by Dom Wiseman

The Haines Hunter 565 Offshore has instant appeal offering a capable platform at a competitive price. It is a good size for fishing or more family-friendly water sports such as towing inflatables, is easy to manage and has a range, courtesy of the 200 litre fuel tank, that would be the envy of some larger fishing focussed vessels.
It also provides all the safety and comfort you would expect from a boat builder with 50 years of knowledge and experience. Haines Hunter spent considerable time in marrying their deep vee hull to a wide beam and deep cockpit; in fact this boat has been two years in the making to get to this point.

WHAT YOU GET

What I really love about this boat is the usable interior space that features a large cabin and a functional deep carpeted cockpit with toe recess. The cockpit gunwale sits almost at my hip and is extremely safe for families with small kids as there’s no fear of them tipping out underway or even at rest.

.Haines Hunter 565 Offshore 4There’s plenty of room here too, courtesy of the wide 2.40m beam and a fold out rear lounge which will keep all but the most demanding of passengers happy.
 Either side of the cockpit there are large storage pockets that will keep all the daily items within easy reach. Additional rod storage is just above these pockets just in case none of the six optional stainless steel holders in the rocket launcher are free.
There’s also an optional bimini and clears package fitted to this test boat which we would recommend, perhaps not for anyone staying in inshore waters, but more for those who may encounter cross winds and spray when heading offshore. Immediately behind the driver’s seat,
which is functional in its design while complimenting the sports steering wheel well, is a step to make life easier if you need to get to the front of the boat. But with an easy-to-access forward hatch that gives you safe access to the anchor it’s  unlikely you would need, or want, to walk around on the narrow gunnel. There is also another large storage pocket at your feet next to the skipper’s seat.

 

Haines Hunter 565 Offshore 3

The test boat was just out of the factory so did not have any electronics fitted but there is room on the dash to option it up as you see fit. My preference would be a 9- or even 12-inch unit as a dual

chart plotter and sounder. The 12 may be a squeeze and if you wanted two separate units, two 5-inch
units should fit with a little work. If it was my boat I would also be getting a stereo fitted and, of course, all the necessary safety gear such as a marine radio if heading offshore.
On the passenger side there is a large glove box that will accommodate wallets, phones and even a smallish handbag.
 Moving into the cabin through the access way between the seats you step over a large and deep kill tank into a large interior space which comes with all cushions except the in-fill. I have often pondered why boat makers list this as an option because after using one, it almost becomes a standard requirement. Despite that, I was easily able to lie down on one side and could have a relatively comfortable nap here. I am about 172cm and I’d guess there would be room for someone up to 185cm. There is more dry storage under the bunks and you could fit a portable toilet in there if needed.
 The hatch allows plenty of light into the cabin, is nice and sturdy and can be locked in an open position so you can ventilate the cabin while at anchor. You also access the anchor through this hatch.
The finish throughout the boat is excellent with the fibreglass showing no signs of blemishes. The stainless work is also of high quality, just like the ride and performance.
Haines Hunter 565 Offshore 8
Haines Hunter 565 Offshore 18
POWER

Powered by a Mercury 135hp four-stroke, the Haines Hunter 565 Offshore delivers solid performance. It springs onto the plane quickly and stays where it should with plenty more left in reserve. While the hull is rated to handle up to a 150hp engine, my impression would be that this amount of horsepower would be under utilised in such a vessel. Heading offshore to fishing grounds, rarely allows you to run flat out into chop and swell while the 135hp will deliver ample power for towing sports for all but the hardcore water skier.
 The Smartcraft control panel on the dash leaves ample space for other electronics and provides instant access to all of the engine’s

systems including fuel flow, revs, oil pressure and battery condition. 
The 135 weighs in at 206kgs and runs a 3.0-litre inline 4 platform with a sequential multi-port electronic fuel injection system that provides excellent acceleration and power through the rev range.

ON THE WATER

There is literally nothing bad to say about this hull. It slices through chop thanks to the deep vee at entry and glides along, almost as if you are floating on a cloud. Heading over chop and swell, the boat rises as you would expect and then lands softly on the other side. It is a capable performer in
all conditions and will more than excel in the rougher stuff which is why I would seriously consider
Haines Hunter 565 Offshore 15one of these if I was looking for a capable inshore/offshore package.
Combine this fine entry point with just the right angle far back into the hull to turn water down and away from the boat before it transfers into a wide beamy and inherently stable flatter bottomed design at the rear. The wide beam creates a large area at the rear that is supremely stable in the water at rest and underway.
 At speed the hull is responsive and turns on a dime if required. The steering input is precise and has no lag, making sure the boat turns when and how it should. In corners the boat beds into the turn predictably and delivers a smooth curve throughout.
 The helm and passenger positions allow all round view and are both comfortable either standing or seated.

ON THE TRAILER

Although to boat we tested was on a water dry dock, it could sit easily on a single axle trailer suitable for a 5.7m boat. While it would tow perfectly okay on this and be manoeuvrable, I would elect for a dual axle model if I was towing long distances up and down the coast.
The entire package including boat, motor and trailer would lie in the vicinity of 1350kgs putting you in the medium SUV market for a tow vehicle should you not already own one.

OVERVIEW
Capable as a serious fishing boat, but able to morph into a family cruiser and water sports platform courtesy of some optional extras such as ski pole, this impressive package has all the hallmarks of a great boat. It is keenly priced and a size that nearly anyone could handle either on their own, or with help. You can elect to stay inshore, or head wide trolling chasing big game such as tuna on the east coast or jigging and sports fishing on the west.

POSITIVES

 

  • Exceptional ride
  • Hull versatility

NEGATIVES

  • No footrest for driverHaines Hunter 565 Offshore 11

NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: (As tested) $64,990
Construction: Fibreglass
Length Overall: 5.65m
Beam: 2.40m
Draft: 0.90m
Weight on trailer: (approx) 1350kgs
Engine: Mercury four-stroke 135hp
Fuel Capacity: 200 litres