Star performer

Graham Lloyd | VOLUME 30, ISSUE 1

Quintrex’s 690 Trident starred at the international launch of Evinrude’s new G2 outboards.

It’s a personal thing of course, but I do like to see a bit of colour on a boat and this Quintrex 690 Trident not only offers some brilliant green graphics on its topsides, but they are matched by the exchangeable colour panels on the side of the imposing 250hp Evinrude G2 outboard that dominates the transom.

Editor Chris Beattie gave a full run-down in our August-September 2014 issue on the international release of the new range of Evinrude’s Generation 2 E-TEC outboards. Held on Lake Michigan in the USA, the announcement of these latest-technology two-strokes was a huge event, with more than 2000 dealers and journalists invited. And starring, along with the new powerplants, was the very same Quintrex 690 featured here; it was a great opportunity for an Aussie boat builder to showcase its products to an international audience.

Chris’ feature gave full details of the G2 Evinrudes, but let’s consider a brief summary of the new E-TEC platform. Evinrude started the G2 program some five years ago and developed a totally new design. It retains only the V6 configuration and the basic injectors of the advanced direct-injection fuel delivery system from the first generation E-TEC outboards.

New porting and ignition systems, together with a new injection/combustion design called ‘PurePower Combustion’ offer claimed improvements of up to 20 per cent in torque and up to 15 per cent in fuel economy over rival four-stroke outboards.

Practical aspects of owning the G2 Evinrudes have been considered, too, with the first service not required until after 500 hours or five years operation. Another neat touch is an integral oil tank that gives about 100 hours of running.

Apart from these powerhead developments, the G2 outboards offer a stronger, simpler, cleaner mounting and rigging system, an hydrodynamically superior gearcase shape (it’s asymmetrical to offset engine/prop torque), lower-level water pickups for improved cooling, and integral hydraulic or power steering.

With initial G2 models rated at 200, 225, 250 and 300hp in a 3.4lt, 74 degree V6 configuration, the new Evinrudes also have a striking external appearance that looks both aggressive and contemporary. The tall powerhead side panels are exchangeable and come in a variety of colours so they can be matched to a boat or individual preferences. Custom colours or graphics are also possible.

HURLED ONTO PLANE

Spinning a four-blade, 18in pitch prop, the 250hp G2 fairly hurled the big Quintrex onto plane and ran it out to an impressive 78.4km/h at 5440rpm. From an on-plane 37.8km/h at 3000rpm, the Evinrude gave particularly strong mid-range acceleration as the improved torque of the new powerhead design showed its mettle. Fast cruising at 65.8km/h (4500rpm) would run you home or out of trouble real quick, and at all speeds the steering is light and responsive.

The G2 comes with standard integrated hydraulic steering (about a $1500 option for an add-on aftermarket equivalent) and is also available with optional power-assist for the hydraulics at about $500 (an aftermarket version could be around $4000). This 250hp G2 had the power-assist and it certainly made steering light and easy for such a high level of power. It still had a good level of feel, though, so you could sense the 690’s reaction as you carved through turns or just cruised along.

Swooshing through turns was the most fun and it was remarkable how well the hull, engine and prop partnered for turns that were far cleaner and tighter than I’d expected. There was no slipping or lurching even when I had the wheel held for exceptionally close turns; the prop held on perfectly with no ventilation and the hull retained its grip in quite extreme situations.

The power-assist can be turned on and off and, even with it off, the ‘native’ hydraulic steering was easy to use.

The overall driving position was good, too; the seat is adjustable fore/aft and has a flip-up bolster, while the throttle/shift controls were also well placed.

Having all that power at my fingertips was reassuring and would mean in coastal waters you could position the boat at any instant exactly where you wanted on a wave or when running a bar.

There was a pleasing response also to the use of the G2’s trim; it wasn’t finicky at all and the hull behaves at just about any prop-thrust angle. Helping to trim the boat, the 690 had a set of Volvo trim tabs fitted.

The Volvo tabs did the job well on the 690 and it quickly became an automatic reaction to use them to keep the boat level as the crew moved around or as the boat was affected by cross-winds. In combination with the G2 trim, the hull can be perfectly balanced in all conditions.

Visibility all-round was good and the helm position was well protected behind a screen on top of the cuddy cabin. The dash panel was well laid out and featured a Lowrance HDS12 colour display, which combined a GPS chartplotter and a fishfinder sonar – with optional (not fitted in this case) radar.

There was also a smaller Evinrude digital display, which Evinrude offers in various sizes and which can present either digital or analogue readings including rpm, speed, engine water temperature and/or pressure, oil level, fuel consumption, engine trim, external air temperature – and even more, including onboard engine diagnostics.

Both the skipper and first mate get comfortable seats that swivel and which are mounted on top of lockers that have recesses on their inner sides for items such as a fire extinguisher or EPIRB, and with drop-down hatches facing aft that reveal tackle storage drawers. Behind the seats, a large, open cockpit has a non-slip patterned alloy sole with spacious storage side pockets and a large killtank underneath a hatch at the rear of the floor.

CLEVER COCKPIT

Across the back is a clever arrangement that makes great use of the space. There’s a fold-away, three-quarter-width lounge behind which is a large hatch accessing storage under the aft deck, including access to the battery. Above that is another useful open storage slot and then, to starboard is an entry passage from the boarding platform which is equipped with a drop-down swimladder and grabrail.

Centrally above the aft deck is a bait prep workstation with five rodholders. There are more holders in the side decks along with strong bollards in the transom quarters. A hatch in the port aft deck is for a livebait tank, which features a clear viewing panel.

Throughout the 690 there are plenty of storage spots, including large compartments under the cabin floor where carpeted panels lift out for easy access.

The cabin on this 690 was bare, although neatly finished with side storage pockets. There’s enough room for camping overnight or for shelter in bad weather – or for kids to rest or play. Long side ports admit plenty of light. A bimini above the front of the cockpit provides welcome shade, and a tubular targa arch carries a set of rocket launcher rodholders.

A centre screen section folds forward on top of a large hatch in the cabin roof that, in turn, hinges to starboard so you can quickly and safely move forward and handle mooring duties, assisted on this 690 by a power anchor winch. The anchor locker is big enough for serious chain and rope lengths and the deck hardware up front is strong and intelligently located.

The hull itself is made of serious stuff, with 5mm plate for the bottomsides and 3mm for the topsides. The stem carries a quite sharp entry to cut through the swells and pressed-in strakes and pronounced chines are key factors in the good handling. This is a big boat at just on seven metres and has high topsides, with plenty of forward buoyancy for a safe, dry ride in most conditions.

All of this adds up to a top-line offshore fishing mini-battlewagon, with all the experience that long-time builder Quintrex (since 1945) can pack into it. Anglers will quickly identify and appreciate all the thoughtful touches that are either standard or available as options. To obtain the full details you really need to see the boat, so contact your nearest Quintrex dealer and discover how this famous Aussie boat builder really does live up to its tag line of ‘Boating Made Easy’. As well, find out the full story of the new G2 Evinrude range.

SPECIFICATIONS: QUINTREX 690 TRIDENT

Length: 6.96m

Beam: 2.48m

Weight (boat only): 1030kg

Capacity: 8 persons

Fuel capacity: 200lt

Power: Evinrude G2 E-TEC 3.4l V6 250hp

Price, from: $76,150

Price, as tested: $94,890

More information: evinrude.com; quintrex.com.au


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