Boat Review: Ocean 40 SS

Ocean Yachts' newest hull is also its oldest. With the reintroduction of the 40 SS, Ocean Yachts celebrates its 20th birthday with a complete redesign of the company's very first model.

Ocean Yachts' newest hull is also its oldest. With the reintroduction of the 40 SS, Ocean Yachts celebrates its 20th birthday with a complete redesign of the company's very first model.

Despite the fact that the Leek family has been building boats in New Jersey for more than 275 years, surely making them the oldest boatbuilding family in America, things there never stand still. Rather than being bound by tradition, Ocean designs and builds boats that look great and go fast.

The new baby of Ocean's eight-model fleet is being offered in a limited edition at a non-negotiable price of $315,000. In a survey of a dozen other 38- to 40-footers, this comes in as the lowest price. And this doesn't qualify as an a la carte boat either. I counted only seven options that I'd include. Otherwise, the 40 SS Limited Edition comes as a turn-key operation right down to the name on the transom.

With a full load of fuel and water, the 40 SS was clocked by GPS at 35.5 mph. Cruising speed figures to be about 32 mph burning 1.06 mpg. Doing the math shows the new Ocean 40 to have a range of approximately 390 miles.

One superb feature on the Ocean you won't find on many 40-footers (or previous Ocean 40s, for that matter) is an entrance to the engine room from the cockpit - an item usually reserved for larger sport-fishermen.

Once in the engine room, you'll notice that everything you need for maintenance is close at hand. There's easy access for filling the batteries or changing the oil, and there's even a freshwater wash-down spigot provided to top off the tank on the heat exchanger. Ocean also does an excellent job insulating the engine compartment, which, in the case of the 40, will be doubly appreciated. The Cat 3126 engines have slightly smaller turbos that turn at higher rpm than do most other Cats. The increased turbo whine is just enough to annoy if your boat skimps on the insulation

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Nautical designer David Martin scaled down the successful narrow-waisted chine configuration used on the Ocean's larger siblings to provide a more fuel-efficient turn of speed. A steeper deadrise forward provides a softer head-sea ride. Another design feature Ocean aficionados will recognize are the flush, aft bulkhead windows with rounded corners so popular with 60-foot Super Sport owners.

The cockpit offers just over 80 square feet of fishing space adorned by a tuna door, rod racks, bait-prep center with sink, tackle lockers, a generous bait freezer, enclosed under-gunwale storage compartments and a large fish box in the cockpit sole that can be optionally refrigerated.

Another reason Ocean yachts enjoy such success is the company's rich interiors. Progressive designs, luxurious fabrics, discreet and artistic lighting, and artful use of mirrors combine with superior joiner work to make an extremely pleasing living and entertainment environment. The galley remains simple but complete with a two-burner range, convection/microwave oven and refrigerator/freezer.

Ocean's belowdecks layout reconfirms the fact that a boat needn't be spartan to be a hard-core fishing machine. A master cabin below the salon (but still with 6'4" headroom) features a walk-around double bed, private head and a full, enclosed shower. Just forward is a guest cabin with over/under berths. And to make life easier, Ocean is one of the only companies to offer a central vacuuming system as standard equipment.

Having had great fishing experiences on Oceans of all sizes, I believe you'll find the comfort of this Ocean to be unsurpassed. And you'll probably never find a better deal on a new 40-footer than the Ocean 40 SS.
- Dean Travis Clarke

Ocean Yachts
PO Box 312
Egg Harbor, NJ 08215
609-965-4616