First we were teased with the sedan version; New Ocean Yachts has quickly followed up on that milestone with the New Ocean Yachts 68 Enclosed Flybridge model which many suggest, embraces the full spectrum of boat ownership and pleasure.
It really says something when the distributor of a range of boats goes out and buys another brand as his own personal pleasure palace, but in that owners own words, there is no other boat on the market that he could find which ticks his particular boxes quite as succinctly as the New Ocean does. The boat name, Komotion, sort of says it all for in a really nice way, he plans to have a lot of family fun and enjoyment in his new boat.
In reality it takes little time at all to appreciate where this owner and his family were coming from, for first impressions of this New Ocean model are of a boat with that X-factor, a boat that oozes charm, but also a boat that oozes sophistication with its very European lines wrapped around a boating package that seemingly offers everything to everyone.
The brainchild of well-respected marine industry identities Keith and son Ryan Hanson, it took the pair little time at all to work out precisely what was needed in a consummate boating package – their considerable industry experience already afforded them that knowledge. The challenge was though, one, to find a manufacturer who ‘could’ build to the standard they required, and two, finding a manufacturer who ‘would’ build them what they wanted, and maintain that standard with each and every subsequent model built. They found their builder in renowned Taiwanese superyacht builder New Ocean and if this latest model is anything to go by, the standard is very much being maintained – and some!
As much as the build is important though, their design, when you are competing with the top European and American brands, had to be the equal also; styling is everything in a boat, as first and foremost you need to get people aboard the boat. Then, to keep them aboard and to kindle their curiosity further it must then boast all the innovation and certainly all the special features that make a house a home, or in this case user-friendly features that make a boat usable, presentable and enjoyable.
Ticks the Box
For me this boat comprehensively ticked the box in each instance for right from the beginning of my evaluation, the moment I stepped aboard, this boat ever ceased to amaze. The 600kg Aritex hydraulic rise and fall swim/boarding platform was a statement in itself, with its beautifully presented platform vents, pop-up cleats, removable pulpit hoops and teak floor; all of which incidentally looked magnificent at night time, when lit up by the array of Aqualuma underwater lights.
Immediately forward of this platform was the hydraulically-operated garage door which of course begged to be opened. Inside, taking pride of place was a big tender, a 4.1m SeaSport centre-console RIB with 40hp Tohatsu – plus an electric winch, a custom-fitted and air compressor for the inflatable, a 100 litre fuel (petrol) reservoir and a smoke detector.
Immediately beside the garage door was the exterior access bulkhead door to the engine room. Dropping down three steps the walkway, complete with workshop bench, vice and hand-wash basin, gave way to what was a surprisingly spacious engine room – despite the intrusion of the garage! This engine room, well lit as well as temperature-controlled with four large fans (great if you are servicing the engines at sea), boasted some very serious long range equipment too; 22.5kVA and 11kVA gensets, water blaster, 24V/5kW/120A inverter and 240V/60A battery charger, separate 24V/30A chargers for the engines and genset batteries, 31.9kW of air-conditioning, the 140L/h watermaker, a huge fire suppression system and the battery banks of four house, four engine and two genset, 200Ah AGM batteries.
As well as all this, also in this engine room were the 2000-litre long-haul fuel tank under the garage, the two 1800 litre diesel tanks virtually amidships, either side of the engines (plus there was another 2000 litres diesel tank and a 1000 litre water tank at keel level, below the master stateroom), the grey and black tanks, the exhaust system risers – and of course the all-important engines.
Standard power is twin 1150hp Caterpillar C18 ACERT diesels, but in this instance the package was upgraded to twin 1622hp Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesels which ran through 2.48:1 Twin Disc MGX-6599A gearboxes, Polyflex couplings and conventional shaft drive, to the 40-inch pitch Veem propellers. An added enhancement to the mechanical inventory was the two 15hp BSC bow and stern thrusters which were an integral part of the Twin Disc EJS (Electronic Joystick System) joystick manoeuvring system.
Access onto the cockpit level was up the staircases each side of the transom beam. The spacious cockpit was your very typical European example, spacious, teak-lined and with the usual mod-cons such as aft sunbrella lounge, solid cherry table, spare deck chairs for extra guests, and catering features such as a large freezer to portside and an equally large module which housed the electric BBQ, sink storage cupboards and icemaker cum refrigerator. The flybridge overhang nicely protected a significant portion of this cockpit area.
The teak flooring continued on down each side of the saloon structure and I must say I did appreciate the special emphasis on safety with sensible-height bulwarks with rails on top, even on the bow and stern areas. The anchoring feature was a work of art in keeping with the rest of the New Ocean, with two custom-built anchors permanently mounted on the mini fairlead – mini because marina charges are governed by the overall length of the boat!
The expansive Aritex saloon doors allowed the lifestyle aspect to nicely flow on through into what was a very special saloon. Very, very contemporary, everything about this room was refreshingly different from the norm and you could certainly see the superyacht influence from the builder.
To starboard immediately you entered these saloon doors was the very regal gloss walnut and stainless steel stairs, then steps which led up to the flybridge level, with off to portside what could only be described as an expansive galley. First there was the concealed house-sized refrigeration, then a pull-out pantry, with beside this an island-style servery and storage module complete with plate, crockery and cutlery drawers.
This progressed on forward to the galley proper which included good bench space with servery above, two sinks, range-hood, recessed four-burner electric cook-top with oven below, dishwasher and yet more storage provision. If you complained about this galley, then you would have to be very, very hard to please!
Opposite the galley and in under the flybridge stairs was the wet-bar and entertainment ‘nerve centre’, then forward again of that was the ultimate dining statement, an eight-seater very contemporary table and chair combo. Innovatively, mounting points and clips allowed this table assembly to remain where it was in the photo, or be moved inboard into the centre of the room or outboard, up against the wall.
Topping it all off, the decor of the room matched this dining setting with feature ceiling, walnut Ottoman stools, LED lighting, leather lounge, storage cupboards the full length of the starboard-side wall, for glassware and wine storage, drop-down curtains, UltraLeather (classy) rather than vinyl wall and ceiling panels, and heaps of walnut panelling – all painting the picture of ambience and elegance. Interestingly, the walnut floors of the previous model have been replaced by the more expensive Amtico option, to prevent damage when objects are dropped on it – evolution I think they call it!
The ‘pleasure palace’ theme continued up on the flybridge level in a fully enclosed room which in reality was a duplication of the saloon, with its indoor/outdoor aspect. The outdoor part of the equation consisted of a teak-floored area complete with teak seat and solid walnut table, aft-facing sunbrella lounge and a service module which included storage, a remote helm station, sink and refrigeration. A hopper window (yes, on the flybridge also) and expansive Aritex doors made this an air-conditioned sky-lounge of grandiose proportions. The focal point of course was the ‘three’ Besenzoni helm chairs behind a full beam helm station of passagemaker ilk and proportions.
To say this helm was impressive would surely be the understatement of the year, for with three Raymarine E140W screens, the Caterpillar engine read-outs, the Twin Disc EJS joy-stick system, the classy helm wheel and the beautifully presented windscreen mullions – it was appropriate in every detail.
Guests could be accommodated either on two of the three helm chairs, outside on either the lounge or bench seat, or aft of the skipper on the four-person L-shaped lounge (converts to a double berth) complete with two coffee tables, which was opposite a full wet-bar and cocktail cabinet.
Accommodation for Six
Accommodation below decks is of course reasonably flexible in a semi custom-built vessel and in this instance our owners chose a fairly standard layout of three bedrooms and a utility room. The rooms naturally fanned out off the companionway, with to starboard a rather neat utility room with laundry, refrigeration and enough galley equipment to prepare a low-key breakfast or whatever, should the guests awaken early. Perfect for a late night snack too, if your mind works like mine!
Opposite this room, off to portside, was the third bedroom, which while a twin-single in this instance, could just as easily be transformed into a double berth room, such was its generous space allocation. The VIP cabin was in the bow and of ‘queen’ size proportions; it was very much in keeping with the luxury theme. And that was the reality, for these two cabins both offered the contemporary look which was in turn softened nicely for the required ambience, by the décor of UltraLeather panels, carpeted floors, generous lashings of deep gloss walnut, feature head-boards, opening portholes and overhead hatches.
The master accommodation was a notch up again in features, though quite simply I would suggest this was more due to the fact this full-beam amidships room aft of the companionway – had the additional space in which to be a little more flamboyant and creative in design and appointments. Hard to know where to start really, for every feature was special in its own individual way.
Nice touches then, included the feature ceiling, the king-size berth, the feature head-board and side tables, the ladies’ vanity setting, the elongated feature porthole windows, the lounge and table to starboard, the walk-in wardrobe, the rich cherry woodwork – I could go on forever for it was just such a spectacular room, ambient and homely with features that were functional and practical, long before they were flashy and over the top. Then you throw in the ensuite bathroom complete with Corian benches, teak tread-plate in the shower and again spectacular décor – and you would never ever want to leave home!
What a boat; innovative ideas from stem to stern, quality fittings, quality woodwork and workmanship, practicality personified – the New Ocean Euro Cockpit 68 Flybridge was in my mind as good as it gets; I just couldn’t fault it in any respect. People may well be tempted to view this boat as a coastal cruiser but the reality is, it is above that again – it has other features such as storage, electrical capacity, back-up equipment and fuel capacity – that elevate it into the full-blown ‘passagemaker’ category.
The hull profile lines were definitely eye-catching, as were the window shapes and sizes of the cabin and flybridge levels, and those portholes in the hull side – everything was completely in sync!
I would love to be able to pontificate ad nauseam on the handling and performance attributes of the New Ocean, but sadly space does not allow for it. Therefore, I will just finish off by suggesting that this was the best handling cruiser it has ever been my pleasure to be aboard. A big rap, yes, but certainly deserved, for whereas most cruisers tend to roll into the troughs of big ocean swells and momentarily pause under the inertia, this New Ocean with its surprisingly deep V (13.5-degrees at the transom, and increasing from there), cut through the seas like a knife through butter – without any hesitation. All the Hansons’ previous offshore powerboat racing experience had obviously come into play in a hull that works – uphill, down-hill and in the turns whether it was at the maximum speed of 31 knots, or at its cruise speed of 22-25 knots!