The name ‘Quinnie’ has nearly become generic. The Gold Coast-manufactured Quintrex, one of the top sellers for all things aluminium that float on water, has taken Australia by storm with many fishos investing the many Quinnie packages available.
So what’s so attractive about Quintrex? They were one of the first to package boat, motor and trailer in a turn-key, drive-away package that made it easy to buy without confusion about matching up the mix. Quintrex have a feast of options to suit different lifestyles.
In recent times, Quintrex has added more creature comforts as standard. Add the new computer-designed Millennium Hull shape to cope with the eastern seaboard chop and you end up with a near-custom package that won’t break the budget.
Jim Whitley from Hunts Marine, Blakehurst, invited me out on a new 5.0-metre Coast Runner powered by one of the latest offerings from Evinrude – the 90hp E-Tec two-stroke.
It was a muggy day with rain threatening as we slowly motored away from the magnificent four-lane concrete ramp at the St George Motor Boat Club. Coming into the main channel, I pushed the throttle down and the whisper-quiet E-Tec lifted the hull on the plane in an instant. I trimmed out until the revs lifted and the weight was taken off the wheel.
Comfort all the way is what you get with a Quinnie these days and the new 5.0 Coast Runner is no exception. New features include recessed internal cockpit lights to aid tying a hook on those night sorties. There’s also extra foam flotation strategically installed into the sides and underfloor to comply with the stringent US and European certification standards and the Australian standards which will apply from next year. If the boat ever gets swamped, this extra flotation will help in keeping the boat level and upright.
Our test boat came complete with a Lowrance X-51 sounder, 27MHz radio, a compass, fire extinguisher, bimini top and envelope, transom ladder, rear lounge and navigation lights. As a fisho, I would also opt for a bait and cutting table, a plumbed live-bait well and a couple of extra rod holders. That would give a complete fisho’s package – everything to fish estuary and close offshore when conditions allow.
The walk-through windscreen and small lifting hatch allow an angler to work the anchor gear and even comfortably fish from the front. Even with my oversize hips there was plenty of room to manoeuvre and work both sides of the boat with lure or bait.
Passenger and helm seating, both adjustable, is comfortable and forward vision is good. Steering was a little stiff, even with the motor trimmed, but I suspect tightness was due to a brand-new rig.
The tinted windscreen is strong and has a grab rail running right around the top.
For those social days out, the full-length rear lounge will seat three but for a serious fishing trip, the whole kit and caboodle can be removed, allowing fishing access right to the transom.
With a safe 602mm coaming height, hips can lock in, giving the angler a feeling of security when standing up in bumpy water. With 95 litres of fuel underfloor, frequent trips to the bowser will be a thing of the past. A gunwale filler plus two transom breathers allows a fast fill with no blow-back – an annoying fault on some boats
Before Quintrex delivered with their Millennium Hull, some models were a bit ‘tinny’ in that they would fear choppy water and lift and slam, giving those with back problems and loose tooth fillings some discomfort. The Millennium Hull design has mostly eliminated this problem and the welded stem-to-stern chine lips sheet water well away from the boat, giving a much drier ride.
In all manoeuvres, even under full power (something which most owners will not do), the boat kept upright and stuck to the water like glue. There was no sign of ventilation (where the prop revs build up as it spins in aerated water), even in hard lock and three-quarter power.
Be aware that this boat errs on the side of stability rather than rough-water handling, so pick the days when you decide to venture offshore.
Paintwork and build are of a high standard and Quintrex’s three-year warranty ensures peace of mind.
The new E-Tec engine impressed. It started in a fraction of a second as its onboard computers sensed throttle setting, temperature, barometric pressure and a glut of other data to give precise, economical running with near-zero emissions. With 300 hours between servicing, no run-in period, up to 60 hours on a full tank of oil, cleaner emissions than most four-strokes and quietness that has to be not heard to be believed, this is an engine of the future.
I realise it is two-stroke technology but, although up there price-wise with its four-stroke cousins, service costs are almost nil. E-Tecs drink roughly half the petrol of an equivalent two-stroke and when you decide to shut the boat down for Winter, it can be programmed to go into hibernation mode to protect vital moving parts.
Since Bombardier took over Johnson and Evinrude, they decided that Evinrude will lead the way with technology and Johnson will be their two/four stroke brand. At the time of writing there are 40hp to 90hp E-Tecs available but bigger models are to come on stream early next year.
After playing with the boat for a while, I found the 500 Coast Runner had no vices that would endanger occupants and had all the inclusions to make a day out a load of fun. It covers very well as a stable fishing platform yet still can be used as a family runabout for exploring or pulling skiers.
After I slid the boat back on the custom trailer, Jim walked down the centre gangway and fastened the strap. Within a minute we were off the ramp. I loved the complimentary cleaning pack supplied by Quintrex to keep your prized investment looking like new. There’s boat wash, upholstery cleaner and chamois, all in a neat net bag – nice touch.
There is such a range of Quinnies to choose from that you should allow at least half a day at your dealer so they can show you all the benefits of owning a Quintrex.
|Length bow to transom||5.11m|
|Length on trailer||6.3m|
|Height on trailer||2.16m|
|Motor shaft length||long|
|Weight (boat only)||417kg|
|Max motor weight||200kg|
Bilge pump & deck wash, 4 cleats, accessory kit, bimini top, marine carpet, compass, walk-through dash, underfloor tank, 2 rod holders, drink holders, Lowrance X-51 sounder, 27 meg radio, nav lights, cockpit lights, two-tone paint, transom ladder, rear lounge, grab rails.
Hydraulic steering, sounder upgrade, deluxe rear lounge, berley bucket, bait & cutting board, live bait tank, ski hooks, twin batteries
Boat as tested with 90hp Evinrude E-Tec, Quintrex braked trailer, safety gear and on-water instruction: $33,550
Boat supplied by Hunts Marine, 629 Princes Highway, Blakehurst, NSW 2221. Ph. (02) 9546 1324. Fax (02) 9546 7737. Website: [url=http://www.huntsmarine.com.au/]
email: --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 4158