The 560 Top Ender’s interior features fishing space aplenty!
Quintrex’s Top Ender circa 2007 remains one of the better general purpose estuary/big river lure casting platforms available, with a hull good enough for inshore/offshore and big bay fishing, too.
Our test boat remains true to Alex Julius’ original ‘Top Ender’ concept of a flat deck with a raised section in the bows, and pedestal seats. But it also has a side console and what Quintrex calls an ‘M3’ transom, a 2007 tweak to their extended transom. It adds about 200mm to the interior.
Then there’s Quintrex’s industry leading ‘Level Flotation’. Yes, swamp your 560 Top Ender somehow and it will float upright with the rated six adults inside. Readers who fish remote areas as well as those who go boating with precious families and friends, please ask yourselves what this kind of peace of mind is worth.
Family boating is well to the fore here. Our test boat had a mount for a ski pole in the centre of a shelf incorporated into the new transom. This can stow the battery (or batteries) up, off the deck, as well as (or instead of) the two-stroke oil reservoir, if so powered.
A moulded livewell occupies the portside of the M3 transom’s covering board and, in a further anticipation of family usage, the ‘deck’ each side of the outboard leg has a non-slip surface. A boarding ladder fitted portside is standard.
There are several other refinements for 2007. The side console is supported by a single tube on its inboard side, making the space beneath it available to stow a big tackle box or icebox.
I note with complete approval that Quintrex now fits their hatches with flush set piano hinges, the better for bare footed people who will never again stub toes! The deck itself is what Quintrex call a ‘wash deck’, meaning there’s a built-in drain port so cleaning up after the messy business of fishing doesn’t involve depositing everything washed away into the bilge.
Thanks to its flotation material being mounted high in the hull, available space below-decks is filled with rotomoulded liners. Stowage, always an issue in a small boat, is taken care of in this 560 Top Ender with no less than four compartments below the bow casting deck and another two under the main deck.
It’d be wonderful if Quintrex could fit some of these with overboard drains (like the wash deck) so fish slime, blood, mud, sand or whatever can be flushed overboard while cleaning up after a day on the water.
Which leads to some critical observations, made because this boat tester’s expectations for perhaps the most innovative boat builder in Australian fishing history are so high. Here we go.
Facts are that in 2007, the average keen fisho takes two or three rods (per person) fishing. And it’s become the norm that these outfits cost several hundred if not thousands of dollars each. With this in mind, an ostensible rod rack incorporated into the 560 Top Ender’s moulded side panel is less than a token effort. It’s hard to believe that a boat builder of Quintrex’s standing can present a boat replete with so much innovative thinking, yet still bereft of somewhere to safely stow my precious rods and reels.
If you can make your own arrangements to stow those few thousand bucks’ worth, the 560 Top Ender is otherwise a brilliant piece of work. It’s laid out so most of the fishing happens from the bow end, which is fine, and is set up to be a more than comfortable family boat too, which is even better.
Its performance leaves nothing to be desired. Our test took place on Queensland’s Jumpinpin where it was used as a camera platform for a larger offshore fisher and it handled fairly choppy conditions with expected aplomb. The 90hp Mercury two-stroke added ample get-up-and-go and a top speed approaching 35 knots to be a worthy cost cutting exercise if the budget won’t stretch to a four-stroke.