Haines Signature 675F Review
Old ethics and new technologies are combined in this new Haines Signature purpose-built fishing platform.
The 675F is the biggest fishing platform in the Haines Signature stable and she's the flagship of the line. While her lineage is immediately apparent from just a quick look, the 675F is a totally new boat. She's also the first new model from the Haines Group produced with (recently installed) state-of-the-art CAD/CAM and RTM technology.
During the design phase, the 675F was initially 'drawn' on a computer screen as a 2D and a 3D model, with help from CAD (computer aided design). Then, CAM (computer aided manufacture) software took over to direct a sophisticated tool to cut moulds with unprecedented precision.
These moulds were used to produce the boat's individual components, through a process that the Haines Group have tagged with yet another acronym, RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding.)
Resin Transfer Moulding uses a rigid enclosed mould that's injected with the precise amount of resin. It creates mouldings that have a high-quality finish on both sides, with exactly the required thickness and density. As well as being strong and light, the mouldings created by the RTM process are environmentally more friendly since the process eliminates styrene emissions and reduces the need for toxic consumables such as acetone, a component of the traditional fibreglassing method. Before taking the new 675F out on the water, the team thoroughly checked the finished product.
By peering anywhere we could find the backside of a moulding ' underneath the fishing workstation perched on the transom was a good place to start ' we soon realised just how well-formed the 675F's RTM mouldings are. They give this production boat a remarkably good custom-like finish.
On the water
Out on the water, with 300 horses on her transom, the 675F tackled the usual mishmash of wind chop and boat wakes on the Southport Broadwater with ease, showing off yet another aspect of new technology that's been incorporated into the 675F's hull.
For some years, the Haines Group has been developing a technology it calls 'Nexus', which essentially bonds the hull skin and liner moundings, with foam filling where necessary, into an integrated whole. The 675F incorporates the new generation of 'Nexus' technology.
When big cruisers ply the Broadwater, they often send one and a half wake waves at you at that awkward angle, the hull is forced time and again to crash down onto its bow shoulder. A day of this has a tendency to shake your fillings loose, much to the delight of Gold Coast dentists.
But even with the 300hp maintaining our pace, the 675F's new technology delivered an outstandingly 'tight' hull that calms the internal graunches and creaks usually associated with cruiser wakes. On the water, the hull handled the 300hp effortlessly (the hull is rated between 150 and 300hp) and while she's been designed as a serious fishing boat, she'll also fill a parallel role as a family cruiser with ease.
The cockpit is well thought out for fishing as serious or as casual as you'd like. The cabin will accommodate a couple comfortably during an overnight stay. The helm area's been set up with a mind to both travelling to fish offshore (standing at the wheel, in other words) and lazing around places like southern Moreton Bay in the bucket seats.
You may note heaps of stuff stowed around the boat in our photo spread. That's because this particular boat is used on a daily basis by Haines Group Managing Director Greg Haines. This day-to-day familiarity is evident in the details an experienced boatie will appreciate. Like hinged tackle boxes along each side of the cockpit, so you can get at the fishing gear fast, and a VHF radio and stereo in recesses beside the helm and passenger seats, which help protect them from damaging spray while keeping them readily at hand.
Something you don't see in the test boat is a passenger seat option where the bucket tilts away to reveal a galley complete with a stove, sink and fridge. Greg apparently prefers the twin iceboxes seen here. If the landing nets and gaffs are any indication, he also uses that spacious fish bin, set under deck between the helm area seats.
At the transom, the 675F's dual lifestyle capability is well catered for with a huge live-well on the starboard side and a transom door that opens onto a boarding deck and a folding ladder to port. The comfortable three-quarter lounge across the transom bulkhead stows, leaving a flat padded bolster to lean against while fishing.
The Haines Signature 675F strikes a perfect balance between a serious fishing machine and comfortable family cruiser.
WORDS : WARREN STEPTOE