Haines Hunter 650R and Cruise Craft 625 Explorer - NOPE - BOSTON WHALER

OK guys, narrowed down my boat choice quite a bit over the past few weeks, mainly by excluding boats that dont fit my requirements. It is actually quite amazing how few boats suit my requirements, which is strange, as I would have thought a lot of people would have similar requirements to me............


I have organised  a trial of my preferred option, but cant seem to find a Haines Hunter 650 R (looks like a cracking fishing boat) or CruiseCraft 625 Explorer (another awsome looking boat).


If there are any members out there who would be willing to take me out for a test run in one of these boats or similar, I will happily cover all costs for the run, and if ya wanna do a bit of fishing at the same time, still happy to pay the entire fuel bill etc. Feel free to pm.


I really need to ride in each of these boats before I pull the trigger on the next boat.







Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

baron's picture

Posts: 55

Date Joined: 28/07/12

Mustard guts

Mon, 2012-10-29 19:54

 Hi John don't have one of the boats you are looking for but have the next best thing yellow baron haha

kane's picture

Posts: 1752

Date Joined: 07/12/08

and the third choice is????

Mon, 2012-10-29 20:02

 come on john spill the beans!!


Gooooone Fishin!

JohnF's picture

Posts: 2836

Date Joined: 07/07/10

will let ya know at the end

Mon, 2012-10-29 20:43

will let ya know at the end of the week following a test ride. When ya back Kane,itching to give that C120 a crack!!!!!


Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

kane's picture

Posts: 1752

Date Joined: 07/12/08

2 weeks to go mate, watching bom water temp map like a hawk haha

Tue, 2012-10-30 11:49

 The boats booked in at the hillaries boatlifters shipright to get the through hull transducer installed the very next morning - he's booked out till January but said hell squeeze me in if I can leave the boat with him for a few days or so. :-)


Gooooone Fishin!

JohnF's picture

Posts: 2836

Date Joined: 07/07/10

Yeah Baron.......nothing

Mon, 2012-10-29 20:44

Yeah Baron.......nothing wrong with old mustard guts......its just the fisherman in it that are the problem.....haha. I will spend 100k for a boat that probably rides no better than the legendary Baron von Mustardguts. 


Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

Posts: 2

Date Joined: 13/11/12


Thu, 2012-11-15 17:28

Gday mate, I have had my 650 for just on 12 mths now, have a 4.2ltr Yammy on it with the LCD screen gauge. Boat handles very well, good in chop, good in a following sea, it does not ever look like it wants to broach so that is a big plus. Has mile of cockpit ,  really is why I chose it.

Have had it out in some ugly weather, once it got a bit scary as we were a fair way out and the conditons got pretty bad, really should not have gone but we did , did take a wave over the front got a wee bit of water past the clears but nothing too dramatic, the boat just kept punching away, running 2 pumps at 3000gph. Boat is built pretty solidly, deck flowcoat can be a bit slippery but am about to put some tred grip paint on it so that will cure it.  

I feel pretty safe in this boat, trim tabs might make it even better. Finish is good. New set of riggers this weekend, bit limited as to what you can fit on the R due to the lower cabin sides so I have opted for reelax t toppers and 20 precision carbon poles, they weigh a lot less than  the nearest reelax poles so the strain on the bases will be negligable  plus they are stiffer by a long way.

Haines need to increase the fuel capacity, we go a mighty long way on 230 ltrs but 320 would be a better capacity for mine. 2 live wells is a plus, good size too. Still tinkering with it a lot but it is a very good allround fishing platform, very happy with it.

As far as Cruisecraft goes, been in plenty, including the newer hull and they ride well but not as good as the Haines, although they plane a lot slower which can be a good thing, the haines needs a bit more get the best out of it. I reckon they are pretty good in a following sea, they track well and the slower performance hull is a benefit here. The finish on them is second to none IMO, the moulding is first class as is the targa design, the sailtrack is a big inprovement over the clears/buttons of the haines, something HH needs to address.

I test drove a couple in exactly the same conditions as the HH and they did bang a bit for mine, the HH is a bit  heavier  and the two hulls are a lot different, but they are a good rig, don't need all the ponies the HH does. I like the look of the CCs, would prefer a little more height in the rear end, bigger live well. all and all a good product with a good rep and resale.

As far as Evos goes, only been in a 550 a bloke I met at our local boat ramp had brought back from Victoria (I bought mine from down there too) he took me for a run in it as one of them was on my short list except in the 600 or 650, I did not like it at all, rode like a pig but was very good at rest, the larger boats might be different but I cannot say , set out on them is really good though, lots of handy things in handy places storage wise etc. 

I chose an alloy mackay skid trailer dual axles, I can launch and retrieve it at any angle and wind one out and it just straightens up and drives right up to winch post and you can not hit the hull anywhere which is a huge bonus. Pretty keen to see the new HH 675 when it comes out, I think if I had to choose again the enclosed would be my choice, though for you guys over there the normal set up would be fine, don't htink you could go wrong with any of these boats, just depends on your needs and how you like your set out, big cockpit of my boats makes it a pleasure to fish out of and that was a big consideration, I'd love a 760 and a huge car to tow it with. Cheers.

Posts: 5776

Date Joined: 18/01/12

wow thats some report-very

Thu, 2012-11-15 19:13

wow thats some report-very balanced and well written, just need to space it out a bit to be easier to read!

Thats your second post here, you should be on here more mate, big ups!


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


sherbert's picture

Posts: 4717

Date Joined: 10/09/06

Have you been on a northshore

Thu, 2012-11-15 19:43

The 650 cr is a great ride And a great fishing boat  and with a 225 honda on the back is a very fast boat

Paul is the guy that build them in perth 94379980


Assassin landbase fishing club

Brucesta's picture

Posts: 1721

Date Joined: 29/05/09

 agree with the difference in

Thu, 2012-11-15 20:17

 agree with the difference in ride with the HH vs the CC, i've got the cruise and it does bang but it's deceptively quick, smoother ride in the haines if you dont mind the added weight it's all a trade off but i still come back in Karratha shit chop at 25 knots and a dry ride and i plane at 16 knots too. fuel capacity in both is quite poor. for a 21 ft boat 300L should be minimum.


Las Vegas - Rolling the dice and trying your luck. 1M+ Barra summer target. 100kg Black Marlin winter target

JohnF's picture

Posts: 2836

Date Joined: 07/07/10

MarkG, excellent summary

Thu, 2012-11-15 21:28

MarkG, excellent summary mate. Cheers!!! Is the lack of toe recess in the transom on the 650R a problem?


Went for a run in a Haines 650 Offshore courtesy of Mike from Chivers, top fella. Cheers mate.The HH 650 was nothing short of excellent in some pretty ordinary conditions, ride was awesome and very soft, not layed out as well as the Evo but the ride is an order of magnitude better. Mike from Chivers is getting me a quote....get behind this site sponsor, good guys.


Have not been on a CC yet but the consensus is they ride harder than the HH and a soft ride is my key criteria (stuffed back), and might try the northshore but it looks a bit oldskool.


Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

NOHA's picture

Posts: 914

Date Joined: 24/06/07

Ride comfort

Thu, 2012-11-15 22:01

 Then you should look at a cat..seriously

There was a 6.2 kelvacat just posted for less than $60K


I have a haines signature 650 and a 6.2 kevlacat. The cat shits on the haines for softness of ride



Twin turbo..V8 diesel..Ohh what a feeling!!

No Orange Hats Allowed

JohnF's picture

Posts: 2836

Date Joined: 07/07/10

Sorry NOHA, but my old man

Thu, 2012-11-15 22:13

Sorry NOHA, but my old man has had a 20 ft Shark Cart and a 34 ft Kevlacat, I have done a lot of hours in both, and while a soft ride and great layout, the tendency to broach is just too dangerous for my liking,....been in several very hairy situations in both thanks to the inherrent hull design flaw of cats.


Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

JohnF's picture

Posts: 2836

Date Joined: 07/07/10

Update on the new boat, here

Sun, 2012-12-09 09:48

Update on the new boat, here is a quick summary of the various boats I looked at and issues for my requiremements. Just remeber, what makes a boat no good for me may be the thing that makes it right for you, so dont take offense to my comments, just my opinion for my specific boat requirements:


Evolution Extreme 600 : Great looking boat, geat deck layout and THE BEST transom design of any boat I have seen for the type of fishing I do. Extremely stable at rest, great fishing boat, but let down by a very hard ride which immediately precluded it from my selection given I have a dodgy back. Fix the hull design (start by copying the Haines 650.....) and this will be an awesome boat.


Caribean 21 : Too narrow and old skool, dont like the transom design and seats in each transom corner. 20 year old design, but still a great hull.


CruiseCraft 625 : Great finished boat, but hull a bit light and gunwhale has strange handrail inset that would annoy me when leaning against it for jigging, and they stuffed up the toe recesses design in the corners which is a shame as otherwise, this is a great boat.


Haines Hunter 650 : Went for a run in a 650 Offshore courtesy of Mike at Chivers (cheers mate), great hull....wow, really great hull.......but very wet boat (which is why it rides so good) and average deck layout for what I do, and Haines transdom design is a tad long for my liking to fight fish around. The 650 R solves a lot of the deck layout issues and lookes great, but they totally stuffed up in my opnion by not having toe recesses in the transom.....real shame. Then there is the price........eyewatering! Man, I SO badly wanted to support the Aussie boating industry and was close to pulling the trigger on a new 650R, but how can you when the new boat prices with minimum options is nothing short of extorsion.......not the boat manufacturers nor retailers fault, it is a sympton of where we are in Australia with the resource boom.....everyone is highly paid and this filters down to other industries like boat building which is rapidly making Australia globally uncompetitive in many areas. God help us if the resource boom stops.....  


Most Yank Boats : very nice finish in general and you get a lot of boat for your bucks if imported, but in general, for my type of fishing, I just detest the deck layout of most yankie boats, and you have to go very large to get adequate deck space. Yanks always wanna squeeze too much into a trailer boat, and you end up with a completely compromisd layout for fishing (smaller Trophy's for example). Then there is the Euro transom design that Yanks seem to love, but I hate.......the worste example being Key West boats and Seaswirls. Great for diving etc, no goood for what I do. 


Boston Whaler Conquest : I do a bit of fishing out of Langas 285 Conquest, and suffice to say, it is a beast and I love it. But way too big for a trailer boat obvioulsy, and although the deck space is excellent, the deck space on smaller BW Outrages always surprised me at how small they were. I had all but dismissed the 235 Conquest for that reason and also as I thought they all had the Euro style transom like the 255 which is not to my liking (although a 255 is a beast in its own right).


In desperation, I sat at the Hillarys ramp for a morning watching boats come and go to get other ideas, and along comes a 235 Conquest. I helped the guy put it in the water as he was only iwth his 7 yr son, and jumped on for a look. Suffice to say, it was love at first sight.......EVERYTHING I want in a boat. The finish is great, the transome design fantastic and this is the only Conquest that deviates from the Euro style transom, and allows acces right to the stern to fish from on the starboard side. My mate Baron has been banging on about how good they are for the past year, as his old man has one and he loves it, but I was always tained by the whole "Yankie" layout thing. The 235 is different, and while every boat is a compromise, this one has the least compromises for my requirements.


Anyhooooooo.......long story short, I looked at a few here in Perth, Mandurah and eastern states, and settled on an import only because a plum turned up, 2009 model with only 42 hrs on the 250 hp donkey with evrry conceiveable option added, for a pretty good landed price.


Thansk to Bunbury Marine and Chivers Marine for your assistance. I am quite dissapointed I could not support the Aussie market, but in the end, it came down to me getting the boat that is right for me. The choice for you will no doubt be different.


Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

Posts: 4570

Date Joined: 01/02/10

Great break down JohnF. Now

Sun, 2012-12-09 11:50

Great break down JohnF. Now the count down begins.


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Posts: 574

Date Joined: 24/04/11


Sun, 2012-12-09 12:14

Good write up (JohnF and Markg) - i've been considering some of these boats myself. Not yet ready to trial any, just looking around.


fisho-ron's picture

Posts: 2539

Date Joined: 26/09/09

after our chat over the last

Mon, 2012-12-10 19:23

after our chat over the last couple of days john and the inspection of the 235, you have got yourself a weapon of a boat!!!

it has defo jumped to the top of my list along with the 760patriot, it will come down to dollars when im ready to buy, soon i hope.

it is amazing that the 235 has more deck room that the bigger 255.


great boat mate with some awesome features and the one you got sounds a beauty.


have you heard that they are not making this baot anymore?? i got told the 285 will be the smallest they will make now??

seems to be a big part of the market they are stepping out off.


cheers mate and good to chat.


Posts: 307

Date Joined: 01/09/09

ride design

Mon, 2012-12-10 20:01

Hi John I presume the ride of the 235 was acceptable considering it was high on your priorities list ???? Which leads me to another question you obviously have ridin in alot of boats and commented on a boat being a "wet " boat leads itself to a better ride, any reason for this ???  

Cheers fishfish

JohnF's picture

Posts: 2836

Date Joined: 07/07/10

Funnily enough, I have relied

Mon, 2012-12-10 22:56

Funnily enough, I have relied on a mate on mine "Baron" on the ride, as I have only been in a 285. His old man has an identical 235 Conquest to the one I am getting, and he had been in heaps of boats and recons they are pretty good.  I am not expecting THE BEST riding hull going around, in fact I know they are not, everything is a compromise, but with a hull weight of nearly 1700 kg, they should be OK and at least the equal of the 1200 kg and 1300 kg Evo and Haines huills I  was considering...I was just sold on the layout and quality.


A "dry" boat normally means big reverse chines or low dead rise or big flared bow, all of which have other advantages, but all of which "typically" result in a hard ride. The Boston Whaler has quite large reverse chines and even the 285 will slap a bit in a 1.5m chop 1/4 sea, but the weight and integrity of the Whalers means there is not much jarring, which is the biggest issue for me.


The Evolution has massive reverse chines and is very dry, but bangs hard. The Haines has small chines, hardly any flare in the bow and little resistance to water as it hit a wave, really cutting through the waves softly. BUT......this results in a  lot of water coming over the boat....you cant have your cake and eat it.....well, maybe a 52 ft Maritimo gets close!


Boston Whaler appears to be a good compomise hull, and the added weight sits it in the water well. Amazing what videos on line tell you about a boats ride...I watched a lot. I still really like the Haines Hunter hull but the deck layout is not to my liking......if someone bolts on the Evolution top side to the Haines 650 hull, you  would have one heck of a boat!!!!!


In  the mean time, I will have to make do with the Whaler.


Ron, I will get you on for a run once I get it! The fact they are not making it anymore means good quality ones with low hours are apparently getting harder to find.








Boston Whaler 235 Conquest......getting the flogging it was built for.

Mark Fogerty's picture

Posts: 13

Date Joined: 10/06/13


Mon, 2013-06-10 14:58

 Whats wrong with an Alloy Boat? Check out the pics from my 6.50 Hard Top I am having built now from a Proven Designer. See pics in Bragg section

Good luck with your decision

All the best



 Boating Tragic!