We first mentioned the Bertram 800 in a blog post about its Fort Lauderdale debut, and now that we’ve seen it up-close and in person, we can pick one word to best describe it: overwhelming. Every which way you look, the view goes far beyond impressive. The cockpit mezzanine, for example, has room for eight people to watch trolling baits in complete comfort—and looks more Barcalounger than Bertram. The full-beam master appears to be closer to a hotel suite than a stateroom. And the transom livewell is large enough to seem more like a backyard hot tub than a bait tank.
You don’t quite feel overwhelmed just yet? Fine—then go check out each stateroom, one after the next. There are a total of six of them, including crew’s quarters behind the engine room and a dedicated “nanny” cabin next to the galley. What’s more impressive is the fact that each of these sleeping quarters has its own head, plus there’s a day head in the salon. Now trot up the circular stairwell to the enclosed bridgedeck. You’ll discover that it’s quite literally the size of the salon on your average sportfishing “yacht,” with helm seating for five, a settee large enough for six, and a wet bar that’s as big as the galley on most common convertibles.
Still not feeling the awe in awesome? Okay, you must be pretty jaded—but there’s more that’ll take your breath away. Go back into the main cabin and look for the dinette. You won’t find one, because the Bertram 800 has more of a full-blown dining room instead, with a free-standing table that seats six. And covering it with gourmet meals will be a piece of cake for your chef, because the galley has every convenience of home: an oven, a trash compactor, a microwave, a four-burner cook-top, a double sink, and four under-counter refrigerator/freezer drawers. The entire area is flooded with natural light via a windshield and side windows, which are constructed of multi-layered tempered glass and tied into the fiberglass structure, and a nearly all-glass aft bulkhead with a glass door to the cockpit. zzz
That natural light also illuminates a flawless white oak interior capped off by tricked-out goodies like a 46” pop-up flat-screen TV, electric blinds, posi-locking latches, and padded overheads. Yet the 800 still maintains a masculine attitude, avoiding the puffy drapes and multi-colored throw pillows that so many yacht builders use to adorn their interiors. Few boats of this nature escape the frou-frou trap, but Bertram makes no appeal to the fairer sex on the 800 beyond quality and grandeur—so you can walk from stem to stern without feeling emasculated.
If the 800 doesn’t impress you at this point, you should stop spending so much time hanging around with your pal Bill Gates. But there’s one more part of this boat that might just blow your apparently un-blowable mind: the engine room. Decked out with a pair of 2,400-hp MTU’s which push this 92-ton beast to a 30-knot cruise and a top-end of 36 knots, the engine room itself has more room than the staterooms on some yachts. The exhaust elbows are the size of tree trunks, four huge Delta-T blowers bring in the massive amount of air required for your stable of gigantic iron horses, and a pair of gensets provide 64 total kilowatts of juice to fulfill your every power requirement.
It should be no surprise that a boat built on such a grand level also carries a grand price tag. The 800 goes for around six million bucks out of the gate, and a single 3,000 gallon fill-up of the fuel tanks will cost you as much as a brand new Nissan Versa.
At this point, the anglers among us have a question that hasn’t yet been addressed: can you really fish effectively from such a colossal canyon-runner? While you may have to sacrifice some maneuverability when backing on a billfish, and clearing the corners of the cockpit will be challenging even with an offset fighting chair, in the long run most of us would be quite happy to pursue pelagics from this posh predator. The mezzanine houses a bait freezer large enough to carry a year’s supply of horse ballyhoo, plus a refrigerated drink box and a chill box. There’s a stand-up tackle station when you step down into the lower ‘pit (yes, the cockpit has two separate levels), a pair of integrated fishboxes in the deck, and a livewell that’s lighted and has a viewing port, so you can constantly monitor the health of your baits. Measures have even been taken to ensure the captain’s ability to assist in battle, by mounting a complete set of controls on an aft flybridge overhang that overlooks the cockpit. The rail ringing this aft bridgedeck is lined with 10 rocket launchers, and there’s seating for four passengers to observe, film, and photograph your exploits from above.
Bonus fishing perk: You and your crew are less likely to feel seasick on the 800 than they are on other boats, even while watching from an elevated position, because the 800 will rock and roll less than comparable yachts of the same size and basic design. How’s this possible? Bertram equips it with a pair of ARG anti-roll gyros. These units have a massive flywheel mounted on gimbals, in an oil bath. From outside they look like nothing more than a generator in a sound shield, but when you spool them up the ARGs produce about 1,400 foot-pounds of counter-torque to the boat’s rolling motion. In tests I’ve performed on other boats the net result was a roll-reduction of over 30 percent, and Bertram claims the ARGs on the 800 can reduce roll by as much as 50 percent.
So, can we say without hesitation that the 800 is Bertram’s best boat ever? It certainly is the biggest, the most impressive, the most overwhelming, the most awesome, and the most mind-blowing Bertram in the fleet. So we say yes—and we don’t think anyone in their right mind will argue.
For more information, please visit the Bertram website.