Author : Barry Tyler
Hitherto, New Ocean Yachts of Taiwan had only ever built 100-foot-plus superyachts; now, through its Australian connection, the accent is on the under 100-foot market, with the New Ocean 640 Sports Yacht the first cab off the rank.
Australians got their first glimpse of this new model at the recent Sydney International Boat Show and certainly if the continuous throng of interested spectators that looked over her during this show were anything to go by, this new range will be an instant success with boaters down-under.
Certainly, as expected there was great ‘interest’ by local manufacturers and brand brokers for it had been common knowledge for a while that respected industry guru Keith Hanson was behind a new range of boats, but what came as the biggest surprise, for me anyway, was this interest from show patrons, the rank and file boating public. Whether buying a boat or just star-gazing I would venture to suggest it was a three to one visitor ratio, compared with any other boat at the show. The futuristic styling, the most striking colour scheme and the high topsides which were a compelling sight on their own – literally stopped people in their tracks.
This New Ocean was built by a company that builds superyachts so the reality is the above overview would be expected anyway. But for me the real attraction of this boat, its magnetism if you like, was the fact that this company, in association with the direct input and influence of Hanson and his Australian team, has been able to transform all the glitz, glamour, bling and specification – into a competitively-priced ‘mini-superyacht’ package able to attract buyers from our perhaps less (comparatively) affluent region.
Perhaps a little unfair to the opposition, was the way this boat was displayed at this Sydney show, with its quite magnificent ‘bum’ directly facing the crowds as they walked by. It was hard to believe in fact that this was only a 20-plus metre vessel, for the teak-decked boarding platform complete with hooped pulpit rails, along with the high transom beam with central engine-room access bulkhead-style door and the sculptured access stairs each side of this – presented a powerful image of a classic European-style entertainer.
I was tempted to check out the engine-room first but succumbed to the invitation to join my host up on the cockpit level. I am glad I did, for there guests, like myself, couldn’t help but be impressed with this teak-decked, most generously sized level which very much perpetuated the lifestyle theme sport yachts are purpose-designed to do. One would certainly feel a million dollars for instance seated with nine other friends at the plush rear lounge and table setting recessed into the transom beam, dining in exquisite comfort and style. It wasn’t too far for the chef to go either for there were neat modules each side in the forward corners of the cockpit, with electric BBQ, drinks fridge, icemaker, sink, hot/cold water and storage below.
The really nice aspect of this sports style of vessel was the single level which allowed the cockpit to flow nicely through into the saloon, creating in effect one long room. Aiding and enhancing this visual delight were three quite magnificent overlapping stainless steel and tinted glass doors which when locked off to either portside or starboard, created a (very) wide entry to the saloon. And of course, if the meal was a little more creative or involved then our intrepid chef was equally as close to the indoors galley which in this particular owner’s preference, was just inside the saloon door, to starboard.
No expense appeared to be spared here, for the floor was planked in American oak and the house-size refrigerator/freezer combo, cupboards and the galley facia, were all gloss walnut. The actual galley module was a work of art in itself – Corian bench-top, diagonal wood pattern on the face, and finished off with two permanently mounted visually complementing ‘breakfast-bar’ stools. Being right in the doorway and as such in the public eye, galley equipment such as the four-burner cook-top, sink, dishwasher, oven and microwave were all very well secreted when not in use.
Accentuating the very clean, refreshing contemporary look of the saloon, this American oak wooden floor theme was continued throughout. Contrasting this was the light grey of the leather lounges, the walnut trimmings, and of course the off-white plushly padded roof panels. Special emphasis had been placed on items such as the window pillars and lapels, and the wood trimmings around these lounges, so each aspect was an absolute contrast rather than a soft ‘more of the same’ visual image.
Catering for a crowd, to port at the aft end of this saloon was the L-shaped wall lounge complete with two low-profile coffee tables. Forward of this was the five-person alcove style dining setting, a U-shaped lounge with the focal point a rather striking walnut table with below it cutlery and condiment drawers – a nice ambient setting, adjacent to the skipper when underway. For the television aficionados the electrically operated pop-up television on the wall opposite could be viewed from both locations.
Wow, was the only way to describe the helm station on the starboard side of the front saloon bulkhead. And it wasn’t just because of the two impressive Besenzoni helm chairs, the striking walnut module or indeed the ‘star-ship Enterprise’ most futuristic dash facia – really it was the fact that the combination of all these features blended in so well with the contemporary nature of the saloon. It was sort of in your face, but not so it took the accent away from the rest of the room or its features or décor.
For the skipper, the job was made easy with the Raymarine ST7002 autopilot, Icom VHF and the comprehensive integrated Garmin range of GPS, plotter, sounder and radar, all complementing onboard systems such as the Seastar hydraulic steering, the ZF MC2000-2 remote engine controls, the 22kVA Onan genset, the 31kW of Marine Air air-conditioning, the HRO 700 Horizon Seafari watermaker, the Side-Power SP240tci 24V/15hp bow and stern thrusters, and the Maxwell VWC 3500 anchor winch.
If I was impressed thus far, certainly the best was still to come, for down on the accommodation level it was luxury personified. And innovation personified also, for commencing with the unique interpretation of access steps down to the accommodation, this whole level was a breath of fresh air. The more I looked around, the more subtle little user-friendly features I discovered – beginning with the fourth bedroom to starboard in the companionway at the bottom of these stairs.
With no use or indeed inclination for a fourth bedroom, this particular owner had transformed it into a utility room, albeit still however featuring the same magnificent standard of woodwork New Ocean Yachts is renowned for. In here was a small office desk, a washer/dryer laundry and a massive floor to ceiling side-by-side refrigerator/freezer combo. An infinitely superior use for this room, to my mind!
Opposite this room was the twin-single room, which has two generous-sized single berths side by side, but still with plenty of room to move between them. The reality of the size of this room was it would be very easy at the time of purchase, to opt for a queen or even double island berth instead. Forward of this room was the house bathroom and in the bow of the boat was the VIP stateroom, complete with its own generously-sized ensuite. A most elegant bedroom complete with queen-size island berth, it was obvious to me there was no class distinction within these bedrooms, when it came to décor presentation. Woven flax-style bed heads, cedar-lined hanging wardrobes, overhead and wall lighting, television, stereo, overhead hatches, side port-holes – each room was identically presented.
Moving aft and down the step to the master stateroom in the traditional amidships cabin in under the saloon sole, gave me cause to reconsider my ‘presented identically’ observation for while the décor in this grandiose room was the same as the others, the appointments, features and space were from another world! The huge king-size island berth, the equally huge bathroom effectively in behind the head-board, the ladies vanity setting, the lovely dining setting for two, the fixed hull-side feature windows, and for me the coup de grâce, the cedar-lined (there was that wonderful odour again!) walk-in wardrobe – all were a sight to behold. Very, very well done!
A most congenial layout as well as spectacle, but there was still one place I hadn’t visited, the mechanical side of Y-Not; did it have the mechanical specification to match its lifestyle attributes? Back I go to the rear boarding platform and upon entering the engine room though the aft bulkhead door (alternatively I could also have gone in through the hatch in the cockpit floor) I was confronted by yet another spectacle which left an indelible impression on me. Wood and stainless steel steps, the clinical look of this room, the workshop to starboard as I entered, and the very serious nature of the equipment confirmed for me that this boat had been very well thought out mechanically.
There was good space around the engine for maintenance purposes, and equipment such as the batteries, the filters, the genset, the inverters and chargers, the 5800 litres of fuel tankage, the air conditioning and the properly lagged exhausts were all sited so as to be easily accessible in times of maintenance or emergency. All this, may I add, with the intrusion in this engine room of the rear garage which easily housed the owner’s custom 3m GRP catamaran he will use for fishing.
Innovation abounded with this feature for it had been deliberately built above (engine room) floor level, firstly, to be as least intrusive and space-hogging as possible, and secondly, so the area could be utilised for additional equipment and storage of wet articles. For instance, the guernsey, the deck hose, the genset, the battery box and the grey water tank were all below this garage. Cleverly, with the addition of a few racks welded to the underside of this garage, this was home also for all the fishing rod and reel combos.
The last and perhaps most important aspect to digest, was the actual power source for Y-Not. A dedicated Caterpillar man from way back, it came as no surprise to find Hanson had decreed the standard power for this 37-tonne, 20.85m composite GRP sports yacht with a beam of 5.33m and draft of 1.68m, would be a pair of in-line 6-cylinder 18.1 litre 1015hp C18 Caterpillar diesels running through ZF 500-1-IV V-drive gearboxes and conventional shaft drive, to the pair of 33”D x 34.5”P Veem propellers.
A fair chunk of power but certainly not the maximum power of twin 1622hp available from the Caterpillar C32 versions, so the 27 knots we achieved on our test day was as much a credit to the hull design and capabilities, as it was to the actual engines. From a handling perspective the New Ocean just loved the 1½ to 2m swells during our test; whether at the cruise speed of a most respectable 22 knots, or at the full speed, it mattered little to this hull.
Bottom line, this was a boat that turned eyes, a boat you would be very proud to own, and a boat that more than compared/competed with the best the world has to offer. But it wasn’t just all about good looks and charm; this boat had the mechanical nous to back it up, along with innovation and plain old common-sense good ideas that place it at the forefront of the industry. Keith Hanson is no Johnny-come-lately, he is a most astute boater who knows through his brokerage experiences precisely what does and doesn’t work in our region, he knows what people want and he has transformed that knowledge and experience into a competitively priced package that proactively combines business with pleasure. Look around, see what else you can buy for $2.5-million as-tested, that genuinely matches feature for feature, what the New Ocean 640 Sports Yacht offers!
- Boat Design Name: New Ocean 640 Sports Yacht
- Year Launched: 2010
- Designer/ Builder: New Ocean Yachts
- Interior Designer: New Ocean Yachts
- LOA: 20.85 m
- LWL: 19.48 m
- Beam: 5.33 m
- Draft: 1.68 m
- Displacement: 37,000 kg
- Max Speed: 27 knots
- Cruise Speed: 22 knots
- Construction: GRP
- Fuel Cap: 5800 L
- Water Cap: 800 L
- Engines Make: 2 x Caterpillar C18 @ 1015 hp
- Base Price of Boat: $A2,305,800
- Price As Tested: $A2,516,576