Top All-Rounder


Quintext 530 Top Ender


My first experience of Quintrex’s Top Ender came, appropriately, when fishing at the NT’s Jessie River Camp on Melville Island in the late 1990s. Longtime fishing mate Phil Petridis and I were fishing with gun guide Mark “Westy” West, who’d recently bought the only TE model available, a 460 side console (from memory). At the time it was a groundbreaking boat for Quintrex. We spent the best part of a week fishing on board the Westy rig, on Melville’s fish-rich rivers the Jessie, Johnson and the iconic Goose Creek. On the latter we had a ball catching sarotoga fly fishing. To get to Goose involved a big run from the Jessie River across open water to the mouth of the creek to the island’s east. After a great day we headed back to camp through relentless windchop that made sitting up at the bow uncomfortable. The little boat though took it all in its stride. 

Phil and I came away impressed with the little Top Ender. For the fishing we’d experienced – barra, jacks and threadies in drains, creeks and shallow flats to queenies and GTs offshore – it was most capable. No coincidence perhaps that Phil, until recently,  owned a 510 Top Ender upon which he regularly fished offshore for his beloved NSW South coast snapper. 

Quintrex now has 11 different models in its Top Ender line-up ranging from the 430 through to the 610 Tournament. Typically, being open style boats, Top Enders have been most popular in northern states such as Queensland and the source of its inspiration – the Territory. On a recent visit to Queensland, Quintrex’s marketing manager, Jacqui White, showed Boat Fishing a tricked up version of the 530 TE. That boat, featured here, came courtesy of Gold Coast Quintrex dealer Broadwater Boating and was fitted with all the features needed to chase fish, straight from the showroom. With an extremely quiet Yamaha 100hp four-stroke on its M3 transom and a Minn-Kota bow-mount electric the package has both stealth fishing and economical long range running covered. The 530 Top Ender, as Broadwater Boating sells it, comes complete with other extras such as a Lowrance HDS7 broadband sounder, dual batteries, EPIRB, and more, depending on customer requirements.

The advantage the Top Ender has over other side console models such as the same builder’s popular Hornet lies with its healthy freeboard; a feature that makes it more than an occasional offshore capable boat. The combination of high sides and its Millennium hull with pronounced flared bow and extended chines deliver a good riding, stable boat that gives the indication you won’t get pitched overboard as a flybridge cruiser motors by. Taking it for a spin around the Gold Coast’s broadwater the 530 was nimble to throw around thanks to its SeaStar hydraulic steering, and handled any chop we could find without fuss – or importantly without getting us wet. Notably, for those with offshore ambitions the deck features scuppers with non-return valves. 

The seating is pedestal style with four deck mount positions available. The seats didn’t slide adjust, but that’s an option. The helm position offers good vision and typically minimal weather protection, but that’s not the point in this sort of boat – it’s all about maximum fishing room. The 530 is rated to six persons but a max of three casting lures at any one time would be a more realistic, comfortable scenario. For those who prefer a centre console configuration, that’s also an option.

There are many fishing friendly features on board including: plumbed live bait tank in the transom, live well up on the bow casting platform, transom bait board; four standard (plastic) gunwale mount rod holders and plenty of storage space.  And like Westy’s old Top Ender, the 530 has attributes that should endear it to fishos for years to come.

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