Bertram 54 Boat Review | Marlin Magazine

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
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We start with the Bertram 54 because it simply defined this size range. Since this boat’s introduction in 1981, Bertram has built more than 200 54-footers, making this one of the longest-running and most successful boats on the water today.

Why is the model so popular? It’s so many things, really, but primarily it’s the performance, says Soderholm. It backs down straight, it will run in all kinds of conditions and it just holds together. You can do everything wrong, but that boat will bail you out every time.

Indeed, throughout its 18-year run, the Bertram 54’s hull has remained virtually unchanged and unparalleled for its rough-sea ability. This fact marked a change for Bertram back in the early 1980s, because up to that point Bertram built boats that were fast, but they had a reputation for rolling in a beam sea — a reputation that still undeservingly lingers today.

When people think about Bertram, many think of a 20- or 22-degree deadrise at the transom, Soderholm says. But that’s not the case. Starting with the 54 we went to a variable-degree deadrise with only 17 degrees at the transom, which dealt with the roll factor. We’ve done every boat since the same way.

Bertram introduced a minor redesign of the 54 in late 1995, when the company was run by Carl Herndon. This redesign left the proven hull unchanged but improved the engine room arrangement and increased the spaciousness of the interior accommodations. Other changes to the Bertram in recent years include a move from balsa to Nidacore as the core component in the hull sides and superstructure (the bottom remains solid glass) and a new European window treatment that began appearing in the model just over a year ago.

Other than the fact that the 54 manages to include a third head with a stand-up shower, Bertram’s interior layout is fairly straightforward. An L-shaped settee in the salon sits opposite the entertainment center. A U-shaped galley includes under-counter refrigeration and hidden appliances and sits opposite the L-shaped four-person dinette. Down below, the master stateroom features a queen berth that sits askew for easy walk-around, an over/under berth to starboard for crew, and a guest stateroom forward that includes crisscross berths that can sleep three.

Likewise, the bridge arrangement is typical for boats of the genre. A large helm is connected to the starboard bulkhead, with a U-shaped area for lots of seating forward. The engine room sports similar simplicity: clean layout, decent headroom, easy access to systems.

While the package may be simple to the point of mundane, it’s proved popular enough to be called a trendsetter. As far as units go, we’ve sold more 31s and 46s, Soderholm says, but that 54 is the most coveted boat out there today, even in the used market. Everybody recognizes the 54.

One unknown for the 54, however, is what influence may come down from the company’s new Italian owner, Ferretti, which is busy introducing a lineup of newly designed boats of 51, 45 and 39 feet in length. It remains unclear what will become of the venerable 54 once this new line is complete.

I’m not sure what the future holds [for the 54], admits Soderholm, who is convinced the 54 will remain an important piece of the Bertram puzzle but conceded a redesign of the model is likely. Sooner or later the top will probably fall into the same kind of basic design as the new models that are coming out, so it fits in the family.

Will you like the 54 of the future as much as you’ve shown you love the 54 of the past? You’ll get an early indication at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in October, where Bertram will unveil the first of its new Ferretti-design boats, the 51-foot Five-Ten.

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