The new Hatteras GT60 has the same hull, with its distinctive tumblehome at the transom, and its “Carolina Flare” bow. Her 19’ beam has enabled a clever design of the accommodations plan which now has three staterooms, each with en suite heads (and even 4 staterooms with 3 heads is an option) – all of this without giving up the washer/dryer. And just like her predecessor, with larger engines this 90,000-lb. (40,823 kg.) -- fully loaded -- battlewagon is able to go over 40 knots, we’re told by the builder.
The Back Story
Let’s not forget that that the origin of Hatteras Yachts exactly 50 years ago was big game fishing off the Carolina Coast. There, the continental shelf lies some 60 miles or so from the nearest inlet in the Outer Banks, and maybe 100 miles from a home port. It is there that you’ll find Diamond Shoals which is generally regarded to be the graveyard of the Atlantic.
And that is still where you’ll find Hatteras Yachts today, in New Bern, NC, the heart of big game fishing country. In this day of “hybrid” boats designed for both cruising and fishing, it is refreshing to see a boat being built that is a no-compromise fishing machine. Having said that, of course the Hatteras GT60 can be cruised, and with three or four staterooms, mez seating in the cockpit and a guest-friendly flying bridge, this GT60 takes a back seat to no one for cruising. She is an elegant convertible.
We happen to like 60’ convertibles. The reason is that such a boat is large enough not to have to make compromises on accommodations, yet small enough to be easily manageable without having to hire an army to operate and maintain it. It is a perfect size for an owner/operator. And, it is relatively easy to find dock space for a 60-footer.The Hatteras GT60 deviates from the previous Hatteras 60 convertible because it is lighter, faster, and more powerful, and designed for the tournament angler who is competitive both in the fighting chair and in the helm seat – in short, it is designed for the “Type-A Angler.” With twin Cat C32 ACERT diesel engines with 1900-hp each, deep-ratio reduction gears, and six or seven-blade nibral props, the GT60 can take on all comers racing to the fishing grounds.
The Hatteras GT60 carries 1,500 gal. (5,678 L) of fuel (with an auxiliary 250 gallon tank available as an option). The boat was designed for the man who is drawn to high-stakes big game tournaments in distant locations -- places like Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Bahamas, to say nothing of fishing farther afield, in places such as Panama, Ecuador or Brazil. The boat has the range to hopscotch across the Caribbean from port to port – or across the Med, or up to Lizard Island from Sydney. It has the speed to take advantage of smooth water and scoot, and the strength to punch through and ride over the rough stuff when things get nasty.
How is She Different from the Competition?
Convertibles in the 60-foot range from major builders of battlewagons are notoriously similar in interior layout, cockpit fishing amenities and even in general exterior appearance. If one builder gets a new bright idea, it is copied by the others before the next boat show. The top-tier builders all use best practices of construction, their interiors all look pretty. So where are the differences? They are there – you just have to look closely.
The Hatteras GT60 Hull
Possibly the biggest difference among these boats occurs in their hulls and bottom shapes – just the thing you are least likely to see because they are below the waterline. If you have not experienced the latest generation of Hatteras hulls, then you need to do it. The latest Hatteras 60 hull is much more like a traditional Carolina Outer Banks design. It is also significantly different than its primary competition – different from the flatter-bottom boats of some builders and the deep-V hulls of other brands.
The Hatteras GT60 hull has a sharp entry, yet the bow section is convex, aiding the smooth ride and dampening the effects of heavy seas. The hull then warps to a moderate deadrise at the transom. There is a lot of bow flare in the 60. It’s called “Carolina Flare” because it was first made famous by the custom sportfishing boat builders in a dozen small boat yards on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Unless you are used to it or have seen it in action, it may look odd at first. But trust us, there is simply nothing quite like it to turn water aside in a rough sea when going fast, and it is more likely to keep the flying bridge and the cockpit dry in a bow-on or beam wind than any other bow shape we can think of.
The hull also has a double chine which is important. Once on plane, the hull has less wetted surface and less resistance because its waterline beam is narrower. This translates into slightly more speed, or better fuel economy, not that you are counting dollars. The second chine is above the waterline and knocks down spray and is another detail that helps keep the topsides dry. It also gives extra interior volume because it is stepped out about 6” both port and starboard. A third benefit of the double chine is to present added buoyancy when the boat is at anchor or trolling and rolling. As the boat rolls the second chine digs in offering buoyancy to slow the rock. And, because the hull is not a deep-V, it is less rolly in the first place.
Tunnels in the Hull
Hatteras uses propeller pockets or tunnels on the 60’s hull in order to get increased performance and also to reduce the boat’s draft. The tunnels are semicircular affairs that permit a shallower down angle for the drive shaft and thus better thrust forward, rather than up. Secondly, the hull bottom itself, in the top and on the sides of the tunnel, creates an “end-plate effect” which also directs energy aft, rather than out to the sides. (Ever noticed that the wing tips of commercial airliners are turned up to vertical? Those are the “end plates” and they give the wings slightly more lift than without them.)
Hatteras also employs lifting strakes in order to add flat running surfaces to the bottom to increase speed without measurably diminishing the cushioning effect of the modified-V hull. Together, all of these details produce a hull that is more easily driven, comfortable in rough chop, and less rolly at anchor or when trolling. So you see, while all the major brands of 60-something convertibles may look pretty much the same above the waterline, there is a world of difference below it.
Construction is Different, Too
Truth be told, when Willis Slane and his partners built the first 41’ Hatteras in 1960 – named “Knit Wits” – they really didn’t know exactly how thick a fiberglass hull should be. The material was relatively new to powerboats and few, if any, had been built as large as 40’ at that time. So what did they do? They did the same thing that you would do if you knew you were going over Diamond Shoals – they over-built it! For years afterward Hatteras was known for its thick (and heavy) fiberglass hulls. In fact "Knit Wits" is still in use today, probably the oldest large fiberglass powerboat afloat, and it is a testament to good Hatteras construction right from the beginning.In the modern era, Hatteras has become as concerned about weight as the rest of the world. Indeed, when a new Hatteras 60 convertible was introduced a few years ago it was approximately 15,000 lbs lighter than it predecessor. The new GT60 is 5,000 to 8,000 lbs lighter than the 60C. Nevertheless, the Hatteras 60 hull under the waterline – like all Hatteras vessels – is still all solid fiberglass. This builder does not use balsa core or any other core material in its hulls below the waterline, unlike some other builders. This is another important aspect that sets Hatteras apart.
Which Method is Best?
The boating industry is sharply divided on this issue. The reason is that the advent of vinylester resin some 15 or 20 years ago has stopped water osmosis through fiberglass hulls. Today, all quality boat builders use anywhere from one to five layers of vinylester resin in the outer skin of their hulls before applying the less expensive (and permeable under hydrostatic pressure) polyester resin. (Some builders use nothing but the expensive vinylester resin in their hulls.) Builders using balsa core in their bottoms contend that they run no risk of water migration, and at the same time pick up both the strength that sandwich construction provides as well as saving lots of weight. We’re told that neither process costs significantly less than the other and that no builder does it one way or the other to save money. You will find the highest quality builders with the highest integrity on both sides of this issue. And both will warranty their hulls for 10 years or more. So take your pick, and maybe it makes no difference, other than one hull is lighter than the other.In this regard, Hatteras is a more traditional builder. On the other hand, Hatteras does use a non-absorbent foam core in its hull sides above the waterline and in its superstructures and in its decks to save weight.
Hull to Deck Bonding
There are few areas of the boat that are as important, as are the method and materials used, to connect the hull to the deck of any boat, power or sail. Here again Hatteras uses the traditional “best practices” system and one that some powerboat builders have gotten away from with the introduction of high-strength bonding agents such as 3M’s 5200 or compounds like it. Hatteras uses tried and proven “shoe-box” construction whereby the deck flange fits over the side of the hull like a shoe box. A high-strength modern adhesive, such as the ones mentioned above, is applied between these two surfaces. Then Hatteras puts in monel screws on three-inch centers, fastening the deck to the hull mechanically. After that, the joint is fiberglassed over on the inside. This is as good as a hull-deck joint gets in boat building.
Why is this so important?
For two reasons: 1) Adhesive-only joints, if not 100% perfectly done, can leak. And a leak here is like one in your deck or in the roof of your house – it is very difficult to determine where the water is actually getting in as it may be a long way from where it is coming out on the other side. By glassing the joint completely on the inside -- which can be visually inspected -- the builder knows that this joint will not leak and is chemically bonded.
2) The last thing that you want to happen when punching into closely spaced 10’ to 12’ seas offshore is to have your deck get peeled back like a sardine can. While we have not heard of this happening lately on offshore fishermen in this class, we still hear about it happening from time to time on sailboats (particularly older ones) and occasionally on high performance boats. The force and power of massive amounts of green water washing across your foredeck puts tremendous strain on the stanchions, bow pulpit, and the hull-to-deck joint. Remember, in these kinds of conditions, no matter who builds your boat and what material it is made of, the hull is working. The bow is oil-canning in and out to some degree and the whole hull might be wracking and twisting a bit as the sea puts different pressures on different parts of the boat. By using the construction method Hatteras uses with the shoe box construction that is glued, screwed and glassed, you know it won’t come apart.
The Hatteras 60 is probably the most popular model the North Carolina boat builder makes. There are many of these models being “field tested” each day all over the world. Little wonder, then, that Hatteras designers are sensitive to owner input, and we find ourselves agreeing with every one of the major changes that Hatteras has made to the new GT60. They have made a very good boat even better, in our opinion.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Power Steering||Standard Hydraulic power-assisted|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Freezer||Standard Bait Freezer|
|Helm: Second Station||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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