ENTRY level boats have always been a tough market to crack, as first-time boat owners have such a diversity of uses and varied levels of experience on the water that it’s difficult to present just the right package. The V17 Legend is Haines Hunters version of an entry level boat that’s a good all-rounder.
The basic waterline hull has been around for many years, but a few changes have increased the stability and the ride of the hull to give it just that bit better ride. When a boat is aimed at beginners it’s important for it to have stability at rest and on the move. If it gets too rough and bumpy in a boat you can always slow down, but if a boat is unstable there’s not a lot you can do to reassure yourself while moving about the boat or travelling – other than sit still, don’t go too close to the sides of the boat and slow right down.
In many small deep-veed boats stability is a concern, and this is always one of the first things I look for once I’m out on the water. The Legend has a 21 degree deadrise, so I was looking for this straight away. To my surprise, the Legend proved to be more than satisfactory for this style of boat and the two of us (90kg + 70kg) could both stand on the one side without the feeling of having to move back to the centre of the boat to balance the load up. It still, of course, leans to that side, but it doesn’t feel as though it’s going to tip.
With that major concern out of the way, a run out into a moderate chop in the bay would soon see how she handled a bit of rough. Being a runabout style boat with windscreen and seat towards the bow of the boat, you soon feel any harshness in the ride as you bump over the waves.
This particular layout sees the driver in the seated position to drive more so than standing. Leaning back in the seat and just cruising along the position felt much like driving a car. The view through the windscreen was clear, with no line of sight blocked by the top frame of the windscreen. My arm rested nicely on the gunwale allowing the hand to be comfortable on the throttle, thus easily working the throttle up or down as necessary.
There’s plenty of leg room too and, due to he low seating position, you can stretch your legs forward – as I said, like driving a car. But instead of driving along a country road, relaxed, arm out the window and admiring the view, you’re seated in a boat doing just the same thing.
The passenger also enjoys the same comfort, with a good all-round view and comfortable seating. As far as the ride goes, in a slight chop we moved along at 4000rpm which was around 30mph. Not a bad speed at all, and we were far from being bounced around.
There was no problems running with, into or across the sea, and very little spray thrown up. This particular boat has the V4 115hp Evinrude two-stroke outboard fitted, which had more than enough punch scooting the boat along to a top speed of 45mph. This is more than enough speed and there was certainly no lack in pick-up.
If you dropped to a 90hp engine you’d still have more than enough speed and pick-up and it would keep the overall price under $30,000.
For a 4.9m boat you’ll find enough room for a few anglers to fish and still have room for all that gear you carry. If you don’t fish, the tackle boxes are replaced with picnic baskets and your favourite sand toys! There’s the opportunity for water sports as well.
A top little storage area is the underfloor storage box. It’s a bit wider than most you see and, to give you a bit of an idea of size, I reckon you could slip half a dozen reasonable snapper in here with ice.
The top deck of the boat is where you’ll see plenty of changes. The split windscreen has the middle section which opens out leading to a large hatch in the front section of the boat. With these two open it’s a simple task to drop anchor or to move to the bow for hopping in and out of the boat.
There is no exterior anchor well as such, due to the forward extend of that hatch. Instead, there is a section under the bow for anchor storage followed by storage space for safety gear and other items.
Being a small runabout there are no bunks, not even small ones. The room here is used purely for storage.
Down the aft end of the boat there are a few seating options. I quite liked the small corner seats provided in this demo boat, with the small fold-out table/cutting board in the centre. There is also the option of a full rear lounge. It just depends on you usage, I’m obviously a bit biased towards fishing and like the room without the lounge.
The side pockets are big for a boat of this size and have the advantage of holding plenty of gear so you can keep the deck clear.
A new addition to the hull is the boarding platforms or duck boards either side of the outboard. These are a big help when it comes to boarding the boat, and also for those who intend to do some swimming or water sports from the boat.
In our sun-conscious times a canopy of sorts is recommended. In summer it keeps the sun off, and in winter it keeps those cool breezes off you. The low profile of the boat lends itself more to a smaller canopy leading back from the windscreen. Unfortunately, you can’t stand up under this one. The advantage though is that you do not really need to when in the helm area and you shouldn’t have any problems garaging the boat.
If this type of outfit is what we can expect from the new line up of Haines Hunter boats I look forward to taking one of the bigger fishing hulls out for a squirt down the track. I don’t see that you could go too far wrong with this package as a general entry level boat.
For more information or to find your nearest dealer phone Haines Hunter on (07) 3287 4088 or visit www.haineshunter.com.au.
Make – Haines Hunter
Model – V17 Legend Runabout.
Construction – Fibreglass
Length – 4.9m overall
Beam – 2.10m
Weight – 560kg (hull only)
Deadrise – 21 degrees
Fuel – 90L underfloor
Max hp – 115
Flotation – 13 underfloor air compartments
Height on trailer –1.9m (excluding canopy)
1) Haines Hunters new V17 Legend is a sign of good things to come from this company.
2) The 115hp outboard has more than enough power with a top speed of 45mph. Note the two boarding platforms either side of the engine.
3) It’s good to see a good walk through section from the windscreen right up to the bow.
4) The helm area offers comfortable seating and a compact dash.
5) Not a bad little storage box below deck which easily doubles as an esky or fish box.
6) Seating in the aft corners do the job with a fold out table for lunches or cutting up bait - preferably not both at the same time!!
7) The bird’s eye view shows an impressive amount of space for a 4.9m boat.