Review: Haines Hunter 565R

By: John Willis & Tim Van Duyl, Photography by: Ellen Dewar & Nathan Duff


We water test and rate the Haines Hunter 565R, a contender in the fibreglass fishing boats category at the 2017 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

 

Haines Hunter 565R
Australias best boats 2017 logo

The Haines Hunter boats brand is prominent in Australian trailer boat history. The original models are legendary and the all-new Haines Hunter 565R carries on the tradition. Yet we all need to move on with modern technology and design, and that’s exactly what today’s Haines Hunter is all about. The originals rode in spectacular fashion but their internal fit-outs were awkward to say the least. But boatbuilding has changed dramatically. The new Haines Hunter 565R pulls together proven seaworthiness with modern boatbuilding technology and emphasis on the latest sport and gamefishing techniques.

The Haines Hunter 565R has genuine all-round appeal and specific fishing boat features. Its length and weight put it smack-bang into the desirable size range for the majority of trailerable applications. This is the family sports boat that turns into a comfortable bay fisher and then sheds the cloak to reveal true offshore credentials.

Fishing from a Haines Hunter 565R

Kevin Smith piped in: "The lower and shorter cab provides for a more spacious fishing deck on a boat of this size," and Steve added: "Very clean, functional and minimal. Good bow access through the hatch or around the outside of the cabin."

Modern boat design isn’t just about ride; it’s also about the use of available space. Fishos need the protection and comfort of a raised helm with room for a huge array of electronics, especially multifunction screens that provide not only sonar and GPS but an ever-increasing amount of information to improve our safety and angling success.

150HP Mercury four-stroke outboard motor

The helm layout of the new Haines Hunter 565R is terrific and so too is the passenger comfort. There’s not too much weight too far forward to impede the handling and the low centre of gravity enhances the stability and ride. There are also nice high coamings that are essential for safety especially when fighting pelagics in big offshore seas.

Haines Hunter has maximised the deck space but still managed a well-proportioned V-berth. Even if you never sleep in it, it offers plenty of room to store fish boxes, flying gaffs, safety equipment or maybe the picnic basket for a less serious excursion with the family. Tim was so impressed he used the ‘P’ word: "Two-up, she has all the space you need. Even for a small family it’s near-perfect!"

Cockpit deck space on Haines Hunter 565R

As to fishability, Jo Starling exclaimed: "Well thought-out, planned and designed, easy to drive, with great bait and livewells." She’s dead right; the work station has been reinvented, incorporating an older concept in a swing-down engine well facia to keep the transom short and giving maximum volume to the deck space while still allowing full engine tilt. It features a large livebait tank with fully enclosed and protected plumbing, bilge and electrical gear in case that big tuna goes into the destructive death throes. A moulded rear door to port provides walkway access either on land or for watersports.

When it comes to aesthetics and ergonomics Haines Hunter went for a classic look aided by modern design and striking graphics, plus super-neat stainless, trim and canopy work. Judges’ comments included: "Extremely clean, with an open and accessible layout" – "Understated! Exactly what you need for a good day out fishing the bays or even offshore," and: "Lovely mix of the practical and the luxurious."

Helm and cabin of a Haines Hunter 565R boat

John Haines Sr once said about the Haines Hunter 565R: "It is not our job to produce boats to take people out to sea, but to design boats that will bring them back again and again." That company spirit still prevails 50 years on, with premium boatbuilding techniques and materials and a ‘more is better’ attitude. Tim said: "Revitalising old DNA is hard but they nailed it! Haines Hunter always delivers on quality and there’s no change here."

When the going gets rough, the tough get going and all of our judges commented on the 565R’s seaworthiness. Kevin Smith said: "For its size, it’s as nimble and sporty as they come, plus nice and soft in the rough." Tim was on the money, adding: "Tracks straight and true. Outrageously good!" And Steve said: "Awesomely soft ride. No cavitation, even on hard cornering." Back to Kevin: "Considerably stable in the chop at rest, especially for a boat of this size."

Haines Hunter 565R cuddy cab interior layout

The Haines Hunter 565R whet our appetites after initial testing in hard slop in Sydney, and won plenty of hearts in the beautiful waters of Hervey Bay. The entire package with its 150hp Mercury four-stroke presents excellent value for money and the famous branding ensures terrific resale should that moment ever arrive. But it’s that all important X factor that seals the deal. Steve commented: "The wow here is the fishability combined with the ability to put your head down and take a nap, all within a 5.6m boat package. Clever use of space is what this boat is all about!" Jo got the final word yet again: "I tested the Haines Hunter 565R  in terrible slop but it held its ground, plus it’s comfy to fish from. Innovative design features give you maximum boat for garaging without compromising on features or fishing space. A fantastic family fishing boat."

 

Haines Hunter 565R specs

Haines Hunter 565R price: $85,500

Price as tested

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 5.65m

BEAM 2.4m

WEIGHT 720kg (hull only)

FUEL 185L

ENGINE Mercury 150 FourStroke outboard motor

Haines Hunter 565R at rest in shallow water

 

Haines Hunter 565R rating: 88.7/100

 

Kev

Tim

John

Starlo

Jo

Fishing Suitability

9

8

9

9

9.5

Innovation

8

9

9

8.5

10

Design and Layout

9

9

9

9

9.5

Quality of Finish

9

10

9

9

9.5

Handling/Ride

8

10

9

9.5

9

Stability at Rest

8

8

8

8.5

9

Ergonomics

8

9

8

9

9

Standard Equipment

8.5

9

9

8.5

9

Value for Money

8.5

8.5

9

8.5

9.5

Wow Factor

8

10

8

8.5

10

 

More on Australia's Greatest Boats 2017

Aluminium fishing boat

Aluminium fishing boats 2017

 

Best fibreglass fishing boats

Fibreglass fishing boats 2017

 

 

 


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