Boat review: Signature Makeover

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Published: 24 August 2020

Boat review: Signature Makeover

Haines Signature releases a new update on an old favourite with the launch of the 640F.

This story was originally published in the September 2020 issue of Fishing World Magazine.


The Haines Signature 604F* was selling itself a little short for a long time. While most boats are named for their overall length, the 604 was actually a 6.4. This caused a little confusion amongst buyers so when it was time to revamp the 604, Haines Signature renamed the hull the 640F, but that is just the start of the changes made to what was already a very nice boat.
(*Haines Signature correction - the 640F is derived from the 602F)

I recently got to spend soem time with John Haines who with great pride took me through every change the team had made. What is a number of small changes adds up to a massive improvement on what has always been one of the better fishing machines in its class.

The hull is still the classic Haines Signature Variable Deadrise that slices through the swell and chop while being very stable at rest. This is achieved by a 22 degree deadrise at the bow going down to a 21 degree deadrise at the transom. Just one slight change to that hull design is an improved spray chine to ensure a dry ride, but apart from that, nothing has changed and that's a good thing. If it isn't broken, don't fix it.

The hull has a 2.43m beam with an overall length of 6.62m. That makes the hull that perfect size to get offshore and do some fishing, heading off with the family on weekends as well as the odd overnighter. It is also easily towed by the family 4WD and is small enough to fit up the side of most houses. There is good reason for boats this size to be so popular.

The bow has been redesigned to have a longer nose to support the bow sprit. This was done after feedback from customers that were fitting power anchor winches and finding that bringing the anchor up too fast was damaging the hull. It also adds to the cosmetics of the hull. 

The cabin has been widened just a little but makes a big difference to the look. It looks so much wider than its predecessor but is still a walk-around-configuration but with loads of changes to the helm itself. The screen is all glass but still wraps around the helm. This is a great touch and means that unlike Perspex, it will never get that spiderweb look to it as it ages. The dash has been designed to take a big flush mounted sounder/GPS unit, handling up to a 16 screen. What was also impressive was the fact that the whole helm folds forward so that all the wiring is easily accessed.

The test boat was a hard top that was fitted with all the gear including marine radio, stereo and rocket launchers. The decking has been improved to allow the knees of anglers to dig into the padding when bottom bashing and there is a new clear lid on the live bait tank. It all adds up to being a very neat and functional interior. The floor can be optioned to have the X Deck which is soft but incredibly durable under the foot which sets the entire interior and deck space off  perfectly.

The 640F has had a 25 per cent increase in fuel capacity over the previous model making it ideal for long trips out on to the reef. Fuel capacity is now 226 litres which will suit the owners who would like to max out the horse power and still get home with fuel to spare.

Fishability

Fishing from the 640F is made just that little bit easier with plenty of rod storage and the options of bait board, berley bucket and outriggers. The hull will actually plane as low as 10 knots so trolling for speedsters like mackerel can be done on the plane which saves a heap of fuel. I don't know a hull in this size that planes at such slow speed.

It's a great setup for trolling lures but is just at home bashing the bottom for reefies. The sides are nicely padded so the knees can get a purchase on the hull for stability in a rolling ocean and with good sized kill tank in the floor and an esky under the first mate's seat, the catch is taken care of too. 

The cabin is now lockable with a fibreglass sliding door making it ideal for storing expensive fish gear in when in public berths. The cabin is more than big enough to sleep two. A toilet is also now standard which will keep the ladies of the family very happy. The seats have been upgraded as well and are incredibly comfortable with sliders to place them where needed.

Performance

The performance of the hull is without question and I have been lucky enough to have tested the hull in various conditions over the years and while not recommending anyone try this, we have had this hull airborne a few times, and it is as solid as they come. The boat pulls out of the hole beautifully due to its 21 degree deadrise at the transom and even with 150hp, it performs extremely well. With only three or four grand difference between most 150hp and 200hp outboards, the 200hp for a boat of this size and overall weight around 1800kg, 200 ponies is a great option. The motor will be able to work easier with very little effort when getting on the plane but the power is there if you ever need it. And for those glassed out flat days, nothing is better than a 200 opened all the way. Max power for the 640F is 225hp.

Fitted with a 150hp outboard and in a soft-top, the 640F comes in at around $80k. That means it can be decked out with a load of options and power upgrade and still be under the $100k mark.

There's a lot to like about the new look Haines Signature 640F and while there is nothing insanely innovative about it, what it does, and what it is designed for, it does extremely well.

Learn more about the 640F.

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