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Bertram Sportfish Yachts Coming Back???

Discussion in 'Bertram Yacht' started by rcrapps, Nov 3, 2015.

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  1. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Reading a rag, found comments that Bertram was coming back?
    Big plans and announcements at FLIBS.

    www.bertram.com
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Sounds good. Sounds like they have a definite direction back to the smaller sportfishing boats, that those like you love. They are "exhibiting" there. Could be very interesting. The part that surprised me on their page was "he has given a mandate that the brand be returned to its American Roots."

    Here is some information from Gavio's statements in the Miami show.

    He said he is inclined to return to Bertram’s roots, building first a Bertram 31 based on the wood-hulled, Ray Hunt-designed deep-vee that won the Miami-Nassau Race in 1960. He might build an open and a flybridge version, then maybe a 25 or 28, a 36, then a 46.6.

    Gavio bought a Bertram 54 in 1999.

    “I love these boats,” he said. “Very simple, very strong.”

    He promises that the new Bertram also will be simple and strong. “I’m not going to make an Italian yacht,” he said. “I’m going to make an American boat.”

    He expects that the bulk of Bertram’s market will remain American. He said he’ll probably build the first couple of boats in Italy and try to have them ready for the Miami show next year. Meanwhile, he’ll be looking for a U.S. plant, probably in Florida, Georgia, or North or South Carolina.

  3. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    A Bertram built by Lyman Morse and designed by Michael Peters? IMO, the latter doesn't instill a lot of confidence.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I don't know anything about Lymon Morse. But Michael Peters designed most all of Cabo's hulls and they rode great. He also designed many other SF builders hulls too.
  5. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    I sea trialed an express cruiser he designed that was nearly uncontrollable at idle speed. The rudders were about half the size of the wheels with a small cross section. I later spoke with him about the issue and he said the rudders actually needed to be smaller! I shook my head in disbelief, asked him what he was smoking and if he's ever actually run a yacht!

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  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I don't know about that particular boat or why it's "uncontrollable" at idle speeds, can also be that the builder got the trim too far foward and the bow is too planted and props are pushing the stern around. What I do know is I've run many different hull designs from him for various manufacturers and they all rode great and there were no handling issues. Vikings, Cabo's, Egg Harbors (they got the trim too far foward and the boat rode great with aft tank full and bow tank empty on the 50'.)
  7. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    " Again, I said 'idle' speed, not planing speed. It was fine on plane, but when backed down it was a handful to control. I discussed the problem with the builder immediately following the sea trial and they installed larger rudders a week later. Issue was resolved. A few months later, I discussed it with Peters at a boat show and he said the rudders should have been smaller. Obviously I disagreed and it brought into question his experience operating larger boats.

    J, I know you like Cabo. I don't have much experience with them, other than the media sea trial that went horribly wrong a few years ago when the entire interior broke loose offshore with several media folks onboard. Hatteras quickly shuttled the boat away. And for Vikings, I've only sea trialed 3 of them and each rode extremely bow high. Were they Peter's designs? I don' t know. But if so, I rest my case.

    Much prefer Donald Blount's work on the Hatteras GT series.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I like Cabo because they're a great all around boat. Well built, good components, good workmanship, good performance and capabilities, good ride, etc. They were the leader in their size range. I like Hatteras also and have run well over 100 of them over the years.
    Blount is good too, however a lot (not all) of his designs are wet. All of the GT's are under-ruddered in my opinion and have limited steerage with 1 engine in gear, which is how you have to run them in idle speed/slow speed zones. Both engines in gear at idle isn't a whole lot better with steerage either. Honestly their 70' GT is a wet mess, especially in the cockpit if you're running. I wouldn't want one. But the smaller ones ride great, especially the 54'. Both Peters and Blount have designed some very good hulls, both have designed ones that aren't very good.

    How did the boat ride at speed? If a larger set of rudders solved the problem, it doesn't sound like a very big problem and too small of rudders is common on a new hull.
  9. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    The boat rode fine offshore, but like flying a helicopter, you must learn to hover first because every flight begins and ends with a hover. Same can be said of a boat. Even if it rides well offshore, you still have to dock the dang thing.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Why would you use rudders for docking?
  11. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    You don't bias your rudders? Walk her asp a lil?
    Some of us don't have thrusters and have to still drive a boat to the slip.
    Wondering boats out of the channel and thru the fairway is poor form also.
  12. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    It was an analogy. I said idle speed, off-plane handling, but enough already. It's time for a boat show.
  13. pcinteriors

    pcinteriors New Member

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    Michael will do a great job with Bertram. We own a yacht he designed and it works really well (Plumduff).
  14. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Designing a good running hull and building it correctly to that design are two different events. I bet D.B. would have something to say about weight / load and center of gravity on those boats that some deem "wet" and I am sure M.P. would as well.

    Some builders just can't get their weights down, even when engineered too. The typical in-house, that's the way we have always done it culture overcomes the engineering data in some of these cases. And drawing large amounts of air under the cockpit coamings doesn't help the blow - back into the cockpit.

    I would say that M.P. has quite a lot of hours behind the wheel on a lot of different boats, and his 40' Cabo is the best running production S.F. under 45'.
  15. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    I visited the Bertram booth today. It feels a little awkward to say Bertram is back. Maybe it is in name and spirit, but this is not a resurrection of the line. It's an attempt to fill a long neglected niche for a mortal-size sportfish, bucking the big-buck boat trend. Bertram is bringing back the classic 31 but stretched to 35. Essentially you're buying a brand-new, 50 year old design. I'm certain the bottom has been tweaked for efficiency and it will be loaded with the latest gadgets. I don't know what the price point is yet the possibly it will be revealed at tomorrow's Bertram reunion. I grabbed a pic from Google for reference. It looks a lot like the 31', but refreshed and stretched...

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  16. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    And there is the Non Evolution of the Sport Fisher...
    Like seeing a "new" movie on a old theme and storyline. Instead of breaking new ground and coming up with something original, just dust off a well worn design and call it "New!".
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Several builders have been very successful in a new version of an old design. Look at the Chris Craft offerings. Donzi still makes the classic which they started with in the 60's. I do think the 31' was a beautiful timeless design (styling-wise). If they could build it with modern power and modern hull design, I think it could be successful.

    Now that Cabo isn't producing boats, I do think there's a niche to fill in that size segment. I'd hate to say that the center consoles have taken that entire segment away.
  18. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Maybe if C.Raymond Hunt were doing a remake of the original, or even if David Napier were brought onboard to resurrect the line, then I could agree that it would be somewhat of a redo, but the Michael Peters hull will be a more of a deviation from the original, and as he has his own 20' something restored Bertram, I am sure he knows the lineage well enough to capture the lineage for the new generation of Bertram owners.

    The challenge is the demands of todays clients and their wish lists of putting 40 0r 45 feet of boat in a 35 foot design. The original 31 did not have to deal with this crowd and could get away without a lot of comfort features or loads of optional equipment. It was short on space/access/storage/comfort features and the flybridge could be realistically used by 1 0r 2 people at best but long on cockpit. But today's market is different and that is why they feel like they may have to go to 35'. I used to ask the Cabo guys why they didn't do a 31' Fly, and they said it was just too short to make the proportions work and get all the features onboard.

    There is no non-evolution story to talk about. See the Mustang/Camaro/Challenger retro models that have been brought back - today's world is feature driven with technology to lower weight or put out more power. The only way cars are different from the exterior now is their front grill, badges and some unique design cues, but they practically all have the same windshield rake as they all have to meet fuel mpg standards that did not exits in the 60's and 70's, so the cd or drag coefficient target is pretty much universal and is the new design driver.

    I personally wish they would exercise some restraint and come out with a 31' model that would not try to pack it all in. Limit it to a CAT C7 from 375 - 461 hp. But like the Cabo models that MP was designing, I fear that they will get caught up in the hp wars and you will see C9's or even C12's that drive up weight and cost, with little impact on usable speed .

    I do agree that with all the issues from the previous regime, the best way to redo Bertram was to stay away from launching a 50'/60'/70' model as your first, grow it from the bottom up not the top down. I am sure that we will see a Moppie (express) model right behind it as well. Would they even consider outboards???
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    So you wish they'd come back with something not marketable and then fail to have success?

    Of course they're going to try to design something consistent with today's world and today's market. It will hopefully be a better performing boat with more amenities while maintaining some looks that remind you of the old. In the size range you're talking, they're competing against the center console market and have to show that they can build a SF that will have advantages over CC's worth the price while not giving up features or too much performance. There are reasons CC's have taken over the 30-40' market and anyone entering that market has to be cognizant. Still CC's have some limitations they can take advantage of in a closed boat.

    I'd say too that much of their potential buying audience already has a smaller center console. So it must be something they'll be happy moving up to. The fishing market is performance driven and that's true from bass boats on lakes to center consoles to sport fishing boats. The market is also driven by amenities and equipment. Sometimes we start talking about things not being necessary but the consumer disagrees. Look at cars. Let's see power windows, power door locks, trunk release. Are any of those necessary? Not really but you can't sell a car without them.

    Now a SF can beat a CC if built right in being a better fishing boat, having better protection from the weather, having sleeping accommodations and cooking capabilities the CC may not and having more equipment. If it doesn't do those things while also having performance, then it won't succeed. It also needs to have features that make spouses willing to go along on it and with it's purchase. For many buyers it is a compromise. One spouse wants a great fishing boat, with an incredible tower and wants it to say "fishing" in every way. The other would be happy with a nice comfortable express boat, a Sea Ray or that type, or would prefer a Riva or Sunseeker or Princess. So the small SF must compromise and not be bare bones. Done right, the new Bertram will sell to non-fishermen as well. Look at the luxury editions of the center consoles that are used very little for fishing. Look ever at the Hatteras 45 Express. At first they called it a SF but also made it available without a tower. Now they actively show and market the two editions. Express Sportfish and Express. And the Express is just a very nice family boat that can also be used for fishing.

    It's a new day and there are many ways of maintaining the heritage but it a boat for 2017. That's the challenge.
  20. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    I would luv to see the name Bertram come back. A 35 copy of the 31 could be a fair company starter.
    O B and others above all have good points. But This is just a new start up company. New tooling, design, mfg processes and location.
    They are resurrecting a past name, emblem but NOT heritage.
    That heritage died and blew aweigh a few years ago.

    Don't get me wrong, I wish the new company the best of luck and great wishes.

    It's going to take years before any heritage can be commented on and it still will not be based on the original Bertram Empire but what they make of it now.

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