Boat Review Date: May 2017
Author: Mike Brown
The Stealth side console is another in Brooker’s series of high sided vessels. With a deck to coaming height of 700mm it is a visibly taller boat than others aroud its 4.55 metre hull length, and to the occupants it delivers the feeling of a little extra security.
With a 2.2 metre beam there is plenty of room alongside the console; the boat’s full length is available without squeezing. And that of course is the chief reason for choosing a side console over a centre console in smaller boats. Here long or bulky stuff like surf boards, lobster pots or diving gear can be spread around the boat.
The official people capacity is five, which probably means too many elbows for fishing. Three, though, would find it spacious. Two pedestal swivels are supplied, with the usual three sockets for them. One is in the unusually long bow platform, the length allowing exceptional space below it for stowage - a commodity often in short supply on small open craft. Side pockets stretching half the boat’s length accept oddments you want close to hand.
The side console is a minimalist structure, meaning less weight in this offset position, with just a shelf below the dash; although it does possess a basic windscreen with a grab rail above it for a standing driver. The dash has the classic three analogue Honda gauges – revs, trim and fuel – and a neat switch panel, thoughtfully incorporating a 12 Volt socket.
The Stealth is rated for a maximum 60hp, and that was the power of our Honda. The boat proved thoroughly capable of using it. Even one-up (seldom a good idea) there was no twitchiness. You could drop back to 40hp and still get good performance without full throttle, but the extra 20 would satisfy the hoon in anybody. At rest the performance remains good, with creditable stability in a boat that is likely to see a lot of moving around within it.
Relative to its size the Stealth is pretty well kitted out for serious fishing. It has a mount for an electric thruster (perhaps this is where the stealth comes in), a 50 litre bait tank with a window, four rod sockets, space and stability. There is no catch tank below the carpeted deck, but probably most people would prefer an esky anyway. There is never enough shade on this style of fishing boat; Brooker have accepted this fact and fitted none at all. Far cheaper to buy big hats and sunblock they reason, perhaps.
The Stealth is enough boat for all the water activities most people aspire to from the upper reaches of the Swan to Five Fathom Bank. It would be very much at home on Peel Inlet where the high sides, respectable stability and, especially, all that room make it a top crabbing boat. Properties, of course, that carry over to hauling lobster pots.
Anchoring arrangements are more than adequate. The anchor well is a separate compartment under the platform with its own lid. It feeds a bowsprit roller and the associated cruciform bollard. The motor is pod mounted behind a full height transom. The pod supplies the boarding platform and naturally is equipped with a ladder.
The review boat had a flash colour scheme (naked aluminium available to order) that was very neatly carried out. Unfortunately the gunwale, which acts as the rubbing strip, was included in the painted area. Still, most jetty posts nowadays are of recycled plastic and softish.
With the 60hp motor, painted finish, quite a bit of fruit and mounted on a braked trailer, the Stealth 455 sells for AUD $32,500.
Price as reviewed AUD $32,500
Hull length 4.55m
Length overall 4.71m
Fuel capacity 50L
Motor fitted 60hp Honda