It would be hard to find a more fitting memorial to Alex Chueh, the founder of Ocean Alexander who passed away just before press time, than the new Ocean Alexander 85E. This yacht combines all the attributes he believed in: high quality, timeless design and an arrangement that truly reflects how owners enjoy their yachts (see our extra photo gallery here).
Did I like the 85E? No, I loved it.
I loved the 85E for her elegance, for her serenity and poise. If the yacht were a person, she would be Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief or Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair. Cool. Slightly distant. Ever so desirable.
From the dock, the 85E is almost a contradiction in terms: modern yet ageless. She has the requisite reversed transom, too often called Euro, that embraces and protects a wonderfully large swim platform; she has the large windows in her topsides, and everything from the window pillars to the electronics arch is raked. Yet anyone who loves the lines of a vintage Rolls-Royce or a classic Trumpy motoryacht will be right at home here. Ten years down the line, the 85E will still turn heads.
“The 85E is a boat created to bridge the gap between our traditional Ocean Alexander styling and interior design and the European boats that feature highly contemporary design that is often not accepted in the American market,” said Ocean Alexander’s Richard Allender. “It features updated exterior styling, along with a new interior layout and design. This will be the basis on which the future products from Ocean Alexander are designed.”
Once you’ve chosen which of the graceful stairs to ascend to a cockpit shaded by the overhanging boat deck, you’ll find an entertainment area that has been created with the precision of a jigsaw puzzle, and yet seems uncrowded. A dinette runs along the transom, its gorgeous teak table begging for alfresco meals. The bar, capped with a granite countertop and accompanied by a pair of stools, is tucked into the starboard corner.
Access to the bridge is via gentle stairs to port, and under the stairs is the very civilized entry to the crew quarters. This is a huge improvement over having to enter from the transom platform or descend through a deck hatch.
Destry Darr of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, did the interior styling, and she used pale grays as a perfect counterpoint to the dark walnut woodwork — a first for Ocean Alexander. The salon makes good use of loose bucket chairs and built-in settees to create a conversation area or a comfortable media room in which to view the 40-inch pop-up TV in the after corner. Large windows all around and the twin stainless-steel doors aft give everyone a good view, even when seated. I liked the toe switches for the electric salon doors: Anyone carrying a tray of food or drinks won’t have to do a balancing act with this megayacht touch.
The formal dining area blends seamlessly into the salon, with a low buffet behind the settee serving as the divider. Eight people can easily sit around the inlaid walnut table.