Quintrex offer so many fantastic boats that it can be difficult to nominate a particular rig most suited to a specific task. If there’s a need for a rig that will double as a competition craft fully ready to hit the starter line, or ready to be used by sports anglers to test their skills wherever the opportunity presents (in estuaries rivers or impoundments), the four person F481 Hornet Trophy will fit the bill nicely. It’s 5m in length with a 2.3m beam and a feisty 90hp Yamaha four-stroke on the transom.
Incidentally, there’s a veritable nest of Hornets, from the 400 to the 500. There are several models to choose from and every one of these punt style craft are well designed. The F481 Trophy has virtually every internal feature serious anglers might need, from a large plumbed catch well, which can be made even larger, through to an optional 3m long rod locker to port with tips well and truly protected under the front deck. There’s also floor storage under both forward and aft decks, flexibility in seating, a neat side console and a host of other features as well.
Launching from the Bribie Channel, the craft was easily released from its dedicated alloy Quintrex trailer, via the Quinnie Catch and Release easy hitch up and launch system. A couple of seconds saw the stem post’s securing shackle and the trailer’s retrieval cable released. From that point, all it took was for Paul (from Brisbane Yamaha) to start the engine, pop it into gear, nudge forward the Hornet’s bow and the Catch and Release let go – brilliant! No more wet feet on a cold morning – I liked it!
There was plenty of sting in the Hornet’s tail too. The reviewed Trophy, supplied by Brisbane Yamaha Burpengary, was powered by an EFI 90hp Yamaha four-stroke engine – the maximum horsepower for the craft. It was as nippy as it was quiet.
Warming it up prior to speed runs made sense, as the engine was totally new. I assessed the Hornet Trophy’s potential as the Yamaha hummed gently astern. The 90hp saw the rig going places quickly and frugally. If four people were aboard, the maximum power ensured easy performance. I noticed a couple of steps on the rear platform and a ladder to port. Rails and rod holders adorned the aft gunwale area as well. Behind the skipper and mate’s pedestal bucket seating was a carpeted rear cast platform with the rig’s plumbed live well underneath, easily accessed by a wide hatch.
The Quinnie’s neat side console was set up with top shelf Yamaha LAN gauges linked to the F90 astern, switches and a Humminbird 899 sounder plotter. The small wind deflector on top of the console hinged forward to reveal a decent storage area, suitable for cold drinks or lunch.
Up front, large under floor lockers were set within the forward casting platform’s framework. A general storage area was behind it, paired with heavy duty framed compartments for deep cycle batteries. The rig’s anchor was also tucked out of the way up front, but ready for use. The reviewed rig came with a single battery to power the Minn Kota motor and it’s very handy I Pilot Link that connected with the Humminbird 899SI sounder plotter set into the console.
Seating was flexible – a seat spigot was also installed up front upon the casting platform, which featured hookless carpet to match the rest of the rig. If this sounds pretty good, you’re right – it was good. Let’s not overlook the very neat dark blue wrap adorning the Hornet’s sides. It’s a popular addition, and it’s pretty rare to see a competition style rig leave a trailer a wrap lately.
While the correct mix of fishing features is important for this style of craft, there’s much more to the Quintrex Hornet than what readily meets the eye. Sticking your head into a hatch reveals that welding in tucked away areas is just as well executed as that in clear view. This indicates the sort of high standards Quintrex demand of their alloy work. In truth, fit and finish was everything it should be and topping off the package were good looks, good performance and great ride and handling.
In many respects, it was an excellent morning to give the Hornet some sea time, as a nasty southerly chop pushed up the outgoing tide in the Bribie Passage shortly after we launched. It created just the sort of conditions that estuary or dam anglers have to contend with from time to time, despite their earnest wish for better. The solid Hornet took the chop in it’s stride with little fuss. It’s Fighter series hull features a sharp entry with plenty of flare above it, linked to a multi-straked bottom section and a 12° vee.
Experience has shown me that most boats can be driven easily enough in less than ideal conditions, at the right speed. This experience comes from time on the water – once you have it, you know what you’re doing. Sometimes that ‘right speed’ is surprisingly quick and other times there’s a need to slow down. It all depends on the hull and engine combination.
I found the 481 Hornet Trophy readily fell into the faster boat category, given it’s excellent hull design. It was really no surprise to see the rig simply skip over wind chop at 28.4kph and 3000rpm, with very little impact or fuss. The Humminbird recorded 4000rpm at 40.8kph, and a quick burst to 5000rpm moved the ground speed measurement to 51.3kph. With the 1.6L Yamaha four-stroke 90hp properly run in, there’d be no question about speeds in excess of 65kph, once the revs hit the 6000 mark. When cruising at 3500rpm or 35kph, the engine was hardly audible, taking it very easy.
The Quintrex 481 Hornet Trophy and 90hp Yamaha four-stroke package is no chore whatsoever. It’s a sportfishing craft with huge potential for anglers who want to enjoy tournaments or simply make the best of light tackle work in calmer waters. It’s designed to travel comfortably, make things easy for up to four anglers and provide immense stability at rest – the punt styling ensures this. Quintrex have been building quality alloy craft for a long time and the Hornet’s a show piece of their expertise.
Call Brisbane Yamaha of Burpengary on 3888 1727 for more information. The rig can be bought with options such as the sounder, rod lockers rear ladder and more, available at a special price of $44,990. A basic rig with sounder and suitable engine is available from $32,415 and you can decide what’s needed for your specific requirements.
|Length on trailer||6.30m|
|Construction||bottom 3mm, sides 2mm alloy|
|Engine fitted||90hp Yamaha four-stroke|