The yard behind the Ocean Explorer OE60 luxury performance catamaran is right next to Nautor’s Swan in Jakobstad, Finland: they have a real pedigree in building high performance yachts with oodles of style. And the designer? None other than German Frers who are behind the Swan 54, 60 and 78 among others.
The OE60 is the first model in a range that will go up to 78ft. This is their entry level boat, so they are aiming at the top end of the market. If you are looking for something smaller you might want to check out our ITA 14.99 review or take a look at the HH55. The 60 continues with the traditions of all of those performance boats from the Lagoon 67 and others that aim to match speed and comfort over long distances.
This boat is full of carbon to make it stiff, light and strong, with a full carbon rig and an option of a full carbon hull as well. Dual helm stations aft complete a package that is a no-compromise sailor’s yacht designed for maximum feel on the water.
Forget Hygge, that Danish word that got so much press a couple of years back—there’s a New Finnish word in town for cosy and that’s kalsarikannit – because that’s exactly what the saloon of this luxury cat feels like. The nav station on the forward port side of the saloon, with push button controls to all of the main controls is a real Wow Factor.
Nav station? It’s more like a Bridge.
The saloon has sweeping all round views, and access to the foredeck is through a watertight door. You’ll be managing the halyards from here.
Even though this yacht has aft helms (like some of those classic custom boats such as the Azizam catamaran from JFA), the visibility is excellent through the windows of that coach roof. The galley has an island that runs along the port side and opposite is the dining area. The whole space opens up into the aft cockpit area to make a large living space.
That’s the other benefit of those aft helms of course. If you love your Nautitechs and Catanas, you are going to love it: it’s a super luxury version of this type of layout.
You can opt for an Owner’s Stateroom in an entire hull, or you can brief in up to five double cabins. There’s also a choice of down-galley in the hull or up-galley in the main living area up top. Down below, all cabins have their own heads with separate showers.
The Ocean Explorer has good green credentials too with plenty of options including solar panels, regenerating prop, electric propulsion and black water treatment systems.
The finish on this catamaran is on a similar level to Swan – top of the class in other words.
Frers are famous for designing yachts with beautiful lines – and they have achieved this with this elegant catamaran. She looks sleek and powerful from most angles, although that cut away in the coach roof around the mast is an acquired taste. Let’s just call it quirky, shall we? She’ll stand out next to any boat.
I personally love the aft helms for that monohull feel. Let’s face it, if the weather turns nasty you are going to be tucked into that amazing nav station up front all warm and dry. The forward cockpit is a great area for manning halyards and standing watch in better weather too.
With that spreader-less rig (carbon option), she cuts a clean profile on the water. There are options for a spreader rig for a more powerful sail plan and a rotating mast too. She has a boom vang too which you don’t often see on cats this size.
And with her C-foils, reduced weight and powerful sail plan she’s fast alright, right up there in Gunboat territory which I guess is still the benchmark in this corner of the catamaran market. She’s clocked 27 knots going over the Atlantic- plenty enough for most of us.
And with her retractable keels and rudders she’ll get right into those skinny water anchorages.
The genoa and self tacking solent are on electric furlers and you are free to run your downwind sails off the bowsprit. There are neat little details everywhere- the tension of the stay on the stay sail can be adjusted with a hydraulic control, for example. The genoa comes into its own when you are off the wind or on longer crossings.
Because this is a Frers, this is a sailor’s boat. Those helms give you full visibility of the sails and optimum feeling at the wheel.
All the sheets run aft and the controls are accessed on the helm control panel – raising and lowering the daggerboards, adjusting the traveller, forestay and sheet adjustments are all controlled from here. She’s been set up so that 2 people can easily manage her long distance sailing.
The dual 80 HP Yanmars will push you along at up to 10 knots in calm conditions. Back them off to 2100 rpm and you should comfortably hit 7 knots, or just alternate between port and starboard for even more efficiency.
The Ocean Explorer OE60 catamaran is right up there on the top table of luxury performance catamarans. The finish is Swan quality and she’s been designed with sailors in mind with some deceptively simple touches that make her easy to handle for a short-handed crew.
You will need deep pockets, however. Price is on application and will depend on the kind of options you go for, but to give you an idea, a 2017 OE60 (“Cygnus Cygnus”) was on the market at the time of publication for €3.25 m.
Less than a Gunboat, but more than an Outremer 5X in other words. Start saving.