REVIEW: QUINTREX HORNET TROPHY F500

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH


QUINTREX HORNET F500 QUINTREX HORNET F500
QUINTREX HORNET F500 BOAT QUINTREX HORNET F500 BOAT
QUINTREX HORNET TROPHY F500 BOAT QUINTREX HORNET TROPHY F500 BOAT

The Quintrex Hornet Trophy F500 may resemble a wakeboat but it still makes for a seriously practical fishing platform.

Quintrex Hornets are well established in the world of tournament-style fishing boats, but on show at a Telwater-Quintrex media day, two new boats really leapt out from the pack. Amongst a lineup of the brand’s latest and greatest, the baby Hornet Trophy was a standout, but it was the prototype Hornet F500 that totally stole the limelight.

This forked-bow proved intriguing, looking like a hybrid of a newer wakeboarding boat crossed with a dedicated tournament fishing boat. The result is best described as a tournament fishing boat that looks quite similar to a Malibu or MasterCraft, at least up forward. The bow design on this prototype had three tips, an extended port and starboard tip with one smaller centre tip. On the newest models, they’ve done away with the centre tip, creating a "V" shape within the bow, rather than a "W". Either way, I loved the look of it and the practicality of the design.

 

QUINTREX HORNET F500

QUINTREX F500 HORNET TROPHY

When standard hulls taper to a Vee, you naturally lose deck room or casting space on the bow. By extending the sponsons forward on the F500, this has also maintained the beam width right through to the foremost tip of the bow, improving stability on the craft and creating a far larger casting deck with loads more storage. The result is a much larger boat internally and another positive attribute is the ability to comfortably fish two-up on the forward deck. Plus, with more hull on the water, the boat will track better when using the electric motor.

 

DESIGN AND LAYOUT

QUINTREX HORNET F500 LAYOUT

Being a prototype-model, this boat wasn’t pimped-out with all the bells and whistles found standard on many tournament boats, but it had everything in the right spots for future customisation. I liked the fact they have dedicated dual-battery trays up in the bow, as boat this size would almost certainly cop a good-sized trolling motor, and likely use a 24V system which requires some serious power. The rest of the casting deck comprises good sized storage lockers with significant volume due to the higher deck. This gives you a number of options — they can be left as standard storage, or converted to your requirements — say, an extra plumbed livewell. A notable addition was the large anchor well — something not normally found on tournament boats. As a tournament or lure angler you might never use it and you’ve gained an extra storage bin, but if you’re a bait aficionado, this setup lets you anchor up with ease. Either way, it’s a clever feature as standard.

 

ELECTRONICS

QUINTREX HORNET TROPHY F500 HELM

At the helm, the console is compact and comfortable to drive using side-mount controls and non-feedback steering. Personally, I would probably add hydraulics just to sweeten the ease of control. The dash space is not huge but it’s adequate to mount a reasonable-size sounder/GPS, in this case the latest Lowrance HDS 7 Touch and dual Evinrude I-Command Gauges. Down below, the console has been kept open which enables you to stretch out the legs or the space can be used to place an Esky or tackle box out of the way. At the stern we find another casting deck platform which also features deep spacious storage hatches and has a solid livewell for those bream or bass caught during tournaments.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

QUINTREX HORNET TROPHY F500

I was surprised to see only a 115hp bolted to the rump of this baby, as the norm on this style of boat would be to fit something resembling supersonic jet propulsion — Mach 4 with your hair on fire is standard for the bass chasers. However, the F500 Hornet is only rated to 115hp and after giving it horns on the water, I was more than happy with the performance from E-TEC. Low down, the hole shot is gutsy and fast and once you hit the 4000rpm mark, it’s like a turbo kicking in, shooting you to Wide-Open-Throttle pretty damn fast.

Alongside this healthy get-up-and-go, other ride characteristics included phenomenal stability both at rest and underway. The Hornet also maintained a nice dry ride in the chop. This all comes back to that innovative hull design — virtually a semi tri-hull with a deep-vee running down the keel before flaring to those outer sponsons. The hull remains level, even when knocked hard into turns and also interesting was the hull’s tendency to drift in turns. It felt great and comfortable at the same time.

But beyond everything else, what every boat owner demands is a safe, quality ride and it’s fair to say the F500 delivers. No one wants a banging hull and this Hornet is far from that. I found the hull to be relatively quiet and gentle on my spine when knocking through the chop, thanks to that new blade hull design. Again, it comes back to the technical angle, with more air pushing through in combination with a sharp keel entry

 

THE VERDICT

This new Quintrex F500 is an absolutely unique machine on the water, and has a number of really good characteristics, from the layout to the performance. The F500 also carries a bit more freeboard and higher decks than many boats, which of course, keeps you drier in the choppy conditions. This also makes it suitable for bay conditions as well as sweetwater, where that extra elevation on the casting decks could make sight fishing a bit easier. Overall the iconic Quintrex brand has done a great job producing a tournament boat suited to tournament angling. Sure, there’s no major bling on this one, but the options list has enough on it to provide total customisation. And this means it’s a vessel that will appeal to both standard lure anglers and tournament fishers alike.

 

ON THE PLANE...

  • Open invitation to tailor the boat as you see fit
  • Stability at speed and at rest is class-leading
  • Bullet-proof construction

 

DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

  • Console setup needs a few tweaks

 

QUINTREX HORNET TROPHY F500 SPECIFICATIONS

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $44,550 (with 115hp E-TEC, rego, safety gear)

Options fitted: Vinyl wrap, two-tone paint, bow mount thruster plate

Priced from $42,250 (115hp E-TEC, rego, safety gear)

 

GENERAL

Type:  Fishing boat

Material: 4mm aluminium

Length: 5.21m

Beam: 2.1m

Weight: 460kg (boat only)

 

CAPACITIES

People: 4

Rec. HP: 70

Max. HP: 115

Fuel: 95lt

 

ENGINE

Make/model: Evinrude E-TEC 115hp

Type: EFI two-stroke

Weight: 170kg

Displacement: 1727cc

Gear ratio: 2.0:1

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Quintrex

Web: www.quintrex.com.au

 

SUPPLIED BY

Springwood Marine

3452 Pacific Highway, Springwood QLD, 4127

Tel: (07) 3297 8200

Web: www.springwoodmarine.com.au

 

See the full version of thsi review in TrailerBoat #302, December 2013

Find Quintrex boats for sale.

 


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