Boats: Then and Now

Here's a look at a few of sport fishing's crown jewels — then versus now.

October 6, 2011
Bertram – Then It’s been 50 years since founder Richard Bertram built the first 31-foot Moppie, the Ray Hunt design that changed the complexion of boating forever. The first Bertram 54s, according to Don Jones, vice president of sales, are still very much in demand and still one of the company’s best-running hulls. LOA: 54′
BEAM: 16’11”
DRAFT: 5’2″
WEIGHT: 74,500 lbs.
POWER: DD 12V-71 800 hp
Price: $516,000
Bertram – Now The 540 continues the tradition with a massive grid-style stringer system for added strength below. The midship fuel-system placement has been a game changer, offering greater access belowdecks and a more level ride. It’s gravity fed with a sight-glass fuel gauge. LOA: 57’1″
BEAM: 17’10”
DRAFT: 5’5″
WEIGHT: 83,737 lbs.
POWER: MAN V-12 1224CR
Price: $2,330,000 w/CAT C-32 1676 mhp
Viking – Then In 1980, a 40-foot convertible represented Viking Yachts’ largest offering. “It was the sport-fisherman that put the New Jersey company on the map,” says Peter Frederiksen, director of communications at Viking. Viking built over 400 of those 40-footers, and the perfect-size sport-fisher single-handedly established Viking as a viable company. The boat proved successful because it enjoyed a wide general appeal — popular with both cruisers and canyon runners. LOA: 41’2″
BEAM: 14’10”
DRAFT: 4’3″
WEIGHT: 32,000 lbs.
POWER: DD 6-71 485 hp
Price: $200,000
Viking -_ Now_ The 2012 42 is a tad faster with its mid-30-knot cruise, versus the 21 knots her 30-year-old sister ship could reach. Mezzanine seating, cockpit engine-room access and the addition of a second head are the most notable design improvements. At 42 feet, she’s the smallest Viking to leave the factory these days; the 82 is the company’s flagship. LOA: 42’7″
BEAM: 15’10”
DRAFT: 3’7″
WEIGHT: 35,999 lbs.
POWER: Cummins QSB-440 (480 optional) w/ Zeus
Price: $999,999
Ocean —** Then** The first Ocean yacht, a 40-footer adapted from a Pacemaker mold, rolled off the assembly line in 1977. Based on the company’s early growth and success, founder Jack Leek introduced a three-cabin, three-head, 55-foot Super Sport in 1981. It was fast for its time — topping out at 30 knots — spacious and economical to run. LOA: 55’8″
BEAM: 16’4″
DRAFT: 4’4″
WEIGHT: 54,000 lbs.
POWER: GM 8V-92 550 hp
PRICE: $400,000
Ocean — Now Today’s 54 SS offers up a similar layout, but according to John Leek IV, Ocean maximized the build and increased the boat’s interior volume substantially. Stronger engines, better materials, a cockpit mezzanine and a stepped-up galley greatly enhance this newest generation. LOA: 54’6″
BEAM: 16’10”
WEIGHT: 61,000 lbs.
POWER: CAT C18 1,015 hp
Price: $1,700,000
Jarrett Bay —** Then
Jarrett Bay founder and president Randy Ramsey had no intention of starting a boat business; he merely intended to replace an aging charter boat. In 1986 Ramsey was working for a local builder, and he and a few others got together and built hull No. 1 in the same style as one of Omie Tillet’s old boats. It took over a year to build, working in between charters, but Sensation is still fishing today — though the original Detroit Diesel 6-92 has long since been replaced. She now sports a single 1,400 hp CAT. LOA: 52′
BEAM: 16’4″
DRAFT: 3’6″
WEIGHT: 28,000 lbs.
POWER: DD 6V-92 650 hp
Price: $95,000__
Jarrett Bay —_ Now_ Hull No. 2 had about 5,000 man-hours in her, a far cry from the 50,000 required to complete Persistence, hull No. 57. LOA: 46’8″
BEAM: 15’4″
DRAFT: 4’4″
WEIGHT: 37,000 lbs.
Price: $1.45 million
Merritt — Then In 1955, Buddy Merritt built the first of the gorgeous sport-fishers that would continue to bear his name. The shop produced one 37-footer a year. The 1968 Caliban came with a single Detroit Diesel 6-71 280 hp engine, a 17-knot cruise and 22 knots, top end. Five years later, Buddy’s nephew, Roy Merritt, and one other guy built a 43-footer, working 7,000 to 8,000 hours, nights and weekends, to complete the job._ _ LOA: 41’2″
BEAM: 14’10”
DRAFT: 4’3″
WEIGHT: 32,000 lbs.
POWER: DD 6-71 280 hp
Price: N/A_
Merritt — Now Nowadays, Roy Merritt oversees a platoon of craftsmen building 86- and 72-footers with Kevlar hulls and carbon-fiber decks. MTU’s 2,600 hp push the big 86 to an amazing 31-knot cruise. Merritt says he’s constantly tweaking and looking for ways to reduce weight, and he’s got a 66-foot cold-molded hull in the works. LOA: 86′
BEAM: 21’3″
DRAFT: 5’5″
WEIGHT: 145,000 lbs.
POWER: MTU 2600 hp
Price: $8.5 million (approx.)
Hatteras — Then The original mission behind the Hatteras 60 Convertible was to provide a three-stateroom/three-head layout, an engine room with full headroom, and a fully enclosed and air-conditioned flybridge. Her double-chined, modified V-hull succeeded to deliver that and more. LOA: 60’11”
BEAM: 18′
DRAFT: 4’11”
WEIGHT: 82,000 lbs.
POWER: 12V-71 650 hp
Price: $500,000 (approx.)
Hatteras — Now Three decades later, the Hatteras GT60 continues the solid fiberglass-bottom tradition. She offers the same layout, but now within a resin-infused hull. The builder also turned to a new, simplified, single integral fuel tank. The GT60 has a transitional hull bottom and deep tunnel pockets. And with top end exceeding 41 knots, she is almost twice as fast as the original 60 Convertible. LOA: 62’2″
BEAM: 19′
DRAFT: 4’9″
WEIGHT: 89,500 lbs.
POWER: C32 ACERT CAT 1,600 hp
Price: $2.5 million

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