Haines Signature 575RF
Written by Paula on 21st June 2013
The Haines family has been making boats for more than 50 years, and in that time the Signature brand has deservedly built up a reputation for producing some top-notch boats. The Queensland-based boat builder announced the first of its new generation Signature hulls at last year’s Sydney International Boat Show, releasing the 575RF tested here.
According to the company, the 575RF is the first of more to come.
The 575RF and its new generation hull is the first new design since company founder John Haines Snr passed away in 2009. It’s also the first of what look to be more specialised fishing orientated boats, which is great news if you’re a serious offshore fisho in the market for a premium boat. Haines Signature has also signed up well-known TV presenter Paul Worsteling and will release a larger “signature” model featuring input from the TV show host.
The new generation hull features the Signature Variable Deadrise (SVDH) concept. The hull is a completely new design over previous hull shapes. Not that there was anything wrong with the existing Signature hulls, of course! The new hull features a slightly sharper entry and a 21-degree deadrise. The front keel section has a redesigned step down, which Signature put in place to direct the spray coming forward from the wide plank back down at the water. Towards the transom, Signature has designed “built-in trim tabs” for slower planing speeds and to assist in attaining good fuel economy. These “tabs” are also handy for cruising around and trolling lures at slow speeds.
While the hull itself has been given a major make-over, so has the overall layout, with a notable design trend towards fishing applications. The transom has been shortened to create more cockpit space and a portside transom door has been added to allow easy access on and off the boat. The rear lounge is very sturdy and folds down easily for additional space when the fishing action heats up. There’s also a handy netted section at the rear to stash leaders and other odds and ends.
Under each gunwale is an optional side box insert with side pocket storage and tackle trays. There’s also a useful fish measuring ruler, which may seem gimmicky, but it sure beats the old faded yellow sticker. The side box is a worthwhile optional extra. According to Haines, all customers so far have gone with this option.
Rod holders are positioned on the gunwale and can be customised to suit the individual fisho. There’s also a rod rocket launcher above the targa roof.
Under the floor sits a 220 litre poly fuel tank as standard. Haines Signature says the longevity of this material means it will outlast other fuel tank materials such as alloy and or stainless and doesn’t sweat as much. Sweating can cause moisture and that’s bad news for outboards.
Further towards the bow there’s also a 200 litre capacity underfloor kill tank suitable for storing larger fish. There are two lids and they can be fully removed for easier access to remove the catch. The kill tank drains back to the auto bilge at the transom.
The Business End
The helm area features two comfortable seats and there’s plenty of storage and space for essentials such as EPIRBs, VHF radio, stereos and so on in a handy recessed section.
The dash featured a 12-inch Garmin 5012 running a GSD24 black box and 1kW transducer.
This area would allow a 15 inch screen to be fitted with the help of a packer. With more and more fishos taking electronics very seriously, and spending big dollars on quality units, it’s good to see companies such as Haines Signature taking notice and designing boats with this in mind.
The test boat also featured two Garmin GMI 10 units installed in place of traditional engine gauges. They’re not essential when the same data can be viewed on the main sounder unit, but for the convenience of not swapping screens, they’re a good idea.
The test boat also had fitted an Autotether which is basically a wireless auto kill switch that the skipper wears.
This handy device will cut the engine if the skipper goes overboard and can locate crew who also happen to go overboard.
The cabin bunk area has been shortened, now allowing space for storage. This boat has been designed for fishing and unnecessarily long bunks just impinge on valuable fishing space.
There was plenty of storage, however, and the test boat also featured a Porta Potti. Access to the bow is simple with a folding hatch allowing unimpeded access without having to crawl through a small hatch. The test boat didn’t feature an anchor winch, however, Signature has a couple of different winches on offer and it would make sense to have one installed.
On The Water
The boat test day followed on from Haines Suzuki’s DF140A outboard launch. The Haines Group chose the new 575RF to be used as a camera boat for a bunch of media shooting photos of the new outboard. The new 140 was being tested on the smaller Signature 543F.
It was a good opportunity to sample the 575’s stability in testing conditions and with a few heavy blokes on board. Overall stability was good and while we weren’t fishing, I have no doubt fishing three or four on board would present no problems whatsoever in reasonably rough sea conditions.
The stiff north-easterly persisted the following day and Queensland’s Moreton Bay is no place for an ill-equipped boat. Thankfully, the 575RF is far from that and the bay’s short steep chop provided a great testing ground for the new generation hull.
The boat remained nice and dry, despite steep chop, and the ride was comfortable. We cruised through the rougher water at about 18 knots and 3500 RPM. Back in the calmer water a comfortable and fuel-efficient cruising speed was 25 knots and 4200 RPM with a fuel reading of 0.6 litre per kilometer. The boat’s top speed was 38 knots at 6000RPM.
The 575 also featured optional trim tabs which also helped keep us level while travelling across the choppy bay.
The 575RF is rated to a maximum 175hp. Signature fitted a Suzuki 175hp four stroke to the test boat, which was more than adequate with excellent acceleration and top end speed. Someone looking to save a few dollars could probably opt for the new DF140A and still have a very capable fishing boat with plenty of power.
With a wide range of options, a new fishing friendly design and an impressive hull, Haines Signature’s new generation of boats could be just the thing for offshore fishos in the market for a premium Aussie-made offshore sportfisher.
Deadrise: 21-38 degrees
HULL WEIGHT: 1000kg
MAX HP: 175hp
Price: From $64,999; as tested $86,874