Boating New Zealand's John Eichelsheim put the new Haines Hunter SF635 through its paces.
"Any new boat from Haines Hunter is big news, but a totally new design makes the SF/SS635 an especially significant arrival.
Designed by Haines Hunter, the latest addition to the stable is completely new rather than a development of an existing model. The SF/SS635 incorporates the latest GRP construction and materials: except for some teak capping on the gunwales, no timber is used.
In keeping with modern build practices, composite floors are bonded to the hull for quietness, rigidity and strength. Haines Hunter already uses this construction method for its 725, 660, 545 and 485 models.
First impressions count and the new SF635 makes a good one. It’s immediately recognisable as a Haines Hunter, but still manages to look significantly different to any other model in the range. Compared to the 600, it’s beamier, offering more interior space, with a much larger helm console to accept large screen electronic displays. The deep V hull’s deadrise is 21° at the transom, compared to 23° for the 650, which had a similar beam, so it provides better stability at rest.
Presented on a dual-axle, braked DMW galvanised steel trailer, the soft top SF635 is a smart looker. The colour scheme is nicely understated: black gelcoat on the sides with gunmetal grey stripes and decals which almost exactly match the Yamaha outboard’s paint finish, right down to the metal-flake highlights.
A notable styling feature is the 635’s reverse sheer: the deck falls away subtly towards the bow, accentuated by a distinctive raised ‘bustle’ that extends from the transom and tapers down into the side decks somewhere forward of the cockpit.
In profile, the 635’s lines set it apart from anything else in the Haines Hunter range, but somehow it still manages a strongly familial look and, with so many familiar styling cues and details, you’d never mistake it for anything else. The designer and builder have done an excellent job of retaining those features that make Haines Hunter boats so popular with Kiwi boaters. Along with the new and different, there’s much about the 635 any Haines Hunter owner will find reassuringly familiar.”