The boat’s 20’ beam makes the saloon huge for an 86’ motoryacht. By eliminating the traditional bulkhead forward Monk has opened up the boat.
A Grand Entrance…
The main entrance to the Ocean Alexander 68 Motoryacht is through the large sliding door aft in the cockpit. It opens to a full beam saloon brightly lit with natural light thanks to the large frameless windows both to the sides and fully forward. The most striking feature is that you can see all the way up to the forward helm and windshields. Talk about open and airy! To starboard there is a half bulkhead that separates the saloon from the galley. Your eyes also can’t help but be drawn to the ceiling decoration that is similar to what is done on 100-footers and compliments the fit and finish of the saloon’s woodwork. This yacht had a built-in sofa, but owners can choose between built-in or freestanding. Personally, I gravitate towards the free-standing as you can have this furniture made to order, it is generally more comfortable, you can install a hide-a-bed or have storage, it makes the saloon look more like your living room at home, and – frankly – it makes the boat look less like a stock boat and more like a custom one. Pegs are put in the bottom of the furniture which fit into holes in the sole which keep the sofa and love seat from moving in a seaway. The saloon clearly makes a welcoming gathering spot for cocktails and conversation. With three comfortable “reading” chairs and a large “L”-shaped sofa wrapping around a cocktail table, there is as much seating as you might find on a far larger boat. By eliminating the full beam bulkhead that is traditionally placed forward of the saloon, the boat is opened up and appears larger than it really is. That together with the wide body design which makes the saloon nearly 18’ wide (on a 20’ beam), you have room to spare.
It is rare to find a formal dining table in a boat as small as a 68, but again the 20’ beam and the wide-body design makes that possible. Note the storage space all around below the granite countertops.
Dinner is Served…
Moving forward to the dining area and galley, there is a circular stairway to port that leads to the flybridge. Surprisingly, there actually is a dining area on this 68' yacht. Typically, guests are left to dine at a counter or settee, and indeed, that is an option. A more attractive option, in my opinion, is this luxurious dining table that seats six. A mirror is mounted in a soffit in the overhead, just above the table, further adding to the natural light that guests will enjoy while dining. To starboard is the galley with full size stand-up refrigerator/freezer, four-burner glass cooktop, granite countertops, and plenty of storage both inside and outside of the galley.
Forward is the lower helm. This is a surprising feature to me, as it shares the same space, and therefore lighting, as the dining room/galley, and is only a raised step higher than the saloon. This is fine for running during the day, but does not work at night unless one keeps the galley, dining area and saloon completely dark. A husband and wife team will like the fact that both can take part in the navigation while underway, while one can make sandwiches and fetch soda. For night running, obviously, the upper helm should be used and it is a simple matter of putting cruising isinglass there to make the flying bridge more of an all-weather helm station.
There is room for four screens and all of the nav aids and electronics you can afford at this helm.
As most people anchor or put into a marina before nightfall, this layout will be fine for most owners. For those adventuresome few who navigate at night, as I do, then the flying bridge will then be used. I also prefer to operate the boat during the day from the flying bridge because visibility is better, docking is easier, and in good weather it is just more fun. The helm is roomy and lacking for nothing. Visibility is nearly 360 degrees, except for the galley half bulkhead.
On a 68-footer it is rare to find three staterooms with ensuite heads, separate shower stalls, decent room between the bunks in the guest stateroom – and a crew cabin with bunks and its own head.
To starboard of the lower helm is a curved stairway leading to the three staterooms below. Each step has the obligatory courtesy light, and the lower deck is covered in carpeting with a decorative pattern at the lower landing and marble foyer with classy inlays. Here, the deck mirrors the one above, and everything forward is on one level, and aft is a step down.
This is the kind of marble accommodations foyer one might find on a boat far larger.
All three staterooms have ensuite heads and all three heads have a proper separate shower – no beam-me-up–Scotty Plexiglass tubes that are used to save space, but which are often so tight one can not bend over to pick up the soap. This is another area where Ocean Alexander separates itself from the competition. This three stateroom layout lends itself to the most versatile cruising styles for an owner-operator. You can have either two additional couples, or perhaps a man and woman that may not be coupled, and all get separate accommodations from the owners. A very comfortable and very desirable combination. Please note that while there are a few other motoryachts on the market with three staterooms, they usually do not have a 20’ beam. This is the key to making this 68 so comfortable below.
Note the large drawers under the king bed and burl wood accents, just as you would find on boats 4 times the cost. Note hatches in the bottom of the picture to get to important places in the bilge.
At the bottom of the stairs and aft is the Master stateroom which is, with the ensuite head, full beam. It has a true king-size bed, storage in a built in cabinet to port, two closets and large drawers under the bed. All woodwork is expertly finished. The countertops here duplicate the galley and are granite that does not extend fully to the edge and leaves a finished wood trim accenting the whole area. The master is very clean and classy, in my opinion. The bed is offset from the centerline, so rather than straddle the keel, the person to starboard lies directly on the centerline. Aft of the stateroom is the engine room, which is not accessible from the master, nor should it be. There are appropriate levels of sound deadening in the bulkhead separating the two compartments.
We like the rounded treatment in the overhead and behind the headboard in the forward VIP. Note: storage port and in the base of the bed. Again the burl accents give the cabin both elegance and warmth.
Forward is the VIP stateroom. An interesting feature here, is while the stateroom is against the bow, the overhead and trim are actually curved around the bow. This gives the room a much statelier look, rather than looking like a room made to fit a pointed space… very nicely done, and I have never seen it done quite this well. Surprisingly, there are no overhead cabinets. Storage is in lower cabinets and under the bed. There are steps up on either side of the island berth, so climbing into bed is that much less of a chore, and making up the bed should be easy. The head is quite large for a boat of this size and note that the sink and the toilet can be used at the same time.
These twin beds are wide as is the aisle in between them. Note reading lights, the thickness of the mattresses, and the storage cabinets under the portlights on the upper right.
To port is the guest cabin. The buyer can choose either a twin bed sleeping arrangement or over/under bunk style, athawartship, with a double on the bottom and a single on the top. Either way, you have a bunk upon which you can sit to put on your shoes. This is a large guest cabin as you can see in the picture above, and is made possible by the 20’ beam. When comparing boats, make sure you take a tape measure and use it to see how wide the beds are in the guest stateroom. We have seen bigger motoryachts which have guest stateroom bunks that are suitable only for Gumby sleeping on his side.
Those are Stidd chairs for the captain and the navigator. Wet bar is in the foreground and the hatch to the stairway is behind.
Accessed from a circular stairway in either the saloon or aft deck, the flying bridge is wide open and spacious. The helm has a panoramic view and the entire area is protected by a hardtop. To starboard abaft the helm is the settee and table, which satisfies the accommodation for making wherever the captain is as the main gathering area of the moment. To port, just abaft the closable stairway access, is an entertainment center with sink and wet bar. Further aft is the boat deck and davit, both large enough to accommodate up to a 14’ foot tender. This is an incredibly functional flying bridge and like the rest of the boat is a credit to both her designer and the builder.
This will be one of the most popular places on the boat for dining. Note the spiral stairway to the boat deck. Please put teak treads or strong non-skid on all fiberglass steps.
Taking the stairs at the aft end of the flybridge allows access to the aft cockpit. Perfect place for al fresco dining. There is another entertainment center to starboard, and stairs leading to the swim platform and another set leading to the crew quarters.
Here’s another area that I originally disagreed with… crew quarters on a 68 foot boat? To my way of thinking, a 68 foot yacht is an owner-operated yacht, and therefore crew quarters are simply a waste of space. I’d rather see this area be used as a garage for water toys, accessed from opening a door at the swim platform. However, in debating this point with the senior editor at BoatTEST, it was pointed out to me that a retired person and his spouse, while still operating and maintaining command of the yacht, might be disinclined to haul around fenders, and handle lines much less clean, polish, and maintain the boat. Hence, even for an owner/operator, a hired crew makes sense. And given that argument, I’d have to agree. I certainly see myself in command during my retirement, but changing oil and swinging wrenches… unlikely. So on the Ocean Alexander 68 Motoryacht, crew quarters with over/under bunks and ensuite head is a very nice addition, and one that you do.
The gleaming white engine room on the 68 Motoryacht is accessed via the crew quarters and there is room to get all around the standard 1000-hp Caterpillar engines – again thanks to the 20’ beam. There are safety rails surrounding the engines and all maintenance checks and filters are within easy access of the diamond plate non-skid center walkway. The builder has thoughtfully put the fuel tanks athawartship on the forward bulkhead. In this way the tanks and fuel becomes a terrific sound absorption device reducing engine noise in the Master stateroom just forward. Obviously, the engine room is tight, and that is the compromise on this boat. But you simply can’t have all of the great accommodations forward, and crew quarters aft without getting the space from somewhere. We have looked at a number of boats in the class and most all are making the same compromise.
The Ocean Alexander 68 Motoryacht has a length overall of 69’ 7”, a generous beam of 20’, and a draft of 5’. She displaces just under 133,000 lbs. and has a fuel capacity of 2000 gallons. Clearly, she’s a semi displacement motoryacht and therefore, has the characteristic performance capabilities. You can either advance the throttles of the twin 1000-hp Cat engines and put miles in your wake at 20 kts cruise speed, or pull back to 8 kts. and take your time while dramatically extending your range at displacement speed. The choice is yours for the making. While this is a new model and has not yet been tested, preliminary estimates by the builder give her a top end speed of 23.7 kts and a best cruise of 20 kts. These are probably going to be close to accurate, as Ocean Alexander’s naval architect, Ed Monk Jr., has a history of making fine performing yachts that compromise nothing regarding safety and engineering.
Every Boat Is A Compromise…
As we said in the headline, the boat has the room of a 90-footer. While that is obviously not literally true, it does have most of the features, accommodations and amenities of a 90-footer. Monk has done that in several ways, two of which we have mentioned – 1) the 20’ beam, and 2) the compromise on the size of the engine room. The third thing that Monk did was make the boat a “wide-body” which means she does not have side decks. This makes the saloon larger, and the formal dining area adjacent to the galley possible. The beam makes the boat heavier and harder to push, the smaller engine room means you can’t get as much stuff in it, and the wide boat means you don’t have side decks to make line handling and movement from bow to stern as easy as it otherwise would be. In this case, we think all three compromises have been handled well.The Ocean Alexander 68 Motoryacht has a base price of $2,692,800, and is customizable to satisfy even the pickiest captain. In my opinion, this is a boat that deserves a close look if you are in the market for a combination of luxury and long range cruising, coastal cruising and a constant cycling of your friends as guests aboard, or just high-style weekend entertaining.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Pricing Range: $2,692,800.00Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.