PRE-LOVED BOATS - Bertram 28

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The legendary Bertram 28 rides the weight of history of well, a model still well sort after decades later

PRE-LOVED BOATS - Bertram 28
PRE-LOVED BOATS - Bertram 28

In 1971 one of the greatest boatbuilders in modern history launched its most popular model ever. The builder was Bertram and the boat was its ridiculously successful 28. At the time the company had just finished its 1000th hull. Eventually, the Bertram 28 sold more than 2200 hulls all on its own.

Many of these workhorse-like classics saw duty in commercial applications and Coast Guard operations around the globe. A few were even built from specially developed fireproof fibreglass compounds for export to Israel. But it was the dedicated sportsfishing enthusiast that claimed this very special craft as a member of the family.

And then it was gone...

In a move that I personally find inexplicable one of the most popular and piscatorially prolific fishing boats of all time was discontinued — not only in the US but also in Australia, where it was being built under licence by International Marine. I mean seriously would Toyota kill the HiLux?

Of course International Marine still offers plenty for those in the market for a similar boat in the Caribbean 27 Flybridge Sports Fisherman and the Caribbean 32 Flybridge Cruiser, but if you are anything like me and know there will only ever be one Bertram 28, fear not, a few top-notch examples still show up on the second-hand market from time-to-time.

Here’s one I prepared earlier…

Bay Lady is a prime example presented in a condition that will impress. A Victorian resident she has proven herself on a testing tank the locals call Bass Strait.

Highlights of the Bay Lady’s career to date include 25-plus-miles offshore sojourns for boatloads of snapper and memorable encounters with all manner of marine life. She’s also taken on more challenging expeditions, gamefishing successfully as far north as Southport on the Gold Coast.

Recently she’s benefited from an extensive tidy-up including new carpets, inverter, batteries, water tank and a new iPod-compatible stereo. Last, but by no means least, the fully reconditioned port engine has only five hours clocked to date. Other accessories include full clears, a Raymarine C80 radar-chartplotter-sounder, Muir winch, stove and TV.

To express interest in Bay Lady you will need to speak to the owner directly by phoning 0419 586 358. Good luck and tight lines.

Seeing Bay Lady come across my desk I was compelled to comment on what this exceptional boat model means to me.
In the early 2000s a good friend of mine purchased a Bertram 28 called the Strayline, with the intention of putting it into charter service.

As professional fisherman, we instantly recognised the potential such a boat had to do great things. The oversized cockpit was perfect for midsized fishing parties allowing space for all in safety and relative comfort. The comparatively large fuel tank, economical engines, serviceable accommodation and galley spaces, and most of all the legendary Bertram sea-keeping reputation made Strayline an excellent candidate for low-cost, long-range fishing charters to a system of world-class banks more than 200nm from her home-base.

Over the years this boat’s superior manoeuvrability and freakish fish-raising capabilities carved her a reputation as a competition winner and a record breaker. By the time my mate parted with her, upgrading to a Bertram 35, Strayline had become a household name in fishing circles nationwide.

I had many unforgettable memories on her bridge as skipper and on the deck with my sleeves rolled up in the thick of the action. We caught first fish, giant fish, winning fish and sometimes just dinner fish. The ease at which any expedition could be undertaken and the phenomenal success that seemed to follow her meant she became the glue that bonded my circle of closest friends together.

In the end I was truly sad to see my mate let her go. But hey, one person’s loss is someone else’s gain. — Jeff Strang


FOR SALE $60,000
MATERIAL Fibreglass
TYPE Monohull
LENGTH 8.53m
ENGINE 2 x 160hp D190 BMW Diesels

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 434, Dec-Jan 2013. Story by Jeff Strang.


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