Bertram Debuts 61 Convertible

The Bertram 61 was designed to fish tournaments and cruise with the family.

Bertram 61
The Bertram 61’s stepped sheerline gives her a highly stylized, retro aesthetic.Courtesy Bertram Yachts

After Gruppo Gavio ­purchased Bertram in 2015, most who followed the ­iconic fishing-boat brand sensed that good things were coming. The ­introduction of the classically inspired Bertram 35 at the 2016 Newport International Boat Show let the world know that the new Bertram was serious about its heritage, but the question remained: Would the builder attempt to reclaim its place among the big boys of the convertible world with a tournament-ready ­battlewagon?

The answer lies in the Bertram 61.

The 61 has lines that are unapologetically masculine and blocky in a good way—think Mercedes G-Wagon. When I stepped aboard her business end, the cockpit features showed that her bite lives up to the styling’s bark. This particular 61 had a Pompanette fighting chair situated in the center of 188 square feet of fish-fighting space. A 100-gallon in-transom livewell was accompanied by twin in-sole fish boxes as well as rod stowage to port and starboard. A tuna door to starboard would allow for a fish’s easy egress from the salt, and the whole scene could be enjoyed from mezzanine seating with a refrigerated drink box under a step leading to the salon.

Bertram 61 Overhead Illustration
44 knots. That’s the Bertram 61’s top speed. With twin 1,925 hp Caterpillar C32A diesels and a Seakeeper 16 gyrostabilizer, this sport-fisher can get to the bite fast and keep everyone comfy for a day of wetting lines.Courtesy Bertram Yachts

By far the most striking feature in this Bertram 61’s salon was the forward “window,” which is actually the yacht’s tinted visor, made of military-spec ballistic glass. This option is three-eighths of an inch thick and so strong that, according to Bertram, you could hit it with a hammer ­without causing damage. (I didn’t get a chance try that though.) Yet, the visor is see-through from inside, a rarity on sport-fish boats today, and a quality that makes for a well-lit salon, especially in the galley forward, with its dual, custom-made barstools.

Another ­feature rarely seen on a production convertible this size is down below on the accommodations level. The Bertram 61 has a ­full-beam amidships master, more akin to what might be found on a ­motoryacht than a fishing boat. Windows to port and starboard provide generous amounts of light, and twin ­4-foot-tall, cedar-lined lockers offer enough stowage for longer voyages. Tunes are pumped into the master through a Sonos system that plays ­separately in other areas of the vessel.

Bertram 61 stateroom
The 61’s en suite, forepeak VIP stateroom has a queen-size berth with stowage on either side. The berth can split into twins to make space for fishing crew or friends.Courtesy Bertram Yachts

Additional en suite ­staterooms include a queen-berth VIP ­forward and a starboard ­stateroom with twin berths.

The Bertram 61’s engine room is accessed through a door in the mezzanine. The boat I got aboard had twin 21.5-kW Cummins Onan generators and four Parker Racor fuel filters that were easy to reach. There was also a standard Seakeeper 16 ­gyrostabilizer that pinned the yacht in place in the choppy 3- and 4-footers out on the water.

Not only did the Bertram 61 come to play, but she also showed up with style and features that other boats in her class simply do not have. She sure seems like a major step on Bertram’s fast track back to tournament prominence.

Take the next step: bertram.com