Boat Review: Hatteras 60

It's said that you never get a second chance at a first impression. Hatteras' new 60 Convertible won't need a second chance, because you won't be able to take your eyes off her.

It's said that you never get a second chance at a first impression. Hatteras' new 60 Convertible won't need a second chance, because you won't be able to take your eyes off her.
Sandwiched right between Hatteras' 54- and 65-footers, the new 60 resembles neither. With a low center of gravity, swept-back bridge, curved lines and elongated foredeck, the new 60 boasts a fresh look for the company's big-boat line. A slightly broken sheer, frameless windows and an extra-clean Pipewelders tower (with molded-in spreader lights) complete a profile that could legitimately be described as the company's most attractive ever.
But there's more to this beauty than good looks. In several key areas, this 60's design excels in both form and function.

Engine Room
The engine room on a 60-footer should be spacious, and the Hatteras meets that expectation nicely. The builder placed the air-conditioning pumps outboard of the port engine, batteries outboard of the starboard engine, a genset on the aft starboard bulkhead (with room for a second opposite), and the Racor fuel filters and fuel/oil change systems on the forward bulkhead. She's got plenty of space between and outboard of the engines, with noticeably good access to all of the systems.
Though this engine room is not faired to a mirror-like finish, it's plenty clean. All wiring is run through large, corrugated conductors, getting them completely out of sight while still accessible in a time of need. All hoses are color coded. Two large fans and oversized air intakes keep the room bearable, even under way, and fluorescent lights both forward and outboard of the engines provide even, bright lighting.

Flybridge
Any skipper would find the bridge of the Hatteras a joy to operate. All components are housed in a way that makes every task easier. Just above the standard pod helm, a large console provides quick viewing of all system gauges and Cat engine displays. To the right a huge, vertical electronics box (big enough to house both a full-size radar and sounder) is angled toward the skipper. Both of these compartments feature clear, open-able doors that operate on pneumatic lifts. A low-profile overhead box houses twin VHFs, an SSB and a cell phone.
Bench seats, one to port and one forward of the helm, house rod storage beneath, and a large compartment on the forward bulkhead can store gaffs, mops, rods or any of the other long, slender items that sometimes find no permanent home on a boat. All storage areas operate on pneumatic lifts.

Cockpit
A crew will find no fault with the spacious 151 square feet of working area in the Hatteras cockpit. A sink with fresh water, live well, freezer and a drainable cooler all line the forward bulkhead. For meat storage, a mate can choose between the in-transom holding box or two refrigerated, drainable, lift-out boxes in the deck. Though the in-deck boxes and tackle storage were a bit lacking, the 60's cockpit is fully customizable, so future hulls should offer a variety of arrangements for any preference.
Thanks to this boat's low center of gravity, mates will find themselves at an ideal distance from the water to work with billfish. The wide gunwales are higher than those found on the Hatteras 65, offering better balance for crew when wiring big fish. The Murray Brothers chair cleared the transom by 8 inches, and getting the rod tip around the corners would be no problem.
**
Belowdecks**
Like any Hatteras, the 60's interior offers elegance and functionality. Large windows, a raised dinette and under-counter appliances all help enhance the room's cockpit visibility. Light woods and earth tones keep the room airy.

The three-stateroom, three-head arrangement offers a queen-size master berth in the forepeak, with a full-size cedar closet and lots of stowage in cabinets along the hull sides and under the pneumatically lifted berth. A full-size berth to port hosts guests, while crew stay in an over/under compartment to starboard.

Performance
With her set of Caterpillar 3412s pumping out 1,350 hp each, the Hatteras 60 cruised at 29.6 knots (2,000 rpm) in calm seas with a half-load of fuel and water. At her top rpm range, she held steady at 34 knots.

Though the only rough seas off Brielle, New Jersey, during early October were the wakes of other boats, the 60 handled all she could find especially well. Her four wheel turns stop-to-stop completed a circle easily, tracking well even when angling through the wake of a 65-footer at about 25 degrees - admittedly no real test of her rough-water capabilities.
The optional single-lever controls made operation a breeze, especially when backing. The boat responds with little delay, and performs well in reverse for a boat of this size.