Just Launched – Ocean Explorer 60
By Toby Hodges, Yachting World
Rubbing shoulders with Nautor’s Swan in Jakobstad, Finland, the new team behind this boat have a long track record in building low-impact yachts with high performance. And it’s not just a postcode they share with Swan – German Frers is also the designer of this yacht.
The OE60 is the first in a range running to 78ft. There is carbon load-point reinforcing and an all-carbon rig for performance, with the further option of a carbon hull as well. Cutter rigged with a self-tacking jib and staysail, it has a long, sculpted bowsprit for launching downwind sails. Dual helm stations on each hull have long clear views ahead.
Clearly built with Nordic winters in mind, she has an exceedingly cosy navstation in the saloon, with access to all key controls via push buttons. The saloon doesn’t encroach on the two hulls, and is relatively low-profile with sweeping 360° views, as well as access to the foredeck and halyard winches through a watertight door. You can devote an entire hull to the owner’s suite, or go for up to five double cabins. There’s also the option of putting the galley in the hull to free up the saloon. And with solar panels, regenerating prop, electric propulsion and black water treatment systems as options, the OE60 is designed to minimise its environmental impact.
I wrote about this catamaran during its conception five years ago, but La Grande Motte was the first time I had seen one. Wow, talk about worth the wait… this is quite simply one of the most impressive luxury multihulls I have been aboard.
Four main subcontractors to Nautor’s Swan and Baltic Yachts formed the company and the quality of their craftsmanship is, as you would expect, world class. It is the first production cat for Frers, yet the Argentinian designer has managed to maintain his reputation for alluring lines – this is a long, low and particularly elegant design.
I like the helms right in the quarters, a more familiar position for monohull sailors, while the glass-based coachroof allows the helmsman a reasonable sight to the opposite bow. Step inside and it is the true panoramic view these vertical windows all combine to give that really appeals. The forward cockpit is a practical area for manning halyards or standing watch. I also like the clean, spreader-less rig and massive yet practical stowage areas.
The skipper told me he had sailed a Gunboat 60 across the Pacific and that this OE60 matches its performance. A key is the C-foils, the most reliable appendage system he has used. This was the second OE60 to be built (the first has done four Atlantic and one Pacific crossing in four years) and is being used for charter. What I’d give for a week aboard this…
At A Glance
LOA: 60ft 7in (18.50m)
Beam: 29ft 8in (9.07m)
Draught: 2ft 6in-6ft 6in (0.85m-2.00m)
Displacement: 18 tonnes
Price: from €3.6m