Hatteras uses deep reduction ratios in its main engine gearboxes, allowing them to swing large-diameter, heavily pitched seven-blade propellers. This enables Hatteras to design strong, heavily built boats that are affected less by weather and weight loads than lighter boats with lower gear reductions.
"On a slick-calm day the lighter boats can go by us with higher top-end speeds," Fields told me. "But when it is blowing, they all fall in behind us and we get there first. The rougher it gets the better we run."