Bertram 510 convertible
Length overall 54'10"
Beam  14'2"
Draft  5'
Fuel Capacity  1,040 gals
Water Capacity 185 gals
Standard power  Twin Man
1050hp diesel

The dining area in the saloon (above) features a faux-leather settee and a faux-marble-topped table, accented by deeply varnished cherry paneling. (Below) The three-stateroom, two-head accommodations are what you'd expect to find on a larger yacht. The master stateroom features a queen-sized island berth against a mirrored aft bulkhead.

In 1960, renowned marine architect C. Raymond Hunt designed a 30-foot wooden prototype for a Miami yacht broker named Richard Bertram. The hull featured a constant 24-degree deadrise running fore and aft, a revolutionary design at the time, but one that provided such steady performance in rough seas that it's become ubiquitous throughout the recreational boating industry. Today we call it a 'deep-V' hull. Richard Bertram got such great results racing that first boat that he went into business, building the first fiberglass production model in 1961. In 1998, Bertram was bought by Ferretti S.P.A., a major Italian motoryacht manufacturer. The most recent Bertram models, ranging from 40 to 67 feet long, combine that traditional deep-V hull performance with contemporary Euro styling. The new 510 Convertible is a prime example.

I had a chance to give the 510 a closer look on a recent blustery day on the Chesapeake. We headed out of the Bay Bridge Marina on Kent Island across from Annapolis with Andy Greene, a yacht broker with North Atlantic Marine Group, one of Bertram's newest dealers. It was a clear, sunny day with a brisk 12-knot southwesterly breeze that kicked up a slight chop. The twin Man 1050 diesels took a while to warm up on this chilly morning, but once there, the acceleration was quite impressive, with the two sequential turbos kicking in to provide powerful thrust. The tracking of that deep-V hull is smack on, even over wakes; the turns were tight; the wheel took about five revolutions from lock to lock. The controls are highly sensitive, though they were not synchronized.

At 1800 RPM, we were doing a good 25 knots; at 2000, we were doing 29.5; at 2200, we were doing over 32knots, which is considered cruising speed; and at 2400, wide-open throttle, we were doing the advertised 35 knots. Maneuverability was quite smooth and agile, yet there was a solid feel to the ride, with no jarring thumps as we crossed wakes. The single, baffled, 1040-gallon fuel tank is centered athwartships, down low, between the engine room and the accommodation deck. Having that center of gravity adds to the solid, steady feel of the run. The Mans did tend to vibrate noticeably at low RPMs, but once up on a plane, they were smooth as mocha cappuccino.

Up on the bridge, there's a large control console with plenty of room for electronics. The panels are covered with plexiglas covers hinged at the top. When they're closed, they provide good protection and visibility of the gauges and controls, but when they're flipped up, trying to operate any of the electronics is like serving yourself from a salad bar with a sneeze guard.

The cowling provides good protection for the large, U-shaped lounge area forward of the console, but that cowling blocks the view of all but the very bow, so it takes some getting used to for docking and tight maneuvering. There is no bow thruster, but the twin engines and the spry controls provide all the agility you need in tight quarters. The helm is centered and well aft for good view of the cockpit and the stern for optimal control when fighting and landing game fish.

You'll notice by the pictures that this one has yet to have a hard top or tuna tower installed, but not having those add-on features lets you appreciate the influence of Ferretti's design team on the classic Bertram lines. Ferretti teamed up with the Zuccon International Project for the fresh, contemporary styling of the exterior as well as the interior of the new Bertrams.

The cockpit is a generous 142 square feet, with a large removable fish box and in the sole. The beefy transom features a large bait well and a large door for landing and boarding. Facing forward, molded-in steps on either side provide access to the wide side decks leading up to the foredeck. There's a large bait prep area with flip-up countertops revealing a deep storage locker to port, which in this model was equipped with an optional freezer unit. In the center, there's a sink with both fresh and saltwater faucets, a removable cutting board, and tackle drawers behind a cabinet door underneath. Another deep locker to port can be equipped with an optional circulating live bait well. Between these elements are the hatch leading down to the engine room and three steps leading up to the door to the main saloon.

The saloon features an open layout, with the lounge, galley and dinette sharing the space. The key feature is a really large, tinted glass picture window looking aft over the cockpit, which gives the area an open feel augmented by the two eye-shaped side windows. The cherry wood of the cabinetry and paneling is finished to a rich and lustrous glow. There's an entertainment center built into the corner with a 25-inch Panasonic TV/VCR and an ice maker. The L-shaped settee has storage underneath. The dinette has a beautiful faux-leather upholstered settee with a similarly topped table. The U-shaped galley boasts a wide expanse of faux-marble countertop, with a double molded-in sink and a three-burner electric cooktop, big Sub-zero refrigerator and freezer in drawers, and deep cabinets above with sliding cherry doors to hide the microwave, coffee maker and other gadgets.

Stepping down the centerline companionway to the accommodations deck, you'll find a twin stateroom immediately to starboard, and a double cabin to port with a its own enclosed head. The head has a big faux-marble vanity with a molded in sink, a toilet and an enclosed shower stall. The room features its own climate controls, a lighted, cedar-lined hanging locker and its own Panasonic TV/VCR and CD changer. The double stateroom in the bow also has its own entertainment center, dual hanging lockers, and storage under the berth. This stateroom has its own private door into the second head, also accessible by a door from the passageway. This head also has an enclosed shower and a good amount of counter space.

Overall, the layout of the interior is ingeniously designed to provide the accommodations you'd expect to find in a boat much bigger than this Bertram 510.