by Dom Wiseman

There’s no doubt that the humble tinnie is the mainstay of the Aussie boating market, simply due to their ease of use, maintenance and simplicity to tow, requiring in many cases, little more than a family sedan to get from the garage to the water. Add a good level of affordability and the customisable nature of the platform and it is little wonder that families and hardcore boaters have a soft spot for this Aussie icon built by the massive Telwater company in Queensland. A majority of boats sold are in the 3.5-4.5 metre category and it is in this space that the Stacer Assault 449 sits. It is an open design, with a punt like aesthetic that delivers good performance all round and is backed by a large dealer network.

WHAT YOU GET
The Assault Pro range is aimed directly at budget conscious competition anglers and provides all the necessary additions you would expect if this was your passion. At its core the 449 Assault is a spacious tinnie with a tiller steer outboard and a large flat deck. An electric motor mount is optional. Up front, a raised casting platform is perfect for lure casting anglers and provides a great elevated view and access to the optional electric motor which can be fitted to this hull.
Stacer 449 Assault Pro 21
Stacer 449 Assault Pro 1There is a kill tank under foot and two storage areas either side of this platform. There is also an anchor well upfront which will accommodate plenty of line. The large carpeted floor is flat and stable and provides easy access around the boat, which is very stable at rest. Either side, two side pockets can handle all the fishing knick-knacks you could possibly need as well as the many items one seems to accumulate in spaces like these. Two pedestal seats, with five placement options, provide the necessary accommodations for the passenger and driver and a rear casting platform rounds out the boat. The test boat also was fitted with a live bait tank. The rear platform extends full beam and is carpeted as is the floor and front platform which makes it comfortable for bare-footed anglers. The list of factory-fitted features for this package is massive and includes Stacer 449 Assault Pro 7a 65-litre fuel tank, bilge pump, nav lights, seat upgrades, bimini, sounder, vinyl wrap and step and rod holders. As it stands you could simply add an outboard and hit the water. The only criticism I would have is that I would like to see more rod holders if I was a serious angler, although they can easily be retro fitted by the dealer at a later stage.

POWER
The test boat was powered by an electric start 40 horse power long-shaft Suzuki which is well suited to this hull. The top speed touched 55km/h which in a boat of this nature feels fast. The 40hp two-stroke has a good hole shot and power throughout the range with fantastic Stacer 449 Assault Pro 4acceleration. I found it difficult to reach the engine from the pedestal seat installed and resorted to sitting on the rear casting platform to drive. I found this a little concerning, but fitting an engine with a longer throttle arm would alleviate this issue. You can fit up to a 60hp on the craft which I expect would be overkill on this hull and unless you were concerned about getting to certain fishing spots ahead of everyone else, wouldn’t be worth the extra investment.

ON THE WATER
The Stacer 449 Assault Pro is built on Stacer’s SF or Sports Hull. It is essentially a punt style hull with a difference in that Stacer has incorporated a ‘V’ in to the bow which aids the boat in choppy conditions. The end result of this hybrid hull is a concave that almost looks like a tri-hull from some angles which maximises space up top and delivers excellent stability at rest. Underway the hull feels solid and turns flat in a corner which new owners would appreciate. It’s almost tank like in its toughness and drive and required a fair bit of input to corner, which I put down to the ‘V’ hull holding its line, similar to a keel in a yacht. Given its design, this boat will be capable but won’t revel in heavy offshore work. It has a tendency to ride up on top of the chop, rather than cut through it, even with the forward ‘V’.

ON THE TRAILER
Sitting on a custom built Stacer sport trailer which is a single axle galvanized trailer built in-house by Stacer, the whole package weighs in the vicinity of 600kg which will place it within the capabilities of most family vehicles. The package tows well and the trailer is well suited to long transits between fishing locations.
Stacer 449 Assault Pro 10

OVERVIEW
Built with a focus on fishing, this boat is ideal for the top-end angler looking for an affordable no-fuss package he can handle himself. For southern anglers, it’s well suited to inshore estuaries and harbours and will handle some light offshore missions when conditions are right. It’s a stable package and well suited to its intended task.Stacer 449 Assault Pro 18
POSITIVES

  • Space
  • Ease of use

NEGATIVES

  • Driving position
  • Lack of rod holders

NUMBERS THAT MATTERStacer 449 Assault Pro 15
Price: from $10,495, (as tested) $16,832
Construction: Aluminium
Length Overall: 4.43m
Beam: 2.0m
Draft: 0.90m
Weight on trailer: 600kg (approx)
Engine: Suzuki Two Stroke 40hp