Omikron Yachts' new 18-metre motor boat OT-60 inspired by sailing

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All images: Studio Reskos

The Greek god of the sea: test driving Omikron Yachts’ new 18m OT-60

27 June 2024 • Written by Holly Margerrison

Olympic Marine's young brand Omikron Yachts draws on the shipyard's rich history of building and repairing sailing boats to deliver an 18.4-metre cruiser known as the OT-60. Holly Margerrison heads to Athens to trial the Greek yard's first production model, inspired by the calm lifestyle of sailing...

“How are you in choppy waters?” Not a question you want to be asked the day before your first sea trial. My mind flashes to an encounter on a small sailing yacht a few years back and the feelings of nausea, sweaty palms and my quickening heartbeat are palpable again. Where were my sea bands when I needed them?

When the Greek coastguard announces it is too dangerous for us to board the yacht due to high winds, we are shooed into cars and driven across the island while the yacht is manoeuvred into a more sheltered bay.

Whether or not it is to distract us from the gale or to give us a lesson in the gravity of the Greek gods, the Omikron staff detour to the ancient Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. It’s not lost on me that Poseidon is the Greek god of the sea – presiding over the ocean, storms, earthquakes and horses – and here we are, at the ruins of his temple, practically begging for calmer waters.

I feel battered and beaten by the elements, but just as we reach the top of the hill, the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula, someone points to the OT-60 rounding the coastline. There she is – a smooth sailer with a sharp, narrow raked bow that rides over the waves undeterred by Poseidon’s wrath.

The yacht's steadiness puts me at ease as I step on board. There is little tug as the boat departs from the harbour and the engine has such a low hum that I barely notice we’re moving. Boarding from the stern, I am surprised to find that despite its narrow beam, the boat does not feel claustrophobic or tight. The beach club in particular feels vast and perfectly primed for family days at the water’s edge; the swim platform houses the tender, the BBQ awaits its guests and the outdoor saloon boasts a spacious dining area with tables that can be transformed into sunpads.

Stepping inside, the interior does wonders for calming my buzzy brain. Had there been fussy fabrics, loud colours and too many things going on at once, the interior would’ve made my insides fizz. Instead, I am met with cream and coffee colourways and materials that radiate calm, from the textured sofas and light wood surfaces to the butter-soft leather pilot seats.

The saloon whispers this same understated, ergonomic design, with everything tucked away neatly. You could easily miss the small galley and its sink, fridge and storage, not to mention the pop-up TV. With the aft saloon windows lifted up, designer Lorenzo Argento has created an easy-going indoor-outdoor lifestyle between spaces.

I’m invited to step up to the helm to drive for a while. The joystick is gentle and easy to handle, even in choppier waters. This is the first time I feel the swell of the water and I can now appreciate how, when in motion, the yacht works in harmony with the sea with little to no roll. To make docking easier, there is a bow thruster joystick hidden in the stern sofa.

Both the movement of the boat and its long bowsprit with an anchor pocket are reminiscent of sailing boats. Further sailing references are felt in the layout and large windows that encircle the deckhouse, offering 360-degree visibility. Even below deck, the 18 metre feels voluminous with an open-concept, double-deck height annexe between the cabins, where guests can make use of the galley and indoor dining arrangement. Partnered with natural light from skylights and hull windows, two-metre head heights are sure to quash any claustrophobe’s fears.

It seems as though the shipyard is targeting those who want to tap into a sailing lifestyle without the hassle. Omikron’s chairman, Nikolas Dendrinos says: “It’s designed for people that like sailing but they cannot find all the people to go sailing with. [The OT-60] is very close to a sailing mentality. But it’s also for experienced motor boat owners and potential catamaran owners because the OT-60 has a lot of space and volume, and it’s very wide for its size. It’s much better in bad weather than a catamaran.”

The yacht’s Eco-Cruise hull, made to measure by designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, lightens the composite by up to a third in the upper parts of the vessel. Her eco-cruising capabilities are impressive, covering a considerable 1,000 nautical miles at eight knots and consuming just 1.25 litres per mile. If you’re doing a long passage, you can save more fuel by sailing 1,000 miles with one engine at seven knots.

The yard’s CEO Vassilis Priftis talks me through the technical details: “All the hull is vacuum infused, which is an advanced construction method to make it very lightweight. On top of that, all the superstructure is made from carbon to help reduce the weight and give it a low centre of gravity, which helps a lot with the rolling and the fuel efficiency.”

Omikron’s project manager Konstantinos Stamatopoulos explains: “We have a resin-to-fibre ratio of 30 per cent resin to 70 per cent fibre, which is optimal. Traditional construction is the opposite, but this would mean more than three tonnes of extra weight in this boat, which you would have to carry without any added benefits.”

With three units already built, hull four nearing completion and delivery scheduled for hulls five and six by the end of the year, it’s easy to understand why the OT-60 is a popular model. She’s easy to handle and is deceptively lightweight; she may have even converted me to a sailing lifestyle. Poseidon may have ruled the sea for centuries, but he'd better watch out. There’s a new Greek god in town, and it’s conquering his waters.

Omikron Yachts' OT-60 motor yacht
LOA: 18.40 m (60.4 ft)
Beam: 6.00 m (19.7 ft)
Draft: 0.9 m (2.8 ft)
Light Displacement Engines: 18.5 t (40,800 lb) 2  150 HP or 2  250 HP
Fuel: 1200 Lt (317 US gal)
Fresh Water: 600 Lt (158 US gal)
Max Speed: 16 knots
Range Certification: 1000 NM @ 8 kn CE A-12 / C-30
Interior and exterior design: Lorenzo Argento
Styling: Ciarmoli Queda Studio

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