BOAT TEST: BAR CRUSHER 760HT

By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp


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Bar Crusher is heading over the Continental Shelf with its new 760 HT (Hard Top) at a time when many manufacturers are downsizing the models in the trailer boat market. Rick Huckstepp explains

BOAT TEST: BAR CRUSHER 760HT
Bar Crusher 760HT

 

Even though we should have brought skis when we checked out the 760 HT due to a disappointingly flat Westernport Bay we still managed to muster plenty of boat wash to mix with up to a metre of swell coming in over a sand bar. We found that the 760 HT handles like a five metre tinnie despite being at the maximum trailerable boat size with 8m LOA and weighing 2.3 tonnes.

With a 250hp Suzuki on the back it made for a comfortable and well matched package that made us doubt whether the maximum recommended 300hp would ever be required. Still, the option is there if you're inclined to eek every last drop of performance from this well designed hull.

 

 

FAR REACHING QUALITIES


During the test we were unable to check the fuel consumption via the various onboard instruments so we settled for a 3500rpm cruise that gave us around 19kts. 4000rpm offered 45kmh and if you have plenty of flat water (like we did on the day) WOT of 6,200 has the 760 HT scooting along at just under 75km/h.

Most offshore bottom fishing and live baiting is done on the drift due to the sheer depth and the inability to handle enough ground tackle. Should you have the opportunity to drop the pick, a Stress Free drum winch would go a long way towards alleviating much hard labour. The 760 HT can fit 100m of plaited nylon rope and 6m of chain onto the drum while a Sarca anchor sits tight in the bowsprit.

Should you need to step forward to the bow the deck top around the cabin is wide enough for foot travel. Hand rails located on top of each side of the cabin will keep you safe until you reach the low bow rails on the forequarters. Another set of rails then run down the length of the rectangular shaped cabin roof hatch. This can easily fit a large torso through if it is too dangerous to walk around.

The front edge of the hard top is armed with some forward facing spotlights while the aft edge has a sturdy rocket launcher bristling with nine rod tubes. A set of cockpit lights are also mounted here. It is worth mentioning that all lighting on board consists of quality Hella brand LEDs.

 

 

QUALITY WORKMANSHIP


There will be no shortage of places to anchor oneself in rough seas because the aft end of the vertical cabin sides have full grab rails attached, while other panels are rebated with hand grips.

The side coamings are wide and each has three moulded alloy rod holders recessed within, with four further rod holders making up the superstructure of the bolt on a bait rigging station sitting mid transom on the bulkhead. A big live bait tank is also installed in the port corner.

On the starboard side a half height step through transom is shut off by a pull out gate consisting of nylon board. It opens up after the rear full beam width lounge is dropped down to allow for access to the dual batteries and their isolator switches and circuit breakers. This leaves little room for anything else in this part of the boat. Out on the boarding platform a sturdy boarding step swings up and lays flat on its top, with hand rails available on each side.

Back inside, the scuppers are closed with an elastic bungee cord when reversing up onto fish. Excess water floating around the boat or coming over the stern is caught in a sump under the transom bulkhead. The skipper can then bilge this at the flick of a switch thanks to the installed pump.

Forward of the sump is a kill tank that has its drain exiting into the sump, allowing for the tank to be emptied when not underway. This is very handy for when you're at sea and want to flush away fish bits and the associated smell. Wide gunwales sit over large side pockets that run the length of the cockpit, stopping under the aft end of the vertical cabin walls.

For seating, the usual passenger swivel chair has been done away with (although it's still an option) in preference to a galley module fitted against the cabin liner. A sink is plumbed to a removable 30lt freshwater tank inside and there is open front shelving here as well. The middle of the top of the module has a cutting board and a portable butane burner that sits in the forward section, with cushions that then cover the top and form enough seating for two people, facing the skipper's left side.

The helm chair itself sits atop a large module that is fixed to the opposite cabin liner. The fire extinguisher and EPIRB can then be mounted in a rebate in an inside edge while a 70 odd litre Isotherm stainless steel fridge is flush mounted in the aft end. The finishing touch on the inside of the helm area was a very smart looking dark carpet and a flat black paint finish.

 

 

SHARP DESIGN


The 760 HT's compact instrumentation appears on a user friendly dashboard. The binnacle remote for the 250hp Suzuki is in front to one side rather than side mounted and it will require some attention for the friction control because it lost rpm when not held constantly in position.

Bar Crusher boats generally have an angular design and the windscreen of the 760 HT is no exception, featuring five toughened glass panes. The pane situated in front of the skipper even comes with a wiper blade and fresh water rinse jet. The windows on the cabin sides slide open with the apertures well forward of the seating positions, offering good ventilation when underway.

The dash narrows in toward the screen leaving a compact top with a full width grab rail that makes up a retaining fence for goods and chattels stowed behind. A console built into the underside of the hard top hosts a pair of radios while two hand rails running under the roof toward the aft end of the shelter offer safe hand holds during rough seas.

The aperture leading to the cabin is large and airy. Take a single step and you're standing in the leg well between two berths that feature stowage under the cushions. There is plenty of head height at this entrance, with minimal stooping required for someone who is 180cm tall. The cabin roof then slopes down from that point toward the bow where a portable toilet sits loose on the deck.

The cabin roof also sports a long rectangular hatch in which a large torso could easily fit through should you need to access the Stress Free drum style anchor winch and you're not too keen to step around the bow.

 

 

CONCLUSION


As mentioned earlier, this boat is child's play at the helm. It is very manoeuvrable and tracks very direct. Its stability at rest is greatly aided by a  hollow hull bottom that fills with about 600lt of water at rest, allowing for the hull's deep vee to sink lower through the surface and ensuring the chines provide the stability that they were designed for. This water then empties immediately once the boat drives forward at slow speed with the 19° deadrise cutting the water nicely.

At 3,500 rpm the Suzuki purred along at 19kts and a WOT of 6200rpm sent it across the top at an impressive 40kts. The only disappointment on the day was the fact that we didn't get to flog this boat in the type of waters it was designed to tame!

 

 

WHAT WE LIKED


An exceptionally smooth ride
Great stability when dead in the water
Top quality workmanship all round

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


It's hard to pick holes in this rig with the slack throttle friction being the only annoyance

 

 

 

Specifications - Bar Crusher 760HT

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested:  $119,000
Options fitted:  Metallic paint, anchor winch, lighting kit, deck, wash, Garmin combo sounder/GPS, DVD player, deck matting and trim tabs
Priced from:  $95,000

 

 

GENERAL


Material:  Plate alloy 5mm bottom; 4mm topsides
Length overall: 8m
Beam:   2.47m
Deadrise:  19°
Rec. max HP:  300
Rec. min HP:  200
Weight:  2.3 tonnes

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel:   300lt
People day:  7 
People berthed: 2
Water:   30lt

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model:  Suzuki DF250
Type:   V6 fuel-injected four-stroke
Rated HP:  250 at 5500rpm to 6100rpm
Displacement:  3614cc
Weight:  268kg
Propeller:  20in

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Bar Crusher Boats
25-31 Ventura Place,
Dandenong South, Vic, 3175
Phone: (03) 9702 8555
Email: mattu@barcrusher.com.au
Website www.barcrusher.com.au

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat 246.

 

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