Sandman’s Stylish Sportfisher!


Haine’s Hunter 585R Limited

You’ll need to hang-on to your hat in this Honda-powered Haines Hunter 585R Limited. Jim Harnwell reports.

BY day, he’s mild-mannered Ben Sandman, of marine PR/media specialist Sandman Public Relations. By night, especially after a few beers, he’s something else! In that light, it’s no surprise Sandman’s brand new Haines Hunter 585R Limited reflects both the serious and social sides of his personality. A prime example of combining the best of both worlds, this Honda-powered beast has been customised as a serious inshore and offshore fishing machine, as well as a high-performance social cruiser. 

No limits

The 585R Limited is the first in a series of limited edition models to be released by Haines Hunter to celebrate its 50-year heritage as one of Australia’s leading fibreglass boat manufacturers. Limited models will also be released in 600R and 650R versions.

Measuring 6.0m LOA with a beam of 2.40m, the 585R Limited incorporates Haines Hunter’s latest manufacturing technique – the Structural Safety Matrix (SSM).

Built into the 21 degree Performance Deadrise Vee (PDV) hull, Haines Hunter says its SSM comprises an advanced, fully-fibreglassed stringer system for ultimate hull strength. Lined with Divinycell – a high-density, buoyant and impact-resistant material – and fully foam-filled, there’s no denying this is one super-strong hull. With a hull-only weight of over a tonne, this is a true ‘go anywhere, do anything’ boat. In my opinion, Haines Hunter could comfortably double or even triple its standard seven-year structural hull warranty if the construction of this boat is anything to go by.

The hull has been finished in a classy charcoal colour, which is new to Haines Hunter’s gelcoat colour range, and features stylish new Limited marlin decals and a freshly-designed chrome Haines Hunter logo. Topped off with a highly-polished 32mm custom-built stainless steel rocket launcher and a dark grey bimini to match the hull, this is a slick-looking rig.

Stepping onboard through the portside transom walkthrough, two-tiered side pockets run the length of the cockpit. The lower tiers, with double rod racks, provide secure storage for boat hooks, nets, tagpoles and light spin rods, while the extra-wide upper tier pockets are large enough to store fenders, lure boxes/rolls, leader material and all manner of other gear.

Cleverly, Sandman has mounted two 1kg fire extinguishers on the forward bulkhead of each of the side pockets. Up and out of the way, they’re easily accessible should they ever be required.

The side pockets also have padded coamings that run the full length of the cockpit through to the transom. Together with the secure toe-holds that run underneath the bottom tier of the side pockets, the coamings provide a comfortable fishing position for fighting big fish.

Wide gunwales feature two flush-mounted stainless steel rod holders on each side of the boat, and built into the starboardside transom corner is a huge, plumbed livebait tank. A small tray, just beneath the lid, is ideal for placing rigged swim or skip baits to keep them out of the water to prevent them becoming soggy, or to place small lures as they’re changed during a fishing session.

A small door beneath the livebait tank provides access to the dual batteries, while a deckwash system is hidden away in the opposite transom corner. Stainless steel supports for a solid bait station are located in the centre, over the engine well, although the baitboard wasn’t installed during the test.

The rear lounge, which folds neatly away into the transom, is wide enough to comfortably seat two people during long runs to the fishing grounds, or while cruising to some of Port Phillip Bay’s waterside restaurants or secluded beaches with the ladies (another of Sandman’s favourite pastimes).

Up front, the spacious cabin has been fully lined with carpet, with the one-piece bunk infill creating a comfortable V-berth, which is large enough for two people to spend the night. Along with the tinted-perspex sunroof/cabin hatch, Sandman has also installed a fluorescent tube light which lights up the entire cabin at the flick of a switch. The cabin side pockets are long and deep, with additional cavernous storage areas offered beneath the bunk cushions.

Located in the deck between the skipper and passenger helm seats is huge fish well which is accessed via a hinged hatch. Fully insulated and plumbed, this large storage well doubles as an icebox for cold drinks during a hot session. 

Helluva helm

Sandman has made good use of the dash and helm area to house all his electronics and other controls.

Flush-mounted into the carbon fibre dash panel are Honda Marine Faria gauges – speed, tacho, trim and fuel – along with a Lowrance HDS10 (matched to a 600W through-hull transducer). Linked into the Honda BF200 via the NMEA2000 network, the HDS10 has been configured to display a huge range of engine management information. From average trip speed to fuel flow and everything in between, more and more Australian anglers are maximising NMEA2000 to gather all the data they can from their engines to truly understand their boats and get the most out of them.

The LED indicator and control for the Lenco trim tabs, along with the control panel for the Stress-Free NG Series anchor winch, are mounted side-by-side and within easy reach when driving. Sandman has also opted for a stainless steel SARCA Excel anchor, which fits nicely into the bow sprit – and delivers incredible holding power without ripping up the ocean floor.

A concealed control panel/ignition is also within easy reach and the throttle control has been installed in a perfect position whether standing or seated. Fibreglass footrests in front of the gas-strut pedestal bucket seats add to the comfort of the seating and driving position.

Drink holders, large enough to hold a can in a stubby holder, are located within easy reach of the driver and passenger, while the large portside glove box is ideal is ideal for keeping wallets, mobile phones and car keys safe and dry. 

Wired for sound

Flush-mounted in the dash above the cabin entry is a Lowrance LVR-880 VHF marine radio and Jensen Marine MSR2107 ‘black box’ stereo system. As a music lover myself, I found this system particularly interesting.

This Jensen Marine stereo lacks the bulk of traditional marine stereos – the head unit is less than an inch deep, with a cable running from the back to the black box (which has been discretely mounted inside the cabin). The box itself holds up to 1GB of music, while the iPod connector cable and USB socket – into which you can simply plug-in your favourite tunes – are located inside the glove box (as is a 12V power socket to charge phones or run a handheld spotlight). The stereo also offers full iPod control, so the iPod is safe from the elements inside the glove box.

With four very cool-looking and powerful Jensen Marine waterproof speakers installed around the boat and a kicking amplified subwoofer located in the cabin, this boat pumps out some serious sound!

If you don’t hear him coming with the music blaring, you’ll see certainly see him! For night fishing, Sandman has mounted two Hella Marine LED floodlights on the rocket launcher, which can be swivelled to face any direction, while blue LED strip lighting has been installed underneath the side pockets to illuminate the deck. (The boat will feature SeaDek flooring, although it wasn’t yet laid when we did the test.)

A blue LED courtesy light has also been installed near the rear step for safe boarding / disembarking at night, and located beneath the waterline are two blue Aqualuma underwater lights.

Having seen these powerful lights in action, I’m already on the job to install a couple in Fishing World’s new Bar Crusher 620C project boat. Aside from lighting up the water around the rear of boat and looking awesome, Sandman says the Aqualuma lights are particularly useful for attracting squid when targeting them at night. 

Not only that, while underway at night these powerful lights illuminate the wake bright blue for several metres behind the boat, which carries with it obvious safety advantages. All of the lighting and other onboard accessories – automatic bilge pump, livebait tank, deckwash and the like – have been wired into a marine survey-rated circuit breaker system, similar to that used by Riviera and other large boat builders. Eliminating the need to fiddle around with changing fuses, in the event of power surge the circuit breaker kicks-in and a simple press of a button on the switch panel resets it.

To avoid ever being stuck with flat batteries from running all the electronics onboard his rig, Sandman has also installed a BEP Marine battery management system. In a nutshell, this innovative system always charges the primary battery (used for starting the engine) first and once it’s full it automatically switches over to charge the battery from which all the accessories run. 

Hang on!

I was on the water with Sandman when he launched his new rocket – and having waited several months for it to be built he was champing at the bit to give it a serious squirt!

The shiny new Honda BF200 is the same model Fishing World reviewed in the final instalment of the engine-testing program  conducted over the past year. (See the April 2010 issue for a full review.)

Fitted with an 18-inch four-blade Solas stainless steel prop, the powerful BLAST-equipped V6 Honda shot the 585R Limited out of the hole and straight onto the plane. Smoothly powering through the rev range, the boat lapped up everything we threw at it in the calm conditions on the day.Straight out of the box, Honda engines love to be driven hard, particularly in the first 10 hours which will result in a better performing engine in the long term. The flogging we gave it on that day was a good start!

Sandman tells me in the 25 hours he’s since put on the engine he’s noted a significant increase in performance, with the BF200 delivering a top-end speed of over 43 knots (80km/h) at 5600rpm. At a more sensible cruising speed of around 32 knots (60km/h) at 4200rpm the NMEA 2000 data displayed on the Lowrance HDS10 reveals the fuel-efficient Honda uses under 30L/h… a fuel miser in anyone’s language. With the 585R Limited’s 230L fuel tank, that equates to a serious range.

Combining Haines Hunter/Honda perfection and performance with Sandman’s  preferences for other quality products has created one seriously stylish sportfisher. 

I can’t wait to fish from it again!

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