Over the years that we have been testing Stessco boats, it seems as though the Albacore line has evolved the furthest and fastest. From its factory on the northern side of Brisbane, Stessco has expanded the range of these plate aluminium boats to five models from 4.8m to 6.4m, and they’re customisable to a centre-console or a side-console variation.
On the test day we had a fairly special craft to ride in. It was destined for a coral farm in Western Australia. The 6.4m side console was fitted with a Yamaha F200 4-stroke outboard, and was a massive working space that could carry huge loads.
If fact, I’m sure that the performance figures quoted in this article should come with a disclaimer – “boat tested empty” – because I think that in its working life it will never be as lightly loaded as when we tested it.
Maybe that’s why some of the performance figures were so sweet: economy of 2.2km/L at 41km/h and 3,500rpm is fantastic for a Yamaha F200 outboard. And it might also explain why Donovan Weeks looked like he was having so much fun running the boat back and forth during the video and photo runs. It looked like a rocket sled!
At wide open throttle and 6,000rpm it went 79km/h but the range halved – you got only 1.1km per litre of fuel burned – so as always, it’s a balance between economy and fun.
All of these figures were achieved with a Yamaha Reliance 17” stainless steel SDS propeller.
As expected, there’s a substantial (220L) fuel tank underfloor which gives a theoretical range of nearly 500km at the most efficient cruising speeds.
Interestingly, when you watch the slow-motion runs of the boat in the Test Video (scan the QR code hereby) you can see the newly released SRH (Soft Riding Hull) in action. It has fully welded reverse chines from bow to transom.
“The older Albacores only had pressed chines that went up around half way,” said Donovan, “but these go all the way to the bow and make for a much drier ride.”
Behind the wheel, this was a much quieter hull than I expected it to be. There must be some good flotation and insulation under the self-draining deck, because I was expecting this tinny to sound tinny.
The one concession to any sort of luxury in this rig was the fancy Stessco seats and the padded gunwales.
The console is substantial, and I like Stessco’s new MFD mounting solution that involves a large piece of perspex covering the console opening. Anything that makes flush-mounting easier is a thumbs-up in my book.
And on a personal note, well done Stessco for having a go at making the underfloor storage areas actually dry. I’ve been banging on to aluminium boat manufacturers for years about this disadvantage of aluminium boat design, and they’ve tackled it with a welded lip and drainage channels built in to let the water flow around and away from the edge. Since it wasn’t belting down with rain on the test day, I didn’t get to see exactly how well the concept worked, but rest assured I’d rather my dry clothes and expensive fishing tackle in this hatch than 95% of the other hatches on the market.
Post COVID especially, boats are not as affordable as they used to be, however this boat motor and trailer package from Stessco with the 200hp Yamaha comes in at $90,036. For more information you can visit Stessco’s website on www.stessco.com.au.
Bottom sheet 5mm
Side sheet 4mm
Max HP 200
Capacity 6 persons
RPM Speed (km/h) Economy (km/L)
Idle 3 3.0
1000 8 2.4
2000 14 1.7
3000 33 2.2
3500 41 2.2
4000 48 1.9
4500 57 1.8
5000 63 1.5
6000 79 1.1