Home & Away
The Ocean Alexander 100 Motoryacht brings along a full serving of comfort wherever she may venture—and that should please her owners, as well as the charter guests they have in mind.
For Florida cruisers, a stiff north breeze gusting 20 to 25 knots after a cold front usually means one thing: It’s gonna be a bumpy ride—and that’s if you’re lucky enough to get out at all. If I had a ten-spot for every sea trial I had scheduled that’s been conveniently postponed due to inconvenient sea conditions, I might be penning this from the flying bridge of my own 100-footer. But on this day, the team at Ocean Alexander was set on keeping their ten bucks.
The 100 Motoryacht, Ocean Alexander’s newest model, is a boater’s boat in every sense, and feels as though she could be an owner-operator vessel. Beautifully designed by Evan K. Marshall with charter in mind, the OA 100 is the natural progression from the highly acclaimed OA 90, which launched a year prior. While her overall configuration and performance is traditional Ocean Alexander, her impressive volume, style, and enhancements made for charter are distinctly her own.
Two things immediately stand out when entering the boat from the aft deck: One, the living space has been scaled upward, projecting the feeling of being on a much larger vessel; and two, great emphasis has been placed on natural light with massive side windows—structurally achieved with aluminum I-beam engineering and sandwiched glass. The vibe is upscale contemporary, and according to representative Bruce Siler of OA dealer MarineMax in Ft. Lauderdale, it’s this contemporary look and feel that gained the attention of the new owners of hull no. 1, who moved up from a Ferretti 88.
Across a lengthy saloon that utilizes a generous slice of the boat's 23-foot beam, and amid the fashionable combination of light and dark fabrics and structural elements, attention is drawn to the handsome custom-fit cabinetry adorning the formal dining area. It’s both striking and functional, hiding vast stowage for fine china, stemware, silverware, glassware, and any other type of ware required for long-range cruising or charter. A clever, built-in wet bar to starboard only enhances the ambience.
Forward to port is a plush gourmet-level galley perfect for personal or charter use, complete with marble countertops, brand-name appliances from Thermador, Fisher & Paykel, Viking, Whirlpool, and Sub-Zero, and a full-size pantry. Preparation of a seven-course meal is feasible and craftsmanship is reflected in both the cabinetry woodwork and the intuitive configuration, which even found room to incorporate a huge wine cooler subtly. The characteristic Ocean Alexander open-galley arrangement is just another lovely part of this boat to settle into. Tall bar chairs belly up to a wide pass-through. Beyond is a warm, inviting lounge area with rich woods and a hefty L-shaped settee perfect for casual dining or enjoying a cup of coffee underway. The adjacent helm station to starboard is separated by a pop-up flatscreen TV.
Each of the four staterooms has its own en suite head with marble countertops and soles. To refer to the 100’s full-beam master as the pièce de résistance is easy—although it seems like irresponsible reporting for a vessel of this size. The master is nothing short of exquisite—with handcrafted nightstands, oversized windows casting abundant natural light, a love seat, a large walk-in closet and hanging locker, and the popular his-and-hers head arrangement separated by a shower. The room is well insulated against noise, with a mere 58 decibels recorded while sitting on the king-size berth while underway.
There’s no shortage of delightful spaces onboard. Ocean Alexander may call it a flying bridge, but penthouse on the water seems more fitting. The deck space alone is remarkable. Who’s really to say what best-in-class is for this breed of vessel, but at a glance, one would have to think Ocean Alexander nailed it. Throw in an elegantly curved full-service bar and grill area, dining for eight, cushioned seating for more than eight, a 15-foot tender and a bubbling spa tub, and this flying bridge is as luxurious as it is functional for entertaining—I’m talking real entertaining … like “trade in the sandwiches and Dasani water bottles for lamb-chop lollipops and free-flowing Veuve, baby.”
Worth noting is that Ocean Alexander also offers a skylounge version of the 100, which trades the lower helm for a custom-made desk and essentially gives her owners a second saloon up top with what I would call a “gentlemen’s bar” and a stylish lounge with panoramic views behind the triple-chair helm station. Hull number two, which we’re told will be the skylounge version, is on the way.
It’s understandable why any responsible captain would pull back on the reins before putting a vessel at risk, so we weren’t surprised when company captain Stephen Wenger indicated we might not see wide-open throttle on our sea trial. Most smaller craft had avoided the slop altogether, and 6-footers are hardly ideal for running at maximum rpm. On the flying bridge, we found ourselves bracing for impact as we set out into the chop, which turned out to be no big deal for the 100, a testament to vinylester-resin infused fiberglass lamination and high-density structural foam in the hull and in longitudinal stringers and lateral crossmembers. She comfortably held her own—we could feel the effect of her Side-Power fin stabilizers—and she did so with every bit of the class and refinement she emanated from the docks at her debut last fall at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show.
She’s user-friendly whether cruising or docking. Rudders are quick to respond, and the hull shape yields a smooth entry with no slapping. You get the feeling there’s a lot of boat underneath—and there is—but never at the cost of losing control, especially on a day where most folks opted to stay on dry land. Barely a drop of spray found us at the helm, which made it easier to imagine the pleasure of doing this on a kinder, gentler day.
The builder employed high-density structural foam coring above the waterline and throughout the stringer system, with cross-knit directional carbon fiber in high-stress areas, and the resultant added strength is felt underway. The confidence was catching: We ended up finding our way to wide-open throttle—which was 2300 rpm and nearly 25 knots—and it was a joyride. (Eat your hearts out, landlubbers.) Typical of Ocean Alexander, the boat was conservative at the low end in terms of fuel efficiency. The burn of course picks up a bit on the higher end, but the numbers are still fair thanks to her slippery semi-displacement hull form.
“You’ve really got two sweet spots [on this boat],” noted the skipper, whose favorite models in the range are the 90 and the 100. “In displacement mode there’s one around 1,100 rpm that gives you 10 to 12 knots burning a total of just 24 gallons per hour. With 4,000 gallons of fuel underneath, that gets you all the way up the east coast in time for summer cruising season. Then, in semi-displacement mode, there’s another sweet spot between 1800 and 2100 rpm, somewhere around 20 knots, burning 140 gallons an hour.” All this is great news for her new owners, who plan to travel the East Coast and possibly the Mediterranean.
The engine room is a heavenly expanse of glitzy stainless steel. Accessibility around the pair of 1,925-horsepower Caterpillar C32 ACERTs seems to have been made a priority, complete with 7-foot overheads and generous workspaces. Plumbing and hydraulics, and electrical wiring is all color-coded and clearly labeled for user-friendliness. Located abaft the engine room, the crew’s quarters are spacious and clearly designed for charter. The captain gets a queen-size berth and en suite head, while two additional crew staterooms share a head beside the crew galley and dining area.
Heading in after our exhilarating ride outside, we passed a performance sailboat readying sails on her way out of the cut. For a sailor at heart—and with winds still knocking down whitecaps—the child inside me was yelling, “Man, how fun would that be on a day like this?” To which the dry and rather comfortable pushing-40-year-old in me retorted, “Awfully wet though.” Ocean Alexander can keep their ten bucks. And I, too, would put my money on the OA 100 any day.
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Generators: 2/53-kW Kohlers, Warranty: 1 year on hull and any component not covered by its own warranty
Conditions During Boat Test
Air temperature: 61°F; water temperature: 75°F; seas: 4-6'; wind 17-26 knots
Load During Boat Test
2,900 gal. fuel, 425 gal. water, 5 persons, and full cruising gear.
Test Boat Specifications
- Transmission/Ratio: ZF 3055 with 2.952:1 gear ratio
- Props: 50x46.5 Nibral 4-blades
This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.