Ocean Yachts' new 42 is bound to get around.
OCEAN YACHTS calls their new 42 Super Sport part of the New Generation. But it’s more than advertising hype since the company itself represents some 12 generations of boatbuilding lineage along the Mullica River in South Jersey. In fact, if you’ve spent any time in boating, you’ve seen, maybe even owned, a boat built by the Leek family.
Back in 1973, I was captain aboard a 55’ Pacemaker sportfisherman. Built in 1971, it was the last wooden one of its type built by Jack Leek. End of a generation. Soon after, Leek traded in bronze wood screws, oak and mahogany and built his Pacemaker out of fiberglass. Then he left the company (end of another generation), and formed Ocean Yachts in 1977. He did it with his sons, John and Ralph (another generation).
In 1977, I was running a custom-built wooden boat in Palm Beach that could almost top 20 mph, with a clean bottom and a roaring Gulf Stream on the transom. Meanwhile, Oceans were seatrialing at over 30 knots.
Oceans have always been noted for speed because of Dave Martin’s slender hull designs. Less wetted surface meant less power from smaller engines was needed to reach top speed. Less iron provided better economy, so it wasn’t necessary to hamper performance by lugging extra tankage.
Fishing cockpits were high on the want list, too. But calling on all those years of experience, Leek knew what boatowners wanted most of all. They wanted their wives to like the boat. So Ocean Yachts not only had the most glamorous interiors, but also a standard equipment list that covered all bases right on down to place settings and tableware.
In time, Ocean expanded into motoryachts that maneuvered like the Super Sports, and they created a new division of smaller boats that would lure a new generation into the fold.
Yet the overall premise for success was to build boats for a public that wanted to go fast and look good doing it. That's why you'll see Oceans out on the Great Lakes with Rupp riggers that are used for flying flags, not dragging baits. The styling, looks and features are there.
But if the old breed had looks that cook, the New Generation Ocean take style and function to a higher level.
OCEAN AVENUE – Top speed with DDC 6-71TIBs was 36.1 mph. royal treatments highlight teak interior.
THE NEW WAVE
The 42 Super Sport we tested recently, for example, has very little teak trim. Older Oceans had teak toe rails, half-round trim on the bridge wings, even the hatchway to the flying bridge was crowned in varnished teak. No more. The 42 limits exterior teak to window frames on the salon bulkhead, a section of half-round on the backside of the flying bridge and the familiar Ocean logo on the cabin sides. Teak covering boards remain standard, but a teak sole is $3,900. Still want those toe rails? Add another $3,400
There also are changes in the exterior or profile. Note, for instance, the rake of the salon windshield is more dramatic than that found aboard previous Super Sports. It's more than aesthetics since it increases room in the portside galley and provides space for a dinette. There’s no 42-footer out there with a salon like this new Super Sport's.
And I'm not talking about squeezing more things into less space. Throughout, Ocean has found ways to make better use of each area. As you enter the salon, for example, immediately to starboard is a wedge of teak cabinetry that contains not only the wet bar and ice-cube maker, but the electrical panel as well. On other boats you'll find one or the other, not both.
Engine room access was wonderful through a generous locking hatch just inside the sliding, painted-aluminum salon door. With nearly 4’ of headroom and inboard service points for the 6-71TIBs, maintenance is a breeze.
One trade-off I can live with is the fuel tanks located outbound. While this cramps access to the outboard side of the engines, there are hatches in the salon sole to come in from the top. Actually, it shouldn't be a big deal since there’s nothing to service outboard of the engines anyway except the exhaust manifold and breather.
Otherwise, this engine room is stellar. There are aluminum diamond-plate floorboards, and other walking surfaces are either white gel coat or gray carpet. The overhead is gel-coated, too. Along the bulkhead forward of the port engine you'll find 60-amp Dytek battery charger and double-clamped through-hull fittings that feed the Cruisair water pump. To starboard, a stack of Cruisair compressors and a 19-gallon Mor-Flo water-heater tank. Batteries are positioned between the engines in a diamond-plate covered box. Wiring is in neat looms and runs in raceways along the forward bulkhead.
The 8kw Onan, oil exchange pump, freshwater hose and Lunaire compressor for the cockpit freezer look tidy against the aft bulkhead.
What are we missing in this well-groomed engine compartment? As a matter of fact, a number of things, like the Galley Maid head pump, the Jet-Line central vac unit, Shurflo freshwater pump and accumulator tank. Instead of crowding the engine room, Ocean installed this equipment in a carpeted, brightly lit space below the galley sole. And there’s also room here for the Cruisair and engine room blowers, through-hulls for the head, shower sump pump, a central location for overboard discharge hoses, plus more than enough volume for tools, extra props, baggage, cases of soda and Igloo coolers.
Considering the elimination of teak, the easy-access engine room and carefully laid out system with separate service bays, you might think the 42 is a workboat. Hardly so. Ocean deserves a lot of credit not only for making the boat easy to maintain, but also for creating some very interesting design changes in the interior.
The deckhouse settee and big galley are just the beginning. Go below, and the surprises keep coming like a bluefin aiming for the edge off Cat Cay.
The guest stateroom, for instance, sleeps three. This is unusual in itself since guest quarters on a 42-footer are often better suited for amorous eels than people. A 4”-thick lower berth spans athwartships 6’8”l x 4’4”w. A mirror on the aft bulkhead adds dimension. A single upper berth slides out for use or retracts to serve as a 4”-thick shelf. Below are four drawers and a hanging locker.
Opposite, the head is a labyrinth of light, with mirrors on the bulkheads and ceiling. The cylindrically shaped plex shower stall contributes its share of light and depth.
Forward, the master stateroom trades this flash for the lush, serene varnished teakwood and textures wall and overhead treatments, so long the Ocean trademark.
SUPER SPORT FISHING
As you’d expect from Ocean, the 42 clears the breakwater with a load of fishing features, including cockpit controls, bait freezer, rodholders, transom door, tackle locker and coaming bolster. But it’s the fishbox that caught my attention.
A sportfisherman could turn commercial with this gel-coated well that averages 6’8”l x 2’6”w x 1’8”d and is placed behind the fighting chair. This sure beats putting it under the footrest where it would limit access to the equipment and pumps in the lazarette, not to mention the hassle of sliding in fish when the chair is occupied. For $750, order a livewell that fits into the fishbox. Another neat Ocean feature: engine room vents in the cockpit have built-in steps for easy access going forward.
Ocean Yachts’ Danny Bush and I brought our test boat out the slough at Great Egg Harbor Inlet and skated northward to Absecon Inlet to run speeds in Mankiller Bay. Top end was a hair over 36 pmh. And the offshore runs provided a number of observations since we had a southerly breeze on top of a southeast heave.
This is a totally new hull with more deadrise than the older 42. Still fairly flat – about 6 degrees at the transom. Construction is typical Ocean: solid glass below the waterline and Divinycell coring above. Bu and triaxial fiberglass fabric is used throughout.
Amidships, the 42 averages about 22 degrees deadrise. When you come off a head or quartering sea there’s enough boat below the waterline to soften the impact. If the sea is especially sharp, a tab adjustment to bring the bow down smooths the ride further.
Tooling back inshore, the 42 was well-mannered and the bow flare provided buoyancy and plenty of control. Thanks to the 2”-thick closed-cell foam sandwiched in the one-piece salon sole, she’s quiet, too.
Visibility is enhanced by eliminating the flying bridge windscreen. On a lot of convertibles you can see fine standing at the helm. But if you sit, your vision is hindered by the break when the enclosure is fastened to the windscreen. Aboard this 42, you’ll never be able to run over driftwood and claim you didn’t see it. No windscreen makes it easier to keep the enclosure clean, too.
Another New Generation trade-mark is the restyled hardtop with fiberglass supports accented with clear plex inserts. Again, the visibility gained by this arrangement is immediately noticeable. The fiberglass adds rigidity, too. No squirming or shuddering when you come off a sea. It also helps quietness.
The helm layout is familiar, with Morse controls, VDO instrumentation, Danforth Hi-Speed compass, weather-protected toggle switch bank, plenty of space for electronics and loose gear. And there are grabrails everywhere and easy access to the helm electricals through two easily removed panels. Bench seats are to port and forward of the console.
There’s a lot to like about this new Ocean. There’s style, speed, comfort and convenience. And with a base price of $342K, there’s likely to be a whole new generation of Ocean Yacht owners. In fact, you can shave off $15K if you chose 3208TA Caterpillars in place of the Detroits, though you’ll give up a couple miles per hour off the top.
Either way, this new Ocean will give the competitors a run for their money, considering a 43 Viking base at $392K, the 42 Jersey lists at $349K and Post’s 44LE bases at $366K.
But the Ocean Yachts has always liked competition. After all, it’s been going on for generations.