There’s no shortage of Hatteras 68 Convertibles in the world. The builder launched 51 of them before retiring the model in favor of the Hatteras GT 70, which is scheduled to premiere in October 2014 at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. But when you’re scrolling through those brokerage ads, look carefully, because not all Hatteras 68 Convertibles were created alike. That’s especially true when you’re talking about the last couple that rolled off the builder’s production line.
Tim Jones of Gulf Coast Hatteras knows this as well as anyone. He deals in new and used Hatteras models, and he currently holds the listings on the three highest-priced 68 Convertibles on the brokerage market. This means Jones spends a lot of time explaining to potential buyers why some 68s are actually worth more than others, and why his sales pitch is based in a reality that would behoove them to understand as boat owners.
“The real market, on-the-average, Caterpillar-powered 68 Hatteras—we’ll call it an open-bridge boat—is in the roughly $2 million to $2.5 million range,” Jones says. “But the interesting thing about Jubilee, at $3.9 million, is that Hatteras built only two of those. This one and the other one were the last two 68s built, and they are the only resin-infused 68s ever built. They’re lighter, more efficient, and built with newer technology like the GTs. They also have design changes in them: the sheer, the superstructure… it’s all different than on the other 68s.”
Building Jubilee new, Jones says, was an affair that cost just shy of $4.5 million—way more than was put into a lot of the 68s that came off the line ahead of her. She was the Miami show boat for Hatteras in 2009 with state-of-the-art everything, including carbon-fiber towers, lightweight interior granite, and a redesigned air-conditioning system.
The fact that so much money went into Jubilee is what makes her an above-average brokerage buy now, he says, and he puts her sister ship, the 2007 Refuge, into the same category at just under $3.5 million.
“Hatteras built, I believe, three 68 enclosed-bridge boats with the MTU engine in it,” Jones says. “Right out of the gate, it was a million-dollar upcharge for the MTUs over the Caterpillars. Most people went with the Cats instead.”
Refuge’s MTU 16V 2000s give her a cruise speed of 35 knots, fully loaded. Her first owner used her for (apparently super-speedy) dinner cruises, and her second owner did a refit at Jarrett Bay Boatworks to make her his dream boat while satisfying his wife’s desire for motor yacht amenities. He added teak decking, outriggers, a fighting chair, underwater lights, helm electronics, an ice maker, and stabilizers, bringing the boat into her prime, only to have his wife say, “Nope, I want a motor yacht—sell her.” That’s why Refuge, now with owner number three, has just 806 hours on her engines.
“She was the fastest 68 ever built—still is,” Jones says. “We put that price on it because it’s a one-of-a-kind. It’s got low hours, and it’s unique.”
The new Hatteras GT 70, according to Jones, is going to cost more than $4 million. So while boats like Jubilee and Refuge may seem pricy compared with 68 Convertibles in the $2 million range, they actually may be ideal buys in terms of construction and outfitting in the mid-$3 million price range.
“These are asking prices on these boats,” he says. “But these are high-quality, premium boats.”