One Step in the Right Direction
A boat-wide beach club feel and Cruising efficiency, thanks to a groundbreaking hull design, mean the Oceanic Yachts 76 will meet a variety of owner needs.
High bulwarks, a purposeful bow, and an aggressively stepped sheer sweeping back to a long aft deck—remind you of anything? The new Oceanic 76 certainly looks like she means business. Vaguely military in appearance she may be, or perhaps be faintly reminiscent of a tug—but the business she has been designed to transact is purely of pleasure.
The concept was first unveiled in the original Oceanic, a 90-footer launched two years ago, which toyed with the concept of the luxury motoryacht in an engagingly subversive way, placing more emphasis on outdoor spaces and tender-handling capabilities and less on the look-at-me luxury of a capacious interior.
Following in the wake of the 90, Canados introduced the Oceanic 76 at the 2016 Cannes show. And while she obviously can’t quite carry 3 tons of tenders like her bigger sister, she can still accommodate a substantial RIB in her garage and a full-size PWC on the hydraulic stern platform, without encroaching on the wide-open spaces of her aft deck and substantial flybridge. Once you’ve had your fun with the yacht’s toys, these comfortably informal yet alluring areas invite you to relax. There’s seating up on the bow, too. Where some yachts essay a beach club ambience on the stern platform, the Oceanic encourages you to think of the whole boat as a beach club. It’s a unique proposition, unmatched by other motoryachts of this size.
Of course, the interior appointments of the 76 have not exactly been ignored—this is, after all, a yacht built in Italy. All Oceanic interiors are designed for individual owners by the Cristiano Gatto studio in Preganziol, near Venice, whose work can be seen in numerous notable Italian superyachts, not to mention at several swish residential addresses from Yekaterinburg to Dubai. Oak floors, silk carpets, white leather, and reflective black glass were features of this yacht’s interior; yours can be however you wish.
With its raised wheelhouse and main-deck galley, the 76 is organized like a small superyacht, except that both dining tables are outside. Traded off against that big aft deck, the saloon is compact but still comfortable, and the galley a useful and practical size. Big windows surround the main deck, while the aft dining area, sheltered beneath the flybridge overhang and to both sides, feels like an extension of the interior.
Protected by a slick glass balustrade, the main companionway is just behind the wheelhouse and leads down to a lower deck dominated by a huge L-shaped master suite, which features a substantial corner sofa along with a dressing table, walk-in closet, and dresser. The head compartment is aft on the starboard side; headroom is a comfortable 6 feet 5 inches, and mirrored bulkheads accentuate expansive volume.
Up forward, the VIP obviously can’t compete with the level of luxury in the master, but since the crew cabins have been placed in the bow, it does benefit from nearly the full beam of the hull and it too has generous headroom, a spacious, L-shaped layout and a sofa on the starboard side. The twin suite, to port, is adequate as a sleeping cabin and has a good-sized head and shower compartment. This was the three-cabin layout. If you want a fourth, it takes the place of that cabin-sized corner sofa in the master suite.
In common with the Oceanic 90, the 76 has an unusual hull shape, developed by the shipyard’s chief naval architect, Giovanni Senatore, from ideas first explored by Giuseppe Arrabito’s Naval Design studio. Stepped hulls have traditionally been employed in fast boats, as a way of breaking contact with the water and reducing drag. But in the case of Oceanic, the principle is used to reduce buoyancy at the stern and so give this hard-chine planing hull, at low speeds, some of the characteristics of a displacement shape. The 76’s single step, which is ventilated by exhaust gas, is just over 6 inches deep and set several feet from the stern. The resulting reduction in hull volume serves to increase the vessel’s draft in displacement mode, thereby aiding stability and reducing pitching, without affecting its ability to plane.
Oceanic’s unusual ventilated, stepped hull, designed to improve the displacement-speed characteristics of a planing form, is genuinely innovative. They’ve come up with the term “displaning” to describe it. I suppose it’s better than “planacement.”
The molded components of the 76’s superstructure are laminated using lightweight Kevlar, to help lower the yacht’s center of gravity.
Canados was founded in 1946 at an old naval yard at the mouth of the River Tiber. Its first commissions were commercial and military boats, but since the 1950s the focus has been yachts.
This first 76 was delivered in time for its owner’s summer holiday in August. According to Michel Karsenti, the Italian shipyard’s French proprietor, an unfortunate incident at the end of her maiden cruise, involving something hard and hidden beneath the water, had led to some unplanned modifications to the 76’s propellers. He reckoned the damage had knocked a knot or two off the yacht’s top speed. The mishap occurred so close to the Cannes boat show, where I ran the 76, that there was no time to do anything about it, and although the deformation must have been fairly slight—there was no noticeable vibration—the engines at full throttle were indeed slightly down on their maximum rated rpm.
However, the 76 performed as advertised everywhere else on the power curve: comfortable and stable, almost like a displacement yacht at low speeds, and relaxed and competent on plane. At around 1900 rpm we logged between 16 and 17 knots, which felt like an ideal passagemaking speed for a boat designed to go places, while pushing on hardly made a dent in the cruising range of more than 400 nautical miles at 18 to 19 knots. The larger engine options will provide a more flexible performance envelope.
These quiet and economical cruising speeds, with bow-up trim topping out at a modest 2.5 degrees, were achieved at a trim-tab offset of 60 percent. With a fairly light fuel load on test day, this was necessary, mainly to counter the weight in the stern. For not only was the yacht fitted with the optional Seakeeper 16, which weighs more than 2,000 pounds and was installed right aft under the tender well in the engine room, there was also the leverage of a 600-pound SeaDoo strapped to the hydraulic stern platform. The tender garage, which can accommodate an 800-pound Williams 385, was empty.
With the Seakeeper switched on throughout our trial the 76 remained dead level, even in hard turns, which felt a little strange, but in all other respects it handled predictably, with a compact turning circle and a reassuring response to the helm. In fact nothing about the driving experience suggested that there was anything unusual about the hull shape, which is presumably what the naval architects would have wanted.
It’s the purposeful styling and businesslike air above the waterline that are clearly intended to distinguish the Oceanic 76. The differences run deep, but they have been achieved with minimal compromise. The saloon may be on the short side, but elsewhere the 76 can offer a comfortable interior with a spacious lower deck, especially in the three-cabin version. Meanwhile, no other motoryacht of its size can match the Oceanic’s expansive deck spaces and impressive tender capacity. It has a better cruising range than most at planing speeds, and a unique hull form designed to make long, 10-knot passages an inviting proposition.
What this versatility means, in essence, is choice. All yachts are about having fun, but the thinking behind the Oceanic 76 is to give you options. As a concept it is carefully calculated to maximize the enjoyment of life on the water. After all, having fun is a serious business. ρ
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Noteworthy Options: Seakeeper 16 gyro stabilizer (approx. $150,000); hardwood floor on main deck (approx $8,900); flybridge grill, ice maker and fridge (approx $10,000); stern thruster (approx $16,200); Yacht Controller remote control (approx $14,050); sliding twin guest berths (approx $5,200); carbon bimini poles fore and aft instead of stainless (approx $9,500).
Conditions During Boat Test
Air temperature: 86°F; humidity: 46%; seas: 1-2'
Load During Boat Test
317 gal. fuel, 237 gal. water, 750 lb. gear.
Test Boat Specifications
- Test Engine: 2/1,150-hp Caterpillar C18 ACERT
- Transmission/Ratio: ZF 2050V, 2.467:1 reduction ratio
- Props: Progetto Elica NiBrAl 4-blade 38.78 x 41.73
- Price as Tested: Upon request
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.