Hat­teras 41 Con­vert­ible

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For TJ Kar­bowski, it was all about the fish­ing—the ca­ma­raderie, the ex­cite­ment of the chase, the joy of be­ing on the wa­ter with a good boat un­der him. Whether it was blue­fish and striped bass in and around Long Is­land Sound or run­ning off­shore at the Mon­tauk shark tour­na­ments, Kar­bowski had loved it all since he was a boy.

“My grand­fa­ther and fa­ther had boats,” Kar­bowski says. “Fish­ing—that’s all we did Satur­days and Sun­days. It was blue fish­ing at that time. Then we started do­ing the Mon­tauk shark tour­neys. The marine basin tour­na­ment was big back then. I fished my first one in 1989.”

Then he started think­ing about fish­ing as a pro­fes­sion.

“I would see the char­ter boats in Mon­tauk out shark fish­ing or com­ing back to the dock with stripers ev­ery­day, and I said to my­self, ‘ I gotta do this,’” he says. And he did. In 2003, Kar­bowski, now 41, from North Bran­ford, Con­necti­cut, started char­ter­ing part­time with a 35-foot Luhrs. About three years later, he went full-time, open­ing Rock & Roll Char­ters in Clin­ton, Con­necti­cut. He needed a heav­ier, big­ger boat.

“I looked at Vik­ing, Bertram, Black­fins, Posts and Oceans,” he says. “Then, I got on a 1986 Hat­teras 41 Con­vert­ible. I felt it in my gut right away. This is the boat. I knew it with­out hes­i­ta­tion.” Prices at the time ranged from $185,000 to $200,000, and Kar­bowski paid just un­der the aver­age for the Se­ries II model, an up­dated ver­sion of the orig­i­nal Hat­teras 41 Con­vert­ible, one of the most in­flu­en­tial de­signs in mod­ern boat­ing.

LOA: 41’9” Beam: 14’3” Draft: 4’0” Displ. (ap­prox.): 35,000 lbs. Fuel: 500 gals. Wa­ter: 150 gals. Power: (2) diesel en­gines

The Hat­teras had sev­eral things that he wanted: a fly­bridge that per­mit­ted more room for guests; a cock­pit com­pa­ra­ble in size to those on some big­ger sport­fish­ing boats; a walk-through tran­som door; and an un­der­wa­ter ex­haust sys­tem. The 20-year-old boat was in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion, although it was dated, Kar­bowski says, “Like your grand­mother’s house. Nice, but it needed re­do­ing.” He gut­ted 90 per­cent of the boat and in­stalled a new in­te­rior. The Hat­teras has been work­ing out for him ever since.

Dur­ing Kar­bowski’s char­ter- fish­ing sea­son—from May to around Thanks­giv­ing— the boat makes two trips a day, be­gin­ning at 6 a.m. and end­ing at 5 p.m. With as many as six peo­ple on board, Kar­bowski roams the Sound chas­ing striped bass, blue­fish, fluke, por­gies and black­fish. “It pretty much runs all the time,” he says. “I’d say we make 250 trips a year.”

Power comes from a pair of De­troit Diesel 6-71s, de­liv­er­ing a cruis­ing speed around 16 to 17 mph and a fast cruis­ing speed around 20 mph. Kar­bowski plans to do an en­gine re­build soon but says, “These en­gines have served me well.”

While some boats are faster than his Hat­teras, none are more sea­wor­thy, Kar­bowski says. “I’ve been in a lot of weather and never have I been wor­ried that the boat was go­ing to let me down,” he says. “All loaded up with fuel and wa­ter, it’s ex­tremely sta­ble. It’s one of the strong­est, most sea­wor­thy boats around.”

Hav­ing that peace of mind means that he and his guests can fo­cus on fish­ing. His clients in­clude ev­ery­one from CEOs to con­struc­tion

work­ers, and he en­joys hav­ing kids aboard. “We get lots of them, and they love it,” he says. “They’re out there to have a good time, and they’re ex­cited. And this is a nice, big boat for them. It’s roomy and sta­ble with all the comforts on board. This boat has been a big part of what has made my busi­ness suc­cess­ful.”

WALK­THROUGH

The Hat­teras 41C Se­ries II is an up­dated ver­sion of the orig­i­nal Hat­teras 41. The Se­ries II de­buted in Jan­uary 1986 with sculpted lines, a rak­ish bridge and a stepped sheer line. It rode a mod­i­fied- V hull with solid fiber­glass be­low the wa­ter­line and cor­ing in the top­sides. With a fo­cus on weight re­duc­tion, the stringers, deck and bulk­heads were molded com­pos­ite. The 125-square-foot cock­pit had a molded-in tackle cen­ter with a built-in sink, prep area and tackle stowage. Op­tions in­cluded a freezer, a cir­cu­lat­ing bait well, a re­mov­able in-deck fish­box and a set of cock­pit helm con­trols. The fly­bridge helm con­trols were ac­com­pa­nied by twin helm chairs. The in­te­rior had a sa­loon with an L-shaped lounge, a high-low ta­ble with chairs and an en­ter­tain­ment cen­ter (ad­ver­tised back then with a color TV and stereo cas­sette player). Hat­teras of­fered gal­ley-up or gal­ley-down ar­range­ments; both came with a re­frig­er­a­tor, a stove, an oven and a mi­crowave. The master state­room had an is­land queen berth, and there was a guest state­room for two. (A few sin­gle-state­room mod­els were built.) The sin­gle head com­part­ment was equipped with a stall shower. Stan­dard power was a pair of 485-hp diesels.

The Hat­teras 41 Con­vert­ible Se­ries II is the descendant of a leg­endary boat.

BY STEVE KNAUTH

TJ Kar­bowski chills in the cock­pit of Rock & Roll.

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