Step on board the Okean 50X with Arnie Hammerman and explore the 15 metre motor yacht designed by Paolo Ferragni...
I like gadgets, but not the kind that are just for show. I like the kind that do something special. The wing-like retractable side balconies on the Brazilian-built Okean 50X immediately catch the eye. But which variety are they? I need to find out more.
Arthur Grin, Okean brand manager at HMY Yacht Sales, interrupts my contemplation. He steps forward, opens tray-like compartments in the teak deck and gently folds the stainless-steel stanchions down. The rails stowed, he pushes a button activating the hydraulics and the side balconies gently retract and become part of the gunwales. It’s impressive. This is not just a gizmo, it is a functional system that adds breadth to the open aft deck.
Loose furniture accented in bright blue complements the grey Sunbrella seating that makes this an ideal party spot or a place to relax. With its expansive 6.27-metre beam, this deck is reminiscent of much larger yachts: Italian designer Paolo Ferragni has combined functionality with a contemporary look.
“Our motto is “Open up your world,’” says Luis Henrique Ferreira, the marketing director of Okean. “It is a play on the way the balconies open the deck, but also because the boats can deliver you to another place – ideally to another state of mind. We promote the escape.”
It’s easy to see how the boat delivers on the premise. Grin opens the stainless-steel and glass folding doors that connect the saloon to an outdoor galley and wet bar, complete with bar stools – it is located at a transition point where it can equally serve the open aft deck or the interior space. The saloon has contemporary finishes with contrasting wood laminates, lounge seats with textured cloth and engineered stone surfaces atop the cabinets. It’s wrapped in glass – interrupted only by narrow mullions – and there is incredible visibility both from the black-leather centre helm and the surrounding seating. A feeling of openness permeates the whole space.
“The boats are extremely customisable,” says Grin. “Some prefer the galley forward or down, which can easily be accomplished. The enclosed area of the cabin can even move further back to create additional interior space.”
Sample panels show a variety of finish options. The Graphite finish on board consists of grey, black and white fabrics, counters and panels and a contrasting light-wood veneer with a dark-wood stripe. Other options with warmer wood colours are Teka and Oak. Floating teak and stainless steps lead to the open flybridge. Perched up here the view is 360 degrees and, despite the height, an unmistakable connection to the surrounding water remains.
A single helm seat provides access to the wheel and controls housed in a stylised pod. We fire up the twin Volvo Penta D8 IPS 700s and talk from the L-shaped seating as we work our way out to more open water. “The boat is designed to be fast and fun for day cruises at 25-plus knots but can also run at trawler speeds for increased range and fuel economy,” Ferreira says. “We call this Duo Mode.”
In the open water of Biscayne Bay, I ease the throttles forward and the Okean 50X comes on to plane. Manoeuvring at over 20 knots I make sharp turns in two to three boat lengths. The boat leans into the turns but pops back up promptly and accelerates quickly as I straighten out. We hit a top speed in excess of 26 knots and Grin and Ferreira say she can go faster with a clean bottom. We cruise comfortably at 20 knots where I calculate a range of over 200 nautical miles.
The Okean 50X satisfies an affinity for useful gadgets, transforming from a stylish trawler to an entertaining day boat. Fold-down balconies, extensive saloon windows and open spaces on all the decks create a constant connection to the water. Three cabins including a full-beam master, queen VIP, and two heads add to the versatility. She delivers flexibility and flair in one neat package.
This feature is taken from the August 2020 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.