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Insights, Advice, Haines

Exploring the Haines 360 Aft Cabin: An interview with Justin Haines

20 July 2023

The Haines 360 Aft Cabin is a luxurious and modern cabin cruiser and with its sea-going abilities, the 360 is highly sought after. We sat down with Haines’ Director, Justin Haines, to discover more about this particular model, including its key features, customisation options and also its lead times.


What Is The Haines 360 Aft Cabin?

The Haines 360 Aft cabin is a cruiser suited to inland or offshore waters. It is a six-berth aft cabin cruiser with a spacious upper deck and twin stateroom forward and aft cabins and ensuites. The 36 ft length provides the forward guest cabin with as much room as the master aft cabin.

The Haines 360 Aft Cabin has great sea-going abilities making it a very versatile boat for offshore passages as well as luxurious living. 


An Interview With Justin Haines 

Val Wyatt and Haines Marine have a long-standing partnership that goes back decades, underpinned by shared values around high quality boats and providing exceptional customer service. We sat down with Justin Haines, Director, to unravel the thoughtful design, incredible features and craftsmanship that goes into the making of the spectacular Haines 360. 


Hi Justin. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you tell us a little more about Haines Marine?

Thanks for having me.  This year marks our 43rd anniversary as a family run business, established by my father in 1980. He had a passion for building boats and a desire to see his name on the side of each one.  We’ve always been based in the village of Catfield in Norfolk, although our growth over the years has led us to relocate to a larger site in the same area.

When it comes to European and global leisure boat builders, we distinguish ourselves by offering a fully bespoke service, providing a handcrafted product. With many companies now leaning heavily towards high volume production boats, we pride ourselves on the personalisation and customisation we can offer our customers.

Essentially, if a customer asks whether they can have a specific feature on their boat, the answer is almost always a “yes”. We accommodate their every need with our team of skilled engineers, electricians, and joinery craftsmen, all located on site.


So providing an extraordinary customer experience is vital to you?

Absolutely. Customers often begin with a ‘wish list’ that details the features they hope their boat will have, not just for themselves, but also for their families, and sometimes even for their pets. The boat building process typically starts with an initial conversation at a boat show or a visit to our site, where customers can see how our boats are crafted. This initial interaction marks the beginning of a journey that our customers take with us – a journey they find very exciting and fulfilling, culminating in the handover of a completed boat that is tailored to their needs. This personalised experience is something production builders simply cannot offer.

Haines 360 Aft Cabin on the water


Could you tell us about the Haines 360 Aft Cabin?

The Haines 360 Aft Cabin is a conventional cabin boat in terms of its layout but offers an unrivalled number of features packed into its 36 ft frame. It has double cabins at opposite ends, each with ensuite toilet and shower compartments, catering to a wide demographic. The Haines 360 is perfect for those who love to go boating with friends and want to offer the same level of comfort in the guest accommodation as they enjoy in the aft end.

Aside from the luxury and comfort, the Haines 360 Aft Cabin also includes a spacious galley area, and whether it’s a sunny or a rainy day, there’s always a cosy spot on board. The upper deck is large and perfect for sunny days. You can take off all the canopies and enjoy the outdoor seating area, which also doubles as the boat’s driving area.

In addition, the boat comes with an easy lift canopy system. This feature allows you to quickly lift the canopy and enjoy the sunshine, making the Haines 360 a very user-friendly boat, perfect for any weather condition.


Was there any specific inspiration behind the design or look and feel of the boat?

Well, there’s a real appreciation for our aft cabin boats. These vessels offer much more privacy in a marina environment compared to modern day boats. With the latter, people can see into your boat as they walk past on the pontoon, which may compromise your privacy. An aft cabin boat gives you an elevated seating position, allowing you to look over the marina, a feature favoured by many.

These designs have been around for a long time, particularly in inland waterways, because they work. They also offer benefits in terms of long term maintenance as everything is accessible and easy to use. The handling of our boats at slow speeds is superior thanks to the hull design. Some other boats might struggle in these conditions in marinas or inland waterways. Plus, with our layout, the guest cabin is at the opposite end from the owner’s cabin, providing a lot more privacy than some other boats offer.

Could you explain a little about some of the key features of the boat?

Just like all Haines crafts, our boats continually evolve, and significant improvements are made year on year. The 2023 iteration of the Haines 360 Aft Cabin that we’re currently building has a reconfigured forward end with an improved forward shower and toilet compartment. It also has significant storage space throughout. The galley is similar to another boat in our range, the Sedan style. There are also other features within the boat such as improved rails on the outside. It’s very much a product of continuous improvement, with key changes made to ensure ease of use, increased storage, and to cater to the specific needs of our customers.

We are always looking to further enhance our boats year on year, much in the same way as leading car manufacturers do.

When you mentioned a customer’s ‘wish list’ earlier, what kind of items typically appear on these lists?

This can range from practical items to very personalised requests. Some customers require additional storage as they plan to spend an entire summer on board. Some ask for washing machines or storage for golf clubs and fold-up bikes, which are becoming increasingly popular. Others might prefer more seating over storage and ask to replace drawer units with larger seating areas. Sometimes, customers even ask for bespoke cut-outs for their favourite items, like a special gin bottle. As I said earlier, if a customer has a request, our answer is almost always “yes”.

The wish lists will naturally be led by how the customer intends to use the boat – a second home, space for a young family, a party boat, etc. Previously, we’ve built a boat and pretty much every decision that was made was in reference to the owner’s German Shepherd dog ‘Flash’ – whether he could get on and off the boat and how he could navigate the boat. As dog lovers ourselves, we were naturally very happy to accommodate this.


Haines 360 Aft Cabin layout

How have you seen customer preferences change over time? Do people today ask for different features or designs than they did, for example 10 years ago?

Definitely. Over time, the expectations of our customers have increased – and they want more. More storage, more facilities, more comforts. That’s understandable because technology has improved so much. The quality of both fittings and appliances has improved so much – so you’re now getting much more a boat than you were a decade ago.

Comfort and convenience have also become increasingly important. People want to live on their boats in the style that they do in their homes. Hence, we are asked for more advanced heating, air conditioning, audio and visual systems. Customers want more sophisticated navigation systems along with connectivity, through Wi-Fi and for USB charging points. It’s all about making life on board as comfortable and easy as possible.


What about the engine?

The Haines 360 Aft Cabin currently in build has a Yanmar 4JH engine, which will be a perfect fit for the Thames environment. It’s has 110 horsepower, which means it will comfortably take you into the heart of London, where you could be sitting in St Catherine’s Dock, right by Tower Bridge. It’s a common rail engine, so you only burn as much fuel as you need to. It’s very clean, very efficient and allows comfortable low speed handling.

And I see there’s a coastal version as well? What’s the key difference?

The main difference lies in the hull stiffening. The river model is capable of some light coastal travel; you could take it out of the Thames Estuary and around to the Medway Kent coast, for instance. On the other hand, the Category B coastal models are designed for more extensive sea travel; you could take these right across the North Sea to Holland.

The Haines 360 Aft Cabin is a fantastic boat for European waterways. A lot of our customers dream of journeying through the French canals, German lakes, and through Dutch waterways. They speak of cruising the Danube. This boat is designed with sufficient protections underneath the waterline to the prop, which is particularly valuable on canal systems where you don’t want to hit the bottom. It’s also designed low enough to the top of the screen so it can navigate the French canal system without any issues.

If people want to do more coastal cruising, the Category B version is the best option, offering increased horsepower – significantly more than the 110 hp, perhaps in the realm of 230 to 320 hp.

Customers can also choose to install a full suite of navigation equipment – not needed on rivers, but we recommend it if you’re at sea.


What are the lead times if someone wanted to make an order?

We currently have a couple of slots available for the early part of next year, and they’ll likely be sold within the next few months. After that, we’ll be looking at delivery times extending to August or September of 2024 – but like any good build, a Haines 360 Aft Cabin is well worth the wait.


Thank you again for your time Justin.

If you’d like to know more about the Haines 360 Aft Cabin, contact us here, or phone 01189 403211.