Ocean Alexander’s new 28E is ready-made for active, adventurous owners.
The boating and yachting lifestyle, like all things, change over the course of time. Some changes are deliberate and innovative, like the Ocean Alexander 28E.
“When I was a kid, you rarely might have seen an old wooden swim platform. I’m talking about the late fifties…you would see the odd one on a boat, and I would be like, ‘Oh, wow, look at that, a swim platform,’” laughs Evan K. Marshall, reflecting on how the lifestyle of yachting has changed over the decades.
The London-based American yacht designer is telling me about one of his latest creations, the Ocean Alexander 28E model, which has taken the swim platform concept to new lengths. The huge beach deck is a core feature of the muscular white boat, and it gets even bigger when the port- and starboard-side bulwarks lower, increasing the usable space to 338 square feet.
“You have got your own beach, a private getaway. There’s a two-thousand-five-hundred-pound crane, so you can actually carry a sixteen-foot tender, two Jet Skis, and two Seabobs without issue,” says Sally Doleski, vice president of marketing at Ocean Alexander.
It’s a far cry from the narrow swim steps of yesteryear, and it’s a spot-on trend for today’s owners, who have been gravitating to the water’s edge in recent years, wanting to play on and as close to the sea as possible. “We wanted to come up with a design that really embraced active use of the toys when you’re out on the water, with dedicated storage areas to make it more functional,” says Dan Mundy, global head of sales and marketing.
The au courant design is part of a broader strategy of Ocean Alexander to keep abreast of the market—something the builder has very much succeeded at in recent years. Marshall has helped in this endeavor, stepping in 16 years ago to assist with exterior and interior design, first by refining and giving a signature to the existing tooling and then by steadily inserting new models into the lineup. “It wasn’t until, I would say, maybe six years ago when the last of the old tooling boats ceased to exist and the product line [comprised of] completely brand-new designs,” he says.
The Ultimate in Yacht Luxury: Ocean Alexander's 28E Model Unveiled
The E series, which stands for Explorer, is one of the newest designs. It has its genesis in the R series (for Revolution). Both models are about giving guests a close connection to the sea, the R with a beach club, the E with its toy-hauling beach platform, and each with villa-like glass framing the ocean views. And they are finding traction with the market. The 28E made its U.S. debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show last October and quickly went under contract at the event. The gigantic swim platform isn’t the only selling point either; the boat also has the voluminous interior and the exterior living spaces that seem to be in demand these days.
The modernity of today’s Ocean Alexander is clear as I tour her in Fort Lauderdale. The open-plan main deck basks in the sunlight streaming through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Stylish furnishings from Italian design house Poltrana Frou dress the space that flows from salon to dining to galley, which can be open or concealed.
Also on this level is the coveted feature of an on-deck owner’s cabin. With a king-size bed under a vast forward window, a capacious walk-in closet, and even a heated stone floor in the ensuite, it has all the comforts of home. Guests enjoy pleasant accommodations on the lower deck as well, which has four cabins in this hull, three with queen berths, including a forward VIP, and one with sliding twins that convert into a double.
There is also a small bonus room on the lower deck that can configure in several ways. On the yacht I’m touring, it is set up as a utility space with extra storage, a full-height freezer, and laundry facilities. “We’ve had clients put in rubber matting and it’s the kids’ playroom. It can be a workout space; it can be an office. It’s really our flex space,” Doleski says.
These generous quarters on a 94-foot, seven-inch hull are partly due to the plumb bow—something that is not only fashionable at the moment, but also serves to maximize the interior volume, particularly on the lower deck. “There is a really strong emphasis on getting as much out of the space as possible,” says Marshall.
The full tri-deck design aids in this quest. The top level combines the pilothouse with a second salon, which, like the one on main deck, boasts custom-designed furniture by Poltrana Frau and a 50-inch flip-down television. Here and in the salon below, the light neutral décor Marshall designed on spec is “calming,” as he puts it.
“We very much wanted to have a very open, contemporary feel with the furniture and a lot of glass allowing a connection with the outside, so that even when you’re inside the yacht, you continue that connection with the sea,” he says. “That is something we’ve done with the R and E series. I feel that the 28E really does that.”
The goal of getting the most out of the space extends to the exterior decks as well. In addition to that signature aft platform, there is the teak-laid upper aft deck with a dining area, a wet bar, and a Jacuzzi surrounded by sunpads. The main aft deck below has two loveseats cozied up to a coffee table, so those wishing to stay comfortably dry and shaded can watch those playing on the beach deck and in the water from a lofty vantage point. And, of course, no yacht is complete nowadays without sunpads on the foredeck and a settee and table from which to sip a sundowner at anchor.
The exterior styling is just as modern as the interior design, complementing the hull designed by Giovanni Arrabito. “His design office has always been known for very pronounced, aggressive chine lines at the bow, which also give the hulls so much character and a chiseled look, which we’ve combined with some chiseled features (in the superstructure styling),” says Marshall.
Arrabito hulls are also renowned for their seakeeping characteristics, and the 28E can reach up to 20 knots powered by twin 1,650-hp MAN V12s. While the yacht is not designed for an owner-operator (the aft crew quarters are comprehensive with three cabins, two heads, and a small galley), Ocean Alexander provides a simplicity in operations that any hands-on owner can appreciate.
“From an intuitive and user-friendly electronic management system by OctoPlex to the inclusion of bow and stern thrusters for ease of maneuvers to plug-in controls at strategic locations for ease of docking, Ocean Alexander continually gives careful consideration to systems design that allows the owner to be fully engaged in the handling of the yacht without being overwhelmed by multiple systems,” says Mundy.
The reception to the 28E has been “phenomenal,” Mundy adds, further proof that the builder and designer are in sync with the market. “When people step onto the expansive aft platform and see the bulwarks lower, they can immediately see how they would use and enjoy that space while at sea.”
-by Kate Lardy