Ocean Alexander 64 Pilothouse Special Edition: Sea Trial

Ocean Alexander 64 Pilothouse Special Edition: A new twist on a favorite Western design theme.

3rd September 2002.
By Staff

The cruiseworthy hull makes the 64 SE an especially comfortable boat for coastal cruising. (Photo by Frank Charron)

The cruiseworthy hull makes the 64 SE an especially comfortable boat for coastal cruising. (Photo by Frank Charron)

Pilothouse yachts are showing up at just about every Western harbor, from Cabo San Lucas to Sitka. Boaters appreciate the comfort, safety, sea handling ability and easy living of a pilothouse motoryacht. Add contemporary design, luxury accommodations and a fine finish, and you’re getting close to what the new 64 SE from Ocean Alexander has to offer.

Built on a modified-V hull with keel and prop pockets — designed by the master of the pilothouse, Bainbridge Island, Washington-based naval architect Ed Monk Jr. — the 64 SE is engineered to perform. Monk designs all the Ocean Alexanders, and this one is an especially notable achievement on its own.

The cruiseworthy hull makes the 64 SE an especially comfortable boat for coastal cruising. It offers a rock-solid, stable and remarkably quiet ride that experienced cruisers will definitely appreciate — along with all the creature comforts of an upscale home on shore.

In the 64 SE, you’ll find three staterooms, two extra-large heads, a practically arranged pilothouse, a galley that’s ready to throw a party, plus an accommodating saloon and a walk-in engine room — all blended into a contemporary-style, efficient yacht. Ocean Alexander has been building yachts for more than 20 years, and the experience shows — from the quality of the mechanical installations to the high-gloss finish on the eight types of wood used in our test boat’s custom interior.

Ocean Alexander yachts are built by Alexander Marine Ltd. of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This builder has 22 years of experience and a highly skilled crew, and it has earned a reputation for the quality of its craftsmanship and construction — in addition, of course, to its seaworthy Ed Monk Jr. designs.

Fine wood joinerwork is a hallmark of Ocean Alexander yachts. Wood joints are flawless, and teak decks have a clean look with no wood plugs. Wood cabinetry, furnishings and paneling are all superbly finished — and there is seemingly a mile of rich-looking, fine-grain wood aboard each Ocean Alexander.

Along with all those obvious niceties, the Ocean Alexander 64 SE is a “boater’s boat.” It handles like a boat built for serious cruising should handle — and this 69,300 pound dream machine is built like a brick phone booth. (Are you listening, Superman?)

A Smooth Ride

We tested the 64 SE on a typical winter afternoon in Seattle — with light winds, light rain and occasional sun breaks. Our test boat was furnished by Ocean Alexander Marine, of Seattle.

Throughout our sea trial, the Ocean Alexander 64 SE handled easily and predictably at low speeds. The boat’s standard power steering made maneuvers practically effortless — and the 64 SE was responsive to the helm throughout our test run.

In open water, a running test of the boat’s recently re-pitched props gave us a top speed of 21.7 knots at 2,375 rpm — using 80 percent of the twin 800 hp inboard Caterpillar diesels’ power. A larger prop is on order — and with it, the boat should duplicate Ocean Alexander’s own test results, producing a top speed of 24 knots.

The 64 SE handled responsively at all speeds, offering a solid, stable platform for coastal cruising. Roll fins and a passive stabilizer system are built into the hull, to port and starboard — and a Sidepower 15 hp bow thruster makes close-quarters maneuvering much easier.

During our test, the overall sound level aboard averaged between 78 and 83 decibels at top speed — making it quiet enough for easy conversation. Even the master stateroom, positioned adjacent to the engine room, remained remarkably quiet — thanks, in part, to excellent use of insulating materials aboard.

We docked the boat using the pullout controls in the cockpit, which helped us put our 64 SE back into its slip precisely, with inches to spare.

Design for Living

Each Ocean Alexander yacht can be totally custom outfitted to meet the owner’s individual needs. For many owners, part of the fun of buying a boat from a builder that specializes in semi-custom work is in setting it up to exactly meet their own personal desires.

For that reason, it is only fitting that our test boat came equipped with many custom features — including the aforementioned eight different types of wood that were utilized in joinerwork and trim (most owners simply specify one of these eight types), and a custom-designed overhead “ceiling treatment” with inlaid brass and a distinctive sunburst pattern.

We boarded the 64 SE from the cockpit, where we found a European-style transom with a 1 foot, teak-topped swim platform extension. Two sets of side gates were provided for convenient boarding in a variety of docking situations. They open in (toward the hull sides), for added safety while the boat is under way.

The test boat’s cockpit also came equipped with a Miele barbecue grill, an adjacent sink and convenient storage drawers under the barbecue. Direct engine room access is provided here.

The engine room is much more than a “compartment,” offering full standing headroom and ready access to all key components. It is roomy enough to make doing regular maintenance a joy, instead of a headache.

Additional access to the engine room is available through a door in the master stateroom. Double lead foam insulation keeps heat and noise out of the boat’s living spaces.

Steps lead from the cockpit to a large flybridge. On our test boat, a hardtop provided welcome shade and weather protection for the upper helm area’s custom U-shaped settee and an adjacent fiberglass cabinet housing a U-Line refrigerator and a sink with a Grohe faucet.

Below, the 64 SE’s accommodating saloon is richly appointed with warm wood trim. Overhead, halogen spots provide an excellent light source, in addition to the saloon’s large windows. The saloon’s spacious settee is upholstered in Ultraleather.

Standout features on our test boat included dual wine coolers (thirst is a dangerous thing), cabinets for entertainment gear, recessed window covers and a wide-open view to the pilothouse and the galley.

Throughout the interior, we found central vacuum system outlets and individual Cruisair central air-conditioning system control units (there are five aboard).

The galley is much larger than we expected, and was accented by double bull nose counters topped by blue granite. Our test boat also featured custom granite flooring.
A double stainless steel sink offers added practicality — and the high-end appliances make the galley an entertainer’s dream. Examples in our test boat included a Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer dishwasher that blended into the cabinetry, a garbage disposal and a full-size refrigerator with wood paneled doors. A microwave/convection oven was also provided.

Adjoining the galley is a genuine pilothouse. It is spacious enough to include a wealth of cruising electronics and full instrumentation — and the adjacent dinette-style seating area is large enough for an elegant dinner.

The dinette has under-seat storage and a cabinet that acts as support for the dining table. Our test boat’s table was impressively inlaid with woods in a compass rose pattern.

Turning In?

Going belowdecks, we found three extremely comfortable and well-appointed staterooms — and all berths were equipped with innerspring mattresses. I am 6 feet, 3 inches tall — and I found each of these berths to be more than comfortable.

In the forward stateroom, I had enough room to easily maneuver in and around the berth without ever feeling crowded.

The center stateroom offers a great berth arrangement with one positioned forward and the other athwartships. Both berths are large enough for a guy my size — and there is even room to walk around.

Between these two staterooms is a roomy head with a marble-trimmed shower and a teak and holly sole. The head compartment’s overhead is mirrored.

The master suite is luxurious in both size and design. It features a walk-around king-size berth, cedar-lined hanging lockers and a beautiful marble and maple-trimmed en suite head. There’s quick and easy engine room access through this cabin, as well — proving that this is the owner’s suite.

If you have been dreaming about a pilothouse yacht in this size range — one that can handle “real” cruising as well as it does short weekend outings — the Ocean Alexander 64 SE might be exactly the boat for you. And if there’s anything you want that this boat doesn’t have, the craftsmen at Ocean Alexander will be happy to add it for you — for a fee, of course.

Ocean Alexander 64 Pilothouse Special Edition Specifications

Length 64′
Beam 17’6″
Draft 4′
Weight 69,300 pounds
Fuel capacity 1,200 gallons
Water capacity 300 gallons
Propellers 32″ x 33″
Price with twin 800-hp Caterpillar diesels $1,526,000

Performance

Top speed 24 knots
Miles per gallon at 20 knots .4
Fuel cost for 100 miles $272.50
Range at 20 knots 480 miles
Sound level at cruising speed 78 dB

(Fuel cost based on a fuel price of $1.09 per gallon.)

Standard Equipment

Trim tabs, engine hourmeters, cedar-lined hanging lockers, lighted stairways, Sidepower 15 hp bow thruster, cockpit control station, Cruisair air-conditioning system with five control stations, Miele barbecue grill, roll fins and passive stabilizer system.

Options on Test Boat

Flybridge hardtop, granite counters in galley and heads, Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer dishwasher, dual wine coolers.

Construction

Hand-laid multi-directional fiberglass hull with end-grain balsa core, for added structural integrity and sound dampening. Modified-V hull design puts the engines farther aft, utilizing drive shafts and propellers located in twin tunnels. This significantly reduces draft, minimizes vibration and increases cruising speed.

Western Dealers

Ocean Alexander Marine Yacht Sales Inc.
Seattle, WA
(206) 344-8566
fax (206) 344-8567
www.oceanalexander.net

Orange Coast Yachts
Newport Beach, CA
(949) 675-3844
fax (949) 675-3980
www.orangecoastyachts.com

For More Information

Alexander Marine Ltd.
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
www.oceanalexander.com.tw


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