57 Super Sport — By Capt. Ken Kreisler
— February 2003
|An innovative hull design makes Ocean’s latest battlewagon ready to tackle hatever sea conditions come her way.|
In the waning hours of a mid-November day, several piers of Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas City Marina are all abuzz in preparation for a fishing tournament that will begin the next day. All the finger slips have fish-rigged boats tied stern-to. Reels are being spooled, leaders carefully measured, and hooks tied.
I have been invited to fish with Ocean Yachts' president John Leek on opening day of the three-day 2002 Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament aboard his newest convertible, the 57 Super Sport.
As Ocean captain Gene Hawn and mate Mike Scheimreif get our fishing gear together, and with Leek not due at the boat from his New Jersey-based flight for at least another hour, I take the opportunity to have a look around.
I've reviewed many sportfishing boats and have found some to possess rather tight quarters in the engine room, so I start there. Because I'm hands-on, I look for the kind of space I'd be comfortable working in. So as I enter from the door from the cockpit, I take particular note of not only the headroom--I'm 5'9" and have room to spare while standing straight up--but also the access I have to the outboard side of the powerplants, which on this boat are a pair of 1,300-hp 12-cylinder MAN diesels.
I also find it easy to get to the rest of the equipment, battery boxes, engine room wiring, genset, and other gear. Little wonder. This roominess is the first of two surprises courtesy of Dave Martin, the man who has designed all of Ocean's boats. "I was able to design the kind of space you found in the engine room after I removed the fuel tanks, usually located on the outboard side of the engines, and placed them elsewhere," Martin told me in a subsequent telephone conversation.
By positioning one tank under the cockpit, another under the master stateroom, and a third beneath the steps leading down from the galley/dining area, and using data derived from model testing, Martin was also able to give the 57 a better attitude for meeting big water head-on. While the two-to-fours on my fishing day gave little indication of this, I did notice that when we moved up and down the coast several times in search of our next catch, it felt as if the ocean was dead-flat calm. Plus, Hawn told me that prior to my arrival, he had the boat out in 12-footers and was able to maintain a steady 27 knots in any direction.
"What I wanted to do with this design was to obtain a much smoother ride without losing the speed and efficiency of my previous designs," says Martin. "After all, if our guys want to go to sleep on their way out to the canyons, they should be able to get a few hours in and not know they've arrived until the captain throttles down and has his lines out."
To do this, he gave the 57 a new bottom by first removing the inboard pair of the four lifting strakes found on previous designs. He placed the remaining pair farther apart at the bow than at the stern and down-angled them at 33 degrees. Why? "There is a suction in the bottom of planing hulls that occurs between two-thirds and three-quarters of the waterline length aft of the bow," Martin explains. "The down-angle lifting strakes feed water to the suction area, reducing resistance and feeding water to the props." This feeding of water to the props also improves efficiency at lower cruising speeds due to reduced slippage. "The removal of the inboard lift strake also moves the center of lift outboard and increases high-speed stability," he adds.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.