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There’s no shortage of sub-five-metre fibreglass runabouts out there in the $30,000 price bracket, so how does Haines Hunter’s 4995 Breeze measure up in the value-for-money stakes? Rick Huckstepp finds out




Another gem from the factory of Haines Hunter is the 495 Breeze. Along with other members of the entry-level Breeze family, this boat is manufactured to suit boat buyers on a tight budget looking for a high-quality fibreglass rig that's factory-fitted as a turnkey package.
The 495 Breeze is a cabin version, which for its size offers a large amount of room inside for a small family's gear, as a playpen for the kids or to get out of a downpour. To maximise interior space, the cabin sides run into the gunwales, so you can't walk around the side of the cabin, but access to the deck is granted by a large hatch in the cabin front. The anchor well is of generous size and comes with a hatch.
While the cabin footwell is deep, there isn't a huge amount of headroom. That said, people of average height shouldn't have to slouch too much to enjoy a seat inside. It's also quite light and airy thanks to good-sized sidelites.
Dash space on the helm was adequate, and a pair of Yamaha gauges to one side left plenty of room for a decent-sized sounder/GPS combo cabinet - the test boat was fitted with a standard Navman sounder unit.
Between the comfortable buckets you'll find a lined killtank under a hatch in the floor. It drains to the bilge and could be used for wet gear, or optionally insulated for use as an icebox. This option would be worth the money as saltwater ice slurry is just the ticket for keeping your catch fresh - and a cold beer on a hot day isn't bad either!
The aft corners of the 495 have lift-out seat bases installed between the hull coamings and the engine well. These make an ideal possie for the kids during high-speed travel as it's nice and secure. Pop out the seat bases to get better access to the stern when wetting a line.
A stainless-steel (not plastic, thankfully) rodholder is recessed into each corner, and a compact livebait tank is ready to be plumbed, if fishing is your thing, or used as additional cold storage.
The engineering is above average in terms of fitting quality and installation. The engine crank battery is bolted in place under the transom bulkhead. The bilge is serviced by a bilge pump, and it's easy enough to access by unclipping the press-stud curtain that screens off the lower bulkhead area.
Very wide and deep sidepockets will accept heaps of tackle for the day or night out on the water, and things like paddles are catered for with a fixed rack at the back of the pockets.
Fitted with Yamahas 90hp two-stroke, this rig felt nicely balanced, and holeshot proved quick and clean. At 3000rpm the handheld GPS stated 20kmh, at which point we were sitting just on the plane. At 5300rpm we cracked 68kmh.
This rig was fitted with an optional canopy fixed to the windscreen, which afforded good protection and also featured a zip-out section allowing the driver to stand while driving, although I think clears would work better. Handling at speed was good with no cavitation: Haines Hunter has worked hard to get these rigs set up right from the factory, and it shows.
The boat was a responsive handler, tracking very straight at most trim attitudes while the deep-vee hull worked well to smooth out the chop.
I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this rig to any first-time boat buyer, or to someone who's looking for a versatile all-rounder for inshore waters. Fish it, ski it, enjoy driving it. For the money, this pretty little boat is hard to go past.




Specifications: Haines Hunter 495 Breeze




Price as tested: $29,900 w/ 90hp two-stroke, trailer and regos
Options fitted: Bowrail, canopy, boarding platforms
Priced from: $27,800 w/ 90hp Yamaha two-stroke




Material: Fibreglass
Length (overall): 4.95m
Beam: 2.1m
Deadrise: 21°
Rec/max hp: 90
Weight (hull only): 490kg




Fuel: 95lt
People: Five adults
Water: n/a
Accommodation: Daybeds




Make/model: Yamaha 90AETO
Type: Three-cylinder two-stroke
Rated hp: 90
Displacement: 1140cc
Weight: 122.5kg
Gearbox ratio: 13:26 (2:0)
Prop: 17in




Haines Hunter, 28 Computer Road, Yatala, Queensland, tel (07) 3287 4088 or visit



Originally published in TrailerBoat #190

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