Barcrusher boats have developed a very strong reputation in the Australian trailer boat market for building no-nonsense boats that you can rely on.
Their detailed design and on water abilities highlight the boats’ stress free handling, and easy clean and maintain durability. The metal body means they don’t chip or scratch, and full welds with no carpet avoids nooks and cracks to collect gunk.
Barcrusher vessels cater for all types of on water activities; from day-tripping small craft, which now include an open barra-style boat, through to the amazingly popular family sized 560c, which can be towed with the standard family car and has the patented fold down windscreen so it fits in a normal garage. And the range has now stepped up again with the very serious 640 Hard Top – an 8m fishing monster!
It was a very ordinary Port Phillip Bay day that I found myself boarding the Barcrusher 640 Hard Top with Matt Urzia, who not only works for Barcrusher but lives and breathes for his product.
As we rounded the breakwall at Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron he was rubbing his hands together in anticipation of the 25 knots of southwesterly blow that was pumping around Ricketts Point. Matt couldn’t wait to show me how good this boat really was in rough weather…
On the water this boat is a weapon and I quickly learnt just how much the 640 loves to be driven like a race car. In fact the harder Matt pushed it the better it went.
Matt drove the boat as he would with any prospective buyer; no use of trim tabs, just using engine trim and the throttle.
The Barcrusher skipped over the waves at over 50km/h, in 25 knots of Port Phillip Bay’s finest south west chop, and at no stage did the boat bang or crash on any wave. We would be coming onto a wave and I would think, “This is going to hurt,” but by keeping the power on there was no thump. Even when I took over the wheel I still managed to keep the boat doing the same stuff.
During turns, the hull bites hard and gives full control. With the nose up, the high and sharp bow sliced into the sea and landed softly on its tail; keeping the ride smooth.
The boat’s performance was helped along by the extremely powerful 200hp Suzuki, which is more like a two-stroke engine than a four. It has amazing low down grunt and top end speed that gives exceptional performance when you need it.
All the Barcrusher boats have several key features that contribute to their fantastic on water performance.
As the name suggests, this is exactly what it does – slice the wave. Its very high and sharp bow on the boat really does cut through the waves like a hot knife through butter. As Matt pushed the nose directly into 2m of sharp sloppy waves, I noticed that the very fine entry on the nose saw the bow cutting through the waves with no banging. The large chines that carry right to the nose help to keep a lot of the spray at water level before it can climb up over the bow.
The hull is made from pressed pre-stressed plate alloy. This enhances its on water performance as it allows the hull to have a 21º deadrise at the transom, something that many other standard aluminium boats can’t do.
It’s not until you get out on the water and stop the boat that you really appreciate just how good a ballast system can be for added stability.
Big light weight aluminium boats like the 640HT can be prone to drift faster and bounce more readily under anchor or in the bay than heavier smaller fibreglass vessels. To overcome this, the quick flow ballast system is a very user-friendly self regulating ballast that allows the belly of the hull to fill with water when the hull is at rest; it only takes a few seconds to do so once the boat stops.
On the 640HT the hull literally glued to the water and became rock solid, even side on in the chop. It then empties itself the moment you put the throttle down and get the boat on the plane.
Full length sealed welds above and below the floor give this hull superior strength. It prevents warping and twisting that you can often see around stress cracks in the hull, especially around welds.
The Barcrusher has lots of other stand out features as well.
The ample rod holders were positioned perfectly, which allowed more of them to be put in the boat.
The well-designed aft transom housed a large live well on the port side, and a big transom door, which you can walk through on the starboard corner. Across the inside of the transom there is a very easy to fold down bench seat, which can be folded up when not in use. Outside the transom, there are large rear steps that accommodate a fold down dive ladder and a berley pot.
Internally, the large full length side pockets are nice and wide for gaffs, nets and other bits. There is also a water separating fuel filler that is housed in the rear starboard corner.
Underfloor, towards the back, there is a large kill tank that will hold anything from a haul of snapper to a few big tuna. It can be easily filled from in the boat via a bung into the ballast system, and has very easy access to the bilge and bilge pump area. Off to the sides is access to the scuppers that enable the hull to be self-draining.
The fuel tank is 300L and has the filler in the floor that is located between the river and passenger seats; this cuts down on fuel hoses to the tank, and allows a visual or dip stick fuel reading rather than just relying on the gauge.
The high roof cabin with its toughened glass windscreen is perfect to keep you warm and dry. It also houses the radios, 27MHZ and VHF, which allows a clear view.
The console is large with ample room for the flush mounted sounder/GPS and the relevant switch panels. One of the features I really like is the huge flat dash area; it allows room to mount the biggest sounder units or, if you are like me, then it is a very handy storage space.
However, the 640 Hard Top is not hard up for space. There is plenty of extra storage space under two huge seat boxes that are big enough to just about sleep in.
In the bow area, the bunks aren’t overly long but offer enough length for a lie down. There is easy access to the bow through the hatch, although there wouldn’t be much need for it with the medium-sized Stress Free winch that was fitted on the test boat.
This boat has been made to work as a fairly hard core fishing rig that is just at home on the bay as it is 50 miles off Portland. There is easily enough room in this boat to fish four anglers spaciously, but more could be accommodated if needed.
Overall, I would say that the Barcrusher 640HT is one of the most impressive aluminium boats I have ever been in. It ticks all the appropriate boxes as a fishing boat; a great layout and a smooth comfortable ride.
|Fuel:||300L – unleaded|
|Sides and top deck:||4mm|
|Height on trailer:||3350mm|
Full Hella Lights
|Price on test boat:||$99,500|