Boat Review: Hatteras 77

With ongoing improvements such as those found aboard this 77 Convertible, is it any wonder that Hatteras still commands global respect atop the sport-fishing-yacht marketplace?

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On my first job as a paid captain, I enjoyed the un-deserved privilege of running a Hatteras. Overbuilt, eminently seaworthy and, at the time, state-of-the-art, the Hatteras thrilled me with her 20-knot-plus speed on plane. And although it would be tough to sell any boat short of a long-range trawler with that kind of speed today, that big cruiser treated me right and punched her way through some serious seas. But she didn't have the cavernous room the new 77 provides.

Performance
Although we were in a transitional period between fronts, a spanking breeze blew out of the west, leaving some smooth water along Fort Lauderdale's beach, but quickly lifting the seas to challenging heights as we headed offshore. With the top-of-the-line, 2,400 hp MTUs installed below, we hit a respectable 35 knots at 2,450 rpm - burning an impressive 244 gph. She cruises comfortably at 25 knots turning 1,800 rpm and burning a more reasonable 130 gph.

The 77's handling will surely pique your interest, however. I turned the wheel hard over at 30 knots, and the boat banked into the turn like a 747, carving an arc like a 40-footer. She completed the course reversal in just three boat lengths.

You'll also appreciate the 77's incredible stability when slow-trolling or drifting in a beam sea. The wide 22-foot beam, combined with the scant 2-degree deadrise and prop tunnels, makes this hull steady as a rock.

Flybridge
On a cold, windy day, you really come to love an enclosed flybridge with an interior stairway. Of course, you need two helm stations, since you can't fish from the inside flybridge and you'd find it difficult to drive and navigate from the aft-overhang station.

Hatteras provides so much space upstairs that you could host a party. An L-shaped settee in the starboard aft corner (hiding loads of rod storage) complements the pair of straight bench seats that flank the centerline helm chair. I like that the aft seating affords your guests enough height so they can easily see out of the flybridge windows. The same goes for seating in the salon. Builders take note: Window-height seating prevents the feeling of sitting in a cave. Add to that a plasma TV, entertainment center, wet bar and combo refrigerator/freezer, and you virtually never have to leave the flybridge.

Hatteras takes care of the skipper too, mounting its proprietary ship-systems monitor directly in front of the helmsman. This allows the skipper to keep an eye on his engine gauges, as well as alarms, tank levels and much more via the touch screen. In fact, the dash console fits up to five 15-inch displays side by side. Controls include two single-lever throttle/shifts and a separate bow thruster control. I'd personally like to see Hatteras use the new single-lever controls that incorporate the thruster switches as thumb buttons in the levers - especially on the overhang station where the thruster can really increase the turning speed when fighting a fish.

Engine Room
Hatteras offers a slight trade-off in the engine room: In exchange for increased headroom in the salon, the designers sacrificed a few inches of that same precious commodity in the engine compartment. However, I still had enough room outboard of the engines to work comfortably.

Also, although the crew's quarters can be accessed only through the engine room, Hatteras provides an emergency egress through a hatch in the salon. The crew's quarters also boast a private head and shower.

**Interior
**Hatteras made several terrific interior changes that should appeal to both owners and crews alike. For example, the new day head just inside the salon door means passengers with dripping foul-weather gear or blood-besmirched shoes no longer need to pass through the entire salon to use the head. Again, the inside circular stairway affords secure passage from the salon to the flybridge, and the stairway hides the day head.

Hatteras builds a huge plasma-screen TV into the aft face of the upright refrigerator cabinet. Below said fridge, Hatteras puts in several freezer drawers as well. You'll find significant additional storage areas in the brow, accessed through full-size doors. This boat features so much storage space that I suggested the captain might want to use a ship-management software program to maintain a running inventory and keep track of where everything is stowed.

The master stateroom resides beneath the galley and dinette. Our test boat, hull number one, boasted a large head with a glass shower stall, a king-size island berth on centerline, a vanity forward to port and two big closets. Built-in dresser drawers round out the storage here. Back up the steps to the main companionway, you'll find a guest cabin to port with twin berths and another island double opposite - each with a private head and shower. The four-cabin layout finishes with another island double berth in the fo'c's'le with its own head and shower. That's a five-cabin, five-head layout when you count the crew's quarters. Don't have professional crew? You can opt for office space or his-and-hers heads in the master stateroom.

As has become quite the trend, Hatteras provides loads of storage in the finished bilge spaces beneath the cabin area. Magnetic light switches on the hatches would make these areas more user friendly.

Amtico strip flooring gives the look of teak and holly, while granite countertops and backsplashes give the galley a sophisticated look, as well as durability and ease of cleaning. The dinette opposite to starboard seats four to five adults comfortably.

Cockpit
No sport-fishing convertible worth its salt these days sails without a mezzanine level in the cockpit, and the Hatteras 77 makes no exception. Of course, at 192 square feet, the cockpit qualifies as huge. That 22-foot beam makes a big difference. The twin fish boxes - big enough to serve as berths if you ever have that big of a party - are augmented by another fish box in the transom.

In addition to comfortably cushioned seating atop the mezzanine, you can customize the modules hidden beneath, incorporating anything from dry storage to Eskimo ice makers, freezers, refrigerators, a tackle center, livewells, a rigging station and more. The 77 Convertible benefits from its incredibly wide beam in every area, most notably in the mezzanine-based cockpit.

Don't want to be bothered customizing? The factory builds in a 5-cubic-foot freezer, an insulated storage box and three 20-gallon storage tubs. In addition, Hatteras includes a rigging center with two stainless-lined tackle drawers, a large refrigerated drink box and wet storage compartments for mops and chamoises.

Design and Construction
Hatteras builds its yachts on a solid-fiberglass running surface consisting of bi- and triaxial cloth, isophthalic resins and a vinylester resin skin coat to prevent osmotic water intrusion into the laminate. The boat's stiffness is derived from four fiberglass stringers and the steel engine beds. The company sandwiches Divinycell core into the decks, bulkheads and freeboard. After it's built, Hatteras coats every exterior surface (as well as the entire engine compartment) with polyurethane paint for that mirror gloss finish.

With ongoing improvements such as those found aboard this 77 Convertible, is it any wonder that Hatteras still commands global respect atop the sport-fishing-yacht marketplace?

LOA......76'10"
**BEAM......
22'
DRAFT......5'3"
WEIGHT......157,500 pounds**
FUEL......3,100 gallons
WATER......380 gallons
MAX POWER......T 2,400 hp MTU 16V-2000
**BASE PRICE......
Price on request**

Hatteras Yachts / New Bern, North Carolina / 252-633-3101 / www.hatterasyachts.com