WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — News coming out of the Palm Beach International Boat Show Thursday included a second boat from Bertram Yachts, a new 34-foot runabout from The Hinckley Co. and the announcement of yacht builder Sanlorenzo’s new financing partner.
Bertram said it will follow up its Bertram 35 with a larger convertible model, the Bertram 58, which is scheduled for launching in late 2017.
The company plans to splash the Bertram 35 this summer, with a sneak peek May 6 for the media at the Lyman-Morse shipyard. Bertram retained Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston, Maine, to build prototypes of its initial designs. The design is by Michael Peters Yacht Design in Sarasota, Fla.
“You’ll get a chance to touch and feel the  in early May,” Bertram product development manager Tommy Thompson said at a press conference, adding that the company has taken orders on five boats so far.
“It won’t be done yet, but you’ll get a chance to see hull No. 1 and No. 2 in various stages of production. No. 1 is on the floor with the engines in it, and No. 2 is coming out of the mold early next week. So we’ll have two [35s] with engines in them.”
Sea trials are planned for July. “We all think it’s a beautiful boat,” Bertram Yachts general manager Susan Davids said. “There’s been a lot of positive feedback, but it’s about how the boat rides — that’s what we want you to feel for yourself.”
Tooling on the Bertram 58 will start in about three months. The project shows “our commitment to covering the full Bertram range with updated models that evoke the Bertram legacy,” said Thompson. The 58 will be based on the iconic 1980s Bertram 54, with updated naval architecture from Michael Peters.
Just a few docks south of the Bertram presentation, The Hinckley Co. introduced the T34R, the third runabout model for the high-end boatbuilder. It joins the T29R and T38R Convertible.
Six-time Hinckley owners Toby and Ron Greene christened the T34R at a media introduction at which company interim president and CEO David Howe spoke about the builder’s growing workforce, which is at an all-time high. This spring, Hinckley will complete its 1,000th jetboat.
The demo T34R — a metallic brown hull with teak and stainless accents — is on display at the show. With a hull bottom designed by Michael Peters, the T34R with twin Yanmar 320s will top out at 34 knots and cruise at 31.
Farther north at the show’s superyacht area, Sanlorezo and LH-Finance, the marine division of United Bank in Glastonbury, Conn., announced a partnership that will enable LH-Finance to provide retail and wholesale financing to Sanlorenzo and its customers.
“Since Fort Lauderdale we’ve done seven new boat deals above 86 feet, and we have a decent pipeline of other business to come, so we are pretty excited,” Sanlorenzo Americas president and CEO George Jousma told media members aboard the SL96.
“You need to have the ability to finance boats and keep [projects] going. For us to have construction financing — to be able to have inventory — is a critical part of our business model. So we are proud to have this relationship with LH-Finance. We inked our deal in the last couple weeks, so we are having a little toast and celebration.”
Sanlorenzo, based in Italy, builds yachts from 78 to 203 feet. Sanlorenzo Americas is based in Fort Lauderdale.
“Business is about relationships,” said United Bank CEO Bill Crawford, who was also aboard the SL96. “We’ve put together what we think is a very unique niche strategy, focused on people who care deeply about their brand and need support in America. When you look at Sanlorenzo, no two boats are quite the same, and that’s how we look at relationships at United Bank — it’s about putting together custom solutions for clients.”