Circumstances conspired to make the lead time into this review of Haines Hunter’s new 585R ridiculously short. Murphy’s Law had decided to join the fun and very cleverly threw a few spanners into the works. Top marks, then, to the team at Matthew Willett Marine, on Sydney’s northern beaches, for having the boat ready in immaculate condition for the appointed time. Led by service manager Nik Larsson, the MWM crew did a superb job and the boat was a stand-out in every way.
While there are numerous specialist designs available these days, most trailerboat buyers are looking for a multi-purpose craft and the 585R fills the bill admirably. Haines Hunter invested quite a deal of research and development in 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 Easytow trailer. This heavily optioned 585R was priced at $84,500 ready-to-go, with base pricing starting at around $79,800.
An integral bowsprit with inset anchor roller is a neat feature at the stem and carries the overall length from the 5.85m implied by the model name to an overall length of 6m. The beam of 2.4m 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. There is lots of under-seat stowage and an overhead hatch.
The latter opens for easy access for anchoring/ mooring duties, with a generous anchorwell under its own foredeck hatch. An electric anchor winch is a desirable option, and was fitted to this boat. A stainless steel guardrail protects the foredeck and forward side decks, while low-profile grabrails run up the transom quarters.
Two rodholders 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 rodholders. 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 will 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. 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 livebait 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 swimladder.
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 steel grabrail 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 – if more wind-swept at speed – over the top of the screen when standing.
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 FourStroke 150 on the transom.
The 585R is rated up to 200hp, but the Merc 150hp 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 3500 to 4000rpm gave an easy-loping 20.5 to 26.5 knots (38 to 49km/h), while opening the tap all the way sped the Haines Hunter to a top end of 37.6 knots (69.8km/h) at 5350rpm.
The stainless three-blade 17in pitch Enertia prop was a wise selection; the Enertia range is new from Mercury and designed for four-strokes, to give strong performance and fuel efficiency.
At the helm, the 585R lived up to our 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 lifestyle investment.
HAINES HUNTER 585R
Overall length: 6m
Weight (boat only, dry): 950kg
Capacity: 6 persons
Fuel capacity: 230lt
Power: Outboard to 149kW (200hp)
Power (as tested): Mercury FourStroke 112kW (150hp)
Price from: $79,800 (on trailer, ready to go)
Price as tested: $84,500 (including options, on trailer, ready to go)
More information: haineshunter.com.au; mwmarine.com.au, tel: (02) 9930 0000.