Bar Crusher 670HT Boat Test

Bar Crusher 670HT Boat Test

Bar Crushers have been carefully designed to cut through ocean chop and provide a safe and comfortable ride. They are constructed from welded plate aluminium, creating a tough and easy-maintenance hull, and the addition of new innovative features and a hardtop only makes a great boat better still.

Bar Crusher 670HT Boat Test

Boat Test Bar Crusher 670HT: OCEAN FLIER
Author and photography: John Ford

This boat test ran in ISSUE 109 of BlueWater magazine – MAY-JUNE 2015

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

As an Airbus A380 jet airliner started to roll down the Botany Bay runway I planted the throttle on the Bar Crusher and the boat leapt out of the hole. We thought it might be fun for an impromptu drag race. Although we were neck and neck for the first hundred metres, our top speed peaked at just over 45kts and the big Airbus soon zoomed away, heading off into the wild blue yonder.

Outgunned by a super jetliner maybe, but in fishing boat terms the Bar Crusher was quick, with the new 200hp Evinrude G2 E-Tec fitted neatly to the transom proving to be a gutsy performer and a good match for the 1500kg boat.

Like its name suggests, Bar Crushers have grit and their tough aluminium build evokes a feeling of security and purpose. But that doesn’t mean they are rough and austere. In fact, the latest versions have evolved into well-appointed vessels just as capable of keeping the family happy for occasional jaunts as they are of enduring the rough treatment that hard-core gamefishing can dish out.

Featuring an extremely sharp entry and a sweptback cabin with tinted windows, the test boat sported a stunning a black hull, with white cabin sides and top set off by a matching black and white Gen2 E-Tec.

Welded Plate Frame

Bar Crushers are genuine plate boats built from high tensile marine-grade aluminium rated at 4mm on the hull and sides, with 3mm topsides. Under the floor is a welded structure of full-length stringers and cross frames, creating a rigid and powerful base around which the hull is formed.

A very sharp entry runs to a 20-degree deadrise, which is impressive in an alloy hull and conducive to the boat cutting smoothly through water. Deep chines carry along the sides to increase stability and create lift when underway. However, the hull relies on its smoothly curved surface for extra lift and a smooth ride rather than planing strakes, which Bar Crusher claim can cause a boat to pound when landing off waves. Welds around the boat look strong and neatly applied, with the quality of the paint finish extremely high.

Before getting the boat in the water, Alan from NSW Bar Crusher dealer Blakes Marine showed the nifty Bar Catch that makes launching and retrieval so simple. A lever at the trailer prepares the catch and once the boat is backed into the water the driver puts the engine into gear. The pressure on the catch releases it, allowing the boat to roll off the trailer. Alan cautioned that the catch should only be prepared when the boat is ready to go, as the jolting effect of driving around may cause the boat to disconnect and end up on the ramp.

Hardtop Shelter

The hardtop towers over the boat, affording good weather protection and a feeling of space with its wide opening to the cockpit. This gives the impression of a big boat and provides a feeling of safety and security. Although it’s enclosed and out of the wind, there’s enough fresh air flowing through from forward and side windows.

Tinted, tempered glass wraps around the cabin for all-round vision, engulfing the mainly white interior in light. Even with this large cabin there is still generous fishing room in the cockpit, which is covered in non-skid checkerplate. While this is practical from a cleaning point of view, Alan said most customers have the floor lined with marine carpet for a softer feel underfoot and to minimise any hull noise. At 800mm, the sidedecks add to the feeling of security and their wide coamings also provide good seating.

Rodholders could be seen almost everywhere I looked. These included three newer style anodised machined rodholders along each sidedeck, three at the baitboard and 10 more in the overhead rocket launcher. Of course there is also room for more if needed, and additional rods could be stored on the bunks inside. As mentioned, the cabin top is fairly high so getting to the overhead rod storage means climbing on the seat bases or sidedecks.

Organised Cockpit

Side storage shelves are set at a sensible height above the deck to leave plenty of room for your feet below while fighting fish. They are carpet lined to cut down on annoying rattles from gaffs and tackle. The fuel filter is sensibly located for ready viewing towards the rear starboard section of the sidedeck, but it can also fit at the transom near the batteries.

The transom includes a full-width seat that would be useful as a casting platform in the right conditions and which folds out of the way for unfettered access to the back of the cockpit. A removable gate in the starboard corner opens to a rear marlin board and folding dive ladder. To port there’s a deep, plumbed bait-tank but no inspection window.

In a nice touch, the removable aluminium bait table slots into the centre of the transom and is fitted with a wide cutting board and clear tubes big enough to drain muck over the back and into a nylon burley bucket. Under the floor at the back of the cockpit is a substantial fishbox, leaving room for a 190L fuel tank further forward.

While the decks alongside the hardtop are quite narrow, there is a bow rail and decent handgrips to gain access to the bow when necessary, although the preferred option would be through the wide hatch in the cuddy cabin. From there it’s an easy reach forward to undo clips or clear lines on the Stress Free Winch. However, with the anchor and locker taking most of the deck space, it’s a bit cluttered for climbing aboard from the front.

Cabin Space

You can’t complain about the amount of room in the cabin though. There’s ample space for three standing behind the two helm chairs and there are well-placed grab rails for all.

VHF and 27meg radios have a dedicated overhead console which keeps them handy for use by either the skipper or navigator. The roof is carpet lined to eliminate any drumming and the dash panel is similarly treated to reduce glare.

A handy grab rail beside the wide opening to port of the dash panel makes it easy to slip into the cuddy cabin. Inside there is enough head height to sit three – two on the port bench and one on the starboard side. The vee-berth is ready for an optional infill, which would make the space big enough for a lie down, and optional berth extensions are available if overnighting was to be a regular thing. I also noticed new footrests at the rear of the bunks for driver and passenger.

The helm chairs are comfortable and high enough for good all-round vision when seated. They’ve been fitted with bolsters for an even higher seated position, or for leaning against when standing, while underway. Shelves alongside the cabin store personal items out of the weather and the aluminium seat bases include tackle storage trays.

Design of the dash is such that it presents a good angle for viewing the instruments and looks large enough to take a screen up to one of the new 50cm displays. Our test boat was fitted with a 17cm Furuno GPS/sounder and one of the new 17cm ICON 2 screens that come with the G2 E-Tec engines.

Spirited Performance

I was looking forward to seeing how the boat performed and getting better acquainted with the new features of the motor. Hole shot performance is spirited to say the least. The common rail, fuel injected 2-stroke is very punchy down low and carries that power right through the range.

Planting the I-Command electronic throttle in the mid range– 3500 and 23kts – gives impressive acceleration to speeds in the high 30s, while the top end, with lots of trim, saw over 45kts on the GPS.

It was interesting to try the new auto trim system that can be selected easily from the ICON 2 panel. From rest, the trim indicator showed zero, then as the boat accelerated it gradually trimmed itself out to around 40%, which seemed to be its maximum on auto. Simply moving the trim switch on the throttle control reverts the system to manual if required. When in auto, the motor trimmed itself in during sharp turns– probably not as much as I would have done, but then the engine didn’t cavitate so perhaps it was right.

Handling at all speeds was precise and safe, with no indication the extra weight of the hardtop was having any effect. Lean angles were predictable through corners and the Evinrude pumped out plenty of power to maintain speed. These new engines have their own built-in power steering system and the amount of effort at the wheel can be adjusted to suit individual driving styles. We mucked around with the adjustment and I noticed quite a difference in the feeling through the wheel.

Sea Trial

Our speed trials in the bay were in relatively flat water, but conditions offshore from Botany Bay allowed a good test of the boat in some slop. A close 1m sea on a 1m swell slowed us down to 20 to 23kts and the ride was safe, soft and certain. On the downhill run the swells had enough power to highlight anything untoward, but the boat handled superbly, tracking straight and with no sign of broaching.

Bar Crusher’s Quickflow water ballast system incorporates a cavity along the keel line that fills with 400kg of water to help stability at rest. Normally the water runs out as soon as the boat is underway, but our test boat was fitted with an optional Bar Flap that can lock the water in if the seas are a bit lumpy and a bit more weight is required.

Bar Crusher has a reputation for solidly built boats with superb handling and soft ride in the rough. Our test boat was loaded with a number of features that Alan believes most serious anglers would require, including the Ballast Flap, anchor winch, Lectro Trim Tabs, deckwash and windscreen wiper.

A total on-water package comes with a price tag of $97,275, but I think that’s reasonable for such a well-developed and roomy boat. It might not win a drag race against a super jetliner, but it sure flies.

Highlights

  • Strongly built and well finished.
  • Soft, safe ride and handling.
  • Roomy and well laid-out for fishing.

Capacities

  • People: 7
  • Rec. HP: 150-200hp
  • Fuel: 190L

General

  • Type: Monohull hardtop
  • Material: Aluminium 4mm bottom and sides, 3mm cabin
  • Length: 6.7m LOA
  • Beam: 2.35m
  • Weight: 1900kg BMT

Engines

  • Make/model: Evinrude G2 E-Tec 200hp
  • Type: direct injection V6, 2-stroke
  • Weight: 258kg
  • Displacement: 3441cc
  • Gear ratio: 1.85:1
  • Propeller: 19-inch three-blade Raker

SPECIFICATIONS: Bar Crusher 670HT
Options fitted: Engine upgrade, deckwash, anchor winch, trim tabs, ballast flap, sounder, windscreen wiper, sounder, deluxe seats and plumbed livebait tank among others.  

Bar Crusher 670HT Boat Test

Boat Test Bar Crusher 670HT: OCEAN FLIER
Author and photography: John Ford
Supplied by: Blakes Marine

This boat test ran in ISSUE 109 of BlueWater magazine – MAY-JUNE 2015

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here