BOAT TEST: HAINES HUNTER 580 BREEZE

By: Phil Kaberry


One of Haines Hunter's top-selling models in its range is the 580 Breeze -- a handy coastal runabout that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to own, writes Phil Kaberry.

BOAT TEST: HAINES HUNTER 580 BREEZE
Haines Hunter 580 Breeze

First published in TrailerBoat #184

 

 

Versatility in a trailerboat is always a bit of a trade-off. A small boat - say less than five metres - is easy to tow, launch and retrieve and fits better in your garage. Small boats can also sneak into shallow water or up narrow creeks to set crab pots or chase whiting.

But get more than a young family aboard and things can get uncomfortable. There's not enough room for everyone, and things can get wet - or even dangerous - if you're considering a trip offshore to chase snapper.

At 5.8m, Haines Hunter's mid-sized Breeze is neither too big for general estuary fishing nor too small for the occasional trip offshore when the mackerel are on the chew. Plus you can bring a few along for the ride without things getting out of hand.

Add to that a reasonably good standard equipment inventory and an affordable price and you start to see why Haines Hunter has sold so many of this model.

Cheap doesn't necessarily mean nasty, either. During my brief spell in a 580 Breeze on Port Phillip, I noticed a proven hull shape, above-average build quality, neat finish and practical interior layout. With 130 horses pushing it along, there's performance enough for most people - this boat loves positive trim and plenty of throttle for a hair-raising ride across the bay.

The boat is designed for optimum ride performance as opposed to barge-like stability; but that's not to say it's tender at rest. Weigh the two up, though, and 21° of deadrise, a fine entry and heaps of hull depth at the forefoot means stiff afternoon sea breezes won't pose a problem.

The amount of hull underneath the waterline does contribute to stability. You could fish three or four adults on an inshore snapper drop without dramas.

A neat cabin with good headroom and natural light means you can overnight with the missus if you don't mind a bit of camping. Certainly there's room to sit out of the rain, or use it as a cubby for the kids.

In comparison to some other brands, the level of standard features is competitive - especially when you consider there's a Navman Fish 4150 depthsounder and 5100 GPS included in the price, along with bilge pump, Data-Dot anti-theft protection, sports wheel, bunk cushions and rear seats, factory rigging, ski tow eyes, bait wells, sliding drivers' seat and a pair of rodholders, among other things. Hydraulic steering is a wise option to consider, as is canvas, boarding platforms, ladder and bunk infill.

Those keen on their fishing might also consider optioning up to include bait tank plumbing, two-tone hull, deckwash, tackle lockers and clip-out carpets, while a more family-oriented boater might want upgraded rear seats, Porta Potti, clears and storm covers.

As tested with a number of these options included, this boat proved to be more than capable in the smooth conditions, with heaps of performance, predictable handling and a quiet ride.

The Haines Hunter Breeze 580, while not the Carlton-Ritz inside, is plenty comfortable, very well made and nicely presented. For a family looking for a general-purpose boat or a handy bay, coastal or estuary fishing boat for dad a few mates, it's hard to go past this boat when you look at the numbers.

But get more than a young family aboard and things can get uncomfortable. There's not enough room for everyone, and things can get wet - or even dangerous - if you're considering a trip offshore to chase snapper.At 5.8m, Haines Hunter's mid-sized Breeze is neither too big for general estuary fishing nor too small for the occasional trip offshore when the mackerel are on the chew. Plus you can bring a few along for the ride without things getting out of hand.Add to that a reasonably good standard equipment inventory and an affordable price and you start to see why Haines Hunter has sold so many of this model. Cheap doesn't necessarily mean nasty, either. During my brief spell in a 580 Breeze on Port Phillip, I noticed a proven hull shape, above-average build quality, neat finish and practical interior layout. With 130 horses pushing it along, there's performance enough for most people - this boat loves positive trim and plenty of throttle for a hair-raising ride across the bay.

The boat is designed for optimum ride performance as opposed to barge-like stability; but that's not to say it's tender at rest. Weigh the two up, though, and 21° of deadrise, a fine entry and heaps of hull depth at the forefoot means stiff afternoon sea breezes won't pose a problem. The amount of hull underneath the waterline does contribute to stability. You could fish three or four adults on an inshore snapper drop without dramas.A neat cabin with good headroom and natural light means you can overnight with the missus if you don't mind a bit of camping. Certainly there's room to sit out of the rain, or use it as a cubby for the kids.In comparison to some other brands, the level of standard features is competitive - especially when you consider there's a Navman Fish 4150 depthsounder and 5100 GPS included in the price, along with bilge pump, Data-Dot anti-theft protection, sports wheel, bunk cushions and rear seats, factory rigging, ski tow eyes, bait wells, sliding drivers' seat and a pair of rodholders, among other things. Hydraulic steering is a wise option to consider, as is canvas, boarding platforms, ladder and bunk infill. Those keen on their fishing might also consider optioning up to include bait tank plumbing, two-tone hull, deckwash, tackle lockers and clip-out carpets, while a more family-oriented boater might want upgraded rear seats, Porta Potti, clears and storm covers.As tested with a number of these options included, this boat proved to be more than capable in the smooth conditions, with heaps of performance, predictable handling and a quiet ride. The Haines Hunter Breeze 580, while not the Carlton-Ritz inside, is plenty comfortable, very well made and nicely presented. For a family looking for a general-purpose boat or a handy bay, coastal or estuary fishing boat for dad a few mates, it's hard to go past this boat when you look at the numbers.

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Priced from: $39,990 with Yamaha 130hp two-stroke, trailer and regos

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Handlaid fibreglass
Length: 5.9m overall
Beam: 2.25m
Deadrise: 21°
Rec/max hp: 130/150

 

 

CAPACITIES


Hull weight: 800kg
Fuel: 160lt
Water: n/a
Passengers: Five adults

For more information, contact Haines Hunter, tel (03) 9931 1060 or visit www.haineshunter.com.au

Find Haines Hunter boats for sale.

 


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