Let’s face it, there has been a time in all of our fishing journeys when we wanted a Quintrex. If you were an offshore boater, it might have been a centre console, but if you were an inshore angler, it’d probably be a Hornet. For many years Hornets have been swarming in waterways across Australia.
Around a decade or so ago – when exchange rates favoured imported boats – Hornets had a lot of competition from imported bass boats, mainly from the USA. But with this latest iteration of the Aussie hull and layout, the gap between performance and looks has been narrowed dramatically.
Spending the day with Quintrex brand manager Nathan Shaw and crash test dummy, Cliff Antees, I had a great opportunity to put the Stealth through its paces.
For me, there was a demonstrable point where I thought, ‘this is the best riding Hornet that I’ve ever been in!’ It was when we were running down a choppy Gold Coast Broadwater, filming the second boat on the test day (which was the Frontier 590 – read about it in a future boat test).
I stood up in the Stealth and filmed boat-to-boat at 25 knots. Usually, this results in a pile of rough, unusable footage, but as we ran down the waterway, I had no problems standing up and the running shots were great!
Combine the weight of this hull with the low and mid-range of torque from the G2 Evinrude and you basically get the best performing Hornet, ever.
Evinrude, of course, is one of the few manufacturers developing cutting edge outboard two-stroke technology and it’s hard not to be impressed each time I’m in charge of one.
The other aspect that makes this boat a pleasure to drive is the integrated power steering in the E-Tec. It actually takes a little getting used to. I’m used to feedback from hydraulic steering – if I’m trimmed wrong, steering gets harder and vice versa.
The Evinrude’s steering is light throughout the trim range. In that respect, maybe it’s a good thing that their automated ‘iTrim’ is able to be activated.
Experienced boaties usually turn their nose up at the prospect of a computer trimming the boat for them. In reality – don’t knock it until you try it. It’s like driving an automatic car after learning in a manual. You’ll get to like it!
From an angler’s point of view, there’s a thumbs-up for the massive amount of underfloor storage space, the dry glove box storage, the ability to flush-mount a 12” screen and the new keel-hugging rod locker design that takes rods up to nearly 9ft.
There’s a bit of effort to flip the back deck over between driving and fishing positions, so if you like moving spots 50 times a day, this may be an issue.
I’d also love to see some sort of solution to make some of the underfloor storage drier. If we are in an age when a computer can trim an outboard better than a human, then I think it’s fair to demand a place to put my boxes full of expensive tackle that won’t get wet in the first downpour.
Make sure you take a Stealth for a test drive if you’re in the market for this kind of boat, especially if you’re a current or previous Quintrex owner. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Visit www.quintrex.com.au for more information or your local Quintrex dealer. Indicative pricing for the rig as tested was $49,790 from Caloundra Marine.
To watch the on water test video, scan the QR code on this page or visit the Fishing Monthly YouTube channel.
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* Viper 21” three-blade propellerReads: 3659