Boat Review Date: June 2010
Author: Mike Brown
The Bar Crusher 760HT was the first boat I have driven powered by the completely new Yamaha V6. Offered in 225, 250 and 300hp forms (we had the 250), this is an impressive motor. It has a capacity of 4.2L compared with the old V6’s 3.3, yet weighs 25kg less. Part of the reason for this is the lack of a cylinder liner; instead, the new V6’s bore has a sprayed-on coating that is claimed to have ten times the wear resistance of steel.
We could not test that claim, but the claim of similar acceleration to two-strokes – that have usually had the wood on four-strokes – could be proven or dismissed with a firm movement of my right hand. I was happy to provide this, and the result said Yamaha were probably right. The biggest capacity in the horsepower range surely had something to do with it, but Yamaha claim it is also down to cunning valve timing arrangements and other secret ingredients.
At the more basic level a couple of features impressed me, and both were to do with engaging gear. Actual gear engagement is done electronically, but unlike some competitors there is still a positive détente in neutral. Open hand movement into neutral, and it stays there until you squeeze the button and push into the next gear – no pushing straight through from forward to reverse. And once into gear everything is very smooth. The propeller has an extra-bungy bush that absorbs more of the wind-up before the blades actually start moving.
But let’s move on to the boat that our 250 was driving. The Bar Crusher 760HT (HT for hardtop, 760 for the length in metres and decimals) is a large version of the concept that put soft riding into plate aluminium construction. Deadrise is far sharper than on the average aluminium boat, and is balanced by free flooding – and draining – water ballast.
This is a large trailer boat, and made to seem even larger by the absence of a bulkhead at the rear of the cabin. But the cabin is no mere shelter; it is fully lined, and houses an unusually long pair of bunks. Shelter though is what the Bar Crusher offers in abundance. The hardtop on some smaller Bar Crushers folds to reduce towing resistance, but the 760’s is fixed over full height windscreen and side glass.
Large sliding side windows allow the space to be as snug or airy as you wish, and seats are provided for three people to share it. The port side seat is a fore and aft double whose cushions lift off to reveal the makings of a galley. The sink is provided plus a recess for a single burner stove. There are shelves below, and the fridge is located under the driver’s seat.
Extra people on board have the choice of sitting on the fairly basic bench seat aft that folds down from the transom, or standing at the hardtop’s rear. The 760 provides for them with well-placed grab rails, and has more to give safe passage along the side decks.
Like all Bar Crushers the 760 is aimed mainly at fishermen, and the fit-out is geared for fishing convenience and easy cleaning. The self-draining deck is in chequer plate aluminium, and a deck wash takes care of its cleaning. The transom houses a bait tank, with the bait board located above, and sockets are provided for 14 rods.
It is a purposeful boat, but still has some of life’s finer things. There is a power windlass, the lights are LED – and there is no shortage of them, including floodlights for the cockpit. LEDs are noted for their low power consumption, but with a fridge and windlass aboard the twin batteries are welcome. Even the boarding ladder is beyond the ordinary: a heavy-duty scuba type leading to access through a lift-out transom door.
The lusty Yamaha was installed in a boat that could make good use of it. This is a boat to take offshore with confidence: soft riding into seas, sure footed downwind, and happy to cruise in the high 20s. The driving position is well thought out and comfortable enough for several hours in the saddle, and is provided with a grab rail – useful for when standing.
And there was not a single rattle, either from the hull or the gear, the latter ensured by every shelf and pocket being carpet lined. All up the Bar Crusher provided one of my better experiences.
Fuel capacity 300L
Fresh water 60L
Maximum power 300hp
Motor fitted 250hp Yamaha 4-stroke