Though there’s only anecdotal proof, two of the most successful offshore fishing boats of all time are the Bertram 31 (still seen working worldwide) and the Bertram 54 (the 1981-92 and 1995-2005 versions). This 540 represents both the very new and the original.
The 54 – the one built from 1981 through 1992 – qualified as a tank. It sported a large windshield in the cabin front and ran much slower than today’s model, which is interesting in that the new 540 tips the scales at almost 10,000 pounds more, stretches a foot wider and has a flatter deadrise at the transom and prop tunnels. All that is interesting because despite being obviously bigger, the 540 tops out at faster than 40 knots (the older models hit 28 to 32 knots on their best days).
Old salts truly like the return of the cabin-front windows, as it makes the entire saloon much brighter. Another dramatic change finds the galley on the aft port side of the saloon – right next to a large window that opens directly into the cockpit. How much easier could it be to make and serve meals while fishing, all without ever chancing food spillage on the saloon carpet or furniture.
The layout consists of three cabins: an island double in the forecastle (fo’c’sle), an athwartship double amidships to starboard and over/under singles (at right angles) opposite to port, with the forward and port-side cabins sharing one of the two head/shower compartments. Bowing to the European influence of Bertram’s parent company, Ferretti, the hull has portlights in each side that admittedly brighten up the usually dark and cavelike cabins of most sportfishing yachts.
Though the old Bertram 54 never had any problem maneuvering with a fish on, the new 540 reacts much more quickly and with greater agility.
While many people find sequels to be unsatisfying, Bertram’s new 540 proves an exception to that rule.
LOA……57 ft. 1 in.
BEAM……17 ft. 10 in.
**DRAFT……5 ft. 5 in.
MAX POWER……Twin 1,676 hp Cat C32 diesels
_Bertram Yachts / Miami, Florida / 305-633-8011 / _www.bertram.com