The Breeze line-up is proving very popular with keen fishos across the country. Mark Ward takes a good look at the reasons why.
HAINES Hunter's Breeze would have to be one of the most popular ranges of 'glass boats on the water, and for good reason. Breezes are well built, reasonably priced all- round day boats that double extremely well as serious fishing vessels. Haines Hunter has the Patriot as its hard-core fisher, but for anglers like myself that also enjoy getting on the water with the family, the big 585R Breeze is a great option; with a few fishing mods it makes a very capable and impressive offshore fisher.
The 585R can be classed as an upmarket solid 'glass hull, so when testing such a boat I like to see just what buyers are paying for. The Breeze didn't disappoint, making light work of mild chop and swell while still maintaining straight tracking and good response at the helm. The hull weighs in at close to a tonne so there's plenty of weight to help smooth out the bumps while the well designed hull helps keep spray well away from the cabin and fishing gear.
Design & layout
The test boat was fitted with a 135hp Honda four-stroke, which is at the lowest end of the hull's power rating. Maximum power is 200hp with the option of single or twin engines without the need to modify the transom. Fitted with minimum rated power, I was surprised at how well the Honda pulled the hull onto the plane. There was a little hesitation, but with the price of fuel these days the 135hp Honda is a good option. Cruising speeds were around the 25 knot mark at 4200rpm so the outboard didn't have to work too hard to get the hull skipping along.
The hull has been designed with 12 sealed buoyancy chambers that are able to be foam-filled to achieve positive flotation and bring the 585 up to 2C survey specifications. The hull without the foam has no trouble keeping afloat up to the waterline giving the standard vessel level flotation status.
The 585R has a cuddy cab layout, which offers plenty of cabin and deck space for a boat that comes in under the six metre mark. With toilet, dinette and ample storage, there was also almost enough cabin headroom to allow my six foot frame to stand upright. The V berth is ideal for the kids but might pull up a little short to sleep two adults.
Seating on the standard Breeze is via pedestal mount skipper's and first mate's chairs, but the test boat had the seats mounted on frames as requested by the owner. This fully adjustable seating was both comfortable to sit in over smooth waters and functional as a backrest when standing through the rough stuff. Additional seating is via a fold-down rear lounge.
The helm offers plenty of room with instrumentation in clear view. Control switches located to starboard from the sports steering wheel are easily seen and within good reach. The dash provided enough room for both a sounder and GPS unit or a large combo set.
The grab rails framing the windscreen provide good handholds for both the skipper and first mate, making the Haines Hunter comfortable, standing or sitting. Seating position in relation to the control box and wheel was comfortable enough for the short run I undertook; longer runs offshore should also prove comfortable due to the ease in which the skipper can rotate between sitting and standing, depending on conditions. The adjustable seating works well - if you're vertically challenged the steering wheel doesn't end up between your knees when you slide the seat forward.
The bow gives access to the anchor and the chrome bow rail with the non-slip deck making a nice sunbaking platform for the ladies. The transom has a large door with boarding ladder making it easy for kids and even for a little skiing if the fishing gets a bit slow.
The short cuddy provides plenty of deck space, which should appeal to offshore anglers. The cockpit floor houses a large 180 litre kill tank that should accommodate long fish like mackerel and wahoo; a fully insulated tank is also an option.
The sides have big double pockets capable of storing plenty of those annoying loose items and provision in the bottom tier for rods or gaffs.
Added options like a targa and bait board are musts for serious fishermen. The longer deck allows for anglers to cast slugs and even flies with the targa up. The targa also has a rocket launcher for six outfits and optional rod holders can be mounted to the bait board if required. The test boat was missing the bait board but as we were throwing a few lures the omission gave us a little more room. For bottom bashing or inshore bait fishing, the bait board would be a must. The transom also features a sink and deck wash within easy reach and rounds out a very functional work area.
Fishability has always been unquestioned with Haines Hunters and some huge improvements have been made with the new 585R. The back deck space is huge for a boat of its size and the high gunwale and upholstered bolsters give plenty of balance in a rolling sea, and provide safety for the kids when fishing inshore. Options are available to customise the vessel to the style of fishing potential owners prefer. These options include the aforementioned targa top, bait board and even aftermarket outriggers if required. The standard Haines Hunter 585R Breeze has the ride, good deck space and safety features to make for an ideal fishing platform - customising it further to suit your exact fishing style should just add to the fun.
HAINES HUNTER 585R BREEZE
Weight: 950kg (hull only)
Power: Max. 200hp; as tested 135hp
Fuel: 210 litres
Price: From $59,890
Contacts: Boat supplied by Logan River Marine (07) 3287 4888;