The name Haines is famous in the boating fraternity for some the best fibreglass boats Australia produces and the original Haines family remains at the forefront with its Signature and Traveler series.
The Haines Traveler TC 165 is a classic 16’6” walk-through cabin boat at first glance, but on a closer look it’s a lot more.
The TC 165 has all the characteristics of a great family boat and plenty else. The cockpit is the envy of many 6m fishing boats and there’s plenty of room for three to fish without getting in each other’s way.
The dash has plenty of space for electronics and the gauges are all easy to read. In front of the passenger there’s more dash space with a lip to stop things sliding off and a sturdy grab handle.
The swivelling skipper and passenger seats have nice upholstery and sit on handy storage boxes. But the Traveler also has a sturdy, removable third seat which doubles as an esky and solidly slots between the other two or can be removed and placed anywhere in the boat or lifted out to be with you when you are having lunch on the beach.
The removable aft corner seats are also upholstered and are two more good reasons why this boat has so many purposes.
Take them out to fish, leaving an open section with plenty of leg support when you hook the big one, or leave them in when the family comes along.
The TC165 has two under-gunwale rod holders on each side and another two on each gunwale. At the port transom a live-bait tank with helm-mounted switch is enough to hold a number good sized yakkas or slimies.
The 70hp Suzuki four-stroke pushed the rig along comfortably at close to 6000rpm and at 32 knots (60kmh).
The maximum 90hp would have this machine really moving. As a fishing boat, the 70 will do the job but if you and the family have any sort of towing in mind, like skiing, wakeboarding or tubing, the 90 is the ticket. With the boat loaded you can never have enough power when pulling someone out of the water.
The TC 165 handled well into a metre of swell and down the swell.
The 22.5° transom deadrise hull cut through a head sea with ease and kept at the same cruise speed with a soft landing going down a wave. When I took my hands off the wheel going down a swell around half speed, the Traveler held true and straight with not even a small deviation off line.
The cabin has a walk-through opening hatch and screen to allow very easy access directly to the anchor.
There is storage under the cabin cushions for lifejackets and other safety items and there’s enough shelter for yourself and one other or a couple of kids. This is a cuddy, not a standard half-cabin that you could sleep in; the TC 165is just a huge fishing deck with shelter to escape the elements if required.
The Traveler also comes with a high-set bimini which could also be enclosed with removable clears for even more shelter.
The helm has a speedo, tacho, compass, trim gauge and fuel gauge and there is plenty of room to flush-mount a sizeable sounder/GPS above the wheel and below the gauges. There is a spot above the gauges if you prefer to separate units.
The boat comes on a fully-rollered, single-axle Dunbier trailer which is great for very easy launching and retrieving. You can slowly drive the boat all the way to the winch once you centre up everything at the back end.
The rollers were that good that when launching, the boat was gone almost before we knew what was happening.
On the 5km of highway to the ramp the rig cruised well and didn’t move off line, sway or rock and around town I could see down either side of the trailer in the mirrors. For what this boat is, the whole outfit is well-balanced and relatively light.
In summary, the Haines Traveler TC165 really has something for everyone. Whether you are a dedicated angler after a soft ride, plenty of deck space and a solid four-stroke, or a family who wants to tow a ski tube, do a little fishing or head out for a picnic, then this could well your next boat.
Haines Traveler TC165 Specifications
Tow weight: 1050kg (approx)
|Max engine weight||190kg|
Test boat supplied by North Coast Shed Market trading as Coffs Marine Market you can reach them on 02 6651 5822 or email them on --e-mail address hidden-- The package we tested with the 70 HP four stroke Suzuki on trailer ready to buy starts at $39,351.