Ocean Alexander 60 Pilothouse
Posted: January 1, 1989
Graduate to an Ocean Alexander 60 PilothouseIt may not be June, but for some, graduation day might be close at hand â “ a day for graduating from a mass produced boat to a custom crafted one, the kind Ocean Alexander can provide. The company does offer production models, ranging from a 39 foot aft cabin to a 70 foot motoryacht, but the amenities offered on each are more like suggestions than dictations; everything from bunks to bulkheads can be rearranged to suit the customer's wishes. Ocean Alexander's latest 60 foot pilothouse motoryacht is a case in point: It's really a modified version of the 56 foot pilothouse. As described in company brochures, the 56 has the galley up from the main saloon. As created for this particular customer, it features the galley at saloon level and an extra four feet on the stern. Is this the incredible stretching boat? Yes, in a way. The hull mold is long enough to lay up a 70-footer, but it has a movable dam which allows the transom to be placed anywhere within reason. In this case, the buyer wanted four feet of additional space, but it could have as easily been two feet or 10. The entire Ocean Alexander line is designed by Washington-based naval architect Ed Monk. In fact, he and Alexander Chueh, owner of Ocean Alexander, agreed with a handshake that he would design exclusively for Chueh within the Taiwan boat building industry. More than 10 years later, â That handshake is still our contract,â Monk said. During the Sea trial, the Pacific Ocean was placid, with the boat's wake the only thing marring its surface. At various throttle settings, from five knots to 20, the 60-footer responded to the wheel smoothly and accurately, ably handling the power delivered by the two 6V92 Detroit diesels. With a displacement of about 66,000 pounds, it is definitely not an ultralight. Monk describes the hull of the 60 as â a hard chine, semi-planing type, with a spray-knocker strake in the bow.â He also refers to it as a Garren strake, after the designer who originated the idea. Whatever the name, it seems to keep the boat dry and permit a soft entry. One of the most noticeable results of extending the hull aft to create the 60 is an enlarged lazarette. It provides an abundance of storage room even with the presence of an eight and 12kw Onan generator set and a combination washer/dryer. A watertight hatch in the lazarette's forward bulkhead leads to the engine room. Power is supplied by five batteries: two for the main engines, two for the gen sets and one wired into a 2,000 watt inverter. The inverter maintains 120v power to the boat at night without running a gen set â “ perfect for David Letterman fans. Getting comfortable for late night television or evening conversation won't be difficult aboard this boat, which has a decidedly contemporary interior. In the main saloon, entered through a large sliding door off the aft deck, pale cream colored Ultrasuede covers the bulkhead and overhead, creating a relaxing atmosphere around the custom leather furnishings and clear acrylic coffee table. A cabin-length entertainment center containing a television, stereo and bookshelves furthers the creature comforts. Ocean Alexander dealer Jim McLaren, of Orange Coast Yacht Sales in Newport Beach, said that although most of the interior design work on this particular boat was done in the United States, with the coverings placed over the standard teak, similar accents can be installed in Taiwan during construction if the customer plans ahead. The galley Sea's test boat is forward of the saloon on the same level, separated by a panel of etched glass and a two-stool bar, so the chef won't feel isolated from the party. All the cabinet doors have European-style hidden hinges for a clean appearance, and the pale-cream color scheme is continued in the galley, with gold stripe accents. Ocean Alexander lists a full range of appliances as standard equipment, including a Jennair stovetop and oven, a G.E. microwave oven, an Amana refrigerator/freezer, a dishwasher and a trash compactor. Four steps up and forward of the galley is the pilothouse. The helm and instrument console occupies the starboard corner, and a built-in settee and dining table for eight stretches from amidships to the port side. The helm station has a very no-nonsense look about it, with VDO gauges for every possible reading. At either hand are the slippery-smooth Morse controls. Color monitors for the radar and depth sounder are mounted in the cabinet opposite the helm. â Raytheon electronics are used, primarily because they are the only company making matching units,â McLaren said. Neatness does count. To the right and left of the helm are the 12v and 12/240v breaker panels. All the switches have easily understood labels, and all wiring is color-coded and marked for ease in tracing circuits. The only access to the flying bridge is through the pilothouse, via ladder. The helm is located amidships, with a duplication of all instruments and gauges found in the pilothouse. Here, too, the hydraulic Morse controls operate effortlessly. Monk has taken into account the fact that on a nice day, everyone on board wants to be on the flying bridge. He thoughtfully designed it with comfortable seating for at least eight adults, and room to stretch out on the aft deck. Also, the abundance of bench seats creates always-needed storage space. On deck, all life rails and stanchions are oversized stainless steel tubing. Only the brackets for the Venturi wind screen seem less than top quality, but Ocean Alexander promised electropolished stainless for 1989 models. From the pilothouse, it's six steps down to the staterooms and heads. The first guest cabin is forward and to port, and is the only cabin on the test boat retaining the original factory finish of hand-rubbed Burmese teak. Converted to crew's quarters, it features upper and lower bunks, an under-counter sink and a combination head and shower. Across the companionway, the guest head is also teak paneled, with a separate door forward opening into another guest stateroom. In the center of the stateroom is a full-size double berth, surrounded by drawers, cabinets and cedar-lined lockers. Ultrasuede again is used on the bulkheads and overhead, with teak trim for accent. This could pass for the owner's stateroom on many boats. Returning to the pilothouse stairway, a companionway leads aft and down three more steps to the real master stateroom. Located at engine room level, it is at the point of least motion and most comfort on a boat â “ dead center. With the engine room only one bulkhead away, the cabin features special sound insulation. In addition, drawers and hanging lockers built along the bulkhead further deaden the engine noise, and a veneer of mirrored glass covers it all. In the master stateroom, as throughout the boat, the amenities include a private stereo system, intercom, 12/120v lighting and a central vacuum system. The cabinetry work is another consistent feature, with dovetailed joints and large radius corners instead of sharp angles. All the drawers are Formica lined. Along the starboard side of the stateroom is a large, cedar-lined hanging locker and a private head with large stall shower. Once again, Ultrasuede, cream colors and gold trim create an elegant atmosphere. The Ocean Alexander Pilothouse 60 has a base price of just over $762,000, but with consideration for the custom nature of the boat, and its overall luxury, it appears to be well worth it. â Even the person buying a 42 can phone Ed Monk with ideas for change,â McLaren said, so size is not a factor in getting an optimally customized boat â “ for those ready to graduate to an Ocean Alexander.