Author: Capt. Tom Serio
I asked early on what the “GT”stands for on the new Hatteras GT60. After discussions with various folks, including a few from Hatteras, there was no clear answer. But after my sea trial, I realized what it could possibly mean: Get There. And get there you will with Hatteras” GT60 sportfisherman ” in style.
The Hatteras GT line, which includes the GT54 and GT63, as well as this redesigned GT60, is built for the serious fisherman and comes with a long list of options so you can trick out your ride the way you like it and for the fishing you do.
From a propulsion standpoint, the GT60 offers 12v Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines, with 1,600, 1,800 or 1,900 hp. Our test ride has the 1,900-horse version, which was evident as we went from idle to WOT. Running through the range, you can feel the power surging the boat forward so much that you think it can”t give any more. But it does, as the GT60 tops out at about 41.6 knots and 2300 rpm. For a 60-foot boat weighing approximately 90,000 pounds and bucking a 2- to 4-foot chop, that speed is impressive.
Credit also goes to a well-conceived variable-deadrise hull, complete with tunnel drives and big props. According to the manufacturer, the vessel turns 1600 rpm at 28.5 knots, makes 33 knots at 1800 rpm, 36.7 knots at 2000 rpm and reaches 38 knots at 2100 rpm.
Taking a beating is the solid fiberglass hull ” that”s 1.5 inches of resin-infused armor below the waterline ” with above-the-waterline hullsides of Divinycell coring. Marry that to the topsides where the joint is connected four ways (first by a Plexus adhesive, then screwed together, fastened again with the rubrail installation and then tabbed with 8-inch matting from the inside) and you essentially have a one-piece vessel.
On the styling front, you”ll see a gently flowing sheer line from the high bow aft toward the stern. That high bow incorporates the famous “Carolina Flair”for beating back big seas regardless of which coast you are fishing.
Generous tumblehome eliminates the slab-sided look of the hull at the transom. The twice-tinted side windows wrap around to a blacked-out forward window for a classic look. Our test boat is sans bow railing, which accents the clean profile (full railing is an option). Corners and edges throughout are curved, eliminating hard angles and keeping the boat pleasing to the eye.
Despite the boat”s absence of optional bridge-side handrails, Hatteras has molded a hand grab into the structure. It”s not a railing; rather, it”s a recess deep enough for fingers to get a firm hold, and it runs the length of the bridge. With an amply wide side gunwale, heading to the bow is not as treacherous as you might think.
The good looks don”t stop at the salon door but are carried throughout the yacht. Entering the salon through the automatic one-button sliding pocket door located to port, you”ll notice everything is low-level, so you can see across into the galley and dinette areas. More importantly, from these areas you can see out the large aft window, just in case you may have a fish on or something important like that.
An L-shaped settee runs under the aforementioned window and up the starboard side to the dinette. There are permanently mounted stools at the portside counter, but there is plenty of room to traverse the area without busting toes or bumping hips.
Classic interior styling includes satin mahogany joinery that”s reminiscent of the fit and finish of yesteryear. You”ll need to look up to check out the fabric headliner with fore/aft-running wood accents, as there”s more than 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom throughout the salon. There are optional grabrails that can be mounted to the accent pieces for additional stability (yours, not the boat”s).
To port is the cored-granite counter and galley. This combination creates a fore/aft-shaped work area between them, so the crew has plenty of preparation and serving space. When not in use, this area is clean and uncluttered, as everything is either below counter level or in cabinets.
Underfoot is Amtico vinyl flooring that runs across to the starboard dinette. It”s your choice if you would like two-, four- or six-drawer refrigerator-freezer combos. An electric four-burner stovetop is next to the single sink, keeping it simple. A Sharp microwave/convection oven is inside one of the overhead cabinets, while the other cabinets offer deep storage spaces, complete with pullout trays for easy access.
To starboard is the six-seat dinette table with fully padded seat and back cushions and storage underneath.
Down the forward companionway, you have a choice of four accommodation options: either four staterooms or three, V-berth or queen forward, crew quarters, or a galley-down configuration that gives so much space back to the salon.
Our test ride has the three-stateroom, three-head layout. With upper-lower V-berths in the bow, there”s room for drawer and shelf storage, along with a private head that includes a separate shower stall.
To starboard is a cozy two-person bunk setup with an en suite head including a shower stall. Notably, each bunk has its own DVD/video unit with flip-down monitor. And the upper bunk has a false bottom that unlatches and swings down from underneath for rod blank storage.
The master stateroom to port has a queen-size tapered berth, flanked by nightstands with drawers. A 32-inch flat-screen LCD TV is wall mounted across from the bed. Full-height closet doors open to reveal a cedar-lined half-height closet space (the back of the galley has to go somewhere). It”s still sufficient space for hanging jackets/pants, storing gear bags, etc. A roomy private head with a stall shower, Amtico wood-grain flooring, a medicine cabinet, under-counter storage and a Headhunter toilet will make you feel like the Master.
Rounding out the creature comforts is a washer/dryer combo nestled in a closet, out of the way. There”s also a hall closet for linens and towels as well as an under-floor dry storage area.
Access to the engine room is via the cockpit and down a ladder. I like a well-thought-out engine room, one that gives you plenty of space to check critical components, reach ancillary equipment and swing a wrench. You can actually get around these blocks for inspection and repairs; you just can’t go over them ” they reach right up to the ceiling.
Missing from the engine setup are the raw-water intake sea strainers. I”m told that the strainers on the hull intake openings are not of the slotted style but are the kind with small holes that already do the job of straining. When I boated in the Northeast, we used these to keep the eelgrass out of the coolers. Worked then and should work now.
Headroom tapers in here, with about 5 feet, 8 inches mid-room (a little less aft, a little more fore). Dual Racor fuel filters are ganged together for easy changing, and the oil service system (filters, inlet/outlet) is very handy. The shoot-through-the-hull transducer is housed in its own box filled with mineral oil. And though it is in the center area, it”s better than having another protrusion through the hull bottom.
The cockpit has more than 120 square feet of dancing space, with uncluttered corners and flush-mounted fishboxes. If you”re not into dancing, there”s a mezzanine seating area one level up so you can keep an eye on the lines, and judge the dancers. There”s no sink at the tackle center ” many mates don”t even use one. I find it interesting that there is a transom door for hauling in the big catch but no top gunwale gate. That”s OK if you can make it work, and it gives a nicer look to the teak capping that wraps down over the gunwales. Very classic, indeed.
Up on the bridge it”s all sportsman, with a center-pod helm and single-lever controls flanked by electronic boxes for radios and switches. The plexiglass-covered dash can accommodate three large displays for radar, charts, cameras, sub-terrain viewing, etc. With a drop-down overhead console, the GT60 has its engine monitors, autopilot and a few radios out of the way but not out of sight.
Fully cushioned wrap-around seating as well as a seat in front of the helm will assist in spotting fish or make it easy to lounge. Plenty of under storage and coolers are up here, helping to minimize ladder use. There is an optional peninsula-style helm, but it takes away from the roominess. I would suggest a second or even a third helm seat, as our test boat only has one. I like a second set of eyes on the controls and charts. In the aft corners on the floor are a series of drain holes that carry water from spray and washdown tubes and not down the backs of those below.
Visibility from the helm to the cockpit is great, as is the view forward. You would think when backing down this monster that tons of green water would pour over the transom, but that was not so. The water essentially jumped up and outward most of the time we tried it, and into the wind.