REVIEWED: Haines Signature 580F

Haines Signature has a reputation for producing quality fibreglass packagesthat deliver the goods in so many ways. Mick Fletoridis reports on one of thelatest.

HAINES Marine has been producing its Signature range of fibreglass boatssince the 1980s and in that period has received both industry and consumeracclaim for its efforts. With a lineup that covers the gamut of popular boatingactivities – bowriders, runabouts, cruisers and fishing boats – the highlypolished and sought after Signature range has something for everyone.

The “F” range signifies Signatures with a fishing bent, althoughfamily and fun will easily slot in there as well. One of the latest entriesinto the popular F range is the 580F which joins an impressive stable that runsthrough models from 4.6m (460F) to 6.3m (632F) in length.

The best way to get to know a boat is to spend a decent amount of time onboard getting to know its favourable (or not so) characteristics. My brother-in-lawand a good mate went halves a couple of years back to purchase a second handSignature 540F. I’ve been fortunate to spend a bit of time fishing and muckingabout on their boat and have been impressed in every way, especially with theride quality.

Having coming back from the offshore fishing grounds out of South West Rocksone morning as dark brooding skies and strong wind threatened a safe returntrip back in a following sea to the area’s treacherous sand bar, I quicklybecame a fan of the handling and comfortable ride offered by the 540F. 

Design & layout
The 580F test boat, supplied by Sydney’sHunt’s Marine, almost felt like home after my brief history with theaforementioned 540F. Appropriately, the 580 feels a bigger, well-proportionedcraft and is finished to typically high Signature standard.

According to the manufacturers, a high grade of stronger, lighter fibreglassthat requires less resin is used to construct a Signature hull. A high glossgelcoat finish designed to not suffer the detrimental effects of UV raysdelivers that world class ‘glass boat finish. The Signature range also featuresthe latest Data Dot security technology to make hulls identifiable in the caseof theft.

Entering the deck from the stern was made easier thanks to a stainless steeltransom rail, boarding step and transom door. The deck is covered in marinegrade carpet which features upholstery clips to facilitate easy removal whenserious and messy fishing activity is on the cards Ð some fishos might opt togive the carpet option a miss as keeping it looking good can be a full timejob; a quick hose down of the deck after a trip makes cleaning up a whole loteasier.

Fishos have generally been catered for nicely with the 580F. Large mouldedside pockets port and starboard offer storage areas for gaffs, boat hooks,paddles and a couple of outfits a side, in separate partitioned compartments.

A transom live well resides on the portside and is large enough to keep agood supply of baits lively for a decent fishing session. The gunwales arefitted with four stainless steel rod holders (two a side) and the gunwalefeatures non-slip grip to make it easier to reach any of the six outfits thatcan be stored in the optional overhead rocket launcher, or simply to manoeuvrearound, or board the boat with added peace of mind.

The aft lounge features an attractive cushion design that curves its wayaround the transom. The lounge also features striking blue and whiteupholstery, which neatly matches the boat’s striking outer colour scheme. Thelounge itself is fully removable, adding to the rear deck fishability. Astorage compartment is available underneath once the lounge is removed which issure to help to ensure deck clutter is kept to a minimum. An added bonus isthat the compartment is removable and can double as a kill tank if required.

The test boat as supplied by Hunt’s Marine featured a blue canvas bimini topsupported by stylish stainless pipe work that encompasses the rocket launcher whichnicely blends in with the boat’s two-tone blue and white theme. A fluorescentlight is mounted aft and centre on the bimini to provide deck lighting fornighttime activities.

The bow end of the cockpit features a couple of pedestal mount bucket seats forthe skipper and mate. The seats swivel 360 degrees, which will be handy duringnight bait soaking sessions; the skipper’s has slide adjustment to getoperators closer to or further away from the controls. The dash layout looksfairly neat with woodgrain style panelling a feature of the moulded dash andhighlighting the instrumentation and switch panel. There is ample open space onthe dashboard for flush mounting a combo sounder/GPS unit with a decent sizescreen but slotting in one of the large screen sets now available that resemblea small plasma TV might prove a struggle. The port side has a glove box and ahandy tackle compartment with space for 10 small tackle trays accessed via ahinged lid Ð a neat feature.

The windscreen is made up of two flat panels of toughened glass and twofront facing panels that nicely follow the curves around the cabin and bowsection.

A stint behind the wheel gave an indication of the good level of visionavailable from the helm. The cockpit itself feels quite roomy and the additionof clears makes the area well protected from the weather and gives the boatgood offshore capability and added comfort.     

The 580F’s cabin features a wide entry to make getting in and out as easy asit should be; there’s nothing worse than trying to negotiate a tiny cabin entryway in below average sea conditions. The cabin area has good headroom and has aroomy feel although the bunks provided are only substantial enough for kids tostretch out on. A couple of adults could probably make do here for anovernighter and anyone suffering seasickness would definitely put thecushioning to good use here for a few hours if needed.

Some storage space is provided below the in-fill cushions and shelvingabove, port and starboard, provides plenty of room to store safety gear andother items. The centre cushion is removable and below resides a portablechemical toilet, an aspect which is sure to please family boaters. Teardropporthole windows provide good natural light to the cabin and a hatch is well placedfor easy access to the deep anchor well and bowsprit. The hatch lid is fittedwith a gas strut to alleviate the need to support it while open. Split stainless steel bowrails are an aesthetically pleasing and practical touch.

On the water
Damian Kerves from Hunt’s Marine gave a good demonstration of the 580F’son-water attributes on Botany Bay for thisreview. Power rated to 150hp, the test boat was fitted with maximum power inthe form of a Yamaha 150hp four-stroke fitted with a 19″ pitch stainless steelprop. This combination gave the boat excellent throttle response and virtualinstantaneous planing from rest. Planing was achieved at 10.9 knots @ 3200rpmwhile cruising was effortless at 14.5 knots @ 3100rpm. We saw 22.7 knots @4000rpm while WOT produced an impressive 37.4 knots @ 5900rpm. As impressive asthis level of performance is, many family boaters and fishos would find thepower provided by the minimum power rated 115hp to be more than adequate andalso a much cheaper option.

The 580F typically exhibited confidence inspiring handling and ride at allspeeds in pleasant, untrying conditions. The hull’s variable deadrisedefinitely offers a good compromise when it comes to ride, handling andstability. An operator would have to do something radically stupid inconditions to get into difficulty in a boat like this. With the 580F familiesand serious fishos are well catered for and with Signatures holding their valuepretty well down the line you might be smiling for a long time to come.


LENGTH: 5.8m (LOA with bowsprit)
BEAM: 2.32m
DEADRISE: 33 degrees at entry, 21 degrees at transom
POWER: 115-150hp recommended; as tested 150hp Yamaha four-stroke
WEIGHT: Hullonly 800kgs; approx. towing weight 1750kgs
PRICE: As tested $66,997
CONTACT: Review boat supplied by Hunt’s Marine, (02) 9546 1324; contact HainesMarine direct on (07) 3271 4400; website at: 

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