Despite Quintrex boats going through a range of development and refinement, the boats maintain that winning Quintrex look about them. It’s always an enjoyable experience to drive them, especially when it’s one of the big Top Enders.
Having fished in a few over the years, I’ve seen how they are designed to eat up the rough and uncomfortable chop that the bottom end of Australia can dish out.
I tested the 490 Top Ender in ideal conditions for boat testing – a howling northerly coming straight into Limeburners Bay. This meant that the Quinny was certainly going to get a chance to do what it does best.
The shape of the Top Ender has subtle refinements to the standard model. The 3mm hull with 2mm thick sides offers strength without being overly heavy. This is combined with the Millennium hull design that offers a sharp entry into the water. The scalloped hull gives the boat maximum lift to get on the plane and stay there at slower speeds. Combined with the flared bow, this really helps to deflect the spray.
The whole hull design really comes into its own when heading straight into a sharp chop. The hull seems to ride on a pocket of air as it skips smoothly over the chop. In these conditions, it rides better going quickly rather than slowly.
At the back, the new Maxi 3 transom is a recent development, taking over from the very effective Maxi 2 transom. The new transom allows better access to the back of the boat, with decent sized platforms on each side, including a boarding ladder on the port side. The platforms also offer stability and buoyancy towards the back.
Once in the Top Ender you instantly feel safe. With the big high sides and level floatation system, it is at home up a river or out in the open water.
With its well-planned layout, the big tinny will comfortably accommodate four anglers. The internal transom layout allows maximum fishability at the back of the boat.
On the port side is a small but ideal circulating livewell that can comfortably hold a few bream or a bundle of poddy mullet and herring. In the centre of the transom there is a very handy and well-designed mounting bracket to suit a slot-in bait board – or for the kids, a ski pole.
Below the livewell and inside the boat was a small raised carpeted platform allowing storage. On the starboard side at the back was the battery, fuel filter and battery switch – all of which are easily accessible and don’t require you to be an octopus to reach them in times of need.
Two of the features I really like on the Top Ender are simple but effective.
First, the drain ports in each rear corner of the transom (made of moulded plastic) could easily get rid of a large amount of water quickly. It is also handy to get rid of the funky gunk that gets on the floor when fishing. Second, the padding around the transom really saves your thighs when fishing out the back of the boat in rough weather.
The side console left plenty of room and is the ideal set-up for anglers who wish to troll and cast lures. The console itself was made up of an aluminium frame that allowed storage of a large tackle box under it. The dash is moulded plastic with all the relevant gauges and electronics, including one of the new Humminbird side-scan sounders that was mounted on a ram bracket.
The small windscreen helps to break the wind and weather for the driver. It can also become your second tackle box – everything seems to be thrown in between the windscreen and dash for easy access.
Quintrex offer several seat positions to suit your fishing requirements. The test boat originally had three seats onboard but we chose to leave one behind as there was only going to be two in the boat. This allowed miles of room in between the driver and passenger seats to incorporate a fish/ice box with drain hole.
Up on the forward casting platform was a mount for a pedestal seat. The boat was fitted with a 55lb Minn Kota Riptide that is perfect for any lure casting.
The casting platform itself is very functional and is not as high as a standard bream/bass boat. This enables you to fish up front in rougher weather without falling overboard. The casting platform has plenty of storage for all those bits and pieces that usually clutter the boat. The moulded box in the middle would make great storage for a bundle of the clear single tray tackle boxes.
For added storage Quintrex have developed the moulded side pockets. They have an added advantage of being filled with buoyancy foam behind them, which creates level floatation. In the event of the boat filling with water it will keep floating upright with the gunnels above the water.
The 490 Top Ender is fitted with a 75hp Honda 4 stroke outboard. As you would expect from any engine in the Honda range it was as quiet as ever and pushed the big tinny along nicely. It easily put the boat smoothly on the plane at 3000rpm.
The bonus to the Millennium hull is that once up on the plane you can actually slow the engine quite a bit and they will still stay up and moving.
Full noise saw the 75hp engine revving out at 6000rpm and a top speed of 60kph. If you plan to do long distances over water, especially with a few people on board and all their associated gear, it could be worth looking at the 90hp engine.
As the Quintrex slogan says – ‘Boating Made Easy’. There are so many options to choose from that you end up with the boat of your dreams.
|Weight (boat only):||469kg|
|Price as Tested:||$43,149|
|CONTACT:||Geelong Boating Centre|
|PHONE:||03 5241 6966|