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Boat Sales Test Haines Hunter 675 Offshore Enclosed

20 April 2015

One man’s take on the ultimate trailerable fishing boat, a new dee-vee Haines Hunter with a hardtop.

Haines Hunter’s 675 Enclosed is one of the biggest boats in the company’s range. Of course, it’s offshore capable, smooth and dry. But the rendition we took one out for a spin is a very special semi-custom owner's rig geared for long-range fishing...

OVERVIEW

- Proven design from a proven Aussie company

Haines Hunter started in 1959 and has grown to now offer a range of around two dozen boats covering a diverse spread of designs from fishing boats to family cruising boats to sports boats. We have tested many of them over the years and you can read the reviews here.

The Haines Hunter name has, over the 50-plus years, grown to become one of the most respected names in Australian boat manufacturing.

The company offers what it calls the ‘Full Circle Experience,’offering not just the boat but options and accessories, servicing, a wide dealer network, insurance and, of course, warranty backup.

Some of the latest boats in the company’s range include the Enclosed series which give all-weather protection, a comfortable cruise for long distances, excellent efficiency and big volume. We were invited on board one of the most recent additions, the 675 Enclosed, which is owned by a mad-keen fisherman who has specified the boat to an extremely high standard of bay and offshore fishing.

Trevor previously owned a Haines Hunter 650 Classic but said he: "Got sick of all the clears with their studs and zippers." So he got rid of that and opted for the fully-loaded weapon we see here.

Trevor told us he "fishes anywhere from Bermagui to Portland chasing tuna, snapper and marlin," so we reckoned he should have some idea about what makes a good fishing boat.

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT

- Well-equipped ex-factory and can be specified to suit your needs

The 675 Offshore Enclosed is a lot of boat. It comes from the factory in a virtually fish-ready state for around $119,000 with a 200hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard and a trailer.

Obviously, our test boat had a lot of extras including a full suite of electronics that would make a lot of owners of much larger offshore fishing boats envious. Just how much the owner was able to able to mount on the fascias around the helm is impressive in itself. There was room for radios, screens and ancillary equipment without making the spread looked cramped or confused.

As well as the electronics including Furuno radar/sounder/plotter, the test boat was fitted with an anchor winch (solid winch mounts standard), extra rod holders, extra live-bait tank, cabin doors, extra cockpit lighting, delete option on the carpet with rubber floor covering to come, and more. All-up, the test boat came to around $145,000 fully loaded.

LAYOUT AND ACCOMMODATION

- Big cockpit and stacks of storage

Haines Hunter says that the new model adds greater protection, more headroom, and more storage than the Classic model that it’s based on.

The new cockpit is bigger and offers more freeboard and can fish six big anglers. There’s a side door in the cockpit that adds to its offshore fishing and diving appeal.

The cockpit is certainly neat and well laid out. There’s a live-bait tank to starboard, dedicated battery storage and twin opening hatches in the transom that house the filters and give access to bilge pump.

Our test boat was fitted with extra rod holds, a substantial bait board and extra lighting for those early starts or late night fishing adventures.

The helm is a really comfortable place to be with a lovely seat facing a dash with plenty of room for flush-mounted electronics and excellent vision all round, aided by a big set of wipers on the front screen.

The windows of the hard top slide open for a bit of fresh air and there’s a hatch in the top that also aids ventilation. The hardtop is double-skinned and according to Trevor is well insulated and doesn’t get hot out on the ocean in summer.

On the front of the hardtop, above the screen, there’s plenty of room to mount your radios and Trevor says he has had water all over the hardtop on a bad day out in Bass Strait and everything has stayed warm and dry inside.

In between the helm seats is a substantial kill tank and there are handy tackle boxes and storage under the seats.

Trevor has opted for a lock-up cabin which is a pretty good idea if you’re going to leave your boat unattended with all your good fishing gear on board.

The cabin itself is a nice cosy place to be if you’re trying to get out of the weather. It’s lined and offers plenty of storage. The upholstered lounges are comfortable with padded backrests and with an infill can make a comfortable berth.

Up front there is a good-sized forward hatch that gives access to the bow where we found a fully-enclosed anchor well with optional winch as well as a sturdy bowsprit with roller where the anchor can safely reside.

HULL AND ENGINEERING

-Proven manufacturing and attention to detail

One thing we did notice about the 675 Hardtop was the finish. The boat is finished beautifully and, wherever we looked, we found that attention had been paid to keeping everything neat and smooth. No nasty edges to nick your hands on when you’re looking for that torch, and no ugly bare fibreglass.

Haines Hunter uses its Structural Safety Matrix system in the construction of its boats which probably doesn’t mean much to the average boater but Haines Hunter says the system reinforces structural integrity incorporating a fully foam-filled hull and a fully-glassed matrix system.

The company also says it uses the finest of materials including a high-quality gelcoat which it applies in a thicker coat which allows owners to buff out scratches and maintain the boat’s gloss for longer.

The hull design is Haines Hunter’s Performance Deadrise Hull which has a deadrise of 21 degrees and the company says it has done rigorous testing of the hull both inshore and offshore – and we have no reason to doubt that!

The 675 has a rated maximum horsepower of 230 and our rig was powered by a lovely Yamaha F225 V6 four-stroke spinning a 17 x 14 ¼ inch prop which proved to be a good match. Also included was hydraulic steering and set of Lenco trim tabs which are optional ex-factory.

ON THE WATER

- Smooth and powerful with the security of the Enclosed hardtop

Setting off in the Haines Hunter 675 Enclosed one get the feeling of being cossetted in a warm and friendly environment, safe from the elements and the ravages of the sea.

The ride is smooth and the quiet nature of the Yamaha four-stroke means that you can have a conversation at speed while blasting through the chop to your favourite fishing ground.

The 675 isn’t a small boat with a claimed boat-only weight of 1300kg. Add to that 280 litres of fuel, a few burly anglers and their gear and you’ve got over two tonnes to push through the water. But the 675 gets up and boogies pretty well. It has a top speed of around 45 knots and while we were out we got a nice cruise at 3500rpm showing 17 knots (32km/h) using 25 litres per hour, while at 4000rpm we were doing 22 knots (40 km/h) and using 36 litres per hour.

Trevor says he’s rapt in the range of the boat: "The performance is great and so is the range," he said. "I can go out all in the ocean fishing for tuna and have plenty in reserve when I get home."

The 675 Enclosed is the kind of boat we’d call a point-and-shoot boat. Aim it out the heads or across the bay and let her rip. But having said that, it is manoeuvrable and easy to drive at low speeds too. The steering is light and the throttle is responsive with plenty of torque throughout the range.

VERDICT

- A classy, well manufactured fishing rig that will stand the test of time

The Haines Hunter 675 Enclosed is a well-built boat, there is no doubt about that. It feels solid on the water and inspires confidence. It’s the kind of boat that you could probably hand down to your kids because it’ll still be going strong many years down the track.

Take a look around this site and you’ll see that the Haines Hunter boats hold their value too.

It’s easy to see that the people who design these boats know what they’re doing as the attention to detail and the standard features are great.

They may not be the cheapest boats on the market, but if you’re looking for a big trailerable fibreglass boat that’ll double as a serious fishing boat and a family day cruiser this this boat should be on the shopping list.