2015, July; Sydney Middle Harbour: Whilst there are numerous specialist designs available these days, most trailer-boat buyers are looking for a multi-purpose craft and the Haines Hunter 585R fills the bill admirably. Haines Hunter invested quite a deal of research and development into this hull to have it meet performance expectations from offshore fishing to inshore cruising and watersports.
For convenience and extra value, the company has 585R packages with a Mercury outboard and Easy-Tow trailer. This heavily-optioned 585R was priced at $84,500 ready-to-go; pricing starts at around $79,800 (all prices at time of writing).
An integral bowsprit with inset anchor roller is a neat feature at the stem and carries the overall length from the 5.85 metres implied by the model name to an overall length of 6 metres. The beam of 2.4 metres gives a spacious interior and the cuddy cabin offers shelter and overnighting ability in vee berths that convert to a double with an optional infill.
Also optional is a toilet, either electric or a Porta Potti; there’s no provision for a sink or stove but there are plenty of camping set-ups that could be taken onboard for simple cooking and cleaning tasks if weekends away were part of the plan to enjoy the 585R. The cabin is both practical and appealing; the small floor area is simply flow-coated but the cabin sides are carpeted with shelves plus there is lots of under-seat stowage and an overhead hatch.
The latter opens for easy access to anchoring/mooring duties with a generous anchor well under its own foredeck hatch; an electric anchor winch is a desirable option which was fitted to this boat. A stainless guard rail protects the foredeck and forward side decks, whilst low profile grab rails run up the transom quarters.
Two rod holders are standard in each cockpit side deck and our review boat also had an optional well-designed stainless targa arch above the bimini with a six-pack of rocket-launcher rod holders. Also optional was a cork-finish sole to the cockpit that looked very smart as well as being practical. Bi-level side pockets, with rod racks in the lower pockets, plus a large underfloor storage locker would absorb all the tackle needed for fun on the water.
A half-beam lounge cleverly folds out-and-down across the centre-back of the cockpit, and behind that a clip-out vinyl screen gives access into the aft bilges which hold dual batteries plus other engineering accessories and a bilge pump. A hatch to starboard of the lounge gives quick access to the battery master switch, and above that in the aft deck is a hatch for the live bait tank.
There’s provision for a bait prep board to fit centrally above the mini aft deck while to port is an entry passageway from a transom boarding step that’s fitted with a drop-down swim ladder.
The seats for the skipper and first mate are mounted above optional storage lockers with a stainless door under the skipper’s seat opening to reveal tackle drawers; a moulded door under the first mate’s seat is for another stowage locker. The seating is ideally positioned giving good protection from the breezes of passage behind the curved and raked screen which has a stainless grab rail fitted around the inside of its frame.
Sight-lines from the driving position were perfect with a clear view through the screen when seated and, naturally, an even clearer view over the top of the screen when standing - if more wind-swept at speed.
Dominating the dash in front of the wheel was a Simrad NSS9 combination GPS/plotter, depth sounder and auto-pilot with easily viewed displays of graphics and digital data. Offset to the left and above that was a Mercury VesselView 4 display that also combined graphics and digits in a variety of scroll-through options to give a wealth of information about the Mercury 4-stroke 150 on the transom.
The 585R is rated up to 200 hp, but the Merc 150 proved a superb companion for the hull with smoothly quiet running at all speeds. Acceleration from rest and through the mid-range was gratifying; cruising anywhere around 3,500 to 4,000 rpms gave an easy-loping 38 to 49 kph whilst opening the tap all the way sped the Haines Hunter to a top end of 69.8 kph at 5,350 rpm. The stainless 3-blade 17-inch pitch Enertia prop was a wise selection; the Enertia range is new from Mercury and designed for 4-strokes to give strong performance whilst emphasising fuel efficiency.
At the helm, the 585R lived up to high expectations with a soft ride through wakes and washes. The hull carries a deep vee with a rounded keel and two strakes either side inside quite wide chines. The latter helped with forward lift and pushed the wake and spray clear of the topsides for a clean running angle. Bow lift from rest was minimal with the Mercury trimmed in, and a short trim-out once on plane had the 585R scooting along very nicely indeed.
The Ultraflex hydraulic steering was well weighted to give a good feel for how the boat was handling. And it handled just fine through turns - the hull showing aplomb through close-coupled manoeuvres. The alloy-spoked Monza sports wheel was not adjustable but it had been mounted in the right spot for me to be comfortable whether seated or standing, and the skipper’s seat fore-aft adjustment put me at my preferred arms-reach to the rim.
The throttle/trim/shift controls were also sensibly located on the cockpit side, and I’d have been entirely happy to stay at the wheel all day. The 585R was not sensitive to the outboard’s trim, but it responded quickly and would put a smile on the face of any skipper who likes to play around with trim to get the most from their boat – whether that be for speed or economy.
As Haines Hunter intended, the 585R is a superb all-rounder; it’s good looking too and, especially with that famous name on the builder’s plate, it should prove a valued life-style investment.
Length (overall): 6.00 metres
Beam: 2.40 metres
Weight (boat only, dry): 950 kgs
Fuel: 230 litres
Power (as tested): Mercury four-stroke 112 kW (150 hp)
Price as tested: $84,500 (including options, on trailer, ready to go)
Top Speed: 69.8 kph