On Test

Otam 70 HT Review (2021 Edition)

The Otam 70 HT: A Darth Vader-inspired, performance yacht propelled by the force of twin 2,000hp engines.

Pure performance machines - certainly at this size - are rare beasts. The Otam 70 HT is a high-quality, high-speed machine with a 50-knot top speed and a liberal attitude to customisation. The 70 is built on low numbers and bespoke to each owner, this is an owner-run boat with an onus on fun family boating. 

There's more to this boat than speed, though. It's very well thought out, much more practical than it looks and the craftmanship is outstanding. Read on to see what this 50-knot flying machine is like out on the water.

Otam 70 HT Key Facts

Otam 70 HT illustration
  • LOA 22.3m
  • Model Year
  • Cabins 3
  • Max Speed 50 knots
  • Status In Production
  • Yacht Type Performance Yacht
  • Use Type Cruising

Test & Review Video

Performance & Handling

It will never not be entertaining to drive a boat this large that is this fast. The headline 50-knot top speed is something in itself but it's the ease with which it gets there that is most impressive, considering the boat's size. The use of carbon fibre aims to keep weight to a minimum but despite this the 70 still tips the scales at 50 tonnes, which makes its performance all the more astonishing. Not all that surprising given there is 4,000hp lurking beneath the aft deck.

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The 70 runs on surface drives, which used to be one of the more intimidating driver systems but modern technology has tamed them somewhat. With auto trim for the drives and tabs there's no juggling of multiple controls for the helmsman, just add power and let the boat do the rest. It's not devoid of drama, however, the rooster tail that sprouts from the bathing platform raises a smile every time you turn to look at it. 

At slow speed, the sheer grunt from the engines and the enormous bite from the props make it quite jerky in and out of gear and there's no joystick to save you here, it's all about the throttles and thrusters.

It's not all about straight-line speed, either, because the 70 HT handles. The fly-by-wire steering makes passing the chunky wheel from lock-to-lock a breeze and the boat tiles and leans with the agility and grace of a fighter jet. It's an incredible feeling, just try and avoid looking directly at the fuel consumption graph...

Design & Build

The Otam 70 HT was designed through a collaboration between the BG Design Firm studio, and Umberto Tagliavini Marine Design for her hull lines.

An interesting feature is the yacht's structural tanks and interior bulkheads, designed to maximise space but also structural rigidity when the boat is tackling rough conditions.  Engine options for the Otam 70 include either twin MTU 2,000hp or MAN 2,000hp engines, both using Arneson surface drives. Developed by Howard Arneson, these drives offer a shallower draft than traditional inboards and are popular in high-performance yachts like Pershing and Mangusta. 

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The 30-odd team at Otam focuses on creating low-volume, high-quality products, and they have made it a point to build everything directly on board. This method (they say) guarantees quality, solidity, and 'limitless' design and layout choices for the client. Each yacht is customised and takes around 12 months to build, though this particular model took 18 months due to a specific laminate plan requested by the owner. Also, the marble used is all vein-matched from the same block. Whether you desire different marble colours, textures, or upholstery, Otam will do it for you.

Storage is abundant throughout the Otam 70 HT, and despite its appearance, is highly practical and thoughtfully designed — a theme that's evident even in the engineering spaces. 

Engine Room

The engine space is dominated by two enormous MTU engines, which, to put it mildly, are a tight fit. While the engineering is superb and everything is top-notch, manoeuvering around these colossal engines isn't the easiest task. Access is improved by two entry points: one aft in the cockpit and another in the saloon, which drops you down to the switchboard and provides access forward of the engines. 

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Otam-70-HT-engines

Interior Accommodation

The saloon of the Otam 70 HT has an old-school, classic appeal. The space isn't the biggest you'll find in a 70-foot sports cruiser, but it’s comfortable and cosy. The leather seating, while it may look a bit dated, is lovely to sink into. Above, the sunroof is fairly small but it does a good job of providing natural ventilation and light, making the space feel less hemmed in.

One of the striking features here is the table — a great adjustable design with a combination of leather, marble, and stainless steel. Additionally, a pop-up TV with a soundbar in this area ensures you have a wonderful view from any seat in the dinette. 

Storage is plentiful with compartments neatly integrated everywhere you look. The saloon also has a wet bar, bridging the gap between the galley downstairs, the salon, and the cockpit area. Equipped with a hot plate, sink, and cooling space, it’s well-thought-out. And, there's a beer fridge — very important, no matter how fast you're going.

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Galley

Forward on the lower deck, you’ll find the galley.  It’s not particularly big for a 70ft sportscruiser — some yachts in this class have galleys twice the size — but that's not the focus here. The specification is still impressive though, featuring Miele induction cooking and a dishwasher.

What's notable is the dishwasher has a catch to prevent it from flying open, a hint if ever you needed it that the 70's accelerarion is potent. Storage is well-handled with ample eye-level compartments, and there's a domestic-sized fridge freezer. Again, though the space isn’t vast, the worktops are generous and the area is neatly integrated, and functional.

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Access to the lower deck is via stairs between the helm and chart station. Given it's a custom build, the layout offers plenty of flexibility, though the structural bulkheads are fixed. This means you can play around with the interior configuration to suit your needs. This particular owner doesn’t run the boat with a crew, so there’s no dedicated crew space. However, there is a compact cabin that could serve that function. While the berth is a bit tight, it’s usable, complete with its own bathroom and storage — ideal for additional guests or short-term crew members.

Owner’s Cabin

Right at the bow, the Otam 70 HT has an incredibly spacious owner’s cabin that genuinely surprises with its size and headroom.  The bed is nice and low and there's storage everywhere. Cabinets on both sides open up to reveal a clever space for your belongings. There’s hanging storage on either side, shallow foot-lockers, and a neat little bureau tucked away.

The ensuite bathroom has a large separate shower cubicle featuring a rain shower head, all finished in teak. The marble used here, all cut from the same block and vein matched, looks lovely.  

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Twin Cabin

Over on the port side, the cabin has a twin setup with two comfortable single berths. While the headroom is a bit compromised at the top end, there's still plenty of space for a 6ft individual to move around and get changed without feeling too cramped. Storage is decent, and the cabin benefits from its own ensuite bathroom. Natural light is limited, but there's a sliver of window with an opening port to allow some fresh air into the space. 

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Helm Station

The helm design is apparently inspired by Darth Vader's helmet, and they’ve done a pretty good job. The setup is both imposing and highly functional, with an array of Raymarine screens that present all information clearly.

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The centerpiece is the steering wheel, chunky and hefty in hand. The boat reacts smoothly to inputs and feels agile, especially significant when you're pushing along at a solid 40 knots. The helm's triple bench is cleverly designed — the central seat doubles as a leaning post, while on both sides perches for the owner's children can rise up to match the captain's height, allowing them to enjoy the same view down the Otam’s extraordinarily long bow.

It's a unique setup for sure, and one tailored to this specific owner. Manual controls are still available: the helm has various inputs to adjust the drives and trim tabs. Alternatively, the auto trim can handle it all for you.

Mirroring the main helm, there’s another set of Raymarine screens on the opposite side in front of the navigator bench, ensuring passengers get an equally good view of the boat’s performance stats. There's a chart holder in front of the navigator bench, a feature that's becoming increasingly rare. It's a fittingly theatrical helm. 

On Deck

Though compact due to the generous saloon and that glorious long bow upfront, the 70 HT's cockpit offers a comfortable space with two prime spots perfect for reclining and admiring the rooster tail firing out behind the boat. The adjustable table here is a nice feature, easily converting from a coffee table to a dining table or even an extension of the sun pad. There's also a short overhang providing shade, and a drop-down window to connect the interior seating area with the cockpit seating.

The passerelle arrangement is quite elaborate, folding in and swinging around to slot neatly on top of the unit behind the fixed platform. It slots in nicely with a hatch housing dedicated storage and a charger for the Sea Bob. The automated gate from the cockpit to the platform is controlled by a button both at the transom and the helm.

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Side Decks & Foredeck

Access to the foredeck on the Otam 70 HT is available on both sides, with a step on the port side that folds away when not in use, integrated into the bulwark. The side decks, are a bit precarious with their low and open guardrails but are made more manageable with the help of handholds along the superstructure.

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Now, let's talk about that bow. It’s incredibly long, stretching out endlessly and contributing to the boat's muscular form. The sun pad placement (although uninventive) is great for those who enjoy basking in the sun. The foredeck also features a hatch for the forward cabin, twin anchor lockers, and all the necessary mooring gear, including nice chunky pop-up cleats and fairleads.  It's not a place you'd want to be marooned in a rolling swell, though. 

Our Verdict

You can't help but wonder how long boats like the Otam 70 HT will be around, given the increasing focus on emissions and fuel economy. This boat deserves to be celebrated while it's still here. As one of the last thrills in boating, the Otam 70 HT offers an exhilarating experience, getting to incredible speeds with all the drama and complexity that surface drives provide. There really is nothing like it. 

However, this yacht isn't just about sheer speed. It's of high quality, incredibly capable, and built to be used. From her beautiful design to its versatile and practical features, the Otam 70 HT stands out. She's a speed machine and an impressive bit of kit, that’s for sure.

Reasons to Buy

  • Incredible performance
  • Surprisingly practical
  • High-quality custom build
  • Exclusivity

Things to Consider

  • Fuel consumption
  • Tight engine room space
  • Precarious to crew

Rivals to Consider

The 70 HT occupies a pretty niche space but it still has some fierce direct competition, the closest of which is the Pershing 7X. Built by the mighty Ferretti Group the 7X doesn't have the bespoke nature of the Otam but it's a real head turner with the pace to match. It will give the Otam a run for its money thanks to a pair of MAN V12 1,800hp engines mated to surface drives for a top speed of 50 knots and a 42-knot cruising speed. 

The Sunseeker Predator 75 doesn't boast the performance of the Otam but it's a fabulous-looking big sportscruiser that compromises on speed but offers much more in terms of living space. It has a tender garage and the cockpit is huge, connecting to a similarly large saloon that is topped by one of the largest sunroofs fitted to a production boat. It's not as bespoke as the Otam but there is a variety of layout options with the choice of galley up or galley down and three or four cabins. It may not be as rapid as the Otam but this big beast will still crack 40 knots. 

Talking of good-looking sportcruisers, the Riva 68 Diable is an absolute corker. Not as fast as the Otam or Pershing but with twin MAN 1,650hp engines it will still crack an impressive 40 knots and cruise in the mid-30s. As well as drop-dead gorgeous looks it's got a tender garage on the main deck and three cabins and three bathrooms on the lower deck. Suffice to say the design and detailing are out of this world.

Specifications

  • Builder Otam
  • Range Fast and Iconic
  • Model 70 HT
Otam 70 HT illustration
  • Length Overall 22.3m
  • Beam 5.4m
  • Draft 1.3m
  • Hull Composite
  • Cabins 3
  • Berths 6
  • Yacht Type (Primary) Performance Yacht
  • Use Type (Primary) Cruising
  • Cruising Speed
    Max Speed
  • Fuel Capacity 5,500 Litres
  • Fresh Water Capacity 1,000 Litres
  • Engine Model 2x MTU 12V 2000 M96
  • Engine HP 1825

Otam 70 HT Layout

  • Main Deck Otam 70 HT

    This arrangement sees the bulk of the internal seating wrapping around the port side of the saloon

  • Main Deck Otam 70 HT

    The seating in the saloon is positioned centrally 

  • Lower Deck Otam 70 HT

    Two cabin with a galley on the lower deck 

  • Lower Deck Otam 70 HT

    A lower dinette arrangement