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Quintrex Sea Spirit 530

Gold Coast-based Quintrex has a history of making family-friendly fishing boats. The sort of boat that feels just as comfortable cruising the bay as it is hauling a catch of snapper on board.

To my way of thinking, no other boat in the Quintrex range blends day boating and hard core fishing better than the new 530 Sea Spirit.

At first glance, there seem to be only minor differences between the Sea Spirit and previous Quintrex cuddy cabs.

Apart from the cosmetic changes, there are, however, significant design improvements including the Blade Hull and smooth, plate look sides. 

The Sea Spirit is designed for entry-level family boating. The price of the 530 as tested is $41,650, which makes it a competitive option in the aluminium range and a good 10 grand cheaper than a similar fibreglass hull.

But the story doesn’t end there. The optional extras range is impressive, and while it can make the boat a lot more expensive, it opens up the hull to a variety of uses.

Family boaties who spend as much time skiing or towing a tube as they do fishing can look at including options like transom door, Fusion sound system, vinyl wrap with custom art work, ski pole and ski hooks or a bimini extension.

Dedicated anglers can kit out the same hull with rocket launchers, extra rod holders, a live bait tank, bait board and berley bucket along with marine radio, fishfinder and GPS.

I know optional extras are available with every new boat build, but Quintrex has made its new Sea Spirit all about the options. As such, it’s suitable for all budgets.

Layout
The standard layout is plain with a featureless dash.

The sports wheel at the helm is very neat and the practicality of the helm is excellent. The average angler could dress up the helm nicely with electronics, which there’s plenty of room for.

The fit-out is your standard cuddy cab with bow and anchor access through the hatch in the cab with open deck and fold down transom seating. There is ample storage under the gunwales and in the bow.

The finish is very neat due to quality welds and a faultless paint job. The standard hull comes with the usual cleats, storage pockets, rod holders and cabin storage as well as a “maxi bracket” which is used for the transom ladder but can also be used to mount a berley bucket or auxiliary motor bracket.

The transom also has transducer brackets both port and starboard. The fuel tank is 95 litres with no opportunity to go bigger – you won’t be doing big runs out to the shelf with this boat. Steering is mechanical with an upgrade to hydraulicunfortunately not a factory option.

The 530 Sea Spirit has an overall length of 5.61m, a beam of 2.25m and boasts 4mm bottom and transom and 2mm sides.

That 4mm hull is a good thing. All up, the Sea Spirit has a smooth plate hull appearance (although it’s not a plate boat). The weight of the standard hull is 590kgs so teamed with a 115hp donk, as was included on the test boat, the package comes to a neat dry weight of 760kgs.

This makes it simple to tow with your standard family vehicle. With two anglers, gear and a full tank, the hull will be over the 1000kg mark, which combined with the Blade Hull, makes for a great ride in a vessel that is a little over five metres long.

The hull has standard flotation and comes with a three-year warranty.

Hulluva ride
I came close to calling off the test due to the appalling weather. Mostly because of the photos rather than testing the hull.

It’s nice to see photos of the boat with beautiful blue skies blending in with deep blue water, but I also love to put a hull through its paces when the conditions are less than ideal.

Any boat has a smooth ride when conditions are like glass, but the addition of the new Blade Hull on the Sea Spirit meant a bit of chop was exactly what was needed.

The Blade Hull has replaced Quintrex’s Millennium Hull. Both are very similar with the trademark sharp stem line and flare at the bow that gives it a broad shouldered appearance as the flare from the bow stretches towards the gunwale.

I had to look through some old photos of the Millennium Hull to compare it with the Blade. The Millennium looks a touch more aggressive with the Blade appearing more streamlined and efficient.

In actual fact, the boys at Quintrex informed me that the Blade Hull has a sharper stem line and deadrise, which you’d think would make it look more aggressive.

Overall, while the Blade has a sharper entry point, it is more refined and smoothed out to give it a more subtle appearance.

On the water, there is no doubt that the changes have made the handling of the Sea Spirit much more direct than previous Quinny cuddy cabs.

It’s a case of “hold on” when putting the 530 through its paces. I am also thrilled to report that handling doesn’t come at the expense of a hull that grabs when in a corner or a following sea.

The Sea Spirit cruised along at 24 knots at 4000rpm and achieved just under 34 knots at 5500rpm. The combination of the Blade Hull and the 115 E-TEC ripped this hull out of the hole and had it on the plane instantly in the chop.

Overall, the Sea Spirit is a very neat and functional cuddy cab. I’m not sure if it’s going to appeal to the hard-core angler, but there are so many families who love their fishing and having the comfort of a cuddy cab and the functionality of the Blade Hull makes a great argument for combining family boating and fishing.

Check out www.quintrex.com.au for more details, full specs and extensive options list.

This story was first published in the Fishing World September 2013 issue.

 

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