Bertram 511 - Boat Review

The Bertram 511 has the guts and the goods needed to start a world-record billfish campaign, but it can also host a family cruise or a cocktail reception without missing a beat...

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The latest addition to the Bertram fleet delivers an extra helping of dock appeal, but these upgrades don't compromise overall fishability. Based on the highly successful 510, the new 511 differs primarily in the window department; the deckhouse sports wraparound glass, and side-hull windows bring the view to the master and third staterooms.

These may seem like small changes, but in terms of interior appeal, the extra windows give the boat a whole different feel. Though cabin and salon spaces are no larger than on the predecessor, they appear roomier and more inviting. The forward windows also allow for the option of a lower helm, and thanks to advances in construction techniques, there are no concerns with leaking or flexing.

The 511 rides on an updated version of Bertram's classic deep-V hull design. It upholds the company's reputation for rough-water performance, but with increased efficiency and stability. Added lift in the stern results in running angles that are 4 to 5 degrees flatter than on vintage models, such as the original 46 and 54, which means more power when moving forward.

And with power options that include 1,360 hp MANs, this boat is capable of speeds in the high 30-knot range. Hull number one, swinging the signature five-blade Rolla props, topped out at just more than 39 knots with a full hardtop and riggers but no tower. More impressive for offshore crews is the wide sweet spot on the throttles that provides almost equivalent efficiency at speeds ranging from 25 to around 33 knots, and it consumes less than 100 gph at 35 knots. At idle, the 511 pushes along at nearly 8 knots, so the optional trolling valves are worth ordering.

The engine room is not as tight as one might except with the big MAN V-12s in place, and all vital systems are organized for easy access along centerline. The common fuel tank sits forward and center for enhanced trim, and there's ample room in the lazarette not only for a second generator, but also a pair of optional anti-roll gyros.

As one would expect from any boat bearing the eagle logo, the boat comes with loads of world-class fishing potential. Twin Murray Brothers helm chairs sit hard against the deckhouse overhang to provide a full view of the cockpit, while forward visibility over the commodious flybridge lounge is also good. For its size, the 511 is fairly agile, providing a fast response when backing or spinning and maintaining composure when in the troughs. It takes some pretty aggressive throttle work to bring water aboard, and large cockpit gutters provide fast drainage on such occasions.

With just more than 140 square feet of usable cockpit space, tournament teams won't be cramped, while the bench seats built over the bulkhead storage lockers provide more casual crews with a sheltered respite between bites. A dedicated rigging station replaces the smaller seat to starboard of the cabin door, and both the lift-out deck box and built-in transom well can be plumbed, aerated or refrigerated according to the crew's preference. Forward movement is easier than on many sport-fishing yachts thanks to the relatively wide side decks and a combination of house-mounted grab rails and an extended bow rail.

Weathered tournament crews might dismiss features such as forward cabin windows, island galleys and gyro stabilization as greenhorn foolishness. But added comforts such as these, along with the boat's good inherent stability and wide-open interior, will do a lot to please family, guests and customers. And that, in a nutshell, is the quality that most sets this new model apart from the fleet. It has the guts and the goods needed to start a world-record billfish campaign, but it can also host a family cruise or a cocktail reception without missing a beat.

Specifications

LOA......54'10"
**BEAM......
16'2"
DRAFT (Max)......5'
DISP.......65,751 pounds
DEADRISE ......21 degrees**
FUEL ......1,040 gallons
**WATER......
185 gallons**
MAX POWER......T 1050 hp Cat to 1,360 MAN CR turbo diesels
**PRICE......
$1,730,688 (w/ MANs)**

Bertram Yachts / Miami, Florida / 305-633-8011 / www.bertram.com