Oviatt Marine promotes its Alaskan series of offshore cruisers as tough, customized turnkey boats. Though I haven't had the opportunity to kiss the trades searching for azure waters on the new 77-footer, I did spend some time with the owners of the Alaskan 77 Five Star, and I walked away with the firm conclusion that the company's product more than satisfies its demanding credo.
Gary Oviatt, president and owner of Oviatt Marine, capitalized on his 30-plus years of marine brokerage experience to develop the Arthur DeFever-inspired Alaskan series. His goal was to offer a well-built, well-designed line of cruisers that allowed for a large dose of input from owners. Craig Hockelberg and Mila Bright, Five Star's owners, may just be Oviatt's poster owners. They worked closely with the company, relying on the vast experience they gained from living aboard their Hatteras 61, to create a tailor-made, good-looking cruiser well suited for their ambitious cruising plans.
"We don't have floor plan A, B or C", said Oviatt. "We give the buyer several plans of previously built boats, and then they have 30 days to go over the plans, make changes and suggestions. We then generate revised CAD drawings." And the yard enjoys the process, as well.
Indeed, this flexibility was a big selling point for Hockelberg and Bright, who looked at a host of other boats before settling on the Alaskan. "The more enthused we were", said Bright, "the more enthused they were."