Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Pro video of the 2010 Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, scheduled this year for October 16-20.  Good action footage through about 7:57!

For more tournament info, click here!

Sunday, September 2, 2012



Alton Herndon is the president of Bertram Yacht, the legendary sportfishing-boat builder. He took the helm in early 2010 and orchestrated the company’s historic move from Miami to Merritt Island, Fla.
Herndon, 66, spends time offshore fishing Bertram yachts in tournaments. He built his first boat — a 16-foot fish/ski runabout with an 80-hp Mercury — at the age of 23. He got his first marine industry job in 1969 at Hatteras Yachts.
Herndon grew up in High Point, N.C., studied business at High Point College and later graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s executive program.
He was president of Hatteras Yachts from 1985-1996 and held executive management roles at Palmer Johnson, Tiara Yachts and KCS International. He was co-founder and managing partner of Southport Boat Works, was chairman of the National Association of Boat Manufacturers and is a past member of the executive committee and board of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
Herndon plans to move to the Merritt Island area with his wife, Dru, as the company relocates this fall. He has three children ages 28 to 40 and three grandchildren. In this interview, Herndon talks about his most memorable fish, names his favorite Bertram model and explains how the company’s relocation will result in bigger and better boats.
Q: After more than 50 years in Miami, why is Bertram moving to Merritt Island and what effect it will have on your boats?
A: We’re moving for two reasons. One, we’ve outgrown the facility with the size of the boats we’re building. They are too large in beam and height to efficiently build in our existing buildings. The Bertram 80 is the best example. We can only build that model partially under cover, and then we have to move it outside and put a tent over it during the remainder of the construction. To launch the boat, we have to get a house mover to take it to our launch site and place it in the middle of the road. Then we launch it by getting a 500-ton crane that has the reach to pick it up and swing it over the marina buildings and into the waterway into the canal. That exercise costs us tens of thousands of dollars. Anything over 60 feet we have to launch at high tide because our Travelift slip is not as wide as the beam of these boats. Even some of these large enclosed boats must be completed outside. We could spend a lot of money to correct our situation, but investing to do that is not a wise choice.
The second reason for moving is we are across the street from Miami airport property and services. The entire community around us is being developed for high-end commercial use to service the airport and be serviced by the airport. It would be foolish to make that tremendous investment to raise roofs, to build new slips and put in the equipment for these bigger boats at a time when, simply put, we would be in the wrong spot for large boatbuilding. To be heavy industrial, which we are, in a high-end commercial district is not a good idea.

Q: What makes the new location ideal for Bertram?
A: The new location had to have certain requirements. We were looking for properties that were on navigable water and that preferably had large, tall buildings. We wanted property that had at least 30 to 40 acres. And it goes without saying we were looking for a community in which we could attract good employees and teach them how to build our product. After all the mileage we put on our vehicles and ourselves searching the Eastern Seaboard from Miami to Virginia for the new location, we found a home meeting all of the requirements: Merritt Island. We are extremely excited about getting there.

Q: The move will also mark the beginning of a new building process for Bertram.
A: We are going to start using resin infusion to build our fiberglass parts. With resin-infused parts, you have a lighter-weight laminate, due primarily to less resin, and a higher percentage of fiberglass in the laminate. You have a lighter, stronger fiberglass part. The icing on the cake: It’s environmentally friendly, not only to the employees in our plant but to the community. It is as close to closed-molding lamination as you can get.

Q: What makes a Bertram a Bertram?
A: Bertrams historically have been known as hardcore, kick-ass saltwater sportfishing machines. We’re going to build on that. We design and build our boats for our owner’s intended use. We don’t design them to leave the dock when weather conditions say don’t leave the dock. But the boat has to be built so that if you get caught in bad weather, the boat is going to get you home. And our owners fish enough that they do get caught in it. You’re going to see new Bertrams that are lighter and faster; they’re going to be designed to have a more streamlined appearance. But when you see one you’re going to say, “That must be the new Bertram,” not “What is that boat?”

Q: Are there new boats on the horizon that consumers can look forward to?
A: What we will be focusing on short-term — meaning two to three years — will be developing new and refining existing models within our 50- to 80-foot range. Every Bertram we build is better than the last one. We learn with each boat. What we are looking for in the future is certainly more efficient boatbuilding, but the boats themselves will change according to our customers’ input, who are looking for improved performance, which could be higher top-end speed, higher cruise speed, improved fuel efficiency. They want the boat, in appearance, to be longer, lower, sleeker. Engine suppliers will continue to make high-horsepower packages, but those packages are going to be smaller and more fuel-efficient and lighter in weight.
Herndon favors the 31 for its classic look and profile and its iconic status as the boat 'that started the legend.'

Q: Which Bertram is your favorite?
A: For my personal ownership, I would love to have one of the Bertram 31s that started this company. Also, our 80-footer is one of the best Bertrams we have ever built.

Q: What in particular do like about the Bertram 31?
A: The 31 is a classic in look and profile and an excellent choice for my family to use and enjoy primarily as a day boat. Keep in mind this is the Bertram that started the legend. The 31 has a large cockpit that’s ideal for a couple of removable sailfish chairs or additional chairs for cruising inland waters. A combined shower/head, dinette and V-berth with a small galley are well arranged in the cabin. Top it off with a flying bridge comfortable for two, a bow deck suitable for sunning and engine boxes large enough to house a pair of today’s diesels. Many others felt the same as me about the boat. It was so popular it was built from 1961 to 1982 and then built again as a silver anniversary edition in 1985 and 1986, with a total of just under 2,000 built. The 31 was built in six models and shipped worldwide.

Q: What are some of your favorite boats other than Bertrams?
A: The boats I respect certainly would include the ones we compete with. That would be Hatteras and Viking and the custom boatbuilders. If you drop down to the center consoles, I would go for the Southport, which I started with Frank Longino, and the top-quality boats that are designed for their use — brands such as Grady-White, Contender, Regulator, Intrepid, Yellowfin. For motoryachts, I believe we build some of the finest in the world from the Ferretti Group, like Ferretti, Riva or Pershing.

Q: Can you name a few of those custom builders?
A: John Bayliss ( does a really good job. Mark Willis (, Paul Mann (, Paul Spencer ( — all of those guys.

Q: What about smaller express boats?
A: The S2 boats — Tiara or Pursuit. And you have to remember those specialty boats, like the ski boats — MasterCraft and Correct Craft, who design boats that do things we wouldn’t even think of in the past.

Q: How did you get into the business of building boats?
A: I was working as an industrial engineer in the textile industry and I learned there was an opening for an industrial engineer at Hatteras Yachts. This was back in 1969. I applied and the plant manager took me out in the plant and I stood under the bow of one of those big boats. It was like I was in New York City for the first time looking at a skyscraper. And I have that same feeling today when I go under the bow of one of our big boats. I took that job and have been boating and in the boating industry ever since.

Q: Do you remember your first boat?
A: Absolutely. I built it. I kind of stole the design. Me and a couple other guys had a hull mold that was made similar to a 16-foot Dixie — a tri-hull lapstrake — and we put a different deck on it for both fishing and skiing and built about a half-dozen of them, just for each one of us to have one. That was my first experience with laying fiberglass. I put one of the tall 80 Mercs on it, and it made a great fish-and-ski boat. Since then I’ve had just about every style and type of boat you can imagine — ski boats, center console boats, some of the cabin boats in the 28- to 30-foot size.

Q: Did you do any boating in your youth?
A: Sure, I played with a toy boat in a mud hole or a creek. No, I never got a chance to enjoy real boating in my childhood. My first experience with boating was in Florida, learning to water ski behind a 14-foot boat made of wood with a 25-hp outboard on it.

Q: Is Bertram interested in equipping its boats with pod propulsion and/or joystick controls?
A: We are interested in high-tech going forward and we watch it and study it. But we’re not being customer-driven to do it. We don’t get the requests for it.

Q: You mean pods and joysticks?
A: Yes. We have driven boats with this technology, but we are just not customer-driven to build boats that way right now.

Q: How have boats changed in the past 20 years?
A: I am a boater and what I see today is top-quality. The product is built with much-improved materials. I don’t care if it’s a paddleboard or a center console or a cruiser or a sportfish or a custom yacht — they’re better. It’s not just speed and performance; it’s the durability, the value and the value after you had it and want to trade it in or sell.

The latest from the boatbuilder is the Bertram 64, designed with clean, smooth and rounded interior lines.

Q: What are designers and builders doing well these days — improving efficiency, smarter interior layouts, ride quality?
A: We understand that the boaters should be driving our businesses. How can that customer enjoy the boat more? For the guy who wants to go fishing, does he have the right height, beam, length to succeed on the water? But with a boat our size, when the customer wants to go inside into an air-conditioned space he needs to feel like he is being invited into a comfortable place. Same thing with eating and sleeping — they’re looking for the comfort as well as the durability and that hard-core kick-ass fishing machine. There is one other consideration: What does the crew think of it? Is it a boat that is easy to maintain? Is it efficient? They’re playing a larger part in today’s boat purchases.

Q: Are boatbuilders doing a good job providing access to engines, pumps, generators and other components that need service?
A: The engine rooms are tighter because of the increasing amount of technology and equipment, but it should not reach a point where the equipment is inaccessible. With boats our size — and with our lifespan — at some point equipment is going to need to be replaced. Can you get to it? Can you get inside? Can you replace it?

Q: And vice president of manufacturing Ken Beauregard says that’s one reason Bertram builds its own fiberglass fuel tanks as integral parts of the boat.
A: That’s right. Those tanks are meant to last the lifetime of the boat, and they do.

Q: Do you see anything that’s wrong with today’s boats?
A: I’m struggling coming up with something, and here’s why. Depending on what you want to do on the water, there’s a good boat out there for you. Someone has thought it through and designed a boat that fits you. There’s more thinking and planning going into the design phase of boatbuilding with boaters in mind.

On the horizon are new Bertrams that are lighter, faster and designed to have a more streamlined appearance.

Q: What are consumers looking for in a new boat these days?
A: People are cost-conscious but also time-conscious. People want to get on a boat and have all the buttons do exactly what they are supposed to do. Customers don’t want problems. The more trouble-free, the better. Time is more important than ever. Simply put, the boat needs to do what it is supposed to do.

Q: What part of the boating experience do you enjoy most?
A: Being with my family and enjoying what they enjoy, whether it’s fishing or cruising or just going from point A to point B. I also like the sportfishing, being offshore fishing.

Q: What has been your most memorable catch?
A: Probably the first billfish I caught, which was a white marlin off Ocean City, Md., in the canyon. We got in this tournament and didn’t realize there was a handicap — a barbless hook, 25-pound test tournament. We had no equipment to fish that tournament, so we had to borrow equipment. Lines went in at 9 o’clock, and at 9:15 I had a white marlin on, which was great and exciting. Of course, then the reel quit winding, so I was thumbing the line in and the fish was just behind the boat, tired and ready to be brought to the boat. And then the reel starts coming off the rod because it was borrowed old equipment. That was memorable — first time, first billfish, first tournament and it didn’t take long to get it to the boat, and here I was about to lose the damn thing!

Q: And did you lose it?
A: I got it to the boat.

Q: How else do you spend time on the water?
A: It depends on where we are. But most of our boating is off North Carolina. The kids have gone their separate ways — one north on the beach and two of them inland. So we don’t get to boat as much as in the past. But they’ve experienced fishing and boating, believe me. Freshwater fishing, water skiing and tubing and hydra-slides and all of those activities — we did all of these things while the kids were growing up. Right now my boating is more just with my wife or me fishing the tournaments that we attend due to Bertram.

Q: What was the last boat you did own and what do you have now?
A: A 26-foot Southport center console was the last one I owned. I currently own a dugout canoe from Pinjas Bay but, fortunately, have access to the Bertrams we build.

This article originally appeared in the September 2012 issue.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


In the words of Justin Blue, North American Product Manager, the Pershing 82' is "truly amazing".  He explains: 
"What does it take to make a new model truly amazing??? The newly launched Pershing 82 not only answers this question, it puts you into a place of being speechless and in awe!!!!!  Both in an interview with Invictus magazine and at dinner after closing, this three-time Pershing owner sat back and said of his new 82', 'I just can't believe this is mine and how truly amazing it is!'.

"The new lines of this boat are even more aggressive than the previous, ever popular Pershing 80 and she truly looks faster even sitting still at the dock! If taking control of the boat while sitting in the "cockpit" seat with the sunroof open and rooster tail in the air doesn't seem to be enough, you can now go up to the sun deck and take control with 45+ knots of wind in your hair as you take a tight turn with 140,000 lbs of pure adrenaline beneath your seat! 
"This is a must-see boat for anyone looking to move into an unbelievable combination of strength, speed, luxury and comfort while offering the attributes of a sport yacht and a flybridge in one.

"This new model will be a great seller once it is viewed during the Worldwide Debut at the Cannes Boat Show starting September 11th."  It will be available for viewing in America at the Miami International Boat Show in February, 2013. 

Please read the model description, below.  For more information, click here. 

With its 82 feet of cutting-edge design, this model, which is the contemporary restyling of Pershing 80', will be the protagonist for the brand at the Cannes and Genoa boat shows, exceptional showcases where this model will be premiered.
23.99 metres long and 5.50 metres wide, this new boat is once again a creation of the yacht designer Fulvio De Simoni, in collaboration with AYT (Advanced Yacht Technology – the naval research and design center of the Ferretti Group) and the team of architects and designers of the Centro Stile Ferrettigroup. 
Designed to enhance the pleasure of yachting and to ensure maximum performance at sea, Pershing 82' has two powerful MTU 16 V M93 of 2435 mhp (1792 kW) with Searex SR140S propulsion system together with Rolla surface piercing propellers, capable of reaching a top speed of 45 knots and a cruising speed of 40 knots, with a range of 300 nautical miles. The propulsion system is run by AUTOTRIM, an exclusive functionality that opimizes the performance and the consumption of the boat at any speed and with any load, in a completely automatic manner.

Featuring a streamlined and aggressive external profile, Pershing 82' immediately shows the strong sporting spirit that distinguishes it, given its elongated lines that permit the enlargement of the internal volumes, providing wide spaces which guests can enjoy, offering greater comfort and liveability.

The liveability of external spaces has increased with the sun deck, a distinctive feature of the latest Pershing models where, next to the retractable helm, at the bow, there are two comfortable lateral chaises longues next to the pilot's seat, in which a practical minibar has been placed.
The sun deck is easily accessible by means of an innovative carbon steel staircase, created by AYT in close collaboration with Besenzoni, which drops automatically into the cockpit by electro-hydraulic control and automatically disappears upwards when closed, freeing the space in the cockpit. For further comfort, at the stern there is a sun bed area with separate backs that can be electrically lower. 
On the main-deck, the large cockpit and the main saloon, divided by an electro-hydraulically controlled retractable door, offer maximum comfort.
Customizable to the Owner's needs, Pershing 82' has a standard layout with 4 guest cabins: the master suite amidships, a VIP cabin forward and two cabins with twin beds at the bow of the master suite. It has 3 bathrooms: an en suite in the master suite and in the VIP cabin, and a guest bathroom that can be used as a restroom during the day. Additionally, there are two crew cabins (one for the captain and one for the sailors) which can be reached through the saloon, with laundry room and bathroom. The optional layout has 3 guest cabins with a lounge cinema room starboard.

Nada Serafini, Brand Manager of Pershing, expresses her satisfaction by saying: “By launching Pershing 82', the brand confirms its commitment to yacht designing meeting the market demands without betraying the Pershing spirit: yachts with big volumes that combine sportsmanship, performance and style. In addition, this new launching highlights once again the strategic importance of the brand for the nautical pole of Fano".

Outstanding performance, comfort and design: these are the keywords that make Pershing 82' an ideal yacht with which to experience life at sea and which meets the requests of the most demanding ship owners.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


This is a very informative video from West Marine, with resources from BoatU.S.  If you are in an area where hurricanes may threaten, please take 12 minutes to watch the Top 10 most important preparation tips explained below.  I think you will be glad you did!

For further assistance, visit the BoatU.S. Hurricane Resource Center at www.boatus/hurricane.

For information specific to the South Florida / Treasure Coast area, please give me a call at 772-201-1800 or contact me by email at

Saturday, August 18, 2012


An article from by Tristan Rutherford

St Tropez will never fall out of fashion. Nor will Cannes ever lose its passion. But according to luxury yacht company Y.CO, this summer’s Mediterranean charter season has seen a shift to offbeat, experiential yachting destinations.
Malta’s Grand Harbour is the most majestic in the Mediterranean. Its vast fjord of azure water is ringed by medieval city walls. But the vacuous visitors associated with the island offer a perennial PR problem. The cruel may claim that Malta’s traditional holidaymakers think Jimmy Choo is their local Chinese takeaway. Or that raw fish is the root of salmonella, not of sushi or ceviche.
Tourism has moved on: and so has Malta. Enveloping this cosmopolitan port is the UNESCO-protected capital of Valletta. This sandstone city is adorned with tumbling vines and alfresco bars. Benjamin Disraeli claimed it was: “comparable to Venice and Cádiz, full of palaces worthy of Palladio.
St John’s Cathedral is a gilt-lined masterpiece replete with haunting paintings by Caravaggio. Across the Grand Harbour, the ancient suburb of Vittoriosa has been remodelled to take superyachts of up to 100m. Hip clubs offer a place to play, while a score of Mediterranean restaurants line the quay.
A 30-minute sail north lies the island of Gozo, Malta’s beach-lined little brother. Its seashores are empty, the pace is slackened: it’s like the 21st century never happened. Jacques Cousteau stated that some of the Mediterranean’s finest scuba spots could be found around Reqqa Point. Marlin, amberjack and scorpion fish ply the shallows, as Gozo rises up from a mid-ocean ridge. Breaking out the scuba gear has never been more fun.
For more information, guides and itineraries, click here for the full insight into Malta through the new Y.CO sponsored Destination Guides.


Reprinted from a article by Tristan Rutherford

St Tropez will never fall out of fashion. Nor will Cannes ever lose its passion. But according to Y.CO chartered luxury yacht, this summer’s Mediterranean charter season has seen a shift to offbeat, experiential yachting destinations.
In this five-part mini series, Y.CO’s destination expert Tristan Rutherford profiles five of this summer’s hottest superyacht destinations. All will be on every charter parties’ radar for 2013. Today’s fifth and final destination in the series, Schoinoussa, Greece.
Schoinoussa is a tiny island in the Cyclades. A lack of airport means that its coastline is pretty much boat-only. Better still, its current population census reads just 206. There’s a manifest sense of discovery when a Y.CO chartered luxury yacht drops anchor off Schinoussa, which can’t be said for many Greek islands in 2012. It’s far removed from the glitz of Santorini and Mykonos, and that’s putting it mildly.
But those in the know return year after year to Schinoussa and its peaceful neighbours – Iraklia, Donoussa and the twin Koufonissia islets. Seafarers can spend days or even weeks exploring this lonely archipelago. Privacy, peace and simplicity are the lures that attract many of Greece’s social elite to moor up each summer too. They’ve been known to host private bouzouki concerts by leading Greek musicians – and invite the entire island to the party.
Kato Koufonissia, the smallest of this group of islands, makes Schinoussa look like a giant. With an area of just two square miles, it is nevertheless home to a fishing flotilla that delivers fresh bream, lobster, squid, red mullet, grouper and whitebait to quayside restaurants. Here, your catch of the day is so fresh that it may still be twitching as it heads for the kitchen. Now that’s what we call experiential travel.
For more information, guides and itineraries, click here for the full insight into Greece through the new Y.CO sponsored Destination Guides.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Miami, FL. July 26, 2012– Bertram Yacht has appointed Robert Ullberg as Vice President of Engineering and Product Development. Ullberg brings over 20 years of experience in the design, engineering and development of high performance sportfishing and motor yachts. Beginning his career with Tom Fexas Yacht Design in Stuart, Florida, Ullberg quickly became the project manager for many of the firm’s sportfishing designs. In 1996 he left Fexas to establish Ullberg Yacht Design, an engineering based design firm that focused primarily on the design and development of custom sport fishing boats. Ullberg’s portfolio includes designs for world class custom sportfish builders such as Willis Marine, Whiticar Boatworks, Merritt Boat and Engine Works, Garlington-Landeweer Marine, Mike Rybovich, Bayliss Boatworks and Lyman Morse Boatbuilders. Over the past 16 years Robert has designed and engineered state of the art custom sport fishing boats in the 40-90ft range. Most recent is his launch of one of the largest and fastest express style sportfishing yachts in the world at 65 feet. In his new role, Robert will lead the Engineering and Product Development organization for Bertram Yacht at the new facility in Merritt Island. He will initially concentrate on the new 2013 Bertrams that will be built in Merritt Island, followed by the development of a series of new Bertram Sport Fishing models. Robert will report directly to the President of Bertram Yacht, Alton Herndon. He will also work closely with the Vice President of Manufacturing, Ken Beauregard, and the new Bertram Sales organization led by Don Smith. "We are extremely excited to have Robert on board as part of our organization" commented Alton Herndon. "We are confident that the design and engineering talent that Robert brings combined with his experience in the custom yacht industry will reinforce Bertram's position as a premier manufacturer of sport fishing boats.

Bertram is a brand of Ferretti Group, a world leader in the design, construction and sale of motor yachts with a unique portfolio of some of the most exclusive, prestigious brands in the nautical world: Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Itama, Bertram, Riva, Mochi Craft, CRN and Ferretti Custom Line. The Ferretti Group, founded in 1968, is led by Chairman and Founder Norberto Ferretti and by CEO Giancarlo Galeone, has always been at the very heights of the pleasure boating market due to constant product and process innovation, continuous research and development and cutting-edge technological solutions. The Group is present in the United States through its subsidiary Ferretti Group America, which manages a network of Sales Centers specializing in the distribution and sales of the Group’s brands throughout the North American market, and in Asia, through a representative and promotion office in Shanghai. Overall the Group is represented by an exclusive network of around 60 carefully selected dealers globally with a presence in over 80 countries, thereby ensuring valued clients receive the very best customer service and support in marinas all over the world. The Group has always been at the top of the yachting industry, due to constant product and process innovation and continuous research in innovative technology solutions. The Group’s comprehensive portfolio of yachts include flybridges, runabouts, open yachts, coupe yachts, lobster boats, fisherman yachts, maxi yachts and mega-yachts that are designed by highly specialized technicians and engineers at the Advanced Yacht Technology (AYT) research and design center in close collaboration with the skilful team of architects and designers at Centro Stile Ferrettigroup. The teams are constantly developing their internal expertise while working together with internationally renowned yacht designers and naval architects. As a result, Ferretti Group’s yachts have always been characterized by high quality, best - in - class safety features, outstanding performance at sea; together with exclusive designs and timeless elegance, which are unparalleled in the boating sector worldwide.

Friday, July 6, 2012


“I don’t know what to say - I am so deeply moved! My first thoughts go to Prince Rainier who in the late 1950s introduced me to what was the real Principality of Monaco, then to Prince Albert II, President of the Yacht Club de Monaco, who did me the great honour of coming to greet me this weekend on my Aquarama LIPICAR IV. Riva’s history is intimately linked to that of the Principality, thanks to the Princes who have always been open to initiatives and encouraged the development of recreational boats making Monaco the reference in terms of yachting,” said Carlo Riva, the ‘Ingegnere de Sarnico’, at the Riva Trophy prize-giving which ended an exceptional weekend.

Organized by Monaco Boat Service in collaboration with the Yacht Club de Monaco and Credit Suisse, the Riva Trophy united the whole family from the prestigious Italian boatyard for a triple celebration: 170 years of the Riva boatyard, 50 years of the Aquarama and 90 years for Carlo Riva.

Highlights of three days of festivities included the regularity contest between Monaco and Saint-Tropez, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco and won by Aquariva Gucci Rivanya; the presentation of the newly launched Riva Virtus 63’, the elegance parade on the theme “Be as Beautiful as your Aquarama”, won by the crew on Rombouts ahead of the 1970 Aquarama Super Gala; a very sixties themed gala evening at the Monte Carlo Beach; and a grand parade of around thirty Aquaramas in the bay to pay homage to their designer who totally reinvented the art of boating for pleasure.

Although the family had started building boats in the 19 th century, it was the extraordinary energy of one man who gave birth to the Riva legend - Carlo, son of Serafino, transformed the Sarnico boatyard into a myth with his range of mahogany motorboats.
Yacht Club de Monaco
+377 93 10 63