Boat Review: Hatteras 60GT

Hatteras designed its new 60 convertible as its "Tournament Edition," and I can honestly report that the company has never designed or built a better-running, faster, smoother-riding boat.

12br_hatteras

12br_hatteras

Throughout the transportation industry, the designation "GT" stands for the Italian phrase Gran Turismo, a name originally given to grand touring cars. In reality, Hatteras designed its new 60 convertible as its "Tournament Edition," and I can honestly report that the company has never designed or built a better-running, faster, smoother-riding boat. Tipping the scales at about 20,000 pounds less than its previous 60-footer certainly helps.

Performance
Pushing the throttles forward results in an impressive response from the optional twin 1,800-hp Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesels. But just wait: When the turbos build boost pressure, this 60 will walk you to the transom with its acceleration.

At a 5-knot trolling speed, the wake qualifies as spotless past the second wave. Not even any discernable prop wash. We topped out at just over 42 knots at 2,300 rpm while burning a healthy 190 gph. Loafing along at 30.5 knots (1,700 rpm), we dropped that consumption to a mere 100 gph. That's with full fuel and water tanks, all of the owner's belongings and our tackle and bait. Churning along at its 2,000-rpm, 36-knot cruising speed, the 60 GT burned 116 gph.

We cruised straight into the 4- to 5-foot head seas off Great Isaac's Light in the Bahamas at 26 knots and the ride couldn't have been more comfortable. The head-sea ability of this boat represents a quantum leap improvement over older models - not that they were bad, Hatteras just likes to keep making its boats better.

The 60 GT reverses course in about five boatlengths at cruising speed, and when backing down on a 57-pound dolphin, we hit 8 knots and went straight as an arrow. In addition, this 60-footer spins far faster than you have any right to expect.

I'd love to see the trim tab switches moved to a more accessible spot, however. It's a bit awkward to reach them way up under the helm pod.

Flybridge
One of the boat's best features is the flybridge helm console. Designed much like a center console, you can pass by it to either side and you'll find loads of room to pass behind the helm and companion seats. Hatteras provides expansive guest seating forward of the console, as well as to each side on straight settees. An overhead recess hides the electric teaser reels, while under-gunwale 12-volt outlets power the electric reels the factory boat uses for the dredges.

It sure beats pulling them up by hand! A big freezer hides forward of the console with a dry box under the seat in front of that. You also get the obligatory rod storage under both settees and comfortable ladder-back seats that face fore or aft on the back ends of the straight settees.

Even short people will enjoy superb visibility from the wheel. The instrument console opens on either side of the varnished wheel pod. Unfortunately, when open, the hatches hide the controls for the engine displays. An additional hideaway electronics box drops from the hardtop.

I did question the wisdom of mounting the magnetic compass all the way forward on the flybridge brow. There's absolutely no way you can read it from the helm.

Big, deep troughs along the outboard flybridge deck double as handholds when walking forward and as water channels for drainage.

Engine Room
Hatteras provides remarkably roomy access through the cockpit hatch into the engine compartment. Once inside, I discovered tons of room both inboard and outboard of the engines. Yes, it proved just a tad tight getting outboard, but once there, I could've brought in a mattress and taken a nap. Noisy equipment, such as generators and compressors, all reside along the aft bulkhead, helping to keep the belowdecks living quarters quieter.

Interior
Hatteras put the entire interior on a diet: Everything is composite-cored. Starting in the bow, the forward cabin in this layout sports oblique over/under single berths. Other options include a queen-sized island berth on centerline up front. The master stateroom to port features an athwartship island berth and a private head with shower stall. To starboard you'll find a cabin with another set of over/under singles. Both the forward and midship cabins each have a private head with shower, too. In the salon, the dinette forward seats three or four adults comfortably.

I'm sure it's the height of interior decorating chic, but I could do without the gold-sand finish on the bulkhead in the master head. It seems to shed onto the floor each time you brush against it. Fortunately, owners can stipulate pretty much any interior finish they wish. Yes, I know, it's like complaining about the color of a car. Suffice it to say, I'd do it differently.

Cockpit
This 60 sports the ever-popular (and rightly so) mezzanine level, hiding all manner of storage, freezers, insulated drink boxes, etc.

Oddly, the door to the salon slides open toward the outboard side and has several détentes intended to keep your fingers from getting slammed as the boat rolls. I'd much prefer to see a pneumatic ram to open and close the door and it should open into the centerline.

On the other hand, I really liked the heavy-duty rams on the fish boxes. Just stand on the hatch to unlatch it, then step off and the hatch automatically opens. Likewise, once you push the hatch closed, you'll need to stand on it again to latch it. With hatches this size, it makes lots of sense. And both fish boxes come with split lids for easier access.

Design and Construction
The 60 GT represents the first Hatteras to feature a completely resin-infused hull, rather than one built up from layers of hand-laid fiberglass. The automated resin-infusion process provides a more uniform hull thickness from one hull to the next, as well as the most ideal glass-to-resin ratio. This one-two punch produces a boat that weighs significantly less because of the lowered resin content while providing a more precise fit of bulkheads, stringers and other components for increased strength and durability.

Despite the few fine-tuning complaints I've voiced, I really like this Hatteras. It has a long list of terrific features that every sport-fishing boat should have - but often doesn't. For example, I appreciate that the entire foredeck is solid nonskid. Owners who never venture out to the foredeck often don't care, but the mate who has to anchor or handle dock lines certainly does. And every boat should come with fresh-water washdown outlets up in the tower, in the anchor locker and on the flybridge.

For the hard-core fisherman, the Hatteras 60 comes in a 60 GT Tournament Edition (which we tested). This three-stateroom, two-head package includes an engine upgrade to 1,800 hp, custom hull color and a wraparound windshield styling element. Owners of the GT Tournament Edition can expect a top-end speed of 40 knots and a cruise of 35-plus knots at 2,000 rpm. Combine this performance package with custom bow rails and the optional Carolina Edition teak package, and you'll have a boat that will sit proud at any tournament.

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA......59'10"
BEAM......19'
**DRAFT......
4'9"
WEIGHT......85,500 pounds
DEADRISE......2 degrees
FUEL......1,800 gallons**
WATER......200 gallons
**POWER......
Twin 1,800 hp Cat C32 ACERT diesels**
MSRP......**$3,000,000 (approx. as tested)
**