Ocean 46 — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
Lines of Legacy
Dave Martin redraws one of his most popular designs to make it work with a new generation of big iron.
In the early 1980’s, Ocean Yachts gave naval architect Dave Martin a task: design a hull that would be seakindly and quick. How quick? The goal was 30 knots on the top end with twin 450-hp Detroit Diesel 6-71TIs. Martin’s solution was a planing-hull form that measured 46 feet LOA and transitioned from a 24-degree deadrise forward to three degrees at the transom (more on this later). He met the 30-knot goal, and from 1982 to 1985 the Ocean 46 Super Sport was a hit with bluewater anglers and cruisers alike.
Fast forward 20 years. Ocean Yachts once again calls upon Martin to design a hull with the same LOA, only this time with with nearly double the horsepower and a 30-knot cruise speed.
I never had the chance
to test the original 46 SS, but I can say that Martin’s current
design, matched with Ocean’s boatbuilding expertise, has produced
To that end, the 46’s hull starts with a 34-degree deadrise forward, ten degrees more than the original. Like the first 46, this entry represents 25 percent of the total waterline length. The hull then transitions to 23 degrees amidships (nearly 12 degrees more deadrise than the original 46) for 50 percent of the waterline length, and ends with a moderate 14 degrees for the last 25 percent of the waterline length (the preceding 46 ran a flat three degrees at the transom). In addition, Martin designed this boat with lifting strakes down-angle at 32 degrees and farther apart forward of the hull than aft. This, combined with the more sharply transitioning deadrise, helps prevent hull suction at speed and provides a flow of undisturbed water to the 28x38 four-blade props, enhancing both the feel and efficiency of the 46.
I found that whether I ran this boat down-sea or into a head sea, she ran true. I liked her best cross-sea but found some tab was needed here and there to deal with the wind and occasional spray. Sightlines at the helm are clean all the way around, and a great view of the cockpit is afforded here, a plus when backing down on big fish. However, I did find the side-by-side single-lever MTU controls to the right of the wheel oddly placed. I prefer one to either side of the wheel or single levers flanking the small helm pod. The standard hydraulic steering reacted in real time and helped show off the 46’s nimble nature. She turned on a dime and carved symmetrical figure-eights without much wheelwork. It reminded me of a similar ride I experienced last year on Ocean’s 50-footer. While my test boat’s helm station was bare, I noted large spaces for a multiscreen electronics suite.
This article originally appeared in the December 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.