A while back Doug Logan told us about his love of the Bertram 31, a classic fishboat if there ever was one. But he also talked about making this preeminent predator into a fru-fru cocktail cruiser, a concept which I find completely unacceptable. Same goes for another boat that I love, the Bertram 28.
Despite their relatively similar lengths, the 28 is a very different boat from the 31. Sure, it shares the original deep-V hull design, is similarly tank-like, and yes, this one’s a gas-hog, too. Belowdecks, from the port-side galley, starboard-side dinette, and forward V-berth, you might mistake one boat for the other. But where it really counts—in the cockpit—the Bertram 28 is, IMHO, even better than the 31.
While the 31 has engine-boxes on either side and a step down into the entry, the 28 has upper and lower cockpit decks. Though this adds a step in the cockpit, it shrinks the step down into the cabin and eliminates the raised engine-boxes. And that upper deck is comfortable to fish from. The step between decks adds a spot to sit. Plus, the upper rails create a good place to lean on, while you hold your rod and wait for a bite. When I say I've spent a lot of time in the 28’s cockpit, I mean it—my father owns one (which, boo-hoo, is currently listed for sale; if you want a Bertram 28 that’s relatively low cost but in great shape, check this one out).
We've been fishing on the Wildcat for well over a decade, and we've bloodied its decks many, many times. We've chummed on it, we've trolled on it, and we've jigged on it. This 28 has seen fish ranging from stripers to tunas come over the gunwales. And I've sure as heck never, EVER seen a cocktail onboard. Take that, Doug.