Haines Hunter 585R with Yamaha F200 4-stroke

As tested, this is the boat that you get for $113,900 - nearly 6m of Australian-built Haines Hunter 585R. With custom canopy and clears from Chelsea Yamaha, it’s well decked out for snapper fishing in the bay and beyond.

by Steve Morgan •

We hope for windy days while boat testing, but not at the speed that Port Phillip Bay dished out while testing this Haines Hunter 585R (runabout), fitted with a Yamaha F200 by Chelsea Marine. As one of the rigs that Rob Neely and his team are setting up for their stand at the Melbourne Boat Show, I was keen on testing its Port Phillip Bay abilities in some breeze.

The 30+ knots and washing-machine-like conditions put a pretty rapid halt to that. Nonetheless, we were able to get the rig out on the water and eventually find a location where we could do some economy figures.

To put the hull into perspective, I asked Rob why Haines Hunters were such a popular boat.

“Lots of people buy a Haines Hunter and then never buy anything else,” Rob said, “It’s a combination of comfort, stability, economy and resale value.”

Indeed, Rob had plenty of Haines Hunters in the showroom when we turned up at the dealership to pick up the test boats.

By nature, the runabout design is pretty simple. Runabouts are made with less cabin space and more cockpit to offer serious anglers plenty of fishing room down the back. The 585 definitely has plenty of space, with a 2.4m beam adding to the work area.

The test boat was set up for fishing, with rocket-launcher style rod holders in the targa top, a large bait station and plenty of room in the side pockets. It was also fitted with the removable side door to help in loading the boat on the trailer and getting swimmers and divers out of the water when afloat.

Both the hull and trailer are Melbourne-built. The tandem, galvanised Easytow features plenty of rollers to make drive on and off launching easy - even on windy days like the test day.
From above you can get a good idea of the amount of room in the sub 6m craft. There’s plenty of space there to get some serious fishing done.
The 2.4m of beam combined with a deep vee make this a stable hull that rides well in the rough.
The R in the model name means ‘runabout,’ which translates to plenty of deck space and a smaller cabin. You can see the lid to the massive underfloor kill box between the helm and passenger seats.
The helm includes the Yamaha digital throttle and shift, which is very smooth and impressive. We’d like to be able to mount larger sounders flush into the dash, though.
Lenco trim tabs help you adjust the attitude when running heavy or uneven loads. With the lightly loaded boat we didn’t need them on the test day.
There’s enough cabin room to get out of the weather and it’s no problem to fit an optional portable toilet in there to keep the family happy.
The fold-out rear lounge isn’t full width, but can hold a couple of passengers. The rear bait station slides in and out.
There’s an optional, removable gunwale door and tons of room in the side pockets. The door slides out rather than being hinged.
A clear anchor well door lets in a lot of natural light to the cabin.
Rob Neely reckons that the Yamaha F200s are ‘bulletproof’. We didn’t shoot it to find out, but they are definitely economical, giving a theoretical range of around 450km.
Talk to Chelsea Yamaha about custom stainless targa and canopy/clears combinations. They have a full trim shop in-house.
Call it a kill box or a wet storage area for your snorkeling gear. Whatever your bent, it’s a handy addition to the 585.

Often the importance of a good trailer under a hull is overlooked. The Aussie-made Easytow trailers work well under these hulls and the combination of wobble and keel rollers make it a pleasure to drive on and off, even in windy conditions like on the test day. Dual axles are a must for any rig around 2000kg and this rig will tow easily behind nearly all twin-cab 4WDs.

As expected, Yamaha’s F200 delivered exceptional economy, squeezing just under 2km/L burned at 4000rpm and 39km/h. Combine this with the 230L underfloor fuel tank and there’s a theoretical range of nearly 450km on a single fill. If that’s not enough for you, you’re going to need a bigger boat.

At the helm, Yamaha’s new fly-by-wire digital throttle and shift impressed. It takes a little to get used to the sensitivity and smoothness of this new system, but once you do, you’ll never want to go back to mechanical throttle cables again.

Overall, you should look at the 585R if you’re more of a fisher than a family weekend kind of person. It’s designed with plenty of room and storage for all things piscatorial. But the significant other and kids will be comfortable nonetheless if they want to tag along.

Haines Hunters aren’t cheap – the test rig weighed in at $113,900, however basic packages for this hull start at around $90,000. Give Rob and the staff at Chelsea Yamaha a call for more information or see them and this boat at the Melbourne Boat Show. Find them online at www.chelseayamaha.com.au and like Chelsea Yamaha on Facebook.

Length Overall
Beam  2.40m
Hull Weight 950kg
Transom 25”
Fuel 230L
Max hp  200