By: Rick Huckstepp

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Budget boats for any skill level are something of an art for Telwater and the Quintrex 520 Classic Console represents exceptional value for money. Rick Huckstepp reports.


Staying on the ball when it comes to market trends is more vital than ever in this day and age. It's something the Telwater company have done rather well with a series of packaged budget boats designed to get boaters onto the water at super-keen prices, regardless of whether they're new to the pastime or upgrading old rigs.

The Trailerboat team recently looked at a half a dozen of these boats on the Gold Coast's Coomera River. And one that really stood out for us was the Quintrex 520 Classic Centre Console, which for a smidgen over $23,000 represented fantastic buying value.



Anyone into estuary and creek fishing will feel good about not wasting money on a slick paint job! Nothing wrecks a two-pack finish quicker than working around submerged and protruding structures in creeks and rock bars, or dragging crab pots about the deck and gunwales. This hull will return to new with an occasional acid wash while for brand-new ones, it even pays to apply a vinegar wash on the inside deck and hull to dull the aluminium. This prevents glare burn on sunny days.

The console is also a very basic affair. It has good height but a small length and width, that keeps the cockpit open for fishing around the deck. The grabrail across the top might restrict the installation of some marine electronics that have long cabinets, but hey, that's the beauty of a raw alloy finish.

If something is in the way, you chop it off and shift it to make room for the next installation. No touch-up paint required.
Instrumentation for the Mariner four-stroke fits across the sloping fascia. Between those dials and the helm you'll find the perfect spot to fit retainers for holding lures, pliers and other junk often hoarded on console tops. A few strips of plastic glued to the top is all that's needed

There's a shelf inside the console with a high fence at the front, while heavy-duty gussets prevent cracks from occurring when pounding though rough water. This typically happens when body weight is swung off grabrails and the helm.

Short sidepockets span over three structural ribs and finish short of entering the void under the transom bulkhead. The fuel-filler pipe and breather run from the port gunwale, through the floor of the sidepocket and through the deck. A rotomoulded shroud then prevents any damage to the fuel system at this point.

In the aft port corner the crank battery sits on a shelf high off the deck. The bottom of the enginewell pan sits at about the same height. You'll find more stowage space in the starboard aft corner.




The loom from the engine comes through the enginewell wall and down through the tray before heading across the corner of the deck and into the deck itself. Another rotomoulded shell sits over that position and sticks out like a sore thumb. The battery cables from the terminals travel under the transom bulkhead before joining the engine loom and fuel lines. The convoluted tubing holding the battery leads lies loose on the deck.

With a small amount of effort and some longer wiring, all of this could be hung under the shelving and enginewell and then along the aft end of the starboard gunwale, before travelling down a rib and through the deck. Not only would this free shelf space and de-clutter the deck, it would also make deck cleaning so much easier, not to mention make the boat look better.

In the top of the transom bulkhead a hatch opens to a shallow tray. It has the dimensions of a livebait tank, but for the depth. If this was installed above the battery, a full-sized bait tank could be fitted. As tested, this space appears to have been wasted.

While down the back end, a short foot step is fixed to the transom, next to the handrail that swings down from the gunwale. It sits in the shadow of the overhanging aft edge of the transom's top, which puts body balance out of kilter climbing aboard. You would find boarding easier if it was extended a bit more, allowing you to step on and stand upright before swinging a leg into the cockpit.

Plastic rodholders are rebated into the tops of the gunwales while a central socket in the transom bulkhead holds an optional baitboard. Moving forward you step up to a 20cm high, forward-casting platform. A flush-mounted hatch leads into the bilge and there's plenty of stowage space for the usual safety gear.

The forward section of the platform is closed off with a vertical carpeted panel that hides the bulk of the rotomoulded anchorwell, which has open access from the top.




With 60hp of four-stroke motor and mechanical cable steering, the Quintrex 520 Classic Console is a good, fun boat to run around the river. Although mechanical steering is usually affected to some extent by excess torque coming through the cable at differing levels of trim, this was not evident. Carrying three large adults, holeshot was good and a
comfortable ride was had over big-boat wash. It handled hard, high-speed turns with ease, while demonstrating good stability when dead in the water. According to the speedo we hit just over 30kts at WOT of 5400rpm.

This rig would have to be one of the better buys for a newcomer who is just getting serious. It really has everything you need and being so light it can easily be towed by a cheap four-cylinder car.




One of the better value-for-money units 
Stable and good fishing room




Rear boarding step should be extended
Looms and hoses under transom bulkhead need rerouting and tidying








Price as tested:  $23,049




Type: Monohull
Material: Aluminium; 3mm
bottom, 2mm topsides
Length overall: 5.2m
Beam: 2.1m
Weight: 357kg (hull only)
Deadrise: 14-15 degrees
Floatation: Basic




Fuel: 70lt
People: Five
Max. eng. transom weight: 203kg
Rec. max. HP: 80hp
Rec. min. HP: 60hp




Make/ model: Mariner 60hp
Big Foot
Type: EFI four-stroke outboard
Rated HP: 60hp
Displacement: 995cc
Weight: 112kg
Gearbox ratio: 1.83:1
Propeller: 15in alloy




53 Waterway Drive,
Coomera, Qld, 4209
Phone: (07) 5585 9805

First published in TrailerBoat #246

Find Quintrex boats for sale.


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