Boat Review Date: April 2016
Author: Mike Brown
The Barcrusher’s main selling point – that of all of the boats in the range – is its ability to punch above its weight as the sea conditions worsen. It copes exceptionally well from the comfort point of view and also gives reassuring evidence of toughness: no nasty sounds from the structure. There are certainly no rattling doors – the only one on board is a lightweight job giving access to the dashboard wiring.
The visible parts of the structure back up the sonic evidence: wide side decks stiffening the topsides; continuous seams of healthy welding. That Barcrusher expects its customers to use their boats in heavy weather is evident from the almost extravagant quantities of things for standing people to hang on to. These include vertical and horizontal grab rails around the rear of the driving area; there are more inside for standing driver and navigators.
Within the hardtop’s shelter all surfaces are black, which kills the chance of distracting reflections. The two seats are bolster-equipped swivels mounted on boxes that host stacks of tackle drawers. Matching the swivels, which so many such seats do not, are foot rests fore and aft.
The dash has plenty of area for electronics, with above it a curved armoured windscreen whose mullions cause minimal interference with vision. The centre section opens for ventilation, the clear fore hatch backing it up at anchor or on hot days.
The cuddy is for occasional shelter and for storage. The cockpit has little storage space beyond side pockets so it will be well used. With the central infill in place, the cuddy presents essentially a padded, raised floor. It looks just the spot for scuba gear. The cuddy is where the solitary door lives. Opening it reveals the quality of the boat’s wiring: neat beyond criticism and featuring glue-filled heat shrink unions. Quality easy to see because the builder provided a reading lamp with flexible stem to inspect fuses.
The electrical system is powered by twin batteries, a very desirable pairing. Gone are the days when you could beat a flat battery by hand starting; four-strokes need healthy quantities of electricity. The 730’s four-stroke is a 250hp Suzuki that gave us effortless performance and the kind of grunt that made power trim effective with very little movement. Transverse trim is taken care of by trim tabs.
Barcrushers were the first Australian production boats to feature flooding keels. This is the key feature that gives static stability to hulls otherwise optimised for behaviour when moving. The 730, a pretty big boat anyway by most boaties’ standards, certainly stands up well with a few anglers at the rail. This is helped by the wide side decks holding their weight just that little further inboard – and incidentally giving their feet more room.
Barcrusher certainly seems to expect great gangs of fishermen aboard: at over 30 the 730 has more rod sockets than I can recall counting on any other trailer boat. There are more fisherman-friendly features built in, space being one of them. With the rear bench folded there is practically acreage. Within the transom is a circulating live tank, and above the transom a lidded bait station.
The deck is in chequer-plate aluminium, so offers good grip for feet equipped with shoes. For bare feet, our 730 had grip and insulation provided by tube mat deck covering over the area aft of the seats. This offers easier clean up by the power deck wash than does carpet.
It seems that every boat I have reviewed in the past month or so was on a trailer fitted with auto catch and release; the 730 is no exception. Originally developed in the West by Kirby Marine for beach launches, the spread of variations on the theme is accelerating – and so it should be; one person launch and retrieval is easier than for two people with a conventional trailer. Having one of these gadgets could save a marriage.
Price from AUD $123,250
Overall length 7.30m
Fuel capacity 320L
Towing weight (dry) 2,250
Motor fitted 250hp Suzuki two-stroke