By: Rick Huckstepp

Bigger than average trailerboats are currently the flavour of boat shows and Haines Hunter’s 600 Classic is in the booming six-metre class, writes Rick Huckstepp.

The manufacture of boats in the six-metre class is booming in this country for a number of reasons, one of which is the ability of the average family to get finance to get into a weekender but also more that anglers are fishing farther afield.
The latter reason is one that will become more obvious as those that are determined to choke a flourishing boat building industry appease the minority with the establishment of ‘no fish areas’ in the form of marine parks.
If you’re serious about your fishing and boating you will be well advised to remember this at the next federal election!
In the meantime, bigger than average trailerboats are the flavour of the boat shows and having just finished a week at the Melbourne Boat Show, it was plain to see this trend is continuing.
Haines Hunter is targeting this segment of the consumer group with their 600 Classic.

The boat we tested was fitted with a portable toilet that tucked away in the forward end of the leg well under an infill. There was still room for two people to sit with their legs in the well and wide cushions on the vee-berth will allow two average sized adults to camp overnight.
The forward end of the cabin has a wide bulkhead with a hatch which opens to a chain locker and this allows for maintenance on an electric winch if one was installed. The height of the roof made the cabin look even more spacious.
The seat bases are painted marine ply and cover stowage pockets all around the well. Soft lining is adhered to all surfaces and a Velcro curtain hid the wiring looms behind the dashboard bulkhead.
The roof has a large hatch installed and, rather than it being a production line model from a specialising company, it is of fibreglass construction with a tinted insert making for a large strong lid giving access to the ground tackle if need be.
The helm station is moulded in two brows - the top one housing the E-TEC instrumentation and the lower one Lowrance’s x510c depth sounder and LMS332c chart plotter. This fascia is expansive and would be capable of housing a 12-inch screen unit if desired.
An undersized drink holder is installed on a flat ledge behind the hydraulic helm and the binnacle mount gearshift is neatly recessed into the cabin liner making for plenty of elbow room for the skipper. A large recess below the helm wheel allows the knees to tuck under without contacting the bulkhead.
A targa rocket launcher-style rodholder supported the canopy on its own and the canvas work was ready for zip-in clears. The targa base is hinged for lying back in the cabin when long hauling on the road. It is released by undoing a nut and bolt each side. The rear of this awning extends well back providing plenty of shade in the cockpit and a zip opening allows one to access the rods through the canopy without having to climb onto the gunwales.
The cockpit sideliners have had plenty of attention when it comes to practicality.
There are sidepockets for the skipper and passenger when seated on the swivel seats, and the cockpit sidepockets feature a full-padded edge surrounding the aperture. Below these, a deep rebate features hooks and holes for racking of gaffs, tag poles and boat hooks. Another rebate below that allows the feet to tuck under when fishing over the side and an aluminium foot plate is fixed to the deck to reduce slippage when the deck is wet.
The carpet on the deck is press studded in place and between the seat posts, a 150lt wet stowage tank is installed which would make do as a killtank.

The transom bulkhead featured a rebated seat base that, when not in use, folded flush against its face and one may utilise the net pocket under it.
When folded open, the rear of the rebate is fitted with a press studded vinyl curtain that gives access to the battery isolator switch and the bilge, the side of which has the fuel filter installed. It is a screw-on cartridge type but, should you wish to have a visual glass water separator, it would be best mounted elsewhere for easier viewing. The engine well would be ideal.
Batteries may be accessed through here or a specific vertical hatch on the starboard side of the bulkhead. In the top of the bulkhead is located a good sized livebait well with a draining tray to keep dead bait out of the water and prevent them from going soggy.
The transom has a half-height step throughout onto the platform which is fitted with a drop down boarding ladder.
The Classic was rigged with Evinrude’s 150hp E-TEC direct injection two stroke motor and its oil supply reservoir is located inside the bulkhead with a filler cap on the top of the bulkhead.

The maximum recommended horsepower for this rig is 230 with the minimum recommended rating 115hp.
As tested, this engine-boat combination proved an ideal match and was quick out of the hole showing excellent torque under heavy throttle throughout the entire rev range. At 5500rpm, the GPS clocked 69kmh.
In sheltered waters it proved to be very responsive at the helm, and offshore we couldn’t find any swell or chop to check for bad manners, but plenty of big boat wash didn’t phase the hull. Even with a sea breeze onto the forequarter, very little spray came onto the all-round hardened glass windscreen. Dead in the water, one could move around without too much rock and roll being exhibited by the hull.
The Classic 600 deserves consideration if you are looking for a family fishing boat with heaps of cockpit space. The high gunwales make for safer fishing for children and adults, and a cabin big enough for bad weather shelter is always a bonus.

Fishing room aplenty
Good cabin size

Fuel filter in bilge
Easier access to battery isolator switch would be an advantage


Specifications: Haines Hunter 600 Classic

Price as tested:                          $74,958
Options fitted:                           Carpet, bimini, cabin liner, dual batteries, instrumentation,                       marine radio, electronics, Porta-Potti and half-bunk infill.
Priced from:                             $69,500

Material:                                   Fibreglass
Length overall:                          6.25m
Beam:                             2.4m                              
Weight:                                     1150kg

Fuel:                                         210lt
Max HP:                           230
Min HP:                            115
Max transom engine weight:      350kg

Make/model:                      Evinrude E-TEC               
Type:                                       V6 direct fuel injection
Rated HP:                                150
Displacement:                           2589cc
Propeller:                                   17-inch Viper

Hinterland Marine,
90 Kortum Drive,
Burleigh Heads, Qld, 4220
Phone: (07) 5576 8811
Fax: (07) 5576 7722

Originally published in TrailerBoat #221


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