My toes curl over the side of the fold-down gunwale. I spring into the air before straightening my body. I gracefully glide into the water, the perfect swan dive. 10-point-freakin-0. I surface, fix my already perfect slicked-back hair and see the Ocean Alexander 45 Divergence in a whole new light. Her freeboard is immediately taller and her sheer is more yacht-like.
Okay, fine. So that’s not exactly how it happened. But what I said about admiring the shape of the Divergence, that part is true.
Only after washing the salt from my face could I appreciate how the blue accents on the quad, 400-hp Mercury outboards, the fabric on the reversible cockpit seating and the paneling under the hardtop work in concert to create a symphony in blue that plays perfectly against the sky and waves. It’s from this angle that you can see what the 45 is not. (It’s not a center console; at least, not what we’ve traditionally called a center console.)
Di·ver·gence: A deviation from a course or standard. By that Merriam-Webster definition, this might be the most appropriately named model of all time. Before the 45 came along, OA’s next smallest yacht was the Merritt Island, Florida-built 70e and beyond that, the company is known for its prominence in the superyacht market with Taiwanese-built boats up to 155 feet. Designed to serve as a second boat for their larger yacht clientele, the 45 shares DNA with her larger siblings but sports a rebellious personality all her own.
During my test of the Divergence I encountered seas that were 5 to 6 feet with more than the occasional 8-foot swell thrown in to keep us on our toes. Conditions like these are always a blessing in disguise. Steep swells showed, again and again, that this boat is not a center console—at least, not what we’ve traditionally called a center console.
The hull tracked well and had a smooth ride in both head and following seas thanks to 18 degrees of deadrise, and the 1,600 ponies behind us offered the peace of mind that comes with the ability to power your way out of a bad situation.
It’s natural to call the space aft of the helm a cockpit, but on this boat that name doesn’t quite fit; it really is more of a salon. With room for a dozen adults to mingle, sit or swim, the space is exceptionally utilitarian. Adding to that are a pair of hydraulic tables (one in the salon and one in the bow) that lift from the sole. And the cabin below boasted more than enough space for a couple to spend a weekend aboard.
With its impressive fold-down gunwales and social spaces, it connects you to the water—and below—better than many other boats in this size range. —Daniel Harding Jr.
Displ.: 34,000 lbs.
Fuel: 607 gal.
Water: 100 gal.
Standard Power: 4/350-hp Mercury Verado outboards
Cruise Speed: 32 knots
Top Speed: 41 knots
Standard Horsepower: 1,400