Hatteras has been at it for a long time. It is well-documented how they led the charge into fiberglass-production boatbuilding, running at the top of the sea of production builders for a long time. Over the years, there have been ups and downs in the market, mergers, acquisitions and the sale of the company itself, but with an aggressive new product plan in place, the folks at Hatteras are once again looking to the top of the sea and over the horizon.
We had the chance to test the new GT70 on a beautiful December day out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a northerly breeze at 10 knots and an easy-rolling small swell left over from a diminishing cold front. She wasted no time in -getting on plane with her twin 2,600 hp MTU M96 engines pushing her along swiftly to speed. Make no mistake: This is a big boat, and she pushes a big hole in the air. But pushing the throttles up, she responded and clipped along smartly at 30.5 knots at 1,900 rpm and a 73 percent load with a fuel burn of 162 gallons per hour. Backing her down to a slow cruise at 1,700 rpm, she ran along at 25.8 knots, burning 120 gallons per hour at a 66 -percent load, an easy lope for the engines and the boat.
Her long-range chugging ability and multitude of bunks make her a nice travel boat. At 800 rpm, she slips along at 10.4 knots, burning 14.4 gallons per hour. Dropping down to trolling speed, she’s pretty clean in the wash; on trolling valves, she can really sneak around, with plenty of clean water to show a fish a bait or two. Conversely, she has some speed at the top end that is noteworthy for a rig this big. At 2,100 rpm, she’s burning 188 gallons per hour, making 35.2 knots; at 2,300 she clips along at 38.3 knots. On the pins, she flew along at 41 knots, impressive for her girth and mass.
The GT70 is stable at cruise and very comfortable on the bridge and below. She can lay to without throwing your drink off the bridge when bottomfishing, and she can spin on her own axis with just a slight forward push. She backs faster than most anglers could ever wind, and she can spin and back with enough agility to catch plenty of blue marlin. Her Pipewelders hydraulic riggers and tower fit her beautifully and complete her as a serious fishing platform. Her molded hardtop has a drop-down overhead radio and gauge box as well as a molded-in box for her electric teaser reels.
Her large bridge has a nice layout with a center-console and a large dash that has four 19-inch multifunction screens within arms reach of the helm. Three helm chairs sit behind the console. Visibility from the helm was fine, with good sight lines to the bow and her stern corners. She has two long bench seats with storage underneath on either side of the helm as well as two freezers and a bench seat with storage under on the front end of the console. There are two drink boxes in the forward corners of the bridge, with an aft-facing bench seat and storage between them on the forward bulkhead of the bridge. You get to and from the bridge through an open hatch in the bridge deck to a ladder below that lands at the threshold to the salon. This is done to save space in the cockpit; it’s not the easiest way to get up and down, but many builders do it.
The spacious cockpit features mezzanine seating to starboard and multiple storage and refrigeration boxes under the seats and the deck. A drink box lies to port with a tackle cabinet below, with centerline engine-room access. Two huge in-deck fish boxes in the sole on either side of the fighting chair will hold lots of big fish, and a large transom livewell/fish box has clear fronts so you can keep an eye on your baits.
Moving into the salon, a pop-up TV sits along the port side, with a large L-shaped settee with storage beneath it to starboard. Forward of the settee, a dinette sits catty-cornered with room for five or six people. The raised galley sits forward to port with large countertops, a cooktop, a deep sink and storage over and under the counter. A large offset island to port has three bar stools along the aft side and four refrigeration drawers on the front.
Lots of Bunks
Moving down the companionway, the GT70 offers a lot of sleeping room. At the bottom of the steps, you can double back heading aft to the crew area, with a full head and engine-room access in the center. Two staterooms on each outboard side have over/under bunks and hanging lockers in each.
Moving forward from the companion-way steps, another stateroom to port -features bunks, with a hanging locker and drawers. Forward of the port bunk room lies a washer/dryer closet; just forward of that, there’s a full head with a large shower. Across the hall, an expansive master stateroom has an island berth that sits athwartships. A large hanging closet for two comes built into the aft bulkhead, with a flat-screen TV on the interior wall and a full-height cabinet on the forward wall. A private entrance opens up to a large head compartment with a vanity, a mirrored cabinet and a big shower.
Fully forward, the VIP stateroom has a raised island berth on the centerline, hanging lockers on either side aft and entrance to the private head with shower, vanity and storage to port. The staterooms are nicely sized, and the layout offers many bunks for multiple guests and enough crew to do the job right. The ability to accommodate a third crewman helps tremendously on a big rig like this if you want to fish hard.
Saving the best for last, the engine room is fairly spacious even with the massive MTU diesels. There are two 21.5 kW generators along the aft bulkhead, and access to the main engine fuel filters and raw-water pumps and other systems along the center is good. Getting outboard is a bit tight, but certainly doable.
With new products on the horizon and solid performers like the GT70, the folks at Hatteras are excited to be back on top of the game. Looking forward, you’ll be seeing more of the GT70 Hatterascal at tournaments and boat shows, and look for many more great things to come from this venerable builder.