Aft, the large teak cockpit offers an extra space in which to sit and watch the world go by. It's built for comfort and ease; there are boarding gates on each side, plus two more from the curved stairs leading up from the large swim platform. Up top, the bridge is large, clean, with great visibility and comfortable seating, plus the ubiquitous barbeque and dinghy/davits.
Accessible via a large door in the cockpit, the engine room is impressive-it is indeed a clean, well-lighted place. I had almost-standing headroom, and I'm about 6'2". There is polished stainless throughout; the engine mount stringers are hand polished. Everything, including the twin Racor fuel filters, is easy to reach; the wiring, hydraulic and fuel lines are all labeled, the plumbing and fittings are oversized; you can access both sides of the standard 700 hp Cat C-12s. In addition, there's a huge lazarette aft for extra storage.
In short, this is a very well-designed cruising yacht, as you'd expect from its heritage. The 58 has a twin-tunnel hull for minimum draft and maximum performance, with underwater exhaust for safety and quiet, and prop tunnels to protect the running gear. The hull is solid, handlaid fiberglass below the waterline and balsa-cored on the sides; aluminum structural beams with carbon fiber reinforcements add strength and rigidity. Safety comes first. Ocean Alexander tank tests each new model in extreme sea conditions to make sure, as Ed Monk says, that no water goes up on deck.
For his part, Monk has been designing Ocean Alexanders since the company was started by Johnny's father, Alex, 27 years ago in Taiwan. The family moved to Australia when Johnny was 10 and boated in Sydney on their Ocean Alexander 48. Johnny eventually went to the University of Chicago for an economics degree and was working as a management consultant when his father had a stroke. At 25, Johnny came home. He has been running the company ever since.
After walking through the boat at the owners rendezvous, we took it out for a short test, where we registered a top speed of 20.5 knots at about 2300 rpm. But speed is not the point. This is a yacht that can cruise all day at an easy 13 knots (1835 rpm). "That's fast enough for me," Don says. "I like to enjoy the scenery." Also, with its twin KeyPower bow and stern thrusters, its wide side decks and three control stations (pilothouse, bridge and cockpit), she's easy to dock and handle when the cruising is over. All in all, the Ocean Alexander 58 pilothouse is a very comfortable cruising yacht.
In fact, that's what she became. After the rendezvous and a photo shoot, Don and Yuna met some friends on Vancouver Island and headed north for a summer cruise.
Contact: Ocean Alexander, (206) 344-8566; www.oceanalexander.com.