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Review: Hatteras 68' Convertible
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Review: Hatteras 68' Convertible
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Review: Hatteras 68' Convertible
Hatteras 68' Convertible
Fish Are Freakin'.
by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy
Hatteras’ brand new H-68 Convertible wraps the distinctive sportfishing needs into a dream-boat package, for the yacht owner/sportfisherman who settles for nothing but the very latest and the best of innovation. It delivers top quality, with legendary, outstanding performance.
No question; the H-68 is the yacht for the owner who is driven to be a force in sportfishing. These are very special yachts, for very special people. Hatteras, based in New Bern, NC, pioneered production of convertible sportfishing and luxury motoryachts, launching its first model in 1959. Today, Hatteras produces yachts from 64' to 100' and sportfishing yachts from 50’ to 90’.
Sportfishing is a world of its own. It’s a dazzling world of serious sportsmen (and women) who for the most part possess the drive to achieve success in business or industry, and they transfer that drive into their recreation patterns as well, with the strenuous pursuit of challenging big game fish. They are the goers, the doers, the achievers. They demand the best equipment in their quest, for the right tools are as important as the desire to succeed.
With the size of the yacht so predominant, an important point is view from the helm. On the H-68 the visibility is excellent. The helmsman can see well over the bow, and looking down, has a full scan of everything going on and everyone in the cockpit, so when fighting a big fish, the helm and fisherman are in full contact. Two Murray helm chairs are standard, with room for an optional third. A pod-style helm station has single-lever controls as well as emergency backup.
Forward of the console, seating arrangements offer wrap-around seating as well as a deepfreeze and insulated chill box. A rear facing jump seat offers quick access to the cockpit ladder. A dozen steps up; the two-story high tower offers a view of infinity, to spot those far out marlin swirls, or those elusive targets high-flying man-o-war fish are checking out.
The sportfishing yacht itself is a tricky challenge; it must deliver the speed and safety to get “out there”, the finest in cruising comfort, plus the most productive arsenal for finding and landing outstanding fish. Whether it’s for tackle-busting, world-record marlin; a boatload of green dolphin – enough to feed the whole orphanage; or top gun in the wild and wooly Yacht Club Release Tournament, they are eager to snatch up the gauntlet. Hatteras, a company with a half-century of credentials, knows what sportfishermen want, and need.
From the flybridge – the Operational General’s office – the evidence of more than the usual space is quickly apparent. One captain praised the flybridge as “about the same size as the salon on the average 60’ convertible.” Yet, she is easy to familiarize with when docking. With CAT controls, the response to handling is immediate.
An optional enclosed flybridge model is planned in early 2005.
For performance, its “warped” variable-deadrise hull varies sharply from 20 degrees amidships to a scant 2 degrees at the transom. The convex bow design, with an exaggerated flare and double chines, reduces impact to produce a smoother, sprayless entry, and strakes that give more dynamic lift on plane. That means more stability and improved tracking in every sea.
Serious sportsfishermen, who are eager to snatch up the gauntlet and like nothing better than the challenge of a monster marlin, tuna, or tail-dancing sailfish, will love the ride. A new trim tab inside the propeller tunnel adds to the smoothness, with the marine version of thrust nozzles, accelerating water flow but activated with less up and down travel for trim adjustment. The new trim tabs require only 30% of the area of conventional trim tabs. Other innovations in running gear help eliminate stress risers and add life to the drive shafts; and a tapered rudder bearing design helps assure longer life for running gear
Making its debut at the 2005 Miami International Boat Show – in the actual production version – The H-68 boasts innovations the hard-line sportfisherman will welcome gladly. Hatteras is proud of the technical advances on this specialized sportfisherman.
With its massive beam wider than many luxury yachts in the 80’ to 90’ range – at 21’6” – the attribute of volume becomes an important consideration; it affects every room in the house, so to speak. Every living and working area benefits. From the flybridge to the salon to the cockpit to the master stateroom, plus every space in between, everything is, well, roomier.
Another feature reduces salt water vapor intrusion in the engine room, with ventilation fans that draw combustion air from underneath the cockpit, eliminating hull-side air vents. The fans circulate air to quickly cool the engine at day’s end; monitored and regulated by electronic engine controls.
A welcome revision features a passive exhaust system which, once the engine reaches 1,400 rpm, forces exhaust through two larger vents to reduce fumes in the cockpit and lessen smudge buildup on the transom. This also dampens noise levels throughout. An innovation in corner scupper design does a great job of clearing the cockpit of excess water. That means no more flooding problems when backing down.
Photo Caption: H-68’s 192- sq.ft. cockpit also includes a mezzanine deck with seating and amenities, plus a bait freezer, storage tubs, tackle drawers and insulated drink storage. It’s designed to allow the owner a custom arrangement with freezer, icebox, or bait well.
Entered through full-size sliding doors at the stern, beam-width – once more – the salon and cockpit size are impressive; both seem to belong to a much larger boat. Furnishings, which are tailored to the individual owner’s tastes, feature deep-cushioned, comfortable leather couches and barrel chairs, each with Hatteras’ secreted storage beneath, for rods, bottled wares, and less-used bulky items.
Highly finished in gloss or satin, fine cherry wood cabinets and wall treatments, with overhead star-lights and an inlaid coffee table, center in the conversation pit. A 42” plasma TV dominates the entertainment center, viewed from a wrap-around lounge. Generous windows allow a fine view of the surroundings, whether deep blue sea or dockside wonders.
Swathed in sweeping leather and overhead curved cabinetry and fascias, the dinette features a granite freeform table and plush seating, while continuing the window views through tinted glass, conveniently situated next to the galley and adjacent salon.
In the galley, under-counter refrigerators and surface countertops add to the efficiency of meal prep, with a four-burner ceramic cook top and micro-convection oven to offer every convenience. Substantial storage space awaits in the pantry and several deep storage drawers.
A king-size berth in the master stateroom, full beam, welcomes with restful sleep amidships. Two nightstands, dressers both port and starboard, are augmented by a walk-in cedar-lined hanging locker/closet, copious enough to fit all-occasion gear.
High design continues in the adjoining master head, with a circular shower, and separate sink/vanity inlaid in a marble countertop, with fine fixtures, cherry wood cabinetry and designer waterproof wall covering.
Forward at the bow, the VIP suite features a built-in queen-size berth, with stowage underneath, plush accoutrements, marble-topped dresser, and cherry-wood cabinets, plus padded wall coverings and headliners.
In the starboard guest stateroom two side by side sliding twin berths are featured, with padded headboards, and a private head/shower. Crew’s quarters lies to port, with a convenient upper/lower bunk arrangement.
H-68’s engine room houses a set of brand new engines; CAT C-32 ACERT (Advanced Combustion Emission Reduction Technology). It’s Caterpillar’s answer to government’s mandate for emission reduction; with new fuel delivery, electronic controls, air management and combustion design.
In her initial sea trial, she blazed a top speed of 33 knots and a cruise of 28. That’s fully loaded at 2,000 rpm, according to the GPS. Another, an independent source, on a later run with a radar gun, clocked her at an average 35.4 knots. That is moving out to where the big’uns lurk, in one big hurry.
So, this Hatteras 68 Convertible is destined to make a splash in its debut, fitting for a yacht with her pedigree; one that is praised as a high-tech marvel. She has everything going for her: size, speed, comfort, and the panache to perk up the ears of those macho guys and gals who want sportfishing and comfort in one dream package.
Hatteras has created yet another winner and the fish are not very happy...
Story by Chuck Gnaegy.
Weight: 126,500 lbs. (full)
Fuel: 2,100 gals.
Water: 400 gals.
For more Information, Contact:
110 N. Glenburnie Road
New Bern, NC 28560 www.hatterasyachts.com
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