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Thread: History of Ocean Catamarans

  1. #1
    WingSailor Guest

    Default History of Ocean Catamarans

    Ocean Catamarans History

    Ocean Catamarans, Inc. is the American builder of the Ocean Cat 49. The boat is sold by Island Catamaran Sales the marketing arm of OCI. The founders of the company were part of the original Manta 38 manufacturers back in 1990. They left that company for several years of live-aboard cruising aboard their own Manta. After several years of cruising the coastal waters of the south eastern United States and the Bahamas they settled in Marathon, Key Vaca, Florida and started up Ocean Catamarans, Inc. By the end of the 1990s they had begun production of the Ocean Catamaran 48.8 in a large hanger at the north end of Marathon Airport. The production plug was refined and large production molds were produced at this facility. The first three hulls were built in Marathon. The molds and all production equipment were loaded on a barge and moved north up the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to Hardeeville South Carolina, just north of Savanna. Hull # 4, “Millennium Dragon” and the company owners new Ocean Catamaran 48.8 “Phoenix” were built at this facility. After production of several additional Ocean Catamarans and taking on a new business partner the company was moved to it’s present location on John’s Island, South Carolina near Charleston. The original owners have retired for a life of cruising on their Ocean Cat. The company now produces the Ocean Cat 49 marketed by Island Catamaran Sales. More information may be reviewed on their web site:

  2. #2
    WingSailor Guest

    Default Building Millennium Dragon OCI 48.8

    Building of Millennium Dragon, OC 48.8

    I had done a lot of research on large catamarans since about 1980 including purchasing all the designers study plans and books that were advertised in Multihull Magazine. My wife and I wanted to retire to a live-aboard lifestyle on a large catamaran. A mutual friend introduced me to Henry and Karen Lucke several years before they started Ocean Catamarans, Inc. in Marathon Florida on Key Vaca. Henry is like a growling, curmudgeonly old uncle with a heart of gold. He is honest as the day is long and is one of the cleverest and most knowledgeable people I know. He is extremely street wise and has a strong entrepreneurial spirit while being very old school in his people management skills.

    When he started building the OC 48 I was one of the first people to give him a down payment on a boat and helped him keep OC "floating" through some difficult times. I partially funded my project (Hull #4) before Hull #1 was pulled out of the molds. We argued all the time about the interior layout I had designed and what equipment to use but it was like the old 80/20 rule (more like 90/10). Henry usually convinced me his concepts were more practical or workable. I relied completely on Henry's experience, knowledge and skill in building the major structural components and their assembly.

    My boat has been a test bed for OCI during the building process. The original 3 boats built in Marathon didn't have enough head room for me so Henry bonded my deck forward and inserted a 6" fiberglass channel beam between the deck and hull at the aft cross beam. The space between the outsides of the hull and deck were glassed in and we had 6 6 headroom the length of the hulls. Henry later extended the tops of the side molds so all following boats had the additional headroom. Plugs were built and molds made for production interior cabinetry. Time to build was shortened and labor cost reduced compensation somewhat for the increases in materials cost. In the next series of boats Henry continued to improve the production process until he sold the company and retired several years ago. The boat is now a true "production" model with the entire R&D completed. I am sure the new owners will continue to make minor improvements and refinements but essentially the OC 48 is a very sound, practical, well built boat that has virtually all production issues worked out. The company web site may be viewed at:

    My website has more information than you would ever want to know about the design of the Ocean Catamaran in general and Millennium Dragon in particular.

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