Green Turtle Weekend

Last week we decided to take our 38 Bertram to the Bahamas for the season. Ran her down to Ft. Pierce and made the crossing to White Sands and the Bahamas Bank. Despite being rough with seas in the 5 to 7 foot range, we made the crossing with no problems. Once we hit the bank it calmed down a bit, and once we hit the Abaco sea it was fantastic. Made our way down to Green Turtle and died up at the Black Sound Marina. Friends came over and despite being cloudy and windy we had a great time. Flew home on a friend’s plane and we are looking forward to heading back in a few weeks when the weather will hopefully be a bit more manageable so we can get some wahoo and a few bugs before the season closes on March 31st. Good stuff.

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Giro in Giro

Giro in Giro

Here are some pics from Antonio Gianini, another proud owner of a Bertram 38 Special. Like the owner of the Zio Sam 4, Antonio also hails from Italy. Check out his pics; sweet rig!!!

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Send Us Your Pictures!!

Do you have pictures of a Bert you’d like to share?  Or a story that Bertram fans would like to read?  Or suggestions about this site?  Please send em’ our way.  During the coming months we’re going to get this site cranking, and hopefully build it into a place where the Bertram community can visit to share information about these classic boats.

If you want to contact us send an email to Rich at  And be sure to check back later; we anticipate bringing a forum online so folks can share information in real time relative to specific topics of interest.  Thanks for visiting and drop us a line.

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Zio Sam Redux

Several months ago Alfredo sent me some more pictures of the unbelievable renovation he’s doing of his Bertram 38 Special. Just like he’s done with the tower, exterior, power and electric, Alfredo’s interior meets the same level of shining excellence.  There’s not a whole lot I can say; the pictures speak for themselves.  Check them out.

If you have a picture of your Bert or a renovation you’re doing, or just want to share some pics of a fishing trip, send them to me at and I’ll post them here to share.  Thanks for reading!

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Zio Sam 4: Bertram Italian Beauty

One of the coolest things about having this website is that I receive emails from other Bertram owners who tell me about their boats.  The best email I’ve received to date was from Alfredo Para, who hails from Rimini Italy.  Often called the “Miami of Europe,” Rimini sits on the edge of the Adriatic sea.  It’s a beautiful town, famous for its resorts, bustling beaches, gorgeous women and fantastic sportfishing.

Rimini: Famous for Gorgeous Italan Beauties

Alfredo is the proud owner of the Zio Sam 4, one of the rare Bertram 38 Specials.  Before being purchased by Alfredo, Zio Sam 4 was shipped from the Bertram factory in Miami, Florida in 1986 to her original owner in France.  In 2000 she was purchased by her second owner and was used for fishing charters in France’s Gulf of Lions in the Mediterranean Sea.  In 2003 she was purchased by Alfredo and brought to her new home port of Rimini.

“My friends call her my new lover” Alfredo said.  And when I saw the pictures of the refit job Alfredo has underway I can see why.  Alfredo is taking no short cuts.  Pulled and blocked in a warehouse, Zio Sam is being completely refit from head to toe.  New engines.  New engine room.  New electronics.  New Paint.  And that’s not all.   I couldn’t believe the pictures when I saw them…

Zio Sam was originally fitted at the factory with the Bertram tower and flybridge.  Alfredo has completely removed this structure and has built a new improved tower.  He has stripped the fiberglass from the tower helm and is installing all new electronics and controls.  When finished, the tower will be a work of art.

Similarly, Alfredo has installed a new teak deck, new teak trim on the gunnels, and a hydrolic hatch for engine access.  As for the lower helm, all new and custom built.  New Furino radar and electronics.  New controls.  New everything.  I am blown away.

Alfredo did not send us pictures of the interior and I can’t wait to see what he’s doing there.  The 38 Specials had special glass molding which was expensive for Bertram to produce and is one of the reasons that there were only about 45 of these boats ever made.  It will be a treat to see what Alfredo has in store for the interior.

My 1986 38 Special, the Tremendous, is the Zio Sam’s sister ship.  And no disrespect to my boat, even though she was completely repowered and refit during the last two years, she won’t hold a candle to Alfredo’s Zio Sam when he is finished.

The work Alfredo is doing with his Bertram is truly an inspiration.  I will try to coax more pictures out of him as his progress continues so we can see this beautiful italian Bert progress through completion. Thanks again to Alfredo for sharing the work he’s doing on this phenomenal project and for the pictures he sent me which are below.

Stay tuned for more!!



Categories: Bertram 38, Bertram Pictures | Tags: | 4 Comments

Bertram Weather

Bertrams are famous for handling big seas.  Unfortunately, on the east coast of Florida lately, that’s all we’ve been getting.  Big ole’ Bertram seas.  Fine for the boat, but not so much for my 8 and 10 year old…!  We’re hoping the seas will lay down a little bit this weekend so we can chase the cobia which have been running the past few weeks out of Port Canaveral.  Crossing my fingers.

Meanwhile, check out this very cool video I found on YouTube of some Bertram weather…

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2011 Bertram Hatteras Shootout

Just checked out the Bertram Hatteras Shootout website and saw that this year’s event is set for May 3 through May 7, 2011 in the Abacos at the Abaco Beach Resort.   This is one of the most storied fishing tournaments with a fantastic history.  The site’s website, at, has some great pictures and videos about the tournament.

The event isn’t cheap: with a basic boat entry fee of $5,500 this event isn’t for folks with light wallets.  However, even though I’ve never been, I think the fee is well worth it to be a part of this very cool classic event.  We are going to try to make it… still trying to work out logistics and schedules before forking out the 5.5K, but I think I’m going to pull the trigger this year.

You can get a copy of the application here

Should be fun, we’ll keep you posted on the event and hopefully have some good pictures and stories after May 7th.

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Just got the new name slapped on the transom and it looks sweet!  The guys at Boldwater in Cape Canaveral did it for us, kudos to them for an awesome job.

Transom Decal


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Removing Bottom Paint: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Bertram Pulled for Bottom Paint

Bertram Pulled for Bottom Paint

Having just purchased our 1986 Bertram last week, we pulled it out to check out her bottom.  Our surveyor, John Reeve, of Reeve Marine Associates, was glowing in his praise of the old hull.  “She’s got enough fiberglass in her hull to make two boats.”  He said.

Reeve made this assessmenet after going over the entire hull with his plastic hammer, rapping the hull and listening for any evidence of voids or delamination.  He also conducted a close visual inspection for any other signs of damage or problem.  The hull passed with flying colors.

One problem I was concerned about were small cracks in the gelcoat near the bow. Reeve said that these were small stress fractures in the gelcoat and were nothing to be concerned about.  “Cosmetic only” he said.  Small stress fractures in the gelcoat are common in classic fiberglass hulls and don’t need to be repaired.

The bottom paint was another matter.  The hull had been painted with successive layers of paint.  I counted at least five different colors.  The successive layers had built up over the years and were coming off in various degrees on different places.  The hull clearly needed to have the old paint removed.

There are several different ways to go.  The simplest method — sanding — is rarely used because it’s not allowed by most boat yards.   Read more »
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Our New Bertram 38 Special

Bertram 38 Special

1986 Bertram 38 Special

Just launched this site, because we just closed the deal on a Bertram 38 Special and wanted a place to throw up some pics for friends and family.  In 1972 my Grandfather bought a new Bertram 28s that he kept in a slip at Crystal River, Florida.  I grew up fishing in that boat, the Sweet Thing, for grouper and snapper in the Gulf.  Some of my best childhood memories were on that boat.

Later he moved up to a Bertram 42. The 28 didn’t have enough range to ride to the middle grounds for overnight snapper trips.  Hence the 42, which he bought brand new from Miami and christened the Big Bopper.  Wow.  What a boat.  Thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Read more »

Categories: Bertram 38, Bertram Pictures | 4 Comments