Boating | Fully dressed or DIY crafts | Mark Rothfield

ALL WEATHER: The CruiseCraft Outsider 595 has a new enclosed hard top.
ALL WEATHER: The CruiseCraft Outsider 595 has a new enclosed hard top.

CRUISECRAFT’S renowned runabout range has been expanded with the launch of the Outsider 595HT, bringing to four the number of hard-top models that will keep you warm all winter and dry in summer.

Previously, the Outsider 595 was available only as a conventional ‘soft top’ targa model but customers now have a choice between the two configurations based on where, and how often, they go boating.

The 20-footer’s enclosed cabin is styled along the distinctive lines of the existing CruiseCraft Explorer line up – the 685, 625 and 595. Differences between the two model ranges are subtle yet significant, with the Outsider featuring a deeper and safer side-deck walkaround from cabin to bow.

Hard-top designs continue to surge in popularity as fishos go further afield and look for year-round comfort. CruiseCraft’s design is specifically tailored to suit this model and expertly tooled, using a split-mould technique to ensure that both the roof and interior lining have a mirror finish.

Completing and complementing the mouldings are a full-height toughened glass windscreen, plus sliding glass side panels for both port and starboard. 

The cabin is slightly narrower but also longer to suit occasional overnighting and general family boating. Plenty of space remains in the cockpit to allow four people to comfortably fish together.

“By introducing the CruiseCraft HT design to our Outsider 595 model, boaters can now extend their boat season,” CruiseCraft’s Nathan Nichols of said.

“Customers who have moved to this configuration consistently tell us they’re able to go boating in weather conditions when previously they would have stayed at home.”

Additional changes for the 595 include an optional reshaped modular dash panel, designed to accommodate larger electronic displays, and a lockable acrylic cabin door to provide security.

Meanwhile, Haines Hunter is going in the other direction with its marketing philosophy ... rather than dressing up their boats with luxuries like hard tops, they’re deliberately dressing down a new brand that will be targeted at the DIY market.

GM John Haber says their research showed there was strong demand among customers for an old-school Haines Hunter. That’s because they were built to last and their hull shapes are still good.

“We are launching a new brand that we want to keep separate from Haines Hunter … something unique for the DIY market,” Haber added.

“People are spending a lot of time, energy and money refurbishing their boats to bring them up to what is, really, a very primitive boat inside. But the old-school Haines Hunters are not designed for today’s outboards, and refurbing one isn’t cheap unless you can do the fibreglassing yourself.”

With the new brand the customer will have the option of buying a bare hull and deck to fit out themselves. There’s also a direct model where you buy the basic boat then plug-and-play a range of components. If DIY is not their thing but they like the design then it will be available as a turn-key package from the dealer.

EASY TO STORE: Bar Crusher's new folding targa for its plate-alloy Wavecrusher series

EASY TO STORE: Bar Crusher's new folding targa for its plate-alloy Wavecrusher series