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Ocean 50 – designed by Morrelli and Melvin

Asian-based powerhouse Hudson Yacht Group, fresh from their award-winning all-carbon range of HH catamarans, are behind the new line of performance-based sailing catamarans. The new Ocean Series of blue water luxury performance cruising catamarans are billed as “ocean tough, muscular yet graceful, and ready to take you cruising at speed in comfort and ease”.

The Ocean Series OC 50, OC 56 and OC 66 models are constructed in resin infused E-glass and PVC foam, saving 30% in material cost compared with carbon. For hull, deck, superstructure and interior panelling and in critical structural areas (cross beams and framing areas), they have carbon for its incredible strength, and environmentally friendly epoxy resin for the hull, making osmosis a thing of the past while supporting sustainable life on the planet.

Other features that differentiate the OC 50 from the all-carbon version are the winged fixed keels, aluminium mast and stainless-steel rigging, sail handling systems, designed for short-handed sailing. The end result is relatively similar craft to the HH carbon, but at a lower price point, and with infinitely better sailing performance, than most other fixed-keel catamarans. You can expect to be just below true wind speeds with the right sails up.

The OC 50 is around one tonne heavier than her all-carbon sister, but her slightly wider hulls compensate for the extra weight. The thoughtful interiors ensure weight distribution for better trim, and for an exciting sailing experience.

This is a semi-custom boat, so you can add or take away as much carbon as you like to hit your performance/cost sweet spot. With her winglet tipped keels and single steering station, this is a simpler boat to sail than her dagger-board sister. The finish of the OC 50 and attention to details hit a very high level. For example, davits are custom-built to suit your tender.

With the OC 50, HH have developed a tough, fast, luxurious ocean cruiser that has many of the features from the high performance HH range at a lower cost with simpler systems for a couple more interested in cruising fast than winning races. SAILING: The OC 50 comes with an 81.13 sq/m mainsail (or optional 82.80 sq/m square top), a 44.5sq/m self-tacking furling jib (optional 56.80 sq/m overlapping furling headsail). The overlapper is good up to 18-20 kts windspeed, after which sail handling gets easier with a reef in the main with just the self-tacker. All reefing lines and sheets return to two electric winches at the single helm to starboard and the furling lines return the port side.

Other sail options include a storm jib or fractional reacher flown off the prodder, or a spinnaker for light wind sailing.

At 13.2 tons light ship, the OC 50 gets going quickly and those axe bows slice through the water effortlessly.

LIVING SPACE AND FINISH: This where the OC 50 is streets ahead of the competition because the quality of the furnishings is superior to comparable cats in the same price range. The sliding doors opening the saloon to the cockpit provide a feeling of spaciousness.

Entry to the helm is via steps from the starboard side deck, and there is a large daybed inboard next to the helm. On the port side, there is a long sofa connected to another in the saloon with the doors fully open. The u-shaped galley on the starboard side is spacious with plenty of storage space, a safe place to be in rough water. Forward amidships is another seating area with fridge and freezer drawers to starboard, and to port is a practical navigation corner.

DOWN BELOW: The high-quality finishes continue inside the hulls with a light spacious owner’s cabin port aft (includes a picture window aft in the master cabin). In the starboard hull, the two guest cabins have been cleverly split with their own steps down from the saloon. Each cabin has its own head and a shared “his or hers” shower in between. It is a clever use of space and it feels big.

STORAGE SPACE: The two forepeaks offer lots of storage and are customisable depending on what you wish to use them for. (e.g. sail storage, dive compressor, spares, workbench)

COST OF AN HH OC 50: US$1.3 mil (ex-factory) gets you a pretty awesome machine. This is considerably lower than the all-carbon HH 50 and the performance difference drops away as the wind picks up, but you have the simplicity and safety of mini keels in case of an accidental grounding when cruising. This is still a performance catamaran based on her sail area to displacement ratio.

The HH OC 50 is a clever design and has all the looks of a Morrelli and Melvin performance cat, with the superb finishes people have come to expect from HH Catamarans, at a very competitive price.

For more information, contact Catamaran Company, the Australian dealer for HH catamarans, based at The Boat Works, Coomera, Queensland.; Ph 07 55023124.