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Review: Hatteras 60GT Sportfish

Discussion in 'Hatteras Yacht' started by YachtForums, Nov 21, 2010.

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  1. Hatteras 60 GT Sportfish
    Good Genetics, Sound Synthetics & Sweet Aesthetics

    Review by Loren Schweizer / Detail shots by Tom Serio​

    The new Hatteras 60GT, as viewed from all angles, is simply gorgeous.
    Its unbroken shear line rises progressively to a bow that rivals Hatt’s larger sportfish boats;
    a whopping seven feet, eight inches! Replete with its Carolina-ish flare and a traditional tumblehome
    transom, this eye-catching, finely balanced sportfish evokes the notion... “These guys got it right!”

    Jack Hargrave would be proud. This is art!
    The whole effect is at once traditional. Strakes gracefully rising up forward from the waterline as they converge at the bow while the knuckle running parallel to the waterline adds a sleek touch. No bow rails to mar that graceful bow, nor pulpit or windlass (these are options), just a teak toerail and a teak trim piece running around the flybridge in place of a feature stripe. Understated and clean; as it should be. If you’ve come this far, Dear Reader, you deserve to know that the answer to the "is beauty-only-skin-deep?" and "are-all-the-guts-there?" question. It's a resounding YES. In Spades.

    While this hull configuration dates back to 2007, the GT model existed as a group of options. The 2010 60 GT is now a dedicated model - no need to tick off any options boxes - and will soon be joined by 54 & 63 versions. Also particular to the GT are the engines, gears & props (ZF 2.42:1 reduction), mahogany interior, and the layout. Prior to nailing the final design, the Hatteras folks made an interior mock-up and received a lot of input for maximizing ‘flow’ and ergonomics from owners.
  2. While the accurate NOAA report called for 15 knots and 2-4-footers out of the southeast with a wave period of 7 seconds, even a ninety thousand pound boat at this speed jumps and jitters at a prodigious, rapid rate. Enough, at the risk of appearing a wimp, to believe the inclusion of overhead (and other) handrails, both topside as well as in the salon would be a Good Thing. But enough nitpicking, which is akin to pointing out Marilyn Monroe’s beauty mark. As I half leaned on and half embraced the helm console, leaving one hand to tenuously grasp the low handrail on the console’s side, I hollered, “How fast!?”. Jeff Donahue, the pilot of this nervous, hurtling freight train, responded, “Forty one point eight!”. And, that’s in knots. Elegance of design and traditional styling in a production boat that acts like a hot rod? HUH?
  3. Jeff Donahue has a lot of experience running Hatt sportsfishes over the years and helps explain why he is the Hatteras Sales Manager. During his trip down to Florida, he took some performance notes. With 1250 gallons of fuel, full water tanks, and running into 4-5-footers, 1700 RPMs yielded 30 knots. 1900 RPMs did 30 knots and 2300 delivered 41+ knots. Our seatrial off Fort Lauderdale in similar conditions saw 26 knots at a lazy 1550 RPMs while burning 85 GPH. Hatteras’ time-proven large (numerically) reverse gear ratio coupled with tunnel drives and large props works admirably. Plus, the props are from Michigan Wheel, close to your zip code in case you whang one. While boat manufacturers have shied away from having boats return to their factories, Hatteras is bucking that trend with their Hatteras Refit Center. Who better to work on your boat than the original constructor?
  4. The hull bottom is solid FRP (over an inch thick) with a vinylester resin that will preclude bottom osmotic blisters. Hullsides and decks/superstructure are Divinycell cored, all done in a ‘resin infused’ process aimed at achieving a 40/60 ‘glass/resin ratio optimizing strength and minimizing weight. The hull-to-deck ‘shoebox’ joint takes four steps: the joint is glued with Plexis [stronger than 5200 and requires a diamond wheel to cut], then screwed together, then mechanically fastened once more when the rubrail is attached, and then the entire periphery is tabbed with mat. Even the bunks are tabbed in with mat. While underway at speeds fast enough to need something in the salon to grab onto, I heard zero creaks or groans. Nada. Fuel tankage is mostly longitudinal under the decks on centerline (~1500 gal.) with an optional extra 250 gal. in a tank aft of the engine room’s aft bulkhead. This boat has serious legs.
  5. That Pompanette International chair + rocket launcher is so fish-ready as to include a small drawer which holds a small collection of your favorite flavor of fish flags. Gotta be ready! In true Hatteras fashion, the details remind you that they’ve been at this game for a while. This is Angler Heaven. Fish boxes & livewells flank the chair and measure five feet by 18” deep as well as wide and are plumbed/drain through a mascerator. If you look up, you’ll note the generous flybridge overhang, extending roughly five feet aft of the bulkhead. In keeping with the overall tidy appearances, the shore power inlets + salt and fresh water washdowns hide behind very stylish curved, hinged doors at the foot of the mezzanine. The hatch furthest aft on the centerline reveals the plumbing for the fish wells, rudder gear, nicely painted-out bilges, a Rule bilge pump, and a strikingly large emergency pump you wouldn’t want to get in the way of. The mezzanine - de-rigueur on serious sportfish boats these days -does double duty as seating as well as storage. From portside, adjacent to the flybridge ladder, is a tackle locker with plastic drawers and perforated stainless steel bottoms to keep rust/rot down to a dull roar. At the bottom is a hole into which a full-sized gaff can disappear plus a relief for the hook-end… and a keeper, too. Details! Under this is a small hatch for docklines. Next over (in the salon door threshold) is a hatch which uncovers a chill box about the size of a 48-quart Igloo, and under this (in the step) is a small chamois compartment. Next is the hinged engine room hatch. Finally, hard against the starboard side, is a freezer box of ample volume. Here, under the step, is a hatch which will fit one standard-sized Taylor fender.
  6. Once up on top, we still note the ‘Carolina Look’ in the helm pod: single helm seat, single lever (electronic) controls, electronics hidden cleverly from the weather behind motorized hatches. The island helm is one variation; a ‘peninsula’ version extends to the starboard side of the flybridge, although the general ‘flow’ up here would suffer. There is no longer a sprayshield. At a combined 55 knots of wind + forward motion, we did indeed (in spite of the ‘Carolina Flare’) catch some spray ‘topsides. The optional MIYA EPOCH teaser reels (Japanese) are recessed into (and hidden above a door flap as seen in the top of the photo) the hardtop within reach of the skipper. There are about 29 buttons each that operate these gadgets, including a remote (from the top of the tower), a counter, a memory to let’em out and yank ‘em up just so, and to change teaser color. OK, I lied about the last app.
  7. The EZ2CY panels offer a cleaner, sleeker look , as well as keep a modicum of air conditioning in containment up there. There is a chiller/freezer box forward of the helm for, well, beverages, necessary in the hunt for Xiphias and his cousins. As we grumped earlier, look, Pilgrim, do yourself a favor: plan on adding overhead grab rails to the underside of that smartly styled Pipewelders hardtop before you take delivery. The hardtop on our test boat had some very cool add-ons: The aft nav light is molded-into the trailing edge of the top (no more Perko light on the transom); the spreader lights are also molded-into the standing platform of the tower.
  8. Shouldn't a traditional style sportfish have something analogue? Nope. Knotta. With the exception of new-fangled cell phones with 'Old Phone' ring tones on our persons, the only thing that hearkens back yesteryear is that chopping block beneath the wheel and yours truly. Furuno, Icom and Cat management interfaces are located one glance up from the directors chair, nestled under the hardtop as far away from spray as they could possibly be.
  9. The version on our test boat had bench seats that flanked the helm station and—get this!—the trailing ends included Pompanette ladder-backs allowing two spectators to watch the action facing aft. A first!
  10. If you are the type who ventures out onto the foredeck, or who delegates that task to family or crew, you will be pleased to know that the sidedecks are plenty wide. And, even in the absence of bow rails, there is a molded-in recess that acts as a handgrab—about two knuckle’s deep—just above the salon window line that runs the length of the bridge. Great place for a handhold , but caution might be exercised when wet and slippery.
  11. This view, looking down at the molded-in hand grab (the tip of your finger would touch the drainhole) shows how well it’s tucked away.
  12. Exterior finish is an Alexseal product and the result is as good as we’ve ever seen. In this picture, the flydeck drains are the epitome K.I.S.S.
  13. The 98-lb. mate with a wee hangover will surely appreciate the gas springs for the hatches over the wells which, when unlatched, push them up with some real authority. Cockpit scuppers drain into the lower shear/spray knocker so they can’t backwash upward. There is no need for coaming padding when the entire transom & gunwales are covered in bull-nosed teak; the gunwale portion extends down (inboard) to aid in keeping the engine air intakes saltwater spray-free. Oh, hum, been a while since we’ve picked a nit. As you step up onto the flybridge ladder, you (well not you, your toes actually) will become too well acquainted with the tackle locker inboard face for the first couple of steps. A small annoyance.
  14. The transom fish door no longer has a gate. Today’s anglers claim it just gets in the way of wiring a fish. And that old cockpit sink? Please, how wimpy. Gone. Transom dockline hawses do not detract from the tumblehome nor do they interrupt the teak gunwales. Just like the huge air inlets in the nose of a modern Porsche, these oversized, ovalized exhausts hint at the enormity of the horses that lurk in the engine room. Below the surface, prop tunnels reduce draft and reduce the shaft angle for more efficient, straight-line thrust. At dockside prior to departure, I leaned over the starboard gunwale and had to strain to hear the distant huff of exhaust gas and the gurgling cooling water discharge amidships, well away from the transom. A watermaker and some other bits occupying the machinery flats outboard of the mains did little to sully the spaciousness. Lastly, the reason that the hullsides are not marred with numerous through hulls is that all the bilge pumps and sink drains, flybridge drains, etc., run to a common collector (a long PVC pipe/manifold) on each side of the hullside outboard of the engines which then drain into the spray knocker/shear guard all the way aft. Neat.
  15. The working end of this boat—not including the mezzanine for the spectators; we’re talking where the mate rushes around with the gaff grabbing for the wire leader and the lucky angler is pumping & cranking—measures eight and a half by fourteen and a half feet. Include the mezzanine and you have 153 square feet total. Backing down on a green fish sometimes requires histrionics on the part of the skipper while backing and twisting and keeping up with Old Mister Billfish. Not here, bro. Those Cat Acert C32s (1900 HP per side) are driving fat props - as big as you are - taking big bites out of the sea and hustling that transom anywhere you point it. Even normal docking is impressive.
  16. It is so civilized to push a button and have the salon door open and close, but you’d expect that on a sportfisherman whose hydraulic 4X spreader outriggers require that same button finger to deploy. A good portion of the retro-look of the boat continues in this salon: joinery is mahogany, something most readers have never seen unless they spent time on Dad’s or Granddad’s ol’ Chris Craft or Owens. The grain is tighter than teak or cherry, so it all seems book-matched. Photos do not do it justice—in the right light, the finish looks an inch deep. The curved side windows and their sills soar and swoop with no blinds or curtains to booger up the look. The glass tinting is dark enough to disappoint any dockside voyeurs, but the kindly folks in the Hatteras Décor Department will doll up the windows any way you see fit.
  17. Headroom is a generous six feet eight inches. Air conditioning is almost silent and exits from the valances obviating the need for ugly vents found on lesser boats. An extra touch or two to maximize visibility was to leave the forward starboard locker volume as empty space, plus the wire runs in the rear salon vertical corners were shrunk allowing for more window there. The overheads are WhisperWall (and yes, they’ll add a longitudinal handrail for a nag like me) which are attached on tracks. Yet another retro-touch is the use of wainscoting which adds a very classy look. Then, opening the main distribution panel door, back by the salon door (right where you want it) reveals the same old matte black panel face seen for decades, but with a KEP System touch-screen switching panel, the kind used on ships and Hatteras’ large motoryachts. Eric Cashion, Hatteras’ Director of Marketing opined “This boat pays homage to the company’s roots yet with an eye on the future.”
  18. The galley centerpiece is the granite counter top, a honeycombed composite resulting in weight savings. This GT weighs 5,000 lbs. less than it’s 60 predecessor which translates into a two-knot faster boat. There are four under-counter drawers for freezer and refrigeration duties as well as cooktop and microwave oven. The salon carpeting yields to Amtico flooring in the galley area, so no need to cry over spilt milk. Across from the galley is a dinette meant for Real People: no cutsie L-shaped affair, this diner-style seating allows large people on four-foot long benches to enjoy their elbow room. The table top is mahogany with a birds-eye maple inset. And, no, it most definitely does not convert to a berth for midgets. Behind the “windshield” is more storage space which is accessed via doors from the companionway and in which one finds a breaker panel, and various electronics boxes for the navionics and other delicate, keep-dry-at-all-costs gear.
  19. The beltline, that is, the level you look out from the seated position on the Pleather sofa, is pleasingly low: nobody said you can’t be a voyeur looking out. Note the built-in armrest storage, a useful place for chart kits as well as for hiding that bottle of your favorite 20-year old single malt.
  20. The companionway and passageways continue the theme of mahogany wainscoting below a foam-backed diamond pattern vinyl. This belowdecks accommodations area is fairly typical of most larger (read: 60-feet and over) modern convertibles: the master is aftmost and offset to port. It is large enough to allow for a hullside headboard - a preferred arrangement for a large walk-around berth. Each cabin has a head, a Signature Hatteras Head, which is to say they are large enough to peruse the daily paper whilst performing one’s morning ablutions, and they have shower stalls that are inviting even to burly types. Toilets are by Head Hunter. Drawers are put together with tongue & groove and exemplify the overall high degree of joinery finish. Door hardware is a brushed nickel type that feels substantial to the hand.
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