543SF
  • Huge walk-around cockpit area
  • Super soft, dry and stable ride
  • Unmatched stability at rest
  • Large front cast deck with a massive kill tank
  • Live bait well
  • 180 litres of fuel
  • Fully moulded non-slip deck
  • Ample storage
  • Tows behind a typical 6-cylinder family sedan
  • 7 people

Configurations


Take a Tour


Specifications


Moulded length 5.95m
Length 5.33m
Beam 2.13m
Deadrise 21-33°
Fuel CC = 150L, SC = 180L
Water N/A
Berths 0
Power 90−150HP
Transom height 25''
Max outboard weight 240kg
Hull weight approx. 880kg
Towing weight approx. 1,690kg − 1,990kg
BMT length approx. 7.10m
BMT height approx. 2.30m
BMT width approx. 2.18m
Max people 7/630kg
Max load 850kg

Haines Signature 543SF - Trade A Boat Magazine BACK


The intriguing Haines Signature 543SF Side Console is an intriguing and sporty new fishing boat from Queensland’s Haines Group — especially if you were a fan of the Signature 485SF.

A few years back, the Haines Group’s Signature range received several prestigious awards for its Signature 485SF fishing boats, and I certainly wasn’t surprised. These fishing boats remain one of my favourites of the Signature boats range because they were ideal boats suited to so many different types of boating and fishing — from freshwater, to bay/estuary and, even light-to-medium offshore fishing. I’ve personally sat 20nm offshore fishing from a Signature 458SF without the slightest worry in the world.

So the only "big" question has been: "When will the larger version come out?" The good news for fans of Haines boats is, it’s just arrived.

 


 

HAINES BOATS

 

The latest addition to the Haines Signature range of fishing boats is the Signature 543SF side console. However, don’t dismiss it as merely an extension of the original Signature 485SF – there’s much more going on here. The Signature 543SF side console is a completely new hull and deck configuration inspired by the  current 5.4m hull that underpins the vaunted Signature 543 "R" and "F"  models.

For our boat review, the new Signature 543SF was put through its paces in a completely different environment: we took her prawning in the Pine River with Signature ambassador, boater, angler, prawn netter, and crab-catcher, Gordon Triplett. Good reports from the previous week, combined with favourable tides and weather added to the likelihood of success, although typically, when it comes to boat reviews and fishing, the results are generally embarrassing. But I figured it might still be nice to learn a few new tricks and of course, poach a few secret spots.

 

LAYOUT

 

Expecting something similar to the original 485SF, I was quite gobsmacked when meeting the new Signature 543SF for the first time. Rocking up on a slick-looking dual axle trailer with mags, the Signature 543SF had a very different dress code to the norm – full coloured hull, and in a striking blue at that. Combined with a white deck and a mix of colour-coded interior vinyl, it was a stunner to look at.

 

Upon closer inspection, the typical Signature attention to detail and innovative design jumps out at you. The side console configuration means mega fishability, due to the interior layout and design and the first major feature to stand out is the casting deck up forward. It’s pretty sizable and runs from the bow to just short of midships and various areas of this deck can be added in as modular components. I really like this idea, as you can go easily adjust the size of the foredeck. For example, those into lure fishing may go for as big a platform as possible. Alternatively the casting decks can be left out altogether for a more open design that would also save a few bucks.

This model though, boasted the larger deck which also means an abundance of underfloor storage space, plus a massive full length killtank/plumbed split livewell, insulated cold box and spare battery, all with non-slip and drainage. This is complemented with LED lighting and a low profile bowrail.

From there, the deluxe casting deck steps down to floor level with an above-average height to gunwales and coamings, plus decent sized side console and a comfortable seating arrangement. On port, the gunwale tubed rod-rack system is a nice addition and works better than a dedicated rod-locker which may take up valuable space.

The starboard side offers a side console positioned slightly back from the casting deck to create a walkaround section, while extra width and height to the console provides wind protection and space for larger electronics. In this case, Signature wasn’t shy and loaded it up with twin Garmin GPS 751xs combos linked to a 1kw through-hull transducer (bow mount 751xs fitted with 600W CHIRP through-hull), the latest GMI 20-instrument gauge, autopilot, Fusion sounds, short blade Lenco trim tabs, a VHF and four-way switch panels. It’s a heck of a console and very comfortable to drive from low down in the seat or with the front bolster raised.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

 

Kitted up with a Suzuki 150hp four-stroke outboard motor, one could only expect some serious performance out of the Signature 543SF. The 150’s big bore and displacement does a sterling job at belting the 543SF out of the hole and onto the plane. With such power, bow rise is limited to virtually nothing and on the plane, the Signature Variable Deadrise Hull (SVDH) does a good job to maintain stability, a smooth ride and improved economy.

At mid-range, the optimal cruise speed is around 22.5knots, with revs sitting at 4000rpm and fuel consumption as low as 18.5lt/hr. Not bad going for a 150hp…

Rising from mid-range, the acceleration to top end is instantaneous and the 543SF tops out at 37.9kts. Not a record breaker, but fast enough to make your eyes water.

Swooping through some hard turns, the hull rides level and smooth without losing much on the speed side. Whether you’re a passenger or driver, it’s a comfortable boat to be in and like all of the company’s hulls, it feels safe on the water.

Unfortunately, as we were on the river, there wasn’t any chop to thrash it around in, but judging by the water flow off the chines, it should maintain a fairly dry and comfortable ride. The few wakes we did take on in the river were not noticeable at all and having previous experience in the Signature 543 hulls in rough conditions, I’m confident in saying the 543SF will do a good job out in the rough.

 

THE VERDICT

 

The Haines Signature 543SF is a dedicated and professionally designed fishing boat, and that’s that. The side console version with casting deck is lure fishing perfection, whether it be on flatwater chasing barra, or out in the bays and offshore. And although our prawning mission wasn’t true "fishing", it still proved a fair test of stability and precision manoeuvrability.

Our first site was chosen, and a bloody good one at that, as the Garmins lit up with a light array of low holding fire streaks – indicating prawns. We set to work casting – or in my case, tangling – the throw nets and even with two of us up forward, there was never a moment where the boat listed or I lost my footing.

With stability like this, it’s an ideal platform for lure-throwing. Two can utilise the casting deck easily without getting in each other’s hair, and a third or even fourth can fish out the back. The only thing missing for me was an electric motor which obviously still can be fitted.

The 543SF is another Signature head-turner and they’ve done a magnificent job at creating a serious fishing weapon. For those who currently own the original Signature 485SF, you might well consider an upgrade.

Priced up at just over $70K, you might raise an eyebrow, but there are a number of factors to consider before doing so.

Firstly, the electronics package, 150hp outboard motor and major bling fitted has loaded up the price significantly. The starting price is appealing though and what I do like about these boats is how you can build or add to them over time. If budget’s an issue, you can always start with the bare hull and add features as they’re required. And you’ve got to love a customised fishing boat.

 

Signature 543SF Side Console Sea Trials*

ENGINE RPM

SPEED KM/H

LT/H

LITRES PER KM

650

3.8

1.1

0.30

1000

6.2

1.75

0.30

1500

9.0

3.1

0.35

2000

11.3

5.95

0.55

2500

13.1

10.4

0.80

3000

16.6

14.1

0.65

3500

33.1

16.5

0.50

4000

41.9

18.5

0.45

4500

49.4

25.95

0.50

5000

56.6

33.3

0.60

5500

62.8

43

0.70

6000

68.3

56.7

0.85

6150

70.2

60.05

0.90

*Sea trial data supplied by the author.

 

HIGHS

• Easily my new favourite model

• Precision mouldings and finishes throughout

• Suitability to both inshore and offshore

• I netted more prawns than the Captain

 

LOWS

• It’s not mine

 

  • See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #452, May / June 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

 

SIGNATURE 543SF SIDE CONSOLE SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$70,000

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Garmin 751XS x 3, Garmin Auto Pilot, two livewells, deck wash, driving lights, underwater lights, bow rails, cast deck extension,  rear cast deck, plus more – too much to mention.

 

PRICED FROM

$49,999  

 

GENERAL

TYPE Offshore/inshore sportsfishing        

MATERIAL FRP       

LENGTH 5.41m

BEAM 2.13m

WEIGHT 1750kg on trailer

DEADRISE Variable 21˚ to 33˚

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 7

REC. HP 140    

MAX. HP 150

FUEL 100lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Suzuki DF150TL

TYPE Four-stroke outboard motor

WEIGHT 220kg

DISPLACEMENT 2867cc

GEAR RATIO 2.50:1   

PROPELLER 19 x 15 x 3

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Haines Signature Boats

PHONE 07 3271 4400

EMAIL info@thehainesgroup.com

WEB signatureboats.com.au

 

Words By Kevin Smith
http://www.tradeboats.com.au/trailerboat-reviews/boats/1409/haines-signature-543sf-side-console-review/ 

Haines Signature 543SF - Fishing World Review BACK


16 Feb 2015

By Scott Mitchell

OUR previous boat was the Haines Signature 485SF – the company’s largest selling sport fishing (SF) model. Having such a diverse range of fisheries surrounding us in Hervey Bay, it’s a challenge to find a boat that covers everything. The 485SF was a versatile boat with an emphasis on inshore fishing and the capability of running offshore when conditions allowed.

This time we were looking for a boat that was more suited to offshore work while still being capable of floating across shallow flats and running up larger rivers, creeks and impoundments. After previously owning three fibreglass boats I couldn’t imagine going with anything other than ’glass. Unfortunately, there aren’t many locally made specialist fibreglass fishing centre consoles. Initially I looked towards US “bay” style boats but found they mostly didn’t have enough freeboard for serious offshore work.

Next I looked at US centre consoles, of which there are many. But I just couldn’t find one with the right layout and storage options. 

I spoke with The Haines Group and suggested there was an opportunity for an Australian fibreglass boat manufacturer to build a specialised sportfishing centre console to suit our local fishing styles and compete with the international imports. The logical choice of hull was the 543, a proven performer.

So the 543SF project began. We drew up the general deck design with the key features. Starting at the bow there is a deep anchor well large enough to carry at least 110m of rope with suitable chain and anchor. There is a custom-made electric motor plate which can be mounted on either the port or starboard side to suit your preference. Being right handed, I prefer mine on the starboard side so I’m not casting over the Minn Kota when it’s not deployed. We went with a Minn Kota Terrova iPilot 24 volt 80lb bow mount with 60-inch shaft.

The front casting deck is large enough to sleep two people comfortably, making it ideal for long range trips. I wanted at least one large dry storage compartment which caused some debate in relation to the definition of “dry”. John Haines Jnr said very few deck storage options can truly be classified as completely dry, however, the use of a deep hatch track and seal would provide sufficient waterproofing for most. We settled on having two split hatches towards the bow deep enough to house any items you would prefer to keep dry – safety gear, jackets, bedding, cooking gear etc. The hatches have been fitted with gas struts for ease of opening and to hold these up when open.

Next was a kill tank/live well. The one we had previously in our 485SF was fantastic so we elected to reproduce it again – only with a little more depth this time due to the increased height of the raised casting deck. This compartment has also been foam lined to improve insulation as both a live well or kill tank and will hold ice for day/overnight trips. It makes a fantastic live storage well for species such as bream, flathead, whiting and bass and will keep them in top condition until either released or dispatched for eating. It carries about 120 litres of water.

Next we have another large general storage compartment with two access hatches that are ideal for storing long items like gaffs, folding nets, lure retrievers, drogue, and tackle boxes. There’s a deep bilge sump below the floor with plumbing for the live well and deck wash system flush mounted into the port side.

A lot of thought and design has gone into the centre console. Anyone who’s fitted electronics in centre consoles previously will appreciate the hinged folding top section! With sounder screens getting larger every year the dash section will accommodate flush mounted screens in excess of 12-inches. I went with the Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch units with a Touch 9 as my GPS/charting unit and a Touch 12 for sonar/structure scan. Both units are networked so you can accurately mark bottom structure as a waypoint or split the screens as desired. I also added the new Sonar Hub with CHIRP transducer and saltwater Hydrowave unit.

I mounted a Lowrance Sonic Hub for playing a few tunes on the longer runs or overnight trips. There are two Lowrance LMF 400 gauges to read all the engine data and fuel management details via an interface to the engine. We also fitted the Suzuki Troll Mode system which allows the engine’s revs to be adjusted in 50rpm intervals simply by pressing the Troll Mode control switch from idle up to1200rpm. I also went with the new Lowrance Link 8 DSC VHF radio with a short whip antenna.

Everything on the console is ergonomically positioned for easy access. The Bennett trim tab switches are positioned just above the single binnacle control box so the boat can be easily trimmed while running. All the switches for lights, bilges, live wells, and deck wash are positioned across the dash directly in front of the steering wheel, which is also on an adjustable tilt helm. There is a Sterling Pro Mariner three bank (30 amp) battery charger mounted under the console, hard wired into the two Deka marine Intimidator 8A31 batteries for the 24 volt Minn-Kota system as well as the third Deka house battery to run all the other electronics. This makes charging all the batteries painless by just running a lead to the boat and plugging it into the Clipsal power plug on the side of the console. I also had a separate C-Tek MXS 5 maintenance charger hard wired into the Deka crank battery down the back.

There are three rod racks built into each side of the boat’s gunwales with individual tubes to protect rods up to 12 feet, making it ideal for both conventional and fly rods. Soft cushioned coamings have been fitted in the main cockpit area for added comfort when fishing heavier tackle and battling larger fish. Behind the console there’s a comfortable boat seat with storage built in under the cushion. There’s enough space underneath the seat to fit a larger cooler or tackle bags. There’s also a removable padded back rest with another four rod holders built into it.

The transom area features a small seat on each side which houses the main crank battery, charger and isolator switches on the port side with a plumbed live well on the starboard side.

The hull is rated up to 150hp with our choice of motor being the Suzuki DF140A. We couldn’t be happier with the performance and have propped the boat for midrange fuel economy by running a Suzuki stainless steel 3 x 13 7/8 x 21 R prop. This combination gets out of the hole well, while offering a cruising speed of about 20 knots and burning 15 litres per hour at 4000 RPM. This gives the boat great range with the underfloor 160 litre fuel tank. WOT at 6000 rpm produces 36 knots, burning 45 litres per hour.

The whole rig comes in at about 1800kgs sitting on a tandem axle Dunbier wide body Supa Rolla trailer with sexy alloy wheels.
We feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to work with The Haines Group and believe the 543SF will gain legend status around fishing circles in years to come. It has set a new benchmark with everyone who has had a run with us commenting on the ride quality and layout. You also have the flexibility of customising the whole package with a tiller steer, side console and our fully optioned centre console models all being available in a range of classy gel coat colours.

 

Words By Scott Mitchell
http://www.fishingworld.com.au/news/scotto-s-new-haines-signature-543sf

Haines Signature 543SF - Fishing Monthly BACK


Queensland made Haines Signature boats seem to have a boat for every purpose these days, and their new 543SF (the SF stands for Sport Fishing) model follows that trend to a T, delivering anglers a specialised, high quality, sportfishing rig.

With a length of 5.41m and a 2.13m beam this deep V fibreglass hull is large enough for offshore work on calmer days (due to the limited freeboard of the sports style hull), and is tailor made for bay, estuary and impoundment angling. The reviewed vessel came equipped with a side console and tandem seating, but can be ordered with a centre console options if that’s more to your liking. Haines Signature offers some latitude in the layout of the deck and are more than happy to discuss the available options. Standard on all models and layouts though is Haines Signature’s attention to detail and high-level build quality and finish.

Reviewed on Moreton Bay on a typical choppy morning the Signature’s variable deadrise hull provided an extremely dry and comfortable ride. Being a sports style hull design of course necessitated the need for sufficient power to push the hull out of the hole and onto the plane, and likewise sufficient grunt was needed to keep the boat on top of the chop and push it through the waves with ease. This was a task the 2.8litre four cylinder Suzuki 150hp four stroke engine seemed to thrive on. More on performance later, in the meantime let’s take a look at the Haines’ layout and features.

Sports orientated layout.

Up front there are several storage compartments under the 40cm high front casting deck, conveniently equipped with lighting for night fishing. Complimenting the lockable dry storage compartments up front is a fully plumbed, full width livewell, plus another pair of storage compartments located at the rear of the deck. A stainless steel grab rail located on the top of the gunnel further adds to the front deck’s features, providing angler comfort and security in rough conditions.

The cockpit also boasts a host of fishing features for the discerning angler. Upright rod holders are located on each side of the cockpit, while under gunnel horizontal rod holders located on the port side of the vessel provide room to safety and securely store five outfits.

The 543FS has seating that could only be described as plush. Classic in design, these stylish blue and white pedestal seats feature a high backrest, and a fully moulded bucket seat base. Equipped with a front bolster, height adjustability, and full swivel functionality these are seats that definitely look as good as they feel.

When seated at the helm I found there to be ample legroom between the seat and the console, while the console’s windscreen provides some shelter from the elements. Engine controls are comfortably located next to the skipper’s right arm, providing ultimate comfort and control.

The 543SF’s well-considered and designed dash saw not one, but two, in-dash Garmin 751xs sounders positioned side-by-side. Also set into the console’s upright section is, four banks of rocker switches controlling various functions, trim tab controls, and drink holder. Located lower on the dash along with the ignition key is a microphone for the vessel’s marine radio. In all the Haines’ dash was well set out, ergonomically friendly to use, both when at rest and when travelling at speed, and like all elements on the boat a testament to Haines’ attention to design and construction quality. An on-board sound system was also part of the package and sat unobtrusively on the console.

Fun times under power.

Driving the 543SF was effortless and pleasurable with the craft’s tilt adjustable steering wheel linking with the vessel’s hydraulic steering to deliver a steering set-up that is fluid and assured at all speeds. Trim tab controls are also right at the skipper’s reach providing further hull control when on the move. The 543SF’s deep V 33/21 degree variable deadrise hull didn’t seem to need a lot of power to get it up and planning. With three aboard the Haines only needed 2,600rpm of power from the motor, and 7.6 knots (14.1km/h) of speed to get it out of the hole and on the plane. The 150 Suzuki worked effortlessly during the onwater test recording a speed of 8.9 knots (16.6 km/h) at 3000rpm, 22.6 knots (41.9 km/h) at 4000 rpm, 30.5 knots (56.6km/h) at 5000 rpm, 36.8 knots (68.3km/h) at 6000 rpm, and 38.4 knots (71.3km/h) at 6200rpm.

These were impressive speeds but are of course entirely governed by water conditions. What additionally impressed me was the very smooth and seemingly noise-free cruise speed of 22.6 knots (41.9km/h) at 4000rpm, and the fuel consumption of 18.5L/h. With 170L fuel capacity this is vessel that has some serious range.

The performance from the Suzuki was virtually seamless. Whisper quiet at idle the engine purred into life once over 1000rpm, and when driven harder never seemed to be working that hard at all. Given the ease in which the 150 Suzuki push the hull along, opting for a smaller 140 would be a viable money saving option.

Fishability

The 543SF is true to Haines Signature’s fishing pedigree with a multitude of features combining to make it a sports fishing boat with few peers. Cockpit features to please the angler are a deep underfloor compartment for stowing fish, soft coaming on the sides to assist when fighting fish, a recirculating livewell located at the transom, rear twin stainless steel rod holders, transom lights, rear boarding steps, and a rear portside ladder. A small casting deck is also located at the rear and extends the full width of the boat. A large forward deck further enhances the vessel’s large work area, proving sufficient room for up to four anglers.

With a hull weight of 1100 kg this is a mighty substantial craft and while the deep V hull was slightly inclined to lean when sitting at rest in chop, I noted no excessive leaning or tipping even with three moving about onboard. For those wishing to run an electric motor an electric motor bracket is available as an optional extra.

Summing Up

As a dedicated sports fishing rig the Signature 543SF will be suited to a lot of different anglers. From the tournament angler to enthusiast bay and inshore anglers it’s a vessel that offers a lot and delivers plenty. For a fly angler like myself the expansive front casting deck is tailor made for casting a fly line from and offers a tonne of room to fight fish

Stunning in looks, refined in design and construction, and ultimately impressive in performance this a craft that is built to excite.

Including all extras (including three Garmin sounders) the reviewed Haines Signature 543SF would come home on a Dunbier dual axle trailer for around $62,990. Haines Signature can be contacted via email on --e-mail address hidden-- , or by phone or fax on 32714000 to locate a dealer near you.

Technical Information.

Length.5.41 metres
Beam 2.13 m
Hull weight 1100kg
Hull deadrise 33/21 degrees standard variable.
Fuel 170 litres
Engine ratings 130 to 150 h.p
Engine fitted 150 Suzuki four stroke
Persons five
Towing family six or big four sedan

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
Upgrade Colours
543SF

Optional Extras

Configurations

Specifications

Moulded length 5.95m
Length 5.33m
Beam 2.13m
Deadrise 21-33°
Fuel CC = 150L, SC = 180L
Water N/A
Berths 0
Power 90−150HP
Transom height 25''
Max outboard weight 240kg
Hull weight approx. 880kg
Towing weight approx. 1,690kg − 1,990kg
BMT length approx. 7.10m
BMT height approx. 2.30m
BMT width approx. 2.18m
Max people 7/630kg
Max load 850kg

Haines Signature 543SF - Trade A Boat Magazine BACK

The intriguing Haines Signature 543SF Side Console is an intriguing and sporty new fishing boat from Queensland’s Haines Group — especially if you were a fan of the Signature 485SF.

A few years back, the Haines Group’s Signature range received several prestigious awards for its Signature 485SF fishing boats, and I certainly wasn’t surprised. These fishing boats remain one of my favourites of the Signature boats range because they were ideal boats suited to so many different types of boating and fishing — from freshwater, to bay/estuary and, even light-to-medium offshore fishing. I’ve personally sat 20nm offshore fishing from a Signature 458SF without the slightest worry in the world.

So the only "big" question has been: "When will the larger version come out?" The good news for fans of Haines boats is, it’s just arrived.

 


 

HAINES BOATS

 

The latest addition to the Haines Signature range of fishing boats is the Signature 543SF side console. However, don’t dismiss it as merely an extension of the original Signature 485SF – there’s much more going on here. The Signature 543SF side console is a completely new hull and deck configuration inspired by the  current 5.4m hull that underpins the vaunted Signature 543 "R" and "F"  models.

For our boat review, the new Signature 543SF was put through its paces in a completely different environment: we took her prawning in the Pine River with Signature ambassador, boater, angler, prawn netter, and crab-catcher, Gordon Triplett. Good reports from the previous week, combined with favourable tides and weather added to the likelihood of success, although typically, when it comes to boat reviews and fishing, the results are generally embarrassing. But I figured it might still be nice to learn a few new tricks and of course, poach a few secret spots.

 

LAYOUT

 

Expecting something similar to the original 485SF, I was quite gobsmacked when meeting the new Signature 543SF for the first time. Rocking up on a slick-looking dual axle trailer with mags, the Signature 543SF had a very different dress code to the norm – full coloured hull, and in a striking blue at that. Combined with a white deck and a mix of colour-coded interior vinyl, it was a stunner to look at.

 

Upon closer inspection, the typical Signature attention to detail and innovative design jumps out at you. The side console configuration means mega fishability, due to the interior layout and design and the first major feature to stand out is the casting deck up forward. It’s pretty sizable and runs from the bow to just short of midships and various areas of this deck can be added in as modular components. I really like this idea, as you can go easily adjust the size of the foredeck. For example, those into lure fishing may go for as big a platform as possible. Alternatively the casting decks can be left out altogether for a more open design that would also save a few bucks.

This model though, boasted the larger deck which also means an abundance of underfloor storage space, plus a massive full length killtank/plumbed split livewell, insulated cold box and spare battery, all with non-slip and drainage. This is complemented with LED lighting and a low profile bowrail.

From there, the deluxe casting deck steps down to floor level with an above-average height to gunwales and coamings, plus decent sized side console and a comfortable seating arrangement. On port, the gunwale tubed rod-rack system is a nice addition and works better than a dedicated rod-locker which may take up valuable space.

The starboard side offers a side console positioned slightly back from the casting deck to create a walkaround section, while extra width and height to the console provides wind protection and space for larger electronics. In this case, Signature wasn’t shy and loaded it up with twin Garmin GPS 751xs combos linked to a 1kw through-hull transducer (bow mount 751xs fitted with 600W CHIRP through-hull), the latest GMI 20-instrument gauge, autopilot, Fusion sounds, short blade Lenco trim tabs, a VHF and four-way switch panels. It’s a heck of a console and very comfortable to drive from low down in the seat or with the front bolster raised.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

 

Kitted up with a Suzuki 150hp four-stroke outboard motor, one could only expect some serious performance out of the Signature 543SF. The 150’s big bore and displacement does a sterling job at belting the 543SF out of the hole and onto the plane. With such power, bow rise is limited to virtually nothing and on the plane, the Signature Variable Deadrise Hull (SVDH) does a good job to maintain stability, a smooth ride and improved economy.

At mid-range, the optimal cruise speed is around 22.5knots, with revs sitting at 4000rpm and fuel consumption as low as 18.5lt/hr. Not bad going for a 150hp…

Rising from mid-range, the acceleration to top end is instantaneous and the 543SF tops out at 37.9kts. Not a record breaker, but fast enough to make your eyes water.

Swooping through some hard turns, the hull rides level and smooth without losing much on the speed side. Whether you’re a passenger or driver, it’s a comfortable boat to be in and like all of the company’s hulls, it feels safe on the water.

Unfortunately, as we were on the river, there wasn’t any chop to thrash it around in, but judging by the water flow off the chines, it should maintain a fairly dry and comfortable ride. The few wakes we did take on in the river were not noticeable at all and having previous experience in the Signature 543 hulls in rough conditions, I’m confident in saying the 543SF will do a good job out in the rough.

 

THE VERDICT

 

The Haines Signature 543SF is a dedicated and professionally designed fishing boat, and that’s that. The side console version with casting deck is lure fishing perfection, whether it be on flatwater chasing barra, or out in the bays and offshore. And although our prawning mission wasn’t true "fishing", it still proved a fair test of stability and precision manoeuvrability.

Our first site was chosen, and a bloody good one at that, as the Garmins lit up with a light array of low holding fire streaks – indicating prawns. We set to work casting – or in my case, tangling – the throw nets and even with two of us up forward, there was never a moment where the boat listed or I lost my footing.

With stability like this, it’s an ideal platform for lure-throwing. Two can utilise the casting deck easily without getting in each other’s hair, and a third or even fourth can fish out the back. The only thing missing for me was an electric motor which obviously still can be fitted.

The 543SF is another Signature head-turner and they’ve done a magnificent job at creating a serious fishing weapon. For those who currently own the original Signature 485SF, you might well consider an upgrade.

Priced up at just over $70K, you might raise an eyebrow, but there are a number of factors to consider before doing so.

Firstly, the electronics package, 150hp outboard motor and major bling fitted has loaded up the price significantly. The starting price is appealing though and what I do like about these boats is how you can build or add to them over time. If budget’s an issue, you can always start with the bare hull and add features as they’re required. And you’ve got to love a customised fishing boat.

 

Signature 543SF Side Console Sea Trials*

ENGINE RPM

SPEED KM/H

LT/H

LITRES PER KM

650

3.8

1.1

0.30

1000

6.2

1.75

0.30

1500

9.0

3.1

0.35

2000

11.3

5.95

0.55

2500

13.1

10.4

0.80

3000

16.6

14.1

0.65

3500

33.1

16.5

0.50

4000

41.9

18.5

0.45

4500

49.4

25.95

0.50

5000

56.6

33.3

0.60

5500

62.8

43

0.70

6000

68.3

56.7

0.85

6150

70.2

60.05

0.90

*Sea trial data supplied by the author.

 

HIGHS

• Easily my new favourite model

• Precision mouldings and finishes throughout

• Suitability to both inshore and offshore

• I netted more prawns than the Captain

 

LOWS

• It’s not mine

 

  • See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #452, May / June 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

 

SIGNATURE 543SF SIDE CONSOLE SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$70,000

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Garmin 751XS x 3, Garmin Auto Pilot, two livewells, deck wash, driving lights, underwater lights, bow rails, cast deck extension,  rear cast deck, plus more – too much to mention.

 

PRICED FROM

$49,999  

 

GENERAL

TYPE Offshore/inshore sportsfishing        

MATERIAL FRP       

LENGTH 5.41m

BEAM 2.13m

WEIGHT 1750kg on trailer

DEADRISE Variable 21˚ to 33˚

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 7

REC. HP 140    

MAX. HP 150

FUEL 100lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Suzuki DF150TL

TYPE Four-stroke outboard motor

WEIGHT 220kg

DISPLACEMENT 2867cc

GEAR RATIO 2.50:1   

PROPELLER 19 x 15 x 3

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Haines Signature Boats

PHONE 07 3271 4400

EMAIL info@thehainesgroup.com

WEB signatureboats.com.au

 

Words By Kevin Smith
http://www.tradeboats.com.au/trailerboat-reviews/boats/1409/haines-signature-543sf-side-console-review/ 

Haines Signature 543SF - Fishing World Review BACK

16 Feb 2015

By Scott Mitchell

OUR previous boat was the Haines Signature 485SF – the company’s largest selling sport fishing (SF) model. Having such a diverse range of fisheries surrounding us in Hervey Bay, it’s a challenge to find a boat that covers everything. The 485SF was a versatile boat with an emphasis on inshore fishing and the capability of running offshore when conditions allowed.

This time we were looking for a boat that was more suited to offshore work while still being capable of floating across shallow flats and running up larger rivers, creeks and impoundments. After previously owning three fibreglass boats I couldn’t imagine going with anything other than ’glass. Unfortunately, there aren’t many locally made specialist fibreglass fishing centre consoles. Initially I looked towards US “bay” style boats but found they mostly didn’t have enough freeboard for serious offshore work.

Next I looked at US centre consoles, of which there are many. But I just couldn’t find one with the right layout and storage options. 

I spoke with The Haines Group and suggested there was an opportunity for an Australian fibreglass boat manufacturer to build a specialised sportfishing centre console to suit our local fishing styles and compete with the international imports. The logical choice of hull was the 543, a proven performer.

So the 543SF project began. We drew up the general deck design with the key features. Starting at the bow there is a deep anchor well large enough to carry at least 110m of rope with suitable chain and anchor. There is a custom-made electric motor plate which can be mounted on either the port or starboard side to suit your preference. Being right handed, I prefer mine on the starboard side so I’m not casting over the Minn Kota when it’s not deployed. We went with a Minn Kota Terrova iPilot 24 volt 80lb bow mount with 60-inch shaft.

The front casting deck is large enough to sleep two people comfortably, making it ideal for long range trips. I wanted at least one large dry storage compartment which caused some debate in relation to the definition of “dry”. John Haines Jnr said very few deck storage options can truly be classified as completely dry, however, the use of a deep hatch track and seal would provide sufficient waterproofing for most. We settled on having two split hatches towards the bow deep enough to house any items you would prefer to keep dry – safety gear, jackets, bedding, cooking gear etc. The hatches have been fitted with gas struts for ease of opening and to hold these up when open.

Next was a kill tank/live well. The one we had previously in our 485SF was fantastic so we elected to reproduce it again – only with a little more depth this time due to the increased height of the raised casting deck. This compartment has also been foam lined to improve insulation as both a live well or kill tank and will hold ice for day/overnight trips. It makes a fantastic live storage well for species such as bream, flathead, whiting and bass and will keep them in top condition until either released or dispatched for eating. It carries about 120 litres of water.

Next we have another large general storage compartment with two access hatches that are ideal for storing long items like gaffs, folding nets, lure retrievers, drogue, and tackle boxes. There’s a deep bilge sump below the floor with plumbing for the live well and deck wash system flush mounted into the port side.

A lot of thought and design has gone into the centre console. Anyone who’s fitted electronics in centre consoles previously will appreciate the hinged folding top section! With sounder screens getting larger every year the dash section will accommodate flush mounted screens in excess of 12-inches. I went with the Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch units with a Touch 9 as my GPS/charting unit and a Touch 12 for sonar/structure scan. Both units are networked so you can accurately mark bottom structure as a waypoint or split the screens as desired. I also added the new Sonar Hub with CHIRP transducer and saltwater Hydrowave unit.

I mounted a Lowrance Sonic Hub for playing a few tunes on the longer runs or overnight trips. There are two Lowrance LMF 400 gauges to read all the engine data and fuel management details via an interface to the engine. We also fitted the Suzuki Troll Mode system which allows the engine’s revs to be adjusted in 50rpm intervals simply by pressing the Troll Mode control switch from idle up to1200rpm. I also went with the new Lowrance Link 8 DSC VHF radio with a short whip antenna.

Everything on the console is ergonomically positioned for easy access. The Bennett trim tab switches are positioned just above the single binnacle control box so the boat can be easily trimmed while running. All the switches for lights, bilges, live wells, and deck wash are positioned across the dash directly in front of the steering wheel, which is also on an adjustable tilt helm. There is a Sterling Pro Mariner three bank (30 amp) battery charger mounted under the console, hard wired into the two Deka marine Intimidator 8A31 batteries for the 24 volt Minn-Kota system as well as the third Deka house battery to run all the other electronics. This makes charging all the batteries painless by just running a lead to the boat and plugging it into the Clipsal power plug on the side of the console. I also had a separate C-Tek MXS 5 maintenance charger hard wired into the Deka crank battery down the back.

There are three rod racks built into each side of the boat’s gunwales with individual tubes to protect rods up to 12 feet, making it ideal for both conventional and fly rods. Soft cushioned coamings have been fitted in the main cockpit area for added comfort when fishing heavier tackle and battling larger fish. Behind the console there’s a comfortable boat seat with storage built in under the cushion. There’s enough space underneath the seat to fit a larger cooler or tackle bags. There’s also a removable padded back rest with another four rod holders built into it.

The transom area features a small seat on each side which houses the main crank battery, charger and isolator switches on the port side with a plumbed live well on the starboard side.

The hull is rated up to 150hp with our choice of motor being the Suzuki DF140A. We couldn’t be happier with the performance and have propped the boat for midrange fuel economy by running a Suzuki stainless steel 3 x 13 7/8 x 21 R prop. This combination gets out of the hole well, while offering a cruising speed of about 20 knots and burning 15 litres per hour at 4000 RPM. This gives the boat great range with the underfloor 160 litre fuel tank. WOT at 6000 rpm produces 36 knots, burning 45 litres per hour.

The whole rig comes in at about 1800kgs sitting on a tandem axle Dunbier wide body Supa Rolla trailer with sexy alloy wheels.
We feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to work with The Haines Group and believe the 543SF will gain legend status around fishing circles in years to come. It has set a new benchmark with everyone who has had a run with us commenting on the ride quality and layout. You also have the flexibility of customising the whole package with a tiller steer, side console and our fully optioned centre console models all being available in a range of classy gel coat colours.

 

Words By Scott Mitchell
http://www.fishingworld.com.au/news/scotto-s-new-haines-signature-543sf

Haines Signature 543SF - Fishing Monthly BACK

Queensland made Haines Signature boats seem to have a boat for every purpose these days, and their new 543SF (the SF stands for Sport Fishing) model follows that trend to a T, delivering anglers a specialised, high quality, sportfishing rig.

With a length of 5.41m and a 2.13m beam this deep V fibreglass hull is large enough for offshore work on calmer days (due to the limited freeboard of the sports style hull), and is tailor made for bay, estuary and impoundment angling. The reviewed vessel came equipped with a side console and tandem seating, but can be ordered with a centre console options if that’s more to your liking. Haines Signature offers some latitude in the layout of the deck and are more than happy to discuss the available options. Standard on all models and layouts though is Haines Signature’s attention to detail and high-level build quality and finish.

Reviewed on Moreton Bay on a typical choppy morning the Signature’s variable deadrise hull provided an extremely dry and comfortable ride. Being a sports style hull design of course necessitated the need for sufficient power to push the hull out of the hole and onto the plane, and likewise sufficient grunt was needed to keep the boat on top of the chop and push it through the waves with ease. This was a task the 2.8litre four cylinder Suzuki 150hp four stroke engine seemed to thrive on. More on performance later, in the meantime let’s take a look at the Haines’ layout and features.

Sports orientated layout.

Up front there are several storage compartments under the 40cm high front casting deck, conveniently equipped with lighting for night fishing. Complimenting the lockable dry storage compartments up front is a fully plumbed, full width livewell, plus another pair of storage compartments located at the rear of the deck. A stainless steel grab rail located on the top of the gunnel further adds to the front deck’s features, providing angler comfort and security in rough conditions.

The cockpit also boasts a host of fishing features for the discerning angler. Upright rod holders are located on each side of the cockpit, while under gunnel horizontal rod holders located on the port side of the vessel provide room to safety and securely store five outfits.

The 543FS has seating that could only be described as plush. Classic in design, these stylish blue and white pedestal seats feature a high backrest, and a fully moulded bucket seat base. Equipped with a front bolster, height adjustability, and full swivel functionality these are seats that definitely look as good as they feel.

When seated at the helm I found there to be ample legroom between the seat and the console, while the console’s windscreen provides some shelter from the elements. Engine controls are comfortably located next to the skipper’s right arm, providing ultimate comfort and control.

The 543SF’s well-considered and designed dash saw not one, but two, in-dash Garmin 751xs sounders positioned side-by-side. Also set into the console’s upright section is, four banks of rocker switches controlling various functions, trim tab controls, and drink holder. Located lower on the dash along with the ignition key is a microphone for the vessel’s marine radio. In all the Haines’ dash was well set out, ergonomically friendly to use, both when at rest and when travelling at speed, and like all elements on the boat a testament to Haines’ attention to design and construction quality. An on-board sound system was also part of the package and sat unobtrusively on the console.

Fun times under power.

Driving the 543SF was effortless and pleasurable with the craft’s tilt adjustable steering wheel linking with the vessel’s hydraulic steering to deliver a steering set-up that is fluid and assured at all speeds. Trim tab controls are also right at the skipper’s reach providing further hull control when on the move. The 543SF’s deep V 33/21 degree variable deadrise hull didn’t seem to need a lot of power to get it up and planning. With three aboard the Haines only needed 2,600rpm of power from the motor, and 7.6 knots (14.1km/h) of speed to get it out of the hole and on the plane. The 150 Suzuki worked effortlessly during the onwater test recording a speed of 8.9 knots (16.6 km/h) at 3000rpm, 22.6 knots (41.9 km/h) at 4000 rpm, 30.5 knots (56.6km/h) at 5000 rpm, 36.8 knots (68.3km/h) at 6000 rpm, and 38.4 knots (71.3km/h) at 6200rpm.

These were impressive speeds but are of course entirely governed by water conditions. What additionally impressed me was the very smooth and seemingly noise-free cruise speed of 22.6 knots (41.9km/h) at 4000rpm, and the fuel consumption of 18.5L/h. With 170L fuel capacity this is vessel that has some serious range.

The performance from the Suzuki was virtually seamless. Whisper quiet at idle the engine purred into life once over 1000rpm, and when driven harder never seemed to be working that hard at all. Given the ease in which the 150 Suzuki push the hull along, opting for a smaller 140 would be a viable money saving option.

Fishability

The 543SF is true to Haines Signature’s fishing pedigree with a multitude of features combining to make it a sports fishing boat with few peers. Cockpit features to please the angler are a deep underfloor compartment for stowing fish, soft coaming on the sides to assist when fighting fish, a recirculating livewell located at the transom, rear twin stainless steel rod holders, transom lights, rear boarding steps, and a rear portside ladder. A small casting deck is also located at the rear and extends the full width of the boat. A large forward deck further enhances the vessel’s large work area, proving sufficient room for up to four anglers.

With a hull weight of 1100 kg this is a mighty substantial craft and while the deep V hull was slightly inclined to lean when sitting at rest in chop, I noted no excessive leaning or tipping even with three moving about onboard. For those wishing to run an electric motor an electric motor bracket is available as an optional extra.

Summing Up

As a dedicated sports fishing rig the Signature 543SF will be suited to a lot of different anglers. From the tournament angler to enthusiast bay and inshore anglers it’s a vessel that offers a lot and delivers plenty. For a fly angler like myself the expansive front casting deck is tailor made for casting a fly line from and offers a tonne of room to fight fish

Stunning in looks, refined in design and construction, and ultimately impressive in performance this a craft that is built to excite.

Including all extras (including three Garmin sounders) the reviewed Haines Signature 543SF would come home on a Dunbier dual axle trailer for around $62,990. Haines Signature can be contacted via email on --e-mail address hidden-- , or by phone or fax on 32714000 to locate a dealer near you.

Technical Information.

Length.5.41 metres
Beam 2.13 m
Hull weight 1100kg
Hull deadrise 33/21 degrees standard variable.
Fuel 170 litres
Engine ratings 130 to 150 h.p
Engine fitted 150 Suzuki four stroke
Persons five
Towing family six or big four sedan

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Upholstery colours

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.

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