Review: Bar Crusher 615HT Gen2


We water test and rate the Bar Crusher 615HT Gen2, a contender in the aluminium fishing boats category at the 2014 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

Bar Crusher is back to defend its title with the Bar Crusher 615HT Gen2. The Melbourne-based plate-boat manufacturer blew us away last year after winning the title for the second time.

BAR CRUSHER 615HT GEN2

 

BAR CRUSHER 615HT GEN2 REVIEW

BAR CRUSHER 615HT GEN2 AGB FINALISTBar Crusher’s all-new and soft-riding Gen 2 hull has a high-tech design producing more efficient lift and delivering better running capabilities. In the 615HT this has been combined with an unquestionably ‘fishy’ ergonomic layout and bold hardtop design.

The Delta Flare is the biggest change on this Gen 2 hull and it’s a true Aussie innovation. This sees the lift of angled planing planks combined with the bite and hydraulic motion of a pair of keel chines running forward, the latter subsiding just short of the stem. The hull jumps out of the water and onto the plane without a hint of dumping the 400lt of water ballast that provides superb stability at rest. Meanwhile, the gutsy 150hp Suzuki four-stroke thunders the 615HT through swell and chop.

The opening front windscreen is another industry first. Not only does it improve your navigational ability and safety, it also provides ventilation from the windward side on those long, hot summer nights.

This is an offshore weapon that can be towed behind the family sedan. Its features include checkerplate flooring and swimplatforms, berley pot, rear door and ladder, hydraulic steering, cutting board and a walk-up transom with drop-down rear seat. The list continues with a livebait tank, enclosed battery, sidepocket storage, rodholders, LED lighting, wide sidedecks, high freeboard, upholstered swivel seats, underfloor killtank and vee-berth.

 

BAR CRUSHER 615 GEN2 HT RATING

Fishing suitability

9.4

Innovation

8.7

Design and layout

8.5

Quality of finish

8.2

Handling and ride

9

Stability at rest

8.6

Ergonomics

8.1

Standard equipment

8.1

Value for money

8.6

X-Factor

9.3

TOTAL SCORE

86.5

 

UNDERSTANDING THE RATING SYSTEM 

BOAT AT RAMP Boat judges  
Meet the judging panel

The rating criteria
explained
 

 

THE JUDGES’ NOTEPAD

Angelo Sangiorgio: "We gave it a squirt into the swell with a run-out tide and it ate it up. It simply carved the rough conditions in its original test and backed it up today. The Bar Crusher 615HT Gen 2 is compact but it’s got the lot and can handle more than we should expect of a boat of this size. We loved the driving position, the helm and the big broad shelf on the dashboard. The swivel seat design, seat boxes with tacklebox storage all work well and the magnificent 150hp Suzuki blew us all away with majestic performance. Its jumps up out of the hole with ease and minimal bow lift. Overall, the 615HT is a great fishing or diving platform that will also suit the family, while even Joe Average can tow it."

John Ford: "The 615HT is obviously much lighter and more nimble than last year’s offering. The 670HT drove like a Lamborghini and this one handles like a Ferrari. The 150hp Suzuki four-stroke provides the perfect power combination and I loved getting the hull airborne in a head sea — it just feels so well balanced. You simply don’t notice that she empties the 400lt water ballast as you take off but you certainly do with the added stability at rest when she fills back up. Bar Crusher’s success story has taken custom plate-alloy manufacturing to the mainstream and it’s become the new benchmark."

Kevin Smith: "I described last year’s Bar Crusher AGB winner, the 670HT, as being able to put a horn on a jellyfish. This year’s 615HT will put balls to the wall! The ride is something else — it’s got maximum ‘wow’ factor and extreme ‘X’ factor. Get in, put the throttles flat to the floor and it creams the chop and subdues the swell. It’s a real long-distance traveller that will get you there and back again with the minimum of fuss."

Matt Jones: "The Bar Crusher gets the testosterone pumping! It’s exciting to drive — it floats, it glides and it hammers when you want it. Even with the centre-opening windscreen wide open we didn’t get a drop over the screen. It’s a forgiving hull that is very responsive and the fit-out spells F-I-S-H! Best of all, with the open and flat checkerplate floor you can simply hose it out at the end of the day and she’s ready for the next adventure."

John Willis chats with Peter Cleland and Matt Urzia from Bar Crusher): "We have invested in intense R&D to design a package that is softer and more stable, with absolutely no cavitation out of the hole. We still consider ourselves a boutique builder that reacts quickly to fix criticisms; in fact we welcome positive input in our constant efforts to improve our products and keep track with the changing market. The idea for the new vented window in the hardtop came directly from customer feedback and the unimpeded vision is terrific for navigating through channels at night."

BAR CRUSHER 615HT AT REST

 

BAR CRUSHER 615HT GEN2 SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 6.15m

BEAM: 2.25m

WEIGHT: Approx 1580kg (BMT)

MAX. HORSEPOWER: 150

BASE PRICE: $66,000 (w/140 Suzuki)

PRICE AS TESTED: $79,000

 

MORE ON AUSTRALIA'S GREATEST BOATS 2014

Fibreglass fishing boats

Fibreglass
fishing boats 

 

Aluminium fishing boats

Aluminium
fishing boats 

 

Family boats

Family boats

 


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