More than a Top En­der

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By JON HUIE

A LONG 19km drive in the Gold Coast Broad­wa­ter quickly changed the per­cep­tion that Quin­trex’s 490 Top En­der side-con­sole model is just an­other spe­cial­ist North­ern Ter­ri­tory barra fish­ing out­fit.

The el­e­vated run­ning at­ti­tude of the hull, safe full­height tran­som and soft ride over the bumpy South­port se­away en­trance in­di­cated that the out­fit would be equally at home in bay wa­ters of any lo­ca­tion around the coun­try.

The Quin­trex’s sta­bil­ity was out­stand­ing.

Some mid-size Quin­trex Mil­len­nium hulls tend to be on the slug­gish side, but not this one. Pow­ered to the max by a 90hp DFI twostroke Mer­cury Op­ti­max, the per­for­mance was sharp and spir­ited.

The mo­tor was hardly work­ing at a cruise speed of 35km/h on 3500rpm and had an un­mis­tak­able eco­nom­i­cal feel about it.

A touch of throt­tle and this 5.33m out­fit was run­ning at 45km/h on 4000rpm with plenty of up­side ac­cel­er­a­tion from there to a brisk 67km/h top speed. With a side con­sole and com­fort­able, padded twin pedestal bucket seats set aft of cen­tre, weight dis­tri­bu­tion and re­sul­tant bal­ance pro­vided a much bet­ter ride than a stan­dard for­ward­steer­ing model.

The Top En­der’s open de­sign and low, spa­cious and el­e­vated cast­ing plat­form not only suits lure and sport fish­ing, but is so prac­ti­cal for crab­bing, yab­by­ing and dab­bing garfish.

A bow sprit, roller, split rails and re­cessed fore­deck rope com­bine for a func­tional an­chor sta­tion.

A host of gear and safety equip­ment stacks tidily away in in­ter­change­able, multi-pur­pose un­der­floor stor­age bins.

The com­pact con­sole has a wrap­around wind­screen and solid grab rail.

It takes engine gauges, a switch panel, an el­e­vated fish finder and re­cessed marine ra­dio.

The rear top deck houses a live bait tank.

And a 70-litre un­der­floor fuel tank is stan­dard.

The boat is also of­fered with an ad­di­tional 42-litre tank for long-range work.

The Quin­trex 490 Top En­der would be at home in any wa­ters around Aus­tralia

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