|LOA||66 ft., 11 in. (w/pulpit)|
|Engines||Twin CAT C32A, 1,900 hp|
|Base Price||Just under $3 million|
|Hatteras uses a blister-resistant vinylester clear gelcoat, finished with a polyester coating on the hull and superstructure. A resin-infused fiberglass stringer system is used in the solid glass hull bottom. Hull sides and superstructure are laminated with PVC foam coring.|
|Twin CAT C32A diesel engines (1,600 hp), stainless steel cleats, engine room FM200 extinguishing system, portable drychem fire extinguishers, stainless steel trim tabs, Nibral high-performance props, 3-inch high-strength prop shafts, 21.5 kw Onan generator, bilge and sump pumps, 30-gallon water heater, polyethylene water and sewage tanks, reversible oil-changing system, one 240v 50-amp retractable shore-cord service, system monitoring on engine room systems, transom door, bait and tackle center, 60-inch fishbox, mounting plate for fighting chair, 32-inch TV in salon, Bose home theater, Headhunter freshwater toilets and more.|
|Auxiliary fuel tank, second 21.5 kw generator, cockpit coaming lights, additional shore cord, 1,700-pound anchor windlass, electric or hydraulic bow thruster, swim platform, flip-down TVs in guest staterooms, teak package, transom livewell, interior stairwell, lower galley layout, pneumatic sliding salon door, colored hull, water-maker, custom electronics package and more.|
|Hatteras Yachts, New Bern, N.C.;
|West Coast Dealer|
|Stan Miller Yachts, San Diego;
(619) 224-1510; stanmilleryachts.com
Stan Miller Yachts, Newport Beach, Calif.;
Stan Miller Yachts, Long Beach, Calif.;
M & P Yacht Centre, Vancouver, B.C.;
Posted: June 1, 2012 | Boat Type: Motoryacht
Enclosed from the elements, open to admirationHow does one improve on a sportfishing yacht from an already successful line? I mean, with the launch of the Hatteras GT series, which includes GT54, GT60 and GT63 models, how much better can it get? Enter the new Hatteras GT63 Enclosed Flybridge.
Wrapping a flybridge in a hard structure is not a new idea, but care must be taken so that the enclosure doesn’t look like a misplaced blob on top of a sportfisher. Size and style are critical in matching the yacht’s overall lines. Hatteras engineers figured it out, not only blending the enclosed bridge into the overall size ratios but also creating sleekness and contours that match the main unit. It really is a match made in heaven, or at least in New Bern, N.C.
Additionally, the structure needs to be solid, with a good layup schedule to match the quality of the lower fiberglass work. Creaks, groans and bangs are not acceptable on an enclosed flybridge, and you will not find them on the GT63 EFB.
Thanks to the innovative lines of the GT brand, the swept-back enclosed bridge style and a wave-busting hull, this yacht has arresting looks, so much so that during the sea trial, the local U.S. Coast Guard unit on patrol came screaming up our wake with blue lights ablaze. They said the boarding was for a safety check, during which our captain and vessel checked out fine (plenty of life jackets, etc.), but I really think it was a veiled attempt to get an inside peek at a hot-looking yacht, which they did. It’s all in a day’s work for those folks, and our thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard for its fine work.
When you approach the Hatteras GT63 EFB dockside, its hull catches your eye, especially the unbroken sheer running from stem to stern, the gentle tumblehome aft and the generous flare that supports a foredeck akin to an aircraft carrier. Battling seas should be easier than battling some of the tough pelagic trophies this hull is built to chase.
Also noticeable is that the enclosed bridge is slightly narrower than the deck it sits on and doesn’t extend out over the house, allowing for the molded side grab track (instead of grabrails). Side teardrop windows are symmetrical to the salon windows. Forward windshields are swept back at the same angle as the lower blackout windows.
Aft of the enclosed bridge is an outside deck with a port-side helm pod for easy dockside maneuvering or backing down on the day’s catch. A large window in the aft bulkhead allows for forward visibility, albeit somewhat limited for lengthy forward navigation. The bulkhead door has full-length glass, and there’s a starboard-side window.
A Salon in the Sky
The magic happens on the inside. Access the enclosed bridge either from the aft cockpit ladder or the optional interior staircase, and enter an area that’s more than just a helm station. It’s large enough to sport an L-shaped settee to port on the aft bulkhead, a centerline pedestal Pompanette helm chair flanked by port and starboard bench seats, a counter with a refrigerator/ice-maker underneath and a drop-down panel with a flat-screen TV mounted to it, across from the settee. The bridge really earns accreditation as a sky salon thanks to the large windows that offer picturesque views as well as great visibility for the captain. Also, it could double as a stateroom in a pinch, as the AC system will keep it comfortable.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight some of the hidden details, including ample rod storage beneath the settee, built-in footrests for bench and settee seating, under-seat drawers large enough for chart storage and a dry bar.
And the noise? Not a problem, as there isn’t any. You can barely hear the engines purring or the whistling wind, as the enclosed area is almost soundproof, even when the yacht is running hard. No screaming is necessary for you to be heard by fellow passengers.
Don’t think that the Hatteras folks skimped on the helm/console area, because they didn’t. There’s a plethora of space for almost any configuration of chart/radar/fish/video displays, CAT engine monitors, radios, gauges, depth/speed displays, switches — you get the idea. Single-lever CAT throttle controls with electric synchro and trolling valve switches are to the left of the power-assisted steering wheel.
Many people question the practical use of an enclosed bridge on a sportfisher, but it offers a level of protection from the elements, running to or from the fishing grounds or just cruising, as Hatteras marketing director Eric Cashion explained; plus, not everyone buys a sportfishing boat to fish. Many customers, especially outside the U.S., use these yachts just for cruising.
The Rest of the Boat
Options abound on the GT63, so your pleasure could surely be designed. Go for the standard open bridge with a pod or station helm. Stateroom layouts include three or four rooms, queen or split bunks. Want more salon seating? Opt for the galley-down layout.
Our test ride has the galley up, with a very large center island that doubles as an eating nook with two stools, separating the salon from the galley. To port is a U-shaped dining table that can seat at least four people comfortably.
The galley is vast with large counter areas, a Miele flat four-burner electric stovetop, an in-cabinet Sharp microwave, Jenn-Air drawer-style refrigerator/freezers, a garbage disposal, a deep stainless sink, and plenty of storage cabinets and drawers.
Relaxation is the goal in the salon, with a plush L-shaped settee to port across from the in-cabinet 42-inch LCD TV. A large aft window lets you catch the game on TV while keeping an eye out for game on the lines. Hatteras tucked away the enclosed bridge stairway with floating steps in the aft starboard corner that blend nicely with the salon décor. Woodwork throughout comes in either cherry or African mahogany, finished with a satin polyester.
Hatteras mounts the water heater in the small machinery space beneath the lower stairway, to decrease the distance hot water needs to flow to the sinks and showers.
Four staterooms/three heads fit nicely below, and having this many pillows for resting weary heads makes for comfy cruising or extended fishing.
Two staterooms on the port side have over-under bunks and cedar-lined closets and share a common head with a shower stall, a freshwater toilet and Amtico vinyl flooring.
To starboard is the master stateroom with a queen berth, cedar lockers, nightstands and dressers, a 32-inch LCD TV and a Bose stereo. An en suite head has faux wood Amtico vinyl flooring, a single sink with upper/lower cabinetry, a shower stall and an AC air-freshener blower.
Forward in the peak is the VIP stateroom with a center island berth, cedar closets, under-berth cedar-lined storage, a screened overhead hatch and a stereo. The accompanying private head is fitted with Amtico flooring, cabinetry and a stall shower.
Want to wet a line? There is 173 square feet of fish-fighting and mezzanine viewing space in the cockpit. Everything is here for your next catch: two 60-inch in-deck fishboxes, a transom baitwell, a three-drawer bait-and-tackle center with a cutting board, a bait freezer, insulated storage boxes, a mounting plate for a fighting chair and a transom door to help land the big ones.
Pushing this behemoth to the brink are Caterpillar blocks, in either 1,600, 1,800 or 1,900 hp. Our ride sports twin CAT C32A diesels pushing maximum horses, and we had no trouble getting up and over the 40-knot sweet spot. From within the enclosed bridge, it didn’t feel like we were going that fast (probably did to the Coast Guard, though).
Hatteras takes care of the details, too, especially in the engine room, where there’s easy access around the ancillary systems, including the 21.5 kw Cummins Onan generator, the Dometic ice system, the Sea Recovery water system, the Crusair AC, the water and fuel filters, and the electric panels. I can attest to that not only because I’ve been on several GT models for sea trials, but also because I took a tour of the factory in North Carolina. Attention to detail is part of the job, instilled on the production line and evident in the workers’ passion for delivering the best product possible.