Captain's Report by Capt. Steve Larivee
Since not all of us want to climb the stairs to the flying bridge to operate our fish boat (nor do we want the added expense), but we do still want a boat that is large enough to take offshore in comfort, the Ocean Yachts 37 express fishboat could be just what the doctor ordered. Ocean Yachts certainly knows its way around the concept of offshore convertibles designed to speed out to the canyons to hunt big game, so it was only natural that the company evolve into the express realm. The 37 Express is the company's first launch into this arena.
While the 37 Express is a new design for Ocean Yachts, it's obviously not a new concept. Therefore, finding distinguishing features that separate her from the others is difficult. But there are certainly features we like in this design. •
Proven hull design.
Ocean Yachts has had a wildly popular run with its 37 Billfish and the 37 Express has that proven hull. •
By using modular components, and dropping them into place, Ocean Yachts is able to be much more accommodating to customer requests for specific tastes with regards to the helm deck layout. Standard seating calls for twin L-shaped seats but that's easily changed to meet specific demands. •
No wet head here. This yacht shares its fishing focus on the family wanting a no-holds-barred offshore performer for their cruising. In that realm, showering in a wet head will not do. •
Center mounted helm.
I mention this more as a point of fact that the helm is not over to one side. About 50% of express boats in this class are laid out that way. I find that it's more comfortable to be operating in the center of the action, facing dead aft, operating the sticks behind my back. •
Because the Ocean Yachts 37 Express has evolved down from large offshore convertibles, rather than up from center console boats like many express fishboats in this size range, a number of her design elements are different. One of them is freeboard: it is higher. Higher freeboard means that you'll be able to go out in rougher water without the threat of shipping water onboard. The 37 Express has this area covered nicely with 5'6" (1.7 m) of freeboard at the bow and 2'11" (.89 m) at the stern.
The 37 Express cockpit has molded-in rolled fiberglass coamings. I find it to be nicely laid out with several features that make a fishing boat what it is. This includes the now requisite mezzanine seats, and there's plenty of insulated storage under the seats so you can utilize them as fishboxes, freezers, refers, etc. Refrigerated boxes run about $5,110 extra. A bait freezer is standard, as is the rigging station with sink and cutting board. A 30-gallon (113.6 L) livewell is molded into the transom. Fresh and raw water washdowns are standard and both come equipped with quick disconnect hose fittings. The two standard deck fishboxes are macerated and insulated. Naturally, there's an aluminum backing plate under the deck for mounting a fighting chair or leaning post($400).
Just two steps up from the cockpit the elevated helm deck offers a center mounted helm on a fiberglass molded console, and a teak helm base is offered as an option ($5,140). The standard helm seat is a Pompanette Elite series, but Ocean Yachts will credit you for removing the helm chair and use the credit to install a customer provided seat, such as a Stidd chair. The helm deck is surrounded on three sides by StrataGlass, and an aft enclosure is available ($3,360), or you can opt for 3 sides of CostaClear ($1,800) and aft enclosure ($5,730). The hardtop with aluminum frame, molded-in spreader lights, and welded rod holders are all standard. The windshield frame is white powder coated, and I'm happy to see side vents to negate the greenhouse effect. If you still need more of a cooling effect, you can add air conditioning ($9,445) with reverse cycle heat that will work off of the standard 7.6 kW generator. The optional tuna tower ($40,000) has a control station complete with a Furuno RD-33 display for depth and water temp, plus engine start/stops, trim tabs controls, and freshwater washdown.
All of the helm deck seating is modular, and therefore customizable to the owner's wishes. The standard arrangement calls for dual L-shaped lounges with storage underneath including rod storage under the starboard seats. A hatch in the center of the deck will allow access to the engine room for daily checks, but for more intense scrutiny and maintenance the entire helm deck elevates on an electric actuator. A molded gutter and deck drains channel water away from the engine room. A full length piano hinge holds the deck in place and there's ample soundproofing and gasketing.
More of the excellent use of space can be seen in the lower deck area of the 37 Express, and it certainly is eye-catching with its open layout. In this main salon area, Ocean Yachts went with satin finished cherry throughout. Low maintenance Amtico flooring keeps the elegant look of the salon, and rod storage is under the deck and inside the sofa. In the lower decks, 10,000 BTU air conditioning is standard along with an entertainment system centered around a 20" (50.8 cm) flatscreen.
The clever use of space manifests itself again in the head. It's elongated to accommodate a narrow sink and toilet area which allows for the addition of a separate shower stall. Not many builders go this route and generally they stick to a wider space. But this works much better and allows for less space being sacrificed in the salon.
Aside from the options mentioned already, there are a few more worth considering. I'd be sure to include the Lewmar V3 windlass ($4,195). The 37 Express comes with a standard anchor, but the polished ss anchor roller is optional ($4,055) and comes with a ss anchor as well. Emergency bilge valves ($1,455) will allow you to evacuate the bilges with the engines, and this is a system we recommend for all boats going offshore as there is no faster way to dewater a boat. To keep the helm deck as ventilated as possible, I'd opt for the overhead hardtop hatch ($1,190). For fishing options, additional rod holders are $280 each in case you don't find the four standard ones to be sufficient. To increase your spread, Rupp outriggers with 30' (9.14 m) will be required ($8,425). Trolling valves on the Yanmar or Cummins engines will slow you down to fish strike speeds ($4,170). And speaking of engines, Ocean Yachts will power your 37 Express with either twin 480-hp Yanmar 6Y3-ETP's, 480-hp Cummins QSB-5.9's, or twin 530-hp Yanmar CX engines. And tooling has begun on fitting the Volvo Penta IPS500's as well.
Clearly, Ocean Yachts is continuing with its tradition of creative use of space in this latest foray into the express fish market. Additionally, the touch of luxury in the cabin area is not only attractive to the eye, but functional for either the group of fishing buddies, or the family looking to cruise in safety. Ocean Yachts is well known for its large, luxurious convertibles designed to go after the big ones. We are happy to see this builder strike out into new territory with the 37 Express and bring a big-boat culture to this size range. Base retail pricing with twin Yanmar 480’s is $589,000, with the Cummins 480’s is $599,000, and the Yanmar 530’s is $612,000.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Standard|
5-Year Limited Structural Hull Warranty