Hatteras 68 Convertible — By Richard Thiel —
Part 2: The 68 is so full of smart engineering details that it’s easy to forget that her primary purpose is fishing, until you look around her cockpit—all 195 square feet of it.
To make sure the big Cats can breathe, a sophisticated air-induction system employs two fans, one for induction and the other for evacuation during engine operation; an interface with the engine ECUs increases fan speed as engine rpm increases to avoid excessive noise at lower speeds. Flip a switch once the engines are shut down, and both evacuate to quickly reduce engine room temperature.
The 68 is so full of smart engineering details that it’s easy to forget that her primary purpose is fishing, until you look around her cockpit—all 195 square feet of it, thanks to that generous beam. A transom door is standard, but there’s no gate, as Hatteras believes it compromises the structure. At the forward end are identical-size baitwells, freezers, and stowage tubs; since they’re modular, you can order any combination that suits your needs. Cushions on the elevated mezzanine provide 25 square feet of seating, and since there are no fuel tanks below decks, there’s room for two 5'5"-long fishboxes plus an 11-foot-long lazarette accessed from the engine room.
Three steps up, the saloon is big: 12'2" long with 6'10" headroom. A port-side, U-shape settee is big enough for three beefy anglers to snooze on. There’s stowage below, but rods go in dedicated stowage beneath the C-shape flying bridge lounge. A step up, the port-side, U-shape galley is across from an eight-person dinette. The level of finish here and everywhere is equal to the 68’s expansiveness. Cherry panels are finished in your choice of gloss or satin and cut via CNC router off of the boat, which accounts for the near-perfect fit and finish.
Flanking the companionway down to the accommodations levels are two handy rooms. To starboard is a walk-in that holds a standard 4.6-cubic-foot freezer, with plenty of room left for stowage; the port-side one is a hand-and-knees affair that has the CPU for the Ethernet monitoring system (see “Whatchamacallit,” this story) and more stowage room.
At the bottom of the companionway are four staterooms, including a big forepeak VIP and a full-beam master aft and amidships. On our boat the two were separated by port and starboard twin-berth guest staterooms; an optional layout makes the port room a single and adds an en suite/day head, ideal for captain’s quarters.
Another option is an open or enclosed flying bridge—sad to say, given the conditions on test day, ours was the former, although with an effective enclosure. Accessed by an athwartships cockpit ladder (if enclosed, you get a circular stair from the saloon), it’s smartly laid out, with the console far enough aft to provide a view to the cockpit yet maintain forward sightlines. Two pedestal chairs are standard and a third is optional; either way there’s room to stand between them and the aft railing. I’d guess the C-shape seating forward could hold a dozen, and there’s also a handy chillbox and aft-facing double seat to starboard.
Such smart design is ubiquitous on the 68, which is why she can run with any convertible in the world. But the boat does lack one thing: a price. Hatteras chooses not to reveal either a base or as-tested figure, making it hard to compare her to competitors. Too bad, but then after my day aboard, I’d be hard-pressed to call her overpriced at any figure.
Hatteras Yachts ( (252) 634-4895. www.hatterasyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the February 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.