If you are a British couple 3 years away from retirement of a very successful career, but you are somewhat missing in your experience wandering the world and the big blue yonder, now exactly that would be the moment to drive to Ipswich and sign on the dotted line to order your perfect customized Oyster. Which will be delivered upon your first retirement check and you’ll find youself ready to embark on a vessel that would not actually need to meet land any more for a long time. And do so in style.
The story. In the 70s a boat over 60 feet was considered a superyacht, bordering extravagance. Then the rich became super rich and started moving higher in size reaching the modern megayacht acreage. And also less interested in sailing. And living aboard for the matter. Spacious, well built, bluewater sailing yachts became a niche for wealthy passionate sailors looking more for adventure than for showing off. Clients for these yachts are mainly anglosaxons, spanning between the Usa, Uk, Netherlands and the Hanseatic league. Oyster can satisfy around 30 of these clients every year.
Outside. All Oysters are deck saloons with a central cockpit, meaning panoramic dining rooms, stern master cabins the size of Norfolk and cockpits with commanding views. If you want all this, you can forget to use the word ‘sleek’ to describe your yacht. Many of the owners are frequently sailing short handed so all possible navigational aids have been used and one can actually sail one of these things just pushing buttons from one of the two stations. Funnily enough, not too much importance has been given to the emotions of sailing, as helm stations are slightly uncomfortable (‘to make more room for the shower’) and the winches a bit shy in their position. But it’s also true that the autopilot is on most of the time. It all comes with the mandatory forests of teak, shiny stainless and sparkingly white gelcoat, tat I would say is the least you can pretend in a boat that cost around twice the competitors.
Inside deck saloon means that the sky is your ceiling, so you cannot go much wrong in that area. If you then add nice woodwork, leather or alcantara, a nice bar and a couple of comfy couches, perfection is achieved. But what we like even more, even if you are unlikely to use it if you charter this yacht, is the galley, which is on the way to the master cabin. Truly glorious, last but not least for the corner bar protruding into the saloon on the opposite side of the navigation area that is again glorious at last.
It would be hard even for a sceptic to find faults in the master’s cabin, which is by far the best price/quality ratio in any category. Too modern? Too close to the heads? Too much carpet? Not enough nautical in style? Well, just keep in mind that you can have it as you like it when you order yours…