One of the more storied boat builders in the world, Ocean Alexander earned the title as a builder of quality trawler yachts back at a time where such construction was not generally associated with new trawlers coming to the U.S. from Taiwan. That set it apart from the dozens of boat builders that flourished during the fuel crisis of the mid-1970s and satisfied the demand for slow, reliable, fuel-efficient trawlers powered by a single diesel engine. Unlike the fast motoryachts and stylish cabin cruisers of the era, the trawler boom had a significant impact on the American cruising scene by the end of the decade. Marketing savvy of boats like Grand Banks captured the imaginations of many would-be cruisers.
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Along came Alexander Chueh, a career military officer who saw an opportunity in the fledgling Taiwan marine industry. He started a new company in 1977, Ocean Alexander, and his focus from the very beginning was all about building higher quality trawler yachts. While his compatriots were building trawlers for a strong demand worldwide, the important factors of excellent design and construction, and using the best equipment available, were less important than getting new boats out the door.
Chueh had a different perspective. Traveling to the Pacific Northwest that year, he met with successful Seattle broker Jerry Schei to contract with naval architect Ed Monk Jr. to design a boat similar to the popular American Marine 49 Alaskan, “only nicer.” The 50-foot Ocean Alexander Mark I was the result of that liaison. With its Portuguese bridge, spacious accommodations and comfortable saloon, and an interior finished in hand crafted teak, the new yacht satisfied the desire for a traditional design on all fronts. It was an instant success.
Alex Chueh’s drive for higher quality, along with his ongoing collaboration with experts in aluminum, electrical, and other technical aspects of modern construction, finally brought first-class production yacht building to Taiwan.
By the late 1990s, Ocean Alexander had designed and built some 40 different models, ranging from 38 feet to 70 feet. By the mid-2000s, they had launched some 2,000 yachts, most bearing the Ocean Alexander name plate. Seventy percent of its customer base was in America.
His son, Johnny Chueh, eventually took over leadership of the company as it continued to seek new technology to continue raising the bar on the company’s quality yacht construction. In 2004, Ocean Alexander, which was based in Kaohsiung, Taiwan transitioned to vacuum infusion for constructing all its fiberglass parts and hulls.
The company went on to launch its first 100-foot yacht in 2005.
What has remained unique about Ocean Alexander, no matter what size yachts are in the current portfolio, is its continued efforts to provide semi-custom flexibility for its customers. For any model, there is a degree of customization available when it comes to number of staterooms and accommodations, as well as the brand, size, and number of engines installed in each yacht’s engine room.
As a result, when looking at vintage Ocean Alexander yachts popular throughout the trawler yacht era, one is hard pressed to find any two that are exactly alike. Some will have twin, naturally aspirated Caterpillar 3208 diesels, while others may have a single 120hp Lehman or 300hp John Deere engine, or even twin Luggers. Pilothouses might have reversed-raked windows, while others have traditionally forward-sloped windows that many find more complementary to the overall profile.
Some of the yachts were designed as sedan yachts, others have traditional layouts with double cabins that were all the rage during the period. There was later an entire series of Classico yachts that reintroduced the successful sweet spots of the early years and the company’s continued efforts to support the trawler lifestyle. The Classico series included models known as the 423, 600, 430, 426, 486, 50 and 510. Again, Ocean Alexander is all about choices.
Fast forward a decade or more and one finds the Ocean Alexander brand still pushing the envelope of design, technical expertise, and unmatched engineering in yacht construction. But the company now appeals to the luxury yachting lifestyle. Their line of mega yachts showcases the company’s proven expertise in the use of carbon fiber, aluminum backbone structures for strength, and the latest in sound control and electrical systems. Engine rooms are among the best in the industry.
The current line of Ocean Alexander yachts are exquisite examples of mega yachts that showcase technology, superior engineering, and world-class construction and finish. And each yacht is an individual project aimed to satisfy the desires and interests of the individual buyer.
The 35R in the Revolution series, for instance, is a 116-foot luxury yacht of contemporary design from Evan Marshall and Arrabito Naval Architects. Its layout fits the envelope desired by the modern mega yacht owner who does not want to compromise. Its guest and crew accommodations are well thought out. The yacht comes standard with MAN V12 diesels. The yacht’s fuel capacity is 5,100 gallons for carefree cruising and self sufficiency.
Slightly smaller in the series is the 90-foot 28Revolution. Every effort is made to tailor the yacht to individual owner needs, while showcasing the company’s proven record of providing luxury appointments in thoroughly modern yacht design. The impressive floor-to-ceiling views from inside the yacht are but one aspect of a design that also provides full-beam living spaces on the main deck.
To ensure the yacht can meet the speed requirements of today’s luxury mega yacht world, twin MAN diesels, rated at 1,900hp, are ready to kick up the pace when one’s captain needs to make tracks to the next destination. And he or she will enjoy the yacht’s spacious and well-designed helm to command all activities from a control station fitting a yacht of this caliber.
Another advantage that makes Ocean Alexander worthy of consideration is the build process, and the care the company takes to involve the owners at each step of the way. Ocean Alexander emphasizes a close working relationship between buyers and company naval architects who work through all details from concept to launch. It is a rewarding experience that owners find particularly satisfying as they remain central and fully informed throughout the construction of their new yacht.
With dealers around North America, the Ocean Alexander network is always there to support its owners and their yachts, whatever their needs. At Ocean Alexander, it is all about bringing out the best in the luxury yachting experience.
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