REVIEW: Bar Crusher 560C Apache – Trailer Boat
Bar Crusher’s 10th anniversary model – the 560C Apache Special Edition – looks set to turn a few heads. Or as Rick Huckstepp put it, “screw a few of them right off!”
[Note: the Bar Crusher 560C Apache is now the Bar Crusher 610C. The next-generation version of this model is the Bar Crusher 615C Gen2)
Many people nowadays seem to judge a boat by its “X-Factor” — that being its ability to make you go “wow” — and if that’s the case then the Bar Crusher 560C Apache scores full marks in the “first impression” stakes.
The model comes in a drab US Aircraft Grey paint colour that wouldn’t normally rate a mention, let alone fill a pot on a spray gun, but when contrasted with black and raw alloy it proved to be an eye-catching colour scheme.
The Apache is a special Bar Crusher 10-year anniversary model — only 50 will be made — based on the proven 560C model. The difference here is that it’s had a major makeover that includes many goodies over and above the standard model, including deluxe seats, the flash paint job, and an ample quantity of sound deadening liner inside the hull. There’s also a tricked up trailer (with matching paint job) with Fulton winch and jockey wheel, as well as mags and low profile tyres. Even the trailer is a head turner.
But what about the rest? We tested this rig in Melbourne’s Patterson River, which heads into Port Philip Bay. The weather on the day was crap — appalling actually — due to a strong wind warning and lumpy chop running over the entrance bar. Conditions such as these normally deter even the keenest boaters but in our case they fitted exactly what the manufacturers built these boats for.
THE ROUGHER THE BETTER
As the hull ran into the nasty chop it just gobbled up the lumps, while the clears above the sturdy windscreen (more on that shortly) kept the spray at bay.
The Apache comes standard with a hardtop that you can drop down and secure to the top edge of the windscreen with toggles. It’s a sure way to keep the weather out if you don’t like looking through clear plastic curtains. In its open position, the hardtop is supported on both sides by gas struts. Either way, it’s a one-man operation to bring it in and out of play and as a bonus, the locked down position reduces wind drag while it’s in tow.
Now about that screen. Bar Crusher uses its own windscreen panel frames for its entire range. These angular and oversize windscreens are arguably the strongest on the market in this type of trailerboat and the design matches the rest of the
Apache’s build. I would go so far as to say that the build quality is impeccable with a quality finish and clean welds visible throughout.
HANDLING AND RIDE
The ride on this hull is as good as it gets with a sharp vee-entry that slices cleanly through chop. Bar Crusher hulls are not overly beamy in relation to their length, as too much beam turns a boat into a rough rider even though it can improve stability at rest. However, the inclusion of the “Quickflow” ballast tunnel in the hull means an extra 350lt of water keeps the chines pulled down onto the water surface, allowing for greater stability.
When the boat takes off all the water in the ballast tunnels is emptied by the time the Apache hits 3.8kts (7kmh), allowing the hull to sit high in the water with reduced drag. This was the case on the test day as it effortlessly pushed through the slop. Running at angles across the swell it tracked true, with no signs of broaching at any time.
BALLISTIC FISH WON’T BE AN ISSUE
The Apache has a rear-boarding platform that sits high due to the good buoyancy in the aft end. This means that backing down on ballistic fish won’t be an issue.
The helm station is fitted with Suzuki instrumentation for the 140hp powerplant on the angled brow facing up to the skipper. It has enough space to flush-mount an instrument cabinet with a screen of about seven inches, but the flat top of the dash that runs full beam will hold a number of gimbal-mounted units if you’re after more instrument space. The aft edge of the flat top has a raised fence with a round rail on top and there’s a sturdy passenger grab rail on its vertical edge.
If you’re a rod collector and like putting them all through their paces, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the Apache. It has no less than three cast-alloy holders on each gunwale, another three tubes on the back of the bait station, and another six across the aft end of the hardtop. All 15 of them should keep you busy fishing, or at least cleaning them all after a trip.
The big heap of terminal tackle required for all those outfits will fit neatly in the
Plano Tackle drawer system that’s built into each pedestal seat-box. The aperture to access these trays is on the inside while the front fascias have a sturdy footrest for the seat occupants.
These seat boxes have a raised floor that allows for easy flushing underneath. The cockpit deck and the cabin are on the same plane so they’re easily flushed too. A lick of silicon around the bases supporting the cushions of the bunks in the cabin will prevent water ingress into any gear stowed inside.
The aft end of the 560C features an almost full beam-tray inside the transom bulkhead. It stops short at the walkthrough transom door, which is accessed by folding down the rear full beam bench seat and removing the nylon gate that slides into the aperture.
On this tray is the dual-battery setup along with isolator switches. A 50lt or so
livebait tank is installed in the top on the port side of the bulkhead. A deckwash is neatly tucked away in the starboard sidepocket and features a concertina hose.
Stepping through the transom door you find yourself on that big uncluttered boarding platform fitted with a fold-down stepladder and a berley muncher that’s rebated through the platform out the bottom of the hull.
Well did I like it? Sure did! It’s a cracker of a boat and yep, the X-Factor is right up there with the best of them. But X-factor is only skin deep. The practicality of this Bar Crusher and its performance in less than kind seas is really where it shines.