The Signature brand has been around for a long while now; the clean lines combined with the rounded edges give Signature boats their unique look.
The 602F takes over from the previous 600F, which was and still is a very popular boat, the 602 however has had a few modifications to make the boat even better than before.
One thing that Signature boats do extremely well is design and build a hull for plenty of different uses. Signature hulls feature a spacious back area for fishing through to a well thought out cabin that gets you out of the weather. Combine this with a bunk area that is plenty big enough to really lie down and have a good night’s sleep and you have a boat that really appeals to the family who enjoys their boating.
On the water the hull sat well with the 175hp Suzuki on the back of the boat; it was here that some of the features of the boat stood out.
At the stern the rear steps, transom door and easily accessible ski rope hooks made it a very useable boat for anything from swimming to water-skiing or wake boarding.
The rear starboard corner housed a big live bait tank that would be perfect for storing live bait or a decent bag of fish such as whiting.
Around the gunwales there were several stainless steel rod holders and a well-built, removable stainless steel bait board made by TK Marine. Whether you plan to use the boat for fishing or not it is well worth getting a bait board like this, from blocks of pilchards to plates of cheese and biscuits, they make the best things in the world for sitting stuff on – just make sure you clean the pillies off before doing lunch!
Inside the boat across the transom is a neat foldaway rear seat that can easily accommodate two people. With the seat folded out it also allows easy access to the batteries.
Along the gunwales I really like the way the Signature crew has made maximum use of the side pocket storage with multiple recessed shelving to offer maximum storage space for all those thousands of bits we all try to (and need to) store in the side pockets for easy access. The port side rear pocket also housed the deck wash, which sits neatly out of the way when not in use.
In the floor there is a large kill tank along with an icebox to store food and drinks. It’s a small detail but one I rate very highly in boats, as the ice box and kill tanks do away with the need for coolers to hold drinks and fish, ultimately giving you more space in the boat. The foam filled floor also acts as insulation on the iceboxes, making the ice last longer.
The underfloor fuel tank in the 602F is larger than the previous 600F model, with this one holding 150L of fuel, which, when combined with the efficiency of the 4 stroke Suzuki, should allow you to go to the end of the earth and back.
Up in the cabin the layout is all about comfort, with the seats positioned so you can comfortably drive all day while being seated. This comes about through the dash layout, which has been modified along the lines of the larger 675F Signature, offering more space and a windscreen height that is perfectly suited so you look comfortably through it at all times. The seats themselves are a comfortable bucket style that held you in the nice and firm.
With the dash layout, the gauges all sit in the right spots with a big section that could easily accommodate a big sounder/GPS combo or even two smaller units.
On the passenger’s side there is a large, properly sealed glove box as well as plenty more useable dash space. Adding to this there is more storage in the smaller side pockets located next to the passenger seat
Access to the bunk area is easy through a large step down entry that seems even bigger when you are inside. There is also the option of a lockable cabin door. The bunks are long enough to have a good night’s sleep, and with the new larger side windows it lets more light in the cabin, making it just that bit more comfortable. Under the bunks there is also plenty of storage room. Last, (but certainly not least) there is also the standard feature of a toilet, which I am sure is going to appeal to the whole family.
Access to the bow is easy when going through the front hatch and offers direct access to the anchor well with the front hatch and anchor hatch being combined into one. The anchor well has also been designed to fit an electric winch in it, which is sure to save a lot of hassle, making the day on the water just that bit more enjoyable.
The finishing touches to the boat include a stainless steel rocket launcher that looked great with the tubing bent to follow the sleek rounded look of the boat, the Targa top and clears are of A1 quality, with the whole canopy and launcher being rock solid.
Out on the bay it was a long way off being rough, but saying that it enabled us to get some accurate speed readings, along with showing what the hull is made of in high speed turns and general performance.
The Signature’s variable deadrise is 21at the keel, which then flares out to 33. This gives the hull a great ride when pushing into any chop; on the test day this was made by cutting through our own wake. Combining the hull’s deadrise with a flat planing plank along the hull it helped to keep the boat planing at lower speeds. In fact it was hard to get a true point at where the boat popped onto the plane, as it seemed to be on the plane from the slowest of speeds, with no sign of the rear of the boat bogging in before popping out of the hole.
The sharp entry of the hull also gives the 602F its wave slicing ability and even when cutting through a few waves that you thought would create a bit of a thump, the hull sliced them in half.
As far as hole shot went the 602F is like a race car when given a boot full from a stand still position, with the boat reaching a top speed of 80km/h at 6000rpm in no time flat.
Running a 21x15 stainless prop on the Suzuki, the boat performed perfectly in all situations, with no major cavitations when thrown into full lock turns and good performance through the rev range. This propeller on the boat had it responding very well to trim with the boats performance able to be adjusted accordingly to suit the situations at hand.
So whether you are a hard core fisho that likes some comfort or need a boat that will cater for the family as well as your ‘other’ obsession, this boat could well be for you. Log onto www.haines-marine.com.au to locate your nearest dealer and for more information on the entire Signature range.
Speed to revs
|Price as Tested:||$74,451|