Stessl Bluewater 520 with Yamaha F115hp

The Stessl 520 Bluewater was plenty of fun to fang around out of the Tweed River. The Stessl factory is a short trip from the Tweed and the Bluewater was designed for exactly these waters.

by Steve Morgan •

We’ve tested a couple of Stessl Platetrix boats since new owner of Steel, Scotty James (who also makes Horizon Boats), has taken the helm. And the first thing I asked Scott when we did the first of these tests is “What’s Platetrix”?

The answer was pretty simple. Platetrix is a design philosophy that’s based around over-engineering the heck out of the hull so that it’ll outlast any owner. They do this with extra longitudinal and latitudinal stringers welded below the deck, and the backbone of the hull is a keel extrusion that’s a backbone to the whole construction process.

Back in the river, the Bluewater was equally capable.
There’s no shortage of places to hold a fishing rod - either when in use or being stored.
A steep entry tapers back to a moderate lee at the transom to offer a comfortable ride in choppy conditions.
The fold-up ladder and walk-through transom door facilitate easy boarding.
The bait station at the transom holds rods, drinks, bait and knives.
The unique floor design of the Bluewater sees the flat internal floor running from bow to transom at the same level.
The fold-away rear lounge gives your passengers somewhere to sit and tucks out of the way when the fishing begins.
I don’t mind a bit of a sill to rest the arm on while driving. The test boat was fitted with a sounder combo and Yamaha’s LCD screen digital gauges.
Some simple bars for’ard keep your important gear dry and up the front.
Overhead fishing rod storage is virtually mandatory in this kind of boat. It keeps your tackle out of the way and out of danger. Unless you forget about that low hanging branch at the ramp.
This Bluewater sported a good-looking vinyl wrap that will turn heads at the ramp.
The Yamaha F115 delivered great economy - getting you 2.4km/L at 3,500rpm.
Standard side pockets hold your gear that needs to be readily accessible.
Now THAT’s an underfloor kill tank. Made for and in a part of the world where you can fill it with mackerel.

“You’ll break yourself before you break the boat,” Scott confidently answered when asked if it was breakable.

With an overall length of 5.5m, the 520 Bluewater is a boat designed to be a versatile inshore and offshore rig in SE Queensland and beyond. It has a unique design internally, which sees a full floor run from transom to bow, punctuated only by the pedestal seats and some bars to help gear from sliding back from the front of the runabout.

Powered by Yamaha’s second generation F115, Glenn Gibson from Yamaha tagged along on the test to see how the rig performed.

Glenn gave the modern technology some historical perspective.

“We all came from a background as kids when we all went boating with the old 2-stroke V4s – oil in one container and fuel in the other. Look at it today – we have a 4-stroke motor where you turn the key and it runs quietly and smoke free. Doesn’t matter if it’s cold, hot, rainy or sunny – they just work and it makes for a great boating experience,” Glenn said.

With the 115 at the top end of the allowable power on this hull, the rig made for a great day on the water for the test crew. At dawn, we ventured offshore from the Tweed and later on we retreated to the river for some estuary work.

The economy was great – delivering around 2.4km/L at 3,500rpm. Drop the throttle and you can reach 65km/h, but each litre gets you 800m less. With a 150L fuel tank underfloor, the practical range is well over 300km on a tank.

Other features that will interest the angler are the bait station on the transom, which holds all you need to get rigged while on the water, and the huge underfloor kill tank that will store a bag limit of mackerel with ease.

Add a targa top rocket launcher and your storage problems are solved.

At the helm, the seats are well positioned and there’s a small ledge to cradle your forearm as you’re making throttle adjustments. There’s room for bracket mounted electronics and the LCD Yamaha gauge was flush-mounted into the aluminium.

Supplied on a single-axle trailer and weighing in at around 1.5t, this rig is towable by most family cars and would make an excellent transition into a ‘real’ fishing boat from your smaller tinnie.

For more information, see your local Stessl dealer, visit or like Stessl Boats on Facebook.

Length Overall
Length bow to transom 5.3m
Length on trailer 6.7m
Height on trailer 2.4m
Beam 2.4m
Depth 1.35m
Bottom sheet 4mm
Side Sheet 4mm
Hull weight 550kg
Rec HP  90
Max HP 115
Capacity 6 persons

RPM         Speed (km/h)      Economy (km/L)
1000………7……………………….. 3.7
2000…….11……………………….. 5.3
3000……. 20………………………. 2.0
4000……. 39………………………. 2.2
5000……. 50………………………. 1.9
5900……. 65………………………. 1.6
• Tested with 16” SST SDS propeller