BOAT TEST: QUINTREX 470 TOP ENDER

By: RICK HUCKSTEPP, Photography by: RICK HUCKSTEPP


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The affordable Quintrex 470 Top Ender is a good base model to build a fine fishing platform, writes Rick Huckstepp

BOAT TEST: QUINTREX 470 TOP ENDER
QUINTREX 470 TOP ENDER

 

THE PRICE IS RIGHT
With warm weather here, the prospects of good fishing has us rolling back the wind protection and getting out in the open. Whether you fish the wilds of the tropical north, boat on the many stocked impoundments in Queensland or troll for trout in Tassy, the Quintrex 470 Top Ender is one boat that should catch your eye.
The original Top Ender design emanated from Darwin quite a few years ago. Since then many things have changed and Quintrex has left no stone unturned in finding better solutions to what is a good base platform to start (and fish) from.
Earlier models of this boat featured moulded plastic cockpit liners which had the ability to hold a couple of rods each side and drink containers in receptacles. For a serious fishing boat, they wasted a lot of potential sidepocket space which is vital to anglers who invariably have boxes upon boxes of lures that need to be stashed away from the deck and casting platform.

 

CARPET ALLURE
So, the 470 has had a facelift in that department and carpet covered Allycore panels now form the sidepockets. This gives the visual effect of more cockpit space also. One thing about carpet, when it is used on vertical panels, is that it's a great material to hang lures on to dry before they get packed away at the end of the day.
It did seem, though, that the sidepocket fascias were quite high which would make it difficult to easily view what was in there without feeling around. Also, you might be hard pressed to get larger flat tackle trays in and out of the sidepockets easily.
As on all Quintrex boats, heavy use is made of rotomoulded inserts. The material used here is as tough as it gets, so it can take plenty of punishment as liners in underdeck compartments.
The anchorwell is open to the air and features a rotomoulded liner. There is a rotomoulded-lined killtank in the aft end of the forward casting deck, which is drainable to the bilge. In front of that, a large compartment is capable of stowing safety gear.
Between the two hatches, is a seat-post base hole covered with a cap and any water getting in here is immediately drained out the bottom into the bilge. Another hatch in the deck proper covers another rotomoulded-lined killtank that also drains to the bilge.
At the aft end of the cockpit, a rear platform under the transom bulkhead holds the cranking battery portside and the engine well, while a strengthening gusset effectively separates this platform in two. Inserted in the top of the bulkhead is a livebait tank. A small amount of stowage under its position and behind the battery, that side, is available.
On the starboard side of centre, a small Velcro hatch opens to the bilge pump. On the test boat, the buoyancy foam was visible and physically loose in here and the bilge pump power wires were exposed to the elements. We would like to see those tucked away in some plastic tubing as the foam will eventually damage the wiring as it bounces around in the bilge.
Under the starboard side of the transom bulkhead the fuel filter is bolted to the inside of the engine tilt well and the battery isolator switch attached at the aft end on a mounting plate.
Here, the marine electrical equivalent of the sin of all sins has been committed by earthing the black negative wires to the hull and therefore making the boat part of the electrical circuit. There is no bigger invitation to wholesale hull destruction from electrolysis, than by doing this! These wires have to go back to the negative terminal of the battery.
Inserted into each end of the face of this raised platform is a plastic scupper which leads to the stern via a pipe.

 

CONSOLE SMART
The console on the Top Ender looks smart. It is an alloy base with a plastic top section fixed to the starboard gunwale and supported on the deck with a profile-cut strut which looks good. A Lowrance X52 depthsounder is fitted and worked well. These particular units are very effective sounders for the budget conscious and it was mounted on a RAM bracket.
A wind deflector screen sat under an over-the-top grabrail that was fixed to the console with plastic brackets of the type used on canopy frames.
On the transom, Mercury's 60hp Big Foot engine was bolted on and attached to mechanical cable steering. While the engine mount protruded only a little way aft of the bulkhead on a full beam width step, short swim-out platforms formed part of the hull each side and that on the port side was fitted with a ladder.
This engine is four-stroke and the maximum recommended size for the 470. Holeshot was as good as it gets being very snappy and top speed at 6000rpm showed 55kmh on the Lowrance handheld GPS. Cruising at 35kmh the tachometer registered 4200rpm.
Manual cable steering sometimes creates torque issues with outboards at various stages but not so with this combination. It was easy on the arms throughout the trim range.
With the exception of the issues below, this is a neat rig at the right price. A little bit of fixing to the few above mentioned issues and it will be good value for the money.

 

WHAT WE LIKED
Cheap to buy
Plenty of power
Stowage space
Killtanks

NOT SO MUCH
Earthing issue needs sorting as a matter of priority
Wiring in bilge needs tidying up
A revisit to the height of the sidepocket fascias needs addressing

 

Specifications: Quintrex 470 Top Ender

Price as tested:     $29,873
Options fitted:     nil

GENERAL
Material: Aluminium, 3mm bottom, 1.6mm sides
Length overall:     5.16m
Type:       Side console open boat
Beam:      2.1m
Weight:      403kg

CAPACITIES
Rec. max. HP:      60
Rec. min. HP:      40
Max. engine weight:        157kg
People:     5 to 375kg
Total load:  607kg (people, engine, and luggage)

ENGINE
Make/model:     Mercury Big Foot
Type:       EFI four-stroke
Rated HP:      60
Displacement:     995cc
Weight:      118kg
Gearbox ratio:     2.33:1
Propeller:      13-inch alloy    

bQuintrex
Website: www.quintrex.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #240 

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