The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT (walk-through) is a remarkably practical, functional trailer boat with offshore fishing, family cruising and adventure boating appeal. This all-weather cruiser has fishing/utility decks at the bow and stern, separated by an enclosed, full-shelter cabin and wheelhouse. We tested this terrific rough water all-rounder paired with a Yamaha 300hp V6 four-stroke outboard.
The New Zealand-built Stabicraft range of recreational and commercial aluminium pontoon boats has been popular with Australian anglers for many years. These utilitarian-looking craft are very practical and exceptionally capable offshore trailer boats.
Each Stabicraft combines a moderate/deep-vee hull bottom (depending on hull size) with Stabicraft’s famed Arrow aluminium pontoons that provide a smooth ride with excellent stability.
There are now a dozen or so models in the Stabicraft boat range stretching between 4.4 metres and 8.4 metres. All models more than 4.6 metres in length come with a cuddy cabin or half cabin layout complete with an overhead hardtop.
The latest Stabicraft release is the award-winning Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT, an enclosed cabin cruising/adventure boat featuring a unique three-piece front cabin doorway leading to a utility/fishing deck in the bow.
The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is the subject of this review, paired with a giant-sized ultra-longshaft (30-inch) 300hp Yamaha V6 four-stroke outboard engine fitted with Yamaha’s Helm Master EX digital joystick control and navigation system.
Price and equipment
The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is a well-equipped trailer boat fitted with enough standard features and gear to get you out on the water. You don’t need to spend a bucket-load on options but they are available should you want to.
An Australian-delivered base model is priced from about $215,000 paired with a 225hp Yamaha V6 outboard engine, a base Simrad electronics suite, and a Redco galvanised steel trailer with electric-hydraulic brakes. There are dozens of options and accessories available for customers to individualise their craft.
For this review, Brisbane’s Northside Marine supplied a top-spec model, a Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT outfitted with most of the options available.
That said, Northside Marine does have a mid-spec model retailing for $235K. This example comes with a 250hp Yamaha V6 and an aluminium dual-axle Redco trailer with a spare wheel.
Useful options fitted to the mid-spec Stabicraft include a Simrad NSS16 EVO3S multifunction display; Simrad VHF radio; port and starboard saloon sleeper seats with storage boxes and a chemical toilet; U-Dek flooring to deck and coamings; deck wash kit; Maxwell drum winch with rope, chain, Sarca anchor; belting up and extension pontoon gloss paint with coaming and fendering; closed cell hull baffling; and an open water safety gear pack.
Our deluxe model test boat also came with a larger 300hp Yamaha ultra-longshaft (30-inch) four-stroke outboard engine with Yamaha’s full Helm Master EX docking and manoeuvrability kit (including built-in digital steering and controls) with joystick control and autopilot; Simrad Halo 20-inch radar with radar arch; Simrad RS40 VHF upgrade with DSC and AIS; ethernet hub and cable; Chirp package to Simrad multifunction display; Fusion Apollo 770 audio system with four speakers; vee-berth fold-down extensions with cushions; full cockpit/saloon bulkhead with central locking door; Lenco trim tabs; three-quarter-width transom live well with port side transom walk-through; underwater transom light; metallic paint above the chines; and a three-step bow boarding ladder.
With all of the above options and accessories, the deluxe Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is priced at $306,605.
Hull and engineering
Stabicraft boats are made from heavy-duty plate aluminium, but these craft are quite different to conventional plate alloy monohulls.
Similar to other aluminium boat brands Stabicraft’s boats have a moderate/deep vee hull bottom shape. However, above the waterline the Stabicraft hull is different; where regular plate alloy boats have smooth, flat plate alloy topsides, Stabicraft boats have aluminium pontoon tubes encircling the hull.
The pontoon tubes are used to provide exceptional stability when the boat is at rest and to provide flotation in an emergency swamping situation.
Stabicraft boats are unsinkable. The pontoons have several airtight chambers to provide each hull with sufficient positive buoyancy to meet Australia’s Level Flotation standard.
Stabicraft boats are not only safe and seaworthy but strong and durable. The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT has a 6.0mm hull bottom and transom combined with outer pontoon tubes made using 4.0mm alloy.
The welded interior cockpit floor is made with 3.0mm plate alloy beneath the optional U-Dek foam rubber in our test boat.
Design and layout
The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is a full-size trailerable cruiser featuring a “trawler” style forward-leaning (or reverse-angled) cabin and windshield introduced to larger Stabicraft models a few years ago.
To my eye, the lean-forward cabin’s profile is not especially attractive, but it is undeniably effective in increasing the amount of space within the wheelhouse.
There is a practical element to the design, as in rough weather the angle of the Ultracab’s windshield helps it shed water, improving forward visibility.
The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT can be ordered with a full bulkhead and entry door to separate the huge aft cockpit from the normally open saloon/helm station.
Our test boat was optioned with the rear wall and lockable door, along with a pair of longitudinal bench seats just inside the wheelhouse that convert into a transverse double berth.
Our test rig also had an optional portable chemical toilet situated under the starboard side bench seat, while the equivalent space opposite was set aside for safety gear.
A pair of sliding and swivelling bucket helm chairs mounted on alloy storage boxes are forward of the wheelhouse bench seats. Lift-up front bolsters allow them to adjust for maximum comfort.
The helm chair is well placed behind the steering wheel, Helm Master joystick control, and the digital fly-by-wire shift and throttle lever.
Below the helm chairs is a full-width footrest that folds out toward the stern to extend/enlarge the cushioned vee berths that fill the forepeak.
The helm’s broad fascia panel is large enough for a 16-inch Simrad multifunction display, and for extra instruments, engine gauges and switching.
The hardtop has enough headroom – sole to ceiling it is about 2.1 metres – for basketball players.
The helm has plenty of nooks, crannies and pockets for storage, along with a surprisingly large and deep storage bin in front of the port side passenger chair.
Cup holders are littered about the wheelhouse interior so there is always somewhere to stow a can or water bottle.
Sliding side windows provide excellent ventilation when the boat is under way and the front cabin walk-through door is closed.
Stabicraft’s 2250 models now give customers the option of a walkaround cab or the walk-through cab.
The walkaround Stabicraft 2250 Ultra CentreCab is arguably the best for fishing, as this layout allows anglers to fish a full 360 degrees around the boat.
But for all other applications, the new Stabicraft 2250 UltraCab WT provides a big interior space advantage as the cabin/saloon extends to the boat’s outer gunwale.
The brilliantly designed forward cabin door/hatch provides quick and easy access to the forward deck for fishing, anchoring, and disembarking to a beach, boat ramp or foreshore.
To that end, our test boat was optioned with a starboard side folding bow ladder to make it easier to climb on and off the boat.
Opening up the three-piece front cabin door/hatch is a simple, one-handed job.
The first step is to unfold the lower half of the central doorway so that it then becomes a sturdy alloy step beneath the open entryway. The gas strut-supported top half of the door, made of glass, is then flipped up into the ceiling.
This top glass panel is hinged to a section of the ceiling that then slides aft to open up the roof space so you can stand upright when climbing through to the front deck.
The whole system is terrifically designed and takes only a moment to open.
The utility deck features a flat, triangular-shaped space surfaced in non-slip U-Dek flooring.
Other features include a subfloor storage bin, access to the anchor well and optional Maxwell drum winch, along with high side decks and an elevated, railed-off pulpit platform.
Anglers and adventure boaters will be equally happy with a deep cockpit that stretches 1.83 metres from the cabin/cockpit bulkhead aft to the transom.
Key features include full-length side storage pockets beneath 250mm wide side coamings, as well as optional U-Dek rubber flooring, multiple rod and cup holders, and an optional port side raw water deck wash.
Our test rig was also optioned with a three-quarter transom width fish box, plumbed for live bait to transform it into a live fish well.
A boarding step and walk-through transom are located to starboard.
The cockpit is not self-draining, but there is a sump/recess beneath the transom fitted with a high-capacity automatic bilge pump.
The batteries are shelved overhead, tucked neatly behind a transom wall door.
Beyond the cockpit, the Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT has boarding platforms and a starboard side fold-down ladder.
Other noteworthy features include a hardtop rocket launcher rod rack, an optional hardtop radar arch to accommodate the optional Simrad Halo radar, and welded cleats aft and amidships.
On the water
Paired with the maximum-power 300hp Yamaha V6 four-stroke outboard engine, the Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is very quick. The top speed recorded on test was an impressive 44 knots at 5800rpm; this is really honking along for a 7.0-metre boat with a tall cabin superstructure.
Do you need 300hp? The short answer is no. We have previously recorded a top speed of 38 knots with a similar Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab hull using a much less powerful (albeit the same engine block) 225hp Yamaha V6.
I reckon the perfect compromise for this hull is the 250hp version of Yamaha’s V6 outboard engine, offering ample power and acceleration throughout the rev range.
In rough, unpleasant conditions on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay, our test boat proved to be a smooth and stable performer.
The Stabicraft 2250 UltraCab WT has a modest 17-degree transom deadrise to help with stability, but the bow’s vee angle is much sharper and deeper to slice through heavy chop.
The test rig was most impressive when running at speeds in the 20- to 25-knot range, cruising comfortably and economically after gliding smoothly onto the plane with barely any bow lift.
There was a bit of water sprayed about in the rough conditions, but the hull felt very comfortable in the chop, well balanced, safe and seaworthy.
The test boat was fitted with optional Lenco trim tabs. They were used only to correct a slight list when running beam to the sea with a 20-knot-plus crosswind.
Range on 95% of the 378L fuel supply: 276.8nm @ 3500rpm
The Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is an exceptional boat for all manner of boating, fishing and adventure applications.
The key feature is the cleverly designed forward cabin opening doorway that gives quick and easy access to the bow’s utility/fishing deck.
However, the Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT is also solidly built, smooth and safe under way, and can be optioned and optimised for fishing or family boating applications due to the size of the aft cockpit and the ability of this boat to sleep up to four people onboard.
Model: Stabicraft 2250 Ultracab WT
Internal beam: 1.97m
Deadrise: 17 degrees
Weight: 2000kg (hull only)
Weight on trailer: 2800kg (est)
Alloy: 4mm (pontoons)/6.0mm (bottom and transom)
Engines: 200hp (rec)/300hp (max)
Engine weight: 575kg (max)
Engine as tested: 300hp Yamaha V6 four-stroke ultra-longshaft
Priced from: $235,017 including a 250hp Yamaha ultra-longshaft (30-inch) four-stroke outboard engine with hydraulic steering; digital controls; tilt limit switch; Yamaha CL5 display; Simrad NSS16 EVO3S multifunction display; Simrad VHF radio; dial-axle Redco Stabicraft alloy trailer with electric hydraulic break-away brakes, spare wheel and tie-down straps; port and starboard saloon sleeper seats with storage boxes and chemical toilet; closed cell hull baffling; U-Dek flooring to deck and coamings; deck wash kit; Maxwell drum winch with rope, chain, Sarca anchor; belting up and extension pontoon gloss paint with coaming and fendering; open water safety gear pack.
Price as tested: $306,605 with an upgrade to the 300hp Yamaha ultra-longshaft (30-inch) four-stroke outboard engine with Yamaha’s full Helm Master EX docking and manoeuvrability kit (inc. built-in digital steering and controls) with joystick control and autopilot, Simrad Halo 20-inch radar with radar arch; Simrad RS40 VHF upgrade with DSC and AIS; ethernet hub and cable; Chirp package to Simrad multifunction display; Fusion Apollo 770 audio system with four speakers; vee-berth fold-down extensions with cushions; full cockpit/saloon bulkhead with central locking door; Lenco trim tabs; three-quarter-width transom live well with port side transom walk-through; underwater transom light; metallic paint above chines; three-step bow boarding ladder starboard side.
From – Boat Sales Website
Written & Photographed by – Jeff Webster