Weekend warrior

Rick Huckstepp | VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

It’s difficult to top a consummate all-rounder like Haines Signature’s versatile 600C.

The Haines Group comprises a family of practical fishers and this shows in its boats.

Stowage abounds on the 600C, with cockpit-length rebates in the liner housing sidepockets either side. The lower pocket fascia to starboard features a fish-measuring ruler, while it also has a rack with straps to secure gaffs, tag poles and boat hooks.

A short transom door allows you to step down onto the rear lounge, which has a removable cushion covering a large stowage box. This is also removable, so it can be left at home on fishing trips.

The transom bulkhead to port houses a livebait tank, but the hatch opens to rest on the outboard’s cowl – a retaining cable would prevent any damage to the cowl’s finish. The low fuel filler, however, means you can fill up at the servo without climbing aboard.

The 600C’s helm pedestal chair offers armchair comfort; no complaints there. The passenger chair is moulded into the port-side liner. Behind it is another seat – ideal for an observer – and both open to reveal a galley sink. There’s storage below this and the two cupboards behind the splashback open downwards, with a butane cooker fixed to the inside of one of the hatches. It’s a brilliant use of space.

The helm’s dash panel swings forward for access to the electronics’ wiring, in this case Garmin’s excellent GPS Map 750S and GMI 10 instrument display.

The wraparound screen affords excellent vision, but serious owners will opt for a grab rail for extra safety and comfort.

The cabin roof is high and well forward, resulting in a front brow just aft and over the generous roof hatch, the latter within easy reach of the anchor well.

Back in the cabin, half the leg well is occupied by a portable toilet. It sits under a hard lid that forms part of the full infill, should you take that option. Typical under-bunk stowage is available each side, as are sidepockets.

As a day on Qld’s Moreton Bay proved, the 600C’s 175hp Suzuki four-stroke was smooth, gutsy and economical. At idle in gear it used 1.2lt/h while at a trolling speed of 6 knots (11.1km/h) it burnt 8.4lt/h. A cruise speed of 25.5 knots (47.2km/h) consumed 26lt/h and at WOT it hit 37.5 knots (69.5km/h) and a fuel burn of 61.4lt/h. With this economy the 150lt underfloor fuel tank gives the 600C some long legs.

Holeshot performance was brilliant and there was heaps of torque available throughout the rev range. It’s agile too; the 600C lies over hard into high-speed corners with little slip or cavitation.

The 600C cut through the wake of the occasional gin palace with ease and with very little spray, and when heading home a typical Moreton Bay chop posed no problem.

Cruisers will appreciate the 600C’s space and galley, while it serves as an ideal base to be optioned up for the offshore fisher. The family man, meanwhile, will love the 600C’s creature comforts. And all three will appreciate the 600C’s economy and all-round class.

Price as tested: $82,800
LOA: 6.25m
Length overall on trailer: 7.54m
Height on trailer: 2.46m
Beam: 2.43m
Weight: 1030kg (hull only)
Deadrise: Variable, 21-33 degrees
Maximum recommended HP: 115hp
Minimum recommended HP: 175hp
Max persons: 8 (to 720kg)
Fuel capacity: 150lt
Boat supplied by Springwood Marine, 3366 Pacific Highway, Springwood QLD 4127. For more information, tel: (07) 32978200 or go to: www.springwoodmarine.com.au.