Fishing trip up North with Greg Haines in the 632F
Although the performance of Haines Signature advanced variable deadrise hull designs sometimes leads people to think of Signature boats as sporty family fun boats, the 632F is a timely reminder that when the Haines Group does fishing boats, it does them very well.
Our test boat was the 'deluxe' version, thus the 'Dlx' after the badging, and was comprehensively fitted out with many optional extras such as a neat stainless framed fibreglass hardtop (complete with a full set of clears and storm covers), a power anchor winch, trim tabs, a Humminbird 787 colour sounder/GPS, a stereo system and outriggers, just to name a few, which pumped the basic BMT price for a 632F of $67,156 up to $88,500.
That's hardly cheap - so do you get what you pay for ? I think so. It's a lot of boat by any standard. Speaking of which, all Haines Signature boats are now built to meet the exacting International CE Certification, which means they'll soon be cruising waterways around the world.
Performance & Handling
John Haines's innovative SVDH hull has been with us for a few years now, maybe long enough to be taken for granted. When we took the 632F across the Gold Coast Seaway on an average sort of day, it showed us just how well one of the more advanced hull designs in Australian boating handles itself.
The 632F's ride proved soft, dry and notably quiet over the water. The ride is obviously assisted by the Haines Group integrating its hulls into a single unit with what is termed 'Nexus' technology.
Against the GPS, our test 632F planed at a lowly 7.7 knots with the 200hp Suzuki four-stroke scarcely ticking over at 1900rpm. But in the Suzuki V6's fuel efficient cruising range (between 3000rpm and 4000rpm) the 632F covered the ground from 13 knots to just under 26 knots. Push the pedal to the metal and she wound out 38.7 knots, which is more than fast enough for family fun with inflatable wake toys.
The cabin sleeps a couple in some comfort and offers that feminine boating must, a portable toilet. (It's not on the options list, but comes standard!)
Also highly desirable on the standard equipment list is an aft swim platform and foldaway boarding ladder. There's even a big transom door for easy coming and going.
A foldaway rear lounge set into the aft bulkhead will please the idle boater, and handily stows away for the serious business of bringing home fresh fish.
The boat features monstrous side pockets that include rod racks that actually held a couple of offshore fishing outfits during our test. Somehow we resisted temptation to try the rods out.
For serious fishing, these cockpit side pockets are hard to beat. Not only do they contain an offshore angler's tools of trade, plus more than the usual amount of stuff - which inevitably ends up in side pockets - but some clever moulding provides proper leg support for offshore fishing.
An optional bait prep station above the aft lounge, seen on our test boat, is a piece of work in itself. It can be faced forward into the cockpit while fishing, or turned around out of the way when the lounge is occupied.
If you make a mess with bait - and who doesn't ? - the deck features an easy wash down. Oh yeah, and if you catch some fish, there's a big ice/fish box underfoot in the centre of the cockpit.
A 40lt well set into the aft bulkhead can be plumbed as a live well, or used as a drinks cooler or rubbish bin. The pump serving the live well operates through a three-way valve allowing it to be bait pump, deck wash, or a saltwater shower.
A 40lt freshwater tank is optional for extended outings, and the fuel tank contains a healthy 200lt.
The test boat was optioned with twin batteries, a great idea if you intend to spend a lot of time offshore.
In the helm area, each comfortable bucket seat has its own footrest.
The windscreen grab rail fitted is a must have option for those intending to use this boat offshore. An armoured glass windscreen also comes standard on the 632F.
With the (optional) hardtop and clears, the helm is completely sheltered. On a not overly pleasant day on southern Moreton Bay the 632F proved snug and comfortable at all times. And before getting away from the hardtop, no doubt the fishos will have already noted the rod rack up there.
A removable yet fully lockable cabin door adds security when moored and that just about completes this truly excellent Aussie family/fishing 6m boat. The 632F is right up there with the best of 'em. And now, with its International CE certification, it will soon be out there with 'em, too.