Some yachts are like an Architectural Digest layout: cool and elegant. Others are as friendly and inviting as a warm puppy. With the Ocean Alexander 90 Motoryacht, designer Evan K. Marshall managed to create a yacht that blends all of these elements.
Let me jump ahead and give away a major selling point for the 90: No one gets a second-class cabin. On most yachts in this size range, someone gets the short straw. The owners, of course, get a magnificent suite, as they should. Guests, however, are usually faced with lesser accommodations of unequal size and amenities. Not so on this Ocean Alexander.
“You take the VIP up forward,” says one guest. “No, no, I’m fine with the starboard guest cabin. Or maybe I’ll take the port cabin. Gee, I can’t decide.” What a delightful quandary for your guests to face: not being able to choose among the three staterooms, each en suite. No Jack-and-Jill heads or tiptoeing across the passageway to a shared head. This took the careful fitting together of so many elements that it makes a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle look like child’s play.
The 90 is a natural iteration of the Ocean Alexander 88, as reinvented by the builder’s marketing director, Richard Allender. No, reimagined is a better word, because this yacht is not just a freshening up, but a response to how Ocean Alexander owners use their yachts.
Step into the salon, and you’ll see the elegant/casual elements in an instant. First, Marshall chose a pale nubby fabric for the wraparound couch to port, with a pair of bucket chairs to finish off this entertainment area. But this isn’t just for guests to sit stiffly in dinner jackets: This whole area faces a huge pop-up TV. Stretch out, munch on popcorn and have fun.
Two things you’ll notice quickly are huge windows and tons of headroom. The windows stretch, literally, from the back of the couch to out of sight in the curtain soffits, and they are divided by only two mullions. The view is spectacular. And the 6 foot 9 inches of headroom is nearly as much as on the Ocean Alexander 120.
A low divider separates the formal dining area forward, and I give Marshall and Allender credit for providing enough seating for all eight guests. I can’t explain why some builders provide a dining table for six on a yacht that sleeps eight. What, two people are balancing paper plates on their knees in the cockpit? Silly. Even better, Marshall and Allender left guests enough room to push their chairs back at the end of the meal without whacking into the divider or bulkheads.
the Euro-style yachts that relegates the cook to an unseen corner, but, no, the galley is in the pilothouse, which becomes a casual living space. It is a country galley with a wraparound dinette tucked next to the helm under the sweptback windshield. An interesting touch is the addition of a raised breakfast bar facing the galley with a pair of stools, offering a perfect place for two to enjoy a croissant and coffee.
The galley is a chef’s dream with top-notch appliances like the Jenn-Air cooktop and Sub-Zero fridges, Gaggenau oven and Fisher & Paykel dishwasher. I loved the stainless-steel sink capable of swallowing the largest pan and the fact that, while standing at that sink, the chef is treated to the same counter as guests in the salon.
||Builder Supplied Number
||5’6″ (dry), 6’5″ (loaded)
||2 x 1,920 hp MTU 12V 2000 diesels
The day-head is tucked to starboard under stairs to the bridge, and a pair of pantograph doors open to the side decks. The helm is to starboard in the pilothouse with a stylish dash of burled woods and leather. A raised panel holds three monitors, and there are chrome posts that put this panel into my line of sight through the forward windows. Six inches lower would be perfect for me, and the adjustment is likely doable as this builder is known for accommodating its owners. If you’re on the taller-than-average side, the placement may not affect your line of sight.
And, while we’re in the pilothouse, it’s important to note that this yacht can be run short-handed. Wide walk-around side decks with instant access from the lower helm, plus bow and stern thrusters to position and hold the yacht while lines are handled, make this easy for two crew.
Curving stairs lead from the salon to a foyer on the lower deck with inlaid marble underfoot. Just aft is the full-beam master suite, with a centerline king-size berth that can be raised on gas lifts to hide suitcases or other bulky items. Marble-top nightstands and wood columns are stylish touches, and each side has a trio of large windows for light and view. To port is a love seat, while the starboard side has a built-in bureau that shows off the impeccable Ocean Alexander joinery work. Two large hanging lockers complete the suite, with one a walk-in featuring internally illuminated Lucite drawers as well as a cedar-lined hanging space. The his-and-hers marble-lined heads just aft are separated by an oversize shower with multijet nozzles, and a spa tub is an option.
Next forward is the port guest cabin — no, wait, it has to be called a guest stateroom. A large berth is athwartships; the en suite head includes a shower with room for a seat, and the hanging locker is so large it requires double doors.
Opposite is an enclosed laundry room where the crew will find a full-size, side-by-side washer and dryer, plus ample counter space for folding and lockers for laundry supplies. This is a thoughtful touch, making it easy to service all four cabins without having to return to the crew area where most laundries are located.
Next forward is the starboard stateroom, and, again, it has an oversize head with shower, fore-and-aft berth and large stowage drawers under the berth. The VIP cabin is forward in the usual spot, with a raised berth, tapering hull sides lined with lockers and more drawers underneath. An en suite head matches the others in terms of size and amenities.
Owners of Ocean Alexander 90s should expect a flood of applicants from captains and crew because the crew quarters are finished to the same high standards as the guest areas. Sited abaft the engine room (with direct access to the same), the quarters are accessed from the cockpit (for safety at sea) or via a transom door.
The captain, and perhaps significant other, gets a comfortable double-berth cabin while another crew member has a single-berth cabin just forward. This single is hinged to reveal a stainless-steel workbench underneath. Both crew cabins share a nicely finished head with shower, and there is a crew mess with settee, mini galley and entertainment system.
The bridge is the alfresco living area on the 90, with everything from a wet bar to a country galley to a hot tub. A helm is on centerline forward with three Stidd helm chairs and, darn it, the same raised monitor cut down my view of the pointy end. I’m sure this one could be adjusted too. Just ask.
On this particular 90, a big lounge is next to the helm, inviting guests to curl up and watch the scenery. Because the forward half of the bridge is protected by a fiberglass hardtop, this really isn’t a sun pad, but, for sun worshippers, a large padded sprawl area is aft next to the spa.
Under the hardtop on the port side is an outdoor kitchen-cum-wet-bar, with a granite counter and bar top, five permanent stools and, for knocking out steaks and burgers, a large electric grill plus fridge, sink and stowage.
Opposite is a large (and beautifully crafted) teak table with wraparound seating. A tinted venturi windscreen protects seated guests from the breeze, and the hardtop shades them from the sun.
On this 90, the spa is just abaft the hardtop so it can be used to enjoy the stars in the evening, but, for sun protection, “sails” are supported by sturdy and removable oversize stanchions. Aft and to port is a Nautical Structures 1750 crane, leaving enough of the 22-foot beam for a tender or rows of water toys. That boat deck, by the way, stretches aft to shade the cockpit, with its settee across the transom and another teak table. It’s a bad habit of mine, looking into usually unseen areas, but I poked my head under the table and found it was just as perfectly varnished as the top. Seems like a sure indicator of quality when a builder spends the time to make unseen areas just as good as the more visible ones.
Speaking of quality, the engine room is most impressive, from the neatly loomed wiring to the tidy manifolds to the glossy gelcoated bilges. Power on the 90 is a pair of MTU 10V 2000s, each putting out 1,920 hp and propelling our test boat to a top speed of 22-plus knots. Standard gensets are twin 32 kW Kohlers.
Of note is the standard OctoPlex electrical monitoring and control system, which gives users fingertip control of all the AC and DC power from virtually anywhere on the yacht. One item that captains will appreciate is the oil-change system for both mains and generators from a 45-gallon lube-oil tank.
There are a variety of optional arrangements for the Ocean Alexander 90 including several three- and four-stateroom layouts, and an enclosed sky lounge in place of the open bridge.
Standing on the dock after exploring the 90, I had one thought: This is a 110-footer in a 90-foot package. That’s pretty amazing.