Inside Look: Ocean Alexander 90R

Owners of the Ocean Alexander 90R Voyager believe in extra safety and space to share.

Pacific Northwest
The owners of the Ocean Alexander 90R Voyager do most of their cruising in the Pacific Northwest. Ryan Stone/Unsplash

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It wasn’t even a stormy day, or an unusual day of any kind, when the couple pulled in their nearly 40-foot powerboat for refueling. They’d done the drill before, having cruised around Puget Sound, Washington, and other parts of the Pacific Northwest with their three kids. But on this day, the wife had made an unfortunate footwear choice. She slipped out of her sandals while stepping ashore. “Her leg went up onto the dock and got caught under a cleat,” the husband says. “She ended up hanging in the water, with her head 2 feet underwater, and her leg was caught in the cleat. She figured, this is how it ends. She was pinned in between the dock and the boat, and I didn’t see her.”

Ocean Alexander 90R
In regard to size, the 90R was quite a jump from the couple’s previous boat, but, boy, did it look safe—and stunning. Ocean Alexander

A good Samaritan ran over to alert the husband and help free the wife, whose ankle ended up breaking in the process. “She ended up making it out, but she was understandably hesitant about boating after that,” he says. “We thought maybe if we had a bigger boat, maybe something with thrusters for more safety, wider walkways, higher railings…”

In September 2020, during Labor Day weekend, they saw an Ocean Alexander 90R at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. It was just two years after the model had made its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in Florida, ­launching a whole new Revolution series for the builder.

Stuart Island
Looking at Stuart Island in the Gulf Islands. Courtesy the Owners

In regard to size, the 90R was quite a jump from the couple’s previous boat, but, boy, did it look safe—and stunning.

“It was beautiful, new, modern, felt like floor-to-ceiling glass everywhere,” the husband says. “The main-level master was fantastic. The kitchen was just outstanding. When we saw that, we decided to get one.”

They bought Hull No. 1 on the brokerage market and had it shipped from Florida to their home waters in the Pacific Northwest, where they rechristened it Voyager. The name is an homage to the husband’s years growing up in Orlando, getting to sit in the Kennedy Space Center grandstands with astronauts’ families because his uncle worked on the launchpad. It’s also a nod to the couple’s older son, who is studying microbiology and astrobiology. “If he had his way, he’d be on the first manned mission to Mars,” the husband says. “Voyager was the first that ever went outside of our solar system, so that name fit for our family.” They even worked with a graphic designer to create a mission patch and logo for the yacht, focused on the idea of exploring new frontiers.

Blue Angels
A flyover by the Blue Angels at Seafair in Seattle. John Bell/Unsplash

And explore they have, all the way up through Desolation Sound, British Columbia. Most of the time, the couple runs the boat in and around Puget Sound. They often welcome guests aboard for work outings, charitable events and other causes. They’ve offered Voyager’s use as part of a fundraiser for the Washington Autism Alliance and in a fundraiser to benefit a Seattle zoo. Political events have also happened on board, including fundraisers for members of Congress.

“We’re going to be in the boat parade here soon with the University of Washington cheer team and band director on board, with the band following on a boat behind us,” the husband says. “It’s a big recruiting event.”

orca whales in the Pacific Northwest
The best months for cruisers to see orca whales in the Pacific Northwest are April through October. Thomas Lipke/Unsplash

They both continue to love ­boating—including the tasks of running the boat themselves. That’s how cruising has always felt best to them, including all the years with the smaller boat, when they’d pile in all three kids and head out for some whale watching or a weekend getaway in the islands. Everyone would sleep on the V-berth forward and the convertible lounge aft.

The Ocean Alexander 90R obviously has more substantial accommodations for eight to 10 guests—including the main-deck master stateroom that the couple loved from the start and an open-plan sky lounge with a bar where everyone can spread out and relax. Even still, for this couple, the desire to have some do-it-yourself fun on the water remains the same. They recently hired a yacht manager for the 90R who serves as a jack-of-all-trades, pitching in with whatever is needed, but on most days when cruising in the Pacific Northwest, the husband is at the helm, and the wife is handling lines.

Seaplane in Puget Sound
In Puget Sound, seaplanes are a common sight. Georg Eiermann/Unsplash

“We try to dispel the idea that we’re snobby yachting types,” he says with a laugh. “Whether it’s us or friends and family on board, it’s usually just us.”

And in an effort to be sure there will never be another mishap, they have outfitted Voyager with the latest and greatest of everything from Wi-Fi to helm electronics. “I made sure that all our equipment and upgrades are up-to-date,” he says. “Things like night vision—we have all of that.” 

The Revolution Series

Ocean Alexander’s Revolution series of yachts is now offered in three models: the 89-foot 27R, 97-foot 30R and 117-foot 35R. The flagship model, with a gross tonnage of 299, made its debut at the 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The builder worked with designer Evan K. Marshall and Arrabito Naval Architects to evolve the models, which have extensive glazing for wide-scale views from the inside out. 

Lime Kiln Light
Lime Kiln Light is on San Juan Island. Melissa Milburn/Unsplash

45 Years of Boatbuilding

Ocean Alexander got its start in 1977. The company’s first build was the Mark 1, a 50-foot pilothouse trawler that liveaboard cruisers coveted for not only its onboard space but also its seaworthy hull, which was based on an Ed Monk design. Additional milestones have included construction of the 71-foot Night Hawk, which set a size record for Asian boatbuilding in 1984, and completion of the first 100-foot-long Ocean Alexander in 2005.

Built to Battle in Blue Water

Ocean Alexander incorporates numerous techniques and materials to engineer sturdy yachts. Finite element analysis is used for modeling in a virtual space before construction begins. I-beams made of aircraft-grade aluminum are incorporated because they’re 10 times stiffer than wood or fiberglass, according to the builder. Unidirectional carbon fiber is used to reinforce critical areas, and fuel tanks are built with military-grade aluminum alloy. 

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