The line of shapeshifters from Okean Yachts is entering its fourth year in a competitive U.S. marketplace and seems to be hitting its stride. With each successive launch the builder has managed to stick to its original mission, offering open boats that push the brief forward. The latest in the Italian-designed and Brazilian-built model line, the 50X shares a hull with the Okean’s first 50-footer, but veers off to establish its own identity.
Yacht designer Paolo Ferragni has worked with Okean since the brand’s onset, drawing the semi-displacement hull—dubbed the “Duo Mode Hull”—with the goal of delivering a vessel that runs efficiently at trawler speeds but can also amble along at a comfortable cruise in the mid-20-knot range. Top speed, according to the company, is near 28 knots. Volvo Penta IPS drives seem to be the ideal match for the current model line, and the 50X follows suit, as a pair of 550-hp D8s provide power on hull number one; V-drives are also available with the same 7.7-liter iron from Sweden.
Ferragni’s exterior, conceived in concert with Okean founder Nercio Fernandes, retains the flybridge and deckhouse of the first 50, but shortens and pushes it forward nearly 4 feet, giving the 50X a more aggressive profile. It also gains an aft deck worthy of its X (for explorer, naturally) moniker. Sans hardtop, the boat keeps that powerful profile but leaves the helmsman and guests completely exposed on the flybridge; the optional ($9,450) bimini can be folded away when not in use.
With her gunmetal gray hull and jet black, slightly reverse-raked, carbon-fiber-accented deckhouse, she drew in passersby at last fall’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. But the aft deck is the star of this vessel. To quote Dale and Brennan from Step Brothers: “There’s so much room for activities!” The unobstructed space from the optional swim platform to the salon can be whatever you’d like, from water toy storage (a davit can be fitted to the transom) to a large beach club. Or, it can be fitted with dive tank storage for scuba enthusiasts.
Like Okean’s previous launches, the 50x was exhibited with the hydraulic gunwales open, expanding her beam exactly 6 feet to 20 feet, 7 inches. As I boarded, I noted movable furniture hither and yon and a neat little wet bar with a pair of stools under the flybridge overhang. A teak sole ran from stern to stem. While a small step led to the enclosed salon and aft galley (its sole is also teak but in a darker shade), it felt like one-level living. The salon’s leather and stainless accents lent a modern vibe and massive windows flooded the space with natural light.
I also liked the simple, functional single-seat helm, on centerline and all the way forward. (Nearby, a companionway leads below to three staterooms.) While sightlines from the helm appeared excellent in three directions, the ladder to the flybridge and wet bar obscured views aft; a wing station will get regular use for close quarters maneuvering when her flybridge is not an option.
Look for Okean to continue to push the design envelope with a few more launches in the months to come, including an 80-footer. Imagine the room for activities aboard that one.”
This article originally appeared in the July 2020 issue.