Boat Review Date: November 2017
Author: Mike Brown
The 490 Renegade is practically definitive Quintrex. Its length, 16 feet in old money, is the same as the Quintrex a lot of people aspired to in the sixties and seventies. Its hull, though with a lot more shape than the original, is unquestionably from the same family.
The review 490 has a layout that was rarely seen on any in the old days: side console. In this size of boat it now looks like exceeding the popularity of centre consoles, and for good reasons. With a beam of 2.25 metres, a centre console would mean slightly squeezy passage fore and aft. With the console to the side, movement is easy and the boat effectively gains rail access.
A theoretical objection to the side console concept is the off centre load it applies. But the console itself could be picked up in one hand, and the load applied by a solo operator is not a lot different to the off centre load of a tiller steering dinghy driver. In either case, as soon as the boat is moving hull dynamics take over anyway.
The actual stability of the 490 is very good, which you want in a boat that practically calls on its occupants to move around at will.
The 490’s console is a very lightweight construction but with all the essentials: a small windscreen to keep spray off the electrics, a grab rail, a small glove box – or more accurately a keys and phone box – space for electronics, and the obvious items of steering gear and motor controls and monitors.
Two swivels comprise the official seating, in your choice of placement among three sockets. Some might be tempted to buy a third swivel for the spare socket but most probably would not. Unofficial seating abounds on the casting platform which would be improved by a few cushions. The 490 has good roominess for an under five metre boat; it seems a pity to crowd it.
The platform, carpeted like everything underfoot, has four hatch lids giving easy storage access to a considerable space. So although the console makes only a minimal contribution, with the addition of the side pockets there is room to stow everything you could reasonably bring aboard.
Telwater, builder of Quintrexes and several other brands, has taken over Australian distribution of Evinrude motors. With the opportunity to earn on motor as well as boat sales, there could be some keen pricing ahead. Our boat was Evinrude powered by a 75hp E-TEC. It displayed typical E-TEC behaviour: blistering acceleration for its power output.
This boat was fitted with the full height splash well, suiting its likely open ocean local use. The well’s top edge was fitted with a socket that could take a bait tray or, on sheltered waters occasions, a ski pole. That lusty E-TEC launching power would come into its own there.
The bait board is one of several items the 490 is fitted-for rather than fitted with; a sounder for instance. The space is there for it on the dash and a pair of transducer mounts on the transom. There are four rod holders, though, and a live bait tank is a standard fitting.
Our 490 was equipped with a canopy, a very big one – which is the right size, giving everyone a share of the shade. Furling takes about a minute, and lowering the frame to give clear air space for rods just seconds.
The 490 was painted inside and out to a high standard of finish, including the rubbing strips. This is a Quintrex blind spot, or simply an economy measure saving the masking up time. Agents, Chivers Marine, offer a service to owners who do not want disfiguring chips taken out when parking against unfriendly jetties. They will sand the vertical component of the strip, giving a naked surface to take the rub. This treatment is also decorative: between two raised raw strips a thin band of paint remains.
The qualities that constitute an all round boat vary with size. Within its limits the 490 certainly qualifies. As a final reason for choice, Quintrexes have traditionally had high resale prices.
Price as reviewed AUD $37,582
Hull weight 425kg
Fuel capacity 77L
Motor fitted 75hp Evinrude E-TEC