By Eston Ellis
Ocean Alexander 700 Mark I Classicco: Sea Trial
Ocean Alexander 700 Mark I Classico: Big adventures begin right here.
Ocean Alexander’s new 700 Mark I Classicco offers the serious go-anywhere design and practical layout of a long-range expedition yacht, along with all the interior luxuries of a coastal-cruising motoryacht. For cruisers who plan to make the cruise of a lifetime and want to do it in maximum comfort, aboard a safe and seakindly vessel, the 700 is an ideal choice.
The 700, like all Ocean Alexander models since the company’s first boat in 1978, was designed by Bainbridge Island, Washington naval architect Ed Monk. As with Ocean Alexander’s flagship 860, Monk worked on the 700 with his marine design “dream team” — including structural engineering expert Tim Nolan and underwater engineering expert Ed Hagemann.
The result of their efforts is a remarkably seakindly boat that is built to exacting standards of quality. Like other Ocean Alexanders, the 700′s gleaming stainless steel hardware, rails and cleats are built stouter than they have to be. The hull is crafted of advanced materials — including carbon fiber in the stringers — for added strength and rigidity.
Draft is minimized with the use of the Monk/Hagemann tunnel (prop pocket) system, resulting in a large vessel that draws just 4 feet, 6 inches. Considering the boat’s 71-foot, 2-inch length and its wide beam of 17 feet, 9 inches, it should not be surprising that the 700 offers an especially roomy interior and plenty of space for relaxing topside — on the expansive flybridge; the roomy California deck, immediately abaft the saloon; or the sportfishing cockpit, abaft the California deck.
Characteristic of Ocean Alexander yachts, the 700′s interior is trimmed in fine woods, featuring abundant teak joinerwork crafted by men who are considered artisans in their field. Ocean Alexander employs a highly skilled group of boat building professionals at its Taiwan facility, with the average employee having been with the company for 10 years or more.
That’s one reason why the fit and finish of the 700 is so good — everywhere. You’ll find that the roomy engine room is finished as nicely as any other part of the boat (albeit sans woodwork) — and you’ll notice many uncommon niceties, such as lighting under the engines that makes any leak that might occur immediately visible.
This is a boat designed for real-world cruising, and it can handle a wide range of sea and weather conditions.
The reverse-slant pilothouse windows offer dramatically reduced glare on sunny days and added protection and visibility when it’s stormy. The boat’s big frameless windows with black spacing are virtually leakproof — and the large opening side windows offer an excellent view, even from a seated position in the saloon.
A Portuguese bridge — a protected deck immediately forward of the pilothouse — makes for easier and more secure crew movement while the boat is under way. Its high forward side conceals a double gate that opens for ready access to the foredeck.
Ready to Run
We tested the Ocean Alexander 700 Mark I Classicco on a warm summer day off Newport Beach, California. Our test boat was provided by Orange Coast Yachts, the Southern California Ocean Alexander dealer.
We had three adults aboard during our test, and there was noticeable swell running offshore, making conditions a bit rolly — for some boaters. However, our 700 gave us a rock-solid and stable ride, thanks to stabilizers, hefty construction and 91,350 pounds of displacement.
Throughout a variety of maneuvers and speed runs, the 700 performed admirably. It stayed relatively flat in turns, tracked smoothly and was very responsive to the helm.
We did tight turns at 2,000 rpm, and found that that when we turned the wheel, the 700 turned and headed wherever we wanted it to go — without hesitation.
With our test boat’s twin 825 hp MTU/DDEC Series 60 diesels, the top speed is 21.3 knots, at 2,335 rpm wide open throttle. However, fuel consumption at this pace is a sobering 86 gallons per hour (providing .2 mpg).
The 700′s fast cruising speed is 18.6 knots, at 2,150 rpm. At this speed, the boat gets .3 mpg.
Long-range cruisers, however, will appreciate the 700′s fuel economy at its slow cruising speed of 10.7 knots, at 1,200 rpm. The 700 provides a remarkable .9 mpg at this speed — performance that is more fuel-efficient than some boats half its size.
We operated the 700 from the nicely equipped flybridge, which on our test boat provided helm and companion seating, a settee and table, a barbecue, a sink, a refrigerator with an ice-maker and an impressive 360 degree view.
The view from the pilothouse is excellent forward and to both sides, but the aft view is obstructed by its adjacent galley. Happily, optional cameras can be installed in the cockpit (providing that aft view) and in the engine room, and their images can be displayed on an optional flat-screen monitor on the pilothouse helm console.
Our test boat was equipped with both bow and stern thrusters, providing maximum control of this large vessel during docking and close maneuvers. They help make it possible for a couple to run this boat by themselves. However, for those who want a crew, our test boat offered comfortable crew’s quarters — with a pair of bunks, a head and a mini-galley — accessible from the cockpit.
All the way forward in the crew’s quarters is a door that opens to the 700′s spacious engine room. Here, you’ll find a surprising amount of headroom and ready all-around access to the engines, generators and other essentials.
Fish or Relax
While the 700 is available is several configurations — including versions with a California Deck and no cockpit — our test boat offered a full-size cockpit for sportfishing, adjacent to a wide swim platform.
A pair of steps lead up to the boat’s covered California Deck, where you’ll find a comfortable aft settee with an inlaid wood high-low table that lifts for dining or lowers for coffee, at the touch of a button. A refreshment console with a sink was forward, on our test boat. Entry to the boats walk-around side decks was provided forward, on each side.
We entered the saloon through a sliding door, from the California deck.
Our test boat’s saloon was as elegantly appointed as some mega-yacht saloons. Eye-catching features included a mirrored bulkhead flanked by wood columns — and a unique overhead that is trimmed in ultraleather and fine woods, accented with halogen lighting. All of the headliner is removable, for servicing access.
A 42-inch plasma screen television was concealed inside a wood cabinet, under our test boat’s starboard side windows. At the push of a button, the screen rises to window level; or, if you don’t want to spoil the view, cabinet doors open and you can watch the screen at settee level.
The console was flanked by a pair of armchairs and opposite a large settee and high-low table.
Immediately forward of the settee — next to the mirrored bulkhead — is a dining table with four chairs. The table has an 18-inch leaf that allows it to seat six, when necessary.
A few steps forward, adjacent to the pilothouse, the 700 offers a U-shaped galley. Our test boat included an optional Sub-Zero refrigerator with two freezer drawers, all paneled in rich teak wood. Additional appliances included a dishwasher, a range and oven, a microwave/convection oven and a garbage disposal.
Time to Turn In?
Steps from the pilothouse lead belowdecks to three comfortable staterooms.
The extra-large full-beam master stateroom, aft, offers a walk-around queen-size berth, a walk-in hanging locker, abundant wood cabinetry, a vanity with a swing-out seat and an en suite head with a large shower. Our test boat’s head was trimmed in marble, with a granite countertop.
Immediately forward of the master, a locker concealed optional washer and dryer units. A small stateroom adjacent to it can be outfitted as either a guest cabin or an onboard office. On our test boat, this cabin included two perpendicular bunk-style berths.
cabinets, a hanging locker and private access to the second head. This head also offers a shower, and our test boat featured a granite countertop.
If you’re looking for a boat that can do more than just take weekend cruises or entertain guests at the dock, Ocean Alexander’s 700 Mark I Classicco has the long-range cruising capability that you may be looking for. Its enviable offshore cruising ability, long range and luxurious accommodations make this motoryacht a standout.
Ocean Alexander 700 Mark I Classicco
|Fuel capacity||1,500 gallons|
|Water capacity||360 gallons|
|Propellers||38″ x 36″ four-blade|
|Price as tested with twin 825-hp MTU/DDEC Series 60 diesel engines||$2.2 million|
|Top speed||21.3 knots|
|Miles per gallon at 18.6-knot cruising speed||.3|
|Miles per gallon at 11 knots||.9|
|Estimated fuel cost for 100 miles 11 knots||$176.67|
|Range at 11 knots||1350 miles|
|Sound level at 18.6-knot cruising speed||.8 dbA|
(Estimated fuel cost based on a fuel price of $1.59 per gallon.)
Two fully equipped control stations (flybridge and pilothouse); teak and holly sole in galley, pilothouse and heads; Euro transom with storage and flip-up cleats; windshield wipers and washers; trim tabs; Maxwell VWC3500C windlass; electronic engine control system; Vimar black chrome switches and outlets; Glendinning Cablemaster system; Four electric bilge pumps and one manual unit; Racor fuel/water separators; Bose Lifestyle stereo system in saloon; buffet counter with concealed 42-inch plasma-screen television; cedar-lined hanging lockers; Vacuum toilets; Grohe faucets; garbage disposal; microwave/convection oven; full-size refrigerator; electric cooktop.
Options on Test Boat
Stidd helm seats; dishwasher; teak-paneled Sub-Zero refrigerator with freezer drawers; California deck hydraulic high-low table with inlaid wood top; refreshment console on California deck; 14-foot Novurania tender with 60 hp Yamaha outboard; Quicklift 1,500-pound davit; flybridge barbecue, sink and U-Line refrigerator/ice-maker; Northern lights 20 kw and 12 kw auxiliary generators; Ultraleather upholstery.
Hand-laid fiberglass hull; solid fiberglass bottom, balsa-cored sides, balsa-cored superstructure; carbon fiber-reinforced structural stringers; skid-resistant fiberglass decks. Hull utilizes Monk/Hagemann tunnel (prop pocket) system and underwater exhaust.
For More Information
Alexander Marine Co. Ltd.
Ocean Alexander Marine Yacht Sales Inc.
Orange Coast Yachts
Newport Beach, CA