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4.5L V6 MerCruiser for Stejcraft’s Sports SS55 SD

4.5L V6 MerCruiser for Stejcraft’s Sports SS55 SD

“It’s the only thing like it being built in Australia at the moment, and there’s definitely a market for them. This is a high-end boat that’s still value for money.”

With his new SS55 SD bow rider, Stejcraft CEO Tim Catanese has created an outstanding allrounder that not only looks stunning but is high-performance as well.

“The SS55 is a new design that we’ve deliberately given a US look with that American-style upholstery and a really high-standard finish,” he said. “It perfectly fills the hole in the market created by American boats becoming too expensive.

“The other key factor is that we decided to make this one a sterndrive. I think people have a real desire for boats that have sterndrives and inboards. They like it visually, not having the engine there. Sure, people buy a lot of outboards, but I think some of that is because they don’t have a choice.”

At just 5.5m, but capable of carrying up to seven people, the SS55 is easy to trailer and store, which makes it even more appealing.

Of course, exciting boats like the SS55 SD require lots of muscle, and when it came to selecting which engine, Tim couldn’t go past Mercury.

“The 4.5L V-6 MerCruiser 200hp is simply an amazing engine. It has a fantastic power-to-weight ratio, the acceleration is really impressive and it’s just great to drive.”

But the SS55 isn’t just about going fast, or looking brilliant. This boat is about performance as well.

“What we’ve done is alter the shape for the hull to make the boat more of an all- rounder,” Tim said.

“Traditionally, in the US, this type of boat is reasonably flat-bottomed because they don’t leave the lakes. Ours is great on rivers and lakes as well, but it will also be able to go offshore if you want to go whale watching or just cruise the coast.”

Designed solely for marine use, the 4.5L V-6 MerCruiser weighs in at just 345kgs.

Thanks to its new, long-runner scroll intake manifold, which draws in more air and converts it into additional torque, the 4.5L delivers a ground-breaking power-to- weight ratio so boaters will enjoy V-8 power in a V-6 package.

The 4.5L comes standard with Adaptive Speed Control, which automatically maintains engine RPM regardless of load or water conditions. The result is increased throttle response and a sporty feel.

Combining smart design, a cool look, a top-notch finish and a fantastic engine, Tim’s expecting the SS55 to deliver, not just for its owners, but for Stejcraft as well.

Tim, a second-generation boat builder, spent two years in the US learning their manufacturing techniques, the best of which he’s applying at Stejcraft.

“We make about 150 boats a year now but we’re looking to expand, and selling bow riders like this one into the US can be a big part of that.

“The boats that used to come in from the US have dried up because they’re simply too expensive with the exchange rate. So there’s a market for us here, but it also means we can realistically turn it around and start exporting to the US.”

For your nearest Stejcraft dealer, go to and ask for a quote on the new SS55 sterndrive bowrider.

Published in the August – November 2020 print edition.