by Shane Mensforth

Few Aussie boat builders have kicked as many goals in the past five years as Bar Crusher. Every time I visit the company’s home base in Victoria’s Dandenong South, the operation seems to be getting bigger, more streamlined and generally more impressive.
I’ve tested most of Bar Crusher’s larger models and there’s no doubt the super-deep vee and sub-deck ballast combination is a winner. For those unfamiliar with how the Bar Crusher hull works, it is built with a radically deep deadrise that enables the boat to carve its way effortless and softly through oncoming chop. The company calls this the wave-slicer effect, presenting a transom vee of 20 degrees and around 54 degrees up at the forefoot.
Naturally, a deadrise this radical presents issues when it comes to static stability, and Bar Crusher offsets this with the inclusion of a sub-deck water ballast chamber. As soon as any Bar Crusher hull settles after the power is taken off, this chamber floods and the weight of ingested water lowers the boat’s centre of gravity. The outer chines are pulled downward and the hull sits at rest with incredible stability. As soon as power is reapplied and forward momentum restored, ballast water is ejected and you’re on your way again. It’s remarkably simple, but about as clever as things get in aluminium hull design.
Bar Crusher offers several of its larger models in either Cuddy (C) or Hard Top (HT) configuration and both are proving popular with different market sectors. The 730 is among those models that can be ordered either way, and it’s quickly becoming one of the company’s most popular hulls. I was fortunate enough to grab a Bar Crusher 730C for a week last year and then more recently for a day to grab some new images and renew my acquaintance with this wonderful boat.
Bar Crusher 730C 2
Bar Crusher 730C 7WHAT YOU GET
The Bar Crusher 730C and 730HT, although constructed on the same hull, are quite different rigs that will appeal to different users. I’m a lover of the Hard Top models as this configuration provides the ultimate in protection at the helm and also results in more cabin accommodation. The Cuddy, on the other hand, offers restricted space up forward and an enormous cockpit for fishing, diving or other activities that require extra room out back. It’s definitely a ‘horses for courses’ situation.
The 730C is quite typical of Bar Crusher’s Cuddy models, with collapsible top and canvas extension awning, narrow dash, mid-length V-berths and a large forward cabin hatch. It’s an efficient set up, and one that enables easy boat storage in a garage of average height. The Hard Tops, on the other hand, require some 3.4m of storage height, which simply isn’t available in most suburban home situations.
Maintaining the simple, but practical theme, the Bar Crusher 730C helm station features a single panel with angled upper face. Engine gauges are mounted up top, with other switches and controls clustered around the steering wheel. Radios are mounted on the underside of the control console. Although the dash area isn’t enormous, there’s just enough space to mount a big screen display at the helm and the test boat had a nice seven-inch Humminbird 858C sounder/GPS.
Extremely comfortable swivelling bucket seats are mounted atop multi-tray tackle lockers, so keeping your terminal gear in order is no problem at all. Full length side pockets eat up longer items like gaffs, tag poles and paddles, and there’s a decent sub-deck locker located aft of the fuel tank that can be used for storage or as a fish bin. As with all Bar Crushers, flush-mounted rod holders are made from cast aluminium and are about as sturdy as you’ll find on any trailer boat.
Bar Crusher 730C 5
Bar Crusher 730C 3Batteries and associated dual switching system are installed on an elevated transom shelf, which can be closed off by a fold-down rear seat. A decent-sized live bait tank is fitted on the port side of the transom coaming, while directly opposite is a lift-out transom gate that’s handy for boarding or dragging in that trophy bluefin or kingy. Bar Crusher’s custom bait table features four integrated rod holders, and six more can be found overhead when the top is erected.
Easily the most noticeable feature of the Bar Cruser 730C, however, is its enormous cockpit. You could fish half a dozen while chasing snapper or whiting, or four in absolute comfort while trolling for tuna and billfish. This rig makes a handy option for charter fishing operators or commercial fishermen looking for maximum cockpit space.

POWER
Pacific Marine in Adelaide had fitted the Bar Crusher 730C with a Yamaha 225hp four stroke, which is certainly plenty for this hull. Bar Crusher rates this model to 250, and I can see many buyers opting for maximum power, especially blue water anglers who traditionally carry a mountain of gear.
Bar Crusher 730C 12
Bar Crusher 730C 13It’s also possible to order this boat with a transom that will carry dual outboards, although it would pay to do your sums on engine weight before heading down this path.

ON THE WATER
As mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to test the 730C on two separate occasions, which presented a range of weather and sea conditions. During the week-long test I spent a lot of time on St Vincent’s Gulf in late January, when strong afternoon sea breezes often make life difficult for trailer boat fishers. It’s not unusual for these ‘breezes’ to top 25 knots, building a short, sharp and particularly annoying chop. This is where the Bar Crusher’s Waveslicer hull comes into its own.
The Bar Crusher 730C certainly rides softer than most of its comparable opposition, but not as softly as the Hard Top version, as the helm position is further forward. I was able to negotiate a 1.5m head sea at 20 knots without discomfort, but selecting the optimum trim angle is crucial. Trim in too far and the bow seems to bog in a tad, and trim too far out and you tend to take off. It’s a bit of a trial and error situation, I guess, but once you have the trim angle sorted, the ride improves markedly.
The same applies to trim tab operation. Tabs come standard on this outfit, and they really do play a significant role in leveling the hull under varying sea and load conditions. Due to the radical deadrise, the 730 likes to lean into a cross wind and also reacts noticeably to a indiscriminately distributed load. It takes a little bit of practice to get the trim tabs doing precisely what you need them to, but this becomes second nature after a while.
Top speed over flat water with the Yamaha 225 is a tick over 40 knots, while I found the most comfortable (and economical) cruise at 4100rpm and 27 knots. This model comes with 320 litres of fuel in a single baffled tank, and that sort of load will take you a long way with a new Yamaha four stroke on the back.
Bar Crusher 730C 11At rest the 730C behaved exactly as I had predicted. As soon as that cavernous ballast tank had filled (just a few seconds), you could feel the boat take on the rock-steady attitude that Bar Crusher has built its reputation on. Moving around is safe and easy, even in a choppy sea, and it’s this stability that most other big tinnies simply can’t match.

ON THE TRAILER
The Bar Crusher 730C comes on a tandem axle Easy Tow trailer that makes life pretty comfortable, both on the highway and at the local launching ramp. I towed this boat from Adelaide to Yorke Peninsula sitting on between 90-95km/h and enjoyed a hassle-free drive. There’s simply nothing like a well designed and strongly built tandem trailer for easy towing at speed.
With the inclusion of Bar Crusher’s clever Bar Catch, it’s a snack to launch or retrieve the boat without getting your feet wet. You simply engage the device before reversing down the ramp, drive forward a few inches to release it, and then back off the trailer. The reverse applies on the retrieve.Bar Crusher 730C 17

OVERVIEW
Bar Crusher has certainly achieved what it set out to achieve with the 730C – a big, spacious and extremely stable boat that offers plenty to the serious sport fisher. I would reiterate that, in my opinion at least, the Hard Top version rides a little softer, but you still get an exceptional aluminium boat with the 730C. If it’s fishing room you prefer over accommodation, I doubt you’ll find any trailer boat in this size range that offers more.

Bar Crusher 730C 9POSITIVES
Massive cockpit for fishing
Excellent fuel range
Comfortable storage height

NEGATIVES
Not quite as soft as the Hard Top

NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: (as tested) $91,990
Construction: Aluminium
Overall Length: 7.30m
Beam: 2.47m
Aluminium gauge: Hull and transom 5mm, topsides 4mm
Fuel capacity: 320 litres
Horsepower range: 150-250
Engine fitted: 225hp Yamaha Four-stroke
Tow weight (dry): 2150kg

 

 

 

 

 

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