Bertram 61

Join Capt. Bill Pike as he steps be­hind the cur­tain for a look at the new­est mem­ber of the Bertram sta­ble.

Power & Motor Yacht - - NEW BOATS -

Just re­cently, I got an in­vite to visit Bertram’s fa­cil­ity in Tampa, Florida, to check out the new 61, a straight-shot in­board bat­tlewagon with a cou­ple of CAT C32 ACERT diesels in her ER, a con­ven­tional in­te­rior ar­range­ment fea­tur­ing three state­rooms (an amid­ships mas­ter, a for­ward VIP and a star­board guest), a touted cruise speed in the mid-30-knot range and a get-up-and-get-gone pro­jected top hop of 45 knots or so. The 61, of course, rep­re­sents the re­vi­tal­ized builder’s on­go­ing cam­paign to re­gain the brand’s lofty sta­tus as a full-tilt sport­fish­ing icon. Would she du­pli­cate the clas­sic good looks of the 35—the cam­paign’s highly pub­li­cized opener—as well as the smaller boat’s top-shelf con­struc­tion and en­gi­neer­ing?

When I ar­rived on the scene, the in­te­rior of Hull No. 1 was not quite com­plete, al­though the Bertram folks as­sured me she’d be ready for an of­fi­cial press in­tro in Ft. Laud­erdale. The ex­te­rior, how­ever, was es­sen­tially fin­ished, a state of af­fairs that al­lowed me to form an opin­ion on the clas­si­cism front. Yes in­deed, the Bertram-es­que good looks were there alright, in spades! And more to the point, the boat is rather rem­i­nis­cent of the very pop­u­lar Bertram 54 in terms of ap­pear­ance and style, al­though she’s ac­cou­tered with side win­dows and her pro­file seems just a tad lower and sleeker.

De­signer Michael Peters’ rev­er­ence for the Bertram mar­que is well known and, to my mind, he’s taste­fully in­cor­po­rated it in the new 61, al­beit with some mod­ern­ized, up­dated touches.

Top-shelf con­struc­tion and en­gi­neer­ing? There were three 61s in build when I paid my re­cent visit, a setup that made it pretty easy to pick up on some telling de­tails. For ex­am­ple, the boat’s en­tire deck is in­fused us­ing vinylester resin. And the hull is in­fused with vinylester as well and beefed up with Kevlar in way of the keel and strakes.

Fuel tanks—one for­ward, the other aft and both fully baf­fled—are also com­posed of fiber­glass (of the fire-re­tar­dant type) and are, by my es­ti­ma­tion, a good three-quar­ters of an inch thick. When I jumped up and down on one of them in my deck shoes it was like jump­ing up and down on top of a freakin’ rock. My take­away? The 61 is a solid, solid ves­sel—per­haps even over­built.

And as for the en­gi­neer­ing, I had a brief op­por­tu­nity to spend some time in the 61’s en­gine room just be­fore Bertram’s en­gi­neers low­ered her into the shal­lows of Tampa Bay to test her me­chan­i­cals. Again, my take­away en­tailed so­lid­ity. I counted two gensets on board, not just one. And while there were two Ra­cors for the mains, the gensets were out­fit­ted with a pair of Ra­cors as well. Great!

In ad­di­tion, a Car­ling Oc­to­plex sys­tem guar­an­teed that all electrics from stem to stern (both AC and DC) would be at the touch­screen beck and call of an owner. And the pres­ence of a Cat Three60 con­trol box promised op­tional joy­stick con­trol.

“How soon can we sea trial ’er?” I asked Bertram Mar­ket­ing Man­ager Al­li­son Reis, the lady who’d so nicely fa­cil­i­tated my sneak peek in­vi­ta­tion. We were both watch­ing as the new Bertram 61 ma­neu­vered mod­estly out be­yond Bertram’s gi­ant Trav­elift. The boat seemed to be float­ing pre­cisely “on her marks,” as they say, both lon­gi­tu­di­nally and trans­versely.

“Well,” Al­li­son replied, with a know­ing grin, “Soon. I’ll be in touch.” —Capt. Bill Pike

LOA: 61'1" Beam: 18'3" Draft: 3'8" Displ.: 92,450 lb. Fuel: 1,720 gal. Wa­ter: 280 gal. Power: 2/CAT 1,900-hp C32

The sa­lon will of­fer com­fort to se­ri­ous an­glers and cruis­ers alike.

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