Boat Review Date: November 2014
Author: Mike Brown
If ever a range of boats stayed true to a theme it is Barcrusher, and clearly it is a theme that has struck a chord with boat buyers; this range is enormously successful across Australia.
Aimed squarely at the fishing buyer, Barcrushers are also extremely tough and intended for getting out there in a wider range of sea conditions than the run of the mill. The hull plates of the review 730HT (HT for hardtop) are hefty: four mil sides and five mil bottom – the same as a Rottnest ferry. And the further stiffening of deep fore and aft plates and transverse frames below the deck make this an exceptionally rigid boat, subject to minimal metal fatigue.
It is not just strength that lets the 730 take on most of what the sea can offer; shape comes very much into it. The deep-V bottom and sharp forefoot absorb and soften the seas, yet when the throttle is closed do not provide dodgy stability. The instant way comes off a sub deck chamber fills with ocean, hauling the chines below the surface and gluing the boat to the surface. The choice used to be between a good ride moving and a stable stationary platform. The two are now combined.
The fishing intent is clear: between the transom bait board, the hardtop’s rocket launcher battery and the sockets in the side decks there is accommodation for 31 rods. Full marks to the first owner to fill them. There are abundant other fishing goodies aboard. Under the driver’s seat is a stack of tackle drawers; in the boarding platform a berley muncher; within the transom a live bait tank.
Most of all there is space. There is a lot of rail length available for thighs to lean against, and depth below the rail to keep the angler’s centre of gravity in the right place. The side decks alongside the cockpit are wide, not only making them convenient boarding places – and safe ones with their non skid surfaces – but bringing the anglers’ weight a little further inboard to enhance stability.
There are seats for seven, however unlikely that number of anglers would be aboard – although they could probably all get to wet a hook. Driver and best mate get excellent seats atop lockers. The driver’s contains the tackle drawers, the mate’s the portable fridge, which extends aft to form another seat. A nice touch is a footrest on the rear of the driver’s locker for when the seat swivels aft. Four more people can sit on the drop down bench at the transom; dropping it reveals the standard twin batteries. With two batteries and a reliable fuel gauge more than 90 percent of reasons for calling sea rescue disappear.
The interior theme below the hardtop is uniform across the range: black. Besides being the new red, there is practicality here: matt black throws no reflections, making the instruments easier to read and keeping stray glare off the eyes.
Space within the driving area is maximised by pushing the hardtop’s sides right out to the hull’s sides. Only the intrepid would try to reach the foredeck on the mere trace of side deck, and why would they bother? The large clear fore hatch puts the Sarca anchor and everything else on the foredeck within easy reach of anyone standing in it.
The fore cabin, although not very likely to be used for more than the occasional overnight, is definitely sleepable. The V-berths are a touch short, but with the inserts dropped in the resulting double is the goods.
The manufacturer suggests the unusually short power range of 200 to 250hp. There is no doubt 200 would do a fine job; the review boat’s 250 Suzuki had abundant power for relaxed fast cruising and acceleration for evading breakers.
Price as reviewed AUD $120,950
Overall length 7.3m
Fuel capacity 320L
Towing weight 2,250kg
Maximum power 250hp
Motor fitted 250hp Suzuki four-stroke