by Dom Wiseman

Let’s begin with brutal honesty. The Stabicraft platform is neither sleek nor sophisticated. The range is big, bold and kind of ugly and can be best compared to a tank; killer efficiency but is not going to be running in any beauty pageants.

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Within the range, there are many models and most subscribe to this design ethos. The 2100 Super Cab is no different and has a large presence in and out of the water. The Stabicraft boats have a unique following and are known for their tough, uncompromising performance. They may have originated in New Zealand, but if you were to assign a spirit animal, a Bulldog is fitting, but certainly not a Kiwi bird.

WHAT’S ONBOARD?

The Stabicraft 2100 Super Cab is a relatively large boat, with enough onboard to keep any keen angler happy. Families can also easily enjoy a day cruising, but it would need some modifications, like putting in carpet, to make it just a little less rough and ready. But seeing as it is a fishing boat, you might vehemently disagree with me on that. The hard-top cabin is difficult to miss and is situated right at the nose of the platform. It has a large opening to the beds running either side, with a floor recess in between. A bunk infill makes this area more usable and two adults could spend a cosy night together. The rear aluminium bulkhead is effective at stopping most things from sliding to the back, and doubles as a footrest for the helm seats. The cabin itself is high, allowing ample head room. Two sliding windows permit a light cross breeze, but don’t open enough to make any noticeable difference in high temperatures or windless conditions.

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The walls of the cabin have storage pockets that are reasonably wide and can accommodate an arsenal of equipment. The internal surfaces are lined with marine carpet, which provides ample sound deadening for the water noise aluminium boats can enhance.

There is a hatch overhead in the cabin for airflow, but on the test boat, there was no flyscreen, so I would be fitting one immediately if overnight stays were planned. There is also an internal light. Access to the bow is through the hatch, however, it’s far easier to use the optional anchor winch than to do this manually.

The control is located at the helm and is the only way to anchor a boat of the Stabicraft’s dimensions. I’d fit one of these immediately if anchoring up was on my agenda. The helm set up on this boat is a fishos delight. A large Raymarine Axiom Head unit running a doplar radar and Raymarine’s Clear Cruise Augmented Reality video feed takes centre place in the dash. This gives the owner unheralded on water perception and exceptional navigation abilities in new waterways. Above, is an array of electronics with autopilot and marine radio present, with a fusion stereo located off to the left with the passenger.

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Overhead, the large and high cabin roof protects the occupants and provides sun relief on hot days. The cabin is again heavy gauge aluminium and provides a sturdy mount for the array of rod holders on the rear edge. These are tough to access due to the height from the floor. Down the back, it’s all business, with a wide and open cockpit providing plenty of fishing space. The floor is at a good height to brace against the gunnel when fighting fish. The gunnel is also wide and features four aluminium rod holders, two either side. These look sturdy enough, but on closer inspection, had bent a little with heavy use chasing broadbill offshore. This style of fishing uses heavy weights and as a result the rod holders had bent under the pressure. Stainless steel ones will certainly have a longer lifespan. Below the rod holders on either side, is a large side pocket which unusually is located up higher than other designs and something I quite like. No more bending down to get to your equipment.

The transom has a fold down seat in each corner. They aren’t super comfortable, being non-slip tops and not upholstered. They also double as a step onto the tight rear platform. In the centre, stands a large cutting board which is at an excellent height for prepping baits or rigs. It has a large live bait tank underneath and some storage behind a grey plastic hatch cover. This is a great design and while the structure is large, much like the rest of the boat, it doesn’t intrude too much on cockpit space.

POWER

The Stabicraft 2100 Supercab is rated to a maximum 225 horsepower engine. That is quite a few horses, but they do suggest the hull will perform with a 130hp at a minimum. The test boat was fitted with a 250hp Honda the owner had elected to fit.

We would never recommend or condone exceeding the manufacturer’s recommended maximums, as it can void any warranty you have with the hull.

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Something in the 200hp area will still provide the performance required of a boat this size, while also providing the added benefit of being lighter on your wallet in straight up cost and running costs with fuel etc. It will still be able to put the boat on the plane efficiently and have the power if you needed it.

ON THE WATER

If there is one thing I can say for certain about the Stabicraft build, it is that it is solid. Built tough and uncompromising for the rigours of the New Zealand coastline, it’s a platform that translates well to Australian waters. Australian Stabicraft fans will be mightily impressed with the ride across all conditions.

The cabin itself, while warm, with limited airflow when you’re going slow, provides exceptional feel and vision all round. I would like the windows to open a little more and perhaps a sun roof, to get adequate airflow at trolling speeds. That said, the cabin is large and protective and means you aren’t getting wet while blasting across the chop.

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All the controls fall to hand easily, with the throttle and wheel well placed for standing or seated driving.

 

While in flat water, any boat can execute flat out runs effortlessly; it’s the rough stuff where this boat excels. The boat has a 20-degree deadrise, which isn’t quite at the extremes you find on some other builds for sea craft. But what the Stabicraft is all about is the hull design, and its ability to trap air under the sponsons to cushion the ride. It is hard to put your finger on exactly how this works, but there’s definitely something in it. The boat charges effortlessly over the chop, with passenger comfort at the forefront of performance. This makes getting to those far flung fishing destinations a breeze rather than a torture session.

I have found all Stabicraft boats that I’ve have been in, to be well composed and immediately put me at ease behind the wheel. While they are a larger format compared to some other boat designs, the size and bulk and possibly the added weight the build delivers, seems to smooth out the ride. The lack of flex in the design also adds to its robust nature and surefootedness.

OVERVIEW

There is a boat for everyone and the regularity with which I see the Stabicraft boats on the water would suggest that they have a loyal following. The 2100 Supercab is one of their larger platforms and would be suitable for any keen offshore angler. While they lack some of the refinement that other brands have, their rough and ready style and solid build will provide decades of service.

+

Spacious

Solid construction

Great ride

No comfort, all business

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: $109,990 (from)

Construction: Aluminium

Length Overall: 6.4m

Beam: 2.32m

Dry Weight: 96kgs hull only

Engines: 130 to 225 hp

Fuel Capacity: 200 litres

Water: N/A