HUNTING WITH EVINRUDE
When you're in the marine industry, like BRP-Evinrude's after sales manager, Riley Tolmay, you know what to look for in a boat. So for his own boat, Riley specified the Haines Hunter Breeze 600R, with a host of options.
TrailerBoat tested Riley's boat from zero hours of running, since delivery. Paul Armstrong, BRP's technical representative, launched the Haines Hunter from Yowie Bay, on a windy but sunny day and headed just short of Bate Bay, along Port Hacking waters.
There's no doubt that Sydney has by far more protected waters than Melbourne, confirmed as we passed Royal National Park on the southern banks plus, on the north side, never-ending quality homes, each with an expansive view of the water.
As the well-designed bow found choppy waters, it negotiated lazily, like “is that the best you've got?” In more aggressive waves, the bow cut through most easily, but when a large wash or wave was encountered, the Haines Hunter was superb.
When ordering, Riley specified more fibreglass, to handle the open ocean and handle it she did. When the bow rose up, we waited for the fibreglass hull to make a jarring thud, but none came. Amazingly, the hull design and extra glass did a superb job of comfortably riding everything that came its way.
As Riley says, "I put in a specification to Haines Hunter to put in more glass into the hull of the boat, specifically for offshore use.
“Knowing we have engines that are more powerful than most to push the extra weight of the boat, that's regularly used 50 to 60 miles offshore.
“A nice comfortable ride is important and a bit more glass, and thus more weight in most boats like these with a big deadrise, means a more comfortable ride.
“As long as the boat will float and it meets safety specifications, I'm very pro to putting in as much glass as possible.
“This is still a trailerable boat that can be towed by a smallish vehicle like the Nissan Pathfinder, yet still can confidently cruise kilometres offshore for billfish," Riley said.
ROOM AND THEN SOME
The Haines Hunter feels bigger than it really is, with a spacious fishing area and room enough in the cabin for heaps of gear or for curling up for a nap. The storage areas under the cushions are great for storing the safety gear, like eight lifejackets, flares, paddles, bailing buckets, horns and the like. Two extra (optional) cushions placed in the footwell then make a flat surface or occasional bed.
The clears are exactly that — probably the clearest you'll ever see and top quality. Can-Bus connected instrumentation ‘talks’ to a wide range of instruments, including other brand screens like the fishfinder/sounder. In fact it's possible to run the entire engine information on the sounder screen. Can-Bus makes this communication possible and is a new standard accessory for the E-TEC 115hp engines. The Lowrance sounder has two transducers, switchable between the two. BRP stock gauges, with red in the rear and chrome in the front, look great in the cockpit.
For communications at sea, there's Navman radios and when the crew want to rock 'n roll as the Haines Hunter powers out to sea, there’s a well-spec’d Jensen audio system (featured in TrailerBoat 226). The Jensen head unit has an iPod connection and duplicated controls, so thousands of your tunes can be played with the iPod stored safely in the cabin. At the stern, there's a pair of Jensen marine speakers, plus a remote control, that can be located anywhere, including on the instrument panel.
Front speakers are located near the skipper and passenger seats, with the 200W subwoofer in the cabin.
"The Jensen gear is unbelievably water-proof," said Riley.
"Both the speakers and the head unit get a lot of water on them, including high-pressure washing and I'm meticulous about checking for leaks. So far there's not a hint of intrusion," he said.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Ample lighting includes Hella surround lights, a de-mountable spot and two fixed spotlights facing the stern area. The high-power Hella spotlight in the cockpit is for docking. It's released from its base and there's a hand grip for ease of use; the position in the cockpit is just a fixation point. Rear facing spotlights above the skipper are for preparation early in the morning and late evening. Like when you get back to access and see what you are doing, superior to the deck lights, especially for the livebait tank and other operations. As Riley says, "You can be fully operational at night, as well as early in the morning."
Twin 115 E-TECs with 17-inch Viper props delivered ample power needed for quick planing and I even tested the boat with one outboard not operating. It had no hesitation in bringing the big boat and three occupants easily to plane, even in swells. So, in the unlikely event of engine trouble far out at sea, just one Evinrude outboard will bring you back safely to port, instead of revving too high and running out of fuel.
There's space aplenty in the Haines Hunter. Under the skipper's seat is a five-compartment tackle storage box, pre-installed by Haines Hunter, and an open storage area under the passenger seat. Further — there's ample storage each side, plus a side door that easily slides out for bringing big fish like marlin on board. Along the stern, a generous size folding seat unlatches so it can be pulled out for a comfortable three-person seat, then folds away for fishing.
The cutting board work station was customised by Haines Hunter, with drink and four rod holders. This is a much bigger working space than normal, with space for knives and other equipment. This upgraded cutting board is available on special order. A saltwater deckwash hose is teed into the Haines Hunter livebait tank pump, to clean decks at any time.
At the end of the test, it was time to load to the highly-featured Mackay trailer. Most of all, the Mackay 2010 series trailer guides are brilliant. As Riley says, “If the alignment guides are just under the surface of the water, there's absolutely no way you can make a mistake when driving the boat onto the trailer.
“The guides align the bow to the trailer, without needing someone to help. Other trailerboat owners cannot drive their boats confidently onto the trailer, due to the risk of hitting a metal piece of the trailer,” he said.
The Haines Hunter Breeze 600R equipped with twin E-TEC 115s impresses and should be high on any wish-list.
WHAT WE LIKED
Durability and ride
Ample space, yet trailerable
Array of fishing and electronics equipment
Speed and control on one or two motors.
NOT SO MUCH
SPECIFICATIONS: Haines Hunter Breeze 600R
Price as tested: Enquire
Priced from: $65,000 w/ 150hp and trailer
Length overall: 6.35m
Overall Height: 2.20m
Weight: 1150kg (standard production)
Fuel: 210lt (optional)
Engines: Twin E-TEC 115s
Make/model: Evinrude E-TEC 115
Type: Loopcharged 60º V4
Max. HP: 115 at 5750rpm
Displacement: 105 cu in
Induction: E-TEC DFI
Operating range: 5500 to 6000rpm
Gear ratio: 2.00:1
Propeller: 17in Vipers
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Phone: (03) 9931 1060 or
Phone: (02) 9794 6600
Disclaimer: Based on information and data supplied by manufacturers. Potential purchasers should check the accuracy for their use.