Superyacht builder Ocean Alexander jumps into the outboard market with a bold new offering.

Yes, you read the name right. This stunning, umm, you can’t really call it a center console—let’s call it what it is, a 45-foot outboard-powered yacht—is courtesy of superyacht builder Ocean Alexander. Dubbed the 45 Divergence, the name is fitting for the company whose lineup previously spanned from 70 to 155 feet.

“The 40- to 50-foot range is really strong. We looked into this project three years ago, but the time just wasn’t right,” said Sally Doleski, vice president of marketing at Ocean Alexander.

The time now seems to be right, with more builders of boats with traditional power making the shift to outboards. The 45 is being built on Merritt Island in a facility that opened in 2016 to build the brand’s 70e. Of course, Merritt Island has been in the news since Sea Ray announced it was shuttering its factory there, leaving hundreds of skilled craftsmen without work. Ocean Alexander should be able to tap into that labor pool.

Slated to debut at the Miami show this February, the 45 seems to borrow design touches from Ocean Alexander’s larger yachts, perhaps most notably in the cockpit (you could make the case for calling it a salon), where fold-down gunwales expand the space and offer infinity views along with an alfresco dining experience. Hidden swim ladders also make it the perfect platform from which the kids can practice their cannonballs.

While you may still be struggling to grasp the news of an outboard-powered Ocean Alexander, let me hit you with something else: I’ve seen renderings of the 45 outfitted with fishing options, and it works. Outriggers, rod holders on the transom, plus a more utilitarian, wood-free aesthetic help this boat fit in with the serious fishing set.

Belowdecks, the 45 boasts what should be a bright and relatively spacious interior with a convertible lounge/berth forward and a head with a stall shower.

“This boat will appeal to a different clientele,” said Doleski, who says the company has seen interest in this model from its current customers. “If you own a 112-foot Ocean Alexander you most likely have multiple boats. You have something smaller and you have a tender. One of our 112 owners has seven boats in their name. This is a great secondary boat.”

The 45 Divergence is entering a competitive market segment that’s only getting more crowded. But where Ocean Alexander stands apart is it’s one of the few, if only, superyacht builders in this segment. If it can incorporate the design, fit and finish and customer experience that it’s known for, the builder could be a force to be reckoned with in this class.

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This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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