Ocean Magazine : 2 July August 2005
Bertram Yachts was founded by Richard Bertram in 1960 in the USA. The first boat, the now famous Bertram 31, was developed from a 7 metre design by Raymond Hunt. Richard saw the boat during his involvement with the 1957 Americas Cup trials and was impressed with its performance in the rough conditions. After seeking out Raymond Hunt he obtained permission to use the design. The first Bertram 31 was built of timber and won the 1960 Miami to Nassau race convincingly. This was the birth of the famous Bertram name. As I came over the Harbour Bridge I saw the flags flying hard, so I knew this was going to be a good day to test the performance capabilities of the 570. I met with Brad Rodgers, the Sales Manager of the Eagle Yachts Sydney office and then headed down to the vessel berthed outside. After an initial overview I spent quite a bit of time in the engine room, where I was impressed with the quality of the installation and the attention to detail. Everything is within easy reach and the layout has been well thought out. The engine room boasts full headroom amidships. Immediately aft of the engine room is the auxiliary machinery space where the generator, refrigeration unit and a raft of pumps are installed, with plenty of room for additional equipment if required. All are arranged to facilitate easy access and maintenance. After letting the engines warm up we moved out from the wharf with great ease, clearly demonstrating the manoeuvrability of the vessel. As we motored towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I was shown some features of the controls; these include a low revs button to facilitate easy manoeuvring. The twin engines installed on this vessel are CAT C-30s with 1550 HP each; this gives the boat a speed of just over eight knots when the engines are engaged and idling, far too fast to manoeuvre in close quarters. The slow idle reduces the revs to make the process easy and safe. Another feature was the automatic synchronisation of the engine revs at the touch of a button. All of these, including the digital throttles, are part of the new electronic engine control system. A safety feature that I thought was very clever was the ability to lower and lock the engine control and instruments panel to protect from the sun and reduce the risk from thieves. After clearing the bridge and with no other vessels in sight we pushed the throttles down part of the way. The boat immediately responded to the power being delivered to the huge five bladed 813 mm propellers. Almost instantly the boat was on the plane and we took off down the harbour doing 30 knots at 1950 RPM. The wind and waves built up but the boat took all of this in her stride and I was impressed with the comfortable ride that ensued. There was the occasional bang as the hull encountered a wave trough, which is to be expected by a high performance planing vessel, but overall the hull seemed to smooth out most of the waves, without throwing huge amounts of water everywhere or producing a violent motion. We were well outside the heads when I pulled the helm hard over to starboard and the boat immediately responded by making a surprisingly small circle for such a large vessel. Part way through the second revolution I pulled the helm hard over to port and the vessel again performed a tight turn. All this at 30 knots and in the rough conditions of the open water. Most impressive! I then turned the vessel home and pushed the throttles hard down. ocean | 69 With such large propellers and twin engines it is easy to see why there is no bow thruster installed. I moved the vessel sideways and turned it in its own length with the greatest of ease.
3 September October 2005
1 May June 2005