by Warren Steptoe

Fishing Perfection

Quintrex’s 420 Hornet Trophy

Quintrex’s 420 Hornet is an all new model from the world leading Gold Coast based aluminium boat builder. Aimed at barra, bass and bream fishers across Australia, this neat little tiller steer 4.25 metre boat is absolutely perfect for fishing estuaries, enclosed bays; and of course freshwater, particularly the impoundments where some of the best sweetwater action is these days.

Quintrex 420 Hornet 8

Thanks to Quintrex’s unique stretch forming processes, even smaller Hornet hulls like this one hull feature a finer forefoot which softens an aluminium hull’s expected harsh ride across choppy water substantially. In a 4.2 metre hull designed for enclosed water there are limits to this of course, but however you look at it, this boat’s rough water capabilities are far far superior to your average tinny…

Quintrex 420 Hornet 7

Hornet hulls also handle tight turns and, shall we call it enthusiastic driving, with real style to a point where people I know have bought them as a fun runabout rather than the serious fishing boats they set out to be. As I said, despite a simple (though completely effective in fishing terms) interior and a basic tiller steer configuration. This boat is clearly NOT your average tinny!

Quintrex 420 Hornet 6

As imported bass boats costing four times as much and more ably demonstrate, dedicated fishing boats CAN be fun, so why not an Aussie built aluminium packaged to appeal to fishos on a limited budget? Why not indeed?

Quintrex 420 Hornet 12

Limited budget? The test boat was a package put together by Springwood Marine on Brisbane’s southside for under $20K. This included a pretty cool mangrove jack motif each side you could do without to drop the cost of boat, the 40hp carburettor two stroke Vortex outboard and a quality Quintrex trailer to just over 17 ½K.

Alternately, a more expansive budget could go to the options list for a 65 litre underfloor fuel tank, a side console, an electric motor mount on the bows, a rod locker and a bimini shade top. I suppose some or all these options would make the 420 Hornet a better boat in some respects, but as this one came, for 20 odd grand, it’s simply one awesome enclosed water fishing boat.

Quintrex 420 Hornet 5

I keep talking about enclosed water and that’s because the hull’s design parameters basically exclude offshore travel. Quintrex have plenty of other models for people who want all the plusses of an aluminium hull without the minuses usually associated with them there.

Quintrex 420 Hornet 4

In fact one thing I very much like about Quintrex’s basic tiller steer ostensible “barra bass and bream boats” is that their cutaway transom layout provides a much more spacious aft casting deck than models with a full height engine well. Look at the 420 interior and you’ll see what I mean, there’s an amaaaazing amount of space on both bow and stern casting decks and the lower deck in between is hardly cramped either. With a pair of comfortable bucket seats included in this boat’s packaging, it leaves absolutely nothing to be desired for its intended useage…

Quintrex 420 Hornet 3

Getting into more detail about this particular package, it includes a (plumbed) live bait tank set portside beneath the aft deck and a large fish/stowage compartment under the bow one. The (starting) battery is carried in another rotomoulded underfloor compartment sited centrally beneath the aft deck and a tote tank stowed out of the way under the stern deck behind the helm seat.

Right in the bows, paired compartments serve as anchor lockers, one of which is carpet lined to keep the ground tackle quiet. The central deck is completely flat with recessed sockets for a pair of pedestal seats. This part of the boat benefits considerably from this new 420 hull’s sides being 300mm higher than the previous “400” Hornet it replaces. If fishing from the central deck they’re high enough in fact to provide worthwhile leg support.

Quintrex 420 Hornet 2

Included in the test boat package is a Vortex 40hp outboard which (I must admit) was a timely reminder how far modern EFI 4 strokes have progressed. Still, at the price, it also reminds us old tech 2 strokes still offer ample power for not much money and remain a viable power option well worth considering – and never more so than for people on finite budgets.

Quintrex 420 Hornet 1

Out of the hole the Vortex was quite nippy, lifting the hull into a planing attitude around 12 km/hr and running out to an impressive top speed of precisely 50 km/hr. As I said, a timely reminder the “zap” of carburettor two strokes hasn’t gone anywhere and they remain a viable option for some people, particularly those on limited budgets.


Nevertheless this hull is rated up to a max of 50 hp which brings several especially nice 50 hp EFI 4 strokes into consideration. I run a 50 hp Suzuki myself, and it, or a Honda or Yamaha, would make for a beautifully smooth and quiet boat/motor combination. That’s IF the budget allows. If it doesn’t, I can’t help but say yet again that this 420 Hornet package; is about perfect for enclosed water fishing of any kind.


BOAT – Quintrex 420 Hornet

BUILDER – Telwater, Coomera Qld

MATERIAL – 3mm aluminium sheet, transom, sides and bottom

LENGTH – 4.25m


BEAM – 1.9m


FUEL CAPACITY- 65 litre underfloor tank optional, otherwise outboard motor tote tank




PERFORMANCE Quintrex 420 Hornet/ Vortex 40

LOCATION- Gold Coast Qld

LOAD – 2 adults. Safety gear


PROPELLER IN USE – Vortex aluminium 13 inch pitch


NB – No tachometer.

Minimum Planing Speed – 12 Km/hr

WOT – 50 Km/hr