By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp

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The news of economic doom and gloom is everywhere, but someone has forgotten to tell that to boatbuilder Haines Hunter, who recently unveiled its new model 585R Breeze to Rick Huckstepp




While we in Australia brace ourselves for the expected downturn in the economy already faced by those in the USA, there is a general feeling of slowing up, by boat and other manufacturers and customers alike.
But unlike the majority of boatbuilders, Haines Hunter is heading into this historic era at full throttle with an R&D program that will produce new designs for the boating fraternity and carry them out the other side of the gloomy period, with momentum.
Their most recent release is the 585R Breeze which we tested out of the Seaway on the Gold Coast.
This boat had just left the factory from its initial fit-up and with some things left to do, we weren't particularly concerned as this was the first time crew from any publication had boarded the new model. Nothing like being in on the ground floor of an exciting new boat - and it is!




While many new-model boats from various manufacturers borrow the bottom sides from other models and this part from that, not so with the 585R. This is a new structural design from the keel line up with new top and bottom sides.
Starting with the cabin we found a short V-berth which wouldn't quite make the grade for two adults to have a kip, but as a family boat it would be great for the kids to hang out in as well as being a practical stowage area for tackle.
At 175cm in height your head will be just touching the inside of the cabin roof. The cushions covered stowage compartments and a pocket ran down each side from the helm bulkhead to the bulkhead at the forward end of the cabin. There, a watertight hatch could be opened to gain access to the anchor locker which has the facility for installation of a Lewmar anchor winch which can be serviced via this aperture.
The cabin roof has a low-profile tinted hatch through which a large adult could fit to handle the ground tackle manually. The anchor hatch is large with a stepped-down winch base built into the superstructure and a split bollard holds the chain in place or allows the rope to be tied off.
The bowsprit is nicely finished with a stainless steel liner around a slot that allows the anchor to drop through from underneath. This design of bowsprit is practical for boats running in rough seas as the anchor cannot jump out of the slot and drag over the side. All bolts with upward facing threads are covered with stainless steel acorn nuts.
Moving in and out of the cabin is made more comfortable due to a rebate that continues aft of the opening alleviating some stooping when doing so.
At the helm separate Lowrance depthsounder and GPS were installed on a sloping brow, below which a flat shelf could be customised into a receptacle to hold odds and ends.




Above this brow and more forward, a second sloping fascia that held Evinrude's I-Command instrumentation looked lonely on the carbon panel, occupying little space. Each gauge is capable of the same functions and information is at the finger tip, either in analogue dial style or digital. You can check engine temperature, ground speed, rpm, fuel level, fuel remaining and voltage at a glance, running up one on each gauge as desired.
Should you wish to install further electronics, either flush or gimballed, a flat section extending over the cabin entrance can be utilised.
In front of the passenger, a glove compartment closed tight and a full wraparound stainless steel grabrail was sturdily mounted behind the hardened glass windscreen.
Two oversized drink container receptacles were mounted in their specific areas for the skipper and passenger. These are the size that will take a 600ml plastic water bottle or a stubby holder with can. Are these hard to find on other boats? Not wrong. We rarely see them. Instead, most manufacturers prefer small receptacles that don't hold the average water bottle. Halleluiah!
Between the swivel bucket seats in the deck is a large hatch that swings open on hinges to a large stowage tank. It can be optioned up to be insulated on the outer of the shell during manufacturing or be used as a killtank or plumbed for refrigeration. Atop here, a sturdy stainless steel targa holds tubes for six rods and the canvas bimini is manufactured with the full-zip set for clears to be made at a later stage.
Each side of the cockpit features two-tier pockets which run full length. The wall for the top pocket has a padded thigh liner and that on the bottom, a fibreglass wall. The top pocket extends well back and is big enough to hold average sized tackle trays laid flat. The bottom pocket has anchor or boat-hook racks as part of its structure coming off the inside of the hull. Rods could live here out of the way as well.
A livebait tank with rounded inner corners is installed on the starboard corner of the transom bulkhead. It has a drained tray elevated above water level in which to place baits to keep them from becoming over-soggy.
Below this, a door in the face of the bulkhead accesses the crank battery, and on the test boat, the oil reservoir for the E-TEC was also hastily placed here so we could get our hands on this boat in time. Normally the oil bottle is hidden away in the bilge and fed via a port in the top of the bulkhead.




Mid bulkhead, on posts and removable, is a well thought-out bait-rigging station which featured a plugged sink with a hose to the engine well, and a drainable tray for tools, bait needles and the like. It has two rodholders and the cutting board is two-piece and hinged separately over the sink.
A retractable deckwash sits behind a flush cover on the inside of the engine well and is within easy reach of anyone standing in the aft port corner near the bait-rigging station.
The transom design has neat rounded lines with an engine rack capable of taking twins without any modifications.
The boarding ladder has a large step and a swing-down base that allows the rungs to sit vertical. We'd like to see this changed to a sloping type to make boarding in deeper water easier on the limbs.
The test day had wind from the northwest of 15kmh and a swell to 1.5m coming into the Seaway against a run-out tide. This provided plenty of run up to get the 585R airborne and to test its other characteristics.
Quite literally, we thrashed this boat in all directions to see what it was capable of and could not believe its performance. As soft a ride as you could expect from any boat much bigger than it and very exact performance on the helm in a following sea or running along it. Only on one occasion did I get spray onto the screen and that was when coming into the pressure waves at the Seaway entrance at ¾-throttle with wind on the forequarter.
The 150hp E-TEC provided plenty torque throughout its rev range and WOT realised 40mph (64.3kmh) at 5500rpm and back at 4000rpm, we cruised at 25mph (40kmh) comfortably. Aggressive full-lock turns at 60kmh had the 585R performing like it was on rails and it spun around effortlessly at the helm.
We came away very impressed with this boat. If you are looking for a boat that is around the six-metre mark, this will fit the bill and you will enjoy its good capabilities when the going gets tough offshore.
If downsizing for various reasons, you won't be kept at home and will still reach those outer fishing grounds comfortably.




Brilliantly soft ride
Big cockpit area




An angled boarding ladder is necessary and will be appreciated by most




Specifications: Haines Hunter 585R Breeze




Price as tested:                          $66,625
Options fitted:                           Electronics, bimini top, lights, ladder, hydraulic steering, and deck wash
Priced from:                             $59,890




Material:                                   Fibreglass   
Length overall:                         6.0m 
Beam:                             2.4m           
Weight:                                     950kg (hull)




Fuel:                                        210lt            
People day:                               6 at 540kg (inshore); 4 at 360kg (offshore)
Rec. HP:                                   150                      
Rec. max. HP:                             200   




Make/model:                      Evinrude E-TEC 150       
Type:                                        Direct injected V6 two-stroke outboard           
Weight:                                     194kg                   
Rated HP:                                  150             
Displacement:                           2589cc                           
Gearbox ratio:                          1.85:1         
Propeller:                                  17in




Hinterland Marine,
90 Kortum Drive,
Burleigh Heads, Qld, 4220
Phone: (07) 5576 8811



Originally published in TrailerBoat #232

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