Ocean Express
Powerboats Inc.

Builder of Quality Power Catamarans for over 40 years. Concept and Design by Ross Focht of Focht Marine Design.

World Championship Powerboats.

Ocean Express Boats

Pioneer of the
Composite Hull Power Catamaran

Conceived, Designed, and Built

in the USA.


Ocean Express powerboats are built to the finest quality standards. Our proud history spans over 43 years of innovative catamarans derived from the exacting offshore racing discipline.

Here are just a few of our key achievements…

  • first off-shore, composite catamaran, ever!
  • first composite Kevlar offshore catamaran
  • first 100% balsa and foam core catamaran
  • first 48′ offshore composite Poker Run catamaran (22 built)
  • first offshore composite Benihana race cat, winning the Benihana Point Pleasant New Jersey Race
  • Winner of multiple in-class speed records
  • Ross Focht pioneered the Offshore Composite Catamaran sport
  • Several of our 40′ catamarans have been running at 100+ mph for over 35 years
Ocean Express

Focht Marine Design

Focht Marine is the brainchild of the legendary Ross Focht. Ross is an award-winning designer and innovator with a career spanning over 40 years. One of the early adopters and pioneers of the catamaran hull, Ross has manufactured an extensive catalog of quality vessels that utilize multiple step, high-speed composite catamaran hulls, featuring World Class engineering, extreme fuel efficiency, excellent sea-keeping ability, and easy maintenance.

Ross followed his head and heart and challenged the status quo. Using his first-hand, practical experience in running boats to their absolute limit, he recognized the shortcomings of ‘accepted’ design and production techniques and dared to ask the question, “How can I make this better?”.   Accepting the self-imposed challenge, he tackled the problem head-on and decided to set his own path.

Where it began…

Ross started life in construction, completing an apprenticeship in carpentry and working on a number of commercial and residential construction projects. His true passion, however, was boats and being on the water.

It wasn’t long before Ross became an avid fan of not just being on a boat but racing them competitively. After a few forays into racing pre-built boats, Ross realized he could build one better from the ground up rather than modifying something off the shelf.

In 1975, Ross launched his first construction effort – Activ8eEr, a deep-vee, monohull monster into which Ross and Co. poured every resource they could muster. 2 years later after modest success they entered into the 1979 Spirit of Detroit race on the Detroit river. This would change his course forever.

Entered in the race was a National Championship team from California. They brought with them a monster of a wooden, catamaran hull boat built by the legendary Cougar Boats in the UK. Everybody who was anybody at the race all chuckled behind hand-covered mouths. Everyone knew that only composite, deep-vee boats were any threat to the status quo.

Then the racing began. The wooden hull catamaran literally smoked every boat on the water. Nobody was laughing anymore.    

Lessons Learned, the Story Begins…

Ross was humbled but like any great innovator, he chose not to just follow the crowd and emulate. Instead, he asked the question, “How can I make it even better?”.

He knew, having seen first hand, how easily a catamaran could outpace a monohull – it just made sense when you think about it given the lesser surface drag. The problem was, wooden boats had a reputation of not being able to stand up to the rigors of high-speed on rough seas.

He may not have been the first to come to this realization, obviously, but he did make the intuitive leap that perhaps a composite material hull might be the way to go. Combine the strength of an external veneer with the lightness of an internal cor material and combine the best of both worlds. Ross went back to the drawing board and began planning what would turn out to be, the future of composite-hull, racing catamarans.

   

The legacy continues…

In 1982, Ross (now Focht Marine Design) completed his first foray into composite catamarans, a 33 foot powerhouse which he handed over to local Michigan race enthusiast, Butch Ryan. Butch put the boat through its paces in several regional competitions with encouraging success.

Meanwhile, Ross went to work on a new 37 foot catamaran which they named ‘EXPRESS’. With Butch at the helm and Ross’s brother Larry on the throttle, the team entered the ’82 Powerboat Championship in Key West. Not only did they blitz the competition, they won the World Championship running the fastest race ever in the Sport Class and setting the World Kilo Speed record at 114 mph. EXPRESS then went on to win the APBA High Point Championship for that year. With this new 37′ EXPRESS, Butch Ryan entered the top ranks of the elite National Powerboat Circuit. Described by competitors as “Hard to catch and even tougher to beat”, boats by Ross Focht Marine Design became a sought-after commodity. 

Many different racing teams looked to Ross Focht to put his unique stamp on their designs  to give  them that “winning edge”.  Ross’s client list back in the 80’s was a veritable whos-who list of the elite racing teams including Baja, Benihana, Budweisser,  Gallo Wines and more.

The Future and beyond…

A Ross Focht Design is more than a mere footnote in the Golden Era of Offshore Powerboat Racing. It is the story about a man who followed his passion and, now 43 years later, continues with that same passion to build quality World Class catamarans. 

Born from a racing heritage, Focht Marine Design has evolved into producing quality vessels for the discerning boat enthusiast looking for a boat that is the best that it can be in terms of quality, performance, style, and comfort.

Focht Marine Design

Years Experience (and counting)

Boats Produced

Our Team

Our team of dedicated professionals is here to assist in any way we can. You are welcome to reach out directly to any member of our team.

Ross Focht

Ross Focht

Founder, Chief Designer

– Contact Ross –

Marsha Focht

Marsha Focht

Administration

– Contact Marsha –

Stewart Donaldson

Stewart Donaldson

Sales and Marketing

– Contact Stewart –