WARREN STEPTOE has fun with Quintrex’s new all-rounder.
Quintrex aren’t coy about their intention to win over potential buyers of fibreglass boats. The 580 Freedom Cruiser, sporting Quintrex’s trademark aluminium hull, is certain to do just that. It’s a production boat that goes closer than ever before to the standards of finish found in quality GRP boats and gives nothing away in performance.
Little welding is evident without sticking your head underneath the hull; the whole package runs quietly and smoothly. The 580 Freedom Cruiser’s demeanour is almost dignified, it’s so fuss free. The only thing pulling it up short is that it’s too bloody fast to carry any kind of toffee-nosed body language.
The 580 Freedom Cruiser, with the optional 220 hp fuel-injected engine (a 190 hp carbed V6 is standard) has ample amounts of sheer grunt and plenty of top speed for social skiing. The top speed of 43.3 knots or close to 50 mph, also makes it perfect for tubing.
The 580 Freedom Cruiser has comfortable seating for three couples and a few kids. Atop a lengthy list of features is a sun bathing lounge, aft swim deck with water access ladder, an under-deck ski locker, as well as a great sound system and 12 volt refrigerator on the options list. This boat has enough looks and sophistication for anyone to proudly park it in their driveway. I bet no one will notice (even if they care) it’s an aluminium boat.
Despite the 580 combining the best of both worlds, aluminium and fibreglass, you might be wondering why this boat appears in a specialist fishing magazine. The 580 Freedom Cruiser is suited to fishing because a removable bow casting deck, similar to the one so popular in Quintrex’s top selling Freedom Sport range, is optional in the Freedom Cruiser range.
Simply remove the bow lounge seat cushions, drop in the decking and you have a more than usable casting deck, in a boat with all of the preceding attributes!
Lots of people who fish also like towing the kids on tubes, cruising about with friends and simply enjoy boating (whether or not it involves fishing at the time). This could be just the boat for people like that!
On the water
Quintrex’s famed variable dead-rise Millennium hulls have been around long enough to need no elaboration, they are the standard setters in choppy water rides among aluminium boats. I’ve been in a lot of Millennium hulls since their introduction and this boat sets a new standard again for a lack of water-against-hull noise.
Efficient sound insulation around the low-set inboard motor makes this boat a notably quiet one, regardless of what the hull is made of.
Any rev head will tell you there simply ‘ain’t no substitute for cubes,’ as the old saying goes. The way this boat performs is proof of that. An equivalent outboard may match it against the clock, but with around a litre less displacement, it will need another thousand odd revs to do so.
The 4.3 lt V6 Mercruiser in the 580 Freedom Cruiser sounds almost lazy by comparison. It delivers sublime performance with its hands in its pockets. I’ve been in a few sterndrive powered aluminium boats of late and none of them hold a candle to this hull/power pairing for quietness, smoothness and lack of vibration and resonance.
You have to experience a ride in this boat yourself to believe how civilized it is. I bet you’ll be every bit as impressed as I was!