By: Darren Shiel, Photography by: Darren Shiel

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Bar Crusher boats are premium plate aluminium fishing boats. Darren Shiel gets on board the builder’s most popular model, the 560C, to find out why




The Clelland boys have been soldiering on building boats out of their Melbourne based factory for a number of years now, somewhat unnoticed.
The fact that they are building a high-quality plate aluminium boat aimed squarely at the fishing market should not be overlooked, as just by taking one detailed look at this boat reveals what a great product they are turning out.




Make no mistake about it, the Bar Crusher range is aimed squarely at the fishing boat market, as any plate aluminium boat should be. From the large, uncluttered cockpit, the aluminium checkerplate floor, to the plumbed livebait tank in the rear corner, this boat is no pretender.
The Bar Crusher 560C with a hull length of 5.6m, an overall length of 6.1m and a beam of 2.25m fits into the very popular and competitive 18-foot market.
The 560C is designed to carry a maximum engine rating of 150hp as tested, with a recommended rating of at least 115hp.




Built using pre-stressed 4mm plate aluminium sheeting for the hull and 3mm sheeting for the sides, the Bar Crushers are one of the best engineered boats currently on the market.
All Bar Crusher boats are fitted with a Rigideck sub-floor system, designed to provide maximum strength and rigidity in the worst conditions this boat is designed to encounter. The Rigideck system can be likened to that of the underfloor structure of a fibreglass boat, only built using aluminium which will never rot. The full-depth, full-length longitudinal framing system is braced using cross frames running the boats beam and tied together using a fully welded in-floor.
The boats are also fitted with a Waveslicer design deep-vee hull. With a reported 20-degree transom deadrise, with an unusually fine (for an aluminium boat) bow area, this hull is designed to cut through the water well, providing a soft ride. The Waveslicer design also is completely free of planing strakes, which in theory provide a softer riding boat.
The Quickflow ballast system is also claimed to increase the boats stability at rest. The hull uses a cavity in the keel which fills with water at rest and empties when power is applied, lowering the boats centre of gravity to provide good stability.




The team at Bar Crusher have broken the tradition of substandard quality on aluminium boats with what I would have to say is the best finish in the business, ranging from the quality fixtures and fittings to the ergonomic design in which small items such as the folding hardtop or the rear livebait tank are carried out.
These boats are built like the proverbial brick outhouse, yet finished with the sparkle and shine to match any quality fibreglass boat.




The 560C carries a workboat style of helm centre, comprising of a full dash fitted with three digital Yamaha gauges (more about this later), switch panel, 12V outlet, trim tabs and electric anchor winch controls, colour Humminbird chartplotter, marine CD player and VHF radio all conveniently flush mounted on the port section of the dashboard.
The folding windscreen is set perfect for my height (179cm), allowing vision through the screen seated or over it when standing.
The helm and passenger seat are both mounted on seat storage boxes, and are adjustable both fore and aft.
The hardtop can also be folded down to meet the top of the screen, allowing a more watertight fit in adverse conditions.
Although set up as a hardcore fishing boat, the 560C provides useful protection for a kip when the fishing is slow. The bunks are three-quarter in size and there is plenty of headroom when seated here. A bunk infill is available as an option, as is a bunk extension, to provide a more useful spot for overnighting.
The cabin is also provided with sidepockets, providing plenty of depth and width for storage, as well as storage space under the bunks.




Having tested a few boats with the Yamaha F150hp four-stroke, I knew I was in for a treat. I believe the F150 is the class leader currently available in the market.
The engine is powerful (more than the sticker would suggest), smooth in all power applications, quiet and above all, efficient, as you can see in the following fuel consumption figures.
The F150 is a 2.6lt outboard and weighs only 220kg, a mere 22kg heavier than its two-stroke Yamaha counterpart.
The engine has 16 valves (four per cylinder) with a double overhead cam, and features a fuel injection system controlled by the engine's onboard computer.
The F150 even has a built-in control system stopping the operator from trying to start the engine while it is still running, a common problem with Yamaha four-strokes - they are that quiet!
The F150 pushed the Bar Crusher along to a surprisingly low cruise speed of 34.5kmh at 3000rpm, consuming a tested 15.45lt/h. Put the hammer down a little and at 4000rpm, the F150 has the rig cantering along at 48.5kmh and 25.65l/h.
At wide open throttle, the F150 is achieving 6100rpm at 74.8kmh and 59.45lt/h. By anyone's standards, to have thought just five years ago that a 150hp outboard could be returning such low fuel consumption figures were just a pipedream.
This combination is not only fuel efficient but also has excellent acceleration, enabling a clean plane very easily. Not content with that, the engine just keeps on powering right through the rev range, and is responsive to even slight increments of the throttle.
The lightweight of the engine enables the 560C to run very flat, and use all of the engine's trim. The Baystar hydraulic steering fitted to the test boat also meant steering was extremely easy and smooth.
Another great feature of the F150 that has proven to be very popular with users is the LAN (Local Area Network) electronic gauges. Fitted as standard to all fuel injected Yamaha four-stroke engines above 115hp, these three, square digital gauges provide all the necessary information, including speed, rpm, fuel flow, range, fuel capacity and much more. These gauges are also supportive of any NMEA equipped electronic equipment on board, such as modern GPS and depthsounders, enabling their accuracy to be second to none.
The 150lt fuel tank allows this boat to have a decent range of 318km in total, based on 95 per cent of the tank's capacity and cruising at 3000rpm achieving approximately 35kmh.
Unfortunately, the test day did not allow us to test the offshore potential this boat carries. The test was carried out in calm conditions, with only wakes from ferries enabling us to get a small feel for the boats rough-water handling.
The Bar Crusher 560C landed softly over the large and close together wakes, even at full speed, and at no point could I get the boat to land badly on any waves or take water over the windscreen.




Now this is what this boat is designed to do! Featuring a no nonsense checkerplate floor, with a large killtank located central and aft. The cockpit is unobstructed and this boat is born to fish.
Freeboard is excellent with above-knee side coamings and handrails that fall to hand nicely, in the rear corners.
There is storage aplenty with sidepockets lining both sides of the cockpit. They are both wide and deep, providing ample space to store the necessary gaffs and associated fishing gear including the optional deckwash on the port side.
Rod storage is provided in the hardtop's six-pot rodholder, with six more in the gunnels at set angles for trolling, and another three across the back of the removable bait table.
The transom setup includes a large plumbed starboard livebait tank with overflow outlets, high-speed water pickup, and a tinted Perspex lid so you can see exactly what is going on in there at any time. The fisherman is also supplied with an optional removable bait table to the middle, and a neat fold-down rear lounge which leaves a clear and uncluttered work station.
The transom also features a rear deck door to the port side, allowing access to the engine, dive ladder, duckboard and burley bucket. Some fisherman will not be impressed with the large outdoor transom arrangement, as it does make handling a feisty fish from within the cockpit a little harder.
At slow troll speeds the boat sits firm without too much bobbing around in the waves. Anchoring on the test boat was as easy as pushing a button on the dash thanks to the electric anchor winch. The front cabin is provided with an oversized access hatch should the need arise to get out the front at any time.




The 560C is the most popular model in the Bar Crusher range, mainly because it is the perfect size, big enough to head offshore yet small enough to be handled easily behind a moderate sized car.
With a towing weight of approximately 1250kg and a small enough package to fit under most garages or carports (2.2m with the hardtop and windscreen folded) and a length of 7.0m, this package will continue to prove very popular.
As a durable, tough-as-nails fishing boat which is easy to handle, the 560C hits the mark. The excellent reputation of Bar Crusher will see this boat maintain resale value for many years to come, and its attractive lines and quality of finish will prove to be cost effective and maintenance free for many years to come. Also, after testing the Yamaha F150, I have again come to the conclusion that this engine is still currently the leader in its class.




Huge clutter free, no nonsense cockpit
Easy to handle size and storage
Top finish and build quality
Excellent fuel consumption and performance




Large rear duckboard could get in the way of fishing




Specifications: Bar Crusher 560c




Price as tested:   $69,990 w/ Yamaha F150 outboard
Priced from:    $54,000 w/ Yamaha 115hp outboard




Material:   Aluminium; 4mm bottom, 3mm sides
Length:   5.6m
Beam:    2.25m
Deadrise:   20°
Weight: (BMT)    1250kg (BMT)




Fuel:     150lt
Rec. max. HP:  150
Rec. min. HP:  115 




Make/model:  Yamaha F150
Type:    Four-cylinder four-stroke petrol outboard
Weight:   220kg
Shaft length:  25in
Propeller:   17" stainless steel




Stones Corner Marine,
117 Old Cleveland Road,
Stones Corner, Qld, 4120
Phone: (07) 3397 9766
Fax: (07) 3397 2456



Originally published in TrailerBoat #242

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