Story: Freddy Foote
Photo’s: Doug Dukeson
Since its establishment in 1987, Stabi-Craft Marine has developed into a world leader
in the manufacture of positive buoyancy boats. In just over 21 years, the company has become respected internationally for its innovative approach to their design and construction.
Freddy Foote checks out the newly released 759 SuperCab, one of the company’s flagship models.
The Stabicraft 759 SuperCab has had a couple of evolutions since its introduction to Stabi-Craft’s model line-up, making what was a great boat even greater.
This is Generation 3 of the 759 and although it’s fractionally smaller on the outside it’s bigger on the inside. Stabi-Craft has designed the boat to suit both the New Zealand and the Australian markets and in doing so, has reduced the beam slightly to 2.5m (to comply with the Australian towing regulations), though the internal beam of 2.04m is 240mm wider than the previous model.
“The main design criterion that we had for the new 759 was that it had to have more internal beam,” says Sean McColl of Stabi-Craft.
Stabi-Craft has done this by deepening the pontoons and making them slightly narrower and emphasis has been put on opening up the internal layout so the new model sees the cabin layout altered, the cabin bulkhead now being available only as an option.
The previous 759SC was standard with lockable cabin and offset door. However, the new model is now available in standard form with the new open layout. An enclosed hardtop configuration is available as an option.
The floor is now 125mm higher compared to the previous model, a change Stabi-Craft has incorporated into the design to make the boat self draining and to allow it to meet Australian survey standards.
The cabin area of the 759 SuperCab is split into two distinct areas, the wheelhouse and forward cabin. The cabin provides sitting headroom, but the berths (1.93m) are perhaps not long enough for overnighting. A portable head is optional and the three upholstered squabs have deep storage lockers beneath. Raised side coamings run down either side, with the port one extending right into the aft end of the wheelhouse providing ample storage internally.
The inside of the cabin and wheelhouse is fully lined with carpet. Featured along the inside of the hardtop roof are grab handles for passengers to use while standing, while a sitting passenger has a single hand rail to port. There is a foredeck hatch providing both light and ventilation. Access to the foredeck can also be had via the wide side decks – a useful feature. There is also an access hatch to the anchor well which features the Stress-Free anchor winch, which is a standard feature on this Stabi-Craft model.
The helm area under the hardtop is neat and tidy. The helm has a pedestal seat and there is a second seat to port for a passenger. This particular boat also had two of the optional companion seats immediately behind the pedestals facing aft. The large amount of storage provided underneath can be accessed by lifting the squabs on the seats.
The instrument dash area is well laid-out and functional, with one surface, designed to be able to accommodate the larger multi-function display units, other instruments and switches. Sliding side windows provide extra ventilation for the wheelhouse and a large sweep wiper clears any spray from the screen.
The cockpit is open and functional, providing a good, large working space. Changes in the design of the 759 SuperCab have increased the cockpit area from 3.751sqm to 4.712sqm.
Designed to be virtually unsinkable, there is around 3000 litres of buoyancy.
Large side shelves run the length of the cockpit and provide a great place for rods, gaffs and any lengthy, bulkier items. The 8 rod rocket launcher is fitted on the edge as a standard feature incorporated into the design of the roof. More rod holders are available on the bait station or side coamings if required.
Being a big hardtop designed unashamedly for offshore fishing and diving, the 759 SuperCab has a full-width boarding platform, with the central pod being used to mount the outboard, with access via walk-throughs both port and starboard. Stabi-Craft offers three transom options. The test boat was fitted with what is called the Super Fish option, which includes a live bait tank. Other options include the standard low profile variation and a Super Game version which includes tuna tubes; these units are inter-changeable.
Stabi-Craft also offers an extensive custom service for all models and changes can be made to suit most individual requirements.
Fuel capacity is available in three configurations, a standard single 275L tank, a larger 380L or dual 275L tanks. A further design change from the previous model sees the fuel tank moved further forward. This has now allowed provision for a 145L underfloor fish bin with waste pump, which is accessed via a lift-out in the aft section of the cockpit side.
Power options include single or twin outboards totalling from 225 to 300hp.
We chose the Stab-Craft 759 SuperCab as the test platform for our 300hp outboard engine shoot-out featured in this issue. As well as running four identical 759 SuperCabs, powered with a Mercury Verado 300, Evinrude E-Tec 300, Suzuki four-stroke 300 and Yamaha 300 four-stroke V8, we also tested this red 759 SuperCab, powered with a Yamaha 250hp four-stroke outboard.
Under full power, the Yamaha 250hp four-stroke powered the big red 759 SuperCab to 47.6mph@6100rpm and as we saw with the 300hp engines, expect to see this speed increase to the early 50’s with a larger horsepower outboard.
Given our test day conditions we could have run at full speed all day, however pulling the throttle back to around 5000rpm gave us a cruise speed of 35.0mph. A quick glance at the Yamaha fuel instruments showed a fuel usage of 50.1L/h @ 5000rpm and 83.0L/h at 6100rpm.
I thought the 250hp engine was a good match for the 759 SuperCab, giving crisp acceleration both out of the hole and mid-range.
The 759 SuperCab has been designed to take users way out wide in comfort and most importantly safety. Our test day with the big red model was relatively fine when we tested it in Tauranga, with not much more than a very gentle swell and a light breeze. Not really the right conditions for testing a big SuperCab from the deep south!
The 759 SuperCab features GIII sided pontoons with an underwater shape that provides wide stepped chines that run parallel for over 2/3rds of the hull and a deep 22 degree deadrise at the transom. The stepped chines provide substantial lift and cause the hull to react more like a conventional chined boat when cornering. Looking at the boat on the trailer you can see that Stabi-Craft has changed the hull shape where it meets the bottom edge of the pontoon section. It has a gull-wing shape to it, offering ease of lift and providing a superior quieter ride than it’s predecessor.
The other four boats we tested in similar conditions but did experience some short harbour chop. The boat handles the shorter conditions just fine. In the rougher waters you can push the boat a bit harder into the deep swells, both in head and following seas. Since Stabi-Craft has moved the fuel tank forward, the boat does seem to be a little more nose heavy, requiring a little extra trim. However, I think it works to the boat’s advantage in the rougher conditions, making the boat more balanced.
For more information on how the 759 SuperCab performed with different high horsepower outboards, see the 300hp shoot-out in this issue.
Overall, the new 759 SuperCab is a great boat, something that I know Stabi-Craft’s designers have worked hard at in its development, producing a number of prototype models until they felt they had got the formula just right. Aesthetically I think the boat looks great and there are lots of smaller features that make it just that much better. Another winner from the deep south, definitely!
- Model: 759 SuperCab
- Price as Tested: $144,313
- Packages from: $112,500
- Designer : Stabicraft
- Material: Aluminium
- LOA: 7.8m
- Beam: (Internal 2.04) 2.5m
- Deadrise: 22 deg
- Trailerable Weight: 2800kg
- Height on Trailer: 3.1m
- Engine Capacity: 225-300hp
- Power Options: Single/twin outboard
- Fuel Capacity: 275L(std) – 550L(max)
Performance – Yamaha 250hp
|600 rpm||2.2 mph||2.5L/h|
|1000 rpm||4.4 mph||5.1L/h|
|1500 rpm||6.1 mph||7.2L/h|
|2000 rpm||7.5 mph||11.0L/h|
|2500 rpm||11.2 mph||14.7L/h|
|3000 rpm||15 mph||19.3L/h|
|3500 rpm||20.4 mph||23.6L/h|
|4000 rpm||26.7 mph||27.7L/h|
|4500 rpm||31.7 mph||38.2L/h|
|5000 rpm||35.1 mph||50.1L/h|
|5500 rpm||39.6 mph||65.3L/h|
|6000 rpm||45.6 mph||81.7L/h|
|6100 rpm||47.6 mph||83.0L/h|