Breaking New Ground
Making its debut at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show, the Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution motor yacht brings a new look to the company’s line and is the first Ocean Alexander to be powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS1200 900-horsepower IPS pod drives.
Designed by Evan K. Marshall and assembled in a state-of-the-art facility in Merritt Island, Florida, utilising the latest in yacht construction technology, the 70 Evolution embodies a new evolution within the yacht manufacturer’s product line. The Florida plant enables the manufacturer to be close to the epicenter of activity for this size and type of yacht. Conceived as an owner/operator yacht, with numerous remote operation features, the 70E is offered with an optional crew berth and head.
The Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution weighs in at 35,380 kg with a maximum draft of 1.52 m. From the entry into the main saloon, the sight line extends through the yacht out to the bow, providing a feeling of expanse and openness. Capable of sleeping up to eight guests, plus the option of accommodating one crew member, the 70 Evolution is designed for an owner who enjoys captaining his own yacht for weekend and extended cruising from the home base, with enough living and entertaining space for family and friends onboard.
With owner operation in mind, the Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution provides ease in docking with its Volvo Penta IPS drive system. In fact, many of the features are specifically designed and tailored with owner operation in mind. This allows the 70 Evolution “get up and go” flexibility to enjoy weekend and extended cruises without the added logistics of a crew onboard.
Because she is ruggedly constructed, has remarkably efficient fin stabilisers, and is built for sea-going cruising, an owner need not be particularly concerned with the weather when casting off. Whether a short hop to a nearby destination, or an excursion hundreds of miles away, the 70 Evolution combines ease of operation with the size and accommodations to comfortably enjoy a passage in most conditions.
When we compare the Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution with other 70-footers in class, we see that it is one of the lightest at 35,380 kg dry. This indicates that great care has been taken in her construction to make sure that all state-of-the-art measures have been taken to make this yacht as efficient as possible. This will pay off in reduced fuel consumption at cruising speeds and a higher WOT speed given its twin 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS1200 engines.
The interior treatment of bulkheads and cabinetry is modern and we liked the exotic horizontal wood grain treatment that makes the boat look larger than it really is and is a pleasant departure from the vertical wood grain treatment that we usually see. Particularly noteworthy are the rounded corners that are not only practical but add elegance to the interior.
Also noteworthy is her long list of standard equipment. This includes a hydraulic swim platform, flying bridge hardtop, the IPS drives mentioned above with joystick, plus much more. Like all other Ocean Alexander motor yachts, this vessel is designed to be sea-going as well as being a large entertainment platform.
An innovative optional feature of the 70 Evolution are the Side Power Vector stabilisers, which unlike standard fins are convex in shape, providing a greater degree of lift off of her centre of gravity while also reducing sway. This better suits the hull form of the 70 Evolution and improves both stability underway, as well as at anchor.
Standard, larger fins provide more stabilization force, but also create more drag which results in a higher fuel consumption as speed increases, and a slightly lower top end. This new design has created a simple solution to the problem, which, according to Ocean Alexander, has an appreciable and positive result in the yacht’s performance. The benefit in efficiency and reduced side-effects makes this design particularly ideal for the 70 Evolution, for performance, fuel efficiency and a reduction in the size of components.
Expansive Fly Bridge
The fly bridge of the 70 Evolution encompasses over half of the yacht’s LOA, as the overall length of the flybridge is over 12m (exterior), the inside dimensions (walkable space) is 3.5m x 7.80m without fiberglass cabinets or seating in place. This affords a gathering area suitably commensurate to compliment her eight passenger sleeping capacity with room to spare.
The twin Stidd mechanical helm seats are located forward on the centre line for what is a completely unobstructed view from which to operate the yacht. Twin 19″ Garmin multifunction displays are mounted just above the Venturi windscreen, allowing the skipper to see all of the necessary functions and controls. A large stainless steel destroyer wheel is standard. This is where the CZone iPad interface comes in very handy, for if any function of the yacht below the bridge needs adjustment ir can be done at the helm.
Aft of the helm is the bar area, sun pad, outdoor galley and grill, and dining settee, with both access to the aft cockpit as well as the main saloon and galley. The fly bridge of the 70 Evolution incorporates the amenities one would seek in a yacht where entertaining is a priority. The dining settee has a teak table, and provides a setting for getting out of the sun beneath the hardtop without having to leave the bridge.
Ascending from the aft deck, there is a surrounding stainless steel railing encircling the lower access as well as topside around the stairwell. Aft is the sun pad and seating area, which, with the central section removed. It can be made into a vast settee, where up to eight to ten guests can be seated comfortably. Moreover, during the day with the sun pad in place, this is a logical area to enjoy the sun and work on a tan.
Immediately noticeable upon entry into the saloon from the aft deck is the unobstructed view through the entire interior to the windshield. This is a design that most consumers prefer these days, rather than having a lower helm station that is sectioned off with a bulkhead. One very convenient feature for entering the saloon, is the foot switch, that when activated, automatically opens the salon door. When the owner is bringing aboard luggage, groceries or gear, there’s no requirement to put them down to open the door. Once inside, the door then closes automatically without any further activation.
The saloon has an L-shaped settee to starboard with a coffee table and Cambria stone surfaced console for storage. To port are a sofa with end tables. There is a 50″ LCD television with satellite receiver flush mounted in the overhead, that when lowered, provides exceptional viewing from both the settee and sofa.
The enlarged windows in the saloon, covers the majority of the vertical area, providing unimpeded outside light and maximum visibility. The saloon is carpeted and as an option, comes in wood decking like that seen leading forward into the galley.
Encompassing the breadth of the yacht amidships to both the port and starboard sides, the galley allows not only a generous area for meal preparation, but a place to dine at its serving bar as well. There are Cambria stone surfaces and backsplash, stainless steel appliances and rich, wood cabinetry that all complement each other. A 24” Jenn-Air wine cooler is offered as an option. Forward is the dining settee, surrounded on two sides by the side and forward windows.
One feature of the cabinetry — which is manufactured at the Merritt Island Boatworks facility — is the pull-out storage for the signature Ocean Alexander china and dinnerware; where all glassware and dishes are conveniently stowed within fold-out drawers.
For a yacht designed with an owner operator in mind, the lower helm station is ergonomic, compact and functional. To port of the dining settee, it provides the IPS joystick control, a Stidd mechanical seat and destroyer wheel, plus a Garmin navigation package. For foul weather visibility, Pantograph windshield wipers and washers with intermittent function operate independently at both the port and starboard windscreens.
The stairwell and access to the accommodation deck is to port of the helm, and leads below. There, in the passageway, a washer and dryer are located. The most noteworthy features of the master stateroom are the port and starboard hull side picture windows that measure 2.18 m x 0.81 m. They are custom engineered “sandwich glass” construction, allowing 38% greater visibility and incoming light. These are among the largest hull side windows we have seen in this size motor yacht.
The full king size bed is independently coiled with his and her sections to ensure minimal transfer of movement. To starboard of the bed is a dresser and to port is a chaise lounge with a desk. The walk-in cedar-lined master closet has glass facing drawers, which are lighted, making for an elegant, practical feature.
Accessed on the port side is the owner’s head, which is appointed in wood and granite, and employs HansGrohe faucets at both the sink and in the shower stall. The shower stall is made in one moulded piece that provides long term protection against moisture and water intrusion behind the shower panels. The shower door utilises “crystal clear” glass custom made for Ocean Alexander.
Typically, forward VIP staterooms offer little on which to accentuate or elaborate on due to the confines of a narrowly-defined space. Nevertheless, the 70 Evolution’s designers were able to fit the stateroom with a queen-sized island berth. Pains have been taken to make sure that there is lots of storage in this stateroom with compartments and drawers installed wherever possible.
There are port and starboard hanging lockers, an A/V system with an LCD 32″ television, two large portlight and an overhead hatch. Though not as large as those found in the master suite, the hull side windows in the VIP cabin illuminate the space with natural light along with an overhead opening portlight.
The exotic wood panelling with rounded corners and horizontal wood grain works particularly well in the VIP, making it seem larger than it is and by eliminating sharp, angular corners makes the space more comfortable as well.
The 70 Evolution provides two additional guest cabins along with a guest head accessed from the companionway, which also serves as the day head. The first of the guest cabins in a twin arrangement, and by incorporating the fourth cabin with over and under bunks, the 70 Evolution conveniently sleeps up to eight. The guest cabins are finished and appointed to the same quality as the owner and VIP staterooms, and both also have hull side windows for natural light, storage for two guests each and an A/V system, with an LCD 24″ television in the twin cabin.
As an option, the 70 Evolution offers a crew berth, which is accessed from the transom hatch and lies aft of the engine room. In lieu of this berth is added stern storage. This option includes an oversized twin bed, shower, water closet and sink, and allows the owner operator the flexibility to invite a captain, engineer, deck hand or stew for an extended passage, which could be considered helpful, especially with eight guests on board. Access to the engine space is through this compartment. This adds to the 70 Evolution’s character as a family yacht, making careful consideration of space efficiency and function.
The owner can have the weather decks upgraded to teak, however, teak is standard on the swim step and on the steps from the swim step to aft deck. The aft cockpit has a forward facing settee with a teak table, which, when chairs are added, comfortably seats six for dining. A day galley with a sink and refrigerator, with a Cambria stone surface is to starboard, while the steps to the fly bridge are to port.
The 454 kg capacity of the hydraulic swim platform provides both the needed space and carrying capacity for a versatile tender as well as ease of entry into the water. In addition, an option to stow the tender on the fly bridge is provided, allowing the opportunity to house a PWC on the platform.
Side deck access to the foredeck leads both to port and starboard with the cockpit IPS joystick control to starboard. Owners will appreciate this feature when backing into a dock.
The beam of 5.49 m is right in the middle of the range we find in yachts of this size and type. The 70 Evolution has 41cm symmetrical side decks which make moving forward easy yet still allows a large living area inside on the main deck.
The foredeck is clean and unobstructed, in order to provide a sun pad and lounge with a settee and table, with an optional sunshade. It is a great alternative entertaining venue and is particularly attractive when at anchor.
The engine room houses the two Volvo Penta IPS1200 diesel engines and two Czone, with 23 kW Kohler generators, along with the required auxiliary equipment. There is 1.83 m of standing headroom in the space, helping to make entry, inspection and maintenance unencumbered. The 70 Evolution carries 3,937 L of fuel and 1,136 L of water. Her holding tank capacity is 378 L.
With a pair of 900-hp IPS1200s powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 26.7 kts at 2350 rpm. Not surprisingly, with the efficiency of the IPS drives, that top speed translated to .03 nmpg and that number stayed consistent down to 1750 rpm and 15.7 knots where the fuel burn of 170 lph translated into a range of just over 327 nm.
Best cruise for the Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution is 12.5 knots (14.0 mph), and the boat gets 0.11 nmpl, giving the boat a cruising range of 380nm.
She handles quite well with excellent stability. Her heavyweight helps her to remain relatively flat during turns and she has excellent control authority even at low speeds.
With only mild chop we really can’t comment on how she would handle in significant sea conditions, but the conditions that we did have still told the story of a boat that remains remarkably stable regardless of the directions the seas were coming from. She carves nicely through the water with a stately effect of a much larger yacht and we had little wind from the open helm of the flying bridge.
Being a pod driven boat, we really didn’t expect any adverse characteristics, and didn’t find any either. We backed her right down the narrow confines of the marina with just the cockpit joystick and she was predictable and easy to control..
Having set out to be an owner/operator luxury American made yacht, the 70 Evolution offers much more than that. Her construction and engineering, are rigorous and exacting, creating a seaworthy hull that can be taken nearly anywhere in most conditions, just like the larger motor yachts in the Ocean Alexander line.
There is an all-new look in the interior with the exotic joinery treatment with horizontal wood grain and rounded bulkhead corners, set this yacht apart from most others in class. With the ease and convenience of her IPS drives, she allows her owner to set out at will.
- Boat Design Name: Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution
- Year Launched: 2016
- Builder: Ocean Alexander
- LOA: 21.49m
- Beam: 5.49m
- Draft: 1.35m
- Displacement (full): 35380kg (dry)
- Max Speed: 26.7 knots
- Construction: Infused GRP
- Fuel Capacity: 3975L
- Water Capacity: 1136L
- Engines Make/HP: 2 x 900hp Volvo Penta IPS1200
- Drive Train: IPS
- Generator: 23 kW Kohler x2
- MFD: Garmin
FUEL & PERFORMANCE DATA
Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution / 2 x Volvo Penta IPS 1200 @ 900hp
Range is based on 2975L allowing for 10% reserve of total fuel.