by Dom Wiseman

If you are prepared to deal with getting wet occasionally, centre consoles make the perfect fishing platform. The console provides some protection but the real appeal in the design comes from the space that is available onboard and by removing the cabin, the entire boat is usable from the bow to the stern. And it simply can’t be beaten for guys who love to throw large lures about for pelagics.
The Stacer  679 Sea Ranger, a new size in an established format, is one of the best appointed centre consoles I’ve seen and at almost 7.0m in length it’s a very capable offshore fishing option with a host of additions, from the six rod holders to live bait tanks and hide-a-way icebox that fits perfectly into a recess at the front of the console, built into the platform. The visibility is excellent and with a no fuss finish it certainly looks the part of a serious fishing boat.
Stacer’s 679 Sea Ranger is solid too, built on the EVO advance hull using 5mm plate construction like the Ocean Ranger cabin fishing boats. It’s a sleek unit that looks more like a cigarette boat than fishing vessel once you’re aboard.

WHAT YOU GET
The layout of this boat is all fishing from the open space available to the no-mess self-draining checker plate aluminium flooring that is perfect for hosing out at the end of the day. At times these floors can get very hot and uncomfortable so long days standing offshore could be taxing on the feet. You could lay some padded flooring yourself such as the self adhesive Diamond Deck product which is a closed cell EVA foam available in a variety of colours and can be cut to fit. I would also add this to the topsides of the gunwale for extra comfort and safety as you step aboard.
Stacer 679 Sea Ranger 4
Stacer 679 Sea Ranger 5Up front there is an anchor well with rails running either side from the bow to the end of the front platform. This platform like the rest of the floor is checker plate and is raised giving anglers at the bow a great view. The rails provide a good hand hold should you need to brace yourself and are at a height that makes this comfortable. A large under floor hatch at the bow provides good storage that is essential given the console set up, but more on that later. There is also a massive kill tank under the front platform with a hatch lid that is large enough to get most large fish through easily. You could and may need to use this as additional storage.
The only issue I have here, and it’s common on many centre consoles is the design of how the floor and sides meet. In most fishing situations it is comfortable to be able to fit your feet close to the side via a toe hold allowing you to stand upright and brace against the gunwale. The Stacer 679 Sea Ranger sides in the front third of the boat run to the floor which means if you want to fish here leaning against the gunwale creates an uncomfortable angle.
Further back on the boat ahead of the console is another large kill box that is long enough for northern species such as mackerel. The console is aluminium and includes a massive ice box that slides out on a drawer system. This is an option on this model and with the icebox slid out, it doubles as a forward seat. The trade off here is that the console space that would be available normally is reduced. This leaves only enough space in the console on the drivers’ side for a small shelf. It does have a small lip to stop most items from being thrown out when underway. There is another recess beneath the shelf at the floor level. In order to keep items here when sliding out, I would add a lip myself on the floor.
Stacer 679 Sea Ranger 8

Stacer 679 Sea Ranger 9The large square console on this set up housed a Lowrance HDS 9 unit in the centre and a 4-inch ICON touch display panel for the Evinrude G2 engine. There is a larger 7-inch display available for the G2 engines. To the far left is an open glove box that I could do without allowing me space to mount a separate sounder and plotter screen. The sports steering wheel and throttle control are at a great height standing or seated and are pushed to the right hand side allowing the switch panel and radio to be placed on the left well out of reach of being obstructed by the wheel.
Mounted over the console of the test boat was a large optional T-top that provides sun protection and some rod storage along the rear edge. The stainless bars used on the tower also make for excellent hand holds while underway. The bench style seat comes without a footrest but you can comfortably rest your feet on the lip on the shelf. Storage is located under the flip up seat cushion.
The back end of the boat is all business with a live bait tank, with a viewing window, tucked into the starboard corner underneath the step into the boat through the rear transom door. My only issue here is that it’s a bit of a task continually bending down to grab a bait. The centrally located bait prep station is perfect for cutting and dispensing a berley trail or preparing lures. It comes with five rod-holders along the back and two cup holder either side. There is nothing but empty space on the gunwale to the right. I would prefer the live bait tank to be here and you could easily fit one in this space. Underneath, the batteries and filters are hidden behind a clip on cover.
There is a sturdy boarding ladder making entry and exit simple for divers or after a cooling dip while a small platform sits either side of the engine.

POWER
Much has been written about the Evinrude G2 engine on this website and in this case Stacer have opted to fit the maximum horsepower possible on this boat. It screams off the mark with unbelievable acceleration that literally launches the boat onto the plane in seconds.
The max this hull is capable of handling is 225hp and after testing it rigged with the Evinrude G2 225hp engine, I can’t imagine I’d fit anything else. You can go as low as 125hp according to Stacer although I’d expect the performance to be lacklustre at best. A nice middle point between adrenalin and cost would be a 175hp.
Stacer 679 Sea Ranger 3
679 Sea Ranger 1ON THE WATER
The EVO Advance hull is built to withstand the rigors of offshore fishing. It sits on an internal frame that is comprised of some serious aluminium. Eight 6mm aluminium stringers with support from 5mm ribs are laid out in a pattern that delivers strength and helps create the hull’s shape. The rear two-thirds of the hull is built on a box frame adding more structural integrity while the fully welded checker plate floor sits atop this framework. It creates a very strong, rigid hull that also includes a solid keel.
We tested the Stacer 679 Sea Ranger in choppy conditions on Queensland’s Broadwater and found the hull solid and safe. Running over chop it rides smoothly slicing through waves with a minimum of fuss. It could tackle any conditions and while we didn’t get wet in the test conditions due to the hull’s ability to throw the spray down and out relatively well, offshore in tougher conditions will see spray being blown back at the boat in the right conditions such as running cross wind.
The hull almost doesn’t quite feel like aluminium which is due in no small part to the rigidity of the hull and thickness of the aluminium. The 20 degree deadrise is perfect and also displayed a good degree of stability at rest.
Once you get behind the wheel and start initiating some turns, you can feel the hull respond and go exactly where you intended. The hydraulic steering combined with the power steering unit standard on the G2 was responsive and easy to turn providing instant input to the engine. You can change the settings using the Evinrude ICON unit to adjust how light, or heavy, a steering feel you want.
Stacer 679 Sea Ranger 12
Stacer 679 Sea Ranger 11ON THE TRAILER
The Stacer 679 Sea Ranger sits on an in-house designed and built braked twin axle alloy roller trailer that tows well and is lighter than an equivalent-sized galvanized trailer. Rollers ensure the boat slips off with a minimum of effort although launching a boat of this size is a two-person job. Putting the boat back on the trailer is also a simple case of driving it up into position.
The entire package including boat, motor and trailer would lie in the 2200 kgs range putting you in the larger car market for a tow vehicle.

OVERVIEW
Serious anglers will really appreciate the Stacer 679 Sea Ranger. The space onboard is second to none and its basic yet effective layout will be perfect for offshore lure or bait fishing. Being aluminium, it’s easier to tow and the hull is well built and superbly safe in all conditions and the 20 degree deadrise will chew up the chop and swell.

POSITIVES

  • Great space

Stacer 679 Sea Ranger 10

  • Simple layout
  • Fishability

NEGATIVES

  • No lip on bottom of console

NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: (from) $74,246.63
Construction: Plate Aluminium
Length Overall: 6.84m
Beam: 2.46m
Weight on trailer: approx 2200kgs
Engine: Evinrude G2 200hp
Fuel Capacity: 215 litres
Bottom thickness: 5.0mm
Topside thickness: 4.0mm
Transom thickness: 5.0mm
Capacity: 7 people

 

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