Andrew Hart: “The lap of Australia rolls on and it’s time just to have a quick look at our boat. She has been with us by our side for the entire journey…”
Nick Duigan: “We’ve towed this the best part of 25,000 kilometres. Over the journey, over the decades, we’ve probably had close to 10 Bar Crushers and, in that time, we’ve learned a lot of things to like about this particular brand of boat.
“The Hook, Line and Sinker / Bar Crusher relationship goes back to the early 2000s, when a factory built plate alloy boat was pretty rare. Back then there were two models in the range.
[Andrew Hart: “This is nice. When it gets a bit rough you just pull down the roof. Look at that!”]
“Over the years the product offering has grown substantially and we’ve been fortunate enough to sample quite a few.
“Righto, so Hook, Line and Sinker Bar Crushers started with the 560 which became the 610 [evolved to 615C], went to the 640 cuddy, then I think probably from the 640 we might have gone to the 670C… then it might have been one of these, a 780HT, thrown in there, then at least two more 670s – I’m very fond of the 670HT – that was followed by the 730HT – the mighty Producer hard top 730 – followed by the Fishing Weapons, 780HT hard top.”
Andrew Hart: “So it all started, I don’t know how many years ago, more than 10 probably close to 15, with the 560, which I think is now the 610, but it’s a little pocket rocket, and I remember taking that boat across the Bass Strait to Flinders Island. Nick Duigan wasn’t there; I was actually going to visit him at his holiday house. It got proper rough across Bass Strait and I just remember coming off the back of those waves thinking: this boat feels solid, it feels soft, and it feels secure. Pretty much from there, I was hooked on Bar Crusher boats.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BAR CRUSHER MEMORY?
Nick Duigan: “There have been so many great memories in these boats over the years it’s hard to know where to start… but I guess, probably for me, because the memory is not that good, a recent one springs to mind and that was when we had this boat in the Kimberley driving it through Horizontal Falls. To be in that environment in your own boat was something very, very special.
[“Horizontal Falls in our own boat. Tick! It’s a good day.”]
“It’s just islands and it’s bays and it all feels completely unexplored. When we were there it was stinking hot, like 40 degrees, and the sea was glass calm so you could blast around at 35 knots and explore the Kimberley at your leisure. It was awesome.”
Andrew Hart: “This year’s been great in the big 780HT. We’ve done, obviously the Kimberley, we’ve done Cape York, which was fantastic, we took it down the western side of Cape York, maybe 60 miles, camped for a couple of nights, caught all manner of fish that you see in the magazines – that was brilliant.
[“Queenfish, that’s the one you wanted, Duigs!”]
“I think my favourite memory, though, would be taking the 670HT, the little blue 670 hard top boat with a 200 Yamaha, right the way around Tasmania. It was an ambitious plan, we sort of timed it with the weather so it was on and off, on and off, but we got right the way around and the best part of that trip was the West Coast. We took the boat out of Strahan and around to Hobart via Port Davey and the South Coast, and Maatsuyker Island… and just places that you probably shouldn’t really have a trailer boat, but at no time did we feel unsafe. It was just an absolute cracking trip.”
HOW DO BAR CRUSHER BOATS HANDLE?
Andrew Hart: “We’ve done literally, probably 80 per cent of our boating in Bar Crushers. That equates to thousands and thousands of hours… and the thing that sets these boats apart is their ride.”
Nick Duigan: [“These boats absolutely love this, this is the sort of stuff for which they are built.”]
“In our years of operating Bar Crusher boats, we’ve had them in a range of weather conditions and I think, without fear of contradiction, I’ve never felt unsafe in a Bar Crusher.
[“We haven’t really been able to cherry pick the weather too much, and it should be noted just what a really good safe boat this big Bar Crusher is.”]
“There’s always a speed in these boats where they feel comfortable, where they feel happy, no matter what the sea state’s doing around you. There’s a lot of features that are built into these boats: there are things like the Rigideck construction method, which means there’s longitudinal stringers, but there’s also bracing going that way… they feel so solid, almost like they’re hewn from one kind of piece. They’re an amazingly tough, strong solid-feeling boat.
“The other trick that this boat has, which a lot of people are familiar with, is the Quickflow water ballast system. So, as the boat comes down off the plane there’s a big void in the keel which actually fills up with water, so you get the benefits of having that very deep V wave-slicing hull, but as she comes down off the plane the Quickflow ballast system fills up with water, the boat settles down on its chines, which makes it a really stable fishing platform at rest.”
Andrew Hart: “They are super, super tough… and I demonstrated this, not that I wanted to, but it turned out OK. I didn’t do the Bar Catch quite right and she came off the trailer in Harvey Bay when there was nobody at the boat ramp except one bloke. Well I can tell you 45mins later there would have been 20 or 30 people there watching as though it was the best thing they’ve ever seen. We had the crane in…
[“It’s embarrassing, it’s embarrassing… and it’s set us back a little bit and my confidence is shot. I can’t ever launch or retrieve a boat again. Or even be in a boat.”]
“It was just the most embarrassing situation I’ve ever been in. We thought about hiding it but then we looked at Facebook and there was already about 30 posts about how we’d dropped our Bar Crusher. Lucky they’re tough, because all it did was put a little tiny scrape down the side there; it banged the gearbox around on the engine, but that was it.
“The Bar Crusher itself stood up beautifully to being dropped on the ramp. So, you too can drop your brand new Bar Crusher on the ramp and know nothing will happen to it!”
WHAT MAKES BAR CRUSHER BOATS THE ULTIMATE FISHING WEAPONS?
Nick Duigan: “It’s the thing that sets these boats apart; their ability to be in the factory one day, out of the factory and on the water the next day, with everything you need to go fishing absolutely at hand. There are a billion rod holders, great bait prep station, the deck wash, all this sort of stuff that you want is in these boats and they come ready to go. There’s really no need for any hole saws or stuff that you might do at home in your garage. A Bar Crusher will come to you ready to go.
[Andrew Hart: “Look at this, this is where I sit in the Captain’s chair!”]
“Over the journey we’ve managed to catch just about everything that swims from our fleet of Bar Crushers – from swordfish to cephalopods, whiting to wahoo – but maybe this day stands out slightly above the rest… a double hook-up on blue marlin in our 730 hard top.”
[“That is a huge fish!”]
WHAT ELSE IS GREAT ABOUT BAR CRUSHER BOATS?
Andrew Hart: “The thing about Bar Crushers is they come ready to go, so all you’ve got to do is pick your sounder: we put a Humminbird in ours; pick your engine: we put a big Yamaha on ours. That’s it! That’s all you have to do. They’ve got 400 rod holders around the place, everything is factory fitted so everything just works.”
Nick Duigan: “There are no surprises when you buy a Bar Crusher boat, you know what you’re going to get. It’s going to be a really well made, well-suited vessel for what you do. The things that you may not necessarily think about are the ease of using the boat. The great thing about these boats, we tow them all over the country and you don’t always have a great deal of time to spend looking after them, but it’s really easy to look after. It’s basically a hose out job, if you’re using the deck was that’s on board.”
Andrew Hart: “The other good thing about these boats is they hold their value so well because you can’t knock them around. They’re as good as they come out of the factory, so the resale on these things, if you want to step up a size, it’s not a problem. You can get really good money for the one you bought. So, if you want to go from a 670 to a 730 or a 780, you can move your 670 on and know you’re going get good resale for it.”
Nick Duigan: “These boats hold their value better than just about anything else on the market. People understand that a Bar Crusher boat is a really good quality product, so when they come on to the second hand market they tend to get snapped up pretty quickly, so that’s always a nice thing to have in the back of your mind.
“Bar Crusher boats are proudly Australian made to the very highest standard. Hull sizes range from 4.9m up to 7.8m with a choice of centre console, cuddy cabin and hard top configurations. These are boats that we love.”
To find out more or book a test drive head to barcrusher.com.au