Alloy boats have so many advantages, and this boat is a fantastic example of a fishing package that pretty much does all. From a foot of water in the estuaries, to off the shelf miles out to sea the 560c Bar Crusher is up to the task.
On the trailer the 560c is an impressive looking package, especially when you carefully look at all its features.
With 4mm plate alloy hull matched to the 3mm alloy sides, these boats are built like the proverbial out house, and the crew at Bar Crusher make use of alloy in the best way possible.
Firstly the extremely sharp and high nose, known as the Wave Slicer hull, design allows the hull to cut through the water like a knife.
The large chines running right to the nose help to deflect any spray, not only away from the sides but back down into the water. From the bow, the chines run all the way to the transom giving added stability on the plane and at rest.
However it’s the Quickflow Water Ballast System that makes these boats so well known. The self-filling ballast tank adds extra weight into the hull whilst at rest, which serves the purpose of sitting the hull lower in the water, increasing stability.
To empty the ballast, it’s a simple matter of getting the boat on the plane where the tank will empty itself.
The other neat feature I really rated on the hull was the addition of a hydraulic flap that allowed the ballast tank to be shut off, stopping water getting in or out.
If extra weight is needed in the hull, especially when punching through rough weather, then the flap can be shut to hold ballast water to add extra weight to the boat.
The addition of trim tabs also allows tweaking of the hull to get a perfect ride, but as Matt Urzia of Bar Crusher showed, the boat performed extremely well even when not using them.
At the transom the rear of the boat is well though out, with a recessed berley pot mounted in the port side rear step, while the starboard side housed a very useful and well-built dive ladder.
This leads onto a wide easily removable transom door that makes entry onto the boat so much easier when on the trailer and from the water.
Inside the boat I instantly noticed the rod holders and their excellent positioning. I say this because so many boat companies rave about their hardcore fishing boats but often don’t get it right, with rods sitting at bad angles and wasting space.
On the 560c, which isn’t a huge boat, the rod holder positions allow six rods to be used down the gunnels while trolling in addition to what can be run across the back. It’s a small feature on a boat, but one that any serious angler will agree with, and definitely one that more boat builders should be looking at.
Across the transom the layout is very basic, neat and functional, with a serious-sized live bait tank in the port rear corner and the single pole bait board in the middle that also doubles up as a multiple rod holder.
Below this is a simple fold down bench seat that is so easy to get up and down you would definitely use it.
The floor is checker plate, and while it is tough as nails, it’s bright, hard on your feet and noisy if you drop stuff on it, so I would definitely recommend getting some rubber matting underfoot, which is an optional Bar Crusher extra if you wish.
As for the build of the boat, any join is a full seam weld and access to areas is very functional with the bilge area easily accessible. In front of that is a large kill tank that will hold a catch of snapper or even a few tuna.
Moving forward the large open side pockets have heaps of space to hold gear, while the seat boxes have been modified on the 560c to now be very functional tackle lockers that hold five tackle boxes in each side, which equates to more than enough tackle for any fishing trip anywhere around here.
In the cabin itself, the steering console is at a good height and the dash layout has all the required gear with space for more if so required.
While the boat felt more comfortable to drive while standing, I am sure many people would find have no dramas driving around in the very comfy Raeline seats.
In the bunk area the side pockets have plenty of storage space, while a bunk infill cushion would make it a comfy spot for a little midday siesta. Another bonus is access to the bow, which is fairly simple for anchoring, or I would suggest going along the lines of getting a Stress Free Winch as the test boat did, it really does make life so easy.
Shedding some light on the boat is so easy with a full deck-out of Hella equipment on the rocket launcher and some very user-friendly side lights. Best of all the Hella lights are LED, totally waterproof and draw very little power.
Two other top features of the boat are the fold-down top that makes the boat easier to tow and also brings the overall height of the rig lower to 2.2m, allowing it to get into most garages.
While the other feature is the in floor fuel filler, doing away with fuel hoses running down the side of the boat it also lets you use a dip stick to get accurate fuel levels.
Most tests usually fall on a flat calm day, but thankfully Port Phillip had turned on one of its wintery icy blasts with a solid 25knot south westerly wind. Bar Crushers are made for this sort of wave, and it was good to test the rough water performance of a boat without having to make your own waves.
The 560c revels in these conditions, slicing its way through the chop. The sharp entry point on the hull performed and responded well, especially when pushed hard rather than being babied through the slop.
And with the ample power delivered from the 4-stroke Suzuki the response out of this boat was more like a race car, impressing greatly in a head on sea. This is often the make or break of a plate boat – good boats leap into the slop and cushion down on the next wave. This boat should have teeth painted on the side such was its appetitive for a decent wave!
Running with the sea, the boat also performed very well, with no inclination to bog in at the bow when heading into the next wave. With plenty of power at the stern it was no trouble to pop the nose up in preparation for the next wave.
At rest it was rock solid, no doubt helped by the water ballast system.
The overwhelming impression I was left with was the super impressive way it cut through the waves.
This is a terrific boat and one I’d recommend any bay or light offshore game fisher take for a test as soon as possible.
|Plane – 13kph||2500rpm|
|Cruise – 25kph||3200rpm|
|WOT – 75kph||6000rpm|
Length – Overall – 6.1m
Beam – 2.25m
Hull – 4mm
Sides – 3mm
Fuel – 140lt
BMT – 1295kg
Rec HP – 140
Test boat HP - 140
Height on trailer – 3.2m – top folded down 2.2m
Trailer – Easy two
Trailer length – 7.35m