Boat Review: Ocean 62

It has all the hard-core fishing equipment you could ever need, will travel comfortably to the fishing grounds and beyond, and will keep the family quite happy along the way.

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I admit that under most conditions, I'm not a big fan of enclosed flybridges. I go to sea because I like the environment. I love opening the curtains and feeling the wind across the bridge. However, on our test day, winds in Palm Beach blew southeast at 20 to 25 knots, and seas ran about 6 feet. Enclosed bridges certainly have a place at times like these, especially ones as comfortable as the Ocean 62's.

Performance

As I was growing up, my grandfather taught me that adjusting your speed to the conditions was prudent seamanship. I always try to do that, especially with other people's boats. The captain running our test boat before I got my hands on the wheel ran it at full bore into the head seas, and while a sporty ride, the Ocean held up without complaint.

The 1,400-hp Caterpillar 3412E diesels provided gearing options to drop the speed back to manageable harbor wake levels. However, passing the Sailfish Marina docks close at hand required dropping one engine into neutral.

I found the range of adjustment available from the trim tabs satisfactory, though I'd like them to move a bit faster. A hard-over turn at cruising speed carved a 180 in about eight boat lengths, with the 6-foot seas seemingly having no effect.

The 62 Super Sport went virtually as fast offshore in the seas as I managed to push it on the Intracoastal Waterway. When running down-current/downwind, it hit 38.3 knots; a two-way speed run average worked out to 37 knots. Both runs saw the big Cats turning 2,360 rpm and burning 146 gph. With a 10-percent fudge factor, expect a cruising range at 24 knots to top 460 nautical miles.

Fishability

Certainly not all Ocean owners fish. But the Leek family fishes, and they're good at it. Consequently, expect the fishing amenities to be the right ones and well-placed. Undergunwale lockers hide mops, hoses and gaffs. The transom livewell affords quick bait change-outs without having to get on your hands and knees and reach down into the bilge for livies. The obligatory complement of tackle drawers, freshwater and raw-water washdowns, large bait freezer (good for cruising as well as fishing) and bait-prep station with sink all fill the angler's requirements.

Though the gunwale height makes reaching the water's surface a bit of a stretch if you're billing a fish, I recently learned from Capt. Peter B. Wright that it's far better not to lift a billfish's head up out of the water anyway. The fish remains much more controllable when you leave the head in the water.

Perhaps the most impressive fishing aspect of the Ocean 62 can be experienced while drift fishing. Set the boat beam-to the seas, and despite its slightly scalloped waistline its roll couldn't be gentler. It's remarkably stable.

Flybridge

As I said, you never really appreciate an enclosed bridge until it gets ugly out. The Ocean 62's flybridge boasts all the usual sensuous comfort you'd expect. Where I usually have a problem is in the access. Many enclosed bridges have no interior stairway, which I always thought defeated the purpose of the enclosed bridge, to wit, avoiding going out into inclement weather. Ocean has designed a simple circular stairway from the portside salon that is wide enough even for my not-inconsiderable girth.

Of course, just as guests always gather in your kitchen at home, so they seem to gravitate to the enclosed bridge when under way. Besides extraordinarily comfortable helm and companion seats, an L-shaped lounge with table, a wet bar with refrigerator/icemaker and a color TV with VCR practically turn this into another salon.

I was impressed with the unusually good visibility forward from the flybridge overhang steering station (outside). Certainly it affords an unobstructed view of the cockpit for fighting fish, but when docking I could still see the bow, too.

Interior

Ask virtually anyone in the boatbuilding business which company has the most spouse-friendly interiors, and most will agree Ocean. If you want a good boat but your wife (or significant other) straddles the decision border, take her aboard an Ocean and the problem will be resolved. The 62 Super Sport is no exception.

I know it's not important to everyone, but from the first time I went aboard an Ocean yacht years ago, I loved the wet bar with automated drink dispenser. Hide your liquor bottles in a cabinet below, then just put your glass under the spigot and press the appropriate button. Your choice of spirits measures out over the ice. Other features Ocean does better than anyone include lighting and furnishings.

The salon and galley incorporate all the expected amenities, from the Bose-based entertainment center to the central vacuum system. The dinette will seat five, using the custom décor-matching ottoman provided. Though you have a choice of an upright or undercounter drawer-style refrigerator/freezer, the latter really opens up the entire salon area, making it seem much larger.

Belowdecks, our test boat sported four staterooms, though you can opt for three if you have a dearth of friends and family. The master stateroom rests beneath the salon. Though a more comfortable location under way (the farther aft, the smoother the ride), the berth's headrest lies aft. You have to turn around and lie with your head forward under way if you, like I, don't want your head lower than your feet. The other staterooms include side-by-side twins to port, another oblique queen berth in the bow with a head and shower all the way in the forepeak, and over/under berths in a cabin to starboard. All cabins will bathe even the most high-maintenance guest in enough comfort to keep everyone happy.

Engine Room

Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay this compartment is that it's exactly what I expected. In other words, all the frequent maintenance items have been placed on centerline or are easily accessible. Noise-making machinery resides at the aft end of the engine room, away from living-quarters bulkheads. Quieter gear mounts forward. Though shy of standing headroom, I had no problem moving around in the space.

In the end, the Ocean 62 lived up to my expectations. It has all the hard-core fishing equipment you could ever need, will travel comfortably to the fishing grounds and beyond, and will keep the family quite happy along the way.