STABICRAFT – 2750 ULTRA CENTRECAB XL – By Dominic Fry
To say the fabulous 2750 Ultra Centrecab XL is a true weapon of the seas would probably be an understatement. It is a large, beautifully laid out, stable, seaworthy and eminently functional offshore fishing platform built for long range adventures.
The big Stabicraft arrived at the ramp sitting on a Redco Stabicraft Alloy TA900T-EH trailer rated to 4400 kilograms. This is one big trailer –a full multi roller and dual axle job. The trend towards alloy trailers continues to grow for obvious reasons and if you’d rather be on the water than conducting maintenance on your old galvanised model, consider an upgrade!
With two Yamaha F250hp contra rotating V6 four strokes on the stern, it is also a beast of a boat when it comes to agility, speed and handling. The test day was breezy with considerable wind slop but not a lot of swell. The big Stabi smashed its way through the sloppy seas effortlessly and attained a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour! As if that’s not enough, the vessel was fitted out with an impressive and vast array of options, electronics in particular.
Somewhat significantly, a Yamaha Helm Master joystick steering system has been included on this boat (as an optional extra), which comes in at 8.4 metres in length, a beamy 2.50 metres and it pulled the scales down to a tad over 3500 kilos. The Helm Master set up makes docking/berthing a breeze by way of joystick control. The two big Yamahas operate independently of each other to manoeuvre the chunky boat sideways, or in fact in any direction. An awesome tool for berthing or moving around tight spots in marinas and the like.
This system also has Fishpoint, which is a dual GPS controlled facility that will hold the vessel on a mark. Furthermore, Driftpoint can be utilised to maintain a heading (perfect for fishing wrecks or slowly drift fishing reefs) and even more extraordinary, the Staypoint function is only a press of a button away and this will maintain position and heading! What next?
The test rig was fitted with an impressive array of top shelf Garmin electronics. Starting with a 16 inch GPS full colour mapping sounder, other features included a Steer by Wire Corepack, Phantom 24 Doppler Radar, 215i VHF Radio and of course aerial and a range of cleverly placed LED Light Bars to enhance visibility on the deck as well as a couple of extra high quality underwater lights fitted at the transom.
There was also an impressive stereo fitted into the dash. It was a quality Fusion Apollo with an awesome sounding pair of flush mounted six inch Signature speakers.
The cabin was indeed most impressive. The electronics were fitted in the very roomy cockpit and allowed for ease of use and visibility. Four Custom Airwave Suspension seat bases coupled with Stabicraft Elite Bolster seats provided roomy and extremely comfortable seating. Forward of the cockpit a Vee Berth (complete with a fold down extension) provided a roomy and comfortable double bed – a perfect spot for those afternoon snoozes after a hectic fishing session or overnight on those extended trips. There’s room galore on the vast rear deck for a few swags as well….more on that later!
The fully enclosed and lockable all weather cabin was complete with bi-fold rear doors with glass side panels, sliding windows both port and starboard and an overhead Maxwell roof hatch for added ventilation. It certainly is a well laid out, versatile and roomy cabin/helm, that also includes twin windscreen wipers.
Nothing had been forgotten here, it simply couldn’t be improved on.
The very spacious rear fishing deck provides room for a veritable army of anglers with plenty of storage and a huge insulated underfloor kill tank. The central portion of the stern is sensibly utilised with a large heavy duty bait station complete with a tackle storage compartment and rod holders, which is a standard inclusion. Under this are the two start/house batteries with easy access for maintenance. Right next to the bait station is the large 70 litre plumbed live bait tank complete with a big glass front window for extra good viewing and easy collection of the next bait. Two tuna tubes which are also plumbed are cleverly positioned, innovative and once again, standard fixtures.
A washdown pump kit is easily accessible on the starboard side to effortlessly clean up any mess and this is yet another standard inclusion. Rocket launcher style rod racks fitted to the rear of the hard top provide storage for plenty of rods and they are easily accessible. A single fold down seat completes the functional and roomy layout at the stern.
With ample space for at least six anglers aft another two could wet a line on the casting platform at the bow which is easily accessed via the elevated side walkways.Yet, others could fish from the side walkways which are wide enough for an easy wander up or down the boat. The rail is around 750mm off the deck, so a good height to feel comfortable and safe.
The pointy end obviously accommodates the SARCA anchor, chain and rope (more standard inclusions) however they are cleverly placed on the bow so as to be clear of anglers feet and in no way a hazard. The anchor is released by the mere flip of a switch at the helm and easily retrieved by way of the Maxwell Drum Winch. Not much has been missed in this awesome fishing package!
There is non-slip deck matting aplenty for safety, more storage space forward and a row of four Starports which can accommodate almost anything from the vast Railblaza range of accessories which include rod holders that are fully adjustable and many other handy on board tools.
Stabicraft vessels are constructed with cleverly concealed and fully sealed aluminium tubes with a thickness of 4mm. The hull is 6mm thick which is plenty. The over engineered construction delivers a boat that is essentially unsinkable with close to 3000 litres of sealed buoyancy, very stable at rest and extremely impressive underway.
If safety is a consideration, and naturally it should be, Stabicraft needs to be on your list of prospects.
The two big Yamaha V6 F250 powerplants pushing this beast along (max horsepower rating is 500hp) deliver impressive performance. At 2500 rpm the vessel hummed along nicely at 34 kilometres per hour burning around 35 litres an hour. That’s more than acceptable for such a large offshore fishing machine and it was so comfortable, the speed pretty much went unnoticed.
At full noise however, 5800 rpm and almost 90 kilometres per hour, the fuel burn increased quite dramatically to over 180 litres per hour. Driven sensibly, the 500 litres of underfloor fuel storage would provide a range of over 450 kilometres, which would be plenty for just about any long range angling adventure.
The vessel completed tight turns at speed in somewhat uncomfortable conditions with no spray coming on board and a total feeling of safety. Power steering makes manoeuvring a breeze and delivers that added element of safety which is absolutely necessary on boats capable of long range trips to distant outer reefs. Navigating your way back to the ramp through stormy weather in a boat that is cumbersome is no fun, that’s for sure. No problem there with the big Stabi!
In summary, this is one super impressive long range fishing boat with features galore, both standard and available as optional add-ons. The test unit has some seriously expensive optional features fitted, including Helm Master and a super impressive array of electronics. A more subdued approach however sees a basic package on the water for a tad over $200,000.
Manufactured in New Zealand, the Stabicraft range are engineered for the atrocious conditions often encountered there. So if you are looking for safety, comfort, stability and room with storage galore, put a big Stabi in your sights.
Northside Marine in Boondall, QLD, carry an impressive range of these boats. There is plenty more info available at www.northsidemarine.com.au or you could call Stabicraft Sales Specialist Mark Golden on 07 3265 8028 or 0416 177 664.