Hatteras has long been known for building motoryachts and sportfishing boats that can handle the rough stuff. The GT45X Flybridge shows Hatteras hasn’t forgotten much of anything that it has learned. Here’s the genius of this model: The offshore performance of a sportfisherman is not just for anglers anymore, since it’s just the ticket for providing a safe transport back to protected waters when the weather turns snotty. And with available layouts that can accommodate a family (with flexibility for additional guests), the package can serve as a hard-core tournament boat or a cruiser ready to take the crew up and down the coast, or out to the islands.
The Back Story
Most know the story, but for those who do not, it bears repeating since it has such a happy ending. Hatteras Yachts, a company with a longstanding reputation for building quality cruisers, was acquired by Brunswick, a large conglomerate of boat brands, in 2001. Things went well, but economics being what they are, Brunswick was forced to reduce staff and shop for a buyer. Ultimately, one stepped forward and, in 2013, Hatteras was sold to Versa Capital Management’s subsidiary, Navis HCY Acquisition LLC. This company is well funded and Hatteras was given the resources needed to tool new models and, essentially, do things right. Hatteras continued to grow both the GT line and motoryachts.
Fast forward to today, where we find Hatteras expanding its line of motoryachts and sportfishing boats, and, to that end, offering a versatile mid-size boat for those trading up from other brands who want the build quality, rugged construction, and prestige of the Hatteras brand -- as well as for those trading down from larger convertibles or motoryachts.
Features Inspection By the Numbers
All three Hatteras GT45X models have the same hull: LOA of 44’7” (13.59 m), a beam of 16’6” (5.03 m), a draft of 4’ (1.22 m). With the additional structural requirements in place to support a pair of SeaKeeper 6 gyros, plus the full flying bridge package, the empty weight of the Hatteras GT45X Flybridge is 53,400 lbs. (24,221 kg), or 3,700 lbs. (1,5739 kg) more than the express version of this boat.
All GT45X models come standard with the same power, a pair of 835-hp Cat C-12.9 diesel engines, and have the same options for other power choices, most popular being a pair of 1,136-hp Cat C-18 ACERTs. Fuel capacity is 800 gallons (3,028 L) and that feeds both the mains and the 17 kW generator. Both hold 100 gallons (379 L) of fresh water and 43 gallons (163 L) of waste.
To starboard of the aft bridge-deck settee is a ladder up to the flying bridge, where the upper helm station awaits. The pod-style helm is set up to match the lower helm, and there are seats for the helmsman and a companion beneath a hardtop.
To starboard is a bench settee for additional companions to enjoy the breeze, and there’s seating for two in front of the helm console. All told, the flying bridge can accommodate six people.
The flying bridge is the right size for this boat, fitting atop the deck house in proportion with the rest of the boat, right down to the hardtop overhead height. The captain can watch the angling action from the helm, adjusting the boat’s position as needed.
One Cabin or Two?
Moving to the lower-deck accommodations, all models in the GT45X line offer identical choices. Entering by the three-steps-down companionway just to starboard of the helm, the well-equipped galley is immediately to starboard. The head is located just forward. To port is an L-shaped settee wrapping around a minimalist teak pedestal table.
Here’s where two layouts are offered, depending on whether the GT45X Flybridge will be used more as a couples’ cruiser or as an overnighter for four people. By eliminating some length of the settee on the forward end, a separate cabin can be added to port that features a pair of over/under berths in an enclosed stateroom.
Fully forward is the master stateroom with an elevated island berth, allowing access from both sides. A variety of wood finishes are complemented with a teak and holly sole to highlight the entire area.
Moving up to the helm deck, the GT45X Flybridge has a molded deckhouse with an integral flybridge. The helm is mounted in the center of the deck with a single operator’s seat, providing an elevated vantage point for good visibility. A companion seat faces forward to starboard in front of a console with storage lockers.
A fiberglass console or high-gloss teak one can be chosen. Both have Palm Beach-style sticks to the sides. A polished metal switch panel is etched with labels denoting the function of each switch. Engine displays are just ahead.
Hatteras isn’t married to any one electronics provider, so owners are free to choose from their favorite and plenty of open real estate in the panel will easily accommodate large flush-mount displays. To the sides are the ancillaries such as autopilot, VHF, etc…
A massive L-shaped settee wraps around the entire port side and at the forward end provides an aft-facing lounge. To starboard is an observer’s seat, allowing for a companion to take part in the navigation. Both the helm and observer’s seats are fully adjustable, high-end Stidd helm chairs.
The deck is enclosed on three sides with windows that blend seamlessly into the sides and the stylish fiberglass hardtop. The open aft section can be closed off with Isinglass for three-season comfort. Fresh air is available on the enclosed deck through opening side windows that are hinged from the rear to scoop air into the deck while underway or at anchor, and an overhead hatch. Otherwise, many will opt for the reverse-cycle A/C system to maintain climate-controlled comfort. An engine room access hatch is located in the center of the deck.
Most notable, however, is the massive single-piece windshield providing a view ahead without the encumbrances of a center window mullion.
The cockpit is accessed from the bridge deck by a walkthrough, offset slightly to starboard with three steps leading down to the cockpit sole. There's plenty of open space, allowing this deck to be used for various purposes, most obviously big-game fishing, but also for relaxing and entertaining.
All decks are teak. There’s a second engine-room access point through a hatch in the mezzanine seat. An elevated bench seat on the mezzanine level provides an excellent vantage point to the cockpit for observing the fishing action or simply being in a relaxed position while still being part of the party. This also provides a comfortable place for guests to relax while watching the wake shrink into the distance.
In the cockpit, the deck is reinforced to accommodate a fishing chair or a teak pedestal leaning post/rocket launcher in the center. Either will become the focal point of any fishing expedition.
To the starboard side, a rigging station also includes an electric grill for preparing the fresh catch for the dinner table. Under the deck is a pair of insulated fishboxes. In the transom is a molded-in 56-gallon (211.98 L) livewell.
The Cockpit for Entertaining
We should emphasize that the cockpit of a sportfisherman is probably one of the most convivial locations on any boat of any size for a relaxed cocktail party. It is large and stable, and there is plenty of room to set up tables for beverages, ice, and finger food. We recommend adding a fold-up bench seat or two for the ladies, as we have found that women tend not to like to sit on the covering boards, as men do.
Fold out seats could also be installed in the port and starboard gunwales (as we are now seeing on smaller boats). We’d ask Hatteras to make them for us to add utility to the boat.
The engine room is built around twin Caterpillar C-18 ACERTs rated for 1,136-hp each. There’s 57” (1.45 m) of overhead clearance, what our test captain would call stooping headroom, and 7.5” (.19 m) of clearance over each engine. There’s room to gain access to all sides of each engine. The Racor fuel-water separators and battery boxes have been repositioned from what we saw in a test of a sistership, the GT45X Tower model. By positioning the battery boxes in front of each engine, there’s now mounting room to place one of two Seakeeper 6 gyro stabilizers.
Performance and Handling
Trolling valves are effective and take our test boat’s idle speed from 7.2 knots to 3.1. Once through the inlet, and beyond, it quickly became apparent that the 25-knot winds were kicking up seas that would make getting reasonable performance numbers problematic. But it did show us that the GT45X does handle rough conditions quite well. She had no pounding, it was a bit of a wet ride, but more to the point was how solid she felt. It was as if the whole boat was absorbing the waves, which makes sense considering how strongly these boats are built.
Coming around to the beam showed a more relaxed posture of course. While the best times were, not surprisingly, in the following seas. That’s where we could really pick up the speed and let her run. No hint of the bow stuffing, and of course, a much drier ride. Now given that we couldn’t get our own numbers, let’s look at what the team at Hatteras report. They got these speed and fuel consumption numbers in calm conditions, we were told.
With a full load of fuel, the Hatteras techs topped out at 40.8 knots. A throttle setting of 2000 rpm put the 1,136-hp CAT C-12.9s at the recommended cruise setting of 80% load and 36.0 knots. At that speed, the 92-gph fuel burn translated into a range of 281.9 nautical miles. Interestingly, the efficiency of the hull is highlighted in the difference of only one-tenth of a NMPG between full speed and all other throttle settings. In effect, we can really set the speed based on the prevailing conditions.
Our experience with Hatteras convertibles of this size is that 20 knots is generally a comfortable and relatively economical speed at which to travel. That reduces fuel consumption to something in the 40 gph range.
Around the Dock
Coming back into the marina basin was, again, a simple affair of using the separate sticks to control the GT45X. On approach to the dock, our test captain added a small bit of port rudder to allow him to favor the starboard side finger pier. Then he just guided her back with alternating shots of reverse to steer, and jolts of forward gear to have her large props kick her over to starboard. There is really no need for a joystick. And this was with that 25-knot crosswind.
It should be remembered that twin-screw boats of this size and much larger have been threaded through needles for more than 100 years without the need for joysticks. It is just a matter of learning how to use the throttles, rudders, and gears.
While our test captain didn’t get the numbers he came for, in our opinion, he did come away with an appreciation of how easy it is to handle the GT45X Flybridge, and how easily managed her systems are. It all speaks of a comfortable boat to own and operate.
If there was ever a “best of all worlds” boat, then the Hatteras GT45X Series is certainly a representative example. Whether the interests lie in offshore fishing or cruising, this yacht can be rigged to do either, and can easily do both, seamlessly transitioning from one to the other with little more than a hose down to facilitate the changeover.
All models in the GT45X lineup also represent the company’s forward thinking in taking an existing model, and making it better by taking the lessons from a lifetime of boatbuilding and incorporating the details into one exquisite boat. The result is a true Hatteras that brings the builder back into the realm of offering a sub-50-footer, something it hasn’t done since the late 1990s, and places the brand back within reach of a great many fans of the brand.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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