OVER the past 12 to 18 months Stones Corner Marine has seen an increasing interest in plate aluminium boats over 5m in length. This interest has encouraged the team to search for a plate boat of high quality, superior performance and unique proven design.
As Stones Corner Marine has had no ties with any plate boat manufacturer in recent times it was decided to approach the decision-making process in the same manner as any potential customer – start from scratch, develop a list of criteria to suit and look at as many makes as possible. The list of criteria developed included:
• Quality of manufacture – construction, finish and fittings;
• Durability of materials;
• Practicality of design – user-friendly configurations;
• Performance – fit-out, stability, ride, handling and maintenance;
• Innovation and point of difference in design and features;
• Range – sizes and configurations; and
• Support from the manufacturer.
After preparing the criteria it was decided that the best place to evaluate the potential manufacturers was at the numerous boat shows around Australia, and so the process began.
Early in the piece it was realised that Stones Corner Marine and its customers would be best suited to a plate manufacturer that had a limited range of popular sizes and a range of boats that were identified as models.
The importance of model identification plays a role in repeatable performance, proven and tested performance, customer acceptance and a better resale because it can be compared to like vessels. Stones Corner Marine believes that if a boat is over-customised to suit the original owner, the potential second-hand market is limited or reduced and depreciation can be higher to achieve a sale.
A popular range of sizes and configurations was found to be important as it would cater for the family fishing team as well as the serious competitive fishing team. The configurations most popular seemed to be cuddy cabins, with larger vessels moving toward half cabins. The popular sizes tended to be 5m and larger.
While making these realizations about sizes and models it was also raised that it was in the best interest of all parties – manufacturer, dealer and customer – that the successful manufacturer would not only care about their range, its quality and performance but care about the end user and not just sales targets.
This is when they met Peter Cleland, director of Bar Crusher. Peter not only cares about all things important listed in Stones’ criteria but is passionate about them. He is proud of Bar Crusher’s achievements and is dedicated to ongoing development, innovative design, superior performance and practical fishing boats built to the highest quality of durable materials.
After realizing that the dealer and customer support from the Bar Crusher business was second to none, Stones put the boats under the magnifying glass and evaluated them. The result – success. The Bar Crusher boats were deemed to have one of the highest qualities of construction, finish and fittings, their innovative design was judged as both practical and desirable as a friendly-fishing environment and their performance exceptional, with smooth ride, stability at rest and responsive handling underway. These are the reasons Stones Corner Marine decided to invest in the Bar Crusher range.
Stones’ initial order included a Bar Crusher 530, 560 and 610 cuddy deluxe, all factory equipped and with the trailer included. Once delivered the boats required outboards, sounders and GPS to be selected and installed.
The decision to stock these three sizes was made on the grounds that they were the sizes most popular amongst potential customers.
The boats are currently available in a basic form and have been ordered in deluxe form. The features in deluxe form will be set out later.
The WaveSlicer strakeless, non-pounding hull design has brought about a change in the way many boaters think. Bar Crushers are one of few production boats that have a smooth hull without strakes. The reason for this is that the hull has been designed to have the ideal amount of surface area, chine and vee to allow the boat to cut through chop, hold its course in a following sea and turn hard and flat without turbulence over the prop.
In the past, many boat designers have automatically fitted or moulded strakes or ridges under a planing hull. Bar Crusher believes that the strakes on the bottom of most other boats can cause pounding and increased turbulence. Increased turbulence can cause prop aeration. Bar Crusher boats turn and manoeuvre beautifully without cavitation, and the boats’ super-responsive design adds a real safety margin and provides further confidence when negotiating bar crossings.
The QuickFlow ballast system is the secret to Bar Crusher's stability. The hull has a cavity built into the bottom of the hull, low in the boat near the keel. This cavity is open at the transom, and when the boat stops it fills with water, lowering the boat onto its chines to give greater stability. When the boat moves forward the water is jettisoned immediately and the boat flies up onto the plane.
The QuickFlow ballast system is used because of the relatively light weight of the plate aluminium hull. If a deep vee was used without the ballast system the hull would sit high in the water (at rest) and roll from side to side with the wave action. To get the very best of all variables, (smooth ride, stability at rest and light to power and tow) the QuickFlow system provides the optimum combination of these variables and has overcome the key disadvantages found in flatter bottomed, traditionally designed aluminium planing hulls.
The Rigideck rigid sub-frame and fully welded floor gives the boat a commercial strength build quality. The sub-frame consists of six fully welded stringers, which run from stern to bow. The stringers are folded to provide additional strength and surface area for welding. The stringers then have sections of plate welded between to make the whole sub-floor into a fully boxed and triangulated frame. To add further strength, the checkerplate floor is welded to the hull and pressure tested to ensure the individual buoyancy cavities do their job. This floor is not only tough, it is easy to maintain with a quick hose out.
Bar Crusher can offer this engineered design by using the very latest plasma cutting and welding techniques to bring a fully framed, commercial strength, welded hull to the end buyer at a very reasonable price. Until recently these techniques couldn’t be used due to very high capital equipment cost and high labour cost.
Standard features on the three boats on display include toughened safety glass windscreen, folding windscreen, underfloor fish storage box, split bow rail, bowsprit and roller, anchor well and bollards, swim platform, swim ladder, transducer brackets, side pockets, cabin pockets, livebait tank, berley bucket and muncher, non-feedback steering, navigation lights, anchor light, six rod holders mounted in side decks, battery switch, dual battery wiring, fuel filter, illuminated switch panel, bilge pump, 12-volt socket on dash, folding rear seat, deluxe swivel seats, bunk boxes with upholstered cushions, sealed checkerplate deck, oversize cabin hatch to anchor well, underfloor fuel tank and 25” transoms.
Bar Crusher has cleverly designed an option called ‘Deluxe’ where the customer receives a list of options in a package form. The Deluxe option includes livebait tank plumbing, removable baitboard, SARCA anchor and deck fitting, folding gas strut aluminium roof and side clears, folding rocket launcher, painting and pin striping.
Other options available include a walk-through transom on the 530 and 560 models, ski pole, GME 27MHZ and VHF radios and aerials, canvas roof extension over cockpit, hydraulic steering and a standalone folding rocket launcher.
Each of the features from the Deluxe option and other features can be combined to create your own boat. Stones Corner Marine will discuss further options to assist in creating the ideal package.
Bar Crusher has also gone to the trouble of having trailers made to suit their boats. Many customers don’t realise the difference a good trailer makes to the boating experience, and I definitely recommend to all customers that trailer selection under any boat should be near the top of the list in decisions. Don’t sacrifice your trailer to save $100.
The Bar Crusher boats have been designed with both two- and four-strokes in mind, and being a Yamaha Motor Australia dealer, Stones Corner Marine has an extensive range of two-stroke carburettor, direct-injected and four-strokes outboards on offer. The final decision will be left to each customer, subject to their requirements, but the staff at Stones Corner Marine will happily assist with any technical information on each outboard. Stones Corner Marine is confident that there is a Yamaha outboard to suit every Bar Crusher boat and customer and water tests of demonstrator stock will be available subject to purchase of a package.
Bar Crusher plate boats have been designed with performance in mind. The Quickflow and Waveslicer innovations have been developed to improve the performance, and performance is what sets Bar Crusher boats apart from the competition.
These boats are well suited to local conditions, with high sides and plenty of fishing room. A Bar Crusher’s capability is restricted only by the experience of the driver. The boats can be configured for the family or serious fishing team and love showing off their high level of performance.
Beware Queensland, watch out Moreton Bay, the next generation of aluminium boats is here to play. Stones Corner Marine welcomes Bar Crusher plate aluminium boats to their dealership and invites customers to inspect.
An on water day is currently being planned and individual test drives are available subject to purchase. To be notified when the on water day will be held, you can register your interest by emailing --e-mail address hidden-- subject ‘Bar Crusher on water day’.
For more information on the range contact Stones Corner Marine on ph. (07) 3397 9766, fax (07) 3397 2456 or visit www.stonescornermarine.com.au or www.barcrusher.com.au.
1) Boarding is made easy by sensible placement of boarding steps, hand rails and a large entryway.
2) The QuickFlow ballast system is the secret to Bar Crusher's stability.
3) Bar Crusher has trailers made to suit their boats.
4) The quality of construction, finish and fittings in Bar Crusher boats is second to none.Reads: 2004