REVIEW: QUINTREX 445 HORNET TROPHY

By: Mark Bracks, Photography by: Barry Ashenhurst


The mid-range craft in the Quintrex purpose-built fishing boat lineup, the 445 Hornet is sure be in the water more often than out...

The mid-range craft in the Quintrex purpose-built fishing boat lineup, the 445 Hornet is sure be in the water more often than out. After just one day’s boating in the Hornet, I was struggling to hand it back the Newcastle Quintrex dealer, Terrace Boating.
Terrace Boating is only a ski-jump away from the meandering Hunter River, the marine gateway to the vineyard and coal mines of NSW, so what better place to put a hardcore fisher like the Hornet Trophy through its design brief?
For a small, open craft the 445 Hornet Trophy packs a welcome punch. Although it’s plated to carry four, the 445 is an ideal size for a lone angler, a father-son fishing trip or for the occasional attempt to show the missus why you love fishing so much.
On and off the trailer It is a one man job and easy to manoeuvre. Boarding from shore is easy as grabbing hold of the rails that run around the transom to the gunnels, and push off the bank as you climb over the Maxi Pod onto the deck. Bow boarding is just as easy with no rails to contend with although the smaller 400 and 435 do have longer bow rails compared to the tie off points amidships in the 445 and larger 475 Hornet Trophy’s. There is also a 400 Hornet wide body and 400 Hornet available in the range but these are basically runabouts without the fishing decks
The pod is about .4m deep with an access cover to the inner hull either side of the Yamaha 60hp four-stroke. Every piece of the deck-space has been thoughtfully used with a 48litre rear bait tanks and storage under the 45cm deep rear deck with one hiding the easy access fuel filter and battery isolator switch.
The cockpit has two swivelling fold down seats with the fully carpeted floor covering the litre fuel tank
The cockpit is easy to move about with excellent vision as seating is so high compared to the gunnels. There is plenty of leg and foot room as well as being able to put a life jacket or my tackle box under the helm console. Steering and throttle are within easy reach and both fall easy to hand with the instruments easy to read. There is a wraparound small screen but its height suggests its more in protection for the Yamaha digital tacho and speedo as there is still a bit of face blast. But, I suppose your passenger doesn’t feel so left out as he has no protection.
The tacho also has a trim gauge as well as temp and oil warning lights with a digital fuel gauge and clock in the speedo. There was also the bracket for the yet to be fitted Lowrance 102C colour sounder. Under the sounder is an AM/FM radio as well as light and bilge switches
The front casting deck is a beauty being nearly 1.5m deep with a huge storage locker beside a bait tank and two other lockers underneath. Only about 300mm of deck space is lost from the 2 metre beam so the sums add up for plenty of fishing platform
Also at the front deck is a removable casting seat plus the optional Minn Kota electric motor with foot control withth necessary cables and connections undercover. There is also a cleat at the bow as well as two grabhandles at the rear of the front deck that house the nav lights. There are also a few deck lights well situated for night fishing that won't cast a beam overboard
The gunnels have two rod holders with two drink holders standard as well.
Looking at the craft and any of the purpose built bass/bream boats these days to the uninitiated they may seem a bit unstable but, believe me, the manufacturers have certainly done their collective homework.
The Quintrex range of Hornet and Hornet Trophy’s all sport Quintrex’s patented "Eclipse V-Flared Hull." And Quintrex claim that the design is suitable for smooth and rough water. With its ‘super-v’ hull shape at the bow that flares radically through to the transom, in a semi-tunnel design that turns downwards to the waterline, Quintrex claim, it generates extra lift by trapping air and drawing it underneath providing flexibility and lift for the stability and storage of a punt but can handle the choppy stuff as well.
Being on the expanse of the Hunter on a pristine day, I didn’t get it into any chop so I made my own, zipping through my wake (and any others I could find). Obviously those small waves didn’t faze it at all, but I can vouch for its stability as no matter how hard I steered it, the Trophy remained flat and level. In fact it was very surprising as there was no hull tilt. The closest I could compare - although a lot slower – was the handling of a tunnel hull ski boat as it remains level in tight turns. Also when hanging over the side or moving about the craft when at rest, it remains steady with next to no tendency to tilt.
Another good indicator of this great little craft was the performance out of the 317kg hull combined with the maximum rated 60hp Yammie hanging off the stern.
The 60hp, primeless ignition, Yamaha fires into life with nary a turn of the starter motor. Giving it some throttle it stepped out of the hole and onto the plane in less than three seconds. Once there, it certainly motors along effortlessly to hit over 60km/h at around 5200 rpm. After playing around for awhile the most useable and better economics would be 4000rpm that has you punting along at around 50kmh.
The trim was not overly sensitive and it is easy to find the correct neutral level for motoring without having to place too firm a grip to counteract the steering. Steering was passablet for the old style although it isn’t one handed when at speed. In hard turns even with the engine fully trimmed it had a tendency to cavitate such as might be need to avoid floating debris etc but for every day motoring the 445 will suit all bar the most fussiest – and you don’t want to be on a boat with them anyway!.
In fact, the 445 Horn is one of those zippy little craft that the love affair with a spot on fishing craft will commence very early on as its attributes come to the fore very quickly.
Comfortable and easy to move about on when at rest there are plenty of storage to keep everything out of the way of tripping feet plus the size of the kill tanks enable long spells out on the water but nodding off on a calm sunny afternoon with a rod in hand would be easier that backing Makybe Diva!
It is also a safe boat that will put mums and dads with older kids at ease. Maybe it hasn’t got the freeboard of the average runabout but all Quintrex’s have level floatation meaning that even when swamped with water, people and gear it will still float. With the stability of the craft there would have to be some serious hi-jinx going on to upset it.
After my short time aboard the 445 Hornet Trophy and knowing that Quintrex has 60 years of manufacturing boats, something tells me that have it pretty well down pat.


Specifications: Quintrex 445 Hornet Trophy

HOW MUHC?
Price as tested: $28,990
Options fitted: Yamaha 60hp four-stroke, painted hull, Minn Cota electric motor, Lowrance 102C colour sounder
Priced from: $21,500 with 50hp Yamaha, trailer and rego

GENERAL
Material: Aluminium – 3mm bottom sides, 1.6mm topsides
Type: Eclipse V-Flared hull
Length overall: 4.5m
Beam: 2.02m
Draft: 91cm
Deadrise: 16°
Weight : 317kg (boat only)

CAPACITIES
Rec/max hp: 40-60
Fuel: 60lt
Water: BYO bottled
Passengers: Four
 
ENGINE
Make/model: Yamaha four-stroke
Type: Primeless ignition
Rated hp: 60
Weight: 110kg
Displacement: 996cc
Ratio: 1.85:1
Propellor: 15in

SUPPLIED BY
Terrace Boating,
Raymond Terrace, NSW.
Contact Quintrex Australia,
Phone: (07) 5585 9898
Web: www.quintrex.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #200

 


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