Haines Hunter 635L project boat
Brad Lunn was on the hunt for a restoration project when a mate of his spotted this Haines 635 at a farm on the Sunshine Coast, Qld, in late 2010. It was perfect for Brad’s needs. The deal was done for two grand and then he splashed out on a new trailer to get it home to Hervey Bay.
Then, on a work trip to Gladstone, Brad spied another Haines just like his — but better. “The hull had been extended and a new 225 Honda outboard fitted,” Brad recalls. It looked so good Brad decided to give his rig a similar makeover.
“I commissioned a boat-building friend of mine, Robbie Ferguson, to undertake the new hull extension and transom and decided that if I helped him as much as possible, I might learn enough to continue the work myself,” says Brad.
The boat was stripped bare and the rear stringers were removed. It was the first time Brad had worked with fibreglass but he had good mates on hand to help. With the hull extension and new transom came the idea to recess the trim tabs and a ladder — cue Brad’s first go at making moulds, which he did out of MDF.
With major mods finished Brad continued alone, removing everything from the hull (cabin furniture, stringers, bulkheads etc) and replacing the lot.
“I wanted a self-draining floor and my only option was to raise the floor height by at least 150mm — which also left room for various storage lockers,” he says. Brad’s wife and three daughters all love the water, so the extra space would come in handy.
In went a new cabin bulkhead and a new 300L fuel tank, before Brad installed the new floor — a great moment, he says.
A livebait tank and a larger dash followed, then he commissioned his boat-building mate to make a bowsprit for the new 21lb anchor, while a crane and cradle were employed to roll the boat over so the hull could be finished off properly. The end was in sight…
With the boat rolled upright again it was time to build the seat boxes and coolers. Shelving was installed for more storage before the boat was sanded and coated with a protective epoxy, then a two-pack polyurethane. Mate Jason suggested the striking white / blue colour scheme.
On went the 225hp Honda outboard motor, trim tabs, the marine electronics, freshwater bladders, the deckwash, shower, hydraulic steering and more, but after a triumphant first outing Brad decided he wanted a hardtop, too — cue another custom mould, and another three weeks of late nights and hard slog.
Greens Marine Stainless at Yatala handled all the stainless, while Brad also thanks Troy Dixon at Caloundra’s Custom Craft Marine.
The result speaks for itself. “I’ve got to thank my girls — wife Jen and daughters Gracie, Rubes and April — for their patience and understanding,” he says. “The good times we’ll have in this boat will far outweigh the sacrifice.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what it’s all about.
Extended Haines Hunter 635 project boat specs
Engine 225hp Honda outboard motor
Owner Brad Lunn
Favourite fishing spot Fitzroy Reef or Double Island, Qld
Target species Not fussy (but pearl perch is a table favourite)
Extended Haines Hunter 635 project boat cost
Purchase price (pre-rebuild) $2000
Fuel tank $350
Water bladders $225
Windscreens / side windows $2500
Honda outboard motor $18,500
Stainless steel work $4500
Fibreglass work and painting $15,000
Other bits and pieces $3425
TOTAL COST $60,000 (not including labour)
6 project boat restoration tips
1. Have plenty of time to devote to the project.
2. Be prepared to learn.
3. Some things are easier if you can learn from someone who’s done it before you.
4. Have an open mind and don’t be afraid of hard work.
5. Have a shed to work in. I did the majority of this resto under a tarp — far from ideal.
6. Have a supportive and understanding family!
Originally published in TrailerBoat #300, October / November 2013. Why not subscribe today?