Warren Steptoe was at the launch
of the 2003 Quintrex models on the Gold Coast.
As has become the norm for one of Australia's most innovative
and progressive boat builders, Quintrex's annual update brings
several new models, plus a raft of changes aimed at enhancing
safety and amenity right across their range.
Perhaps the most significant change is to the
way flotation material is fitted into Quintrex boats. In hulls
from 4.5-metres long up to their largest 6.5-metre models,
foam buoyancy material has been relocated from under the deck
to the sides of the hull where it hides behind flat carpeted
panels Quintrex call ‘enclosed side pockets’.
These contain more flotation than can be fitted
under the deck and, being located higher in the hull, make
the boat capable of supporting itself complete with motor
and the recommended passenger load in an upright position
after swamping. This meets the highest international safety
standards and is a proactive move towards increased safety
in Australian boating.
There are a couple of side benefits too. Quintrex
boats fitted with the new enclosed side pockets we tested
during a recent press day were quite noticeably quieter on
the water than other metal-hulled boats. Another side benefit
is that with flotation material moved to the sides of the
hull, underfloor space previously occupied by foam is now
available for storage. Quintrex is utilising this space with
new rotomoulded storage areas set into the deck between the
We were also pleased to note that the ‘toes
in under’ leg support along the sides of the cockpit,
so critical on rough water, hasn’t been compromised
by the new side pockets. There’s plenty of space between
the side pocket and the deck for your feet to go underneath.
To maintain positive flotation meeting international
standards, smaller Quintrex models with thwart seats will
now be fitted with larger dimensioned thwarts containing the
necessary amount of flotation material.
Other changes introduced in 2003 model Quintrexes
include a progressive redesign of underfloor fuel tanks throughout
the range to meet the US AYBC standards. This involves the
addition of expansion chambers and meeting specific criteria
for filling and venting.
Then there’s the new Maxi 2 transom,
an upgrade to Quintrex’s innovative Maxi Transom originally
introduced largely to support the added weight of four-stroke
motors – although the extension of the bottom sheet
it entailed also significantly improves static trim and general
performance in several areas. The Maxi 2 transom forms a curve
from each corner of the chine to the motor mount pad, whereas
the original Maxi Transom ran in a straight line. It’s
a change apparently made primarily for aesthetic reasons.
The last major change to appropriate models
from 4.5 up to 6.5-metres long is what Quintrex are calling
a ‘washdeck’. This is simply a deck free of nooks
and crannies making it easier to wash down after time on the
water. There are strategically sited drain holes to facilitate
Other changes to all 2003 Quintrex models (except
the economical CV range) are a switch from bollards to metal
cleats, recessed cockpit lighting, new auto bilge pumps, new
higher set navigation lights and stronger alloy core hatches.
Models with bucket seats have also gained new reversible seats
with a squab that swings over so the seat is as comfortable
facing aft as it is facing forward.
Bullhorn hydraulic steering is now standard
fitment on certain models too and the Maxi Bracket, which
can be fitted with a variety of accessories such as a berley
bucket and folding ladders, will be fitted as standard on
several appropriate models.
New models are a 435 (4.3 metre) Coast Runner
runabout, a baby sister for the perennially popular runabout
range; a new 570 Legend (5.75-metre) centre-console; a 6.1-metre
610 Freedom Sport bowrider; and a pair of cuddy cab offshore
fishers 6.1 and 6.5-metres in length.
The 435 Coast Runner came after feedback from
Quintrex dealers. Quintrex has always claimed to be a customer
driven company and this boat is proof of that. It’s
a neat little boat cramming much fun into a compact package.
Having run a Quintrex centre-console myself
for two decades, I guess I’d have to confess a soft
spot for Quintrex centre-consoles. However, it’s not
just personal bias, eminently fishable centre-consoles have
been core business for Quintrex ever since the configuration
became popular here back in the late 1970s. 570 is a new designation
for Quintrex, the Legend tag on the centre-consoles merely
an acknowledgement of the type’s place in history.
Quintrex’s bigger hull range ascends
from 455 to 475, 500, 530, 570, 610 and now 650, these numbers
being approximations of the boat’s length minus a decimal
point. Along with these new standard lengths come increases
to the height of the sides and in the beam of some models
to bring them into line with others of the same size in the
|(Top and above left)
Quintrex's all new 650 offshore
is their biggest hull yet.
and above right)
The tiny 435 Coast Runner
500 Freedom Sport
On the press day there were two 610 models,
a Freedom Sport bowrider and an Offshore cuddy cab, plus its
bigger sister the 650. Six point one metres is a big bow rider
and the 610 Freedom Sport continues yet another Quintrex innovation
by being easily convertible from a family fun boat to a serious
sport fisher. At 6.1 metres, the new 610 extends sportfishing
opportunities well offshore, while for family fun, the sheer
size of the 610 Freedom Sport opens up many possibilities
on water too open for comfortable family boating in smaller
Quintrex did introduce a new 6.4-metre offshore
fisher last year but kept it fairly low key while development
continued. This year’s 650 Offshore shows the results
of those 12 months of hard work.
Now it’s a very well executed and thought
through boat, which retains a Quintrex character with planked
sides and a flared bow, whereas the development model’s
flat sheet sides looked more like other so called plate offshore
fishers. Refinements go much further than this though. I tested
the development model and found a few points needy of attention
so I am delighted to report that they have all been dealt
Detail changes to individual models are too
numerous to mention one-by-one but there were a couple of
standout refinements, which to my mind make great boats even
better. The 500 Top Ender console has been enlarged to contain
extra storage, a new dash fitted to it and this popular boat
fitted with a new plumbed livewell in the bows.
The 500 Hornet Trophy we tested in Club Marine
Volume 17 No. 6 now has a completely flat bow casting deck,
a definite improvement over the previous arrangement, which
had a step up to a pair of hatches over the anchor well. There’s
also a new console, dash, and screen and a livewell set into
the aft casting deck as standard.
Already the biggest boat builder in the southern
hemisphere in terms of production volume, for some time now
Quintrex has been moving towards establishing the brand in
the lucrative US market. Although at present still feeling
its way onto new ground, the US reaction to these Aussie icons
has been one of almost disbelief. Apparently the Americans
never envisaged aluminium boats featuring such advanced designs
and sophisticated configurations.
Here in Australia of course Quintrex is a colossus,
especially amongst the fishing set. And looking at where Quintrex
is going in 2003, there’s no way that’s going