Haines Hunter’s 680 Patriot has been on the market for a couple of years now and has graced the pages of TrailerBoat in past issues and, normally, it wouldn’t get another run of ink, but when something of the calibre of Evinrude’s 300hp E-TEC mega motor gets bolted on the back, that’s newsworthy enough to get back to the keyboard.
So, a reminder on the boat — the 680 weighs in at around 1550kg which makes it suitable for towing behind a large 4WD and is targeted at the serious offshore fisher looking for comfort from a practical work platform.
What is a contributing factor on that note are the design and the weight of the hull. Its deep, sharp entry at the forefoot cuts through chop and waves with minimal jarring and the heavy hull adds to the minimal loss of momentum (banging) when planing in rough seas.
The manufacturer is quite proud of the fact that the majority of their hulls weigh anything up to 300kg more than the oppositions’ of a similar size. While extra weight adds to comfort, so it does also to the strength of the hull.
At the sharp end, a sturdy bowsprit is armed with a stainless steel elbowed anchor retainer that prevents the rope, chain or stock jumping free. Lewmar’s external winch is mounted here and the chain feeds into a locker below. A wide walk-around path secured by sturdy bowrails allows safe access to the winch for maintenance, or for working the ground tackle if you haven’t optioned up for some assistance.
Stepping down off the walk-around is via a single nylon-topped foot tread with a recessed light for safe journey during the dark hours.
High gunwales are dressed with three stainless steel rodholders each side and below the coaming are two stowage pockets. The top pocket has a hook midway and a hole in the forward end to insert gaff handles, rod butts or tips. Upper thigh cushioning finishes off the sides which are quite high for this style of boat.
A removable lounge across the transom bulkhead hides two large hatches that access a pair of cranking batteries tucked underneath the livebait tank in the starboard side. The fuel filter and priming bulb is located here along with the deckwash and bait tank pump.
The half-height transom walkthrough has an outer step that is hinged and when opened, reveals the oil filler port for the E-TEC engine, the reservoir being inside the bulkhead and accessible from the cockpit side. The fuel filler is also located here and the freshwater shower is recessed into the side of the walkthrough.
Stepping down onto the boarding platform, the outer edge is fitted with an alloy nonslip foot tread and a stainless steel fold-down ladder is also this side. The opposite side has the livebait tank encroaching out onto the platform. Inside the tank is a large draining tray to keep dead baits from going soggy in the tank water.
A removable bait-rigging station sits mid transom atop the bulkhead and it features another four stainless steel rodholders.
Back inside the cockpit, the deck has two, long killtanks under flush-mounted hatches and the liner next to where the passenger seat is normally installed, has a couple of large stowage pockets. This area is the walkway into the cabin while the helm has a double seat sitting on a module that has a refrigerator and tackle locker in its aft end.
The helm looks quite busy with a flush-mounted Lowrance LCX-112c and all the required radios for communication and entertainment are neatly fitted here. The fibreglass hardtop overhead is mounted on a sturdy stainless steel frame, and rails on top will allow you to tie down swags to clear the cabin and deck for a day’s fishing when over-nighting. Six more rodholders are also mounted here.
While walk-around cabs are generally cramped, Haines Hunter has opened this area up by installing the surrounding sidepockets against the inner hull, under and superimposed by the cabin wall. A macerator toilet is fitted under a cushion and with an infill over the leg well, a couple could sleep here comfortably.
So, let’s talk horses.
The brute from Evinrude is a V6 fuel injected two-stroke engine and with a hull rated to a maximum of 320hp, you can imagine what it performs like with the 300.
Holeshot and acceleration is blinding to say the least and there is torque to burn if you are in the biggest of seas trying for a desperate bar crossing!
At full throttle of 5600 rpm the Patriot will crack just over the 85kmh mark using 98lt/h of fuel. It will comfortably cruise at 48kmh with a more respectable fuel consumption of 40lt/h which equates to six-and-a-quarter hours of running to cover a range of around 300km. Boiled down, that is around 1.2km to the litre (these figures were supplied by the dealer).
Noise emissions seem on a par with the 250 E-TEC engine and with a 2-star VELS rating it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this engine where the majority of players in this league are four-stroke and 3-star VELS rating.
WHAT WE LIKED
Dual helm-seat module very practical
NOT SO MUCH
Fuel filter in battery compartment
Specifications: Haines Hunter 680 Patriot
Price as tested: $123,506
Options fitted: Hardtop, trailer, dual helm seat module, refrigerator, tackle rack, radios, tow tone hull, thigh pads on coamings, fish boxes, bait pump/deckwash kit, freshwater tank, and toilet
Priced from: $106,000
Length overall: 7.0m
Length on trailer 8.5m
People day: 8 inshore; 6 offshore
People night: 2 berthed
Max. rec. HP: 320
Min. rec. HP: 200
Max. engine weight: 320kg
Make/model: Evinrude E-TEC 300
Type: Direct fuel injected two-stroke V6
Rated HP: 300 at 5000 to 6000rpm
Gearbox ratio: 1.85:1
Propeller: 21in Viper
VELS rating: 2-star
90 Kortum Drive,
Burleigh Heads, Qld, 4220
Phone: (07) 5586 0356; 0405 030 198
Originally published in TrailerBoat #233