By: Rick Huckstepp

If you’re after a light gamefishing rig, then the Haines Hunter 600 Classic is a definite proposition, writes Rick Huckstepp

‘Built tough to take it’ would aptly describe Haines Hunter’s 600 Classic, which is a smaller version of the 650 Classic. There are no holds barred when it comes to the lay up of these hulls, typically weighing in the vicinity of 300kg – heavier than competitors’ boats of similar dimensions. This is due to a complex matrix system of hull lay up that includes the hand lay of woven rovings and extensive use of chopper gun fibreglassing.
The result is a bare hull weighing in at 1.15 tonnes, with much of the extra weight placed where it will offer the best stability and impact protection: low down in the keel section of the hull.
As with its brothers in the rest of the Classic series and the Patriot family of Haines Hunter boats, it has been designed with flexibility in mind and, while capable of being decked out with the best in sports tackle for serious offshore fishing, it is just as suited to family fun boating.

The cabin is big enough to sleep two and, with an infill added to the vee-berth, you could spread out. Wide sidepockets inside provide a good back rest and plenty of stowage. Seated, there was plenty of room for the legs in the well and behind the helm all of the wiring was concealed behind a velcro-fixed cover.
A hatch in the forward bulkhead gave access to the locker, where an anchor winch may be installed. Access to manually-operated ground tackle could be made via another hatch in the cabin roof.
The helm station of the 600 was neat and uncluttered with a Navman depthsounder and chartplotter side by side, as well as Yamaha’s digital instrumentation. If combination electronics are your cup of tea, then a screen of about 10.5 inches would flush-mount in the place of the Navman units.
The helm and passenger seats are mounted on swivel posts and provide good back and kidney support and an angular foot rest off the helm bulkhead supports the legs.
Haines Hunter has been incorporating innovative styling in its cockpits for some time, and this has carried over into the Classic 600.

The 180lt compartment in the deck will be handy for stowing wet gear or rubbish, but this may also be insulated during the manufacturing of the hull to create an out-of-sigh icebox. At an approximate cost of double that of an equivalent sized icebox it would be worth looking at to free up deck space to make the cockpit more fishing friendly. Two kill tanks of about 75lt apiece are also recessed in the deck.
Two-tier cockpit liner sidepockets provide good stowage space and further spaces are available in the cockpit proper. The high sidepockets are surrounded with padding, offering plenty of comfort for when you’re on the gunwales fighting fish. Directly below are deep rebates where game rods may be stowed in racks.
There’s another rebate at deck level, under which you can tuck your feet for the best possible balance when fishing. An alloy, non-slip deck tread forms part of this rebate for added safety behind the coamings, which are 720mm high and a good barrier from the elements when offshore.
In the transom bulkhead, an 80lt livebait well is stylishly moulded into place, with some of its bulk protruding astern. This is a practical use of space. Below, a vertical hatch provides access to the battery compartment.
In the opposite corner, a deep rebate in the bulkhead allows for a step through to a moulded step astern, where you can access the fold-up stainless steel ladder.
Recessed between these corners is a comfortable fold-down lounge. The collapsible legs fold up and live in their own hatch in the base and, when utilised, the void behind is covered with a clip-in vinyl panel. When that is removed, access to the bilge proper is possible. When stowed, a mesh pocket features on the base, ideal for wet gear, and there is plenty of padding for the shins while standing and fishing against the bulkhead. If needs be, the entire seat base is easily unclipped and removed from the boat.

The test boat was fitted with Yamaha’s 150hp four-stroke, so with a 210lt fuel tank secured to its belly long ranging won’t be an issue. It certainly was nicely matched to the Classic, which reached 44mph, converting to just over 71km/h on the dashboard instruments.
With the tacho showing only 5400rpm at full throttle, there was room to move in the propeller department to get the engine out to 6000rpm, although the engine was within its recommended rev range of between 5000 and 6000rpm.
These boats offer a soft ride in steep chop due to the deep forefoot at the keel line and a sharp entry into the water all the way to the gunwales of the forequarters. They tend to be sharper in the entry than many other boats of similar size from other manufacturers and this places them well in the rough water/high-speed cruising stakes. They also tend to be very dry, with very little spray generating upwards when wind is coming over those forequarters. With such a sharp entry, they heel well over during hard cornering, thus eliminating a lot of inertia during such manoeuvres.
This boat presents as definite sports and light gamefishing prospect, with enough comforts to cater for the rest of the family. It definitely deserves a good, hard look if you are in the market for such a rig and, being Australian made, you would be doing yourself and a lot of others a favour by buying one.

Soft ride
Good manoeuvrability



Specifications: Haines Hunter 600 Classic

Price as tested:                        $73,600
Options fitted:                         Clears, bimini, carpet, rocket launcher, deck wash,
                                                ladder, two-tone hull
Priced from:                            Approx $69,600

Material:                                  Fibreglass
Length overall:                        6.25m
Beam:                                      2.4m
Deadrise:                                  21°
Weight:                         1.15 tonnes (hull only)

Fuel:                                         210lt                                        
People:                                     Offshore: 5. Inshore: 6               
Rec/max HP:                            230
Rec/min HP:                             150

Make/model                             Yamaha 150 AETX
Type:                                        Four-cylinder four-stroke
Weight:                         Approx 220kg
Rated HP:                                150
Displacement:                           2670cc
Gearbox ratio:                          2:0
Propeller:                                  15- inch alloy three-blade

Motorama Bayside Marine
3218 Old Cleveland Road, Capalaba, Qld, 4157
Phone: (07) 3843 8170

Originalyl published in TrailerBoat #212


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