New family fishing boat - thoughts?

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    Posted: 08 May 2023 at 7:25am
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Hi, after five years of jet ski fishing (since I sold my old 6m hardtop tinnie when my son was born), I have sold it and now want a good family fishing boat.

Requirements are:

- can fish four adults in comfort
- can take four adults and four kids out for cruising
- can do overnighter on Barrier for two adults (launching Okahu Bay)
- most fishing will be snapper / king fish
- needs a bit of luxury to get the wife out on it

My budget for a second hand boat is $100k - $125k range and I’m thinking:

- Haines Hunter SS660C
- Southern 676 or 746
- Surtees 700 (but too expensive?)
- Rayglass 2350 (too expensive most likely)

Any thoughts from owners? Any other ideas?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2023 at 6:28pm
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Those Southerns are nice. I've only fished on one once but I'd own one in a flash if I had the cash. Probably want 200hp on the 676 but man it would carve it up
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2023 at 7:51pm
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If family is a major issue then Fibreglass is an easier sell. Consider Tristram boats. They have some nice looking craft.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2023 at 10:49pm
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Originally posted by OneWayTraffic OneWayTraffic wrote:

If family is a major issue then Fibreglass is an easier sell. Consider Tristram boats. They have some nice looking craft.

+1 on the fibreglass comment.  Whether you buy them or make them yourself marine bean bags that can be tossed into the cabin when not traveling are a great addition on family days when it gets a bit bumpy.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishingDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 7:05am
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Thanks, that is really helpful - I’ve not owned a fibreglass boat before but feel like that is the path to go down.

In the ~7m range the buccaneer felt a bit small / not well set up for fishing. The Rayglass is great but expensive as the 2350 only came out in 2015/6, the Tristrams are a premium model - which leaves the Haines Hunter - I haven’t been on the water in one but loved the size of the cabin and the cockpit layout.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Moots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 10:46am
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I believe Tristram's are the best fiberglass boat around in terms of ride, layout and presentation, but that is why they are the most expensive. Rayglass have the next best finish and have a good layout, but don't ride as good, what about the 2300 as an option instead of the 2350? Buccaneer are lower priced, ride better than a Rayglass and have a good layout. Not as nice finish as the other two. Haines Hunter would be one of the best riding hulls around, but their layout isn't that great for fishing compared to the other 3, but good for cruising and you can still easily make it work for what you want to do. Many come up for sale that have only had freshwater use, which means the trailers are in good nick for their age. 
I have a billfisher and suits our family of 5 perfectly. I go wide game fishing, good for softbaiting and jigging and taking kids snapper fishing. Use it at the lake for wakeboarding and biscuiting. Friend has a 2200 Rayglass and uses it for the same thing and is happy with it.
All brands are capable for what you want it for, so would come down to price and finding the best hull/outboard/trailer combo. My 2 cents anyway
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote riga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 11:12am
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I think the Southerns are a good compromise between nice looking and feeling boats with the fibreglass hardtop but with the benefit of being an alloy hull still.  

I have the Lazercraft XP743 with a Honda 250 and its a great balance between comfort and still rugged enough for fishing.  Its basically identical to the Southern 746 (a mate had one of those).

In my opinion hardtops are a must for family trips, had a few boats with clears and bimini etc. and if coming home in rough weather you still get water coming through and if it rains heavily you also get water coming through.  So would be sticking to that if you can.

My wife and I can easily launch our 743 off a sheltered beach and having the extra space and room while on the water is awesome.

Our setup is very economical as well, 22 knots for 23 liters per hour and best fast cruise was 28 knots for 30 liters per hour with a lightish load.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 3:57pm
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I've been in a few Haines Hunters and as has been said they are a great hull.  They're very well regarded on my side of the ditch.  The layout with two seats at the rear would give me the shiits when fishing though.  Foldaway seats or no seats in the rear would be far better imo.  
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishingDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 4:02pm
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My mate has a Honda 250 on his Senator 770, so I know how good those donkeys are! Not many about on the boats I’ve been looking at - mainly Yamaha 200-250s.

I would only go hardtop with the kids and want good cabin space for sleeping but not bothered about galley / separate toilet. Wife has ruled out the Rayglass 2500 as extra room is all upfront vs the 2350.

I mainly launch at OBC so not concerned about weight of launching - can’t see us doing any/much beach launching.

Really helpful advice to go with the Fibreglass or Southern - seems like I am on the right lines and just need to find the right boat.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/trade-me-motors/boats-marine/motorboats/auction-4021251604.htm - this one would be perfect but I’m not ready to buy just yet. Looking at next Sep/Oct when hopefully there is more choice too.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishingDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 4:03pm
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The back seats on the Haines Hunter stow under the transnom - you simply remove the cushions and the plastic bins stow fully away - which is a big attraction for me. That makes a nice big cockpit for fishing but easy to take 6 adults over to Waiheke easily.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 4:35pm
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Originally posted by FishingDragon FishingDragon wrote:

The back seats on the Haines Hunter stow under the transnom - you simply remove the cushions and the plastic bins stow fully away - which is a big attraction for me. That makes a nice big cockpit for fishing but easy to take 6 adults over to Waiheke easily.

That makes sense.  A mate of mine had a Haines Hunter 680 Patriot.  I don't recall it having any rear seating however looking at pics of these now I see there was provision for a removable bench seat.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 4:55pm
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The 7mtr huntsman are worth a look as well, hard top and I like the front boarding ladder that comes out of the front hatch and drops down over the bow rail. Locking sliding door on the cabin and good seating. I looked at one a few years ago good boat on the water and well priced.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Fish Addict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2023 at 9:13pm
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Another superb hull design is the Caribbean, either the 2300 or 2400.  The availability of these secondhand in NZ maybe limited though.  Newer models will be out of your price range.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Bounty Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2023 at 7:36pm
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I think youve narrowed it down very well.

as suggested above f/g boats are most usually preferred by females - and if you want their company it is definitely a serious consideration.


4 adults+4kids will be a bit of a circus on any trailerboat, so i doubt youll be doing it too often.

if overnighting is important - uninsulated alloy boats are cold, wet and noisy compared to glass.

i think you can discount the surtees straight away - although very strong re-sale is attractive.

Rayglass has a lot going for it - but they are built like tanks - they love hp and burning hydrocarbons. No options with seating as its all molded in.

Southern Lazer - i like them a lot - seemingly the best of both worlds - possibly the best boat of the bunch if you desire to go to windward quickly. The hull shape has changed a bit over the years - and the older ones Gen1 and 2 ? can have some disconcerting behaviour running downwind. The newest ones have a fine-tuned chine and lifting-strakes which apparently have made them settle down. Ask Andrew Carlson @ Family Boats which ones are to watch out for.

HH660c - very popular at the OBC - youll be one of the 'in crowd' if you get one. Still a current model from MillerMoyes - so even if you get an old one, it doesnt look out of date. Quite big for a 6.5m boat - full forwards with a big cabin (get MM to re-upholster the cabin squabs - the foam they use is too thin for a nights sleep) and plenty of beam. A bit thumpy into a chop because of it - but prolly not the end of the world. Seating is all modular, so you can chop and change depends on what the mission calls for. Light for its length, so fast and frugal even with one of the older 225s. 
Most have the yamaha 3.3l motor on the back from the factory - many which had exhaust manifold problems - so check this out  
No disintegrations!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishingDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2023 at 5:54pm
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Cheers Bounty Hunter - that is really helpful. It does feel like a tossup between a Haines Hunter and a Southern at the moment. Defo coming down on the side of the Haines with all of the feedback and the realisation it will be a lot more family boating than I am used to.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishingDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2023 at 11:41am
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So I have ended up buying a 2012 Southern XP746 with a 225hp Yamaha on the back. It is pretty loaded with 2021 Garmin 12” sounder, 1kw and 180 degree transducers, radar, cooker, hot and cold fresh water, fridge and toilet. Thinking it should do the job for fishing and family. I’m going to get solar on the roof and put a new Bluetooth sound system in before I pick it up
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote shaneg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2023 at 9:15pm
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Wow, that is a heap of boat.I hope you and your family get out heaps and enjoy every minute of it. Good on you for doing that. Many wouldn’t,  but reckon is good prioritisation and an investment if you use it enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Explode64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 2023 at 1:11pm
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Did you look at the Huntsman range?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 2023 at 6:19am
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Originally posted by FishingDragon FishingDragon wrote:

So I have ended up buying a 2012 Southern XP746 with a 225hp Yamaha on the back. It is pretty loaded with 2021 Garmin 12” sounder, 1kw and 180 degree transducers, radar, cooker, hot and cold fresh water, fridge and toilet. Thinking it should do the job for fishing and family. I’m going to get solar on the roof and put a new Bluetooth sound system in before I pick it up

Nice, I doubt you will be disappointed.
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishingDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 2023 at 11:02am
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I assume you meant Won’t be disappointed!

Had it for a couple of months now and it is an absolute beast! Been out to the garden patch and a few Hauraki Gulf trips and it goes so well!
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