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Carver 455 boat

Quintrex Hornet 455 Trophy (December 1997)

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I sat in Mr Brown’s chemistry classes with a fishing magazine between the thick pages of a text book trying to make out that I was deeply involved in the make up of the different chemical elements

While I don’t remember too much about all those formulas I certainly remember the tales of keen offshore fishermen ventured out in the legendary Quintrex flared bow boats. The 4.5-5m versions in centre console and runabout formats were definitely the boats to have.

The Australian boating fraternity these days has a huge variety of makes and models to chose from. In the aluminium field, however, Quintrex, still dominates the marketplace.

And though the boats have seen a host of refinements and changes, that famous Quintrex flared bow is still available in many different models.

In recent years we have seen the barra-style or V-nosed punt become very popular around the country. Combining the success of the barra style punt with its flared bow, Quintrex developed the Hornet — first up in a 3.9m version. The success of this boat speaks for itself with the larger 4.2 metre version following a year later.

The 4.2 metre Hornet certainly proved every bit as popular as the smaller version and took out boat of the year in its category in 1996. With the duo of Hornets being so popular a bigger version was inevitable. Enter the Quintrex Hornet 455 Trophy.


Sundown Marine in Brisbane’s north had a 455 Trophy decked out as a demo boat, ready to go fishing. Wth the boat on loan for a few days I did some crabbing and chasing flathead on lures.

This is typical of the use boats like the Hornet get in my neck of the woods and is a good all-round shakedown for use in other parts of Australia.

One of the most outstanding features of the 455 Trophy is its stability from bow to stern. This is evident virtually the moment you step aboard but is especially noticeable when walking about in the boat and casting lures over the banks.

My partner and I felt stable even standing at one side on the deep-V of the bow.

The bow has two raised platforms: the lower one is the larger of the two; and the other one slightly lower than the bow.

The raised casting platform at the bow is simply superb for flicking lures around without any intruding objects to foul you up.

Nonetheless, both platforms are suitable to cast from and have storage lockers below them for anchors, ropes and safety gear.

At the front of the lower deck there is a large recess where we stored the mandatory paddles.

Although I was comfortable standing and casting, two swivel seats can be inserted in the floor in this area so fishermen can sit and cast.

The Hornet Trophy’s console is to starboard, about half way along the length of the boat. A swivel pedestal seat behind the helm provides a comfortable enough perch. As noted above, it can be moved to a number of locations around the deck.

The console is roomy enough inside to keep a number of items dry. On the test boat the instruments and marine radio were mounted into the console with the Humminbird sounder above, behind the small windscreen.

Although small, a pocket that runs along the driver’s side of the vessel is a handy, dry place for storing items such as sunscreen, keys, wallets, knives and small tackleboxes.

Usable space is what the Hornet series is all about. On the 455, the deck was big enough for us to lie our sand crab dillies between the console and the lower casting platform. The port side remained clear for access to the bow without stepping on the dillies, and it was thus easy to pick up and drop off the dillies.

The Hornet’s transom area has a small motor well, with hatches on each side of it. The hatches are covered with marine carpet and provide another area to stand and cast lures.

One side hatch can accommodate a battery and oil bottle, depending on the type of the motor fitted. Beside this side hatch is a small, plumbed livebait tank.

Carver 455 boat

The other side of the motor well there is enough room for a 23lt fuel tank.

With the underfloor tank holding 60lt, this set up provides more than adequate range. Of course, extra tankage could be added for real long distance work.

The test boat was also fitted with a low-profile fold-down bimini top, which provided good shade cover.

While headroom underneath is limited, the dimensions mean it does not interfere unduly with casting up front.

The deceptive part about the 455 Hornet is the actual size and weight of the boat. Because it is a barra-style punt you tend to forget that it is actually quite a substantial vessel.

Fitted with a 55hp Yamaha CV, I expected our test Trophy to have a bit more sting. While the new non-oil-injected motor was still running double oil, the 455 needed a fair dose of throttle to get the boat up and running. Of course, once we were up on the plane the throttle could be dropped back to yeild a comfortable cruising speed of around 30kmh.

The two-cylinder CV is not one of the gutsiest of Yamaha’s engines, but even with this in mind, I would a 55hp minimum recommend for the 455 Trophy. The ideal engine set up is probably around 60hp.

Nonetheless, Quintrex’s flared bow and barra punt combination is a winner for lurecasting, general work around the estuaries and impoundments.

The advantage of the deep-V bow and flare becomes evident in a bit of chop. The flare takes the thump out the waves and diverts the water down away from the boat. This means the 455 Trophy offers a drier ride than most other punts.

Keen lurecasters will find the electric outboard mounted on the bow ideal for working close and quietly to the snags for that trick cast.

Of course, no boat would be complete without a suitable trailer and the Redco Sportsman with galvanised axle and springs as well as a spare tyre makes the outfit complete and ready to roll straight out of the yard.

QUINTREX HORNET 455 TROPHY

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