Armour to the floor, which makes all the difference in the heat. There’s a 150HP Honda and a couple of Axiom displays. She’s pretty standard, other than that.

Most memorable trip on a Stabicraft?

A couple of times a year we take the Frontier on board the mothership Big Cat off the coast of Queensland. These trips would have to be by far the most memorable. Being able to scoot around the Coral Sea, 250nm off the coast in a 20ft (6m) boat is just nuts!

Most memorable catch?

I have too many, seriously. I get excited catching anything. There are so many people trying to catch bigger and better fish — all those wannabe Instafamous fishos lose sight of what fishing is all about. I love every one of my catches.

How romantic. Any scary moments at sea?

Oh yeah! I once flipped a tender 250nm out to sea. They call me Flipper Skipper now. And no, it wasn’t a Stabi.

If you could only chase one species for the rest of your life, what would it be? That’s a hard ask. I’d have to say trout off the flats.

What trip would you love to do next?

Watch this space. The next few trips will be epic. They will be far and wide — and they will not be on board a mothership.

Thanks Billy. We’ll be monitoring our inbox closely waiting for that North Queensland invitation to arrive. v t . n i a t p a c e h t .w w w

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DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH: Billy micro jigs a donkey diamond trevally from the 2050’s casting platform.

“ALL THOSE WANNABE INSTAFAMOUS FISHOS LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT FISHING IS ALL ABOUT.”

BOAT SPECS STABICRAFT 2050 FRONTIER Length: 6.2m (20ft) Beam: 2.24m (7ft) Deadrise: 17 degrees Seating capacity: 7 Dry hull weight (approx): 650kg (1433lb) Fuel capacity: 200L (53gal) Standard HP: 115HP Maximum HP: 175HP

ELECTRONICS Raymarine Axiom units RV-100 RealVision Transducer

ENGINE SPECS Model: Honda BF150 Type: DOHC four cylinder with VTEC Displacement: 2.35L Weight: 220kg (485lb)

PRICE New Zealand: $89,995 Australia: $79,995 United States: $62,996

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STABISHOWROOM

BUYER’S GUIDE FACTS AND FIGURES TO PICK YOUR PERFECT STABI

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EXPLORER

External Beam

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Boat Model

Length Feet (Metres)

STABISHOWROOM

Baby of the fleet

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

14.1ft (4.3m)

4

FRONTIER

30HP

40HP

98kg (216lb)

20”

N/A

1.7m (67”)

360 degrees of awesome

With its shallow draft and fantastic stability, the 1410 Frontier is a popular hull for inshore and lake fishos The 1850 offers nice wide coamings and big boat performance in a small and easy to manage package 1410 1550 1850 2050

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

#

MYSTABI OWNER: JOEL ENGLISH OCCUPATION: DESIGN CONSULTANT LIVES: BATHURST, NSW, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 1550 FRONTIER ENGINE: 60HP HONDA BOAT NAME: MILLIE WHY A FRONTIER “It’s the most versatile boat on the market for the type of fishing I like. It had more built-in features than any of the comparative boats from other manufacturers, so even though it appeared to be more expensive, I believe it was more affordable in the long run.” OPTIONS LIST “Minn Kota Riptide Terrova, Fusion stereo, Lowrance Elite-7 Ti and bimini (for when my kids come fishing). Apart from that, the boat was already well set up.”

4 5 6 7

30HP 50HP 90HP 115HP

40HP 75HP 115HP 175HP

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

20” 20” 25” 25”

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

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

FAVOURITE FEATURES “The stability and ride of the Frontier is brilliant. I spend a fair amount of time standing on the gunwales fishing. It’s also an easy boat to launch and retrieve by myself. The storage has been well thoughtout and makes it easy to pack the fishing tackle and gear for any trip. I can’t say there’s a favourite thing about this boat, as the more I use it, the more I love fishing from it.” MOST MEMORABLE “Definitely South West Rocks. It was the first time I’d taken the Frontier offshore and we were doing a bit of micro-jigging. My Shimano Biomaster and Zeikel Bloodline rod, rated PE 2-4, started screaming. After 20 or so minutes of battling what I thought was going to be a good fish, I caught sight of that familiar grey shape. A two-metre long oceanic whaler had taken my jig. It was still a great fight on light gear and a very memorable moment on my Frontier.”

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Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal Beam

EXPLORER & FRONTIER

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

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 has maximum deck space for fishing, transporting gear or both! 1.27m (50”) 1.46m (57.5”) 1.65m (65”) 1.65m (65”)

16° 15° 17.5° 17°

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

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

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

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

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

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

“THE MORE I USE IT, THE MORE I LOVE FISHING OUT OF IT.”

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FISHER

External Beam

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Boat Model

Length Feet (Metres)

STABISHOWROOM

Compact fishing and family boating

The 1410 Fisher gives you protection from the elements while maintaining ample room for up to four people The 1850 Fisher features the innovative Game Chaser Transom, Arrow Pontoons and rear fold-up seats as standard 1410 1550 1850

14.1ft (4.3m) 15.5ft (4.72m) 18.5ft (5.6m)

4 5 6

30HP 50HP 90HP

40HP 75HP 140HP

98kg (216lb) 166kg (366lb) 220kg (485lb)

20” 20” 25”

N/A 85L (22gal) 120L (32gal)

1.7m (67”) 2.02m (79.5”) 2.24m (88”)

Trailcraft, Allycraft and a SeaJay. At the moment I’m cruising in a Northbank 650 HT and I also recently MYSTABI purchased a Stabicraft 1550 Fisher with a 75HP Mercury four-stroke. This has opened up a lot more OWNER: PATRICK DANGERFIELD fishing ground for me as OCCUPATION: AFL I can beach-launch it. The PLAYER most challenging thing LIVES: SURF COAST, about living on the Surf VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA Coast and loving fishing BOAT: 1550 FISHER ENGINE: MERCURY 75HP is the launching facilities – they’re basically nonexistent. With the 1550 FOOTY AND FISHING “I play footy for the Geelong Fisher we can take it down what they call a ‘service Football Club in the AFL ramp’, which is literally a and I’m a part-time host steep incline to a pretty of a fishing radio show average beach. My Dunbier called Reel Adventures, trailer is also jacked up so which broadcasts on over we don’t bottom out when 100 different stations driving up and down the around Australia. The beach.” co-host is my good mate, TICKING BOXES Aaron ‘Captain Redbeard’ “I ticked all the option Habgood who also owns boxes on the 1550’s option a Stabicraft. We focus on tips and techniques to help list, including a massive Garmin display and Minn listeners get more out of Kota electric engine. The their fishing and highlight hotspots. I’m based on the paint job is pretty mint too, she looks like a stealth Surf Coast, so most of our military boat. One unique adventures are Victorianfeature though is the based.” SeaStar Jackplate, which BOATING HISTORY “The first boat I ever owned has been really handy to lift up the Merc when was a 4.5m Markham running in shallow water. It Whaler with twin 40HP also gives you better speed Mariners. Over the years and fuel efficiency.” I’ve also run a Smuggler,

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Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal Beam

FISHER

Measuring 15.5 feet (4.72m) the 1550 Fisher is an easy-to-handle boat no matter the occasion

1.27m (50”) 1.46m (57.5”) 1.65m (65”)

16° 15° 17°

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

3mm (1/8”) 4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

687L (181gal) 984L (260gal) 1570L (415gal)

230kg (507lb) 415kg (915lb) 545kg (1202lb)

460kg (1014lb) 740kg (1631lb) 1200kg (2646lb)

5.4m (17’8”) 6.0m (19’9”) 6.7m (22’)

“IT HAS OPENED UP A LOT MORE FISHING GROUND FOR ME AS I CAN BEACH-LAUNCH IT.”

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SUPERCAB

External Beam

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Length Feet (Metres)

Boat Model

STABISHOWROOM

Bluewater battlewagons

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

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

6 7 7 8

115HP 115HP 130HP 200HP

140HP 175HP 225HP 250HP

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

25” 25” 25” 25”

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

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

#

MYSTABI TEST PILOT: HADLEY DEEGAN DEALERSHIP: DEEGAN MARINE LOCATION: ULVERSTONE, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 2100 SUPERCAB ENGINE: HONDA 200HP FIRST GLANCE “I experienced a custom-built rigid-buoyancy boat almost 20 years ago and was blown away by the performance and safety, even in typical Tassie offshore conditions. That led me to Stabicraft’s production range a few years later and I haven’t looked back. Back in the day, it was more about the Stabi’s personality than its looks. But these days they’ve evolved into quite the sexy boat with unique styling, lines and funky colours, while holding onto their original DNA.”

CRUISING IN A 2100 “Big-boat performance and safety in a package that is easy to tow and manage. Plenty of protection from the elements with the hardtop and cabin without losing visibility. She also has a generous cockpit, perfect for carrying around all your gear and mates.” WHY TASSIE “We are surrounded by water. Our waterways, coastal and inland, are what make Tasmania such a beautiful place to live. To make the most of it you need a boat. Obviously, fishing is a favourite pastime for many Tasmanians. Our waters offer great diversity with some of the best table fish going. They also have spectacular underwater scenery and diving locations.”

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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 almost one metre (3ft) extra in length 1.65m (65”) 1.65m (65”) 1.82m (72”) 1.82m (72”)

17° 17.5° 20° 19°

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

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

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

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

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

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

#

MYSTABI OWNER: MOE HAMED OCCUPATION: ELECTRICIAN LIVES: BROADMEADOWS, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 1850 SUPERCAB ENGINE: HONDA 135HP WHY STABI “Stability and the feeling of being safe. I’ve been in some treacherous conditions both in the bay and offshore and have never once been worried.” BEST ADVENTURE “Most memorable fishing trip in my boat would have to be the 120kg southern bluefin tuna I caught out off Portland, Vic. I fought it for 1.5 hours before securing it with every gaff we could find in the boat. We tried to lift it in three times, but ended up having to call over another boat for assistance. Eventually, we got ‘er in!”

IMAGE: MASON SCHULZE

#

MYSTABI OWNER: ANDREW JAMES OCCUPATION: DIRECTOR LIVES: MELBOURNE, VIC, AUSTRALIA BOAT: 2400 SUPERCAB ENGINE: TWIN HONDA 115HP

THEN & NOW “This is my second Stabicraft in four years. I previously had the 2250 and now I’ve got the 2400. It’s a fantastic boat, I can’t fault it. Everything it has to offer is exactly what I wanted. It does 80km/h easily with the twin Honda 115HP outboards.”

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ULTRACAB

External Beam*

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Length Feet (Metres)

Boat Model

STABISHOWROOM

Commercial class

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

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

9 9

300HP 300HP

400HP 400HP

584kg (1288lb) 584kg (1288lb)

Twin 25” 378L (100gal) Twin 25” 378L (100gal)

2.56m (101”)* 2.56m (101”)*

#

MYSTABI OWNER: CHRIS SOUTHWICK LOCATION: KAUKAPAKAPA, NEW ZEALAND BOAT: 2500 ULTRACAB XL ENGINE: TWIN YAMAHA 150HP BOAT NAME: MANTA RAY STABI STYLE “This is my third Stabicraft and it has everything I could ever need. Safety at sea is very important to me, but also having the performance to match is a big thumbs-up.” SLICK KIT-OUT “Fit-out wise, I’ve got a Lowrance HDS-12 with SideScan and a 1kW transducer. There’s a also a Lowrance radar upstairs and autopilot for good measure. She’s fully rigged for big game fishing too with riggers and tuna tubes.” MILITARY GRADE “I was a diver for the New Zealand Navy, so I expect the best in performance and quality. The 2500 has it in spades. I have complete confidence on the water. One of my favourite features is the wheelhouse with its awesome visibility — great for overnight missions, too. Speaking of which, the family love to camp out on the boat. There’s heaps of room so you don’t feel packed in like sardines and you’ve got plenty of spots to sleep. You really can’t beat a beer and camp out with the fam’.” BEST TRIP “I’ve taken my 2500 all over the North Island chasing marlin — and Waihau Bay for bluefin. We recently did a trip up north to Bland Bay. We pulled lures around the 300m (984ft) mark in the late afternoon. We found 22°C (72°F) water and hooked a 14kg (31lb)spearfish. Thirty minutes later we hooked a 99kg (218lb) striped marlin — it was an epic day.

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ses

Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal Beam

ULTRACAB

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

1.97m (78”) 1.97m (78”)

19° 19°

4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”) 6mm (15/64”)

2096L (554gal) 2096L (554gal)

1630kg (3593lb) 1630kg (3593lb)

3500kg (7716lb) 3500kg (7716lb)

9.4m (30’10”) 9.4m (30’10”)

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

“I WAS A DIVER FOR THE NEW ZEALAND NAVY, SO I EXPECT THE BEST IN PERFORMANCE AND QUALITY.”

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CENTRECAB

External Beam*

Fuel Tank

Leg Length

Maximum Engine Weight

CENTRECAB Maximum HP

Recommended HP

Max Adults

Length Feet (Metres)

Boat Model

STABISHOWROOM

Walkaround fishing machine

The market asked for a smaller version of the 2750 Centrecab and Stabicraft responded with the 2250 Centrecab Wide walkaround up to the forward deck gives the 2750 a fully utilised fishing area 2250 2750

22.5ft (6.85m) 27.5ft (8.4m)

8 9

225HP 300HP

ULTRA CENTRECAB

300HP 500HP

299kg (659lb) 278kg (613lb)

25” Twin 25”

300L (79gal) 500L (132gal)

2.55m (101”)* 2.55m (101”)*

Commercial class walkaround

The 2250 Ultra Centrecab is the newest member of the Stabicraft fleet Lean-forward glass and immense cabin space accompanied by 360 degrees of access to every usable space 2250 2750 XL

22.5ft (6.85m) 27.5ft (8.4m)

8 9

225HP 300HP

300HP 500HP

299kg (659lb) 278kg (613lb)

25” Twin 25”

300L (79gal) 500L (132gal)

2.55m (101”)* 2.55m (101”)*

FULL OF FEATURES

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Length on Trailer

Tow Weight (Approx)

Dry Hull Weight (Approx)

Sealed Buoyancy Capacity (Approx)

Hull Thickness

Tube Thickness

Deadrise

Internal Beam

ULTRA CENTRECAB XL

The 2750 Centrecab is the brainchild of New Zealand fishing prodigy Matt Watson It’s not every day you see a centrecab that rocks a lock-up bi-fold door as standard 1.97m (77.6”) 2.04m (80”)

19° 21.5°

4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”) 6mm (15/64”)

2051L (541gal) 2909L (768gal)

1787kg (3940lb) 1990kg (4387lb)

2520kg (5555lb) 3500kg (7716lb)

8.4m (27’ 6”) 10.2m (33’6”)

The 2750 Ultra Centrecab XL is an aggressive and spacious iteration based on the popular 2750 walkaround platform Complete walkaround allowing water to drain off the side walkways and not back into the cockpit 1.97m (77.6”) 2.04m (80”)

19° 21.5°

4mm (5/32”) 4mm (5/32”)

6mm (15/64”) 6mm (15/64”)

2051L (541gal) 2909L (768gal)

1867kg (4116lb) 1990kg (4387lb)

2520kg (5555lb) 3500kg (7716lb)

8.4m (27’ 6”) 10.2m (33’6”)

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

FULL OF FEATURES with topwater lures from the bow of the 2750 Centrecab. We caught massive mack tuna, a solid Spanish mackerel and just missed a small black marlin.” MYSTABI FULL OF FEATURES “The 2750 Centrecab is turn-key after fitting out the engines and electronics. The standard features list is almost three times longer than TEST PILOT: JACK MURPHY the options list! Inside the LOCATION: SYDNEY, NSW, cabin it feels like a US Army AUSTRALIA troop carrier. There are four BOAT: 2750 CENTRECAB ENGINE: TWIN YAMAHA 150HP inward-facing fold-down seats, that work well. For the skipper CRUISING WITH THE CAPTAIN “We and first mate there are two Softrider pedestals – the most tested out the 2750 Centrecab comfortable seats we’ve ever for a story in The Captain magazine. Being a massive Stabi plonked our weary buttocks on in a Stabi – and with the addition fan I was super-excited to ride of a bolster, they are also great aboard the Centrecab version, for leaning against.” which was an all-new design POWER PLANTS “The Yamahas at the time. We cruised up from Sydney to Tweed Heads to check punched out a clean set of fours. At 4000RPM we were out the beast. Along for the ride travelling at 40km/h (25mp/h) was Bill Hull from Northside Marine and The Captain’s fishing and burning 40L/h combined – bud, Jason Hedges. The weather incredible numbers for an 8.4m (27.5ft) rig. In fact, combined was shitty, to say the least, and with the 500L (132gal) fuel tank most boats heading out for the it can travel 500km (310mi), morning turned back before attempting the bar crossing. We almost enough to get from continued out into the whitecaps Cooktown to the tip of Cape York in one whack.” and worked the shallow reefs

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STABIPARTNER POWDERLINE 2250 cabin straight from the oven. The end result looks shit hot!

FEEL THE POWDER

THE R&D TEAM AT STABICRAFT RECKON A WEEK WITHOUT INNOVATION IS A WEEK WASTED. THAT’S WHY THEY WERE PRETTY CHUFFED WHEN THE BOSSMAN LAID DOWN THE CHALLENGE DURING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT OF THE STABICRAFT 2250 RANGE. “We need something different,” was the word. “Can we powdercoat the complete Centrecab? Not just any colour, but unique. And tough, bloody tough. It’s got to be durable — oh, and meet international import standards.” The scientists were excited and got on the phone to the team at Powderline who called up Dulux Powder & Industrial Coatings, the largest powder supplier in Australia and New Zealand — and the exclusive supplier for all Stabicraft vessels. Cue much frantic work in the lab until, after many trials and samples, the first fully powdercoated Stabicraft cabin was delivered. There was rejoicing throughout the land. Grown men were seen weeping for joy. More importantly, Stabi Boss was seen to smile. There were witnesses. Now powdercoating is not a new experience for Stabicraft. For years, Stabis have featured powdercoated window frames, bait boards and other small auxiliary items — anywhere hard-wearing durability is required, really. But the introduction of the Centrecab range led to more foot traffic as fishos moved about the boat and shifted gear around. Powderline worked side by side at the Stabicraft

coal face, trying to design a cabin that would meet the new walkaround demands. The result is a fully removable, sub-assembly cabin that looks great, is hard-wearing and, as a bonus, is much quicker to shoot through the manufacturing process. The Stabicraft 2250 cabin has a neutral tone that works with all colours and the textured finish is superior to a painted finish in high-use areas because it’s more resistant to scratches, chipping and fading. And, yes, it’s tough and longer-lasting. Dulux Powder exceeds all AS-AMA-AAMA standards. It’s a win all ‘round. No wonder Stabi Boss has a grin on his face. For more information check out www.powderline.co.nz

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STABIPARTNER SIEVWRIGHT MARINE COATINGS

PROTECTING THE PAINTWORK

SO, YOU’VE GOT A BRAND-NEW STABICRAFT. CONGRATULATIONS. IT’S ROCKING THOSE SLICK STRAIGHT LINES AND FLASHING MORE STYLE THAN AN ITALIAN FASHION PARADE. BUT CALM DOWN FOR A MINUTE. WE HAVE TO TALK PAINT. Before you catch your first fish or ski off into the sunset, you need to know how to take care of that new paint job. The DNA of the paint Stabicraft uses on its boats is the same as that on new cars. Just like a new vehicle acquires scratches and chips that need to be patched up, so your new nautical purchase deserves the same attention. First up — giving your boat a bath. For optimum care, it’s a good idea to wash down your boat after each use with an auto-branded cleaner, not household detergent or soap — and don’t use brushes or a broom. The range of paint finishes that Stabicraft offers requires different cleaning action for different finishes. Gloss paintwork has a shiny and durable finish that can withstand harsher cleaning than, say, a matte finish. With gloss paintwork, you need to regularly polish and wax just like you’d freshen up your Beemer. But matte paintwork is non-reflective and requires a gentler approach. This finish needs to be cleaned with specific solutions as almost anything else risks damage. Don’t use wax, cleaning solvents or any other solution devised to bring shine to regular paint as this will lead to potential damage. The only thing that works is water with a microfibre cloth (the extremely soft fabric). Don’t use

a brush or sponge as this may also cause damage. Use two buckets of water, each with its own set of microfibre towels. Fill the first bucket with a solution of water and liquid car-wash soap; the second should only have water. OK, so that’s keeping your baby clean. Now we need to talk about patching the scratching. You need to be ready when the inevitable happens while wrestling with “the one that got away” and you, or the father-in-law, chips the paintwork. These chips should be dabbed with paint (dab bottle paint supplied) and scratches filled to cover and protect any exposed alloy. Just remember: water and salt can be abrasive and harsh on painted finishes, so don’t take shortcuts. A little love spent on your pride and joy now will prove a priceless investment in the long run. For more information check out www.sievwrightauto.co.nz www.duluxpowdercoatings.co.nz

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STABIDEALER

BACKING A WINNER

Webbe Marine brings enthusiastic, boutique-style customer service to Sydney’s southern suburbs.

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“WE’D ALWAYS ADMIRED THE STABICRAFT BRAND AND THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GREAT FIT FOR OUR BUSINESS,” SAYS GAVAN (PICTURED RIGHT).

L Darling Harbour is one of the many attractions for boaties in the Sydney region.

ocated in Sydney’s south, with the Georges River on one side and Port Hacking River on the other, Webbe Marine is a small family dealership with a big reputation for personal service. With about 54 years of experience between them, owner/directors Gavan Daly and Ashley Faraj have literally grown up with the business. Gavan’s dad, Mike purchased the company in 1984 from its founder, Max Webbe. Gavan couldn’t wait to get involved, joining the business as a 17-year-old straight from school. Ash had come on board in 1999 and when Mike retired in 2006, the two mates picked up the ball and ran with it. “We saw a real opportunity in the market for a boutique-style dealership specialising in one or two niche boat brands, recalls Gavan. “Minimal staff and low overheads meant we could spend more time with each customer.” Restructuring the business accordingly, the boys initially specialised in Sailfish catamarans, but pretty soon discovered the joys of Stabicraft, becoming a Stabi dealer in 2012. “We’d always admired the Stabicraft brand and thought it would be a great fit for our business,” says Gavan. “Since day one, we’ve had fantastic growth to the point that the brand now has a real dominance in the NSW market.” Alongside new Stabis and Sailfish cats, Webbe Marine sells Honda and Yamaha outboards, and Furuno, Navico and Garmin electronics. Ash reckons they’re in the perfect spot for a boat dealership. “Southern Sydney is God’s country!” he says. “We’re surrounded by two sensational waterways. Then you’ve got Sydney up the road with the world’s best harbour, and the mighty Hawkesbury River.” Gavan agrees. “There are huge river systems to explore and easy offshore access to world-class game fishing. The fishing is great considering it’s such a big city. From flatties and kings in the rivers to marlin and tuna runs offshore, there’s something for everyone.” Ash reckons it also helps that there are better ramps and more of them. “Follow the reports, get on the water early and go home late,” he advises. “Fish hard around the tide changes

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STABIDEALER and just spend as much time on the water as possible.” Gavan likes a good kingie battle. “Sydney kingfish are always a winner, from smaller rats in the rivers and estuaries to the big reel-busters offshore. The great thing is, you can get amongst them no matter what size boat you have.” From the get go, Gavan and Ash knew they were onto a winner with Stabicraft. On a trip to the factory before signing on the dotted line, the boys were impressed with Stabicraft’s R&D and manufacturing process. “It’s a great product with amazing attention to detail in the finish and fit-out, not to mention the safety, stability and performance of the hulls,” says Ash. “Our customers spend a lot of time offshore and it gives us peace of mind to know they’re in such a safe boat.” Gavan reckons stability is the boats’ top selling point. “Stabi’s unique pontoon-style design and level flotation gives our clients a level of safety and stability unmatched by any other monohulled boat on the market.” Since coming aboard with Stabicraft in 2012, Webbe Marine has sold “hundreds” of Stabis, with the number growing every year and their top-seller being the 1850 Supercab. “We have clients coming back for their third and fourth boats, which is a great testament to the product,” says Gavan. “Our customers are work hard/play hard people with prior boating experience, who often own multiple boats. They know what they want and are looking for a premium product.” “Our customer base is younger than it used to be,” adds Ash. “Stabi is seen as the brand to own now.” Going the extra mile to ensure the client gets on the water as soon as possible with the right set-up for their needs is all part of the Webbe Marine service — which means they’ve done some pretty speccy fit-outs. “Michael’s 2100 Supercab was amazing,” recalls Ash. “Michael created an absolute fishing weapon with all conceivable options, a big V6 Yamaha, fully-loaded Simrad package, outriggers, tuna tubes, custom flooring and custom lighting. Then he asked me what else he could add!” The Webbe team created another “weapon” out of Dan Londero’s 2400. “He had twin 135HP Hondas and we had the factory weld double plates behind the outrigger bases to ensure no warping of the cabin,” says Gavan. “We redesigned the captain’s seating configuration to fit an esky under the seat — the first 2400 with that set-up. We installed a Furuno TZT2 15” with the new 3D tech, Doppler radar and autopilot. Fresh water was retrofitted, as was SeaDek flooring. We also foamfilled it to increase safety and decrease noise.” Gavan’s favourite Stabi is the 1850 Supercab, which he says punches well above its weight in stability and performance. Ash likes the 2100 Supercab. “It’s an unbelievable offshore performer and far and away the best 21ft boat on the market, as evidenced by The Captain Shootout,” he says. The boys reckon Stabis basically sell themselves in the long run. Gavan tells the tale of Tim, their “part-time guy” — reeled in with Stabi bait. “He bought a Honda engine from us in 2016. Then he bought a 2100 Supercab in early 2018. Then he saw an ad on Facebook — we were looking for a new staff member. He jumped at it and is now a highly valued member of the team.”

05 QUESTIONS FOR ASH & GAVAN

01 02 03

When’s the best time to go fishing in Sydney? Summer for sure. The fish are biting and the weather is awesome. Describe Stabi customers in five words. Experienced, passionate, researched, discerning thinkers. What’s the best thing about owning a boat dealership? When you’re passionate about something, you never have to work a day in your life. What’s the worst thing about owning a boat dealership? The stories we hear from clients about the fish they’re catching while we’re stuck in the office. If Stabi Boss Paul could change one thing at Stabicraft, what would it be? Get the boats to us faster!

04 05

CONTACT DETAILS

Webbe Marine 17 Yalgar Road, Kirrawee, NSW, Australia. 02 9521 7944 webbemarine.com.au ashley@webbemarine.com.au

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The winning 2100 Supercab supplied by Webbe Marine.

Gavan stopped at nothing avoid his speeding ticket.

Webbe Marine customer (and now employee), Tim, connects with a striped marlin aboard his 2100 Supercab.

Dan Londero’s 2400 Supercab has all the fruit. Son, Coops, gets a taste.

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STABIDEALER

HEAVEN IN HAURAKI The team at Gulfland Marine reckon they can barely keep up with the demand for Stabicraft. It helps that they’re smack bang in the middle of boating heaven.

T

he Hauraki Gulf is a paradise for boaties and fishos of all persuasions. Stretching for 4000sq km (1544sq mi), it’s bounded to the east by the Coromandel Peninsula and to the north-east by Great Barrier Island. It boasts about 50 islands, and much of it is pristine marine park, but there are still plenty of good spots to dangle a line. The Hauraki Gulf is a great place to have a boat, with easy access to boat ramps and marinas. This makes business pretty good for Stabicraft dealer Gulfland Marine. The dealership is on the main road in the middle of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula — which pokes its nose into the gulf, just a half-hour drive north of Auckland. Gulfland has been a marine shop for more than 40 years, the past 20 of those in the capable hands of Craig and Tess Lewis. Craig knows his boats. He’s an A-grade mechanic, marine engineer and outboard master technician, and has put together an impressive crew of boat techs to meet the needs of a wide range of customers. It’s a big operation. They offer full marine sales and service with one of the largest, highest-qualified and

best-equipped workshops in the country. Gulfland also has a satellite workshop at Gulf Harbour Marina. “We’ve got 10 staff — all with a mechanical background — and two shops, which makes us the largest Mercury and Stabicraft dealership in New Zealand,” says Craig. They’ve certainly got the runs on the board. Gulfland has won Mercury Dealer of the year NZ quite a few times over the years. “And we’re the only NZ dealer ever to receive Mercury dealer of the year for Australia and the Pacific,” says Craig with a big grin. Craig and Tess love the gulf country and it doesn’t hurt that their watery location is also pretty good for business. “We get customers of all ages as the area is surrounded by beaches, which attract people who want to live here,” says Craig. “If they don’t already have one, they usually develop a bit of a marine interest pretty quick.” If you’re just visiting, Craig reckons the best time is between October and March. “Hauraki Gulf is one of the most pristine boating areas in the world. It’s filled with Islands and marine reserves with Auckland at its hub.”

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The fishing’s pretty good, too. “The best species to catch are snapper, kingfish, john dory, kahawai and even the occasional game fish.” Craig reckons there’s no mystery to hooking a decent feed. “The secret to catching fish here is to keep your boat in tip-top running order by using our mechanics.” Craig and Tess introduced Stabicraft to the region more than 20 years ago. According to Craig, it was a no-brainer. “We’ve watched Stabicraft grow since their first boat was launched,” he says. “When we purchased Gulfland Marine, we approached Paul Adams with the benefits we both could achieve if Stabi had Gulfland Marine as a representative. The partnership was struck and we’ve grown with each other.” Gulfland has certainly sold plenty of Stabis over the years, the boats’ rugged dependability making them a good option for customers wanting safety, stability and reliability. “I’ve lost count, but we average about 40 boats per year,” says Craig. “Over 20 years, that’s 800 Stabis!” Getting customers through the door is not a problem and Craig says Gulfland’s service keeps them coming back. He says the best thing about having a Stabi dealership is a happy customer and if he could get bossman Paul Adams to change just one thing at Stabicraft, it would it be to make the new ordering system even more focused on the customer’s wish list. “The joy we see our customers having with their boats and the experiences they tell us about make it worthwhile.” He’s heard a few funny stories over the years, as well. “While testing a 2750CC with Mercury joystick piloting, we went to some hapuka pinnacles, at about 300m deep, and activated the JP system. All the boats around us were drifting past trying to fish. They couldn’t understand how we were staying in one place, not moving off the spot and hauling in the hapuka. The looks on their faces was priceless.”

05 QUESTIONS FOR CRAIG

01 02 1850.

What’s your top-seller? The 1550, followed by the

What’s your favourite Stabi? The 1550 Fisher, but yesterday we got our first 2250CC, so... How many Stabis have you sold? I’ve lost count, but we did 50 last year. What’s the best thing about them? Safe, stable and a magic ride in the rough. What other brands do you support? Mercury, Minn Kota, Furuno, Humminbird, DMW trailers, Motorguide electric anchoring systems.

03 04 05

CONTACT DETAILS

Gulfland Marine 671 Whangaparaoa Road, Whangaparaoa, North Auckland, New Zealand. 09 424 5556 www.gulflandmarine.co.nz craig@gulflandmarine.co.nz

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STABIDEALER

KINGS OF THE SOUTH

New Zealand’s newest Stabi dealership has a pretty cosy relationship with Stabicraft HQ — which has got to be good news for punters.

S

tabicraft Southern is the southernmost Stabi dealership in the world, servicing the Southland, Otago and Central Otago regions of New Zealand’s South Island. The only boat dealership and service centre that Stabicraft Marine actually owns and operates, Stabicraft Southern is run by Hayden Sayer, who brings 15 years of experience to the game. A regular on the South Island powerboat racing circuit, he’s forgotten more about mechanical engineering than most of us will learn in a lifetime. Which makes him the perfect bloke to talk to for service and repairs if your Stabi needs a little TLC. A true blue Southlander, he has a love of both boats and fishing. “There are some great boating and fishing opportunities in the region,” says Hayden. “You check out Foveaux Strait and the West Coast for sea fishing, or chase freshwater fish in the Southern Lakes — Te Anau, Wanaka and Wakatipu. You’re looking at blue cod, groper, trumpeter and freshwater trout.” He says there’s no real mystery about catching fish in these parts. “There’s no secret to catching blue cod, but a bit of local knowledge goes a long way.” The abundance of freshwater lakes and rivers in Southland has given Hayden ample opportunity to fish — and test quite a few Stabicraft hulls. His serious need for speed is one reason Hayden ended up working for Stabicraft. Not that he’s biased.

“Why wouldn’t I want to work for Stabicraft? They’re the best boat in NZ, or should I say the world,” he says. “The safety factor is the best feature about them — and that’s paramount when you’re boating the mighty Foveaux Strait.” Stabicraft Southern is — technically — the newest Stabi dealership on the planet, even though the company has been selling boats in Southland since 1987. Hayden remembers how the new dealership came to pass. “With Stabicraft having a huge presence in Southland and Otago, there was a need for a dealership to solely promote this. We also wanted to ensure the customer was getting the same experience as at any other Stabi dealership. It also helps with Stabi HQ testing, learning and implementing new initiatives throughout our global dealership base.” With seven staff, Stabicraft Southern sells around 40–50 Stabis a year, to “everyone from farmers to lawyers”. The top seller is the 1550 Fisher but Hayden’s favourite is the 2400 Supercab. Other brands the dealership supports include Yamaha, DMW Trailers, Garmin, Fusion, Furuno and GME. The boys have also done quite a few fit-outs. “We’ve done heaps of awesome fit-outs, but a certain 2750 Centrecab and a 2900 Weekender spring to mind as standouts,” says Hayden.

05

QUESTIONS FOR HAYDEN

01

Who’s been your most interesting customer? Everyone is interesting in Southland. Describe Stabi customers in five words. Loyal, rugged, friendly, smart and wise, obviously! If you could persuade Stabi Boss Paul to change one thing at Stabicraft, what would it be? To introduce a four-day week. What’s the best thing about having a boat dealership? Working with boats. What’s the worst thing about having a boat dealership? Working with boats.

02 03 04 05

CONTACT DETAILS Stabicraft Southern 345 Bluff Road, Invercargill, New Zealand 027 405 3968 stabicraftsouthern.co.nz hayden@stabicraft.com

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RELAUNCHING AN OLD MATE After three decades in the business and a major makeover, this iconic Kiwi marine outfit is back bigger and better than ever, with a new boss and a yard filled to the brim with brand-new Stabicraft.

I

t’s got to be a good time to pay a visit to Kev & Ian’s Marine, because after 30-plus years in South Auckland, they’ve just opened brand-spanking new premises in Wiri and there are sure to be some good Stabi bargains on offer. After three decades on deck, Kev Griffin has decided to sail into the sunset and has passed the helm of this classic Kiwi boat dealership over to Luke Sharp from Outboard Marine Technologies. They’ve known each other for a while. As a kid, Luke used to play hide and seek with his mates in the boat yard. In 1998, Kev put him in charge of spare parts and the showroom at K&I Marine, so it’s fair to say he knows the place inside out. It’s a good fit — at the new premises, all service work will be done by Outboard Marine Technologies, which has its own six-bay service centre and separate lock-up yard in the same complex. K&I has pretty much everything a boatie could want — boats, motors, trailers, finance and insurance. They even offer on-water tutorials with every new boat purchase. Other brands they support include Evinrude, Mercury, Voyager, DMW, Lowrance, Furuno, Fusion and Balex. According to sales and marketing rep Jo Lomax, the new spot will provide even better service to its boating-mad customers. “Auckland is the city of boating and we’re easily accessible to both the Hauraki Gulf and the Manukau Harbour, close to both the SH20 and SH1 motorways” she says. “In summer, a quick trip out on the water after work will

secure your dinner, and any day of the year you can take the family out to have fun with water toys. And game-fishing season is a must-do for anyone at least once in a lifetime.” K&I have sold more than 1000 Stabis over the years. Like most Stabicraft dealers, Jo says the boats are an easy sell. “Our customers are totally into boats and fishing. We get a lot of families, two to three generations of them, who just love Stabis.” Jo has her own theories about why punters are so loyal to the Stabicraft brand. “The finish and styling is probably their best feature, and probably the first thing customers are attracted to, but the safety factor of the airtight chambered hull is pretty important to them, as well,” says Jo. K&I Marine also specialises in comprehensive fit-outs to make good boats even better. Jo remembers a couple of wicked ones. “For the best Stabi fit-out ever, it’s a bit of a toss-up. There was a 2400 we fitted out for game fishing and family use crossover. It had a 250 HO, gas cooker, lock-up cabin, wine fridge, electric toilet, radar, a carbon HDS-12 fishfinder/GPS and 1k/W transducer. Then there was the 1550 Frontier we modified for a couple with a threeyear-old. It had a Fusion stereo system featuring the Signature series backlit speakers and amp, and Lowrance HDS-9 GPS/fishfinder. We painted it metallic gunmetal grey with matt black graphics and black accessories. It looked great!”

05

QUESTIONS FOR KEV & IAN’S

01 02

What’s your top-seller? The 1850 Supercab. What’s your favourite Stabi? Everyone involved in putting our boats together has a different favourite, but I like the new 2250. What’s the best thing about having a boat dealership? Introducing people to boating. What’s the worst thing about having a boat dealership? Working weekends. Describe Stabi customers in five words. They have done their homework.

03 04 05

CONTACT DETAILS Kev & Ian’s Marine 71 Druces Road, Wiri, Auckland, New Zealand 09 276 4999 www.kev.co.nz sales@kev.co.nz

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STABIPARTNER ULTRALON

ALL HANDS ON U-DEK

NOBODY LIKES A SLIPPERY WET DECK, EXCEPT A FISH TRYING TO MAKE A BREAK FOR THE BRINE AFTER SNEAKILY SLIDING OFF YOUR HOOK. THANKS TO THE FOAM FELLAS AT ULTRALON, YOUR STABI WILL NEVER SUFFER FROM SOGGY DECK SYNDROME AGAIN. Stabicraft has earned a reputation as a durable, no-fuss, tough boat. Every bit of a Stabi has to live up to that reputation — especially the part that connects you to the boat — the deck surface. For the past 20 years, Stabicraft has trusted U-DEK as its preferred UVA flooring supplier. Like the product, it’s a well-bonded relationship. The crew at Stabicraft and Ultralon Foam (supplier of U-DEK) stick together, working closely at all levels from product development and design through to the supply chain. WHAT IS U-DEK? U-DEK is made from a lightweight closed-cell foam that is non-absorbing and UV-protected. It acts like a shock absorber underfoot, allowing boaties to fish longer and in more comfort. It adds grip, improving safety in all wet areas. As a bonus, U-DEK also dampens hull and engine noise. Did we mention U-DEK is easy to clean, looks awesome and can be customised to the skipper’s taste with logos or custom text, integrated into the foam during the routering stage? All U-DEK decking comes formulated with a 3M acrylic-based, high-bond, pressure-sensitive adhesive for easy peel-and-stick installation.

There are a number of different finishes, colours and tread patterns available for your Stabi.

GUNWALE TOPS COVERED

In more good news for Stabi owners, all its boats are fitted with the U-TREAD Octi gunwale kit as standard. This anti-slip, hard-wearing deck tread is built for maximum grip on gunwale tops. They are also suitable for DIY installation and come in steel grey or light grey. Some of the choice rigs fitted with Ultralon products include the new 2250 for Gene Denton from Whitiangler Adventures in the Coromandel, and The Hunters Club, the team behind the popular Kiwi hunting series. For more information, check out www.ultralonfoam.com

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A W A R D

W I N N I N G

I N N O V A T I O N

R E - E M B O D I E D

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MM S -SR- A RA 6 76 07 0

DIS C OVER T H E S U M OF A U D I O I N N O VAT IO N

A AWWA AR RDD WWI N I NNNI N I NGG MM S -S R- R AA 7 7 07 0

F E AT U R I N G

The Apollo RA670 boasts the award winning innovation of the Apollo Series, in an all new compact form factor. Featuring a brilliant, optically bonded, full-color LCD full-colour LCDdisplay, display,Fusion’s Fusion’sDigital DigitalSignal SignalProcessing ProcessingTechnology Technology(DSP), (DSP), Fusion-Link integration and control, Multi-Zone control in up to 3 audio zones and PartyBus wired capabilities when connected to a Wi-Fi or Apollo network. The RA670 is a powerful extension of the Apollo Series.

F U S I O N E N T E R T A I N M E N T. C O M

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STABIPARTNER FI INNOVATIONS

THE STABI WHISPERERS WHEN IT COMES TO SMART COMPONENTRY, FI INNOVATIONS HAS THE RUNS ON THE BOARD. IT’S IN THEIR BLOOD — AND UNDER THE FLOORS OF ALL FOAM-FILLED STABICRAFT MODELS. As if Stabicraft boats weren’t safe enough with their pontoon life ring system, they’ve now become even safer. Quite honestly, if they were any safer we just might nod off to sleep when sitting offshore on a sunny day. But the latest Stabicraft innovation means your new Stabi can be optioned with polyurethane closed-cell foam injection. The practical benefits will appeal to the sensibilities of anyone who’s ever headed out to sea. The foam creates extra buoyancy in times of dire need — such as if she turns turtle (not like you’ll ever need it, then). Even after prolonged exposure to water, the closed-cell structure maintains buoyant pressure. This good stuff also provides insulation so you won’t freeze your toes off in winter. And it’ll keep your quarry nice and cool in the underfloor kill tanks in summer. The foam also reduces hull reverberation and noise, giving a rock solid feeling in the hull through rough waters. The boffins at FI Innovations call this the “whisper-ride” effect.

WHO MAKES THIS STUFF?

The polyurethane closed cell is created by FI Innovations in Invercargill using state-of-the-art equipment. The company is dedicated to quality and

innovation, with several awards to prove it, including the 2017 Southland Business Excellence Award and the Innovation in Export Award at the 2018 Southland Export Awards. What’s more, FI Innovations is a fourth-generation, family-owned company. Gareth and Melissa Dykes have been at the helm since 2002. Back then they only had one employee servicing one customer. Today, they’re among New Zealand’s leaders in composite and resin infusion with 25 staff. FI technicians can custom-make almost anything from fibreglass or carbon fibre as a one-off, short-run or replica. If that’s not enough marine chops, they also have two qualified boat builders on site. As well as the closed-cell foam that gives Stabis their smooth-as-silk feeling on the water, FI also supply the stylish fibreglass mouldings fitted to some Stabicraft models. For more information check out www.f-i.co.nz

innovations flex, fibre & flooring hub

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STABIPARTNER WAKEFIELD METALS

HEAVY METAL URGE

THE ALLOY ENTHUSIASTS AT WAKEFIELD METALS EXPLAIN THE MIRACLE OF CONCEPTION — HOW GRADE ALLOY SHEET AND PLATE MORPHS INTO THE AGGRESSIVE BEASTS KNOWN AS THE STABICRAFT 2250 CENTRECAB AND ULTRA CENTRECAB. Life is not easy for aluminium. It is melted, beaten, rolled, bent and welded before it even hits the water. Of course, Wakefield Metals is nowhere near as brutal on its primary source of metal supplied to Stabicraft. In fact, they have perfected the sweet treatment of aluminium with their suppliers, resulting in a consistently high-quality product. There’s a lot of it, too — Wakefield reckons it will supply more than 500 tonnes of the stuff in 2019. Once unloaded at the Stabicraft factory, the next phase of production begins. The aluminium is laid up on a CNC router bed and cut according to one of the many design files — aka “nests”. The nests are made up of dozens of parts, all automated to fit Wakefield’s pre-allocated aluminium sheet sizes. Once cut, the sheets are removed from the router bed. Any sharp edges are filed for safety and ease of handling before they’re placed in crates, which are labelled by boat model and job number. Next, the CNC press brake operator does his thing. A press brake is a giant, guillotine-style machine that turns flat sheets into 3D Stabi parts. These 3D parts are split into different batches, depending on where they’re required next — usually for welding.

RING, RING..

jig — the jig for the 2250 is almost 7m (23ft) long! Then the underfloor structure is welded, followed by the transom — all still upside down to ensure a millimetre-perfect result. The pontoon is then rotated upright and the bottomside structure welded before delivery to the cabin/topside manufacturers. Obviously, the bit above the waterline is the most-viewed part of the vessel, so the Stabi team has developed a cunning plan to ensure everything is spot-on, particularly on the new 2250. To simplify the process, fully welded sub-assembly cabins are pre-fitted before visiting the local paint/powdercoat shop. Once the coamings, walkaround and transom boxes are fitted, the boat is ready for a lick of paint. With all the hot work done, the crew cool off with a refreshing drink (non-alcoholic, we’re assured) congratulating themselves on transforming a flat sheet of alloy or plate into a fine Stabicraft sled. While the manufacturing crew is still in slap-themselveson-the-back mode, the hull continues its journey. Next stop, the fit-out crew, who get busy giving your brand-new Stabi that slick showroom finish. However, that’s a story for another day. For more details check out www.wakefieldmetals.co.nz/

Now the pontoon (or life ring) manufacturing begins. The pontoon is built upside down (ironic, much?) on a massive

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STABIWORLD

INTERNATIONAL DEALERS STABICRAFT SCANDINAVIA

Location Moholm, Sweden Website www.stabicraft.se

QUALITY BOATS

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

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

BOAT COUNTRY

Location Everett, Washington Website www.boatcountry.com

Y MARINA

Location Coos Bay, Oregon Website www.ymarinaboats.com

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STABIWORLD

NEW ZEALAND DEALERS

WHITIANGA MARINE

MARINE NORTH

Location Whangarei Website www.marinenorth.co.nz

Location Whitianga Website www.whitiangamarine.co.nz

GULFLAND MARINE

Location Auckland Website www.gulflandmarine.co.nz

KEV & IAN’S MARINE

MASTERTECH MARINE

Location Auckland Website www.kev.co.nz

Location Tauranga Website www.mastertech.co.nz

ROLLO’S MARINE

Location Hamilton Website www.rollosmarine.co.nz

OCEAN SPORTS 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

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

KP MARINE

Location Kapiti Website www.kpmarine.co.nz

MARINE & OUTDOORS

Location Blenheim Website www.marineandoutdoors.co.nz

POWERBOAT CENTRE CHRISTCHURCH

STABICRAFT SOUTHERN

Location Invercargill Website www.stabicraftsouthern.co.nz

Location Christchurch Website www.powerboatcentre.co.nz

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

NORTHSIDE MARINE

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

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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