Haines Hunter SP725

Re­cently up­dated and re­freshed, the SP725 is one of Haines Hunter’s pre­mium mod­els. Sar­isha is the com­pany’s demo ves­sel, so nearly ev­ery box on the ex­ten­sive op­tions list has been ticked, in­clud­ing the one for a 4.2-litre 300hp V6 Yamaha out­board, though

Boating NZ - - Contents - BY JOHN EICHELSHEIM

One of the mar­que’s top-line mod­els gets a make-over. The prod­uct’s bet­ter than ever.

As be­fits a pre­mium model, Haines Hunter has spec­i­fied a top-of-the-line, heavy-duty DMW Pre­mier Se­ries tan­dem trailer un­der the boat. Fea­tur­ing classy-look­ing al­loy wheels and a cen­tral walk­way, the trailer is braked on both axles with stain­less steel calipers and ro­tors. On the road, the rig weighs in at around 2,600kg, so an elec­tric-over-hy­draulic Sensa-brake sys­tem gives peace of mind when tow­ing it.

A prom­i­nent fea­ture of the trailer is the Balex Au­to­matic Boat Loader, a piece of equip­ment that’s in­creas­ingly re­quested, ex­plained Seacraft’s Den­nis Mc­corkin­dale. The Balex makes launch­ing and re­triev­ing the boat a breeze, as Den­nis demon­strated dur­ing our re­view.

The 2018 model SP725 is an open hard­top sedan model with overnight­ing ca­pac­ity. The in­te­rior lay­out has re­mained largely un­changed since the model was first re­leased in 2011, but the helm con­sole has been up­dated to ac­com­mo­date to­day’s large multi-func­tion dis­plays, in this case a Sim­rad 16-inch unit. The SP/SF725 was de­vel­oped af­ter most of the moulds for the then-flag­ship SF700/720 model were de­stroyed in a dis­as­trous fac­tory fire in 2010.

Re­leased in 1986, the 700 was de­vel­oped by (then) MillerMoyes Seacraft for the New Zealand mar­ket af­ter the com­pany pur­chased Haines Hunter NZ out­right from its Aus­tralian par­ent com­pany in 1985. The 700/720 shared con­sid­er­able DNA with the hugely pop­u­lar Haines Hunter V198 they’d man­u­fac­tured here un­der li­cense since 1980.

By us­ing the ex­ist­ing 700 as the base de­sign, but tak­ing

Un­der­way, the boat tracks straight and re­sponds crisply to the helm.

ad­van­tage of CAD tech­nol­ogy, they en­hanced the new 725 by al­ter­ing cer­tain di­men­sions and adding new de­sign fea­tures. The slightly larger 725 se­ries of­fered more spa­cious in­te­rior lay­outs, su­pe­rior han­dling and bet­ter per­for­mance, but main­tained the fine pedi­gree of its pre­de­ces­sors, which is very ev­i­dent in Sar­isha. NEW MOULD­INGS The SF725’S new helm con­sole has plenty of space for mod­ern elec­tron­ics. On this boat all the gauges are elec­tronic, in­clud­ing Yamaha’s Com­mand Link dis­play and sep­a­rate dis­plays for the elec­tronic steer­ing and Zip­wake au­to­matic trim tabs. The VHF ra­dio and Fusion Apollo Blue­tooth stereo are housed in the hard­top con­sole above the wind­screen.

The other ma­jor up­date to the new SP725 is the floor. Cov­ered in soft-touch, light-grey Ul­tralon U-deck pan­els, it’s a moulded com­pos­ite PVC foam sand­wich that’s bonded to the hull, cre­at­ing wa­ter­tight cham­bers un­der the floor that pro­vide the ves­sel’s re­serve buoy­ancy.

The cock­pit’s moulded side pock­ets are part of the floor struc­ture, but the new floor is not a dropin hull liner, as used by some other man­u­fac­tur­ers in con­junc­tion with ex­pand­ing foam for buoy­ancy, but rather a struc­tural com­po­nent of the hull. The floor con­tains no wood, so rot is never go­ing to be

an is­sue, and wa­ter can’t find its way into the hull.

Struc­tural floors were pi­o­neered with the Haines Hunter 485 ( Boat­ing NZ, July 2009), and later in­cor­po­rated in the 725 and 545 mod­els. They will soon be ex­tended to the rest of the Haines Hunter model range.

The com­pos­ite floors are not only stronger and lighter than the ma­rine ply­wood floors they re­placed, they are also eas­ier to clean and should still be as good as new when the boat is 20 years old.

CLAS­SIC LINES

There’s a time­less­ness to the ap­pear­ance and in­te­rior am­bi­ence of this large Cpc-rated trailer boat. What you see is what you get – a solid, hand­some, nicely ap­pointed ves­sel that will do what­ever you want it to do, whether that’s fish­ing, div­ing, overnight ex­pe­di­tions, day trips, or en­joy­ing fam­ily wa­ter­sports fun.

Sar­isha has all the fruit, from Sim­rad 4G broad­band radar to a dual fair­lead and split bowrail for de­ploy­ing a reef an­chor or ty­ing up to a moor­ing. The ves­sel has top qual­ity Ocean Blue tele­scopic out­rig­gers, an LED light bar on the hard­top roof and LED un­der­wa­ter lights.

The auto winch is a Profish freefall model, op­er­ated from the helm, there’s a Delta an­chor, and the hull has the stan­dard brass keel strip to pro­tect its gel­coat should you con­tact the boat ramp or beach.

Kiwi Auto & Ma­rine is re­spon­si­ble for the ves­sel’s high­qual­ity up­hol­stery and it can also sup­ply rear drop-cov­ers, camper packs to en­close the cock­pit when overnight­ing, and stor­age cov­ers.

Less im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous are the ves­sel’s through-hull trans­duc­ers, three of them, pro­vid­ing For­ward­scan sonar, Struc­tures­can 3D imag­ing and CHIRP echo-sounder op­er­a­tion in dif­fer­ent fre­quen­cies, and un­der­wa­ter tran­som lights.

Sar­isha’s Sim­rad NSS evo3 touch-screen dis­play has builtin GPS and uses C-map chart­ing. If de­sired, en­gine data can be dis­played on the MFD, along with other in­puts. A Sim­rad au­topi­lot mod­ule is also fit­ted, which can be op­er­ated by us­ing the touch-screen dis­play or via a handy click-wheel con­trol unit

be­side the helm seat. It falls nicely to hand and al­lows you to nav­i­gate through the MFD’S screens and menus and steer the boat when the au­topi­lot is en­gaged. FUNC­TION AND STYLE The cock­pit is a prac­ti­cal, work­able space. There’s built-in rod stor­age in racks un­der the coam­ings, which fea­ture teak cover­ing boards and two flush­mounted stain­less-steel rod hold­ers per side, an­gled for trolling du­ties.

Across the tran­som ad­di­tional rod hold­ers will ac­com­mo­date the rest of the trolling spread, or Haines Hunter’s moulded GRP bait sta­tion (also with rod hold­ers), which can be mounted cen­trally or to ei­ther side of the tran­som.

Cor­ner seat-bins, a fea­ture of many Haines Hunter mod­els, are eas­ily re­moved to pro­vide more cock­pit space and bet­ter tran­som ac­cess. Their padded and up­hol­stered back­rests hinge up­wards to re­veal the bat­ter­ies – one house and one start­ing, linked, to cope with the power de­mands of mul­ti­ple elec­tric and elec­tronic de­vices – iso­la­tion switches, fuel fil­ters, elec­tric steer­ing pump, wash­down, live well and fresh­wa­ter pumps.

The gen­er­ous-sized live-well is lo­cated in the swim plat­form on the port side, there are 12-volt power out­lets ei­ther side of the cock­pit for elec­tric reels, and LED cock­pit light­ing, in­clud­ing a flood­light. As well as six rod and reel

com­bos in racks along the boat’s sides, the fold­ing rocket launcher can hold an­other six, an­gled ver­ti­cally. COM­FORT-PLUS Un­der the fully-lined hard­top, ev­ery­thing is nicely de­tailed. Padded vinyl-cov­ered pan­elling, nicely fin­ished ma­rine vinyl up­hol­stery and sup­port­ive king and queen-style seats take care of pas­sen­ger com­fort, while the lined for­ward cabin fea­tures plush fab­ric up­hol­stery and good seated head­room.

An in­fill cre­ates a good-sized dou­ble berth, while a sep­a­rate head com­part­ment with an elec­tric toi­let en­sures pri­vacy and elim­i­nates the in­con­ve­nience and po­ten­tial odour of a toi­let un­der the bed.

The 725’s small but func­tional gal­ley fea­tures a two-burner gas cooker and a mod­est stor­age locker, hid­den away un­der a bench- style seat across the cabin bulk­head. There’s more stor­age un­der­neath, or you could fit a cabi­net fridge. The gas locker be­side the pas­sen­ger seat is prop­erly vented and meets all cur­rent New Zealand gas fit­ting reg­u­la­tions.

Lift­ing the hinged rear seats on both sides of the wheel­house re­veals stor­age, but on the port side it is in­su­lated, so it can be used as a built-in fridge/freezer (as here) or an ice­box. There’s more stor­age un­der the front seats, the top com­part­ment ac­cessed by lift­ing the seat base and the lower one via a So-pac hatch. A basin with pull-out hot and cold fresh­wa­ter shower is set into the tran­som, so overnight boat­ing is quite fea­si­ble. UN­FLAP­PABLE HAN­DLING The 725 is an ac­com­plished per­former. With its so­lid­ity, be­nign han­dling and ex­em­plary ride char­ac­ter­is­tics, there’s a re­as­sur­ingly un­flap­pable qual­ity to its progress through the wa­ter.

Un­der­way, the boat tracks straight and re­sponds crisply to the helm. Op­ti­mus elec­tric power steer­ing means a light helm and the sound it makes when you turn the classy wooden wheel is very Sci-fi!

Zip­wake trim tabs keep the boat on an even keel – so much so that most of the time they can be left in auto mode. With the tabs tak­ing

...a solid, hand­some, nicely ap­pointed ves­sel that will do what­ever you want it to do.

care of lat­eral trim, mo­tor trim can be used to ad­just the boat’s fore and aft at­ti­tude.

The Haines 21º at the tran­som deep­vee hull makes easy work of a head sea, pro­vid­ing a com­fort­able ride with soft reen­tries, but there’s enough vol­ume for­ward, com­ple­mented by a well-de­signed chine and strakes, to in­spire con­fi­dence in a fol­low­ing sea as well. Two wind­screen wipers, with wash­ers, keep the glass clear of rain and spray.

The Yamaha F300 is at the top of the rec­om­mended horse­power range for this model. Un­sur­pris­ingly, ac­cel­er­a­tion is strong and the boat cruises com­fort­ably with the V6 en­gine spin­ning at a leisurely pace, which is good for fuel econ­omy. A 70-amp al­ter­na­tor keeps the bat­ter­ies topped up.

Give the Yamaha a thick hand­ful of throt­tle and you will see 40-plus knots flash up in quick time. At 5,500rpm we achieved 42 knots with four peo­ple, half a tank of fuel, 40 litres of fresh­wa­ter and a fair amount of gear on­board. At 25 knots, which feels very re­laxed, the en­gine is turn­ing at 3,200rpm and burn­ing 28 litres of 91 oc­tane petrol ev­ery hour. The SP725 has a 250-litre un­der­floor fuel tank. PRIC­ING OP­TIONS As re­viewed with a full com­ple­ment of ex­tras, in­clud­ing Balex Auto Load sys­tem, Sensa Brake sys­tem, the game pole set up, Op­ti­mus power steer­ing, Zip­wake trim tabs, Radar and 16-inch Sim­rad MFD, the pack­age comes in at a smidgen over $230,000, but most SP725 pack­ages are sell­ing for around $170,000. Key-start pack­ages range up­wards from $139,000, the price de­pend­ing on spec­i­fi­ca­tion level and en­gine choice.

LEFTThe SP725 works well for fish­ing, in­clud­ing off­shore fish­ing, as well as fam­ily boat­ing. RIGHTA sep­a­rate toi­let cu­bi­cle pro­vides pri­vacy. An in­su­lated cabi­net un­der the seat is equipped as a freezer. BE­LOW RIGHTWith the ad­di­tion of an in­fill, the for­ward cabin eas­ily sleeps two on a com­fort­able dou­ble berth.

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