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1971 63' Bertram Motor Yacht

Discussion in 'Bertram Yacht' started by partgypsy, Dec 10, 2011.

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  1. partgypsy

    partgypsy New Member

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    Does anyone have any knowledge/opinions re: the houseboat style yachts built by Bertram in the early '70's? One of them has been listed on Yachtworld and it is very different for a Bert.

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  2. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    She is a Bertram International, built in the late 60's or early 70's. I believe they were built in Japan. They seem to have employed a fiberglass over wood construction in the deck and house. I think the hull is solid glass. The construction and interior finish of the Bertram International bears no resemblance to the Bertram Yachts built in the US in that same era.

    The yacht in the photo is a handsome craft. I have seen her previously in Punta Gorda Fl.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Some of the Bertram Internationals had termite issues, termites had gotten into the wood prior to it being installed in the yacht, and subsequently the yacht then had termites. I don't know which ones were effected or not.
  4. SeaEric

    SeaEric YF Historian

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    I did some research. The Bertram International yachts are built on a solid fiberglass hull. The decks and superstructure are what Bertram describes as "sandwich" construction. The sandwich consists of two layers of 5 ply Philippine mahogany plywood. In between is a criss-cross framework also of Philippine mahogany. Slabs of sound deadening foam fill the 12" x 18" spaces formed by the framework. The assembled fiberglass coated sandwich is then covered on the underside with an acoustical nubble finish.

    This construction is used for the weatherboards, sides of the deckhouse, deckhouse top and hardtop, and the main deck itself.

    For many years there was a 56' Bertram International Motor Yacht kept on my same dock at Piney Narrows in Maryland. I was aboard that boat a few times. The decks always seemed a bit spongy to me under foot.

    With knowledge of this type of construction, I would survey carefully.
  5. CJJ2

    CJJ2 New Member

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    She is a 63, built in Kurihama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, around 1970. They were built by Tor Yacht, which was connected to Kawasaki Trading Company. I think that she is the only 63 without a flyingbridge. Her Captain for her whole life was Willie Sparr. I believe that when the owner passed away, he left the boat to Willie. Talk about getting a white elephant! The original boats were 55 feet LOA, cruiser configuration, of all FRP construction. So many changes were made by Bertram that only the hull molds (2 halves) were retained, and the later boats had wooden decks and superstructures. They did not have termites. They just had old fashioned dry rot, because of unventilated box construction. The later boats (after hull number 63/14 or 63/15) had vents in the box construction houses.
    The 55 was lengthened to 63 by Telex from Bertram.
    There were 22 55's, and 22 63's.
    The first boats were 2 63' LOA triple diagonal planked wooden express cruisers. There was also an 81' LOA wooden Motor Yacht.
    All of the boats were designed by C. Raymond Hunts' office, in Boston.
    Some boats were motoryachts; some were cockpit motoryachts; some were sportfishermen.
  6. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Hi CJJ2,
    that was an impressive first post knowledge wise! Thanks you for your contribution. Was Tor Yachts involved or the company that built Pacemakers in Japan in the early 70's?
  7. CJJ2

    CJJ2 New Member

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    I don't remember any connection between Tor Yacht, and Pacemaker, but I started going to Japan in 1972. It might have been before that time. I was told that Tor originally started after the war, by Admiral Morikawa, as an interior design company. Later they got into boats.
  8. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    CJJ2, welcome to YF!
  9. CJJ2

    CJJ2 New Member

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    Bertram International 81

    In case anyone is interested, this is the only BI 81. She is/was triple diagonal planked of mahogany plywood. The glue was supposed to be resorcinol, but someone in Japan changed it to some kind of Japanese fish glue, so the outer layer of planking started falling off, as the were no fastenings used. She had a pair of Cat D 348's, rated at 1000 HP each, which was a lot of HP in 1970. She was fast enough so that her owners wife could water ski behind her, in Government Cut, Miami. She was a full deep-vee. She started rotting about 18 months after delivery, and Tor yachts sent 4 workmen, and one supervisor, to Miami to fix her. They lived in a trailer in the yard at Richard Bertram & Co., the owners of Bertram International. I don't know if the boat still exists.

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  10. Mike I.

    Mike I. New Member

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    I remember the boat. It was marketed as an 83 footer.Originally owned by a DuPont, as I recall. Was the original name "Leilani"? [Or else there was a 56 Bertram International Houseboat style motor yacht of the same name that I'm confusing it with].I'm going back 44 years now. Scuttlebutt on the docks at the time was that a rogue wave hit it broadside and almost flipped it over. Bertram vehemently refuted this at the time.

    Maybe someone out there can verify the original name.
  11. CJJ2

    CJJ2 New Member

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    Can't remember the original name. She was built for Willis Du Pont. Later sold to a lawyer in Coral Gables. After the sale, the ROT was found. The Japanese builder sent 4 workmen and one supervisor( Y. Makise) to the yard to make repairs. They lived in a trailer in the yard. It was probably bigger than their homes in Nippon. When they tried to eat a sea cow, we had to fill them in on American customs. The boat was repaired, but I understood that many lawsuits flew around.
  12. Bertsboat

    Bertsboat New Member

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    Fino 30 speedboat owned by Willis DuPont

    Anybody have information on the Fino DuPont kept next to the BI at the boat house at Baymere??

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  13. BobHenry1

    BobHenry1 New Member

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    I spent two of the best years of my life crewing on a 1971 63' Bertram International. She was built like a tank, powered by 2 Cat 336's. Cruised at around 13k. Would love to find her again. Was named "NorEaster" out of Boston. This one was origionally a 56' with a 7' cockpit added. I left her in '77, too early for any of the dry rot issues to have begun, if in fact they ever did.
  14. CJJ2

    CJJ2 New Member

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    I remember NorEaster. She was unusual in that she had two sets (4) of stabilizing fins, and two Captains, both from NE. Both were great guys. My wife and I had Easter Dinner aboard her in 1972 or'73. The boat was very heavy, and deadly slow. We speeded her up a bit by putting on the correct props, and removing all 4 of the fins. The Cats were actually too small for such a heavy boat, but being Cats, they tried hard to push her. Most of the Cat powered 63's had D-348 Cats. They made more than the advertised 460 SHP. They would push a 63 one knot faster than the Detroit 12V71's, which were supposed to make 478 SHP. At that time there were no turbo GM's. Only one 63 had 12V71TI's (650HP). She would go an honest (not salesman speed ) 24 knots WO. She was hull number 63/24. She hit a big gator in Lake Okeechobee, and bent a prop and shaft. She would still plane on one engine, at 14 knots. I suspect that most of the 55's and 63's are somewhere in Central America, delivering bananas. The first 55 was delivered in 1968, so I think that they are all getting old.
  15. davb38967

    davb38967 New Member

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    Im new to this forum as of today. Woke up thinking about my former boss' 63'Bertram International & googled & ended up here. Have enjoyed reading yalls post. I worked on his yacht in a DIY boatyard in North Palm Beach(Seminole Boat Yard) for about 6 months. It had a bad case of dry rot. Had the 2 12V71T's(I think they were turbos). He bought her in Chicago from a family where 4 brothers owned her. Brought it down the Mississippi, across thru Okeechobee & to reside at Palm Beach Yacht Club. Im wondering if this is the one that hit the alligator. I heard a story about running aground & bending a shaft/prop. She is named the Nantina after his two daughters(Nancy & Tina) We took her up to Charleston, SC where she was rigged out & loaded on a freighter & sent to Greece where he kept her for quite a few years b4 bringing her back to the states. Not sure where she is now.
  16. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    Anyone remember the big black sport fish they built? It was originally built for a car dealer outside of Boston and spent it's years in Nantucket and run by the same Captain for most of it's life, Jack Dooley. It was called Trader V, she was a monster for her time.
    I remember being in awe of her as kid!
  17. CJJ2

    CJJ2 New Member

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    The 63 that hit the gator in Lake Okeechobee was hull number 21. The original owner was Mr. Crockett. She had the first Detroit 12V71TI's, and would actually go 24 knots. She would do 14 knots on one engine, which was fast enough to plane. The earlier 63's had 12-71N's, and were not so fast. The Cat D343 boats were one knot faster than the GM boats. Most of the boats, 55 and 63, had lots of rot, because of unventilated box construction. The mold was sealed in, and loved it. The rot made many local boatyards happy. Hull number 22 was officially the last 63, and eventually went to Espana (Barcelona). Her styling was different from the previous 21 boats. There may have been other 63's, which were sold out of Japan, without Bertrams help. Kawasaki cut ties with Bertram in the early 70's.
  18. Chrisbertram

    Chrisbertram New Member

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    I don't know who you are but the Nantina belonged to my father who passed away in February of 2015. He left the Nantina to me and she has been going through a complete restoration since his passing.
  19. P. Hornberger

    P. Hornberger New Member

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    I'm a little late to this topic/forum but glad to see anybody remembers the Bertram Internationals. I was in the yacht brokerage biz in the early 70's bringing Mariner and later Fuji Yachts into U.S. from Japan. On one trip I ran across Dick Bertram who was in Japan at the same time and we had a great time - I almost sold my company to his Company in Miami.

    The Bertam Internations were **** good looking, fast yachts with Hunt's legendary designs, although we later found some of their rot issues were similar to some of the issues with Mariners and Fujis. The Japanese are smart, amazing boat builders with beautiful woodwork and finishing, but I found some of their construction/engineering sometimes lacking.

    As I recall Dick Bertram had a Scandinavian managing the Bertram International operation in Japan, which was the best way to have boats built in Japan-someone in charge daily.

    In any case glad to see a few Internationals are still around.
    Patrick Hornberger, Annapolis and Trappe, Maryland