525F
  • Practical day fisher
  • Smaller boat with bigger boat features
  • Massive deck space
  • Superior stability at rest
  • Walk through windscreen for easy access to anchor
  • Large storage areas in the bow
  • High freeboard for safety
  • Tows behind a standard family car
  • 70–115HP outboard
  • Suits up to 5 people

Configurations


Take a Tour


Specifications


Length 5.25m
Beam 2.13m
Deadrise 21−33°
Fuel 100L
Water N/A
Berths Day
Outboard 70−115HP
Transom height 25"
Max outboard weight 200kg
Hull weight approx. 770kg
Towing weight approx. 1250kg
BMT length approx. 6.10m
BMT height approx. 2.20m
BMT width approx. 2.13m
Max people 5/450kg
Max load 650kg

Haines Signature 525F - Fishing monthly Group BACK


DOWNLOAD TEST DATA

The Signature 502DF is marketed by the Haines Group as a smaller boat with big features and it’s a description that I find correct.

The newcomer from Wacol has an overall length of 5.25m, a beam of 2.13m and features a stack of work room complimented by many useful angling features. It’s by no means a boat for the really dedicated angler: family anglers will enjoy it just as much thanks to a good degree of comfort throughout.

Peace of mind with the high-sided 880mm interior freeboard for family anglers with youngsters aboard is assured and with well-padded seating for up to five there’s room to stretch out while under way.

The family big four or six cylinder sedan is also adequate to handle the (approximately) 1170kg all up towing weight.

I see the Signature 502 DF as an all rounder in many respects. Family orientated, but just as useful for three or four anglers wanting to enjoy some wide bay or offshore work on the right sort of day.

The layout is the striking thing. There is an incredible fishing area within the high gunwales of the 502DF and with a high external freeboard of some 960mm, sea keeping is fantastic, especially when the full height transom is taken into account.

Layout.

Although a cuddy cabin design, the 502 DF has been constructed to offer as much workroom as possible with the windscreen and helm area moved well forward. The cuddy is somewhat confined, although it still offers shelter for occupants and handy out-of-the-weather storage space.

Removable bunks were floor mounted, with a well between them for comfort when seated out of the weather.

Up front when adjusting the anchor it’s a simple matter to open the central section of the windscreen and the large cabin roof hatch for easy access.

A well-placed step allows you to stand right over the anchor line when lifting the pick instead of leaning awkwardly. Full marks there!

On retrieval, the rope is fed into a drained forward cabin shelf: while the craft is anchored up a neat slot in the hatch cover allows rope to be extended, as required, without the need to have the hatch open.

Well-finished modules are set up either side of the windscreen walk-through area equipped with a side grab handle, deep glove box and a handy 12v outlet. The dash layout featured paired Garmin GMI10 gauges for engine management and systems information with a Garmin 451S Sounder/GPS on a lower level, but above the wheel which was linked to hydraulic steering.

A set of switches are within easy reach of the wheel while forward controls for the 90hp Suzuki 4-stroke were side mounted in the usual manner. One thing I noted was that there was ample room for further screens on the dash.

Swivel chairs on tubular bases offered excellent comfort and support for skipper and mate when under way; the bases being large enough to contain tackle trays or simply to be used for storage of items like PFDs and the like.

I found the skipper’s seat ideally positioned for driving and accessing the engine controls while at the helm: yet just as suited for standing to drive with the seat as a bolster. An optional bimini to shade the helm area was fitted to the test rig and I’d say this would be the first option ticked when an order was placed.

Handy storage space ideal for the catch, tucker or general use is located in a big underfloor tray set between the forward seating with the craft’s underfloor 100L fuel tank.

Cockpit features.

Two rod holders per gunwale side and generous cockpit side pockets both with rod racks are a feature; the pockets are near full length and as they were set off the non-skid floor you could get a toe under them if playing a big fish.

A three-person folding lounge at the transom was equipped with cargo net under it’s base plus a well-padded back rest which could serve as transom coaming if fishing with the seat folded.

Other cockpit features included a locking transom door to port with boarding platform and rail handy, the engine battery is located under the step leading into the hull and a decent sized live well is on the starboard side.

Ride and handling.

The Haines Group have been building dedicated fishing craft long enough to know their stuff and this heritage shines in the 502DF. Ride from the variable deadrise hull (33-21) was both smooth, soft, and quiet thanks to an underfloor foam fill. Serious chop on the test day area was a non event, and even belting across large wash areas from passing craft did not unduly upset the smooth and very controlled ride of the 502 DF.

The driving position was ideal: thanks to the low dash set up one could either sit or stand with ease and still enjoy every bit of forward vision necessary. Hydraulic steering made driver input finger tip light and again, I reiterate, this craft would suit a beginner to boating with ease.

Engine Performance

Performance from the 90hp Suzuki 4-stroke was both easy and willing. Engine ratings for this model are from 70-115hp but I saw the 90hp as just right for family use when either fishing or for tow sports.

The craft planed at 14.1kph at 2,400rpm, 3,000rpm saw 16.9kph on the GPS, 4,000rpm 41.0kph, 5,000rpm a brisk 55kph and 5,800rpm delivered 60.3kph. Test runs were carried out with two aboard plus a near full fuel load.

Fishability and Final Thoughts.

With it’s well-mannered ride, great stability from the 525kg deep V hull, reversed chines, well formed strakes and substantial work area this boat is extremely well suited to the novice and experienced boater alike.

With plenty of features for the angler, the 502 DF is a purpose built fishing boat that combines comfort and work area admirably. Finish is quite good in typical Haines Group standard and the package is well put together.

The rig could fish the family or keen offshore aficionados with equal ease and represents good value as reviewed at around $47,780 (priced from $39,999 with a smaller engine and less options) with Dunbier trailer and all options including the bimini and rear seat.

For details of your nearest Signature dealer contact The Haines Group on phone (07) 32714400, fax (07) 32714054 or on the net at www.thehainesgroup.com

Facts

Technical Information.

Length: 5.25m

Length on trailer: 6.35m

Beam: 2.13m

Height on trailer: 2.30m

Hull Weight: 525kg

Deadrise: 21 at transom

Fuel: 100L

Power rating: 75-115hp

Persons: 5

Towing: Family six sedan or big four.

Words By Wayne Kempe

Boat Review Supplied By Fishing Monthly Group
http://fishingmonthly.com.au/Articles/Display/12183-Signature-502DF

Haines Signature 525F - Boatpoint Review BACK


Not quite in the league of ‘pocket rocket', the 502DF Haines Signature has more than the usual amount of internal space; something we all yearn for, and in a boat just over five metres in length.

LIKES
-Heaps of fishing room 
- Ability to get right on top of ground tackle
- High coamings make it an ideal rough-water fishing boat and especially so with youngsters aboard

DISLIKES
- Steering was disappointing and needs to be upgraded

OVERVIEW
- Good things come in small packages
The 'DF' moniker denotes Day Fisher and provided you keep up your end of the deal, the boat should come up with the goods as it has a lot of practicality throughout for a comfortable day chasing things piscatorial.

This boat features the same hull bottom as The Haines Group’s RF model but with a new top deck.


The cockpit has been opened up to give the impression of spaciousness and looks are more than skin deep here. This is one roomy little boat and coupled with its high coamings that rise as they head toward the helm, it presents itself as a very practical fishing boat for estuary and coastal work. A well-designed transom further adds to the fish-ability of the 502DF.

LAYOUT
- Easy to move around
This superstructure has its helm and windscreen well forward to open up the deck space behind and to reduce the distance of the cuddy cabin roof between the screen and the bowsprit.

The acrylic screen has a central opening pane that allows one to walk through to the bow after opening the cabin roof hatch. Once there you are right on top of the bow which gives more leverage on the ground tackle -- very hand for hauling in the anchor!

Rather than have a stand-alone anchor well, the rope and chain is stored on a shelf inside for ready access. The shelf slopes away at the front so water that is shed off the tackle runs down to a drain that exits through the hull. A rebate in the front edge of the manhole allows the roof hatch to be closed when the anchor is deployed.

Head height is typically short in the cuddy cabin but there is enough room for someone to crawl in for a snooze during the quieter part of the bite.

The cushions here sit loose on top of the liner which has no storage within due to all of the voids in this hull being foam filled for buoyancy. With those out of the way some handy tackle storage systems could be fixed in place here for those inclined.

A long shallow compartment under a hatch between the helm and passenger chair offers some storage space not available inside the cabin. The continuation of this rebate toward the stern is occupied by a 100-litre poly fuel tank that is easily accessible for maintenance to the plumbing if need be.

The two swivel chairs sit on fibreglass boxes that have apertures on their inside wall for further stowage. After purchase, a bead of silicon around the bases would keep contents dry from any water seeping through from the surrounding deck.

The helm station has enough room on a flat fascia for a 12-inch electronic cabinet to be flush mounted and a brow behind was fitted with Garmin GMI10 digital instrumentation that is interfaced with the Suzuki outboard. Garmin’s GPS Map 451S which is a combination depth sounder was gimbal mounted as an option.

Full cockpit-length stowage pockets are installed high enough to get the feet under when fishing about the gunwales and a quality rear lounge folds up out of the way when not in use. It has a cargo net installed on its underside to hold gear when it is deployed as a seat or folded up so one may fish over the transom. The back rest for the lounge is a permanent fixture on a hinged back that folds down should you want to install an outboard engine that featured a high profile engine cowl. This will prevent cowl and transom clashing when being fully tilted.

The transom bulkhead extends aft on the starboard side and a livebait tank is installed here. That profile is missing on the portside corner replaced with a short walk-through transom door leading out onto the boarding platform. The engine cranking battery is fixed to the deck under the step in this doorway.

Standard fit in this boat is a pair of Tallon receivers that flush-mount on the inside of the coaming. These fittings are a base for all manner of accessories and are very effective should you wish to carry a variety of them. You can plug in rings, handles and drink bottle holders and in dry areas there are even accessories to hold computers, mobile telephones, marine electronics and the like. They are quite handy indeed.

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT
- Great base price for a quality boat
The base price for the 502DF is $39,999 and on the boat we reviewed we noted the bimini, lockable glove compartment in front of the passenger and the rear lounge was optional and took the price up to a total of $47,780

MECHANICAL AND HULL
- Supurb finish
Our test boat was fitted with a straight mechanical steering system which we found difficult to deal with when getting onto the plane and until the motor was trimmed out correctly. The amount of torque transferred to the helm was uncomfortable so serious thought has to go into optioning up to at least a non-feedback mechanical system or ideally a hydraulic one.

The hull finish is typical for one out of this company’s factory; excellent in every regard and we couldn’t find any blemishes in the joins and finishes.

As mentioned earlier, the voids below deck are foam filled and the structure such as deck and bulkheads are constructed of Ruply which is guaranteed against rot and insect pest invasion. The Ruply timber is glassed each side prior to installation to further increase its robustness.

ON THE WATER
- Smooth and quiet
Once we got over the excessive torque at the helm the 502DF was a pleasure to drive. It has a very high windscreen so the face has protection from the wind when standing and underway on the plane. Importantly the profile of the dashboard behind the helm has been kept low so people of various heights will be comfortable travelling seated or standing and have the necessary safe vision forward.

Taking the boat out through The Seaway on the Gold Coast we could only find swell to about a metre on which it performed well when travelling in various directions over it. Some large boat wash was encountered and the boat cut through that without any untoward banging to contend with.

Noticeable also was how dry the hull rides even with wind on the quarter and no spray came onto the screen. The ambient noise coming through the hull is minimal as well, thanks to the foam filling those voids below deck.

The fitted 90hp Suzuki four stroke wound out to 6000 rpm at WOT at which time we were running at around 66km/h.

It had enough torque throughout the rev range to handle a variety of cruise speeds and we took the opportunity to glean figures from a performance test on this motor fitted to its sister ship, the 502RF.

We noted that at the afore-mentioned full throttle the engine was consuming 33.15 litres per hour and its ideal economical cruise speed was 42.8km/h and 4000 rpm where its fuel consumption was a pleasing 11.45 litres per hour. That equates to a range of 271km using 95 per cent of the available fuel in the 100l tank; impressive indeed!

We see this as an ideal boat to handle those cold and windy southern days and it will afford its occupants plenty of shelter and safety in inclement weather. A set of clears will really make this an all-weather fishing platform. 

The winter whiting won’t know what hit 'em.

RATINGS
Overall rating: 4.6/5.0
Mechanical/equipment: 4.5/5.0
Packaging and practicality: 4.8/5.0
On the water performance: 4.6/5.0
Value for money: 4.7/5.0
X-factor: 4.5/5.0

Specifications
Length overall: 5.25m
Beam: 2.13m
Deadrise: 21-33 degrees variable
Weight: 525kg approx. Hull only
Fuel: 100 litres
Recommended minimum HP: 70
Recommended maximum HP: 115
Maximum transom engine weight: 200kg
Berths: shelter only
People day: 5 to 375kg

Supplied by:
The Haines Group of Companies
www.thehainesgroup.com

 

Words By Rick Huckstepp
http://www.boatpoint.com.au/content/reviews/2011/haines-signature-502df-26936

Haines Signature 525F - Trade Boat Review BACK


Kevin Smith sees how the Haines Group's new Signature 502DF compares to its close cousin, the 502RF, he tested one year ago.

 
Haines Signature 502DF

FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published inTrailerBoat #280, April 2012

About 12 months ago I tested the Haines Group's Signature 502RF (Runabout Fisher), which turned out to be a little cracker on the water (see TrailerBoat #268). That model recently spawned the Signature 502DF (Day Fisher) - a similar boat but with a different top-deck design and several extra features.


What's the main difference? Well, for a start there's a redesigned console / bow area. The 502RF tested last year had a walkthrough to the bow with stowage compartments below on either side. The DF has the same walkthrough, but with a built-in mini-cab section. Personally, I prefer the DF setup as it's a great place to shelter from the elements (especially for the kids) and it can still be used for storage.

 



TIDY LAYOUT



Just like the RF, this one has a smart and tidy layout, with a nice, compact false-transom setup providing a livewell, transom door and fold-away rear lounge, with open access below to all the plumbing and the battery.

The gunwales are nice and high, which does afford a little more protection, and certainly helps keep the kids in the boat rather than out. The gunwales also have good-sized sidepockets, rodholders and Tallon Receivers, with neat rod racks fitted on either side.

The deck area is a speckled non-slip affair with a centre carpet running forward. There's a decent-sized deck hatch between the seats, which are mounted on seat boxes with open storage beneath. A nice touch is the white beading finish on all the open edges of the boat - it just adds that extra touch of class to the boat's interior.

The 502DF sports a port and starboard dash, with a glove / icebox fitted on the passenger side, a walkthrough section to the bow, large hinged screen and decent space for electronics on the skipper's side, all protected by a bimini cover.

The only thing I might change would be the position of the Garmin GMI 10 gauges. Were it up to me, I'd fit them next to the sounder rather than behind it, as I couldn't see them clearly when seated.

Let's now take a closer look at the 502DF's main point of difference to its 502RF sibling, namely that open-plan cabin. It's not huge inside, but it's still sufficient for some form of protection, and also has plenty of space for gear.

If you have small kids the DF format is simply more practical than that of the RF.

The DF has the same walkthrough section, with a side-opening hinged top that gives you full access to the bow and anchor. It's a great idea, as it saves you from having to clamber over windscreens to get to the anchor hatches.
Overall, this is a smart and spacious layout; it's comfortable, but it also serves as a great fishing platform.

 

 

NIPPY PERFORMER



Like the RF model tested previously, this DF was fitted with a Suzuki 90hp four-stroke. These hulls have the patented Signature variable deadrise hull, which delivers a thoroughly pleasing ride.

The DF's ride is smooth, soft and pretty dry; it's also fairly stable for a boat of this size. Unfortunately our test day within the Gold Coast Broadwater was flat, but I'd tested the RF in rough conditions and it performed exceptionally well. The DF shares the same hull, so I can't see any reason why this model's performance in less-than-ideal conditions would be any different.

When I tested the 502RF I remember having to contend with a gusty northerly that was almost entirely head-on for the ride home. Considering the conditions the boat rode exceptionally well, and I drove most of the way seated instead of standing. After a 15-minute ride I stepped off the boat, dry and far from battered.

With the 90hp the 502DF was gutsy enough out of the hole and topped out at around 33kts (61kmh) at wide open throttle (WOT). As I mentioned, it was dead calm in the Broadwater on the day, so I resorted to some tight figure-of-eights to create a reasonable wake and get some idea of how it handled in the chop. In these conditions, it once more maintained a very comfortable ride that was stable at speed, and also handled well into tight turns. It was comfortable to drive when standing or seated and on the water it felt very safe indeed.

 

 

THE WRAP



This 502DF is a little winner for family fishing and boating enthusiasts, and as well as being a decent all-rounder, it also comes with a truckload of accessories fitted as standard - far too many to mention. At $49,280 (as tested), the Signature 502DF is a quality boat with a super finish for a competitive price.

 

 

On the plane...


Comfortable ride
Quality overall finish
Walkthrough to bow a good feature
The mini-cab is simple but practical
Rod racks in the sidepockets on either side

 



Dragging the chain...


Gauge panel positioned a bit too far back
Could do with a few grabrails as standard

 

 



SPECIFICATIONS

 

 


HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $49,280
Options fitted: Bimini, glovebox / icebox in dash (lockable), folding aft lounge seat, hydraulic steering
Priced from: $39,990

 

 

GENERAL


Type: Deep-vee family / fishing crossover
Material: GRP
Length: 5.25m
Beam: 2.13m
Weight (hull): Approx. 525kg
Weight (total package): Approx. 1300kg
Deadrise: 21-33° variable

 

 

CAPACITIES


People: 5
Min Rec. HP: 70
Max. HP: 115
Fuel: 100lt

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Suzuki DF90 ATX
Type: 16-valve, DOHC, four-stroke
Displacement: 1502cc
Engine weight: 158kg (extra-long shaft)
Gear ratio: 2.59:1
Propeller: 17in

 

 

MANUFACTURED & SUPPLIED BY


The Haines Group
140 Viking Drive
Wacol, Qld, 4076
Tel: (07) 3271 4400
Web: www.thehainesgroup.com.au

 
Originally published in TrailerBoat #280

Words By Kevin Smith
http://www.tradeboats.com.au/trailerboat-reviews/boats/1205/signature-502df-review/

 

Videos


Upholstery colours


Personalise your Siganture

Signature™ boats and Nautolex are proud to be associated with the PreFixx range of maritime seat vinyls - standard on all Signature™ models. Unsurpassed cleanability and wear from a marine seating fabric, PreFixx protection offers you the latest technology to remove stains that could never be removed before. With a test proven abrasion resistance, PreFixx protected products protect you from high maintenance costs and from frequent reupholstery costs. PreFixx protected Nautolex materials - cleanable with strong, active solvents without damage.

Primary Upholstery Colours
Secondary Upholstery Colours
Stitching Colours

Hull colours [Gellcoat]


Trim colours


Personalise your Siganture

Standard Cloth Trim Colours
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525F

Optional Extras

Configurations

Specifications

Length 5.25m
Beam 2.13m
Deadrise 21−33°
Fuel 100L
Water N/A
Berths Day
Outboard 70−115HP
Transom height 25"
Max outboard weight 200kg
Hull weight approx. 770kg
Towing weight approx. 1250kg
BMT length approx. 6.10m
BMT height approx. 2.20m
BMT width approx. 2.13m
Max people 5/450kg
Max load 650kg

Haines Signature 525F - Fishing monthly Group BACK

DOWNLOAD TEST DATA

The Signature 502DF is marketed by the Haines Group as a smaller boat with big features and it’s a description that I find correct.

The newcomer from Wacol has an overall length of 5.25m, a beam of 2.13m and features a stack of work room complimented by many useful angling features. It’s by no means a boat for the really dedicated angler: family anglers will enjoy it just as much thanks to a good degree of comfort throughout.

Peace of mind with the high-sided 880mm interior freeboard for family anglers with youngsters aboard is assured and with well-padded seating for up to five there’s room to stretch out while under way.

The family big four or six cylinder sedan is also adequate to handle the (approximately) 1170kg all up towing weight.

I see the Signature 502 DF as an all rounder in many respects. Family orientated, but just as useful for three or four anglers wanting to enjoy some wide bay or offshore work on the right sort of day.

The layout is the striking thing. There is an incredible fishing area within the high gunwales of the 502DF and with a high external freeboard of some 960mm, sea keeping is fantastic, especially when the full height transom is taken into account.

Layout.

Although a cuddy cabin design, the 502 DF has been constructed to offer as much workroom as possible with the windscreen and helm area moved well forward. The cuddy is somewhat confined, although it still offers shelter for occupants and handy out-of-the-weather storage space.

Removable bunks were floor mounted, with a well between them for comfort when seated out of the weather.

Up front when adjusting the anchor it’s a simple matter to open the central section of the windscreen and the large cabin roof hatch for easy access.

A well-placed step allows you to stand right over the anchor line when lifting the pick instead of leaning awkwardly. Full marks there!

On retrieval, the rope is fed into a drained forward cabin shelf: while the craft is anchored up a neat slot in the hatch cover allows rope to be extended, as required, without the need to have the hatch open.

Well-finished modules are set up either side of the windscreen walk-through area equipped with a side grab handle, deep glove box and a handy 12v outlet. The dash layout featured paired Garmin GMI10 gauges for engine management and systems information with a Garmin 451S Sounder/GPS on a lower level, but above the wheel which was linked to hydraulic steering.

A set of switches are within easy reach of the wheel while forward controls for the 90hp Suzuki 4-stroke were side mounted in the usual manner. One thing I noted was that there was ample room for further screens on the dash.

Swivel chairs on tubular bases offered excellent comfort and support for skipper and mate when under way; the bases being large enough to contain tackle trays or simply to be used for storage of items like PFDs and the like.

I found the skipper’s seat ideally positioned for driving and accessing the engine controls while at the helm: yet just as suited for standing to drive with the seat as a bolster. An optional bimini to shade the helm area was fitted to the test rig and I’d say this would be the first option ticked when an order was placed.

Handy storage space ideal for the catch, tucker or general use is located in a big underfloor tray set between the forward seating with the craft’s underfloor 100L fuel tank.

Cockpit features.

Two rod holders per gunwale side and generous cockpit side pockets both with rod racks are a feature; the pockets are near full length and as they were set off the non-skid floor you could get a toe under them if playing a big fish.

A three-person folding lounge at the transom was equipped with cargo net under it’s base plus a well-padded back rest which could serve as transom coaming if fishing with the seat folded.

Other cockpit features included a locking transom door to port with boarding platform and rail handy, the engine battery is located under the step leading into the hull and a decent sized live well is on the starboard side.

Ride and handling.

The Haines Group have been building dedicated fishing craft long enough to know their stuff and this heritage shines in the 502DF. Ride from the variable deadrise hull (33-21) was both smooth, soft, and quiet thanks to an underfloor foam fill. Serious chop on the test day area was a non event, and even belting across large wash areas from passing craft did not unduly upset the smooth and very controlled ride of the 502 DF.

The driving position was ideal: thanks to the low dash set up one could either sit or stand with ease and still enjoy every bit of forward vision necessary. Hydraulic steering made driver input finger tip light and again, I reiterate, this craft would suit a beginner to boating with ease.

Engine Performance

Performance from the 90hp Suzuki 4-stroke was both easy and willing. Engine ratings for this model are from 70-115hp but I saw the 90hp as just right for family use when either fishing or for tow sports.

The craft planed at 14.1kph at 2,400rpm, 3,000rpm saw 16.9kph on the GPS, 4,000rpm 41.0kph, 5,000rpm a brisk 55kph and 5,800rpm delivered 60.3kph. Test runs were carried out with two aboard plus a near full fuel load.

Fishability and Final Thoughts.

With it’s well-mannered ride, great stability from the 525kg deep V hull, reversed chines, well formed strakes and substantial work area this boat is extremely well suited to the novice and experienced boater alike.

With plenty of features for the angler, the 502 DF is a purpose built fishing boat that combines comfort and work area admirably. Finish is quite good in typical Haines Group standard and the package is well put together.

The rig could fish the family or keen offshore aficionados with equal ease and represents good value as reviewed at around $47,780 (priced from $39,999 with a smaller engine and less options) with Dunbier trailer and all options including the bimini and rear seat.

For details of your nearest Signature dealer contact The Haines Group on phone (07) 32714400, fax (07) 32714054 or on the net at www.thehainesgroup.com

Facts

Technical Information.

Length: 5.25m

Length on trailer: 6.35m

Beam: 2.13m

Height on trailer: 2.30m

Hull Weight: 525kg

Deadrise: 21 at transom

Fuel: 100L

Power rating: 75-115hp

Persons: 5

Towing: Family six sedan or big four.

Words By Wayne Kempe

Boat Review Supplied By Fishing Monthly Group
http://fishingmonthly.com.au/Articles/Display/12183-Signature-502DF

Haines Signature 525F - Boatpoint Review BACK

Not quite in the league of ‘pocket rocket', the 502DF Haines Signature has more than the usual amount of internal space; something we all yearn for, and in a boat just over five metres in length.

LIKES
-Heaps of fishing room 
- Ability to get right on top of ground tackle
- High coamings make it an ideal rough-water fishing boat and especially so with youngsters aboard

DISLIKES
- Steering was disappointing and needs to be upgraded

OVERVIEW
- Good things come in small packages
The 'DF' moniker denotes Day Fisher and provided you keep up your end of the deal, the boat should come up with the goods as it has a lot of practicality throughout for a comfortable day chasing things piscatorial.

This boat features the same hull bottom as The Haines Group’s RF model but with a new top deck.


The cockpit has been opened up to give the impression of spaciousness and looks are more than skin deep here. This is one roomy little boat and coupled with its high coamings that rise as they head toward the helm, it presents itself as a very practical fishing boat for estuary and coastal work. A well-designed transom further adds to the fish-ability of the 502DF.

LAYOUT
- Easy to move around
This superstructure has its helm and windscreen well forward to open up the deck space behind and to reduce the distance of the cuddy cabin roof between the screen and the bowsprit.

The acrylic screen has a central opening pane that allows one to walk through to the bow after opening the cabin roof hatch. Once there you are right on top of the bow which gives more leverage on the ground tackle -- very hand for hauling in the anchor!

Rather than have a stand-alone anchor well, the rope and chain is stored on a shelf inside for ready access. The shelf slopes away at the front so water that is shed off the tackle runs down to a drain that exits through the hull. A rebate in the front edge of the manhole allows the roof hatch to be closed when the anchor is deployed.

Head height is typically short in the cuddy cabin but there is enough room for someone to crawl in for a snooze during the quieter part of the bite.

The cushions here sit loose on top of the liner which has no storage within due to all of the voids in this hull being foam filled for buoyancy. With those out of the way some handy tackle storage systems could be fixed in place here for those inclined.

A long shallow compartment under a hatch between the helm and passenger chair offers some storage space not available inside the cabin. The continuation of this rebate toward the stern is occupied by a 100-litre poly fuel tank that is easily accessible for maintenance to the plumbing if need be.

The two swivel chairs sit on fibreglass boxes that have apertures on their inside wall for further stowage. After purchase, a bead of silicon around the bases would keep contents dry from any water seeping through from the surrounding deck.

The helm station has enough room on a flat fascia for a 12-inch electronic cabinet to be flush mounted and a brow behind was fitted with Garmin GMI10 digital instrumentation that is interfaced with the Suzuki outboard. Garmin’s GPS Map 451S which is a combination depth sounder was gimbal mounted as an option.

Full cockpit-length stowage pockets are installed high enough to get the feet under when fishing about the gunwales and a quality rear lounge folds up out of the way when not in use. It has a cargo net installed on its underside to hold gear when it is deployed as a seat or folded up so one may fish over the transom. The back rest for the lounge is a permanent fixture on a hinged back that folds down should you want to install an outboard engine that featured a high profile engine cowl. This will prevent cowl and transom clashing when being fully tilted.

The transom bulkhead extends aft on the starboard side and a livebait tank is installed here. That profile is missing on the portside corner replaced with a short walk-through transom door leading out onto the boarding platform. The engine cranking battery is fixed to the deck under the step in this doorway.

Standard fit in this boat is a pair of Tallon receivers that flush-mount on the inside of the coaming. These fittings are a base for all manner of accessories and are very effective should you wish to carry a variety of them. You can plug in rings, handles and drink bottle holders and in dry areas there are even accessories to hold computers, mobile telephones, marine electronics and the like. They are quite handy indeed.

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT
- Great base price for a quality boat
The base price for the 502DF is $39,999 and on the boat we reviewed we noted the bimini, lockable glove compartment in front of the passenger and the rear lounge was optional and took the price up to a total of $47,780

MECHANICAL AND HULL
- Supurb finish
Our test boat was fitted with a straight mechanical steering system which we found difficult to deal with when getting onto the plane and until the motor was trimmed out correctly. The amount of torque transferred to the helm was uncomfortable so serious thought has to go into optioning up to at least a non-feedback mechanical system or ideally a hydraulic one.

The hull finish is typical for one out of this company’s factory; excellent in every regard and we couldn’t find any blemishes in the joins and finishes.

As mentioned earlier, the voids below deck are foam filled and the structure such as deck and bulkheads are constructed of Ruply which is guaranteed against rot and insect pest invasion. The Ruply timber is glassed each side prior to installation to further increase its robustness.

ON THE WATER
- Smooth and quiet
Once we got over the excessive torque at the helm the 502DF was a pleasure to drive. It has a very high windscreen so the face has protection from the wind when standing and underway on the plane. Importantly the profile of the dashboard behind the helm has been kept low so people of various heights will be comfortable travelling seated or standing and have the necessary safe vision forward.

Taking the boat out through The Seaway on the Gold Coast we could only find swell to about a metre on which it performed well when travelling in various directions over it. Some large boat wash was encountered and the boat cut through that without any untoward banging to contend with.

Noticeable also was how dry the hull rides even with wind on the quarter and no spray came onto the screen. The ambient noise coming through the hull is minimal as well, thanks to the foam filling those voids below deck.

The fitted 90hp Suzuki four stroke wound out to 6000 rpm at WOT at which time we were running at around 66km/h.

It had enough torque throughout the rev range to handle a variety of cruise speeds and we took the opportunity to glean figures from a performance test on this motor fitted to its sister ship, the 502RF.

We noted that at the afore-mentioned full throttle the engine was consuming 33.15 litres per hour and its ideal economical cruise speed was 42.8km/h and 4000 rpm where its fuel consumption was a pleasing 11.45 litres per hour. That equates to a range of 271km using 95 per cent of the available fuel in the 100l tank; impressive indeed!

We see this as an ideal boat to handle those cold and windy southern days and it will afford its occupants plenty of shelter and safety in inclement weather. A set of clears will really make this an all-weather fishing platform. 

The winter whiting won’t know what hit 'em.

RATINGS
Overall rating: 4.6/5.0
Mechanical/equipment: 4.5/5.0
Packaging and practicality: 4.8/5.0
On the water performance: 4.6/5.0
Value for money: 4.7/5.0
X-factor: 4.5/5.0

Specifications
Length overall: 5.25m
Beam: 2.13m
Deadrise: 21-33 degrees variable
Weight: 525kg approx. Hull only
Fuel: 100 litres
Recommended minimum HP: 70
Recommended maximum HP: 115
Maximum transom engine weight: 200kg
Berths: shelter only
People day: 5 to 375kg

Supplied by:
The Haines Group of Companies
www.thehainesgroup.com

 

Words By Rick Huckstepp
http://www.boatpoint.com.au/content/reviews/2011/haines-signature-502df-26936

Haines Signature 525F - Trade Boat Review BACK

Kevin Smith sees how the Haines Group's new Signature 502DF compares to its close cousin, the 502RF, he tested one year ago.

 
Haines Signature 502DF

FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published inTrailerBoat #280, April 2012

About 12 months ago I tested the Haines Group's Signature 502RF (Runabout Fisher), which turned out to be a little cracker on the water (see TrailerBoat #268). That model recently spawned the Signature 502DF (Day Fisher) - a similar boat but with a different top-deck design and several extra features.


What's the main difference? Well, for a start there's a redesigned console / bow area. The 502RF tested last year had a walkthrough to the bow with stowage compartments below on either side. The DF has the same walkthrough, but with a built-in mini-cab section. Personally, I prefer the DF setup as it's a great place to shelter from the elements (especially for the kids) and it can still be used for storage.

 



TIDY LAYOUT



Just like the RF, this one has a smart and tidy layout, with a nice, compact false-transom setup providing a livewell, transom door and fold-away rear lounge, with open access below to all the plumbing and the battery.

The gunwales are nice and high, which does afford a little more protection, and certainly helps keep the kids in the boat rather than out. The gunwales also have good-sized sidepockets, rodholders and Tallon Receivers, with neat rod racks fitted on either side.

The deck area is a speckled non-slip affair with a centre carpet running forward. There's a decent-sized deck hatch between the seats, which are mounted on seat boxes with open storage beneath. A nice touch is the white beading finish on all the open edges of the boat - it just adds that extra touch of class to the boat's interior.

The 502DF sports a port and starboard dash, with a glove / icebox fitted on the passenger side, a walkthrough section to the bow, large hinged screen and decent space for electronics on the skipper's side, all protected by a bimini cover.

The only thing I might change would be the position of the Garmin GMI 10 gauges. Were it up to me, I'd fit them next to the sounder rather than behind it, as I couldn't see them clearly when seated.

Let's now take a closer look at the 502DF's main point of difference to its 502RF sibling, namely that open-plan cabin. It's not huge inside, but it's still sufficient for some form of protection, and also has plenty of space for gear.

If you have small kids the DF format is simply more practical than that of the RF.

The DF has the same walkthrough section, with a side-opening hinged top that gives you full access to the bow and anchor. It's a great idea, as it saves you from having to clamber over windscreens to get to the anchor hatches.
Overall, this is a smart and spacious layout; it's comfortable, but it also serves as a great fishing platform.

 

 

NIPPY PERFORMER



Like the RF model tested previously, this DF was fitted with a Suzuki 90hp four-stroke. These hulls have the patented Signature variable deadrise hull, which delivers a thoroughly pleasing ride.

The DF's ride is smooth, soft and pretty dry; it's also fairly stable for a boat of this size. Unfortunately our test day within the Gold Coast Broadwater was flat, but I'd tested the RF in rough conditions and it performed exceptionally well. The DF shares the same hull, so I can't see any reason why this model's performance in less-than-ideal conditions would be any different.

When I tested the 502RF I remember having to contend with a gusty northerly that was almost entirely head-on for the ride home. Considering the conditions the boat rode exceptionally well, and I drove most of the way seated instead of standing. After a 15-minute ride I stepped off the boat, dry and far from battered.

With the 90hp the 502DF was gutsy enough out of the hole and topped out at around 33kts (61kmh) at wide open throttle (WOT). As I mentioned, it was dead calm in the Broadwater on the day, so I resorted to some tight figure-of-eights to create a reasonable wake and get some idea of how it handled in the chop. In these conditions, it once more maintained a very comfortable ride that was stable at speed, and also handled well into tight turns. It was comfortable to drive when standing or seated and on the water it felt very safe indeed.

 

 

THE WRAP



This 502DF is a little winner for family fishing and boating enthusiasts, and as well as being a decent all-rounder, it also comes with a truckload of accessories fitted as standard - far too many to mention. At $49,280 (as tested), the Signature 502DF is a quality boat with a super finish for a competitive price.

 

 

On the plane...


Comfortable ride
Quality overall finish
Walkthrough to bow a good feature
The mini-cab is simple but practical
Rod racks in the sidepockets on either side

 



Dragging the chain...


Gauge panel positioned a bit too far back
Could do with a few grabrails as standard

 

 



SPECIFICATIONS

 

 


HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $49,280
Options fitted: Bimini, glovebox / icebox in dash (lockable), folding aft lounge seat, hydraulic steering
Priced from: $39,990

 

 

GENERAL


Type: Deep-vee family / fishing crossover
Material: GRP
Length: 5.25m
Beam: 2.13m
Weight (hull): Approx. 525kg
Weight (total package): Approx. 1300kg
Deadrise: 21-33° variable

 

 

CAPACITIES


People: 5
Min Rec. HP: 70
Max. HP: 115
Fuel: 100lt

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Suzuki DF90 ATX
Type: 16-valve, DOHC, four-stroke
Displacement: 1502cc
Engine weight: 158kg (extra-long shaft)
Gear ratio: 2.59:1
Propeller: 17in

 

 

MANUFACTURED & SUPPLIED BY


The Haines Group
140 Viking Drive
Wacol, Qld, 4076
Tel: (07) 3271 4400
Web: www.thehainesgroup.com.au

 
Originally published in TrailerBoat #280

Words By Kevin Smith
http://www.tradeboats.com.au/trailerboat-reviews/boats/1205/signature-502df-review/

 

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