QUAY Marine, in Cairns, has taken a big leap in the boating game by releasing its own range of specialist fishing boats under the Quay Craft label. Quay Craft will consist of a line of fully customized alloy boats which are specifically built to suit north Queensland conditions.
I had the pleasure of testing their first release, the 4750 Hinchinbrook, which is aimed at the serious estuary, inshore and off-road angler who wants a rig that covers a broad range of fishing options. The side console layout, with front and rear casting platforms, fold-up canopy and live bait tank makes versatility the Hinchinbrook's trump card.
More anglers are taking bigger rigs off-road, and to accommodate this the Hinchinbrook comes on the all new Ruhle off-road trailer, with extra high clearance and sensational rubber torsion bar suspension system (see the June 2003 issue of QFM for a review of this trailer). The thing I like best about the new Ruhle off-road trailer is the mesh walkway, which allows you to comfortably and safely walk the boat on and off the trailer without having to share the water with crocs.
Access over the stern of the Hinchinbrook is a breeze from land or water, via the full-width duckboard with checkerplate top and fold-down ladder. The full-height transom ensures you won't take a wave over the stern in a following sea, and the extra-wide transom top has a fully plumbed live bait tank to starboard and a heap of room for another to port, if desired. An alloy lift-out bait board sits over the motor, and this has twin back corner drain holes with tubing welded underneath so drain pipes can be fitted to keep blood and muck off the motor. A rocket launcher is mounted on each side of the bait board.
The rear seat/casting platform is fully carpeted, with three hinged lids giving access to a massive amount of storage right across the stern. The carpeted floor inside the hatches keeps gear out of the bilge, and the battery and bilge pump can be accessed by removing the back panel of one of the hatches. A padded vinyl backrest makes it a reasonably comfortable seat, without losing the very useful function of doubling as a rear casting platform.
The side console is raked back, making it easy to swing around on the padded pivoting bucket seat to be in instant fishing position. The alloy console has a moulded fibreglass dash with sounder, tacho, trim gauge, fuel gauge, hour meter and speedo, as well as a four-switch panel and a Plastimo liquid dampened compass. A battery isolator switch, for the motor battery, is positioned on the inside of the gunwale in front of the motor controls.
The large front casting platform has a single hatch, which can still be fully opened with the seat in the front position. (There are three bucket seats, with four mounts – one at the front, the helm seat and then a forward and back position opposite the helm.)
Inside the front hatch an alloy shelf has been built to hold the twin batteries required to operate the MotorGuide SW-82 (saltwater) electric thruster, which requires 24 volts. The batteries are wired to the motor via an isolator switch so they can be charged as desired. The MotorGuide is foot operated and in a very comfortable position for control from the front seat. Quay Marine is the authorized MotorGuide dealer in Cairns and stocks a wide range of both bow- and transom-mounted MotorGuide electric thrusters. The three quarter length canopy folds into a Targa position, as shown in the photos, and still offers good rod access from the front and rear, when deployed. The anchoring system is simple and functional, with a cross bollard to tie off on, after running the anchor rope out of an under foredeck anchor well. The low profile bow rail offers a hand grip, without being obtrusive.
The Hinchinbrook, as tested, was fitted with a 60hp Mercury four-stroke EFI, which is ample for fishing. Though a little slow out of the hole, it ticks along perfectly for super slow barra trolling and once on the plane it performed beautifully, cruising at 31km/h (19mph, 17kts) and topping out at 50km/h (31mph, 27kts). The Hinchinbrook handled the sloppy conditions in Trinity Inlet with ease and had a surprisingly comfortable ride considering its ample beam of 1.98m. Even at full throttle it turned like a kelpie chasing a chook and there was no sign of cavitation or letting go. The four-stroke kept the revs up even in the tightest turn.
The Hinchinbrook, like all the Quay Craft to follow it, can be fully customized to suit almost any customer requirement, with the likes of rod lockers, raised foredeck, thruster mounts, drop in eskies or any other option the buyer desires, as nowadays every fisho has his own ideas. The Hinchinbrook can even be built to survey for commercial use.
The Quay Craft Hinchinbrook looks very shmick with its blue and white paint job, and is the ideal all-round fishing rig for the northern angler who wants to head off-road, fish the estuary and inshore or even venture to the reef on a good day.
Prices start from $________. For further details contact Quay Marine in Cairns on (07) 4041 3166.
Length (bow to transom) - 4750mm
Beam - 1980mm
Depth - 1000mm
Weight - 350kg approx.
Fuel - 60L under floor
Bottom - 3mm
Sides - 1.6mm
Max hp - 75
Max transom weight - 112kg
Max persons - 5
1) The canopy folds up into a targa position when not in use.
2) The Quay Craft 4750 Hinchinbrook has a very functional layout. The side console layout leaves a stack of useable space.
3) The raked back console makes it easy to swing around to face the stern.
4) The Motor Guide electric thruster is perfectly positioned to be operated from the front seat and tucks out of the way when not in use.
5) The carpeted back seat/casting platform has a padded back rest for added comfort.
6) The fully plumbed live bait tank to starboard can be matched with another to port if desired.Reads: 975