Mark ‘Tubby’ Taylor, Australian cricket captain and Channel Nine commentator, loves to wet a line and has done so for many years all over Australia and elsewhere on the globe. Now he’s bought his first boat.
Mark undertook lengthy discussions with his fishing mates and industry contacts concerning his requirements. Some of the necessities included a large amount of floor space and storage, reasonably high gunwales so he could take his kids fishing in safety and, most importantly, that it would fit into his garage.
After all this was taken into account, Mark finally settled on a Quintrex 450 TE Top Ender. Tubby then consulted Mark Wilson from Graham Barclay Marine in Forster and together they decided to fit a 60hp Evinrude E-Tec outboard and sit the combo on a fully-optioned Quintrex trailer. The updated 2011 Quintrex 450 TE is plated to a maximum 60hp engine and another excellent update for this model is the 70L underfloor tank.
The 450 Top Ender has all the requirements needed for a comfortable day out on the water: Plenty of open floor space, good storage for eskies and tackle boxes out of the way and with the 60 E-Tec, plenty of speed to get you there and back in a short time.
We picked up the boat from Barclay’s, where Grant Manusu ran through all the correct procedures to use the boat, and then we headed out for the big test on the beautiful waters of Wallis Lake.
The Quintrex trailer made launching and retrieving a breeze, even for one person, and like all E-Tecs, this one fired up first turn of the key. With three on board, the boat was very comfortable, stable and got up on the plane with ease.
Quintrex have really made these boats very functional. The uncluttered floor area meant that with three anglers and their tackle, it was still very easy to move around.
As its the name suggests, it’s easy to see why the Top Ender with its size, safety, comfort levels and fishing features would be very practical for some of those long runs up north.
The moulded anchor well and bow bollard are easily reached from the forward casting deck and up on the bow there’s also the Minn Kota RT55CP/AP electric motor, on a quick-release plate.
A Lowrance Mark-5X sounder was mounted to the left of the forward hatch that holds the electric motor’s deep cycle battery and lifejackets for the crew.
The aft end of the front casting platform holds a moulded well of around 80L that in this boat is plumbed as a livewell. All deck hatch covers are of strong and lightweight composite material.
The console is very well designed with ample legroom and storage below. The moulded dash houses fuel and engine gauges along with the Lowrance HDS7 mounted to the right.
Below the sounder there is a GME GX 600 VHF marine radio and a fire extinguisher.
Around the helm there was plenty of room to move, even with the three pedestal seats in place.
The driver’s seat is well positioned and a good height with the windscreen giving plenty of protection, but allowing me to see over it.
Aft of the seats there is ample room below the rear deck for more storage and this is where the main battery and fuel filter are located.
Along the port side of the cockpit there is a full-length side pocket for storing nets, gaffs and other gear.
On the rear deck there is a rather large live-bait tank and around the extruded side decks there are four-well placed rod holders. The split bow rail and sturdy grab rails at the rear take care of secure handholds.
One excellent feature on the transom is the collapsible boarding ladder, which makes boarding and disembarking easy and safe.
The 450TE can easily fish four, with two on the forward casting deck and two aft. The boat was very stable during the test with three walking around. Netting fish is easily done with two people standing together.
The gunwale height allows good support for your legs and you can even sit on them comfortably.
The combination of the Millennium Hull and the Quintrex Flared Bow produced a boat that tracks well and gives a smooth, soft ride.
The up-rated hull easily handled the E-Tec 60hp, which pushed it up on the plane with a quick hit of the throttle at around 3000rpm and 11 knots (21kmh). It ran out to a maximum 5800rpm and around 26.5 knots (49kmh).
A comfortable cruising speed seemed to be around 5000rpm at 25 knots (45kmh). The 17” pitch propeller gave the Top Ender a good hole shot without slip and also allowed the engine run out to peak revs.
The boat performed really well with two adults on board. The ride was soft and dry, even through some large boat washes we encountered, and the steering was very positive and remained light.
There was very little hull noise while travelling across small chop and with the E-Tec humming away quietly, conversation was very easy.
In all, this is an excellent package for someone who fishes a lot, sometimes by themselves, sometimes with mates and sometimes with the family. There’s plenty of room and excellent fuel economy, and with a tank capacity of 70L you can cover a lot of water, which is especially important up north.
Because it is a nice light package it can also be towed by a normal family car or small 4WD.
|BMT weight||700kg approx.|
|Deadrise at transom||14°|
Features: Side console; 4 rod holders; 2 fold-down drink holders; live bait tank in back deck; accessory kit; ally core hatches; Maxi Bracket; GX600 VHF radio and aerial; telescopic rear ladder; cockpit lights; carpeted floor; underfloor fuel tank 70L; side pocket; M3 transom; Millennium Series hull; Flared Bow; extruded side decks; painted with stripes; aft short side rails; low split bow rails; 4 seat positions; 3 Skipper fold-down seats & pedestals; mechanical non-return steering.
Drive-away price as tested with 60hp E-Tec, Minn Kota RT55CP/AP with Minn Kota on-board charger and deep cycle batteries, Lowrance Mark-5 sounder and HDS-7 sounder/GPS combo, all safety gear and registrations: $37295. Contact Graham Barclay Marine at 129 the Lakes Way, Forster, phone 02 65554 5866 or visit www.barclaymarine.com.au.Reads: 3632