Review: Haines Hunter 760R HT Ltd

By: Kevin Smith, Photography by: Kevin Smith


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Is this Haines Hunter 760HT Limited Edition fishing boat the ultimate trailerboat? A hardtop and an extra 50hp outboard motor upgrade have made it something quite special.

This Haines Hunter 760 R Ltd has enjoyed some key upgrades since we last reviewed it some years ago, turning into the ultimate trailerable fishing boat.

The fishing boat in question is the personal ride of Haines Hunter boats’ owner, John Haber. Back then he spared no expense at kitting out this absolute bluewater boat, so I was very interested in seeing how it far today.

 

HAINES HUNTER 760 FISHING BOAT

Haines Hunter 760R HT Ltd

Along with refreshing myself with this Haines Hunter, the other ‘refreshing’ element was on the day of the boat review on Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay. It started out at 3°C and as a Queenslander, Antarctic gear would be the choice of apparel for the day. The only consolation is that there was no need to shell out for ice down there as the fish probably froze as they hit air temperature.

John Haber’s Haines Hunter boat is armed with top-of-the-range GPS-radar and sounders, a sound system that puts most night clubs to shame, Yamaha outboard motor management systems, and a specifically designed layout to suit serious bluewater game and bottom fishing and offshore diving. There’s plenty of other cosmetic bling to match and of course, to-the-shelf-and-back performance and handling.

 

BOAT UPGRADES

Dash on Haines Hunter 760R

So what’s changed since we last reviewed this Haines Hunter 750 boat? Well two major aspects – the new hardtop option, as well as the upgraded outboard motor on the transom.

Taking a look at the hardtop – as we know it’s the new trend and I’m all for it – and as a larger trailerboat the Haines Hunter 760R’s is quite a work of art in looks, build quality and functionality. Like all good hardtops it adds style to the boat and most importantly, creates better protection from the elements as well as adding to the functionality of the cockpit by having usable sections where accessories can be mounted, unlike on standard biminis.

The hardtop has a seriously heavy-duty moulded top mounted onto even more serious stainless steel framework. What really stands out is the intricate way Haines Hunter has managed to incorporate so many sections to mount accessories, which really adds to the functionality. Moulded bulkhead sections and recesses allow for radio mounts, speakers, lighting, unexposed cables, and a number of usable grabrails.

The simple addition of a central clear-hatch lid adds to the natural light as well as ventilation, and rather than going for a fully enclosed hardtop with glass, this Haines Hunter 760R had the half-clears running down to the screen.

 

TWIN OUTBORD MOTORS

Twin Yamaha 225hp outboard motors

The next major change to the Haines Hunter 760R since last reviewed was no doubt the upgrade from twin Yamaha F225 V6 four-stroke outboard motors to twin Yamaha F250 V6 four-strokes.

On the original Haines Hunter 760R the twin 225 outboard motors achieved around the 40kt mark at top speed, along with plenty of torque throughout the rev ranges. Adding another 50hp significantly changes the performance on the Haines Hunter 760R, particularly low down where holeshot is quite hectic if you are greedy on the digitally integrated throttle. As before, you need to warn your passengers to hold on as this beast gets on the go without any trouble at all.

That’s just short of the average tournament bass boat’s top end. Surprisingly at this abnormal speed for a boat of this size, it handles it exceptionally well.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Haines Hunter 760R HT Ltd ride

A glassed-out day on Port Phillip Bay with zero swell or chop is naturally going to allow for a heavy hand on the throttle, just for curiosity’s sake. So who would ever imagine that a few rogue one-metre ship wakes would appear out of nowhere?

Well they did and before having the chance to throttle off or avoid them the Haines Hunter 760R tackled them instead, slicing each of the four or five solid 1m wakes like a finely sharpened blade into butter. Honestly, I was probably just short of screaming for my mother and having to change my rods, but it sure opened my eyes as to just how well the Haines Hunter boat hulls are designed and the kind of unnatural and unplanned abuse they can be subjected to. Originally this boat rode well but with the additional 200kg of weight to the hull, I reckon it rides even better now. After an overdose of adrenalin the Haines Hunter 760R was then set at a lower cruise speed around the 30kts mark.

The difference with this boat is that comfortable cruise speeds are generally higher than on other similar hulls, due to a hefty deadrise maintained throughout the keel. It might compromise a bit on stability but nothing that feels uncomfortable. Even so, it’s a very small sacrifice to pay if any for comfort like this. These Haines Hunter boats are designed for high speed and need to be driven pretty hard to appreciate what they are all about.

 

THE VERDICT

Haines Hunter 760 Layout

Trailerboats of this nature are quite something and don’t come cheap but let’s face it, Haines Hunter is a legendary boat brand throughout Australia.

The $215,000 as-tested price might seem a bit steep to some, but you need to consider that the Haines Hunter 760 R Limited Edition has an overall length of 8.2m (26.9ft), has big dollars’ worth of outboard motors and engine management systems, as well as expensive electronics, quality long-lasting materials used throughout and a wad of extra accessories.

It’s definitely a dream upgrade type of boat – but don’t forget to add the vehicle upgrade as well if you don’t have one that can legally tow 3.4t – or as an ideal step down from larger and more expensive boats. If you were downgrading to a Haines Hunter 760R Limited Edition, your running costs would be far less than million-dollar boats, with the benefit that a 760R can still be towed around the country.

 

HAINES HUNTER 760HT LIMITED EDITION SEA TRIALS

Twin 250hp Yamaha V6 outboard motors with Yamaha 19in propeller

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

FUEL BURN (LT/H)

1000

4.3

7

1500

6.9

14.1

2000

10.4

24.3

2500

15.5

32

3000

23.8

43

3500

28

59

4000

35.1

75

4500

38.9

92

5000

45.9

125

5500

50.7

156

5800 WOT

56.1

183

*Sea-trial data supplied by Haines Hunter. Fuel burn figures are for both outboard motors combined.   

 


Find Haines Hunter boats for sale


 

HIGHS

• Top-class hardtop

• High-performance and handling

• Spacious layout

• Superb finish throughout

• Built to survey spec

 

LOWS

• Lack of seating on test boat – but it does have good options and this boat is customized to suit the owner.

• Personally, I’d prefer more angle to the dash

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #457, September / October 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

HAINES HUNTER 760HT LIMITED EDITION SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

Haines Hunter 760HT Limited Edition price: $215,000

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Furuno 295 dual transducers, Simrad electronics (GPS, sounder, radar and autopilot), electric toilet, rocket launcher, hardtop with clears, Haines Hunter chopping board, trim tabs, VHF radio, seat box with tackle locker, premium Rockford audio system with extra sub-woofer, compass and remote light

 

PRICED FROM

$155,000 (boat + motor + trailer)

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL GRP

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 8.2m

BEAM 2.5m

WEIGHT 3500kg

DEADRISE 21°

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 8

REC. HP 300

REC. MAX HP 500 on Limited Edition model

FUEL 500lt

WATER 120lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Yamaha F250 outboard motors

TYPE V6 four-stroke petrol outboard motors

RATED HP 250 each

DISPLACEMENT 4169cc each

WEIGHT 253kg each

GEAR RATIO 1.75:1

PROPELLER Yamaha 19in

 

SUPPLIED BY

HAINES HUNTER

56 East Derrimut Crescent

Derrimut, VIC, 3030

PHONE (03) 9394 1540

EMAIL reception@haineshunter.com.au

WEB haineshunter.com.au

 

 


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