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Sean Burlingham's
1987 Bertram 33 Sportfish - "Island Time"

(Republished from DIY Boat Owner 2005-3)



Ive owned boats of various kinds and conditions since I was 12 years old. Over the past few years, we have steadily upgraded in boat size and condition and recently had a jet boat and a 23' (7m) Pro-Line. We caught the offshore cruising and fishing bug with the Pro-Line. Once wed finished our many upgrades to the Pro-Line, we decided that it was too small and wanted a boat that we could pour our hearts (and wallets) into and that would be large enough to keep us happy for many years.

We had settled on Bertram as the brand of choice because of a good friend who has a classic Bertram 31 and from whom we had heard many times (and then later from many others) about the superior construction and sea-keeping abilities of these boats. With that settled, we zoomed in on the 33 Sportfish, with diesel engines and, after months on an Internet search, we found our baby, a 1987 33' (10m) Sportfisherman with 3208T Caterpillar diesel engines.

We finalized the purchase of our Bertram in October 2004, following a hurricane season that destroyed many boats and marinas throughout Florida. The purchase settlement was delayed for months because no insurance company would underwrite the boat while a named storm was approaching Florida. (Hurricanes marched toward Florida relentlessly in 2004). We brought the boat from Fort Lauderdale to Melbourne in October, hugging the coastline on a five-hour trip that was also a tour of coastal hurricane devastation. That day, the winds picked up and I was very happy to learn that the 5' (1.5m) choppy seas were no challenge for our Bertram. It plowed right through them at 21 knots in confidence and relative comfort.



The rest of Sean's story can be downloaded in PDF Format in three sections here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
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