The Bertram 800 will be at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this October at the head of the Bertram Yachts fleet, and if you’re looking to be the undisputed king of the marina, this boat will be tough to beat. Yes, 80 seems huge for a sportfishing boat. But the success of 70-foot-plus sportfishers in the past few years proves that when it comes to fishing offshore in comfort, bigger is better.
While size matters, it isn’t the only thing about the Bertram 800 that is impressive; several new construction tweaks are being introduced on this boat. The windshield, for example, is traditionally an area of weakness on convertibles and on many models has simply been eliminated. This strengthens the boat but it also drastically reduces natural light in the cabin. On the 800, Bertram has incorporated a windshield constructed of multiple layers of tempered glass that are tied into the fiberglass structure, not only ensuring maximum strength, but actually brightening the interior at the same time.
This boat’s struts are also an interesting departure from the norm. They’ve been designed to eliminate cavitation and reduce vibrations. That should contribute to a smoother ride, but an even bigger comfort boost is in store: the new 800 also comes fitted with an anti-roll gyro. These systems, which have a massive flywheel mounted on gimbals in an oil bath, can produce approximately 1,400 foot-pounds of counter-torque to the boat’s rolling motion. I’ve tested them on Bertrams before, and discovered that their impact on comfort is real and quantifiable. On an ARG-equipped 570, I measured roll inclination and period through 20 sets of waves in the four- to five-foot range, with the ARG disabled. Sitting with the beam to the seas, these waves heeled the boat to over 10 degrees for two or three rolls, then dropped to seven to nine degrees for the next several rolls, and then to four to seven degrees before the boat settled out.
With ARG running, however, through the next series of 20 wave sets the inclinometer rarely broke 10 degrees. On the follow-up roll it hit between three and eight, and on the third roll the boat settled out. Roll period was also squelched, dropping from an average 9.8 seconds to an average 7.1 seconds. The deck felt like it was remaining more level and as though it were rising and falling with the waves, instead of rocking and rolling back and forth over them. After crunching the numbers on those 40 wave sets, we proved a quantified roll reduction of 32.75 percent.
Put all of these factors together, then consider the boat’s four-stateroom layout, massive cockpit with an L-shaped mezzanine and day head, spiral staircase, and white oak interior, and you have a monster sportfish that’ll excite your Gray Poupon/Rolls Royce guests yet still fish with your blood-and-guts crew. Yup, this one’s a king-maker, for sure.