“The second Oyster model to be designed by Rob Humphreys, the 53 is very much a little sister to the 56, and an outstanding success in her own right with fifty-two launched between 1999 and 2008. The 53 is also the smallest Oyster that offers a four cabin layout, the fourth cabin was available either as a twin cabin, a single/workshop, or full workshop, offering great versatility, and potential autonomy for long distance cruising.
Fast, well balanced, superb in poor weather and simple to handle, the 53 is deservedly more our most sought after designs.” http://www.oysteryachts.com/yachts/previous-models/oyster-53
The Oyster 53 is a prime example. Since its introduction in 1999, over 40 of these Rob Humphreys–designed yachts have been built. But as with all Oysters, there has been an ongoing discussion between the design and build teams on how to improve the breed. The latest iteration, which Oyster is calling the “fifth-generation deck,” or G5 for short, modernizes the boat while keeping its essence intact. Humphreys’s hull shape has not been changed, and the original deck design is still available if you want it. But there’s a good bit to recommend the G5. It minimizes the lines of the deck saloon (another Oyster innovation) and gives the boat a very different appearance, increasing freeboard slightly and adding overhead space in the galley, the owner’s cabin, and the aft head compartment.
Yacht and Boat
Issue: January 2002
For decades Swan was the most revered of yacht builders. The Finnish boatbuilder – who had initial British input, and is now Italian-owned – became renowned for classy, quality cruiser/racers.
And then along came Oyster to challenge for the title of Most Desired Production Yacht. Founder Richard Matthews set up shop in Britain in the 70s to build a mix of cruisers and racers. Matthews has always been a top-end racing man – he captained Britain’s ’97 Admiral’s Cup team, was chairman of the ’95 America’s Cup challenge. He won Britain’s IRC Class I championship for 2000 in a cutting-edge boat of Oyster construction.
The Oyster genesis shows the gradual shift of the range towards the cruising end of the yachting spectrum, though a limited-production racer would occasionally pop up. Now the range is almost entirely centre-cockpit (there is one exception) heavy-displacement bluewater cruisers. All models – from 42ft to the new 100-footer – feature variations of the Oyster trademark pilot-house style, where the saloon windows are notched into the superstructure.
Bob Perry Review / Boats.com
You have to hand it to the Oyster marketing team. If you say “raised saloon” you almost immediately follow it with “like an Oyster.” This reminds me of 20 years ago when it was: “You know, like a Swan.”
Rob Humphreys designed the hull, deck and rig; Holman and Pye did the interior and structural design. The Oyster 53 is a handsome boat with contemporary lines. The Department of Ergonomics at Loughborough University did the cockpit design. Oyster has drawn on a wide range of talent to produce this boat.
The biggest challenge in designing a raised-saloon boat is not the aesthetics. The real challenge is integrating the heights you need for the raised saloon with the clearances required to extend the saloon seating beyond the perimeter of the cabintrunk. If you want to sit and look out the windows, you have to bring the settees inboard and raise them up two steps, not one. This works well for visibility, but chops up the saloon and reduces the available space.
Blue Water Sailing
Sailing into headwinds of 18 to 22 knots in the shallow waters off of northern Florida is never all that much fun, particularly with an easterly swell pounding you on the beam. However, what normally would have been a grueling and aggravating 48 hours was instead a real test of performance that gave us the opportunity to see the Oyster 53 live up to expectations.
Trade A Boat
Highly regarded British yacht builder Oyster Marine has cultured a pearl Down Under. Vanessa Dudley test-sailed the first Kiwi-built Oyster 53 in Auckland.
British company Oyster Marine has carved out a stately home for itself at the luxury end of the international production yacht market. It builds a range of blue-water cruisers from 12.8m – 25m (42-82ft), all incorporating the deck saloon concept that the company claims to have introduced to the world more than 20 years ago.
Highly-regarded British yacht builder, Oyster Marine, has cultured a pearl Down Under. Vanessa Dudley test-sailed the first Kiwi-built Oyster 53 in Auckland
British company Oyster Marine has carved out a stately home for itself at the luxury end of the international production yacht market. It builds a range of bluewater cruisers from 42-82ft, all incorporating the deck saloon concept which the company claims to have introduced to the world more than 20 years ago.
The yachts are built for short or long-range cruising in comfort, utilising traditional, time-proven construction methods and high standards of craftsmanship. “Well-built, solid and stylish” is a typical description of these craft, which are usually included alongside other prestige marques such as Nautor Swan in lists of the world’s finest ocean cruisers.
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