Forged by 60 Years of Innovation: The New Hatteras GT65 Carolina’s Hull
Ever since Hatteras Yachts pioneered the use of fiberglass instead of wood for building pleasure boats over 40 feet with our first sportfish, the Knit Wits, back in 1959, we’ve been introducing technological innovations to the yachting industry. Over the past 60 years, we’ve launched a long list of industry firsts (click here to learn more).
So, it should come as no surprise that the Hatteras Yachts engineering team has been utilizing advancing technology – and developing some of our own – to design and build the first GT65 Carolina, now under construction at our factory in New Bern, N.C.
“The design goals for the GT65 Carolina were greater speed, improved efficiency, better fuel economy, and a smoother ride,” said Glenn L. Spain, Hatteras | CABO Yachts mechanical engineering manager. In order to achieve this, he continued, the engineering team used high-tech Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis to test and refine the GT65 Carolina’s new hullform.
“We create a digital model of the hull in the computer. We locate the center of gravity, weight of the boat and the desired speed,” Spain said. “The program iterates the calculations for power required until the result converges. This takes approximately 23 hours per data point. We ran dozens of data points to establish the idea design for weight and LCG.”
An evolution of the proven Hatteras GT Series performance hull, the GT65 Carolina’s propriety hullform features a new propeller tunnel design.
“We reviewed and redesigned the propeller tunnel entry design to improve water flow into the propeller, providing more thrust per horsepower,” Spain said. The new hull is designed to get owners to the fishing grounds or their next boating adventure at fast cruise speed in the mid-30-knot range, and a top end of over 40 knots.
Standard power for the GT65 Carolina will be muscular workhorses – twin Caterpillar® C-32A 1,600 BHP diesel engines. Owners who want to lead the fishing fleet can upgrade to twin CAT C-32A 1,800 BHP diesels or twin CAT C-32A 1,900 BHP diesels.
The GT65 Carolina’s hull also is purpose-designed to accommodate the latest gyro stabilizing system from Seakeeper – twin Seakeeper 9s – without compromising fuel capacity or range. These new units will provide additional comfort on board the yacht when seas get choppy while you are trolling for big fish or hanging on the hook overnight.
Once the hull design for the GT65 Carolina was blueprinted, a mold was created and its high-tech construction began in the Hatteras Yachts Lamination department.
“We used a technique to lay up the hull that we call ‘integrated infusion’,” said Bob Arthur, Hatteras | CABO Yachts manager, structures and composites. “The longitudinal stringers, made of cross-linked PVC foam, are resin-infused at the same time as the hull, creating a monolithic unit,” he said.
Hatteras, once again, is pioneering this new process for the production yacht-building industry.
“It saves weight and adds strength to the hull,” Arthur said. “We used a relatively new vinylester resin formula and special fiberglass in the layup. In the end, the GT65 Carolina doesn’t weigh appreciably more than the GT63.” He continued, “We’ve been resin-infusing hulls for a long time, but we’ve really upped the ante with the GT65 Carolina.”
A Bigger Fish Tank
Chris and Laura Jessen, their longtime sportfishing captain, Ben Horning, and the Fish Tank Sportfishing team have racked up some amazing accomplishments over the past seven years in their Hatteras GT63 Fish Tank – including winning the 2019 Los Sueños Triple Crown billfish tournament series off Costa Rica.
Recently, they decided to take all the experience they’ve gained in successfully campaigning their boat and collaborate with Hatteras Yachts to design a larger tournament-level sportfish. The result is the new GT65 Carolina, which will unleash the next generation of GT Series convertibles when it launches in late 2019.
“We’ve been fishing on our Hatteras GT63 since 2012, and we chose Hatteras again because we have had a tremendous experience,” said Chris Jessen. “They build a high-quality boat at Hatteras with amazing attention to detail. We’re honored that our ideas and designs will live beyond our boat and influence the legendary Hatteras Sportfishing line.”
“Hatteras is thrilled to collaborate with Fish Tank Sportfishing,” said Hatteras Yachts President and CEO Kelly Grindle. “Chris, Laura, and Captain Ben have incredible expertise, have logged thousands of hours on the water, and have released countless fish. We will be designing a boat where every detail has been considered by world-class anglers.”
The sleek GT65 Carolina will take the GT Series in a fresh design direction while still maintaining its core DNA. The new model also offers accomplished anglers like the Jessens the ability to add a high level of customization to their new boat.
“The Jessens have been in near constant contact with the Hatteras design and engineering teams about this boat,” said Cullen Moser, Hatteras interior designer. “Everything has been well thought out, down to the custom-designed tackle center. This boat is truly made for them.”
The GT65 Carolina features a flybridge designed for the professional sportfishing captain, including a flush-mounted “glass cockpit” instrument array at the helm and excellent sightlines. A curved, ergonomic ladder leads down to the huge cockpit below, where every square foot maximizes fishability and comfort. The mezzanine incorporates optional integrated seatback air conditioning, along with large, standard stainless-steel built-in storage boxes.
The Jessens’ new Fish Tank will be optimized for catch-and-release angling, while other owners can add the fishing features and equipment that suits their personal angling style. The GT65 Carolina’s four-stateroom, three-head interior layout takes full advantage the boat’s added volume over the GT63, both in living and storage space. The large salon/galley arrangement is wide open to ease traffic flow, provides breathtaking views through the huge windows, and gives owners the space to entertain and feed a crowd. The fully equipped galley includes a peninsula counter with room to entertain friends.
Below, the master stateroom is the largest found in a convertible of this class. Both the master and the forward VIP feature en suite heads. The standard lower-deck arrangement also includes two large guest cabins with bunks, with a shared head between them.
Hatteras GT Series boats are designed to top out at over 40 knots and to cruise in the mid-30-knot range, even in rough conditions offshore. For the GT65 Carolina, the Hatteras engineering team utilized Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis to create a new hullform and tunnel design that will take the boat’s performance and handling to the next level. In addition, the hull and stringer system will be infused as a single part, an industry first, to reduce weight and increase strength.
The GT65 Carolina features an all-new engine room layout for ease of maintenance and serviceability. In addition, it is purpose-designed to operate with optional twin Seakeeper 9s without impacting fuel capacity, for owners seeking additional comfort at sea.