Making its debut at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show, the Ocean Alexander 70 Evolution motoryacht brings a new look to the company’s line and is the first Ocean Alexander to be powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS1200 900-horsepower IPS pod drives. Designed by Evan K. Marshall and assembled in a state-of-the-art facility in Merritt Island, Florida, utilizing the latest in yacht construction technology, the 70 Evolution embodies a new evolution within the yacht manufacturer's product line. The Florida plant enables the manufacturer to be close to the epicenter of activity for this size and type of yacht. Conceived as an owner/operator yacht, with numerous remote operation features, the 70E is offered with an optional crew berth and head.
- CZone Monitoring System with iPad Interface
- Flying Bridge with Hardtop
- Standard hydraulic hi-low swimstep platform
- Four staterooms plus an optional crew berth
- Volvo Penta 1200 900-horsepower IPS pod drive
- Northern Lights 20 kW generator
- Foredeck arranged for entertaining
|Length Overall||71' 6'' / 21.8 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||9.1 sec.|
|0 to 30||11.4 sec.|
|Load||3 persons, 5/8 fuel, 3/4 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||76 deg., 82 humid.; wind: 15-20 mph; seas: 2|
2 x 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS 1200
2 x 1000-hp Volvo Penta IPS1350
- Major Key Features
- Exterior Inspection
- Aft Deck and Side Decks
- Flying Bridge
- Interior Inspection
- Lower Helm
- Master Stateroom
- VIP Stateroom
- Guest Cabins
- Engine Room
The Ocean Alexander 70E weighs in at 78,000 lbs. (35,380 kg) with a maximum draft of 5’ (1.52 m). From the entry into the main salon, the sight line extends through the yacht out to the bow, providing a feeling of expanse and openness. Capable of sleeping up to eight guests, plus the option of accommodating one crew member, the 70E is designed for an owner who enjoys captaining his own yacht for weekend and extended cruising from the home base, with enough living and entertaining space for family and friends onboard.
With owner operation in mind, the Ocean Alexander 70E provides ease in docking with its Volvo Penta IPS drive system. In fact, many of her features are specifically designed and tailored with owner operation in mind. This allows the 70E "get up and go" flexibility to enjoy weekend and extended cruises without the added logistics of a crew onboard. Because she is ruggedly constructed, has remarkably efficient fin stabilizers, and is built for sea-going cruising, an owner need not be particularly concerned with the weather when casting off. Whether a short hop to a nearby destination, or an excursion hundreds of miles away, the 70E combines ease of operation with the size and accommodations to comfortably enjoy a passage in most conditions.
When we compare the Ocean Alexander 70E with other 70-footers in class, we see that she is one of the lightest at 78,000 lbs. (35,380 kg) dry. This indicates that great care has been taken in her construction to make sure that all state-of-the-art measures have been taken to make this yacht as efficient as possible. This will pay off in reduced fuel consumption at cruising speeds and a higher WOT speed given its twin 900-hp Volvo Penta IPS1200 engines.
Pod Drives. We rarely see pod drives in motoryachts this large but they have a number of advantages. Not only are they more efficient than conventional straight shaft drives, but by eliminating the rudder needed for traditional drives, they make the boat much more maneuverable at low speeds when a rudder has little effect. In large following seas offshore they give the captain much greater positive control. At the dock, of course, they make the joystick possible.
Her beam of 18’2” (5.49 m) is right in the middle of the range we find in yachts of this size and type. The 70E has 16” symmetrical side decks which make moving forward easy yet still allows a large living area inside on the main deck.
Interior Woodwork. The interior treatment of bulkheads and cabinetry is modern and we like the exotic horizontal wood grain treatment which makes the boat look larger than it really is and is a pleasant departure from the vertical wood grain treatment that we usually see. Particularly noteworthy are the rounded corners that are not only practical but add elegance to the interior.
Standard Equipment. Also noteworthy is her long list of standard equipment. This includes a hydraulic swim platform, flying bridge hardtop, the IPS drives mentioned above with joystick, plus much more. Like all other Ocean Alexander motoryachts, this vessel is designed to be sea-going as well as being a large entertainment platform.
Major Key Features
Side Power Vector Fin Stabilization System. An innovative optional feature of the 70E are her stabilizers, which unlike standard fins are convex in shape, providing a greater degree of lift off of her center of gravity while also reducing sway. This better suits the hull form of the 70E and improves both stability underway, as well as at anchor.
Standard, larger fins provide more stabilization force, but also create more drag which results in a higher fuel consumption as speed increases, and a slightly lower top end. Larger fins also require larger internal components, making it difficult to install them in an optimal position, which in turn can result in the stabilizers having negative side-effects, like causing yaw and sway.
This new design has created a simple solution to the problem, which, according to Ocean Alexander, has an appreciable and positive result in the yacht’s performance. The benefit in efficiency and reduced side-effects makes this design particularly ideal for the 70E, for performance, fuel efficiency and a reduction in the size of components.
CZone Monitoring System with iPad Interface. Wireless interface technology allows an IPad to monitor and control the 70E's electrical systems and hotel services. A graphic user interface (GUI) application, which can be customized, is easy to read and intuitive, allows fast and easy control and monitoring of all the vessel’s electrical systems, starting from the Mode of Operation bar on the home page of the application.
Below this are sections for monitoring and preferred controls, that are linked to a graphic of the vessel displaying information for electrical loads and scrolling through these views updates the monitoring and control features above. The display also provides full integration of onboard power electronics including battery charger and inverter control, plus monitoring of battery banks, tanks and system alarms.
This system goes back to one of the important owner/operator advantages that the 70E provides, freedom to move about the yacht while having the convenience of controlling its functions.
Expansive Fly Bridge with Hardtop. The fly bridge of the 70E encompasses over half of the yacht's LOA, as the overall length of the flybridge is 40' (exterior), the inside dimensions (walkable space) is 11'5" x 25'6" without fiberglass cabinets or seating in place. This can be seen depicted in the deck plan below. This affords a gathering area suitably commensurate to compliment her eight passenger sleeping capacity with room to spare.
Beyond the helm station's two Stidd mechanical seats are a bar area, sun pad, outdoor galley and grill, and dining settee, with both access to the aft cockpit as well as the main salon and galley. The fly bridge of the 70E incorporates the amenities one would seek in an owner/operator yacht where entertaining is a priority.
Standard Hydraulic Hi-Low Swim Platform. The 1,000 lb. (454 kg) capacity of the hydraulic swim platform provides both the needed space and carrying capacity for a versatile tender as well as ease of entry into the water. In addition, an option to stow the tender on the fly bridge is provided, allowing the opportunity to house a PWC on the platform.
Four Staterooms Plus an Optional Crew Berth. Two unique features of the 70E is that she not only offers an optional transom crew berth, but enjoys four staterooms on the accommodation deck. This provides her the versatility to sleep up to eight in private staterooms. The fourth stateroom, after the master, VIP, and guest berths, consists of single over-under bunk beds. This adds to the 70E's character as a family yacht, making careful consideration of space efficiency and function.
Exterior Inspection and Features by Function
The 70E is constructed at Merritt Island Boat Works in Merritt Island, Florida. In January 2015, Hull #1 of the 70E was launched there. The 70E hulls are infused under a vacuum to create a 60/40 glass to resin ratio which is state-of-the-art and creates relatively lightweight hulls with maximum strength.
The hulls are then moved to the production line where there are three stations. As can be seen in the image below, construction personnel can move quickly from a mezzanine floor to the boat to save time and motion while installing the yacht’s interior components. All furniture, joiner work and upholstery is made on site and transferred to the mezzanine when it is time for installation. Once complete, the yacht is launched at the facility for preliminary sea trials, and then returned into the facility for installation of electronics and finishing details.
Aft Deck and Side Decks.
The owner can have the entirety of the weather decks upgraded to teak, however, teak is standard on the swim step and on the steps from the swim step to aft deck. The aft cockpit has a forward facing settee with a teak table, which, when chairs are added, comfortably seats six for dining. A day galley with a sink and refrigerator, with a Cambria stone surface is to starboard, while the steps to the fly bridge are to port.
Side deck access to the foredeck leads both to port and starboard with the cockpit IPS joystick control to starboard. Owner/operators will appreciate this feature when backing into a slip. The side decks provide 16” of walkway between the cabin side and the 30” high bulwark.
Foredeck. The foredeck is clean and unobstructed, in order to provide a sun pad and lounge with a settee and table, with an optional sun shade.
As mentioned, the fly bridge is the most expansive exterior gathering space of the 70E, and where a majority of her outdoor entertainment takes place. Ascending from the aft deck, there is a surrounding stainless steel railing encircling the lower access as well as topside around the stairwell.
Aft is the sun pad and seating area, which, with the central section removed. It can be made into a vast settee, where up to eight to ten guests can be seated comfortably. Moreover, during the day with the sun pad in place, this is a logical area to enjoy the sun and work on a tan.
In the boat we inspected, to port was the “day galley,” with Cambria stone solid surface top, 24" Electri-Chef 316 stainless steel electric grill, refrigerator and ice box along with cupboard storage, with a 50" LCD retracting TV in the overhead above. The solid surface counter has enough space for meal preparation. The bar surface is also Cambria stone, and has two bar stools and storage beneath the bar. Ocean Alexander manufactures and provides all of the covers for the bar stools, seats and cushions, which are conveniently stowed on the bridge.
The dining settee has a teak table, and provides a setting for getting out of the sun beneath the hardtop without having to leave the bridge.
The twin Stidd mechanical helm seats are located forward on the centerline for what is a completely unobstructed view from which to operate the yacht. Twin 19" Garmin multifunction displays are mounted just above the Venturi windscreen, allowing the owner/operator all of the necessary functions and controls.
A large stainless-steel destroyer wheel is standard. This is where the CZone iPad interface comes in handy, for if any function of the yacht below the bridge needs adjustment -- suppose air conditioning settings, for example -- it could be performed remotely from the helm without having to leave the bridge. If need be, however, convenient and immediate access down to the main salon and galley is accessed just to port of the captain's chair.
The flying bridge of the 70E is well thought out. At anchor or at the dock, it provides all of the necessary requirements for entertaining aboard a yacht of this caliber. Due to its deck space being nearly 60% of the yacht's length and taking advantage of most of its breadth, it allows an unimpeded area for gathering.
Noteworthy is the fact that there is access to the flying bridge from both inside the main cabin and from the aft deck.
Interior Inspection and Features by Function
Immediately noticeable upon entry into the salon from the aft deck is the unobstructed view through the entire interior to the windshield. This is a design that most consumers prefer these days, rather than having a lower helm station that is sectioned off with a bulkhead.
One very convenient feature for entering the salon, is the foot switch, that when activated, automatically opens the salon door. When the owner is bringing aboard luggage, groceries or gear, there's no requirement to put them down to open the door. Once inside, the door then closes automatically without any further activation.
The salon has an L-shaped settee to starboard with a coffee table and Cambria stone surfaced console for storage. To port are a sofa with end tables. There is a 50" LCD television with satellite receiver flush mounted in the overhead, that when lowered, provides exceptional viewing from both the settee and sofa. The enlarged windows in the salon covers the majority of the vertical area, providing unimpeded outside light and maximum visibility. The salon is carpeted and as an option, comes in wood decking like that seen leading forward into the galley.
From the general response at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show, the galley of the 70E received extremely high marks for its design, layout, appointments and finish, according to the folks at Ocean Alexander. That is an important statement because the galley on the Evolution is larger and more centrally located than most others we have seen on this size of motoryacht.
Encompassing the breadth of the yacht amidships to both the port and starboard sides, the galley allows not only a generous area for meal preparation, but a place to dine at its serving bar as well. There are Cambria stone surfaces and backsplash, stainless steel appliances and rich, wood cabinetry that all complement each other. A 24” Jenn-Air wine cooler is offered as an option. Forward is the dining settee, surrounded on two sides by the side and forward windows.
One feature of the cabinetry, which is manufactured at the Merritt Island Boatworks facility, is the pull-out storage for the signature Ocean Alexander china and dinnerware - where all glassware and dishes are conveniently stowed within fold-out drawers.
Standard galley appliances include:
• 36" Jenn-Air Refrigerator
• 30" Jenn-Air Microwave
• 30" Jenn-Air electric induction cooktop
• Whirlpool garbage disposal
• 30" Jenn-Air Electric convection oven
• Bosch Dishwasher
• 15" Jenn-Air trash compactor
• Under-mounted Franke sink with Franke pull-out faucet
As an upgrade, a Seagull water purifier can be installed.
The aforementioned dining settee lies just forward of the galley enjoying the panoramic view created by its position in conjunction with the forward and side windows.
For a yacht designed with an owner/operator in mind, the helm station is ergonomic, compact and functional. To port of the dining settee, it provides the IPS joystick control, a Stidd mechanical seat and destroyer wheel, in addition to a Garmin navigation package consisting of:
• 8500 Series Black Box with Two 19" screens
• GRID remote input device in the arm of the Stidd seat
• 12 kW open array radar
• VHF, card reader, AIS and NMEA GPS
• Viewing capability via cameras of the aft deck and engine room
For foul weather visibility, Pantograph windshield wipers and washers with intermittent function operate independently at both the port and starboard windscreens.
The stairwell and access to the accommodation deck is to port of the helm, and leads below. There, in the passageway, a washer and dryer are located.
The most noteworthy features of the master stateroom are the port and starboard hull side picture windows which measure 7'2" (2.18 m) in length by 2'8" (0.81 m) in height. They are custom engineered "sandwich glass" construction, allowing 38% greater visibility and incoming light. These are among the largest hullside windows we have seen in this size motoryacht.
The full king size bed is independently coiled with his and her sections to ensure minimal transfer of movement. To starboard of the bed is a dresser and to port is a chaise lounge with a desk. The walk-in cedar-lined master closet has glass facing drawers, which are lighted, making for an elegant, practical feature.
There is an LCD 32" television above the day bureau and the cabin is equipped with surround sound, including a subwoofer. As an upgrade, a second set of chest of drawers can be installed in lieu of the chaise lounge.
Accessed on the port side is the owner's head, which is appointed in wood and granite, and employs HansGrohe faucets at both the sink and in the shower stall. The shower stall is made in one molded piece which provides long term protection against moisture and water intrusion behind the shower panels.
The shower door utilizes "crystal clear" glass custom made for Ocean Alexander. The proprietary "Crystal Shower" is custom made for Ocean Alexander and provides superior transparency and reflectivity with "minimalist transparent water strips"
Typically, forward VIP staterooms offer little on which to accentuate or elaborate on due to the confines of a narrowly-defined space. Nevertheless, the 70E’s designers were able to fit the stateroom with a queen-sized island berth. Pains have been taken to make sure that there is lots of storage in this stateroom with compartments and drawers installed wherever possible.
There are port and starboard hanging lockers, an A/V system with an LCD 32" television, two large portlight and an overhead hatch. Though not as large as those found in the master suite, the hull side windows in the VIP cabin illuminate the space with natural light along with an overhead opening portlight. There is also an abundance of artificial lighting augmenting the natural light. The exotic wood paneling with rounded corners and horizontal wood grain works particularly well in the VIP, making it seem larger than it is and by eliminating sharp, angular corners makes the space more comfortable as well.
The 70E provides two additional guest cabins along with a guest head accessed from the companionway, which also serves as the day head. The first of the guest cabins in a twin arrangement, and by incorporating the fourth cabin with over and under bunks, the 70E conveniently sleeps up to eight. The guest cabins are finished and appointed to the same quality as the owner and VIP staterooms, and both also have hull side windows for natural light, storage for two guests each and an A/V system, with an LCD 24" television in the twin cabin.
Crew Cabin. As an option, the 70E offers a crew berth, which is accessed from the transom hatch and lies aft of the engine room. In lieu of this berth is added stern storage. This option includes an oversized twin bed, shower, water closet and sink, and allows the owner/operator the flexibility to invite a captain, engineer, deck hand or stew for an extended passage, which could be considered helpful, especially with eight guests on board. Access to the engine space is through this compartment.
The engine room houses the two Volvo Penta IPS1200 diesel engines and two Czone with 20 kW Northern Lights generators, along with the required auxiliary equipment. Future Ocean Alexander boats will have Octoplex with Kohler 23 kW. There is 6’ (1.83 m) of standing headroom in the space, helping to make entry, inspection and maintenance unencumbered. The 70E carries 1,040 gallons (3,937 L) of fuel and 300 gallons (1,136 L) of water. Her holding tank capacity is 100 gallons (378 L).
The Ocean Alexander 70E has a LOA of 70’6” (21.49m), a beam of 18’2" (5.54 m) and a draft of 5’ (1.52 m). With an empty weight of just over 69,000 lbs. (31,297 kg), 63% fuel and three people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 75,411 lbs. (34,206 kg).
With a pair of 900-hp IPS1200s powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 26.7 kts at 2350 rpm. Not surprisingly, with the efficiency of the IPS drives, that top speed translated to .03 nmpg and that number stayed consistent down to 1750 rpm and 15.7 knots where the fuel burn of 45 gph translated into a range of just over 327 nm.
She handles quite well with excellent stability. Her heavyweight helps her to remain relatively flat during turns and she has excellent control authority even at low speeds.
With only mild chop we really can’t comment on how she would handle in significant sea conditions, but the conditions that we did have still told the story of a boat that remains remarkably stable regardless of the directions the seas were coming from. She carves nicely through the water with a stately effect of a much larger yacht and we had little wind from the open helm of the flying bridge.
But as this boat targets the owner/operator, her handling around the dock is more significant.
Being a pod driven boat, we really didn’t expect any adverse characteristics, and didn’t find any either. We backed her right down the narrow confines of the marina with just the cockpit joystick and she was predictable and easy to control. Once in, we could have easily caught a line and tied her up single handed, and that speaks to her ability to be handled by a cruising couple with minimal or even no crew.
Having set out to be an owner/operator luxury American made yacht, the 70E offers much more than that. Her construction and engineering, are rigorous and exacting, creating a seaworthy hull that can be taken nearly anywhere in most conditions, just like the larger motoryachts in the Ocean Alexander line.
There is an all-new look in the interior with the exotic joinery treatment with horizontal wood grain and rounded bulkhead corners, set this yacht apart from most others in class. With the ease and convenience of her IPS drives, something that is quite unusual in this size of motoryacht, she allows her owner to set out at will.