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Ocean Alexander Altus 45 SedanBy Andy Adams

Pity the poor boat writer. There are so many boats, so many different styles and so many features that it's nearly impossible to decide what's good, much less what is the best.

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.

On the upside, we can take heart in the idea that a boat - especially a big boat - can be an eloquent and elegant expression of personality and tastes. The market place indeed, has something for everyone.

Generally speaking, a square shape seems to deliver the most usable space. Also, given traditional boat building methods, it's easier to build a boat that is square or angular. Sweeping curves required a lot of work in the design and construction phases and the more rounded and complex the shape, the more expensive it was to produce. That has changed. With the advance of computer-assisted design and manufacturing, sophisticated software programs can now take the drawings and translate them into complex shapes almost as easily as square shapes. From there, the software can drive a five axis router to build a plug or a mould to make a boat of great complexity with extreme precision.

So the new challenge is to come up with a design that still provides the most usable space, but combines the contemporary design features people like with a dose of tradition in a recipe that ends up providing spacious accommodation and attractive lines, resulting in residual resale value.

Oh - and seaworthiness.

You can see, it is a big challenge and we think the boat writers deserve your pity for trying to manoeuver a clear course through all this confusion.

If the boat writer deserves your pity then imagine the challenge the designers face! Okay, some of those designers have a little extra tradition on their side. A well-known West Coast designer named Ed Monk made a name for himself with his yacht designs starting back in the 1920s and more recently, his son Ed Monk Jr. has carried on the family's tradition of yacht design.

Producing a boat that combines every one of those attributes is pure magician-ship. The Ocean Alexander Altus 45 Sedan is a magical blend.

Ed Monk Jr. is probably best known for his trawler designs and the Ocean Alexander 45 Sedan reflects many of those attributes although in this case the vessel is a planing hull sedan bridge cruiser. Into this magical blend, Monk has added steeply raked windshield glass, a swept back bridge cowling and contemporary, curving side glass to give the 45 a modern, up-to-date look.

Ocean Alexander Altus 45 Sedan - InteriorOther contemporary exterior features include an integrated side spray rail, swim platform and an extended bridge that overhangs the cockpit for a little extra shelter from sun or rain plus handsome elliptical side portholes. We applaud the very high side rails and wide non-slip side decks that make getting around the topsides easier and safer.

You enter the cockpit from the swim platform through a proper transom door on massive hinges. There's also a side door to make it easier to get in from the dock and this is properly hinged right through the side of the boat. The cockpit sole is self-draining with large scuppers; overboard drains and large horn cleats are mounted inboard with a deck hawse. All very proper.

Up on the bow we were impressed with the anchor system which has a pivoting mechanism that allows the anchor to seat in a special roller, minimizing any risk of damage in extremely rough conditions.
On the bridge an L-shaped settee on the starboard side is backed by a refreshment center that includes pressure water, Grohe fixtures, stainless steel sink, a Miele grill and optional refrigerator and ice maker and storage. The upper helm station includes a Raymarine C120 chart plotter and Tridata, a vertically-mounted, ship's style wheel and pedestal-mounted helm and companion seats that swivel and slide. The captain's seat also has an adjustable wooden footrest. A large Ritchie compass lies directly ahead of the wheel and on the port side there's a flat area for spreading out charts.

The salon is where the blending of modern design and traditional craftsmanship is most easily apparent, particularly in the woodworking and cabinetry. This yacht is decked out with dovetailed drawers, areas of book-matched Teak paneling, satin finish varnish and an overall high level of craftsmanship. A large flat screen television is an available option, housed in the starboard side and with an electric lift mechanism to raise it up for easier viewing. Opposite that on the port side is a huge couch nearly 10 feet long built into the side with storage and a sub­woofer underneath. The addition of a custom designed high-low cocktail table makes this a great spot for entertaining.

Just ahead, the galley is at the salon level with features like a genuine Teak and Holly floor, home-size double sink, microwave convection oven, Norcold refrigerator and granite counter tops. The galley has the benefit of natural light through the windshield and port side glass, making this a delightful spot to prepare a meal. You can choose between an interior helm opposite the galley or a small convertible dinette. The dinette is perfect for two to sit at a table and, if you don't think an interior helm is essential, is a great use of space.

From the salon you go down a few steps to a port stateroom with two single berths, hanging locker and port hole for ventilation. This would be ideal for guests or children. The master stateroom is forward and boasts a deck hatch and four portholes for light and ventilation. Teak and Holly flooring add warmth to the area. The forward stateroom includes a queen-size berth, mirrored forward bulkhead and private enclosed head.

Both the master and the main head feature granite counter tops and have opening port holes. In addition, the main head features a spacious fully enclosed, glass-door shower with an opening porthole to get rid of moisture.

Ocean Alexander Altus 45 Sedan - HeadThe twin Yanmar 370 hp diesels live under the salon floor in an engine room with reasonable height for service people. The area also has a very well designed electrical panel to complement the owner's panel in the salon. The Ocean Alexander 45 Sedan mechanicals suggest that the designers anticipated extended cruising and the need to facilitate some owner maintenance.

Looking for a magical blend that combines a reasonable price, modern styling and traditional yacht features? Look no further than the Ocean Alexander Altus 45' Sedan. You'll soon believe in magic.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting's April 2006 issue.

Specifications
Engines: Yanmar 6LYA, 370 hp, 5.184 L / 316 ci, 6 cylinder turbo diesel, aftercooled
Length - 46'7" / 14.19M
Beam -14'4" / 4.37 M
Weight - 33,l00 lbs / 15,045 kg
Fuel -500gal / 1,890L
PRICE with selected options - $579,000 Canadian Dollars
Boat supplied by and price quoted by:
Great Lakes Altus
1 Port Street East, Port Mississauga, Ontario,
905-274-2588
www.greatlakesaltus.com
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Photo Captions
Photo 1 – The Ocean Alexander Altus 45 Sedan; A Magical Blend of Curves and Corners.
Photo 2 - Opposite the galley is a lower helm or optionally, as on this boat, a cozy dinette for two. The joinery work is impressive.
Photo 3 - The head features beautiful lines.