As the video tests on our Fishing Monthly YouTube channel begin to age, we start to see plenty of comments about the difference in the price of boats pre-and post COVID.
I suppose I can understand the remorse in not buying a boat a couple of years earlier if you are shopping for a decent sized rig now. But the fact is that none of us have a time machine. If you do, I’ve got a few lotto numbers to send back to myself in 2019.
It’s also unavoidable that post COVID, there has been significant supply shortages and inflation – notjust in the boating industry, but through all of our lives.
So we are now at a point where I jump in a full featured 5.6 metre plate aluminium boat that costs around $80,000 and I think it’s not too bad a deal!
It definitely seems that every year when I test Stessco boats they seem to have evolved to a higher level. There is no doubting that the Albacore centre console 560 is a pretty neat looking rig.
Sure, the colours match the F-series 130 Yamaha on the back, but it’s more than that. The finish is neat, everything is positioned correctly and they are starting to pay attention to the little details that make a difference when you own a boat like this.
Here is an example. A raised front of casting deck gives you plenty of storage place underneath. The only place where water can get into this storage area is through the hatches. Most manufacturers don’t care about this and your stuff gets wet. Always.
This boat has lips welded around the opening of the hatches. There is channelling to direct the water from the deck through the channels and down onto the main deck. Your stuff stays dry! You needed to have bought a fibreglass boat to get that in the past.
Add to this a handful of gas struts to keep those hatches open while you’re loading them and all of a sudden you have a practical, functional solution to an age old problem in alloy boats. Well done.
The Albacore CC560 is eminently towable by any twin cab four-wheel-drive or larger. It can quite easily take you and a couple of mates for a big day on the open water, or nearly as successfully load the family in for a weekend of camping.
The padded gunnels and fold down rear lounge add an element of comfort, while the broad console seat eats up a lot of other gear. The console is definitely large enough to hold a couple of big sounders as well as all of the other gauges you will need for a day on the water.
And I was surprised by the sturdiness of the T-top. It’s braced at its connection point to the deck,attached to the console itself, and can some port an adult swinging from it at the front or rear.
They keep the weight down by using a soft material instead of fibreglass or aluminium. Often manufacturers go a little heavy up there and the weight tends to be a negative.
Although the 130hp did feel a little underpowered, the economy from this rig is excellent. The most economical cruising speed is 3500rpm or 32 km/hour where you get 2.44 km/L of fuel burned. Open it up and you get 69km/hour at 6100 rpm, but only an economy of 1.6 km/L. Couple this with a 110 L fuel tank and your economical maximum range is well north of 200km.
The theory of Stessco’s console build is also interesting. There are a couple of large panels where you flush mount your electronics and gauges and can have those panels undone and down while you’re working on the back of them. Finish rigging, screw them in place and you should be all neat and ready to go.
The transom has all of the inclusions of a larger centre console boat – live bait tank, bait rigging station and transom door.
Granted that the test day was pretty calm, but the ride felt smooth and there were plenty of places to hold on while cornering or accelerating.
Finally, the SRH (Soft Ride Hull) Plate features fully welded reverse chined all the way from transom to bow. Previously, these were only pressed and ran for around 2/3 of the hull. You can see them working in the YouTube review on the Fishing Monthly channel – scan the QR code in the opening pic.
As tested, this package came in at around $85,000, although you can get in one for just under $80K. See your local Stessco dealer for more details and to quote your build or visit www.stessco.com.au.
Max HP 135
Capacity 5 persons
Hull weight 575kg
RPM Speed (km/h) Economy (km/L)
1000 6 2.9
2000 11 2.1
3000 16 1.3
3500 32 2.44
4000 40 2.37
4500 48 2.36
5000 54 1.7
6100 69 1.7