Quintrex 180 Coast Runner

Length Overall17'10"
Fuel Cap29 gal
Max Power 115 hp (single outboard)

The Quintrex (above) has a unique optional cutting board that mounts over a ski pole.
The starboard-side helm station (above) has a comfortable swivel seat and plenty of leg room. (below) Mike Hoyer demonstrates the walk-in bow hatch that makes working the anchor and lines a breeze.
It's taken 50 years for aluminum boats built with a revolutionary stretch forming process to get from Queensland, Australia, to the US. Quintrex boats, built with the process invented by Terry Quantrill, feature flared bow designs that deflect sea spray down and away from the boat, greater strength, hard chines for stability, a flared bottom for a sharp entry, a variable deadrise V-hull for smooth planing and quick response, and longitudinal ribs in the bottom for sure tracking.

All this with the lightweight strength and low-maintenance advantages of "aluminium." Each hull is reinforced with comprehensive cross-bracing systems for structural rigidity and welded with MIG (Mechanical Inert Gas) and TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas). The marine-grade aluminum used for the bottom is a hefty 4.0 mm thick, while the sides and decks are 2.0 mm. Still, the total weight of the largest boat is a mere 1,367 pounds.

Another unique feature is the heavy-duty transom designed to accommodate heavier four-stroke engines. The small boarding platform is actually an extension of the hull, adding to the waterline length, allowing for faster planing at lower speeds. Available options include a boarding ladder, auxiliary outboard mounting bracket, and a chumming bucket mounted handily at the waterline where it will make the least mess.

All Quintrex hulls are built with safety features like bilge pumps, all-weather carpeting to avoid slipping, and foam floatation under the carpet and in the thwart seats. Fuel tanks are built in under the floor to help keep the center of gravity low, and side caps make refueling easy. Other features include emergency overflows, navigation lights and battery isolator switches.

The Quintrex line of trailerable bass boats, sport boats, bow riders and center consoles from 16 to 19 feet long is now available from a number of dealers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. I had a chance to go out for a ride on the 180 Coast Runner on a recent sultry July day with Mike Hoyer, one of the sales reps at Rudy Marine, the dealer based in Wilmington, Delaware.

The boat was waiting for us at a nearby marina on the Christiana River. As we two large, bearded boaters stepped on board, it was immediately evident that this boat is remarkably stable for an 18-footer. The dual console design has a curved walk-through windshield with the center panel that provides access to the short foredeck, where there's a fairly deep anchor locker, anchor pulpit and welded one-inch bow rail. The bow has a hatch just forward of the center windshield pane so you can step out into the bow without having to crawl out onto the bow, providing a safe and easy way to handle the bow lines and anchor. The windshield also has a sturdy handrail attached to the top rim of the frame, so there's no need to grab onto the windshield itself.

We set the 90 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard to purring and we set off down the river, under the I-95 bridge and out past the freighters tied up to the port bulkhead where the Christiana meets the Delaware just north of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. We opened up in the two-foot chop raised by the tide going out against the wind, and aggravated by the passing boats. Despite the topography, the boat eased up onto plane in an easy three count and with the throttle wide-open, we were quickly doing abut 36 MPH at 6000 rpm.

We found a comfortable cruising speed of about 24-25 mph at 2400 rpm. Despite the chop, the ride was steady and dry, with good tracking, even in the tight curves and through the wake of the other boats. We ran down under the big bridge, chatting easily over the low hum of the outboard about boats big and small and canoeing with kids and the classic cruisers that happened to pass by.

The Bimini provided plenty of protection from the sun and the seats were small but comfortable, with the deck stepped down to accommodate long legs. The cockpit is roomy, with that inviting bench seat across the transom. This boat had a unique optional cutting board that mounted over a ski pole. Standard features include a livewell in the transom, two rod holders, a 12-volt plug in the dash, and your basic safety package.

The Coast Runner would make a great all-around family boat, ideal for fishing, skiing or just zipping about. The light weight makes it eminently trailerable and the low price makes it equally affordable. For about the same amount of money, you can get the 180 Freedom Sport, a bow rider version of the same hull, with the dual consoles more amidship.