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If looking around at the six-metre plus range of trailer boats you will see the wheels of change turning in that part of the market catering for people looking for more flexibility in the boats they spend their leisure time on.




If looking around at the six-metre plus range of trailer boats you will see the wheels of change turning in that part of the market catering for people looking for more flexibility in the boats they spend their leisure time on.
Hard core fishing platforms were the norm and while they still hold the majority of the market share, models are appearing with a softer touch, appeasing often, the other half of the household. Cruise Craft have had a strong hold on this niche for some time and Whittley aims many of its boats fair and square at that sector.
Haines Hunter whose full blown hard core fishing boats need no introduction have evolved their 650 Classic, released last year, into one that has more of a touch of elegance while still retaining its prowess in the offshore fishing department.
Quality components are used throughout, from the bowsprit that features a stainless steel gate into which the plough anchor is drawn by a Muir winch, down to the hinges on which hatches swing.
The cabin area has good head height right to its most forward extremities, resulting in a bulbous brow externally offering enough room for one to lounge out in the sun.
An ample sky light hatch in the roof of the cabin allows for easy access to the foredeck should you want to leave the plush comfort inside. And it is very plush, with soft linings throughout, a small vanity bar on the back of the helm bulkhead that may be optionally plumbed and a mirror on the forward bulkhead that gives an optical illusion of double the space. A third person may sleep in the cabin using the transverse bunk that runs down the portside under the galley. This would be a brilliant tackle stowage area with rod racks on the vertical walls if that way inclined.
The berths have soft lined stowage areas below and a marine toilet sits in the 'V' between them and is covered by an infill.
At the helm station, a hardened glass windscreen also has a solid grab rail surround and its swept back lines are complimented by some seriously sturdy stainless steel work in the 'collapsible for long distance towing' bimini that features a rocket launcher.
The helm seat is upon a fibreglass module with access via the aft end for safety gear. It swivels to face astern for more seating in the shade during dining. The front passenger has a side seat, which is atop the galley bench, which forms part of the portside module. In this module a serviceable plumbed sink is situated on the aft end while a small gas stove is secreted behind hatches. There is plenty of room in the pantry below for condiments and washing detergents as well.
The cockpit has a contoured tabletop that is easily removed and disassembled for stowage. When in place, an L-shaped lounge in the starboard corner is complimented by another, which has a drop down base, opposite.
When the feed bell goes, a family of five would have plenty of room to relax and eat and this entire set up is easily transformed afterwards to a recreational play or fishing area. At night, an optional infill over the table makes the dining area into a double birth giving that family, comfortable and roomy overnight accommodation.
A big underfloor kill tank/wet beach gear tank will keep the sand out of the cockpit most of the time.
Access astern is via a natty half door that opens inwards; dropping down to form a step-allowing thoroughfare through the transom bulkhead and a dropdown ladder will get you onto the beach.
On the run, the 650 Horizon, like its brother the Classic is a fun machine and easy to handle. Hole shot was steady with four large adults and two children aboard and winding the 150hp Yamaha four-stroke out to 6,100 rpm the hand held gps registered 74kmh. Some ventilation at the prop was noticed on tight slow turns on the plane but it felt like a lowering of the engine one-bolt hole on the transom would fix this. With a maximum rating of 230hp, this would be one incredible boat. For the family and average fisher, 150 horses are ample on the Horizon.
With 30kmh south easterlies ripping along the Broadwater there was enough big chop and boat wash to prove this hull just doesn't have any bad habits and is soft riding and dry to boot. This is a boat that is at the upper end of its class in finish and detail and has been configured well to cater for the diverse activities that keeps a family boating together. Well worth a second look.




Sensible use of available space under galley for 5th berth.
Soft riding
Spacious whether dining, fishing or playing.




Ventilation of propeller disappointing but easily remedied.





Specifications: Haines Hunter 650 Horizon




Price as tested:   $67,000
Options fitted:   Bimini top, rocket launcher and CD/Radio
Priced from:   $65,000




Material:   Fibreglass
Length (overall):  6.75m
Beam:    2.4m
Deadrise:   21°
Weight:   1300kg hull only




Fuel:    210lt
Freshwater   80 optional
People overnight  5
People day trip  7




Make/model:   Yamaha F150
Type:    In line 4-cylinder
Rated hp:   150
Displacement:   2670cc
Weight:   220kg
Gearbox Ratio:  2:0 (28/14)
Propeller:   15-inch alloy



Supplied by

Motorama Bayside Marine
(07) 38438170
3218 Old Cleveland Road
Capalaba Qld 4157  



Originally published in TrailerBoat #193

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