21 Top Sport-Fishing Yachts

From Hatteras to Viking and everything in between, we've got the top sport-fishermen around!

Huckins 45 Sportfisherman

As she had done hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times before, Cindy Purcell advanced the throttles on a custom-built Huckins, this one the new 45 Sportfisherman called Wombat. The 45 SF, built for a south Florida angler, is more than a fishing machine — far more. Standing beside Purcell and watching the speed-over-ground figures rise on the multifunction display as the boat came cleanly and smoothly out of the hole sans squatting, I marveled at the sense of power and acceleration delivered by twin 480-horsepower Cummins diesels. We were gliding over a light wind chop on the St. Johns River near Jacksonville, Florida, home to one of the oldest custom boatbuilders in the ­United States that still produces fine yachts under its founder’s name, Frank Pembroke Huckins. To see the rest of this full feature, click here!

Hatteras GT70

Back in the late 1950s, Willis Slane dreamed of building a sport-fisherman from a then-new ­material called fiberglass, with separate staterooms for four anglers, a roomy salon and a complete galley. Oh, and it had to beat back the mad mix of seas created by the warm Gulf Stream and cold Labrador Current off Cape Hatteras. In March 1960, the first Hatteras convertible was launched. She was the 41-foot Knit Wits. Fast-forward to the present day, and it’s easy to see that the Hatteras Yachts powers-that-be have kept Slane’s vision alive, building with the same attributes and commitment. Now, however, the dream is the buyer’s, and the vision is the Hatteras GT70 Convertible. To read the rest of the full feature on the Hatteras GT70, click here.

Viking 62 Convertible

Meet the beast – this Viking sport-fisherman can reach 42 knots! To see a full web feature on this monster, click here.

Hatteras 45EX

Desire something a little smaller for your sport-fishing needs? Hatteras just introduced a 45 Express. Tricked out with a tuna tower, outriggers, cockpit mount for chair/rocket launcher/leaning post, tackle center and mezzanine seating for watching baits, the 45EX is rigged as a serious contender. She is powered by twin 1,150-horsepower Cat C18 ACERT diesel engines, and she delivers speeds topping 40 knots (1,015-­horsepower Cat C18s are available too). Our sea trial of the 45EX showed impressive handling, with the boat leaning moderately into turns without bogging down on the props. Hatteras employs a custom-engineered sound-­deadening system to reduce noise and vibration. Her interior is all luxury thanks to wood flooring, leather seating, a full galley and a forward stateroom. On deck are two helm seats, an undercounter fridge and ice maker, an L-shaped settee and a table. An integrated hardtop allows for a one-piece windshield, which opti­mizes visibility in tandem with the large side windows. Install clear curtains across the bridge deck aft, and you have a sport-­fisherman for all seasons. Options include a bow thruster, additional stateroom, teak, oil-change system and more. It's a la carte ordering. Just check your must-have boxes, start her up, and go fishin'. — T.S.

Gamefisherman Explorer 130

The U.S. Navy defines a boat as any model that will fit aboard a ship. Based on that logic, a ship is any vessel that can carry a boat, which should qualify the Gamefisherman Explorer 130 as a ship. To read more about this behemoth of a boat, click here. To see more images of this goliath, click here!

Viking 92

Frank Rodriguez and I have both been salivating to see the new Viking 92 since the middle of 2013. I’ve been amped up since the day I saw the mammoth sport-­fisherman just starting construction, stretching beyond my eye’s view with prop tunnels so big that, when one worker lay down inside one to take a break, there was room for at least one more. Rodriguez didn’t need the in-person awe that I experienced at the shipyard. He’s a longtime Viking owner who saw the rendering on a piece of paper and, based on that alone, knew he had to have her. “When my yacht broker and friend Dave Berard sent me an email 1½ years ago with the artist rendering of the 92, I printed it, hung it on my bathroom mirror and told my wife, ‘That’s what we’re going to ride into the sunset with,’” Rodriguez explains. To read the rest of the full feature, click here!

Hatteras GT63

The field of tournament fishing boats has become crowded in the past 10 years. Boatbuilding legends and young upstarts have been locked in battle, creating custom masterpieces with no expense spared. Production convertible builders have reinvented themselves by launching ever-faster and more sophisticated designs geared toward serious fishermen. Hatteras has stepped up to the plate with the GT series of designs, which includes a 54, a 60 and a new 63-footer I recently sea-trialed in south Florida. I have several Hatteras yachts on my short list of favorites — now I’ll have to make room for another. To read more on this classic, click here!

Sagitta 45 Sport Cruiser

Camper & Nicholsons Yachts unveiled plans for its Sagitta 45 sport cruiser at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The Sagitta 45 is a deep-V hull design by the C. Raymond Hunt team. She is meant to handle rough seas, built with vacuum infusion and closed-cell foam sandwich plus reinforced bottom and structural elements. Vinylester resin in the lamination is used to protect against osmosis. To read more about this awesome yacht, click here!

Viking 66 Convertible

Viking's new 66 Convertible advances the species and invites her owners to go cruising in luxury and style. To see more images of this beast, click here!

Viking 55 Convertible

The proud bow of Viking’s 55 Convertible pierced the outer edge of Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Absecon Inlet and entered into a near-flat-calm ocean. She was pointed east and I got the sense that this sport-fisherman wanted to bolt straightway for the distant canyons in search of novel-worthy pelagics that could easily span her 17-foot-9-inch beam. I know it’s what I wanted her to do. After all, this vessel is named Business (hull No. 1) and creating big-game boats is what this builder is all about. To read more about this beast, click here!

Bayliss Uno Mas

While the products of builders with long histories tend to evolve, Bayliss started with a fresh piece of paper. Uno Mas is indeed a hybrid and defies even the expert eye attempting to pigeonhole her Carolina heritage. She lacks the distinctive regional features of heavy tumblehome and strong flam or, as locals prefer, Carolina Flare. The complicated compound curves of her deckhouse and bridge are a far cry from the practical charter boats of the past, where ease of construction led to slab-sidedness and radii defined by old coffee cans. The final product is a strikingly beautiful design that is built with a respect for purpose and tradition but is thoroughly modern. To read more about Uno Mas, click here! To see more images of this incredible yacht, click here!

Cabo 44 HTX

Cabo’s new 44 HTX represents an embodiment of the term fishability, which makes sense, since she is designed to replace the venerable 45 Express, with more than 130 hulls sold. She does that, but the high quality and comfort of the 44 HTX’s living quarters are a bonus that will trump her angling prowess for owners who also like to cruise. Fishability first: The 44 HTX barely winced doing 34.8 knots into white-capped three- to five-foot seas, and she topped out at 38 knots. Powered by twin 1,001-horsepower Caterpillar C18 ACERTs, the vessel’s optimum cruise proved to be 27 knots, turning 1860 rpm at 70 percent load. To read more about this awesome yacht, click here!

Jarrett Bay 46

One would think that a man who makes a living driving race cars in excess of 200 miles per hour — oftentimes touching the bumpers and doors of those around him — would choose a boat with blazing speed and dramatic modern styling. Not so in this case. NASCAR’s Jeff Burton, who has 21 career wins, 128 top-five finishes and 237 top-10 finishes, chose classic styling, coupled of course with an advanced propulsion system that delivers superb fuel economy and driver-of-the-year handling. To read more about this yacht, click here! To see more images of this beauty, click here!

Viking 62 EB

Solid, white-topped six-footers, compliments of steady 20-plus-knot winds, greeted our three-man crew as we entered the Atlantic Ocean. Beneath us was the Viking 62 Enclosed Bridge, which is 94,025 pounds of full-on fishing machine powered by optional twin 12-cylinder, 1,925 horsepower Caterpillar C32A diesels. Cresting waves rolled toward the bow as my test vessel punched through the sea and smashed them into misty bits like a crab hammer does to a blue claw. To read more about the Viking 62 EB, click here!

Bertram 54

When pushed to wide-open throttle (2,350 rpm), this vessel’s optional 1,700 hp Caterpillar C32A diesels helped propel her across the menacing sea at almost 40 knots. According to Bertram’s own sea trial data, in calmer seas the 54 is capable of an average top hop of 42 knots and a 2,100 rpm cruise of about 37 knots. That’s fast. To read more on this amazing yacht, click here!

Maritimo 470 Offshore

I was once told what I thought at the time was a dark secret buried deep within the boatbuilding catacombs. Sitting in the cockpit of a 50-foot convertible designed for a serious angler, an employee of the well-respected builder mentioned, “Well, only about a third of our owners actually fish and campaign their boats seriously.” By “seriously” he was referring to folks who participate in the tournament circuit every year. To read more about his awesome sport-fisherman, click here!

Ullberg 65 Express

The big sailfish leaped and splashed at the end of my line, glowing iridescent purple against the bright blue sea off Fort Pierce, Florida. This was the 14th shot we’d had at a fish that day, and mine would be the third sail we hooked and released from Ring Leader, the new Ullberg 65 Express custom-built by Lyman Morse Boatbuilding in Maine. To read the full boat review on the Ullberg 65 Express, click here!

Tiara 4300

I found more than aesthetics to cheer when assessing the clean lines gracing the Tiara 4300 Open. That’s because the engineering behind that fluid look makes maintenance easier, increases reliability, lowers noise levels and generally improves time spent aboard. To read the rest of the Tiara 4300 boat review, click here!

Spencer 70 IPS

Penta Gone is a 70-footer with three engines totaling 2,700 horsepower. Most 70-footers will come with a pair of 2,400- or 2,600-horsepower diesels — almost twice the horsepower of Penta Gone. Consequently, weight and distribution became the most critical design challenges. Going back through many previous tests of comparable boats, my sea trial showed that this Steve French designed Spencer 70 IPS burned up to 40 percent less fuel than the higher-powered machines did at the same speeds. The balance of this boat is so exacting that it has barely measurable bow rise and the running attitude virtually never changes. To read the rest of the boat review, click here.

Merritt 72

It all started in 1948 when Franklin and Ennis Merritt opened the doors at the Merritt Boat & Engine Works in Pompano Beach, Florida. Today, almost four generations later, the company still sits atop the list of most respected custom sportfishing boatbuilders in the world. This didn't come easy. A quest for quality, sound engineering, and damn good looks has ensured the builder will remain on this list for the next 60 years. The 72-foot Brier Patch was built for an experienced owner, who traveled the world on his previous Merritt 58, searching for big game from the Med to the Pacific. When it came to build his next boat, he and his captain knew what they wanted. To finish reading the boat review, click here.

Riviera 51

Not that long ago, serious anglers snarled at even the idea of a pod-powered sportfish. When Volvo introduced the IPS systems in 2004, they were primarily being installed on comfort-focused expressstyle cruisers. But the times they are a-changin’. An early adopter in the sportfish market was Spencer, with the Volvo IPS powered Spencer 43 Express. The most immediate and obvious benefit was seen in the expanded accommodations on this style of boat, created by placing the engines aft, under the cockpit. However, another tangible plus was the efficiency and exhaustfree operation afforded by the IPS drives. As the system becomes more readily accepted by diehard anglers, many more production builders are now embracing Volvo IPS (and Zeus-powered boats) for use in their convertible designs. To see the rest of the boat review, click here.