Dick Mather and the Connecticut River are old friends. Mather grew up in Deep River, Conn., boating on the broad expanse that conveniently runs through his hometown. And a 12-foot rowboat with a 5-hp Johnson was all he needed to explore the inlets and backwaters from Hamburg Cove to Selden Creek.At 16, he was a launch boy at the Essex (Conn.) Yacht Club, just downriver from his home. He "commuted" in a 10-foot hydroplane, sometimes outrunning summer thunderstorms on the trip home. Through the years, the boats have gotten bigger, but the passion has remained the same.
"These experiences have stayed with me," says Mather, 72, who retired from a career in human resources and career consulting. "And I guess it gets in the blood."
As with most boaters, Mather, along with his wife, Pat, has pursued a love of the water with various boats through the years - a 22-foot Cruisers, a 24-foot Winner, the 28-foot Bayliner the couple honeymooned on, right on up to a 36-foot Mainship.
In the late 1990s, the Mathers, with an eye toward the future, decided not only to take another step up in size, but also to look for a boat to fit a specific vision they had. "We were planning on using the vessel as a retirement boat to live aboard and cruise during the summer," says Mather. That suggested certain parameters: interior space with maybe a pair of staterooms, the necessities and amenities for living aboard, dependable power and seaworthiness. It all added up to a motoryacht.
The Mathers spent a winter looking at candidates from Tollycraft, Viking, Ocean Alexander and others. In 1999, they found a 1988 Hatteras 40 Double Cabin in Annapolis, Md. "We knew immediately that this was the boat for us," says Mather. "It fit all our criteria." After an inspection, the couple purchased the boat through Walczek Brokerage for around $225,000.
Hatteras had been "at the top of the list," says Mather, because of the company's reputation for high-quality boats. The yard-maintained vessel was in excellent shape, and Mather liked the twin Caterpillar 3208 diesels with only around 850 hours.
The aft-cabin layout was just what they had been looking for. "[It] includes a full head, each with its own shower - for each cabin - and the galley is efficient, too," says Mather.
The oversized cockpit with hardtop and enclosure was another plus. Just a step up from the saloon and a step down from the flybridge, it's both an outdoor living room and a waterfront dining room, with a "million-dollar view" of Essex's picturesque North Cove from their slip at Brewer Dauntless Shipyard. "We enjoy dinner and entertaining on the aft deck rain or shine," Mather says. "It adds another room."
The Mathers have upgraded the interior with new décor and appliances, and they've added a hydraulic lift to handle their inflatable. New electronics include GPS, VHF and radar.
Power and performance have lived up to expectations. The Cats give the 40-footer an 18 to 20 mph cruise speed, which is fast enough for the type of cruising they do. The heavy boat (approximately 38,000 pounds) has a solid feel, even in choppy waters, giving it a nice ride, which is a must for a cruising boat. "It's a good sea boat with the modified-vee hull," says Mather. "It has plenty of power and good weight distribution."
A summer of island-hopping beckons for the Mathers aboard Pat's Hat, and destinations include Long Island, N.Y., Block Island, R.I., and Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Mass. Even with all of these destinations easily at hand for a 40-footer, sometimes the Mathers just enjoy sitting in that big cockpit, looking out over the Connecticut River - where it all began.
The Hatteras 40 Double Cabin is built on a solid fiberglass modified-vee bottom with a shallow keel that runs aft to the props for stability. The standard flybridge and spacious aft cockpit (with hardtop) offer lots of room for owners and guests. Early models delivered a sedate 15-knot cruise speed with gas engines and closer to 20 mph with bigger 375-hp diesels.
A heavy boat with plenty of interior volume, it was available in a couple of two-stateroom layouts during its 12-year production run, and all featured a galley-down and a large midships lounge. The master cabin is aft, with an island berth, its own adjacent head to port and plenty of storage space. The smaller guest suite forward, with either an offset berth to port or standard V-berth, includes a full head compartment. The galley-down is to port on early models and was shifted to starboard in a 1989 redesign.
Beginning in 1993, the 40 Double Cabin sobriquet was changed to 40 Motor Yacht. The last model year was 1997.
LOA: 40 feet, 10 inches
BEAM: 13 feet, 7 inches
DRAFT: 4 feet, 9 inches
WEIGHT: 38,000 pounds
HULL TYPE: modified-vee
PROPULSION: twin 375-hp diesels
TANKAGE: 359 gallons fuel, 110 gallons water
DESIGNER: Jim Wynne
BUILDER: Hatteras Yachts, New Bern, N.C.
Phone: (252) 633-3101. www.hatterasyachts.com
For more than 50 years, designer Jack Hargrave and Hatteras Yachts have been leaders in the convertible and motoryacht fields. Hargrave’s first boat is one of the most famous in U.S. recreational boating annals, the Hatteras 41 Convertible, a pioneering fiberglass sportfishing boat introduced in 1960. The company’s boats gained a reputation for good design — Jim Wynne was among the designers — solid construction and luxurious appointments. Wynne’s 40 Double Cabin debuted in 1986 and proved a popular model, with more than 125 sold.
Prices for the Double Cabin and Motor Yacht versions vary greatly. We found boats in the $99,000 to $119,000 range, and others from $150,000 to $170,000 and as high as $199,000.
This article originally appeared in the July 2010 issue.
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