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OK experts:Hatteras, Bertram or “others”??

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OK experts:Hatteras, Bertram or “others”??

Old 02-11-2019, 09:34 AM
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Default OK experts:Hatteras, Bertram or “others”??

Hey Folks!

Have lurked a while and now ready to ask some questions – from the experts!

I am 62, my wife 57.

We are gonna retire in less than 5 years.

We live in Lexington SC and will relocate to Bluffton / St Helena when we retire (between Savannah and Charleston). We will not be able to live on the water but will work to either lease/rent a slip at someone’s private dock (best case scenario) or use a marina.

We lived in S Florida late 80’s to 2005. We fished the Bahamas a good bit on 32’ gas inboard boat – primarily Chub Cay / Berry Islands but also made Ezumas. Loved Bimini in the early days but it was never the same after The Angler burned.

I am handy and know gas engines / marine systems pretty well – but am not overly familiar with diesels that have been marinized. I came up as a truck mechanic and am a trainer for the maintenance dept of a trucking company now. I am a decent 12 v guy.

Our original plan was to wait to retirement and get a trawler and reproduce our trips on a longer scale, ie: 3-6 months (which is still part of the plan).

I just found an unusually good deal on a Taiwanese trawler but am afraid to pull the trigger, at least now.

Reason: I would like to fish the coast of Carolina from now til retirement and a trawler is obviously too slow.

This leads, finally, to the gist of the question:

Best small sportfish for a couple? I would consider and express but really like the open saloon in a sporty.

We would often invite 2-3 others to fish with us – for companionship and to defray fuel costs. The run to the ledge and out into the blue water is far…


Coastal cruising
Long weekends – sleeping on the boat
1-2 weeks annually as vacation on boat, will head to Savannah of Wilmington, etc.
Reef and wreck fishing ~ 12-40 miles off
Possible dive trips – I limit myself to 60’
Offshore fishing, 12-15 hour trips


Twin engines
Decent fuel capacity – need 200 mile range with 15-20% cushion
Would love to be at .8 nmpg, if possible
Genset or add a gen
A/C, prefer 2 units
Transom door really desired
Swim platform
Decent riggers
Glass cockpit
Seaworthy reputation
Decent cockpit
Windlass or add one
Bow pulpit a plus
Do not want a tower

I am thinking 36-38’ and sort of narrowed it down to Bert and Hatt. I do not want a boat that rocks like crazy on drift or anchor, even if the trade off is less ability to fight a head, beam or following sea. We are not going to be part of the hard core, fishing only crew. My motto, now that I am older and (slightly) wiser, will be “if it’s blowing, I ain’t going”. I did too much of that back in the day and it was simply too dangerous.

My wife is an excellent captain and on the 32, she stayed up on the flybridge and I stayed in the cockpit, for the most part.

We will eventually use the boat in the Bahamas, also – and a good % of that time, the boat will stay at hull speed so it needs an engine that can stand entended lower rpm’s. The party is where you are at – not where you are going….

We are NOT speed demons. A true 18 knot cruise would not alarm me at all – although I think with a great many hulls, that is not the most efficient speed. 20 knots would feel like flying!

I am perfectly fine with an N engine or one that is turbocharged only. When you add the aftercooler and crank the HP up, the costs really go sky high, from a fuel and maintenance perspective, not to mention the liability if something goes bang (and it will).

I will clean the bottom and do the zincs. Most repairs, short of a cylinder head coming off, I will do myself.

Aasaaah, the budget. Would love to be $60-80K boat alone.

I am not alarmed at an older hull but am not gonna take a project. Conversely, I am not interested in a boat with 95% aesthetic updates and 5% system updates. In fact, it would be the other way around – I am great with re-powered (as long as the center of balance is not screwed up) and house / bridge updates being required. I would even be ok with older electronics on the right boat.

OK, guys and gals, please help me! Sorry for the long post…

Jim and Jo

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Old 02-11-2019, 12:10 PM
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Where are the knowledgeable experts?
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:43 PM
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I am a CC outboard type person and am little to no help with your question, but similar questions get asked all the time and almost always these type of posts get skipped over by the real experts and if they get answered at all it is by people with little knowledge of the actual subject at hand(like me answering your post!).

At your budget the brand does not matter hardly at all, rather maintenance is king and will trump everything else, try to find one with up to date wiring, good engine maintenance records, etc.

Maybe an expert will chime in, but do not get frustrated if they do not.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:48 PM
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Bertram 31 in excellent condition, re-powered etc. Facebook has a B31 group.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:45 PM
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Thanks - but can’t do a 31.

Fished a 31 a great deal and it is a wonderful boat but it misses my desired boat by a long shot.

Could have purchased it at a very reasonable deal and declined.

Not enough cabin.

Too tender.

No transom door.

Not enough cabin for the missus (or for me).

It is is a purebred fishing boat.

I love to troll but need a more more versatile platform.

Also, it is too wet and the helm is way too small and way too far forward - very rough ride up there.

Transom is a a smooth ride but u need a rain suit.

Welcome all comments!
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:46 PM
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Thanks SkiBum - great comments

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Old 02-11-2019, 01:56 PM
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60-80k is hard. There are 20 year old contenders going for that in SFL that need power.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:59 PM
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Up your budget and you will have options.

Not much within that budget ...unless you want pre 1990 ….
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:15 PM
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I would caution you against any 36-38 convertible. The engine access is going to be VERY tight so unless you are a retired circus performer, you are going to have a hard time getting around the engine room. They generally have the same systems as larger boats so you are not saving much in cost.

A decent 79 or 80 Post 42 with naturals would be in your price range. My parents cruised one for 6 months/year, (Maryland to Key West and way out into the Bahamas for years). Plenty of room for a davit and a decent sized dinghy. Lots of storage, separate stall shower, 2 real cabins (each with an entrance to the head), GREAT engine access. Solid hull and topside (cored FRP deck and superstructure after '79). No, the ride would not be as good as a 42 Hat or Bert, but good enough and the fuel economy will be WAY better (close to your 0.8nm/g), 300 mile range with 410G.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:16 PM
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:36 PM
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Pre 90 would not bother me at all.

In fact, almost everything I have looked at is older than that.

I agree fully with maintenance and I will know when I look at it. A deserted boat, deferred maintenance etc just screams out at you.

I am relatively capable in a small small engine room but I am not a contortionist.

I worked a weekend biz in the tri county S FL area for about 7-8 years, primarily on mid sized gassers - some of them were very tight, particularly the 454’s.

My 6.5 Onan was between my transmissions also and was no picnic.

I repowered my 32 with new crate engines from Chevy (Crusaders) and it had fuel tanks outside the engines and they were no fun.

Worked on a few older boats and you simply could not get the exhaust manifold bolts out - the inside was not bad but using a die grinder to cut the heads off of 8 bolts on the outside of the engine (where you cannot see) is a bear.

I am not in in a bind and am gonna be real careful
what I buy - I just want my efforts invested into a well
designed boat and want it to hold its value.

They are not on the top of my list but will look
at Post and Ocean. My buddy had a 42 Post and it was big but it was far from

Trying to stay under 40’ as we may buy a slip and once u take it over 40, costs go up remarkably.

Yes, I understand I am budget limited but it is that or nothing. Don’t have much room to go up.

Appreciate all input!

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Old 02-11-2019, 02:37 PM
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I don't think OPs price range is completely out of the question. There are plenty of people trying to get out of their sportfish and into a big CC, and having trouble finding buyers. For example, a quick search resulted in this. It might take some time to find the right boat / deal once you know what you want, and you'll likely have a bit of work to do on it, but it sounds like you're handier than the average boater out there. What someone else might dub a "project" boat could be a few weekends of elbow grease for you and enjoyment after that.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:44 PM
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PS I think most all 90+ boats are gonna be T/A and I am def trying to avoid a snenario where we are trying to generate 50+ HP per engine liter.

I am far far from an expert but I remember this:

3208 NA - expected life can be 20k hours with good maintenance.

Take it to T and it goes to 12k.

Take it to TA and it goes to 8k.

And - these are optimistic figures based on true, high quality maintenance which we know not many boats get.

My point is - we can see what TA does.

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Old 02-11-2019, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by q0rban View Post
I don't think OPs price range is completely out of the question. .
Thanka Q0 -

i looked at that boat but 80 hp x2 does not sound right.

I do do not see that boat backing down or executing a quick 180 with a fast billfish on.

When and and if I move to a trawler, some
of these issues will be considered but then I would want the trawler layout with port and starboard doors etc.

i fear the guy guy with this boat made a horrible
mistake doing that conversion.

Looks great but I would not buy it.

Thank you though!!!!
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:09 PM
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You should look at the older 38 blackfin, best riding sportfish under 40’ and have diesels. 36-40’ Luhrs is a secondary option. The 38 hatteras has a tiny cockpit and a bertram or Hatteras is going to be a project in your price range
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:10 PM
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Like you already know most of the boats are going to be late 80's. I would be looking at these late 80's early 90's 38 hatteras, late 80's early 90's 35-38 viking, late 80's 35-38 bertrams. You could even look at 35 to 37 eggs, and Ocean's.
I'm sure you know but the purchase price is only the beginning. These old sporties are not going to be cheap to maintain.

Last edited by eheath; 02-11-2019 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:21 PM
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Might start with 38 or 42 bertrams. This is a listing i found for a 38 with 3208 cats that is in your price range. Those older bertrams were pretty bare bones but could do what you need. The 80's Ocean 38's and 42's were nicer interiors. There usually are lots of 42' Posts out there also.

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Old 02-11-2019, 03:29 PM
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Thank you guys!!!

great thoughts and I will look at them all!!
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:55 PM
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Look at the Tiara 3600's while you are at it. Great quality and can be had in your price range, which, no matter what, is going to involve some sort of "project" or another.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:07 PM
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I can think of a few. 35-38 Viking, 37 Bertram, and Hatteras 36, 37, & 38. Go to the Hatteras forum and see if you can find a boat in your size and price that is for sale by owner. I think you can work with your budget. The older Hatteras might have the naturals you want but will be slow.
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