I had an interesting conversation onboard a super-posh Bertram 64 yesterday during the company’s dark n’ stormy party. I was standing in the cockpit chatting with the nattily attired yacht designer about his background and where he wants to take Bertram. Ullberg got his start alongside nautical legend Tom Fexas, and eventually made his way into designing serious fishing boats with a concentration on speed. He was talking so much about beating the other guy back to the docks that I asked if he had a racing background. “Nope,” he cracked, “but I was never interested in having a career designing sailboats either!” When Jess Cortada, Bertram’s marketing manager asked Ullberg how fast he thought the new 60 Bertram is currently working on would go, Ullberg said he doesn’t ever want to divulge top speeds. “You never want to run the boat flat out in a race or tournament. Otherwise guys can clock you and come back faster next time. You want to go just fast enough to be ahead of the next guy. And if they catch up to you, you go a little faster. Do that enough times and you’ll get there before they do.”
I should note, I tested a Viking 52 last August in New Jersey, and we hit a top speed of 43.5 knots in the flats with a slight current.