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  1. #1

    Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    I viewed a thread on another site about people discussing which ride is better offshore. Having a Hat I obviously think mine is the best...but many others came up with other options including Bertram. How does a Bert compare to a Hat? I've never been on a Bert and probably will never own one, because I own a Hat! But I've never been on a Bert and was just curious how it compares to a Hat? My boat is only a 32ft FB but lets keep it to like size boats so we have a frame of reference...(ie those of you who have been on a 32 through 53+ to something Hat only compare to Bert of identical size, meaning 32 ft Hat to a 32ft Bert ect...


    This is an education for me...I don't need to be converted to Hat!


  2. #2

    Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    The general rule is that deep-V boats such as Bertrams ride better in heavier weather, but roll more at low speeds. Boats which are flatter in the aft sections such as most Hatts roll less but don't tolerate heavy seas as well. That's the party line as I understand it.
    Now, I am not sure that holds up as a clear distinction between ALL Hatteras hulls and Bertam hulls. They are both felt to be excellent offshore boats and clearly both have caught their share of fish and done much offshore duty.
    I have also heard that Bertrams are faster than Hatterases as a general rule. Or, given the same engines, will go faster but use more fuel...I have never sorted this out to my satisfaction. I would be interested to see what folks here will think..the only Bertram I have ever owned was a 20' one which is not comparable to my present boat.

  3. #3

    Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    I don't know if it was on this site or somewhere else that I saw summarized what professional captains say in regards to your Hatt vs Bertram question.....
    "Deliver a Bertram, Fish a Hatteras"

  4. Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    In truly CRAP conditions offshore I prefer the Bert's ride.

    Try to shut down or troll to fish though, and there's no comparison - the Hatt is BY FAR the more comfortable vessel at low speed or on the drift/anchor.

    Second, I don't care for the older Bert's interiors at all. Too much Formica and "plastic" feel. (Feretti has fixed that - but of course they've also "fixed" the price. I crawled around one of their new 45s recently - gorgeous boat, priced like a Cabo. If you want to spend upwards of a mil on it, have at it.)

    Their rubrails (if OEM) are a real pain too - aluminum, which looks like hell fast and is hell to replace. Hatteras uses Stainless, which holds up MUCH better.

    Finally, I find the systems engineering on the Berts not as good as the Hatts. Its not BAD, but if you give the me the choice between the two, I choose the Hatteras.

    And did!

  5. #5

    Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    I agree...before I made the decision to buy my Hatteras, I had looked at 35 Bertrams. The interiors are, to say the least, functional- mostly Formica etc and look like a 70s Holiday Inn. Another sore point for me: the aft deck hatches have no drain system, as far as I could tell, and they house the genset under the aft deck. On every boat I saw, the gensets were piles of rust. My experience of the 20' Baron that I had showed that the factory had absolutely NO interest whatever in any of their old stuff. Couldn't care less. No parts, no records, no nothing. Been there, done that, AMFYOYO.
    Two boat shows ago here in Naptown, I looked at a 45 Cabo SF next to a 46 Bertram SF. The difference was amazing. The Bertram cost quite a bit more- not small change but tens of kilobucks- yet the quality of wiring, assembly, trim, and the design of things where it really counted- in the engine room etc- were sloppy, rusty, poorly cut pieces everywhere etc. By contrast the engine and machinery spaces on the Cabo were as good as anything at the show. Real works of art. A pleasure to behold.
    I know that a lot of older Bertrams have enviable fishing records and have served with distinction in charter fleets and private hands. Some of their designs are ageless. I think the quality of their boats varies a great deal, much more so than Hatteras does, and the company has been through more than its' share of ups and downs. I don't think they hold their value as consistently as Hatteras yachts do, and the risk exposure is higher. I would not consider a used Bertram for any future projects; would rather tackle another Hatteras. IF I were to do another project, which is quite doubtful indeed.

  6. Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    Yeah, when I crawled through the Ferreti/Bertram at the last show what I saw looked good, but there were some real puzzlers - like the step DOWN from the head compartment to the master stateroom.

    Doesn't anyone understand that a head with a shower in it is going to get WET, if not from direct exposure from dripping water? You want that in your cabin? No? Then why would you have a step DOWN from the head compartment to the cabin space?

    The other thing that immediately caught my eye were the RV-style 12V switches for lighting and such. Those things are cheap-cheap-cheap and expensive to replace! Hatt used decora wall switches - standard household fare - in my boat, in boxes. They feel good, they work good, and if they crap out they're $2.00 each to replace.

    The wiring on the Bert was ok but nothing to write home about. By contrast on the Cabo I look at my initial impression in the machinery spaces and under the console was "WOW!"

    Of course the true test is 20 years later. And here, I like my Hatteras. Does she look 20 years old? No. About half that, maybe less. Yeah, she could use a paint job, and I'm redoing the brightwork again - its just one of those "gotta do it once in a while" deals. But in general when I step aboard her she feels like a 5-year old boat, not a 20 year old one.

    And everything - I do mean EVERYTHING - works. Precious little has had to be replaced over those years in terms of wiring and basic systems. Things wear out, but I have more and more appreciation for the construction on my Hatt as I work on her. To find a 20-year-old wiring system with labels and BLUEPRINTS in the owner's package, with every wire neatly routed and tied.....

    I've been on a lot of boats trying to work on something and have had to spend incredible amounts of time just trying to figure out what goes where in the original wiring. When I installed my Floscans I used the existing bridge tach wire runs - they were right where the prints said they were, in the existing main panel enclosures at the aft end of the engine room. Tying into those was a 5 minute job. Ditto for the ignition wiring. 5 minutes, literally, verifying that it really was on the terminal that the prints said it was.

    It was.

    The bridge is now sporting three new terminal blocks for the floscans. Just like Hatteras did it originally, with all wires on ring connectors, properly crimped. Bet they work 20 years from now too.

    Try THAT with most of the other boat makes out on the market...... With most you'll have to string new wires, because there's no ACCURATE way to do the retrofit without making a hellish mess out of it and there's no good place to mount the new blocks either until you slather some epoxy on a piece of wood and glue it somewhere so you can mount your new stuff.
    Last edited by Genesis; 12-03-2005 at 12:56 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram


    When you say don't tolerate the heavy seas as well what kind of seas are you speaking of? Just curious for a frame of reference say with a 32 like mine. I've been in 10ftrs coming back in and she did okay, but nothing like I'd ever plan on heading out into. I'm sure boats like yours and others do well in seas like 10ftrs but I don't think I'd ever head out in a Bert or Hat with those kind of waves.

    Contruction-wise I've seen a lot of guys rebuild Berts (over the net postings), and I've seen a lot of Bert owners replacing rotten wood but haven't seen a Hatteras like mine have these problems. In fact I think the only part of my boat that has issues right now is the battery box, which really isn't part of the construction of the boat. Both boats I believe to be built tough and weigh in pretty heavy so I would expect them to do well in seas which other boats wouldn't. I have been really impressed with my ride and couln't see many ways it could get better, unless I have the $$ for diesel, which would make me more efficient. What makes the Hat relatively slower than the Bert? The extra weight?

  8. #8

    Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    We looked at comparable year 35 Bertrams when we bought our 36C Hat. Mechanically the Bert can't come close. Those wood cocpit floors with no drain system for the hatches. The rusty genset. Wow, no comparison. There is no one to contact at the factory. Hatteras makes you feel like part of their family. The workmanship on our Hat rivals Boeing or Lockheed. Our Hat rides great in all conditions and with that little keel tracks straight without an autopilot. Another fact is that the 35 Bert would fit inside our 36 Hat. Hats are much larger, beamier and heavier boats. Not even close.

  9. #9

    Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    I've owned both at different points (hence the "Bertramp" name) ... went from 25B to 28B to 41C(series 1) to 31B to 36C (series 1) to 45H (series 1).
    All older boats ... would never buy (and couldn't afford) a new one in either case. Either is a very nice ride. Bertrams are faster boats, but tend to need more power to be that way. Due to the deep V they are less of a pound in sea, but not by as much as you might think and a 31 Bertram is THE wettest boat I have ever owned. Hatts are flater in the xss end, but because they are heavier and have a keel, they ride well too. When looking for a "big boat" ... 45 is big to me and as big as I'll get ... i considered a 46 Bert, but found the finish and systems nicer on the Hatt ... and with the older boats, the Bert owners tended to be the guys that wanted to go faster, so the engines have been pushed more. "Bertramp" is happy with his Hatt.

  10. #10

    Re: Question about Hatteras vs Bertram

    I had a 33 Bertram that was a 1987, it was a very nice boat. For the record it had a good ROI, after 5 years of ownership it sold for $22K more than I paid, although I did spend some dollars along the way making it perfect.
    It felt completely different from the 36 I now own and the 37 I previously owned. It felt much lighter, and it was, more nimble, faster, and much more tender. It was very good in a head sea under 3 feet, but over, no match for the Hatteras. It was a very tender and difficult to manage boat in a beam sea, and it was awful in a heavy following sea. I thought I was going to roll it on trip on lake Erie one afternoon. It was the only boat I ever owned that would pull props out of the water in certain beam sea conditions, that's very disconcerting. Mine had a teak interior and looked nice. In no way was the interior quality as fine as the Hatteras, not at all. The exterior gel work was excellent, very fine craftsmanship, although there was some evidence of stress cracks. All and all they are both fine boats, best in class, I almost bought a 38 Bertram as a replacement for the 33 but ended up with another Hatteras. I had a deposit on this ultra clean 38 Bertram from Michigan but when I found the 36 Hatteras I now own the decision was very easy in favor of the Hatteras. Comparing a 32 Hatteras with a 33 Bertram would be tough. The Hatteras interior, if part of the equation will make the decision easy, especially if there is a woman involved.

    Tony D

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