The new OC188 from KM Yachtbuilders and designed by Owen Clarke, is built as a go-anywhere bluewater cruiser, that is capable of circumnavigations

Product Overview


First look: 18m Explorer Yacht OC188

Designed for extended remote cruising including a circumnavigation, OC188 is six months into its aluminium construction at alloy experts KM Yachtbuilders in Makkum. Its experienced owner wanted an easily handled yacht with good performance together with the volume that could accommodate an owner’s cabin and three double guest cabins.

A low aspect ballasted keel with lifting centreboard helps provide the desired shoal draught of 1.4m while giving sailing performance and pointing abilities when lowered to 3.8m. Meanwhile twin rudders help allow for the yacht to lay up safely. The decision between this and a full lifting keel such as aboard Lynx – also designed my Owen Clark – comes down to the added performance benefits of a deeper keel and whether you can live with the keel case in the interior, says Clarke. In this case it was not deemed necessary to impact the interior to that extent, especially as the owners plan to spend long periods of time aboard.

Where Qilak was designed with a tall rig to sail quickly between the far north and south, here that is not so relevant and cruising ease and comfort take priority. The carbon mast has triple headstays to make it easy to move through the gears and set reaching sails.

The OC 188 is a distinctive, purposeful looking design. Standouts include the amount of covered and protected space and the solar capacity on the pilothouse and fixed bimini. The aft cockpit and transom design also looks innovative as it includes a large lower deck to store a solid tender (the owner did not want a garage such as aboard Qilak). Instead the dinghy is launched via an Atlas heavy lift carbon davit, which can mount in several locations. This then leaves an expansive aft terrace for lounging at anchor.

Another key difference over the 15m is to be found in the pilothouse which is large enough to act as the primary saloon for eight guests plus a navstation. The galley to starboard is then split on two levels.
A workshop or multifunctional hold with space for a trail bike can be accessed through the interior or a central cockpit hatch, and there’s dedicated sports equipment stowage plus a large foc’sle that can house a second inflatable tender.

18m Explorer Yacht OC188 specifications

Hull length: 18.35m 60ft 2in
Beam: 5.57m 18ft 3in
Draught: 1.4m-3.82m 4ft 7in-12ft 6in
Diesel: 2,840lt 625gal
Fresh water: 1,520lt 334gal
Waste (black and grey): 1,140lt 251gal

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