OF THE vast range of boats built by Haines Signature, if you asked me to pick their most popular I wouldn’t have chosen the 530 Bow Rider. Thankfully, I didn’t put any money on my guess!
It doesn’t take long to start appreciating why the 530 BR is so popular though. It appeals to so many people because it adapts to such a wide variety of uses – fishing, swimming, skiing and just cruising with family or friends.
The 530 BR’s forward and aft decks offer a good workable area for fishing. With a few adjustments, the front area converts into a neat casting platform with ample storage below for all your fishing gear. In this format, two anglers can stand up the front and cast lures or flies, or sit there drowning a bait for as long as they wish in an unobstructed area.
Down aft, the rear lounge also lifts out to provide another significant area for a couple of anglers to fish. All up, in fishing mode, four anglers can fish comfortably from this boat.
Rear storage compartments in the transom are deceptively large, and the plumbed compartment makes as good a live bait tank as you’ll find in any full-on fishing boat. Underfloor storage easily becomes a fish box, and the full -length side pockets have more than enough room for all those bits and pieces.
Due to the ample amount of storage around the boat, the deck areas can be retained just for fishing without being cluttered up with tackle boxes and eskies
This bow rider style boat has more than enough leg room in front of the pedestal seats and under the windscreen, and this is the most likely spot to put those larger tackle boxes or small eskies.
When designing the 530, one Haines Signature’s major aims was to appeal to lovers of water sports. This boat can be used for serious skiing as well for wake boarding, swimming or towing a tube around.
All those storage areas just happen to be the right size for water sport equipment. Those nice long side pockets hold a set of skis, a wake board can fit in the rear lounge, along with all the ropes, and life jackets and vests slip under the deck in the storage area.
The shape of the transom makes it easy to hop out of the water and into the boat. The boarding platform is right on the water, level with a nice low grab rail and fold down ladder, followed by a second step in the transom itself.
But what’s that big hole there? The fishing rod doesn’t fit in there... Maybe that big stainless steel mackerel donger in the side pocket does… Ah yes! Look at that – it’s a ski pole! Who said fishermen don’t show initiative?
The bow section of the boat, with its small lounge in place, is the ideal place to put your bikini on and sit back in the sun when the fish aren’t biting! When skiing, the front area is a good place to sit a person or two. The added weight up the front helps maintain a level ride in the boat as you pull a skier out of the water.
With the front deck area, centre helm seats and the rear lounge in place, the Signature 530 is ideal for a social day cruising up the river. Everyone has somewhere comfortable to sit, and all the storage area can be used to keep the picnic baskets and towels.
One area that I haven’t mentioned is the very clever esky moulded into the passenger side dash. You can put half a dozen drinks with a good supply of ice here, and it’s all insulated with a drain plug in the bottom. The dash esky is very practical and well placed.
So what else should you consider when you’re taking the family out on the water? Camping! With so many great waterways along our coast, there are plenty of places that to set up camp for a few days.
The bow section of the boat has a tonneau cover that fits over the front area, keeping everything underneath dry. This ensures that your clothes, bedding and tents aren’t soaked while you’re travelling the camping destination. For a couple of days, most camping gear will fit up the front or under the helm area, which leaves the aft deck clear for a bigger esky and somewhere for the rest of the crew to sit.
Haines Signature boats feature a variable deadrise hull that offers a smooth, soft ride with its deep vee and prominent planing strakes and chines. The planing plank on the keel helps to get the boat up onto the plane quickly, which is a big help when skiing or when conditions are a bit bumpy and you want to plane at lower speeds.
With the load on the boat positioned properly, there’s little rise in the bow when you power up. With most bow riders, however, if you put all the weight to the stern they can be too light in the bow and ride high before levelling off.
When you’re having fun on the water it’s nice to have a hull that can handle being thrown around, and tight corners are no problem with the Signature 530. It maintains a level ride with minimal lean during tight cornering. I found no slipping of the hull under such conditions and very little cavitation of the engine.
One thing that you really appreciate is the hydraulic steering. It removes all the torque on the wheel and it’s a breeze to pull the boat out of a tight turn.
Haines Signature recently become the distributor of Suzuki Outboards. The big four-strokes are very popular because there’s a void in the market at the moment.
Put a 140hp four-stroke outboard on the boat, as our demo boat had, and you’ll have a whole lot of power and punch. The engine was very smooth and had plenty of power right through the rev range. You can pull a couple of skiers out of the water in a hurry and give them more than enough speed to keep them happy with this setup.
The other advantage of the four-stroke is the fuel economy, especially on those days when you’re pulling a skier and the throttle is constantly being worked to give full power.
As good as the 140hp Suzuki four-stroke engine is, this motor may have just have a bit too much power if you’re an inexperienced boater. With a light load and a choppy sea, the boat can launch into the air – like any boat with too much horsepower – which is a frightening experience for those unfamiliar with boating.
After testing the Haines Signature 530 BR, it’s hardly surprising that this boat is so popular. It’s a good size and easy to manage, handles well, and can to be used for many activities out on the water. And on top of that, this boat is cosmetically appealing.
Hull only price approx. $30,000. To find your nearest Haines Signature dealer, phone (07) 3271 4400 or visit www.haines-marine.com.au.
Make/Model - Haines Signature 530 BR
Style - bow rider
Construction - fibreglass
Length - 5.25m
Beam - 2.2m
Weight (hull only) - 475kg
Weight (BMT) - 1450kg
Deadrise - 21 degrees
Fuel – 100L underfloor
1. The smooth lines of the Signature 530 BR match its performance on the water.
2. The introduction of the 140hp four-stroke Suzuki outboards opens up a new world of performance and economy in this range.
3. A substantial anchor well and bowsprit add to the sleek design and useability of the boat.
4. The bow rider layout offers clear thoroughfare throughout.
5. Now there’s a handy place to keep a few coldies!
6. The removable rear lounge has additional storage below.
7. The transom has been designed for water activity, with ease of access in and out of tjhe boat. Note the ski pole.Reads: 5942