One step up is the country galley and pilothouse, which could easily be curtained off from the salon for night running. The U-shape galley is surrounded by granite counters and fitted with a chef’s delight of fine appliances. The multitude of drawers and locker doors are held in place by powerful magnets.
Just forward, an L-shape dinette is tucked under the windshield for casual meals or for keeping the skipper company. Beautifully balanced pantograph doors open effortlessly to the side decks, and the entire pilothouse sole is planked so that any water (or galley spills) tracked in is easily cleaned.
The skipper sits in lordly comfort in a Stidd pedestal helm chair and has a good line of sight in spite of a slightly oversize dash console (which Ocean Alexander is reducing on future 85Es). Directly behind the helm, enclosed stairs lead to the bridge, which makes moving from one to the other easy.
Once down the stairs from the pilothouse, you’re in a foyer/passageway that runs fore and aft. In the forward guest suite, a centerline queen berth has steps on each side for easy access, and two ports plus an overhead hatch provide plenty of light. The en suite head has a decent-size stall shower, and just outside in the foyer, a full-size washer/dryer stands ready for use. Moving aft, two large, airy guest cabins (one to port and the other to starboard) have twin berths and private en suite heads with showers.
Another thoughtful touch is the locker under the stairs, which is large enough to hold the hard-side suitcases invariably brought by guests who have been told repeatedly to bring only soft duffels.
Gorgeous inlaid marble marks your approach to the master suite, which spans the full beam amidships. The king berth sits under an upholstered Ultraleather headboard, nestled between night stands with marble inlays. Waking in the morning, you’d find magnificent views on each side from the three tall windows. On the port side of the suite is a swoopy settee, and a bureau with vanity is to starboard. Two large hanging lockers, one a walk-in, are full height, so you could hang Pippa Middleton’s royal gown with nary a wrinkle. Also spanning the full beam are the his-and-hers heads, both with Tecma toilets and ceramic vessel sinks. They are separated by the large, centerline stall shower.
If you think the guest cabins are lovely, wait until you see the crew quarters, which are finished to the same high standards as the rest of the yacht. The captain gets a private stateroom with a double berth and a desk, while the mate gets a single cabin, and both share a large head with shower. Ocean Alexander clearly understands that a happy crew makes a happy boat. This area would also be any teenager’s (or parent’s) dream escape. There is direct access from the crew quarters to the engine room through a watertight door, and for dockside service, access is from the stern platform through another watertight door.
Standard power for the 85E is a whacking great pair of 1,600-horsepower MTU 10-cylinder diesels that are impeccably installed between safety rails and surrounded by polished diamond-plate flooring for safety. The centerline sea chest is finished in white Imron and capped by a polished stainless lid with see-through glass. It’s perfectly placed for cleaning.