REVIEW: BAR CRUSHER 730HT

By: ANGELO SAN GIORGIO, Photography by: JOE PRESS


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We sample the Bar Crusher 730HT on a mirror-calm Port Phillip and return with a new found appreciation of this offshore beast.

It seems that the entire trailerboat fraternity has gone hardtop mad of late. Once seen as an unnecessary indulgence mainly adorning American imports, charter boats and the odd custom built platey, solid roofs are now shading rigs as small as 5.5m and the spread seems virulent. So when Bar Crusher’s Peter Cleland revealed that its new Bar Crusher 730 would initially be offered only as a Hard Top (HT), I wasn’t really surprised. Cuddy cabins with folding biminis and removable clears will be available by special request, but I doubt if that will be a very long queue.

 

BAR CRUSHER HARDTOPS

BAR CRUSHER HARDTOP

In my opinion, this is where the 6m plus class of trailerable offshore-capable sportfisher is heading. Wander around this season’s boat show circuit and I’ll bet you a block of half-thawed pillies that hardtops will be commonplace.

Once you’re shelling out these sort of bucks for your ultimate rig, it would seem a shame to skimp on the comfort, safety and versatility afforded by a sturdy lid and amourplate glasshouse.

Now it must be said that hardtops are nothing new to Bar Crusher and they’ve distilled the genre into a fine art. In fact, three of Bar Crusher’s four Australia’s Greatest Trailer Boats (AGB) finalists had solid lids and two – the mighty Bar Crusher 780HT and Bar Crusher 670HT – took top honours in 2010 and 2012 consecutively.

 

DESIGN

BAR CRUSHER 730HT DECK

The 730HT is the second largest model in Bar Crusher’s fleet. Somewhat surprisingly, the Bar Crusher 730HT is underpinned by a "traditional" Bar Crusher hull rather than the Gen2 concept that debuted on the bar Crusher 615 series released last year. When I quizzed Bar Crusher’s Peter Cleland about this, he remarked that the proportions of the new 730HT allowed the R&D team to create the finest expression of the hull design Bar Crusher has built its reputation on. After driving the boat and fishing out of it at rest, you’ll get no argument from me. The 730HT’s takes styling cues from its forebears and at a quick glance could be mistaken for the smaller 670HT ... that is until you view it in profile. Whether by good fortune or design, this bad boy is a looker, the lean muscular appearance accentuated by the long open fishing deck – the largest dance floor of any hull in the Bar Crusher fleet. Subtle graphics complement the design which is almost elegant, the pale grey topsides and rich burgundy of this (sold) hull tempering the menacing demeanour so obvious in the smaller 615 Gen2 HT and 670HT, both tested in dark brooding hues.

 

CABIN

BAR CRUSHER 730HT CABIN

The spacious upright cabin with signature raked five panel glass screen is formidable and adds substance and drama.  Apart from the obvious benefits to occupants, it’s worthwhile pausing to highlight the numerous refinements that make up its design. Hardtops are notorious for collecting water which is then deposited onto unsuspecting passengers in the cockpit each time the boat accelerates. Bar Crusher hardtops feature a lip that traps water which is funnelled through downpipes that double as vertical grab rails. Three more grab rails are welded to the rear of the roof which also features a smart alloy rocket launcher with 10 well-spaced rodholders and provision for downlights as fitted to the test boat. Mounting points for radar and aerials are also engineered into the design to facilitate easy installation and an integrated appearance.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

BAR CRUSHER 730 HANDLING ON WATER

While the conditions for the test were far from punishing – no squalls or 2m breaking waves– I’ve spent enough time in its smaller siblings to confidently predict that it would handle anything in typical Bar Crusher stride. And here’s something else to consider: it’s far easier to forgive a boat’s vices in the rough where fingers can be pointed at Mother Nature for contributing to a boat’s questionable ride quality or harsh landings. When its calm though, there’s nowhere to hide and every rattle, bump or errant droplet  will be noticed – none of that was present here. Standing at the helm, gazing out through the glass turret, you feel immediately at home, comfortable and confident. If we’d had the time, I would’ve loved to have hunted down the Spirit Of Tasmania ferry and raced it across Bass Strait with that 250 Suzuki pulling 6100 revs and delivering 39kts – maybe next time, guys.

While a narrow gutted, deep vee’d ‘glass hull might match Bar Crusher’s 730HT driven in the rough, this big platey will have its measure at rest. Thanks in no small part to the Quickflow Ballast System which floods the keel with 700lt of H2O settling the chines and planting the hull, creating an excellent fishing platform.

 

THE VERDICT

BAR CRUSHER 730HT FISHING BOAT

We’ve grown to expect fine things from the Bar Crusher stable and this latest addition will only broadens its appeal. The 730HT is one of those rare beasts that forces you to try and pick chinks in its armour, just to be critical. Its capable, spacious and morphs into a handy family runabout as a bonus. Now that’s it’s available with the new Easytow alloy trailer and can be towed by compact 4X4s, it makes that job even harder.

 

HIGHS

  • Soft, confident ride and stable at rest
  • Huge cockpit volume
  • Typical Bar Crusher functionality

 

LOWS

  • Probably won’t fit in your garage
  • Red and grey colour scheme makes the boat look less menacing

 

BAR CRUSHER 730HT SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$125,000

 

STANDARD FEATURES

Factory matched Easytow trailer, overhead radio box, Bar Catch system, folding rear seat and step, transom door,  dual battery system with C-tek charger, burley bucket and muncher, large underfloor kill tank, factory baitboard, LED strip lighting, and more

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Fabric cabin divider, trim tabs, clip in rod racks, Stress Free anchor winch kit, deck wash, Fish Mat flooring, fenders and baskets, LED downlights, Engel fridge /freezer on rails

 

PRICED FROM

$99,950 w/ 225hp Suzuki

 

GENERAL

TYPE Deep-vee plate alloy monohull

MATERIAL Aluminium (5mm bottom, 4mm sides)

LENGTH 7.3m overall

BEAM 2.47m

WEIGHT 2250kg (BMT standard)  

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE  7

REC. MIN HP 200

REC. MAX HP 250

FUEL 280lt

WATER Optional

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Suzuki DF250

TYPE  Four-stroke DOHC 24 valve V6

WEIGHT 263kg

DISPLACEMENT 263kg

GEAR RATIO 2.29:1

 

SUPPLIED BY

Bar Crusher Boats

WEB barcrusher.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #451, April / May 2014. Why not subscribe today?

Find Bar Crusher boats for sale.

 


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