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Ocean Alexander 45 Divergence Boat review
The 45 Divergence is the distillate from 40 years of experience by yard known for its excellence in engineering and the quality finish of their Super Yachts. Tasked with a distillation process, the divergence team from Ocean Alexander have separated the critical elements of the marque and concentrated them into a refined high octane day boat. Retaining the character and subtle complexity of their heritage but bringing with it, a whole new sensation onboard an Ocean Alexander, and that’s mile-munching speed.
Packing a whopping 1400 hp and tipping the scales at around 13 tonnes lightship, this is no fragile rocket. It’s a solid beast in an elegant suit, with a complex character and easy to mingle qualities. It can effortlessly blur the line from fishing and water sports to entertainment and dining, with a quick shower and a change of outfit.
Ocean Alexander builds luxurious semi-displacement Motor Yachts, so why build a boat that is an apparent deviation from the successful formula?
When you step aboard ready to put the Divergence 45 through its paces, it doesn’t matter why they deviated; the inner child is just waiting for the hammers down moment. Once that desire has been satisfied, or at least entertained a little, then you can start to look at the craftsmanship and thinking behind the design.
Ripping around in this boat in the Whitsundays in lake-like conditions weren’t the test grounds for handling and sea keeping characteristics, so speed and fuel consumption figures are the only performance-related observations. In picture-perfect conditions, the boat hit the 43knot mark. With its big frame and solid build, it takes much thrust to get out of the hole, but once it does, accelerating up to WOT doesn’t take too long.
When it’s up and planing with WOT, it burns around 480 litres per hour. Knock it back to 31 knots in benign conditions the fuel consumption is around 280 litres per hour. The difference in speed increases your range from about 180nm WOT to 225nm at 31 knots, leaving over 10% fuel in reserve each time.
Time is probably a better comparison over the same distance for typical usage. Hamilton Island marina to Bait Reef on the Great Barrier Reef is about 35 nm which takes about 67 minutes to get there at 31 knots. WOT would take about a little under 49 minutes. Both are less than or equal to the average commute time in Australia’s three biggest cities, think about that the next time you go places that take about an hour to get there.
After thrill-seeking at 43 knots, it’s time to put the handbrake on, and this is when this innovative boat can morph from the sure-footed mile muncher into the waterfront beach house.
It may look like a centre console, but at over 47 foot LOA and with a beam an index finger shy of 14 feet, the comparisons start to fall away quickly. This boat is more than a ‘race out to the fishing grounds boat’; it is a luxurious multi-purpose escape pod.
By blending the accustomed luxuries their owners enjoy, with a substantial 1400hp injection of adrenalin, Ocean Alexander has delivered the Divergence 45, a Superyacht in a concentrated format.
More than meets the eye
Visually, the Divergence retains the Motoryacht sheer line from the marques 70 foot and 118-foot motor yachts. The high freeboard steps and the sheerline drops, in the same way, connecting the hardtop aesthetically to the hull. Apart from the carbon fibre accents in the hull and the glaringly obvious stable of horses on the back, the design is outwardly subtle and sophisticated.
This boat has wings, and while it has no trouble soaring to eye-watering speeds, thanks to the equine endowment, these wings are more like extensions of the main beach house. They add access to the pool away from the stables, and like other innovative ideas on this boat, deployment is a button push with minimal fuss. They noticeably increase the cockpit footprint, and the beam goes from 4.19m to 5.82m when extended out. Each balcony has a swim ladder to deploy when down and when up a purposeful side entry gate built into the bulwark allows for easy entry to the cockpit.
The chameleon nature allows this boat to have a reasonably open cockpit for whatever your aqua heart desires. The fold-up rear seat, with nifty adjustable hydraulic armrests, they can disappear unnoticed like your friends at the fuel dock, leaving a functional area for serious fishing. When you are ready to go from primal hunter to sophisticated entertainer, the process is quite enjoyable and compelling to watch. Push another of the well-marked buttons, and the phoenix table rises from the cockpit floor. Once clear of the recessed bunker from which it came, the flaps that concealed the table can return to level out the floor. The magnificent carbon fibre table gives an ideal solution set low as a coffee/cocktail table. Rise it up, unfold it further, and the impressively finished carbon fibre dining table can cater to six or eight guests. Whether it’s a casual cocktail or an indulgent feast from the outdoor galley, this aft area adapts to changing social and activity demands with fluency.
There are over 400 options for all sorts of tastes and uses. This Carbon Edition has the large usable surfaces finished in well-crafted carbon fibre. Fabrics and colours on this boat are sublime; smooth glossy surfaces softened by textural headlining and strategic carbon fibre features. The stylist has done an exceptional job with the tones and textures.
Utilitarian choices in the cockpit cater to the down under market; the fold-away transom seat provides ample space to deal with the rewards of the ocean, and with a quick shower and change, it becomes an alfresco saloon with seating for six.
The OA45 evolves beyond the sum of its parts as you get to know it. Every push of a button reveals another convenience or comfort. The button-operated SureShade is hiding in plain sight; the quiet achiever extends from the hardtop the full length of the cockpit. As the sun disappears, warmly lit by pop up lights reinforce the heritage and elegance of this 1400 horsepower Chameleon.
Entertaining, even the most seasoned landlubbers on this robust platform is enhanced by the optioned Seakeeper 6 Gyro, running off the diesel generator. Entertaining at anchor, under the stars feels like being tied to a marina, passing wakes have little effect. There is a close connection to the environment, particularly with the balconies extended. The eye line is low to the water creating an intimate connection with the surroundings and may help those who need one eye on the horizon at all times.
Command it to be a media room, and it’s as simple as changing the backrest to forward-facing for two rows of seating. A 50-inch tv pops up in behind the helm chairs and connects to its satellite dish housed on the hardtop. A hotspot for live viewing of your favourite team, sans interruptions, thanks to this media rooms enviable mobility. Underfloor refrigeration is capable of handling about five cases of longnecks which translates to some decent space for the landed pelagics.
For a change of pace, head to the foredeck, at anchor the custom carbon poles and sturdy sunshade ensure this prime real estate forgoes neglect until the sun loses its sting. When you see the way it’s designed and finished; you’ll hope that no one down the back finds out. The double forward-facing day lounge easily accommodates three, lends itself to siestas in the breeze away from the action. Stretching out is not limited; another button lowers the carbon table forward, the in-fill cushion converts it to another lounging area with decent proportions. Raised it’s an entertaining area and seats for four or maybe five people. Subtle popup lighting and audio independence give this area the sovereignty it deserves.
How does this seemingly easy-going, adaptable and well-dressed beast do it all with such composure, a look at the helm area provides some answers. You know it’s serious when there are three stunning Llebroc helm chairs for the flight deck, three 24 inch multi-function display touch screens and a joystick that make the outboards behave like POD Drives, with a thruster available for more challenging conditions. Each helm chair has a welcome and dedicated air conditioning vent including forward-facing rump cooling vents for when the hot days have the shorts sticking to the back of the legs.
The helm looks impressive but not daunting; the Edson three-spoke carbon wheel has a comfortable grip, one of the many of comfort and ease of operation features for the shorthanded operator. You can engage the GPS handbrake, and hold position thanks to the Skyhook system, giving assurance to leave the helm and prepare the boat for your next maneuver. Close quarters, bringing alongside and berthing are a breeze with the joystick.
The helm is also the command centre, thanks to the Multifunction Displays allowing you to control Stablisation, monitor the engines, navigate and also control the entertainment systems. Complete AC/DC electrical control is centralised with the ‘big ship’ Octoplex, digital switching system. Built on the familiar NMEA 2000 CAN bus network for integration, everything can be controlled and monitored from the dedicated touch screen MFD. The intuitive user interface is a welcome addition to the ease of operation, considering the amount of equipment and systems packed into this boat.
No matter where your adventures take you, down below has plenty of hanging locker space for weekend escape whims & wardrobes. Close the door set the climate control to perfect, make a drink in the galley and enjoy the comfortable amenities. Down below has everything you need, take a shower in the full-sized shower compartment and dress for the occasion. If you need to stay a night or two, that’s covered. With a few quick moves, the dining area bulkhead extends forward, the dining table drops converting to a sleeping area for two.
There’s plenty of room and conveniences for two to go on extended coastal explorations, mixing staying onboard in remote bays, with dropping into shore-side accommodation or services when desired. A cruise speed of 28-31 knots yields a fuel burn of around 250-280 lph. Leaving a bit over 10% in the tank for reserve gives you about 7-8 hours cruising in favourable conditions. Put the hammers down in ideal conditions, and you could potentially leave from Sydney Heads and a couple of hours later be in Port Stephens. At this speed, the options for weekend escapes and day dashes are limited only by your imagination and the sea state. Depending on where you live, it could become the stress-free commuter as well.
There are a lot of hardcore fishing and watersports styled day boats, and some of them have utilitarian function and conveniences. There aren’t many hardcore superyachts, certainly not in a distilled format, made for fun, entertaining and putting a big kid smile on your face. The dealer has chosen the options well suited to the local market on this test boat. The Grand Tourer of the water, without as many speed restrictions, it’s optioned up for both the watersports enthusiast, the explorer and the adventurous entertainer.
Owners of large motor yachts can enjoy this boat as an escape pod, that is equal in both form, function, fit-out and finish to the mothership. In between boat owners can appreciate the same big ship feel and appeal without the complications of big boat ownership. Bluewater flybridge owners not using their boats as often as they should, can find much appeal in a boat that is easier to cast lines, access the helm and operate themselves, fostering spontaneity. If it’s not a stand-alone day craft, then it is the ultimate support vessel to tow behind your Superyacht.
Ocean Alexander has flexed its copper pot, and concentrated distillate of refinement, with subtle complexity and distinct bold notes. It brings a breath of fresh spontaneity to the luxury Motor Yacht world, take off on a whim and experience the sheer thrill of getting places by water.
This boat is a reward, the more time you spend on it, the more you come to like it. If you’ve worked hard and looking for a reward that maximises your destination time or you want the thrill of a high octane pedigree ride, then this could be the reward built just for you. But be warned; this boat comes with a great deal of emotional certainty, inducing unfiltered responses and broad smiles of delight as you fly around in this well-crafted vessel.