Brazilian builder Okean came out swinging with a contemporary styled 50-footer that quickly got the attention of the industry vets at HMY Yacht Sales, who subsequently backed them in the States. With the 50’s initial success, Okean could’ve built a line of handsome, semidisplacement boats in varying LOAs based on her brief. But the boat I was standing on, the Okean 55 Sport, goes in an altogether different design direction.
“This is the ultimate dayboat,” said boatbuilder Nercio Fernandes as we slowly made our way toward the Port Everglades Inlet. From my vantage point just aft of the starboard-side helm—enjoying the breeze that came freely between the low, raked windshield and carbon fiber hardtop—I had to agree. Both the open deck space and the area protected by its hardtop are varied, commodious and take full advantage of her 15-foot, 6-inch beam.
Two amidships, aft-facing sunpads—with another bench/sunpad just forward of the 55’s open stern—flank a centerline galley, with a grill, cooktop, wet bar, icemaker and refrigerator. I imagined searing ahi steaks here and looking aft at a half-dozen friends seated comfortably for an alfresco lunch, with room for eight more sunbathers on her foredeck. Have 10 more friends that want to join? No problem—L-shaped seating under the hardtop will fit them with room to spare.
A flick of a few switches opens her up even more—literally. Like the 50, the 55 Sport has hydraulic side coamings that, once deployed, give the vessel over 6 more feet of beam on balconies flush with the swim platform and the above decks area. “It’s like a villa on the sea,” Fernandes said. The balconies—combined with her open stern—offer a beach club rivaled only by much larger vessels.
Once we reached the Atlantic, I found the 55 to be a vigorous performer, the Volvo Penta Electronic Vessel Control system suite—twin IPS800 pod drives, smooth-shifting electronic throttles, fly-by-wire steering and a joystick—ideally matched to the 55’s moderate-V hull. Sightlines are excellent in all directions. She tracked beautifully, leaning hard and steady into 27-knot turns with no loss in rpm, and the Zipwake dynamic trim obviated the need to tinker with the tabs.
The waters just off Ft. Lauderdale were quite busy. Dozens of vessels moved about and left steep, 3- to 4-footers in their wakes. The 55 handled the confused seas well, with nary a squeak; this is a solidly built vessel. With the pins down, we saw an average two-way speed of 32 knots, pretty respectable given the conditions and our full load of fuel and water, plus six on board.
Brand Manager Arthur Grin mentioned that subsequent models will have a solid hardtop—the small, fixed windows on hull number one serve little purpose. It will match well with the 55 Coupe—an $85,600 upgrade that includes full glass enclosures on three sides with aft, stainless-steel sliding doors and more BTUs for the salon’s air conditioning.
I applaud Okean’s other variations on the theme, including three optional belowdecks layouts; our test boat had a queen berth in her forepeak and a split head and shower. A couple would be comfortable and cozy on the hook.
But I feel like more accommodations here robs the 55 of its raison d’être: A very stylish, capable dayboat, chasing megayachts on the Med or photobombing a paparazzo’s clandestine shutter clicks. —Jeff Moser
Displ.: 38,580 lbs.
Fuel: 502 gal.
Water: 119 gal.
Standard Power: 2/600-hp Volvo Penta D8-IPS800
Price: $1.37 million
Cruise Speed: 24 knots
Top Speed: 32 knots