There has been a lot of talk on the forums and in the media about some boats being ‘fishing weapons’ ‘fishing machines’ and others being ‘too pretty to fish out of’ or a ‘compromise’. With our boats regularly winning the accolades of fishing boat of the year this has never really been the case, but in case you were ever in doubt about the credentials of fibreglass trailer boats you don’t have to look far to see some fine examples of fishing platforms (in a perhaps more refined and comfortable but equally effective guise).
The latest model from The Haines Group is the Signature 543RF first seen in March at the Tinnie and Tackle show in Brisbane. This is a purpose built fishing boat which is equally as happy jigging for AJ’s at the FAD’s west of Rottnest Island in WA as it is pulling in trout off Townsville QLD or settling in to a blustery evening in Port Phillip Bay VIC. This is a true Australian fishing boat.
The RF series has been popular for many years due to it’s prime fishing focus with extra workspace in the deck area and a space (where the cabin would be) which is filled with storage compartments and a walk through to the bow and anchor. The RF also features a higher set windscreen to give that extra protection from the elements.
For those of you with a keen eye you will notice that from the gunwhale down the 543RF is the already proven hull design shared with the 542RF and the legendary 540F which travelled from Darwin to Japan under the guidance of skipper Hans Throlstrup.
The real differences here are the totally redesigned areas above and inside the gunwhale. The 543RF has all the Signature hallmarks with everything being perfectly positioned and there being a place for all your gear so you are not tripping over it. Not only that but you can get to your fishing spot quickly and without thinking you have just done three rounds in the ring with the world champ thanks to the smooth and comfortable patented SVDH (Signature Variable Deadrise Hull).
In terms of the 543RF it has the following stand out features:
- At approx 1400kgs towing weight this boat does not need the 4x4.
- There are large volume stowage boxes in the bow.
- The freeboard has been increased.
- There are toe holds under the side boxes for that extra security and comfort.
- The helm is in a perfect position for either stand up or sit down driving positions.
- A modern dash to suit up to 12” screen electronics.
- A lockable glove box / ice box.
- A full flat floor with stowage.
- Integrated tackle boxes.
- A 12 volt power plug.
- Carling switches as standard.
- A Walk through transom (or fish landing gate!).
- A fold up lounge.
- Deck support – King Starboard.
- All new side boxes, modernised and with integrated ruler.
- A shortened grab rail to enable the mounting of Snapper racks.
- An auto bilge pump as standard.
- A dedicated stereo space on dash (stereo optional).
- A concealed anchor winch space (winch is optional).
- Transom step with recessed ladder (optional).
As with all Signatures you will only feel the real benefits when you have been out on the water in one and when you have owned one and realise how good the quality is and therefore the resale value.
With a Signature you also get a genuine 5+2 year warranty (5 year structural, 2 year parts) where you don’t need to be super paranoid about the fine print or whether the company will still be in business in a few years.
The Signature 543RF has already gone in to production with our dedicated team of Australian boat builders at our south east Queensland factory and is available to order from your local Signature dealer.