With about 4,600 miles of coastline and one of the largest populations of any country in the world, Brazil has been recognized as a potentially hot yacht market for American and European builders since the early aughts, when Goldman Sachs unleashed its BRIC thesis upon the world. Hype has since cooled around the concept — BRIC theory posited that by 2050, Brazil, Russia, India and China would be the world’s dominant economic powers — but interest in the Brazilian boating market has not. Enter Okean Yachts and its new 50, a Brazilian-built cruiser poised to put its builder on the map.
The Okean 50 is being treated as a trawler by some because of its dual-mode hull (more on that later), yet thanks to Italian yacht designer Paolo Ferragni, the yacht’s exterior is unlike most any trawler you’ve seen. The outer appearance includes 3-foot-1-inch-high windows that ring the yacht’s salon, making it appear as if she’s wearing Oakley Razor Blade sunglasses — a look made twice as strong by glazing with a reflective tint. I couldn’t help but think of Rickey Henderson patrolling the outfield with his staple look when I saw her on the docks in West Palm Beach, Florida, on test day.
But the boat doesn’t just make an impression with her looks. Her layout, particularly on the main deck, was a hit when she debuted stateside at the 2017 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and it’s plain to see why. Those windows allow as close to fully unobstructed salon views as I can recall seeing aboard a yacht, plus two hydraulic, foldout bulwarks lower to port and starboard. This act of oceangoing origami increases the Okean’s beam from 14 feet 7 inches to 20 feet 7 inches, making her an excellent party platform.
The paneled salon door aft folds to starboard, and another door to starboard slides open for access to the fold-down terrace. The windows in the aft galley to port also open, all of which creates a feeling of spaciousness and airiness that may very well set the bar for vessels in this class. My test boat is likely to garner lots of stares this summer when she plies the waters off Montauk, New York, her future home, and I’d guess that the yacht’s style and entertainment-friendly features will make her popular in South Florida, Miami in particular.
Although the 50 has a day-boat feel when she is fully open, she is still a motoryacht. She has a full-beam, amidships en suite master stateroom with an athwartships queen-size berth and headroom of 6 feet 3 inches. A vanity to port is beset with stowage areas, including a 4-foot-long-by-1-foot-wide-by-1-foot-7-inch-deep space tucked behind it that can handle larger items like extra sheets or paper towels. The master’s head has patterned-marble inlays in the shower, as does the day-head, which has a private entrance to the forepeak VIP. That VIP feels large for a boat this size, with 6 feet 11 inches of headroom. A third stateroom to port can have bunk beds or side-by-side twins (the only option for customization available on the accommodations level). Though my test boat had a washer and dryer in its lazarette, future versions will come standard with laundry equipment in this guest space, for easier access.
The amount of stowage on the accommodations level as well as the general roominess of the staterooms hint that this boat is designed for longer journeys. Indeed, Okean’s calling card (along with the foldout terraces) is its dual-mode hull. With twin 435 hp Volvo Penta IPS600s, the 50 can top out at 25 knots with the hammer down and cruise at around 20 knots as her engines burn 33 gph. This results in a range of 230 nautical miles with a 10 percent reserve. However, when you throttle her down to 1,000 rpm, she can cruise at 6 knots while sipping just 1.6 gph and achieve a range of 1,425 nautical miles, making her an excellent candidate for the Great Loop or some island hopping.
Besides offering flexibility when it comes to performance, the hull has an exceptionally soft ride. My blustery test day saw swells of up to 8 feet in Lake Worth Inlet, and the boat handled the turbulence well, climbing steadily up the faces of the waves before nuzzling gently into their troughs, again and again and again.
The Okean 50’s performance in the slop, coupled with her layout and variable cruising speeds, should make her stand out from the crowd. She has enough Brazilian flair to carve out her own niche in an American yachting market that’s always looking for something just a little bit different.
Take the next step by visiting Okean Yachts.