Quintrex 530 Frontier with Yamaha F90hp 4-stroke

Admittedly the test day was glamorous, but the hole shot, stability and ease of use of this Quintrex/Yamaha package were impressive.

• by Steve Morgan

It’s no secret that when I first tested one of the new Quintrex Apex hulls last year (we went for a run in the 590 Frontier on the Gold Coast), I said that it was the greatest improvement in hull design by the company since they first stretch-formed a flared bow all those years ago.

I still stand by those comments and it seems as though the major shift in design and looks of these boats have had nearly universal acceptance by dealers and customers alike. They’re soft riding, beamy, deep and perform well, even with outboards well under the maximum allowable.

Recently, we got to test a Frontier 530 powered by the new Yamaha F90 – a 90hp 4-stroke 1.8L outboard released a little over a year ago, thanks to Sean Savage of Streaker Marine. Importantly, the outboard was 40 horses less than the maximum allowable on this hull.

The Apex hull doesn’t bank into turns like other aluminium hulls, retaining a flat attitude throughout the manoeuvre.
Although the F90 was 40hp under the maximum, the 530 jumped onto the plane with ease, two-up.
Single-handed launch and retrieval is easy with the Quintrex Catch-n-Release system.
The new Frontier design boasts acres of room inside and the ability to add features like the enclosed rod locker.
Synthetic decking material on the bow sheets make it a practical place to fish from (and to store anchors underneath).
Quintrex rotomolds all of their console shrouds in house. Yay for the ability to flush mount large electronics choices into the helm.
Clear fronted bait tanks are very much in fashion at the moment and with good reason – it takes just a glance to know your livies are in A1 condition.
While not 100% dry storage, there's still lots of room under the high casting decks to store your gear.

Replacing the older Top Enders, the Frontiers have several advantages over their predecessors. They’re beamier (and carry their beam more forward than the older rigs), have more freeboard, are softer riding and are more stable than the older designs.

The ‘pickle fork’ bow shape is a few years old now, but is a distinguishing feature of the new generation Quintrex rigs.

I really liked the ease of access to this boat when it’s on the trailer, with a fold down ladder and an inviting transom door.

Supplied by Streaker Marine on a Quintrex aluminium I-beam trailer with their Catch-n-Release launch system, the package is both easy to manoeuvre and will tow behind virtually any vehicle, weighing in at just over 1000kg. Being a single axle, it’ll make it easier to fit into smaller, modern garages.

The Catch-n-Release system allows you to launch and retrieve this boat very easily by yourself, making solo trips not just possible, but easy.

Although fuel metering wasn’t available on the test boat, the same motor on a smaller Frontier hull delivered 3.28km/L, meaning that this rig would easily get you over 3km/L at the most economical cruising speed.

Flat out, the test boat travelled 57km/h at 5600rpm and jumped onto the plane easily with two on board and no gear apart from safety kits. Filling the livewells, there was no noticeable decrease in performance.

The test boat was also fitted with an enclosed rod locker in the port gunwale. I’m not a fan of using these for anything but locking rods away at the end of the session. Anything designed where gravity can help the lid fall on your tackle will eventually do so.

The new Frontier design boasts acres of room inside and the ability to add features like the enclosed rod locker.
The front livewell has clever baffles that help to stop the slop.
Now that’s a casting deck. We challenge you to find a beamier casting area in any rig on the water of this length.
With the seats in this position, three anglers can make long runs in comfort.
The high sides make the Frontier a rig that’s nearly as comfortable in the open water as it is in rivers and estuaries.
Access to this high-sided boat is through the folding ladder and transom door at the stern.
There’s not much to say about Yamaha’s 1.8L 90hp. It’s very unlikely to let you down and has been a hit with customers since it was released last year.

I’m also a long-time critic of the underfloor storage being not more resistant to inundation. If it rains, your tackle will get wet. For anglers with a pile of expensive tackle, this is sometimes an expensive problem.

These minor points aside, I’m in love with the package as a whole. It’s easy to launch and retrieve, ridiculously economical and easy to drive. Its high gunwales make it safer for kids and it’s customisable to a level where a serious fisher can add the electronics necessary to maximise their time on the water.

For more information or a test drive of this rig, call Streaker Marine or visit www.streakermarine.com.au.

SPECIFICATIONS
Hull Length……………………………. 5.26m
Beam………………………………………. 2.07m
Depth……………………………………… 1.10m
Bottom and sides…………………… 3mm
Weight (boat only)………………… 506kg
Min hp……………………………………. 75hp
Max hp……………………………………. 130hp
Hole Shot………………………………. 4.27 seconds
Number of people ……………….. 6