The engine room is spacious on the OA 54, with good work space in the center aisle—even with the large Caterpillar diesels.
The AC generator on this boat is outboard of the starboard engine.
If you opt for a third stateroom, a separate stairway
is required. It would lead up to the saloon, eliminating
the second refrigerator and storage space on the
starboard side. I cast my vote for the two-stateroom
model and pushed on through the watertight door into
the engine compartment.
Despite the bulk of the Caterpillar diesels, there is
room for a central aisle 36 inches wide. Headroom
measured 65 inches and, after our sea trial, a Cat
technician came aboard to trace an alarm fault and
seemed to be comfortable with the work space.
Ocean Alexander says it meets the standards
recommended by ABYC for pleasure boats. Generally,
the engine room appeared to be well done and in
compliance. But I noted a couple of minor anomalies
that could be troublesome.
ABYC standards require large ground wires on the
inverter case. In the event of an internal short, the
small ground wire on the case would be inadequate,
and a fire could result. The ABYC says this is a
common shortcoming on many boats.
The folks at OA said their commissioning crew
noticed the wiring fault when the 54 was delivered to
Seattle and that it would be corrected. They also said
subsequent models would have properly sized ground
wires installed at the factory.
Ocean Alexander installed highway-type dual Racor
fuel filters. Marine-rated filters are designed to meet
standards that require all components of a boat’s fuel
system be able to withstand flame for 2. 5 minutes
before failing and spilling fuel. No such standard
applies to highway filters. The company said a change
to marine-rated filters is in the works.
The most unfortunate element of engine room
design was the decision to place the Northern Lights
generator outboard of the starboard engine on hull
number 1, making things tight for maintenance and
repair. OA says the engine room has an oil changing