Most boat owners develop ideas about what his or her own dream boat looks like. Naval architect John “Jack” Leek was no different. But unlike most boat owners, he actually built the boat of his dreams.
A member of a multigenerational New Jersey boatbuilding family and an avid angler himself, Leek created a classic sportfishing boat design in 1977 and used the resources of his own company to build it. Now, more than 40 years later, Leek’s firm, Ocean Yachts, is still building boats on the South Jersey Shore.
Leek was first and foremost a sportfishing boat designer. By the late 1970s, he’d already started two other Jersey-based fishboat manufacturing companies of renown: Egg Harbor and Pacemaker. He then branched off on his own once again and founded Ocean Yachts with his sons, John and Ralph.
The 40 Super Sport was Leek’s dream boat, and the company’s groundbreaking flagship. A sleek-styled production sportfishing machine with a 26-knot top-end, it featured a long list of standard equipment that included everything from air conditioning to a cockpit fish freezer and an upscale interior with varnished teak joinery for both two-stateroom cabin layout options.
The cockpit, with its teak sole, had room for a fighting chair and fishing amenities such as a transom door, outriggers, fish boxes, a tackle locker and bait-prep station. The flybridge helm, with its large enclosure, was strategically placed to maximize the driver’s sightlines.
Riding on a modified-V hull, the 40-foot, 2-inch LOA boat was powered by twin 410-hp 6-71 Detroit diesels, which delivered a cruise speed in the 21- to 23-knot range. Fuel capacity was a hefty 450 gallons.
The 40 Super Sport was the first of many popular sportfishing models Ocean Yachts would go on to build. Over the years, the boats have earned a reputation for innovation and good design, and those attributes have made the 40 a popular catch among luxury yacht owners and tournament anglers.
This article was originally published in the March 2021 issue.