Bertram president Alton Herndon says the 540 will help restore Bertram's reputation for building a "hardcore, kick-ass sportfishing machine." He says Bertram has been building top-notch battlewagons all along but has not had a sportfish notable at the helm of the company to tout that reputation for a number of years. That has changed.
"The Ferretti organization [Ferretti Group of Italy, Bertram's owner] has seen the need to bring Bertram back to its roots and build on that heritage," Herndon says. "They brought me in because of my experience."
The 540 maintains the features of the classic 54-footer, while adding a forward wraparound window for better views and improved light. The boat also has an open saloon layout. It shows its sportfishing side with space for up to 25 fishing rods, additional tackle storage in the mezzanine, plus a bait well and freezer. The fishboxes in the cockpit sole are bigger and deeper, and positioned on both sides of the fighting chair.
Entering its 50th anniversary year in 2011, Bertram plans to introduce two more models in February at the Miami International Boat Show. They'll be "longer, lower, sleeker, faster, but you'll still recognize them as Bertrams," says Herndon.