Boat Review Date: July 2018
Author: Mike Brown
In the smaller sizes side consoles are becoming more numerous than centre consoles, and for good reasons. Beam is the main one: a narrow beam means squeezing room past the console rather than fishing room. The side console sacrifices one side to give a roomy passage on the other. Quintrex, who seem to have an infinite number of models in every category, make side consoles between 4.2 and five metres.
The Quintrex under review, the 440 Renegade, illustrates the space saving quality well. With a beam of 2.11 metres, a substantial length of boat would effectively have been lost to a centre console. With a minimal console located to starboard it has been converted into a roomy fishing boat. Confirming the spaciousness, four sockets are let into the deck to allow a choice of sitting positions. Two pedestal seats are provided with the boat, which is reasonable as two is the commonest fishing number.
There are though more than four positions available, with platform-thwarts right aft and forward adding to the options. The official maximum load is five people although a comfortable number would be up to three or four
The console is about as simple as it could be: a skeleton in sheet aluminium, with a small windscreen above, carrying the wheel and throttle, and containing nothing but a speedo and rev counter and a small glove box. There is, though, room on its top surface to locate a GPS-sounder combo.
The rear platform, covered with the same carpeting as the deck, houses the battery, a live bait tank and a tackle box. It also has room left over for odds and ends that will not fit in the side pockets. The forward platform has room under it for a few more of them. This is not a boat for carrying a lot of gear, but boats that can hold lots of it tend to do just that, meaning they permanently cart unnecessary stuff around.
In the past it was a rare Quintrex that escaped the production line without paint, but more and more of the smaller models are turning up naked, and that suits many buyers. The unpainted 440 has a lower price because of the lack of paint and its life can be more carefree.
The word Bimini generally implies a modest area – perhaps because of spelling close to bikini. The 440’s on the other hand is exuberantly large, and that is just how you want it in an open boat likely to spend hours at a time afloat in the sun. Uncomplicated in structure it takes just minutes to furl for towing, yet it is robust enough to cope with speed afloat on a breezy day.
Maximum recommended horsepower is 60, and that is what our boat was supplied with in the form of a four-stroke Mercury. The 440 could certainly get by with less, but there is much to be said for generous power in a lightweight boat (hull only, 370kg) whose mass will multiply with a few more people on board. Two up, performance was sparkling.
Another lightweight in the rig is the trailer. In aluminium, its durability is also an asset, but its contribution to weight reduction means anything much bigger than a Goggomobile can tow the Quintrex.
For what is a price conscious boat, the 440 is well kitted out. That starts with the structure, which uses 3mm sheet throughout – a far cry from the “Alfoil” boats of the primitive aluminium period. Hardware includes low rails fore and aft adjacent to the thwarts, a trolling motor bracket, four rod holders, a boarding step and grabrail, and decent anchoring arrangements. There is a proper bowsprit, a roomy anchor well and a split, chain gripping cleat.
Aimed at rivers, inlets and the lee of reefs the 440 Renegade fits the bill.
Price as reviewed AUD $26,990
Hull length 4.46m
Fuel capacity 50 litres
Motor fitted 60hp Mercury