By: Kevin Smith

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Kevin Smith reckons the Haines Group’s new Traveller TF200 is perfect for doing a little bit of everything.



When it comes to what I call "general boating" in Australia I still feel that a walkaround-style craft in the six to seven metre region is close to perfect. If you're the kind of person who combines family boating with offshore fishing then you need some form of protection from the elements - walkarounds are perfect for this task as they tend to have reasonable sized cabins as well as open access to the bow around the sides of the cab.

The Traveller TF200 is one such craft. A recent introduction to the Haines Group range, it sports the flagship TC200 hull that's been such a seller over the years. This particular model came about after some lengthy R & D where a number of changes were introduced to the deck and liner. It has a flashy and modern look with a "proper" walkaround and everything you need to keep you and your family happy on the water - and all for a reasonable price at that.




A boat classed as a walkaround needs to give you plenty of access to the sides of the cabin section and into the bow. On the Traveller TF200 there's a good balance between the cabin space, the rear fishing deck, and access into the bow via the side of the cockpit or through the hatch lid in the cab. However, instead of a standard flat walkaround area, the TF200 has a trench-style walkaround with a split-bowrail running right around. This makes it more comfortable and safer when you're moving around.

I also really liked the fact that it had a compact cabin and an open fishing space in the stern - compared to the opposite arrangement where the cabs are fair-sized and the rear fishing deck is smaller. The cabin is an open-plan with a hatch lid on top, a fair-sized seating / bunk area, and ample space to stow gear. The cabin might not be huge but it's more than adequate for keeping the kids and wife happy when the conditions roughen up.

The helm setup is also very neat and has separate moulded sections for the electronics. The flat panel in front of the skipper's seat can house a decent chartplotter or sounder too. Another flat section for the gauges is situated further above but if you really need it you can add extra electronics to the dash area. Comfortable dual seating, a wraparound screen, and a full bimini top with rocket launchers and clears complement this area.

A point worth mentioning is that screen height is slightly taller than usual. This extra height was great when driving in the seated position, and for a change I didn't have to duck down to see through it. Standing while driving was much the same and I could see clearly through the clears without any restrictions. Hydraulic steering - standard on these boats - was another bonus.




Your whole family could fish at the same time on the TF200 seeing as the cab doesn't reach too far back, thereby opening the fishing space in the stern. A decent sized killtank is built into the deck, with two additional large coolers situated beneath the seats. It's not a new idea but it's extremely practical for loading fish into them, rather than having to use the killtank.

The gunwales have the usual sidepockets but they're carpeted inside and are nicely finished with a white beading trim and a few deck lights. The gunwales also have the new Tallon receiver fittings as standard - these can take anything from rodholders to divetank racks to drinkholders and a load of other accessories.

The stern is completed with a livewell, baitboard, transom door, rear fold-out lounge and a rear boarding ladder. Access to the plumbing and electrics is also good and the compactness of this section means there's more workable space to fish around the stern.




A 140hp Suzuki four-stroke was the power behind the TF200. From the bottom-end of the rev range to the top-end, power was sufficient and smooth, although personally I'd prefer a gutsier unit, maybe around the 175hp mark if my budget allowed it.

The hull has a fairly wide flat-plank design that tapers from the stern towards midships. This design helps get her on the plane quicker and improves stability when underway.

Our test location was in the area coming out of Cleveland in Moreton Bay, Qld. The wind here can certainly be "entertaining" and the channel isn't called a washing machine for nothing. A brisk northerly was blowing on the day, providing some short and grumpy chop.

On the TF200 the best way to deal with this required knocking the hammer down and staying on top of the chop rather than sitting at slower speeds. The first part of the run was with a following northerly chop (it was actually more like a swell) with the run home coming straight back into it. Either way, the ride was impressive, though if I had to be really picky I'd recommend refining it further with trim tabs.




After coming out of those test conditions I would definitely say that the TF200 makes a superb offshore craft as well as great bay boat. This boat had way too many standard features to mention but you could get into a base model TF200 for $59,340 - not a bad starting price for a walkaround. It's a good place to start if you're on a budget and as time goes on you could bling it up to suit.

The Traveller TF200 looks the part; has a quality finish; rides well; and suits not only the serious angler but the family too. So, you might wonder if I own a walkaround? Not yet, but it's definitely on my wish list for the near future. My family doesn't really like my centre-console, especially on rough days…




On the plane...

Spacious layout with loads of fishing space

Overall finish throughout the boat

Lots of standard items included in price



Dragging the chain...

I'd prefer a few more horse power

A set of trim tabs would finetune the ride - any monohull can benefit from tabs

I prefer my batteries to be off the deck









Price as tested: $83,521

Options fitted: Suzuki DF140, Stress Free Marine anchor winch, baitboard, bimini with front and side clears, Garmin 5008, recessed cockpit lighting, livebait tank deckwash, VHF with aerial, Suzuki rigging, carbon fibre-look steering wheel, removable round table, folding targa, Dunbier trailer, two-tone deck and hull, windscreen grabrail

Priced from: $59,340




Type: Deep-vee family / fishing monohull

Material: GRP

Length: 6.15m

Beam: 2.5m

Weight (hull only): Approx. 750kg

Towing weight: Approx. 1900kg Deadrise: 22.5°




People: 6

Min .HP: 115

Max. HP: 175




Make/model: Suzuki DF 140

Type: DOHC, 16-valve, four-stroke

Weight: 189kg

Displacement: 2044cc

Gear ratio: 2.59:1




The Haines Group

140 Viking Drive

Wacol, Qld, 4076

Tel: (07) 3271 4400



Originally published in TrailerBoat #271.


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