Boat Review Date: November 2018
Author: Mike Brown
The first thing to be said about the Tournament 625 is that it is built by Haines, so in sea keeping especially it has a name to live up to. Or perhaps it should have been the second thing. It is worth saying that the boat’s name is honest: 6.25 metres is the hull length; overall is 6.5 metres. Many builders would have chosen the higher figure for the boat’s name.
There are far fewer builders of fibreglass trailer boats than in years gone by, but those still producing are making much better use of the properties of their material. As here, very little raw, flow coated fibreglass is on view. Right down to minor components, finish is off-mould. Because the material can take up any shape, hulls can be formed to the designer’s vision of perfection.
One of the advantages of the off-mould finish is the easy cleaning. The 625 complements this with a synthetic coating over the deck rather than carpet. A hosing and a wipe take care of the housekeeping.
The buyer of the 625 will undoubtedly be heading offshore hunting fish, but that is unlikely to be the boat’s sole occupation. This is almost the epitome of an all rounder. There are seats for four or five; a cabin with sleepable bunks, a sliding door and space for a toilet; there is excellent shelter provided by the hardtop. But, certainly, the angler is well provided for. Even to the extent of a built-in reef anchor pocket attached to the bow rail.
The cabin is unlined, but is provided with a clear fore hatch as well as side windows and electric lighting. Very usefully, there is also a bulkhead mini door giving access to steering gear and the rear of the electrics.
The hardtop is double skinned, carrying speakers and hiding all the wiring, mounted on supports that barely interfere with all round vision.. Side glass slides – vital for WA – and rails for standing passengers run down the rear of the glass. These continue across the hardtop’s rear carrying a battery of rocket launchers. Side decks are narrow to give maximum room in the driving position and the cabin, but for those wishing to use them handrails run fore and aft on the hardtop.
Rails at the cockpit’s sides are recessed in purposeful fishing fashion, matched by recessed cleats. Below these rails are enormous side pockets that extend to be available to those in the pedestal bolster seats at the dash. Other angler-friendly features include padding for thighs, a wet locker, bait locker and coaming rod holders. Besides those side pockets storage is provided under the bunks, in three transom lockers and, down the capacity scale, in a glove box and an oddment tray near the navigator.
Sitting or standing the driving position feels right. Clearly, some design time went into the layout here. Controls fall to hand, instruments to eye. The internal strut supporting the hardtop effectively disappears. The seat hugs the body while still allowing movement and is in a good relationship with its footrest. The setup says “drive me”. The 175hp Suzuki provided abundant power for the job.
And how did the Tournament behave at sea? Pretty much as expected. The ocean was on the gentle side for a real test but there were certainly no surprises. The smallest bursts of trim button set us up for taking the sea from assorted directions and for varying amounts of throttle. Call it having fun. Throughout, the ride was in the Haines tradition: soft. And, in the fibreglass tradition, quiet.
Fibreglass boats are heavier than their aluminium equivalents, but the 625 is not outright weighty. With a full fuel tank, on its trailer, it weighs in at less than two tonnes. This makes it legally towable by a whole range of vehicles.
Length overall 6.5m
Hull length 6.25
Fuel capacity 155L
Motor fitted Suzuki 175 hp