Boat Reviews

Hatteras GT59 – Great Expectations

When a new Hatteras pulls off the dock, people pay attention – and the GT59 keeps that attention riveted.

You can’t have a serious discussion about the best convertible fishing boats ever to hit the water without Hatteras being mentioned. In fact, it’s fair to say their very first boat, the 41’ Knit Wits – the first fiberglass fishing boat over 40’ ever built – revolutionized offshore fishing boat design and construction. The company has gone through a lot of changes since those times, but one thing remains true: Hatteras yachts are built like a brick you-know-what-house.

Hatteras GT59
Hatteras has always been known for building boats that are rock-solid and ready to take on heavy-duty seas. The GT59 is no different.

Hatteras builds the hull via resin infusion, using vinylester (the least water-permeable variety of resin) plus a vinylester gel coat beneath the waterline of the solid glass bottom. The stringer system is also resin-infused, and engine beds include drilled and tapped steel plates encapsulated in the fiberglass. And in wiring and plumbing lines that are fastened every six inches and clamped every 18-inches. Now consider the fact that this hull has 89,000-pounds of beef and 3,800 horsepower backing it up. You want to take a lay-day when it’s calm, and instead, fish when the rest of the competition is forced to remain tied up at the docks? Not a problem.

Hatteras GT59

Hatteras GT59 Specifications

  • LOA – 59’9”
  • Beam – 18’9”
  • Draft – 4’9”
  • Displacement – 89,000 lbs.
  • Transom deadrise –NA
  • Fuel capacity – 1,750 gal.
  • Water capacity – 200 gal.

Still, setting the boat’s bones aside and looking instead at its appearance maybe even more impressive. Sure, it’s got pretty lines and blah, blah, blah. More importantly, check out the interior cabinetry. You’ll see that it’s all book-matched, with the wood’s grain flowing seamlessly from the sole to the overhead. One surprise is the faux-wood decking in the saloon; one might expect to see something a bit more upscale. But the Hatteras rep we spoke with said the faux wood was a good choice because it out-lasts most other options and is easy to clean even when someone tracks mahi blood into the cabin. On top of that, Hatteras is anything but an assembly-line builder and if you’re ordering a GT59 you can spec just about anything you want to have underfoot.

Hatteras GT59
The cabinetry is book-matched, and it’s not a stretch to call the boat’s interior a work of art.

Looks aside, there were a couple of stand-out features in the cabin which we appreciated. The first is the galley-forward layout with an island and barstools. It has a very open, airy feeling and even with a full crew you always feel like there’s lots of elbow room. Second is the dedication of a significant amount of space in the companionway for a massive fishing gear locker. Go down the stairs and look right, swing up the Silestone countertop, and underneath you’ll find a dozen butts and reels. Then drop the counter back down and swing open the cabinet behind it, and you’ll find 20 rods. Drawers beneath the lockers can hold more reels, tackle, or whatever gear you’d like. If you don’t like having oodles of fishing gear aboard you can swap out the tackle center for a third head, but if you’d even consider such a move we’d honestly rather you stop reading this right now and get back to your butterfly collection.

Hatteras GT59
Thank you, Hatteras, for planning in some serious fishing tackle stowage in the cabin.

Naturally, you’ll be having a lot more fun when both you and all that fishing tackle is outside of the cabin. The cockpit is 153 square feet, has a bait freezer and a chill box under the three-wide mezzanine seat, a drink box under the step, twin insulated, macerated fishboxes in the deck, tackle stowage under an electric grill in a unit to starboard under the bridgedeck ladder, and a livewell centered in the transom. As we’ve seen cropping up on some other modern convertibles Hatteras also puts an MFD screen in the cockpit, this one to port next to the mezzanine. And in a nod to yacht-style comfort, Hatteras also plumbs a.c. into the backrests on the mezzanine.

What about performance? This is a 40-knot boat, and cruising speed with the twin 1,900 horse Cat C-32A diesels rumbling at 1500 rpm in the engine room sits at 22 knots while netting 0.3 nmpg. Of course, no one can stand to run at that mellow pace and 1800 rpm, 28 knots, and 0.2 nmpg seems a lot more likely to be where you’ll run. Goose it to 2000, and you’ll head for the canyons at more like 33 or 34 knots.

Hatteras GT59
Standard power is 1,600 Cats, but we’re guessing that most folks will opt for the twin 1,900 horsepower versions.

There’s no doubt that Hatteras has come a long way since the Knit Wits was launched over six decades ago, and there’s no doubt that the GT59 puts this evolution on full display. But there’s also no question that this boat is a Hatteras, through and through – check it out, and we’d bet your attention will remain riveted in place.

For more information, visit Hatteras Yachts.

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Lenny Rudow
Lenny Rudow …has been a writer and editor in the marine field for over two decades, and has authored seven books. He is currently the Angler in Chie...