Hatteras GT65 Carolina Boat Review

A North Carolina production build designed and crafted just for you

March 23, 2021
The Hatteras Yachts sport-fishing boats on the water.
With plenty of bow flare and a displacement of 103,000 pounds, the GT65 Carolina easily shoulders aside the swells off Palm Beach, Florida. Courtesy Riggs Yacht Sales/Tom Spencer

Introduced as the GT65 Carolina, Hatteras Yachts’ new series aptly proclaims a number of Southern-charm attributes such as a streamlined sheer, teardrop salon window lines, narrow cabin haunches, hullside air-intake vents and a racy flybridge—all of which will be included in future GT products. Built for a longtime Hatteras owner from Orange Beach, Alabama, Hull No. 3, Rascal, was customized for the Gulf of Mexico. And fishing and traveling is clearly this boat’s forte.

Pegged as the definition of Hatteras craftsmanship, this ride looks more like an Outer Banks custom ­convertible than the latest drill from New Bern, North Carolina. After a late-fall delivery and subsequent shakedown run to the Bahamas, I met Capt. Nick Millsap in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was prepping Rascal for a Dominican Republic departure. As I stepped on board, I noticed a certain change, one I can say was for the better.

Watch: Learn to rig the bonito strip bait for a teaser in this video from our Rigger’s Corner department.



The 194-square-foot cockpit promotes an average depth of 30 inches, and includes teak covering boards, macerator-equipped fish boxes, and/or availability for additional livewell capacity to complement the transom box. The in-deck boxes are fed ice at a rate of up to 1,000 pounds per day by the Eskimo chipper, and custom tuna-tube plumbing is provided with a pair of Pentair pool pumps, which are easily accessed and maintained with built-in water filters in the engine room.

A lazarette hatch gives access to plumbing, steering equipment, and an emergency bilge pump. The transom door is standard, although the lift gate is an available option. Under the gunwales, shore-power connections, tricolor cockpit LED lights, freshwater and raw-water sources, and 12-volt electric-reel outlets are easily reached.

The mezzanine deck is planked with teak and has a choice of three ­refrigerated or freezer boxes. On Rascal, a freezer is built into the storage compartment within the seat base, and an oversize refrigerated drink box to port is partitioned to corral cans and bottles neatly. A second refrigerated box is located at the entrance step to the salon. Air conditioning flows through the seatback cushions and will surely be appreciated while fishing long hours in the tropical heat, and the center mezz cushion lifts for access to the engine room.

The engine room of the Hatteras Yachts sport-fishing boat.
In the engine room are the Caterpillar C32A main engines and 24-kW Kohler generators, as well as the retractable transducer for the Furuno Omni sonar. Courtesy Riggs Yacht Sales/Tom Spencer

Engine Room

With a clearance of 5 feet, 8 inches on the centerline, the Caterpillar C32A main engines and 24 kW Kohler generators take up a good amount of the available space. But a closer look shows engineering and design prowess that includes the ability to get outboard of the big diesels with plenty of storage possibilities for parts and supplies, as well as a neat installation forward for the Furuno sonar tube. On the forward bulkhead, equipment is spread out for inspection and routine maintenance. To starboard, the Dometic SeaXchange makes up to 1,800 gallons of water per day, and the Spot Zero system complements that water with near zero total dissolved solids, keeping the boat’s finish as nice as the day she was delivered.

A 24-volt electrical ­distribution panel and Mastervolt charger reside to port, and hatches lift to expose pairs of freshwater and air-conditioning pumps, as well as the fuel-tank manifold. Dual Racor water-fuel separators for each engine can be inspected at a glance and the elements quickly changed when needed; quick-disconnect fittings drain and supply oil to the engines, transmissions, and generators. Delta T Systems moisture eliminators keep air flowing in and outside mist away from machinery.

On the aft bulkhead and in line with the mains sits a pair of Seakeeper 9 gyrostabilizers. Throughout the engine room, wiring is neatly managed, chafing material guides and protects plumbing and electrical runs, and each through-hull is noted and labeled.

The interior salon of the Hatteras Yachts sport-fishing boat.
The salon sole is swathed in 3.5-inch rosewood Amtico-brand vinyl planks with quarter-inch mother of pearl inlay, complementing the high-gloss teak joinery. Courtesy Riggs Yacht Sales/Tom Spencer


With a 20-foot beam, the GT65 is the widest in her class, and that acreage is clear the moment you enter the salon, starting with nearly 7 feet of headroom. Natural light pours in the wide salon windows, and the salon sole is swathed in 3.5-inch rosewood Amtico-brand vinyl planks with quarter-inch mother of pearl inlay between, complementing the high-gloss teak joinery. An L-shaped lounge and coffee table sits to port, opposite the cabinetry, entertainment center, and AC panel. Rascal sports the optional island galley arrangement with two undercounter Sub-Zero drawer-style refrigeration units. The arrangement to starboard comprises the balance of the galley features, including another pair of ­refrigeration units, a Miele cooktop, a microwave/convection oven, and a stainless-steel sink. Ample storage is provided throughout the galley, as well as in deep compartments in the windshield brow. A dinette is situated on the port side, and Dometic’s air conditioning flows freely from behind the teak valances.

Accommodations include four staterooms and three heads, with upper and lower berths making up the two portside staterooms that share a head. The starboard master stateroom is complete with a walk-around bed, ­private head and shower.

The fourth stateroom containing three berths and a private head is found all the way forward. In the companionway, a marine-rated washer and dryer is found all the way forward, as is overhead rod storage; an alternative arrangement provides a separate tackle center in lieu of the aft port stateroom. Either way, the interior is definitely made for traveling in comfort—a strong argument for long-range and tournament-fishing crews.

The main console helm of the Hatteras Yachts sport-fishing boat.
The tower has additional electronics and remotes, which are well-protected from the elements. Courtesy Riggs Yacht Sales/Tom Spencer


The air-conditioned, center-console layout is common on this size boat, complete with a raised panel for three navigation screens, flanking lounges, and excellent visibility fore and aft. Release Marine Trillion helm chairs provide form and function—sitting or standing—with an option of easy ­installation of a third chair because a backing plate is already sandwiched into the laminate. Ample room is available behind each chair, and the deck opening is surrounded by stout aluminum railing.

Grab rails line both sides of the console, and additional rod holders were installed on the aft bridge rocket launcher as part of the PipeWelders’ tuna-tower design. Forward of the console, a sizable lounge conceals a 7-cubic-foot freezer. Multiple access points provide the space needed to service equipment located in the console.

Single-lever controls with built-in SidePower DC bow-thruster buttons flank the faux teak helm pod, as do compartments for the multitude of other accessory switches. Overhead, instrumentation is easily identified, as are the Miya Epoch ­electric teaser reels.

Read Next: Check out our review of the GT59 from Hatteras Yachts.

Performance and Construction

Underway off the South Florida coastline, Rascal spooled up easily even though she was loaded with bait and the food freezers were crammed to ­capacity. With fishing gear, a full fuel load and five people on board, she averaged a 30- to 31-knot cruise at 1,850 to 1,900 rpm in the 4-foot swells from a southerly heave. Hatteras’ target was to build this GT65 with maximum range for running at 30 knots for the two-and-a-half-day tournaments she will be fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Outfitted with an optional 365 gallons of fuel, Rascal’s total capacity of 2,265 gallons resides in two fiberglass tanks, allowing the boat to scour the waters offshore and cover 500-plus miles—just as intended. The noise level was low and vibration practically nil. At trolling speed, the wash paved clean paths. Hull No. 3 features solid fiberglass bottom construction, resin-infused foam coring for the topsides, and molded fiberglass stringers integrated with steel engine beds; the flawless hull and superstructure is prepped and painted with Alexseal polyurethane. Faux teak treatments on the salon door, deckhouse half-round and toe rail add that custom signature. It’s a new look for Hatteras Yachts, and Rascal wears it well.

Hatteras GT65 Carolina Boat Specs

  • LOA: 65′2″
  • Beam: 20′0″
  • Draft: 5′0″
  • Displ: 103,000 lb.
  • Fuel: 2,265 gal.
  • Water: 280 gal.
  • Power: Twin C32A Caterpillar; 1,800 hp
  • Gear/Ratio: Twin Disc/2.48:1
  • Propellers: Michigan 5-blade
  • Exterior Paint: Alexseal, Cloud White
  • Climate Control: DometiC

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