by Steve Morgan •
If Bar Crusher were to order an ideal day for testing a couple of their revamped hard top models, then Port Phillip Bay delivered it in spades. Solid westerly winds turned the bay into a washing machine that only the brave dare venture into.
We met Warren Cleland and Matt Urzia at the ramp at the Patto. They were chomping at the bit to show us the new improvements to the design, and also to get busy on the waves. They did both with style. Their ads don’t lie – the Bar Crusher team sure like testing their hulls to the limits when conditions get nasty.
Bar Crusher’s Sales Manager, Matt Urzia, has done plenty of time in these boats and proudly took us through the tweaks that make one of their most popular boats even better.
“We’ve kept the 670 hull exactly the same – if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, but there are a few changes we’ve made above the waterline that help make the 670 an even better fishing machine,” Matt said.
Firstly, there’s a major redesign on the dash, where you can now see the flush-mounted helm electronics from the cockpit of the boat and, in particular, the rear workstation. With the size of the units people run nowadays, this makes a lot of sense. You want to be able to see when the fish are coming through without having to leave your fishing position or by relaying the data.
Next, the diameter of the handrails has been increased to 32mm. It doesn’t sound like a major change, but they look better, are easier to hold onto and are more practical, especially the ones on the hard top that you use to move around the cabin.
The hard top has also been improved, with a design that externally keeps the standing passengers drier while running on wet days. Internally, there’s now plenty of real estate to mount your radios and stereo systems above the windscreen. It’s a neat solution.
The side sliding windows are in the right place and open the right way for best ventilation and user comfort. Another small improvement is the rounding on the internal gunwale edges with a 45° angle taking the sting out of the thighs. Bar Crusher calls it the Game Lock coaming. It’s these small things that improve the experience on the water.
Out on the water, the day proved as nasty as promised, with a proper breaking bar on the Patterson River mouth and some rolling chop that made the process of deriving performance stats impossible. Taking the pictures and video was exciting if not impossible.
Driven right, the Bar Crusher handles the punishment. Land with the vee level and a tail-down attitude and there’s a softness that feels more like glass than alloy. Amazingly, we had company on the test day. A boatload of uber-keen anglers rolled past and of course, they were in a Bar Crusher.
We asked Matt if he’d organised this as a publicity stunt, but he denied all knowledge. Last we saw of them, they bounced over the horizon with aspirations of snapper glory…
The new lightweight 4-cylinder Suzuki 200hp, this provided ample power. The test rig came in just under $100,000 as tested. Package prices start in the mid $80,000.
For more info contact Stones Corner Marine on 07 3397 9766 or visit www.stonescornermarine.com.au.
Internal Freeboard: 800mm
Bottom sheet: 5mm
Side shee:t 4mm
Tow Weight: 1880kg
Max hp: 200
Length on trailer: 8.1m
Height on trailer: 3.2m