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There are few sweeter things in life than slipping the noose for the weekend to roll on the river Creedence style. Heading off in Quintrex's 435 Coast Runner is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to do just that.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Quintrex 435 Coast Runner

FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published in TrailerBoat #178, March 2004 



Boating was meant to be easy. Spending a golden afternoon on the water should be a matter of hitching up the boat, making your way to the ramp, dropping the old girl in the water, turning the key and heading off somewhere to lower your heart rate for a few hours.

Unfortunately, reality is often more cruel. Cantankerous trailers, bodgy boats and temperamental outboards can turn a relaxing outing into an expensive pain in the Chaminda Vaas.

Well, I reckon I've found a BMT package that's so easy to use it's a no-brainer: a boat, motor and trailer rig that handles like a dream and will cost you less than 20 grand to own.

If you reckon that assessment sounds a little too much like Tim Shaw at a Demtel sales convention, I ask you to reserve your judgment and read on.

I have a confession to make: up until now, I have secretly harboured scorn for small, forward-control runabouts. As an angler, I prefer the control offered by a tiller-steer outboard. On larger boats, it's gotta be a centre console or a walkaround to win my heart. I hate clambering through windscreens and hatches to get to the anchor, and I find that centrally-located driving stations better balance weight-sensitive small boats.

And with no kids to think of, my personal preference has always leant towards no-compromise fishing boats. Well, pass the Big Red sauce - I'm about to eat my words.

So how has this diminutive tinnie exploded a prejudice I've nursed all my life? I guess I've realised that standing up for endless hours waiting anxiously for a bite is not for everyone. For many, fishing is something you do to relax - not a pastime designed to drive you to distraction because the fish aren't co-operating.

It makes a lot of sense to have a pair of comfortable seats to sit on while doing all that concentrating. And a boat that takes five minutes to take in and out of the water has a strong appeal.

More importantly, it was the performance of this boat that surprised me. Yes, tinnies generally ride rougher than 'glass boats, but it's a case of horses for courses. Fibreglass boats, broadly speaking, cost more, are heavier and won't cop the knocks as well as an aluminium craft. And this hull has convinced me that Quintrex has made inroads into making the knockabout tin boat a softer-riding craft for their intended purpose: that is, poking around estuaries, exploring inland waterways and blatting around on open bays when the weather's smiling. Let's look at how this little boat does it.




This particular Coast Runner hull measures 4.35m long and sports the trademark Quinnie flared bow - a concept that has won fans and detractors. Personally, I like it on this hull. These smaller boats weren't designed for offshore racing or surfing down oceanic swells; what they do well is keep passengers dry in average conditions - and to my eye, they look great too.

This hull has a good beam-to-length ratio and as such enjoys great stability for its size. Prominent, lipped chines help keep it stiff at rest and also fire spray low to keep you dry.

Extruded gunwales add strength and rigidity to the hull and also make climbing on and off more comfortable. You can sit on them while fishing, but if someone suddenly rushes over to your side, things can get tippy. They also make a good place to flush-mount rodholders. This boat has only two fitted as standard. I'd install four.

There's plenty of vee in the bow entry - variable, again assisting stability and ride - tapering to a shallow deadrise in the stern. It does the job well. But you really notice Quintrex's much-vaunted Maxi-Transom II on a boat of this size, especially when it's carrying the extra weight of a four-stroke. Blink and you'll miss the holeshot.

The extra buoyancy and extended planing surface of the outboard pod-cum-boarding platform pops the hull out of the water instantly. At rest, the stern doesn't sag in the water so the briny laps threateningly close to the gunwales. The stern of this small craft is exceptionally well thought out and is probably the main feature that sets it apart from its (considerable) competition.




The boat has a short foredeck with a polypropylene anchor well that swallows 50m of silver rope, but the decent sand anchor we bought pokes out the top. Oh well, you can't have everything.

The windscreen protects passengers well and the opening partition is exceptionally wide. It isn't that much of a drama anchoring - I like to climb through and squat on the deck to get to the ground tackle; it's less of a strain.

Under the foredeck is storage space for pretty much everything you drag along - safety gear, an esky, jumpers, jackets and so on. The sidepockets will swallow things like paddles, an anchor light and short fishing rods.

The boat has a broad, flat, carpeted deck, an underfloor fuel tank (doesn't that save space), and features a footwell to allow you to stand while driving, which you can do comfortably without upsetting the balance of the craft.

The stern holds your batteries and oil bottle and has a simple folding lounge for two. I reckon it's like getting the rickety chair at the dining table when you've got guests over for tea: this boat has been designed to fish a pair of adults, and while the lounge might be okay for kids, I'd be calling shotgun on the front passenger seat every time.




So we come to handling. Much of it has to do with the powerplant we selected for this boat. The hull is rated to handle 40hp, and we all know it's a cardinal sin to underpower.

As a smoker, I feel it's important to go for an engine that doesn't: Yamaha had just what we were after in its F40 BETL. Can't praise it enough. Twice I turned the key when it was running, which gives you an idea of how quiet and smooth it is at idle.

Trailer Boat is running it in for the lucky winner of this exact boat, and as such can't give you top-end speed figures. But we can report that 4100rpm is the sweet zone - a 40kmh, flat, comfortable cruise that will see your tank of fuel last a long, long time.

Holeshots are flat and instant, and the boat turns like a tram on rails - I couldn't get it to cavitate (just down-trim in tight turns). The hull could also be jacked up with the power trim to scamper across the surface with just the pod kissing the water.

The boat felt balanced. Two adults up front offset the weight of the motor and allow the hull to plane cleanly. Steering was light, seating position comfortable, and the Lowrance sounder paid for itself by telling me when things were getting shallow. And showed me a bunch of drop-offs, which I swear were perch city.

We had smooth conditions for this test on the Murray River, but suffered a bit of wakeboarding-related blowout. Yep, if you drive flat-tack into a steep one-metre wave, it will bang. But smaller stuff was a snack. The hull is very smooth riding for an aluminium boat of this size.




One of the coolest things about this package is its trailer. Dunbier - the company that supplies product to Quintrex - has designed a "self loader" system that is essentially a centering twin-skid cradle at the back. Snap the clip to the bow eye, wind in the strap and nine times out of ten the boat slips straight onto the rollers square and true. Like I said, it's laughably easy.

I towed the boat with my '98 Falcon, which didn't realise it had a boat on the back and kept trying to overtake big-haired, bespectacled hippies in aging vans. All up we had about 650kg on the towbar - no worries for most family cars, and no worries putting it into the carport either.

This Quinnie makes sense. It's usable. A sunny afternoon, a quiet river, a few hours to kill... this is a boat that takes 10 minutes to prepare for use, even less to launch and will provide you with many a supine hour in the sun, watching the world go by.

Sounds like value to me.






Priced as tested: $19,450
Options fitted: Storm cover, safety-gear package, registrations, Lowrance depthsounder, VHF radio, engine upgrade
Priced from (BMT): $17,500 with 30hp Yamaha two-stroke and registrations




Material: Pressed aluminium
Length: 4.45m
Beam: 1.77m
Deadrise: n/a
Rec/max hp: 30/40
Towing weight: About 650kg




Make/model:  Yamaha 40 BETL
Type:  Inline three-cylinder, three-carburettor four-stroke
Displacement: 747cc
Rated hp: 40 @ 5000-6000rpm
Weight: 90kg
Drive: Yamaha 2.0:1
Prop: Standard alloy




Quintrex, Coomera, Qld, tel (07) 5585 9898 or visit Engine supplied by Yamaha Australia, tel (02) 9757 0011 or visit
Fit-up and pre-delivery by JV Marine, tel (03) 9798 8883  




Stable, smooth-riding hull
Maxi-Transom pod works exceptionally well
Comfortable helm seats
Easy to handle and launch




Rear lounge could be improved
Anchor well needs to be bigger


First published in TrailerBoat #178

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