By admin ~ June 30th, 2011. Filed under: New Boats.
The new GT Series from Hatteras puts the
ocean’s gamefish on high alert.By Bill Ando
Classic is a word that gets thrown around quite a bit, perhaps excessively, where boats are concerned. However, It is arguably appropriate to use it in relation to Hatteras Yachts’ latest entries in the sportfisher category. Since last fall, the North Carolina boat builder has added three new convertibles with the GT Series designation to its sportfishing line. The first model off the line was the Hatteras GT60, a refinement of the builder’s existing 60-footer. Then came the GT54 and GT63.
The Hatteras GT Series isn’t just a new line of boats, according to Eric Cashion, Hatteras marketing director. “It’s a redefinition of a category we created,” he says, referring to the aforementioned 60-footer. “We took our 50 years’ worth of experience designing Carolina-style boats and combined that knowledge with state-of-the-art boatbuilding techniques to create a series of tournament-class convertibles that are lighter, faster and tougher.
To that end, Hatteras used resin-infusion techniques, producing hulls that are solid fiberglass on the bottom, not cored. The hull sides and superstructure are cored with foam, not wood. The GT Series infused hulls are 20 percent lighter than the builder’s hand-laminated hulls of similar size. “We are achieving a 60/40 glass-to-resin ratio,” says Eric.
The goal, he says, was for each new GT Series model to be a perfect combination of speed, luxury and style—appealing to both competitive anglers and cruising enthusiasts around the world. It seems they have hit their mark. I sea-trialed the 54- and 60-footers and stepped aboard the 63GT, albeit briefly, but long enough to get the “yacht vibe” from its finely finished interior.
LOA w/Bow Pulpit: 57’2”
Displacement: 75,000 pounds
Fuel/Water: 1,200/180 gals.
Power (optional): 2 X CAT 1,600 hp
Top/Cruise Speed: 42/37 knots
New Bern, NC
The 54GT was exemplary in its performance. It was a great day to take a boat for a sea trial; one of those Florida winter days that makes you feel pretty smart for living here. Not a cloud in the sky; just a slight breeze and the ocean off Fort Lauderdale reacting accordingly—it was almost flat, save for about a one-foot swell with a little residual chop. There was just enough room between the swells to bounce our 54GT around a bit when going into a headsea at wide-open throttle. No problem, the boat handled it well. Oh, it reacted to the sea as expected, but never caused a fight at the helm. I turned the wheel hard and we rolled a bit as the slight sea came abeam, but there was not much heel from the turn; the 54-footer held on well and turned relatively flat.
The GT60, I drove much later. The sea wasn’t as kind that day, and still the yacht took it all with aplomb.
The people comforts on each boat in the series are well thought out. No matter whether you’ll be fishing, diving or just lounging, their cockpits are spacious and inviting. You can opt for a teak coaming, which looks terrific surrounding the teak-covered sole and the optional transom-mounted live-bait well.
Let’s take the GT54 as an example of the series. It features 135 square feet of cockpit area, with a 6.6-foot removable fish box with macerator mounted flush in the sole and a 5.4-cubic-foot bait freezer in the port mezzanine. Step up across the mezzanine, pass the observers’ seat and the bait-prep station, and you enter the interior through a wood/glass hinged door. The larger boats feature a slider, electrically operated of course.
Inside, the standard Hatteras interior comes in either flat-panel cherry or mahogany with a satin finish. If you order the yacht as a new build or buy it early in the build process, you can have your choice of wood, flat- or raised-panel treatment, and finish.
The GT54’s interior is roomy, with the galley to port forward in the saloon. Granite countertops grace the island as well as the long, L-shaped food-prep counter. Designed in are an under-counter refrigerator and two freezer drawer units. There is built-in seating in the port aft corner. An L-shaped dinette is forward to starboard. The companionway is offset slightly to starboard as well.
Below, the 54-footer has a three-cabin, two-head arrangement. The master suite is aft to port immediately upon entering the space. It has an ensuite head with a shower. Headhunter freshwater heads are standard as are granite countertops. The other two staterooms, including a VIP in the forepeak, share the other head.
The ladder to the flybridge (which can be enclosed on the two larger GTs as an option), is on the starboard side mounted athwartships. That makes it easy to go up and down in when it’s a bit rocky in a seaway. Up top is a portside-mounted console with a centerline helm. The flybridge has two captain’s chairs for the helmsman and an observer. There is integral seating forward and to starboard of the helm.
The bigger boats are, well, bigger. They have more interior room due to their wider beam, which is proportional to their length at 19 and 20 feet—two and three feet wider than the GT54. Consider that all three models have recorded the same top speed, 40 to 42 knots. The added horsepower overcomes the additional weight and wetted surface of the larger GTs, but only to the point of leveling the playing field.