By Jason Y. Wood
If every boat has a story, there’s a good chance many of the Bertram 46 convertibles out there will tell one that prospective owners may not want to hear. That’s the danger of looking for a sportfisherman and a good sea boat—those captains bought them because they could handle the rough stuff, and keep fishing.
“Certainly a lot of the 46 Bertrams who lived their life as hardcore offshore fishermen show a lot of fatigue,” says Roger Cole of United Yachts West Florida in St. Petersburg, Florida (www.wflyachts.com), who has one listed on BoatQuest.com. “Structurally the boats I think are probably indestructible. They’re good candidates for repowers. I don’t think you can ever really beat the hull up to the point where you can’t keep reusing it.”
While the Bertram 46 fishes with the best of them, it’s a true convertible. “For someone who’s looking for a true offshore fisherman and a good cruising boat, they offer a lot,” Cole says. “The newer ones like this with solid-teak interiors are very elegant inside. It’s probably the largest of the 46-footers: Biggest cockpit dimensions, big, roomy saloon, wide, generous beam, lots of fuel.” They’ve got a lot to offer, in a durable hull and with a comparably spacious layout.
So how’s the market? “The biggest thing is how well they’re equipped and how well they’ve been maintained,” says Jon Dykstra of Anchorage Yacht Sales in Holland, Michigan (www.anchorageyachtsales.com), who has a Bertram 46 listed on BoatQuest.com. “They’re nice boats to update easily, as far as carpets and curtains, and sofas and things like that.” As always, clean, well-maintained boats that are priced right will garner the lion’s share of the interest.
If you’re selling, consider your listing price carefully. “It seems price is dictating the market, so the one with the lowest price is the winner,” Dykstra says. “If you’re out there in the market just to be out there with an elevated price, you probably will not see any activity on the boat.”
If you’re buying, you could be in good shape. “The prices obviously have come down across the board, but particularly midsized sportfishers that are in good shape,” says Todd Schenk at Denison Yacht Sales in Old Saybrook, Connecticut (www.denisonyachtsales.com), who has a Bertram 46 listed on BoatQuest.com. “They may be a little bit older, but there may be some good opportunities to step into a larger boat whether they’re going to use it for pleasure or fishing.”
But as always, make sure to proceed with a cool head. “Do your due diligence,” Schenk says. “Survey them completely, and survey the engines completely. If the boats you’re looking at are 10 and 20 years old, you just have to weed through them.”