The first Bertram 31 Moppie won the Miami-Nassau Race. It broke the record by four minutes in the worst weather conditions in the event’s history.
Bertram opened its 25-acre plant on November 8, 1962, at 3663 N.W. 21 Street (its present location), on the Tamiami Canal, an offshoot of the Miami River, one mile east of the Miami International Airport… and across the street from Richard Bertram and Company brokerage. It was the world’s first plant specifically designed for manufacturing large, high quality, fiberglass yachts. At the end of the first full fiscal year, sales were at $3.5 million.
After winning the Cowes-Torquay and the Miami-Key West race, Richard Bertram was awarded the Sam Griffith Memorial Cup for the best performance of his career.
During the first wave of the boating industry’s acquisition and merger manias, Bertram’s ever-increasing popularity attracted the interest of Whittaker Corp., a broad based company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. After Whittaker acquired the yacht builder in 1968, Bertram expanded its facility over 25 acres and became one of the largest pleasure-boat builders in the world.
In January, the first fiberglass production model, the Bertram 31, was introduced at the New York Boat Show. Manufacturing of the 31′ and 25′ was well underway, and, with more designs on the drawing board, the facility had outgrown its capacity. Late in 1961, Bertram Yacht became a division of the Nautec Corporation, making possible a larger plant, more machinery and a research and development department.
The Bertram 25, one of the most popular models ever, was introduced in 1962. Next was the 38-foot, Deep-V design that firmly established Bertram’s reputation for fast, dependable, seaworthy sportfishing boats. In 1964 Bertram introduced the 20-foot inboard/outboard. Within five years, 1,300 of the Bertram 20’s had been produced. Bertram began production of windshields and other aluminum extrusions in its own metal fabrication shop. During this time, Richard Bertram left the manufacturing company to concentrate on his brokerage. Dave Foxmann was named President.
Production of the Bertram 35 began.