The iconic Bertram Yacht brand is re-emerging with a new owner, new leadership and a new design inspired by the legendary Bertram 31.
“We only have one chance to get this right,” Bertram Yacht general manager Susan Davids said during a Nov. 6 press conference at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show that featured a high-energy video promoting the Bertram 35, slated to debut at FLIBS in 2016.
"We have big expectations. People love their Bertrams, and we have to live up to that reputation," Davids told a group of editors from Active Interest Media’s Marine Group earlier last week.
Davids and Tommy Thompson, head of product development, unveiled a rendering of the new boat, which Thompson described as a “35-foot Bertram 31.” Thompson also acknowledged the high expectations involved in bringing back the revered deep-vee design that company founder Dick Bertram made popular five decades ago.
“We are being held to a very high standard,” he told the gathering. “This can’t be just any boat. It has to be a Bertram.”
Michael Peters Yacht Design of Sarasota, Fla., designed the boat. It will initially be available in two configurations — one for fishing and another for cruising.
Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston, Maine, will build the prototypes.
Last March, Bertram was purchased from The Ferretti Group by Argo Finanziaria, a division of The Gavio Group, a family-owned Italian industrial company headed by Beniamino Gavio.
Gavio bought a Bertram 54 in 1999 and he promises that the new Bertrams will be simple and strong.
“I’m not going to make an Italian yacht,” Gavio told Soundings Trade Only in February. “I’m going to make an American boat.”
After the announcement at FLIBS, enthusiastic Bertram fans greeted Gavio with handshakes and well wishes.
“It feels fabulous,” Gavio said of the reception.