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September 21, 2007

Ocean 43 Super Sport

Ocean's latest Super Sport model is a sleek-looking 43-footer with plenty of standard goodies that will make fishing and/or cruising a breeze. As with all Oceans, the 43 is fast, but there's more to this boat than just speed. If you haven't checked out a Super Sport lately, you may be surprised at how much this boat has to offer for the money.

Take the cockpit, for example. There's lots of room for even the most tournament-hardened fisherman, along with serious fishing features such as a live well in the transom and an oversized transom door that opens under a hinged covering board. Fish storage is handled by a large, in-deck fishbox with hatches that open on either end. It's drained by a macerator pump and is big enough to hold even the largest wahoo or tuna. The bait-prep center forward has everything you need for serious rigging, including a sink with tackle drawers below, a cockpit freezer with a lift-out tray, and an ice/drink box with a dry-storage compartment beneath it.

After ascending the angled bridge ladder, we found a centerline helm arrangement with the gauge cluster strategically located above the wheel, and a large electronics surface to starboard. A lounge seat along the port side of the bridge contained racks for storing rods, and we found more dry storage beneath the forward lounge seat. There's outstanding visibility all around.

Our 43 came with twin 480-hp Volvo Penta TAMD 74P EDC diesels (Caterpillar and Yanmar options are available), complete with Volvo's new electronic controls. The controls take some getting used to, since the handles are small and quite close together, but the response is almost instantaneous and you can make the 43 spin on a dime.

Stable, Fast and Dry

The big Volvos pushed the 43 easily and it got on plane with almost no smoke at all. Ocean's own speed numbers indicate a cruise of 27.8 knots at 2250 rpm, and a wide-open 32.5 knots at 2700 rpm. From the beginning, Ocean has striven to make all of its boats exceed the 30-knot barrier, and this boat certainly passes that test with flying colors. It ran well in the small chop we encountered on our test day, never pounding and throwing up a minimal amount of spray, even in the worst quartering sea.

Ocean 43 Super Sport specificationsWith plush fabrics and wood accents galore, the interior of the 43 can only be described as plush. The salon features blinds with valances, recessed halogen lighting, and a port couch with a set of rod racks hidden beneath it. You can tell that fishermen designed the rod storage on this boat, because there's plenty of it. The galley is up and features a counter with Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer beneath it. The Corian countertop forward contains a two-burner electric stove and a sink. Dry-storage areas are tucked into every nook and cranny, so getting all of your stuff aboard for a long fishing trip shouldn't be a problem.

Two staterooms below provide sleeping space for four: two in the transverse double berth in the master stateroom forward and two more in side-by-side single berths in the guest stateroom aft and to port. The guest head is to starboard and has a real shower stall with an acrylic door. It even has a washer/dryer system. The master head is forward, in the forepeak, and the master stateroom comes with two cedar-lined hanging lockers.

Keeping with the Ocean tradition, the 43 SS comes with an incredibly complete standard-equipment list that includes an 8 kW diesel generator, an icemaker, air conditioning, a central vacuum system, an entertainment center, all ground tackle and fresh and raw-water washdowns, among many other items. About all you need to add is a top and outriggers, and you're ready to fish!

The 43 features a very high level of fit and finish, and has a very solid feel to it when underway. But perhaps the best part is that Ocean has managed to bring all of this together at a remarkable price, making the 43 SS a deal that just might be too hard to pass up.

Ocean Yachts Inc., Egg Harbor City, NJ; (609) 965-4616; www.oceanyachtsinc.com