The 520 in Quintrex’s top ender range is rated number one by Rick Huckstepp

We have tested quite a few Quintrex boats over the years and especially the Top Enders. These boats had their heritage in Australia’s Top End and were originally designed as barramundi boats for tropical waterways.

They have come a long way since and we were pleasantly surprised at the design and build of the 520 when we tested it on the Gold Coast Seaway.

This boat features the Millennium hull and a flared bow helps keep occupants dry when wind and chop are prevalent.

In two metre swell the 520 presented with good stability at various speeds, and seating positions for skipper and rear passenger are set well back from midships. This gives the effect of generating a softer than normal ride for this style of boat when navigating choppy water.

The coamings along the sides and bow of the 520 are quite wide and reduce drastically across the transom bulkhead where it counts, to maximise room behind the two rear seat positions.



The boarding platform is fitted with a fold up telescopic ladder which is handy to the grab rail on the back of the bulkhead, the loom coming from the outboard motor traverses the platform and enters the transom bulkhead under the sill of the walk through transom opening. It is a pity that this boarding area and door were not on the portside so the boarding platform remained clutter –free, something Quintrex could look into.

On entering the transom aperture, the isolator switch is located on the fascia of the bulkhead and the primer bulb on the fuel line lies on the carpeted deck; a couple of further reasons the boarding area should be shifted portside.

Across the inner beam of the cockpit under the transom bulkhead a raised platform retains the cranking battery which sits forward of the live bait tank. It is flush mounted in the top of the bulkhead and a small Velcro fitted carpeted hatch allows access to the bilge and its pump.

The basic flotation on the 520 is throughout the bilge under deck and also behind carpeted vertical panelling forming the cockpit liner. The side pockets run almost to the deck with enough rebate to get the toes under if standing along the gunwales fishing. The fascias of the pockets are quite high and are made from carpeted aluminium plate with a nice round-rolled sill at the top.

Stowage compartments are all rota form-lined and a couple have lift out bins for cleaning and all may be bunged to retain water or ice.

The anchor well is open at the top, it has plenty of length for ample ground tackle and a backup system may be stowed in another compartment hard up against the forward bulkhead.

Aft of this in each side of the raised forward casting platform you will find another two bins which are longer and riveted into the deck frame. Another mid casting deck is reticulated as a live fish well for the catch and there is a seat pole base fixed on this platform as well.

The deck here is constructed carpeted marine ply with Alleycore hatches which are also carpeted and the entire deck feels very solid under foot.



The console is fixed to the starboard gunwale and is constructed of a combination of rotaform mould topside and alloy base and strut which has been tastefully perforated. The console as a whole looks very light but is as rigid as is required. A frame work up from the base surrounds a moulded Perspex wind deflector behind which there is a small rebate in the top on which to place articles.

You’d be hard pressed to find the space to mount small cabinet marine electronics on the top of this console but, a Lowrance LMS-522C was mounted on a RAM bracket to the port side of the base. These are great accessories with which to mount all sorts of items to boats or cars, from laptops to mobile telephones and hand held GPS’s.

This boat was fitted with a four stroke Yamaha 100hp outboard engine. Steering was manual cable and was quite manageable torque wise at the helm at various speeds and trim.

We did note that the drag link from the end of the cable to the control point on the engine was becoming discoloured from rust.

Under power it exhibited good hole-shot and brilliant acceleration throughout the throttle range. At WOT and 6000rpm it zipped along at 62kmh and could handle lots of trim up without aeration at the propeller. Back at cruise and 3500rpm and the GPS registered 31kmh, if you are backed off to just on the plane you will be doing 3100rpm and about 22kmh.

As you have read it can handle plenty of swell and is well behaved in a following sea. To date, this is the best example of a Top Ender that this writer has been in.



Dry ride, stable and can handle offshore swell.

Plenty of under deck stowage area



A rethink on the position of the transom door would be ideal, further examination of the quality of the drag link material should be undertaken.


Specifications: Quintrex 520 Top Ender


Price as tested: $43,843

Options fitted: transom door, front live well, bow mount

Electric motor mount plate, bimini

Priced from: $41,760



Material: Alloy 3mm bottom and 2mm sides

Length overall: 5.2m

Beam: 2.3

Deadrise: variable

Weight: 502kg hull only



Fuel: 95lt

Rec max hp: 100

Rec min hp: 75

Max transom engine weight: 203kg

Max people: 6 to 450kg

Total engine, people, luggage: 743kg



Make and model: Yamaha F100DETL

Type: EFI 4-cyl in line 4-stroke

Rated hp: 100

Displacement: 1596cc

Weight: 181kg

Propeller: 17 inch



Broadwater Boating,

46 Brisbane Road

Labrador, Qld, 4215

(Broadwater end of Brisbane Road)

Phone (07) 5529 1777




Originally published in TrailerBoat #243




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