Boat testing in Melbourne on a dark, drizzly ‘Melbourne’ day – well, it had to happen eventually. Luckily, there were a couple of boats with canvas canopies to test. One of them was the ironically named SunSeeker 540.
Chelsea Yamaha’s Rob Neely and I sat, with the rain spattering on the canvas, talking about this new model. You can watch the full interview by scanning the QR code on this page on your smartphone or by visiting the Fishing Monthly YouTube channel.
Rob’s a passionate Yamaha dealer and he loves setting up his Stessco boats so that they run well and pump out plenty of tunes. The Sun Seeker 540 did both, in style. Melbourne’s weather was nice enough to fine up for the water-test part of the day.
Powered by a 100hp Yamaha 4-stroke, the Stessco SunSeeker 540 reached 56km/h, with an economical cruising range of 3500-4500rpm. With economies reaching nearly 3km/L, the Yammy sure showed its frugality at cruising speeds. If you’re after more speed, the hull is rated to a maximum of 115hp.
If you take away the optional bait station mounted on the transom, you’d be fooled into thinking that this is a family boat. Boarding from the stern is easy, with the foldout ladder, wide duckboards and transom door. The ‘V-birth’ cabin seems larger than it actually is without a passenger side bulkhead.
Continuing the family friendly theme, this boat comes on a single axle Stessco trailer and most family-sized cars readily tow it. Priced in the low $40Ks, it also fits into many family budgets for a boat over 5m in length.
Looking forward though, you may find it difficult to find the Stessco Sun Seeker 540 in the Stessco range. That’s because it’ll be called the 550 in future catalogues and Stessco ranges.
According to Stessco’s Adrian Beil, there are also some transom improvements that you’ll see in the current models.
Regardless, the Stessco switches out of ‘family’ mode and into ‘fishing’ mode pretty easily. Deep gunwales allow you to nestle up to the side of the boat when dropping a line offshore, and the addition of the bait station gives you somewhere to consolidate the mess that chopping bait can make.
There’s plenty of cockpit space for at least three to fish quite comfortably and an inbuilt, plumbed live bait tank takes the hassle out of keeping your live bait kicking.
Out on the water, the hull didn’t seem overly trim sensitive. Some boats – especially aluminium – like a lot of trim. This isn’t one of them. It cruised along nicely through most of the speed ranges with little difference to ride or economy.
On the trailer, the single axle helps to keep the price down and adds an element of manoeuvrability if you need to manhandle your boat into a tight parking space. Stessco make their own trailers and they’re designed to complement their hulls.
More information on the Stessco range can be found at www.stessco.com.au. To check out the Stesscos that Chelsea Yamaha set up, call (03) 9772 1212, or visit www.chelseayamaha.com.au.
• Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.
*Propped with aluminium 13¼” x 17” propeller
|Deadrise at transom||17.5°|
|Max Transom Wt||180kg|
Scan this QR code to see the full interview with Rob Neely from Chelsea Yamaha.Reads: 349