By Steve Dougherty
Despite a week of continuous rain and more precipitation on the radar, we were graced with a break in the weather allowing for a quick sea trial out Port Everglades aboard the all-new Hatteras GT65 Carolina. A brisk east wind added to the uncertainty, stirring up the seas with a short distance between crests. “Perfect day for a sea trial,” Captain Bill Diamond chuckled as we cleared the bobbing sea buoy.
We were expecting a nasty wind chop, and it may have felt that way on any other vessel, but Brianna’s striking hull profile with convex fore sections and variable degree deadrise sliced through the head sea with ease, providing a soft reentry every time. Tracking true while remaining dry and stable, the GT65 Carolina was authored by a team of skilled artisans with design initiatives reminiscent of the original Knit Wits – two seemingly very disparate Hatteras sportfishing convertibles. Brianna’s modern responsiveness can largely be attributed to the evolution of its advanced running-surface design utilizing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis to optimize hull form. Propeller tunnels further enhance performance initiatives through a reduced shaft angle, decreased load sensitivity and the fitting of larger diameter wheels.
Replacing the owner’s GT54, and taking over the GT63 model line, the latest splash from the New Bern, North Carolina builder provides clean and fresh designs inside and out. The refined look features a stepped-back bridge, updated windows and hull-side vents, and a lavish custom interior fashioned by Houston-based Blailock Design. The standard salon layout positions the TV starboard to allow for a kitchen island, though Brianna’s owner desired a centered entertainment system. While the multicolored Vanessa Prager sculptural painting brings striking contrast to the salon, the four-stateroom, three-head interior is highlighted by exotic woodwork and a master stateroom that’s the largest in its class, showcasing the builder’s ability to work with owners on customizing their yacht’s interior design and amenities.
She’s certainly beautiful, but it is what’s hidden below that matters most. Like all Hatteras convertibles, the GT65 Carolina incorporates advanced vinylester resin infusion technology to produce a hull that’s lighter, stiffer and stronger than traditional hand-laid fiberglass boat construction. With the optional C-32 Acert Caterpillar diesels rated at 1,925 MHP each, this slick craft cruises at 31 knots with a range of approximately 433 nautical miles. Wide open, she’ll eclipse 40 knots with a 360 nautical mile range. At 7-9 knots range is increased to 1,313 nautical miles.
While Brianna looks great underway, slip the single-lever controls into neutral for a closer look at the shimmering hull and topsides. Though many builders prefer high-gloss gelcoat, Hatteras paints all of its boats and employs a rigorous schedule to achieve a glass-like finish. Just a few benefits of a painted surface include a high sheen exterior that requires less maintenance, better color match on repairs, and the end of crazing and unsightly caulk lines.
Everyone involved at Hatteras should be incredibly proud of the freshly minted GT65 Carolina. The exceptional design with swank accommodations ensures live-aboard comfort, extended range and sportfishing prowess, making that dream of the perfect boat finally come true.
- Length: 68’2”
- Beam: 20’0”
- Draft: 5’
- Displacement: 103,000 lbs
- Water Capacity: 270 gal.
- Fuel Capacity: 1,900 gal.
- Engines: (2) CAT C-32A 1925 MHP
- Genset: (2) Onan 21.5kW
- Stabilizer: (2) Seakeeper 9
- Watermaker: Dometic Spot Zero
- Electronics: Furuno, Garmin
- Helm & Fighting Chair: BlueWater Chairs
- Cockpit Space: 194 sq. ft.
Special thanks to Captain Bill Diamond, first mate Kasey McCauley and John D’Agostino of Hatteras Yachts for accommodating us on our mid-October sea trial.