The sliding economy hit every boatbuilder hard, and venerable names like Hatteras proved no exception. That’s why I was so heartened to walk around the company’s New Bern, North Carolina, facility and see all sorts of sport-fishing and motoryacht productions under way. The craftsmen were all working diligently, and customers toured their prospective boats. And by the way, Hatteras’ new president, Jim Neyer, is not only a gracious host who possesses a solid business-management background, but he also has a degree in naval architecture from the University of Michigan (one of the best) as well as an advanced naval-architecture degree from MIT! I expect to see all manner of high-tech design and construction advances incorporated into upcoming Hatteras models.
**I met the crew of the new Hatteras GT60 in Beaufort, North Carolina. Conditions outside the inlet might have given a small boat pause, but the 60 didn’t blink.
New Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesels churning out 1,900 hp each lifted the GT60 onto plane in nine seconds. In reverse, the GT60 powers down on a fish at up to 7.3 knots with perfect control – with or without assistance from the bow thruster. I honestly noticed very little difference when spinning the boat with or without turning the wheel – it’s remarkably quick for a 60-footer either way.
Drifting beam-to the southerly swells, the GT60 exhibited a very long roll moment with the gentlest of transitions. Walking around the bridge or cockpit without holding on proved no problem.
At 30 knots, the GT60 scribes a very wide arc turning hard at 30 knots. However, you’ll enjoy instant response in avoidance turns requiring much less than a course reversal. And throughout the speed range, the 60 offers excellent trim-angle adjustment thanks to the uniquely positioned trim tabs up inside the prop tunnels.
**Hatteras offers two bridge layouts: one with the helm console attached to the starboard coaming and a single walkthrough to port; the other (and the one I prefer) sports a smaller “center-console” with a walkway on both sides. The latter layout provides more seating space and greater accessibility and is more pleasing to the eye. However, both versions offer plenty of seating, a deep freeze and loads of storage.
Visibility from the helm affords you the front third of the bow and the back half of the cockpit. Helm ergonomics are excellent as well.
Though children and the vertically challenged may have difficulty reaching it, a very substantial hidden handhold runs along the cabin top for extra security when transiting to and from the foredeck. The same handhold also channels water running off the top and flybridge away from the side windows and mezzanine.
As you might expect, you can order a GT60 with either an open or enclosed flybridge.
**After years of manhandling heavy outriggers on big boats in heavy seas, I freely admit my love for hydraulic outriggers, and the PipeWelders riggers on the GT60 worked perfectly. Though the bow freeboard borders on Himalayan, the three feet of freeboard in the cockpit makes reviving and releasing fish easy.
As you’d expect, you can design whatever mezzanine layout you want. This hull boasted numerous insulated boxes and refrigerator and freezer compartments under the mezzanine seating.
The interior seems simpler than ones I’ve seen in previous years. Some of the flash has been discarded (though it’s still available if you want it). Elements such as the fluted valances and involved fabrics have been exchanged for flat wood, muted colors and additional touches such as wood accent strips in the overheads. Another good change sees the teak and holly soles traded for Amtico, which still looks great but endures much more wear and tear.
I also appreciate that Hatteras did away with all of the hot, inefficient halogen lighting aboard and switched to cool LED lighting both inside and out. Even the air conditioner breathes a sigh of relief. Speaking of lighting, Hatteras now uses Vimar light switches in watertight modular boxes and new bezel colors. Not quite to the digital electrical-distribution stage yet since Hatteras wants to prove beyond a doubt that it is reliable, the company has still integrated a Kessler-Ellis Products (KEP) display into the distribution panel to make monitoring significantly easier.
The salon layout hearkens back as well, with a large L-shaped settee with storage inside and a triangular coffee table also with storage. Counters consist of shaved granite affixed to an aluminum honeycomb base frame.
In another move some might consider retro, Hatteras changed the dinette from the banquette style that only sat three adults to an old-fashioned diner-style arrangement that allows four adults to face each other across a booth-like table. I particularly like the new Whisper-Wall wall treatments. They not only look good, but the texture prevents fingerprints and the soundproofing deadens noise from the engine compartment (and other cabins). It’s very handsome and functional at the same time.
**At high speeds, the air moving over the sides of a sport-fishing boat flows several inches above the boat’s surface. That’s just one reason why so many vessels turn to air-induction systems like the ones built by Livos and Delta T. (These systems also remove most of the salt in the engine-room air.) On the Hatteras GT60, fresh air enters the engine space through vents under the gunwales, eliminating the need for air scoops in the hull sides. This also does away with the need for air handlers, leaving considerably more outboard space in the engine room. This makes the GT60’s engines seem almost like centerpieces on a dining-room table – you’ll have no problem working your way completely around them!
A full-width soundproofed box across the forward bulkhead houses most pumps. Hatteras coats everything in the compartment with Alexseal’s unique new water-based gloss paint – this means fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to deal with during construction, making for a greener product. New Altech breakers also represent a real step into the 21st century for Hatteras.
You may not notice it as much (unless you look carefully) while the boat sits in the water, but a land-based inspection reveals a very dramatic tumblehome. When you combine this with the sleek, unbroken sheer line and the exceedingly proud bow, the Hatteras 60 looks more like a Carolina-style hull than most of the company’s predecessors. But one of the most significant changes/improvements/advances in this boat you can’t actually see: Hatteras now employs more resin-infusion construction than ever throughout the entire GT series (54, 60 and 63). This makes the boat lighter from top to bottom for an improved center of gravity, better fuel economy and a more durable, reliable laminate.
Hatteras prides itself on a long history of building incredibly seaworthy boats that get you out and back safely through thick and thin. Hatteras deserves kudos for incorporating dramatic advances in technology and performance into its boats without sacrificing the seaworthiness that built its name.
LOA……59’10” (w/o pulpit)
Power……T Caterpillar 1,900 hp C32 ACERT diesels
Hatteras Yachts / New Bern, North Carolina / 252-633-3101 / www.hatterasyachts.com