Review: Haines Signature 650F

By: Kevin Smith, Photography by: Kevin Smith


Haines Signature 650F cockpit Haines Signature 650F cockpit
Haines Signature 650F killtank Haines Signature 650F killtank
Haines Signature 650F seatbox Haines Signature 650F seatbox
Haines Signature 650F windscreen Haines Signature 650F windscreen
Helm on Haines Signature 650F Helm on Haines Signature 650F

The Haines Signature 650F is the flagship of the Haines Group’s 18-model fishing boat fleet.

One of the latest additions to the Haines Group range of fishing boats is the Signature 650F. One of the brand’s largest fishing boats, it’s sure to impress anglers dedicated to offshore fishing and much more.

 

HAINES SIGNATURE 650F

Haines Signature 650F

A first glance of the Haines Signature 650F revealed it is not your standard 6.5m boat, it looks far bigger than what it actually is. In fact it looks more like a 7m boat with its big shoulders flowing into the new hardtop, as well as a maximum beam of 2.5m standing out.

It’s on board where space has really been maximised to its full limit and again you get the feeling of being on a larger boat as the deck space is huge and uncluttered. As per normal the Signature gunwales are set up high and are comfortable and secure to lean against, with that height maintained right through to the transom, which I like.

The transom also comes in three configurations, namely: a single livewell with viewing window, transom door and storage; a dual livewell setup with storage; and a third with seating configuration and storage. I think it’s a great idea having the different options suited to both fishing and family boating.

 

LAYOUT

Haines Signature 650F deck layout

Among other notable features on the Haines Signature 650F are the sidepockets which are definitely wider than usual and actually protrude slightly out from the coaming line. It was evident that you can load them with more gear, use them as dedicated steps, plus you can mount larger rod racks without having the reels protruding into the deck. It also allows for thicker bolster pads to be run around the coaming edges while still being vertically uniform.

Next to note are two large under-sole fishbins with flush-mount deck hatches on either side of the keel line. They may not be ultra-deep but are long and could take decent-size mackerel without having to snap them in half, as well as both taking a good couple of kilos of other fish and ice without an issue. Both bins are plumbed for drainage.

Up front the new hardtop stands out; its large split windscreen and large side windows provide plenty of light and ventilation and there is space to mount a few accessories, while the stainless steel rear frame and launchers give the setup a nice, modern look.

The helm seats are mounted on adjustable frames that can house large Eskys within to serve as fishboxes, extra watertight storage and/or seating. Between the seats is another flush-mount hatch, so definitely no shortage when it comes to the storage options on this boat.

At the helm the dedicated captain’s dash is hinged to the bulkhead making for easy access in mounting steering and electronics. The dash angle is quite vertical and is a preference of mine rather than those you struggle to see electronics on when seated or standing at the stern. The captain’s seat also has a flip-up bolster and on either side of the seats are recessed sidepockets with stainless steel drinkholders, footrests and a lockable glove box on the passenger side.

The cabin has a lockable sliding door, full bunks, sidepockets, LED lighting, storage below the bunks, large top hatch for anchor access to the bow and even a portable toilet for those not prepared to go au naturel overboard.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Haines Signature 650F on the water

When it’s time to head out for a day on the water there’s no doubt the Signature 650F is designed for long days and long distances, considering the 370lt fuel capacity. As tested this 650F was fitted with the maximum horsepower rating of 250, and a Suzuki 250 four-stroke to be precise.

 As the ‘whisperers’ of four-strokes it always amazes me at just how quiet these Suzuki motors are, even up in the large horsepower range.

On the throttle the Haines Signature 650F leaps onto the plane effortlessly, and that was even with four men aboard. From holeshot to WOT it’s a quick transition and with a bit of extra trimming a speed of 43.5kts can be achieved. That’s pretty quick on a boat of this size although, like with any outboard, you will chew up a bit of extra gas.

The balance of ride and performance included good stability at both rest and underway, as well as the hull tucking into turns nicely with a locked-in trim. Overall it was an easy and comfortable boat to drive considering the size.

 

THE VERDICT

Haines Signature 650F at rest

Normally, Signature boats come with loads of extra features and accessories. Now don’t get me wrong, the Haines Signature 650F is still loaded with some really good features and accessories, enough to get on the water in quite a flashy boat. Interestingly, though, these have been kept a bit more on the simple side allowing Signature to produce one hell of a fishing boat and in my opinion, at one hell of a good price considering its size and what it has to offer.

 

HAINES SIGNATURE 650F SEA TRIALS

Single 250hp Suzuki four-stroke outboard motor

RPM

SPEED (kts)

FUEL BURN (lt/h)

650

2.5

1.7

1000

4.2

3.5

1500

5.4

5.5

2000

6.7

9.3

2500

8.5

14.8

3000

3.2

20.5

3500

22.5

25.2

4000

26.7

29.7

4500

31.3

39

5000

35.8

51.9

5500

38.5

64.9

6000

43.5

83.6

* Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

HIGHS

• Bigger is better

• Maximum deck space

• Transom and gunwale setup

• Large flush-deck killtanks

• Large fuel capacity

• Price

 

LOWS

• Add trim tabs (personal preference, but it doesn’t have to have them)

• Prefer batteries raised off the deck

• Needs a slightly wider grabrail on rear of hardtop

 

HAINES SIGNATURE 650F SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

Haines Signature 650F price: $102,977

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Sliding cabin door with lock, hardtop and accessories, stainless steel ladder, recessed cockapit lighting, livebait tank, deckwash, transom door and lounge, VHF radio, Signature pattern gelcoat, lighting strips, Suzuki DF250TX outboard motor, stainless steel prop, Garmin electronics, fuel filter, and Dunbier trailer

 

PRICED FROM

$75,885 (BMT)

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Planing monohull

LENGTH 6.5m    

BEAM 2.5m

WEIGHT 1250kg

DEADRISE 21 to 33°

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE (DAY) 7

PEOPLE (NIGHT) 2           

REC. HP 175       

REC. MAX HP 250            

FUEL 370lt          

WATER 40lt (optional)

               

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Suzuki DF250TX outboard motor

TYPE V6 four-stroke petrol outboard motor

RATED HP 250

DISPLACEMENT 3.614cm³

WEIGHT 263kg  

GEAR RATIO 2.29:1

 

SUPPLIED BY

Australian Marine Centre

3491 Pacific Highway,

Slacks Creek, QLD, 4127

Phone (07) 3808 7333

Web amcboats.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #460, December 2014 / January 2015. Why not subscribe today?

 


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