NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF OYSTER • DOUBLE QUEEN'S AWARD YACHT BUILDERS ISSUE 67 WINTER 2008
OYSTER - WORLD LEADERS IN DECK SALOON CRUISING YACHTS
OYSTER PALMA REGAT TA • SPOTLIGHT ON THE 655 • ARC 2008 START
Contents Issue 67
03 FROM THE CHAIRMAN
04 NEWS ROUNDUP
Liz Whitman 08 THE 2008 FIFE REGATTA
10 OYSTER COWES REGATTA 2008
22 THE NEW OYSTER 575
24 PHILIPPINES – OUR GATE TO SOUTH ASIA
32 RACE ROUNDUP LATEST
PRODUCTION EDITOR 34 SOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTH
FROM THE EDITOR
We publish Oyster News three times a year and we know from our readers that the
articles they most enjoy reading about are the contributions from Oyster owners.
42 ONE AMAZING DAY
If you have a story to tell or information about cruising in your Oyster please let Nick O’Donnell
us know. Photographs are always welcome with or without a story.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
FRONT COVER PICTURE: 45 BERMUDA OYSTER WINS
The Oyster 72, Luskentyre during Oyster’s BVI Regatta 2006
BACK COVER PICTURE:
The new Oyster 62, UHURU, during Oyster’s Cowes Regatta 2008
Oyster News is published by Oyster Marine Ltd.
Oyster News is for promotional purposes only, privately circulated, and cannot form part of
any contract or offer. Views, details and information herein are not necessarily endorsed by
the publisher who will not be held responsible for the consequences of any error or
omission. Pictures and illustrations are liable to show non standard equipment.
2 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
A Change of Watch
It’s late November and by the time you read this, Oyster will
have both a new CEO and a new Chairman.
I’ve known our new CEO, David Tydeman, for many years.
He is a qualified naval architect with an MBA, an experienced
businessman, but above all an accomplished yachtsman.
Our new Chairman, Richard Winckles, is the Managing Partner
of Balmoral Capital, who purchased Oyster from Alan Brook
and myself in February.
With these guys on watch, Oyster will continue to be in good
hands and, in case you are wondering, after 36 years at the tiller,
I’m staying on as a part time Non-Executive Director. Hopefully
46 FIJI, LAND OF FRIENDLY PEOPLE
you will meet us all during the January boat shows or afloat,
once the 2009 season gets underway.
52 PARALYMPIC SAILING UPDATE
You don’t need me to tell you the economic climate is the most
extreme most of us have ever known. A good time to have a
53 OYSTERS AT THE 2008 AUTUMN SHOWS healthy order book and a great product range, and happily
Oyster has both.
56 OWNER PROFILE – MIKE WALLACE
Roger Vaughan The three ingredients to enjoy quality of life cruising remain the
same. The means to buy; the time to enjoy and, above all,
65 REGATTAS, EVENTS, PARTIES the health and fitness to get out there and do what so many can
only dream about.
70 JUST LAUNCHED
I’ve lived that dream for every one of the last 36 years and,
God willing, there are a lot more cruises to be charted yet.
Oystercatcher XXX will be the first Oyster 125 when she is
launched in 2011 and I can hardly wait!
As usual fair winds and good sailing to all our readers.
Founder, Oyster Marine
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 3
As one Oyster sets off on a circumnavigation, another two
complete theirs. Mike and Devala Robinson, whose new
Oyster 46 Sea Rover was the first boat to be completed at
the new Landamore’s yard earlier this year, set out on their
circumnavigation from Las Palmas in November in the
company of 15 other Oysters and a fleet of over 220
yachts in this year’s ARC. We look forward to hearing from
them as they sail around the world.
Meanwhile, US owner Peter Graham, who owns the Oyster 61,
Royal Leopard, the first of that model to be launched in
1995, has just completed a circumnavigation with his
wife and two crew on board. Highlights from the six-year trip
include sailing into St Petersburg, Russia and circumnavigating
both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Peter said,
"This has been a fantastic adventure, we love our Oyster and
wouldn’t consider owning anything else".
At the Oyster Regatta in Palma we were honoured to be
able to present a special award to Keith and Rosemary
Hamilton from Canada, who own the Oyster 62, Carpe Diem.
Keith and Rosemary completed a four-year circumnavigation
when they arrived at the Real Club Nautico for the start of
the Oyster Palma Regatta, having set out from Palma after
the Oyster Regatta in 2004.
4 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
down but certainly not out
The culmination of our four years sailing campaign was
supposed to lead to gold medal glory for us in the
Paralympics sailing venue of Quingdao. The Chinese
people were wonderful and gave us everything we
Wind was always going to be in short supply, but this
regatta proved to be extremely frustrating for us and many
other teams and in the end only six points separated the
top seven crews in an 11-race series.
Things didn’t go right for us and luck just wasn’t on our
side. We sailed well at times but with the overall standard of
the Sonar fleet having been raised considerably over the
past year or so it just wasn’t good enough. We never gave
up and when the wind finally arrived on the last day, our
Oyster strengthens European team 1st and 2nd finishes demonstrated what might have been.
We kept fighting right up until the bitter end but finished
To deal with growing European interest in Oyster Yachts,
in a bitterly disappointing 6th place. Our two World
Oyster has opened a new office in Hamburg in northern
Championship wins in 2005 and 2006 and Paralympics
Germany and at the same time strengthened the Oyster
Test Event gold medal proved insufficient to keep us ahead
team with the addition of two new sales negotiators.
when it really mattered.
We are delighted to welcome Thorsten Flack and and
Success breeds success and unfortunately the Paralympics
Britta Bunkenburg who have an enormous amount of
sailors were not able to emulate our Olympic counterparts
experience of Oyster yachts and our customer’s
but we are already putting plans together to continue on
expectations. Thorsten and Britta join the Oyster team to
towards London 2012. Despite our disappointment, we still
deal specifically with the German speaking markets,
have the fire within us to put ourselves through another four
including those in Austria and Switzerland. Both will be
years of campaigning both on and off the water.
familiar to many Oyster customers, as not only have their
family owned an Oyster for several years, but both have
Thank you Oyster, and all the owners who have supported
worked with Oyster at the various European boat shows for
us, for giving us the opportunity of following our dreams.
the last 15 years. Britta spent three years in the UK with the
We are sorry not to have delivered in Beijing as we feel we
Oyster sales team in the early 90’s at the start of her career.
have let everybody down but we have to believe that our
time has not arrived. I know 2012 is a long way off, but
Commenting on their appointment, Britta said: "We have so
we’re hoping there will be wind in Weymouth!
much respect for the Oyster brand and all it stands for and we
are thrilled to be joining such a prestigious and progressive
company. We look forward to meeting friends old and new at
the London and Düsseldorf boat shows."
OYSTER NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY
Starting in 2009 we will be running a competition in each
issue of Oyster News with a prize for the most interesting,
unusual or dramatic location shot featuring an Oyster yacht
submitted. The competition is open to Oyster owners and
non-owners. Digital photographs need to be in high
resolution (at least 300 dpi). Please send in your entries
to Rebecca Twiss, contact her for more information:
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 5
LOUISE GETS A MAKEOVER
Oyster builder, Windboats, are committed to the training and long term
employment of apprentices into the marine industry. Five years ago,
recognising the need to introduce a training scheme they began employing
young trainees in conjunction with a day release programme run by a local
college. To develop their skills in fitting-out, marine engineering and
electronics and to enable them to work without direct supervision,
Windboats purchased a rather tired 28’ traditional Broads sailing yacht.
For one day a week, in addition to their formal training at College, the
apprentices were able to completely strip the interior, cockpit, hull and
deck of the boat, draw up plans for a new interior, work out plumbing and
electrical layouts and rebuild the yacht. The hull was also sanded down and Best in show at Annapolis
sprayed using the same system with which Oyster yacht interiors are
varnished. The result is a completely refurbished Broads yacht of which all Sailboat Show
the trainees can be justly proud. Louise is available for the use of the
Windboats’ workforce, who are encouraged to take her sailing on the After twenty-five years, Oyster’s
participation at America’s leading
Broads. For details about trainee placement at Windboats please contact
sailboat show, has also become
Clive Howard at: firstname.lastname@example.org
something of an institution, more so
than any other non-US builder. This
year it was a case of little and large,
with the Oyster 46 and Oyster 82
The Oyster 82 was the largest new
yacht on display and a long line of
visitors stretched out along the dock
throughout the show. Universal
praise "best in show" was the order
of the day with visitors giving
both Oysters the thumbs up as
representing the highest standards
of design and build quality.
At the annual Oyster Owners’ Party
on the Friday evening of the show,
Oyster’s founder, Richard Matthews,
welcomed a group of about 75
owners, friends and members of the
yachting press. With over 20 Oyster
yachts represented, some owners
had made a special trip from the
West Coast to catch up on news
and happenings at Oyster.
It is now a long-standing tradition
Oyster Regattas online that after ten years service, Oyster
Log onto www.oystermarine.com where you staff are rewarded with their own
can see two short films covering all the action Oyster (of the Rolex variety) and this
on and off the water at the British Virgin time it was the turn of US after sales
support guru Will White. Will is well
Islands and Palma Regattas held earlier this
known to almost all Oyster’s US
year. Go to Regattas and select DVD’s.
owners and appreciated for his
experience and hands on approach
to after sales service.
6 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
Oyster Events 2009
London Boat Show
9 – 18 January
London Owners Dinner
Royal Thames Yacht Club
Düsseldorf Boat Show
17 – 25 January
Strictly Sail Miami
12 – 16 February
Moscow International Boat Show
9 – 12 April
Oyster Regatta – Antigua
High Latitudes, who assisted in preparing the Oyster 72, Billy Budd, for 13 – 18 April
her Arctic expedition, are currently working with two more Oyster owners
planning on some remote cruising. St Katharine’s Dock Private View
22 – 25 April
As part of Steve Powell’s circumnavigation with his new Oyster 62, UHURU,
which will include Cape Horn and Antarctica in 2010. High Latitudes, Palma International Boat Show
working with Oyster’s Project Management team, were involved in advising 24 April – 2 May
on the specification of the yacht and will be planning the detailed
preparations for that passage. Steve was careful to specify that "I do not want Orust Open Yard, Sweden
an icebreaker, but I want to minimise any risks during the Antarctic leg". 20 – 22 August
The owner of the Oyster 655 Gundamain is keen to spend much of his HISWA In-Water Boat Show
time exploring remote locations. Plans for the vessel’s first summer season 1 – 6 September
in 2009 include a cruise up the Norwegian coast to the Arctic Islands of
Svalbard. Once again, High Latitudes were involved in the specification Norwegian International
of the vessel, have recruited the crew for Gundamain and will assist in the In-Water Boat Show
management of the vessel after handover. 3 – 6 September
For more information about High Latitudes see: www.highlatitudes.com Festival International de
la Plaisance, Cannes
9 – 14 September
11 – 20 September
Southampton Owners Dinner
Monaco Yacht Show
23 – 26 September
Oyster Regatta – Palma
29 September – 3 October
Hamburg Boat Show
24 October – 1 November
Retirement for Mike, promotion for Barney
Fort Lauderdale Boat Show
We recently said farewell to Mike Mummery, who has retired as Oyster’s 29 October – 2 November
Commissioning Manager after ten years loyal service and we wish him a
long and very happy retirement. Taking on the challenge of replacing Mike Barcelona Boat Show
is Barney Sollars, who joined the Oyster commissioning department in 8 November – 16 November
2001 and is already well known to many Oyster owners as he has been
responsible for commissioning many of the larger yachts in the Oyster fleet ARC Owners Party
over the last seven years. Barney has over 20 years experience in the 19 November
marine industry having, amongst other things, served aboard Tate and
Lyle’s Thames Sailing Barge, May for five years and skippered Mermerus ARC Start – Las Palmas
in the 1998 Clipper Ventures round the world race, finishing fourth, and 22 November
subsequently managing the Clipper fleet to their next start in 2000.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 7
8 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
The Oyster Regatta
T H E OY S T E R R E G AT T A PA L M A 2 0 0 8
“Unlike some other regattas where owners In the best-supported Palma Regatta yet, thirty-four
Oyster yachts lined up for the 21st regatta in the Oyster
and crews are separated ashore, Oyster events series held between 30 September and 4 October.
embrace everyone as members of the growing Hosted by the Real Club Nautico, Palma, the event was, as usual,
run by Oyster’s own team. Event Director Liz Whitman and her
Oyster ‘family’.” capable staff ran the shore-based events, with long serving Joint
Managing Director Alan Brook in charge of the racing.
Lots of cleaning and polishing was in evidence as crews
prepared for the Concours judging on Tuesday afternoon.
It would be fair to say, without exception, every yacht from
ABOVE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: the brand new 655s to the vintage Holman & Pye 435s
John and Sonia Marshall’s Oyster 56, Rock Oyster were all beautifully turned out. Over the years, many owners
The Oyster fleet racing past Puerto Portals have found more pleasure in owning an immaculately
Evening drinks party at the Virtual Club, Illetas
maintained twenty-year-old Oyster than a new ‘factory built’
Gerd Koehlmoos’s Oyster 485, Flamenco
yacht of equivalent value.
Some of the Oyster fleet at the Real Club Nautico
A show of hands at the Skippers’ Briefing confirmed that the
OPPOSITE: majority of yachts taking part had supported previous Oyster
Trevor Silver’s Oyster 655, Roulette events, nevertheless Oyster founder, Richard Matthews,
10 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
gave the now well-rehearsed safety briefing. A reminder to Wednesday, the first race day, started as forecast with a
keep a good leeward lookout and bear away early was beautiful but windless morning. Alan Brook wisely held the
perhaps all the more poignant following a tragic fatality in fleet in port until midday and then sent them out to sea,
the classic fleet racing at Cannes the previous week. by which time a building 9-10 knots breeze gave the fleet
champagne sailing in the first of two races, a 12-mile
Unlike some other regattas where owners and crews are triangle around the Bay of Palma. While the larger class one
separated ashore, Oyster events embrace everyone as yachts powered ahead, Race 1 definitely went to the very
members of the growing Oyster ‘family’. Numbers stretched well sailed Oyster 485 Flamenco, owned by Gerd and
the logistics and with almost 250 people at the opening Anne-Marie Koehlmoos, who stamped her authority on Class
party it would be fair to say the facilities of the Real Club 2 to take overall honours and to win her class by a margin.
Nautico were fully utilised. These gatherings are a good
opportunity to make friends, share experiences and chat An evening coach trip took us around the Bay of Palma to
over cruising adventures past and future. the cosmopolitan Virtual Club at Illetas for drinks and dinner
on a sandy beach with a tropical atmosphere. For those with
Results are calculated using Oyster’s own handicap system, some energy left after a day on the water, a spectacular
which takes account of the configuration of each yacht and natural cave was transformed into a nightclub, where several
allows a choice of downwind sails to be declared each day crews danced the night away. The ‘smart’ prize here went to
for a small extra handicap. A pro crew factor is applied for David Yelloly who cunningly anchored his floodlit Oyster 72,
those yachts that carry a professional crew for more than Spirit of Montpelier a hundred yards from the Virtual Club
one race. After 20 regattas, the Oyster system seems fair, is jetty – no coaches or taxis for this crew. >
regularly updated and has produced some very close results.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 11
“The standard of both starting and boat handling Thursday’s race to the Cabrera National Park was in doubt
due to the possibility of very strong headwinds for the
seen in Oyster Regattas has improved greatly return leg to Palma on the following day. Race Officer
Alan Brook gathered all the weather information he could
in recent years as crews have become keener and decided that 20-25 knots would be the most wind the
fleet could expect so it was off to Cabrera.
and more experienced.”
The course gave the fleet an upwind start with a good
beat to round Isla del Sech before bearing away for a fast
beam reach of 22 miles to Cabrera. Champagne sailing for
sure, with dolphins playing under the bows of several
yachts. Liz Whitman had done well to get permits for
ABOVE: every yacht, essential for Cabrera where no anchoring is
The Oyster 72, Cookielicious, overall winner of Class 1 allowed and there is a strict limit on the tightly controlled
OPPOSITE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:
The Oyster fleet anchored off Cabrera Cabrera measures around three by four miles (about 5km
David Yelloly’s Oyster 72, Spirit of Montpelier x 6.5km). It's a charming rocky island, much frequented
Dick Morgan’s Oyster 655, Blue Destiny by pirates in days of old. On a darker note, it also served
Steve Powell’s Oyster 62, UHURU as a prisoner-of-war camp during the Napoleonic Wars.
Evening drinks and dinner at Pueblo Española Many died on this island during this period. Cabrera is
12 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
T H E OY S T E R R E G AT T A PA L M A 2 0 0 8
beauty incarnate, rich in wildlife and plants, and the island 200 strong Oyster Regatta contingent having a quiet drink
has been a national park since 1991. before dining aboard.
The Cabrera anchorage is surrounded by high cliffs and well Friday’s weather started more or less as forecast with a
protected with a dock adjacent to the only civilisation on the 10-knot breeze giving the fleet a beat back to the Bay of
island. Apart from the bar, of which more in a moment, the Palma. Alan Brook started his morning VHF roll call with a
other island attraction is a climb to the top of the ancient happy 80th birthday message for Mike Powell, father of
castle. The reward for the climb is a commanding view Oyster 62 UHURU owner Steve. With 100 metres of water
across the anchorage on one side and back across the coast off Cabrera, Alan solved the start line problem by using
of Mallorca on the other. Richard Matthew’s Oyster 82, Zig Zag as the pin end with
both committee boat and pin holding station under power.
Every visitor knows the best bar on the island because the In Class 1, the Oyster 72, Spirit of Montpelier got a
best is also the ‘only’ bar and reminiscent of a Mexican cracking start hitting the line with a second to spare at
cantina. Until this year the bar was operated by a single full speed hard on the wind. The standard of both starting
‘gringo’ who somehow managed to serve at the bar and boat handling seen in Oyster Regattas has improved
single-handed and keep a hundred or so thirsty yachties greatly in recent years as crews have become keener and
plied with beer. Never giving change was one way he kept more experienced.
the beer flowing. This year ‘el gringo’ was still in residence
but busy playing poker, with two new faces doubling the The wind was expected to head and strengthen during the
output across the bar and just able to keep up with the morning and thankfully it freed enough to allow the fleet >
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 13
T H E OY S T E R R E G AT T A PA L M A 2 0 0 8
“In the sheltered water of the Bay of Palma to close reach to the Bay of Palma. By the time the leading
yachts approached the Bay in the usual wind shifts and
with the finishing line in sight the conditions swirls coming off the high headland, the wind has increased
to 20 knots true. With sheets just eased, the wind increased
were truly exhilarating.” with gusts of over 30 knots giving the fleet a final 10-mile
blast across the bay of real full throttle sailing.
Most yachts with a double reefed main by this time and a
few rolls in their headsails were making hull speed which,
for the larger class one competitors meant 10-11 knots with
sheets just cracked. Windblown spray and judicious easing
of mainsheets in the gusts gave everyone a ride to
ABOVE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:
remember. Of course at sea in open water, perhaps dead
Trevor Silver’s Oyster 655, anchored off Cabrera
upwind if the forecast was accurate, would have been a
Prize-giving party, Casa font Seca
lot less fun but in the sheltered water of the Bay of Palma
Boyd and Debbie Goldie’s Oyster 49, Zebahdy
with the finishing line in sight the conditions were
Dick Long and Janice Wright’s Oyster 49PH, Blue Elixir II, Richard Smith’s
Oyster 655, Sotto Vento and Martin Dent’s Oyster 66, Elvis the Gecko
Close racing between Oyster 655, Solway Mist II and Oyster 82, Zig Zag
That evening crews enjoyed drinks and a splendid dinner
OPPOSITE: within the walls of the ‘old’ Spanish Village or Pueblo
Robert and Diana Jansen’s Oyster 61, Sydney Rock Española, an interesting reconstruction of the most
14 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
outstanding architectural styles of architecture seen With a record entry, functions ashore were filled to capacity
throughout Spain. but, despite winds ranging from 2 to 32 knots, every race
in the programme was sailed and everyone agreed the
The final day of the Regatta started with 10-15 knots, but racing was great fun and fair. The Royal Thames Yacht Club
the forecast expected the wind to drop to 5 knots or less by kindly presented a trophy for the top scoring yacht over
lunchtime. Alan Brook did his best to get the fleet out early both classes and their recently retired flag officer,
and racing eventually got underway at 11:50. Class 2 were Andrew Collins, attended the regatta to make the
clean away, but with pressure mounting for results, several presentation. The Royal Thames also presented a special
Class 1 yachts were over early. Unusually in Oyster regattas award to Richard Matthews recognising his contribution to
early starters do not return to re-cross the line to minimise UK yachting with Oyster yachts.
the chance of an incident with other yachts. Race instructions
call for them to furl sails and stop until released by the Perhaps the most significant award at the prize giving dinner
Race Officer. went to Keith and Rosemary Hamilton from Canada
recognising their recent completion of a circumnavigation
In a shifty, fading breeze, yachts without spinnakers or aboard their Oyster 62 Carpe Diem. The Hamiltons join an
downwind sails struggled and the course was shor tened ever-increasing roll of honour dedicated to the many owners
to finish at Isla del Sech where the fleet rounded the point who have sailed around the world in an Oyster. Carpe Diem
of the island and ghosted across the line. Every yacht started her voyage in October 2004 from Palma right after
completed the course by which time the Bay of Palma that Oyster Regatta and competed it with participation in
was a glassy calm. this year’s event four years later. >
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 15
T H E OY S T E R R E G AT T A PA L M A 2 0 0 8
CLASS 1 PRESENTED BY OYSTER BROKERAGE
CLASS 1 Sydney Rock 61 Robert & Diana Jansen
CLASS 1 Rock Oyster 56 John & Sonia Marshall
CLASS 2 PRESENTED BY UNDERCOVER
CLASS 2 Spirit of Spring 47 Stuart & Carolyn Popham
CLASS 2 Twice Eleven 435 David & Tamsin Kidwell
RACE 1 SPONSORED BY LEWMAR
4th Spirit of Montpelier 72 David Yelloly
3rd Solway Mist II 655 John Maxwell
2nd Cookielicious 72 Peter Morris
1st Roulette v.2 655 Trevor Silver
4th Blue Elixir II 49PH Dick Long & Jan Wright
3rd Boysterous Adinda 435 Paul Millham
2nd Pied Beauty 435 Robin Wilshaw
1st Flamenco 485 Gerd Koehlmoos
RACE 2 SPONSORED BY LEWMAR
4th Sotto Vento 655 Richard Smith
3rd Roulette v.2 655 Trevor Silver
2nd Solway Mist II 655 John Maxwell
1st Cookielicious 72 Peter Morris
4th Blue Beat 406 Richard Weatherhead & Kate Hooker
3rd Twice Eleven 435 David & Tamsin Kidwell
2nd Mareka of Holland 49PH Hans Kampers
1st Boysterous Adinda 435 Paul Millham
THE LEWMAR TROPHY (combined result of Race 1 and Race 2)
CLASS 1 Cookielicious 72 Peter Morris
CLASS 2 Boysterous Adinda 435 Paul Millham
ABOVE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
John Maxwell, Solway Mist II with Denette Wilkinson
Hans Kampers, Mareka of Holland with Sarah Brooke RACE 3 SPONSORED BY RAYMARINE
from Raymarine CLASS 1
Dick Morgan, Blue Destiny with Matthew Vincent from Dolphin 4th Solway Mist II 655 John Maxwell
RIGHT FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: 3rd Carpe Diem 62 Keith & Rosemary Hamilton
Stuart and Carolyn Popham, Spirit of Spring with Oyster’s 2nd Sotto Vento 655 Richard Smith
Alan Brook 1st Cookielicious 72 Peter Morris
Gerd Koehlmoos, Flamenco
Pia Schulte, Anabasis winner of youngest and CLASS 2
4th Twice Eleven 435 David & Tamsin Kidwell
Peter Morris and crew, Cookielicious, winner of Class 1
Robin Wilshaw, Pied Beauty, winner of Class 2
3rd Pied Beauty 435 Robin Wilshaw
2nd Mareka of Holland 49PH Hans Kampers
1st Boysterous Adinda 435 Paul Millham
16 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
T H E OY S T E R R E G AT T A PA L M A 2 0 0 8
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 17
Oceana is a leading organisation that campaigns to
protect and restore the world’s oceans and the people
and creatures that depend on them, an issue that is of
interest and concern to all yachtsmen.
In 2006, an international team of scientists assessed the
state of the world’s oceans in an article that was
published in Science. Their findings had the ring of the
apocalyptic: Nearly a third of the world’s commercial
fisheries had already collapsed. And if trends were
allowed to continue, all the world’s fisheries would
collapse by mid-century.
This is a serious problem for the world because a billion
people turn to the seas for protein. Hundreds of millions
of people rely on an abundant ocean for their livelihoods.
Countless coastal villages, some quite remote, will become
ghost towns if the oceans collapse. And of course there
by Andre w Sharpless
are many wonderful wild ocean creatures – whales and
CEO, Oceana dolphins just the celebrities among them – that do not
deserve to be hunted to virtual extinction.
Practical people want to work on problems that are
solvable. And many people assume that saving the oceans
is impossible. Let me give you some very good news:
Restoring abundant oceans is the most solvable global
ecological challenge that we face. And we can get it done
in our lifetimes.
Why? Discouragement is rooted in several fundamental
misconceptions about the causes of the problem.
18 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
O C E A NA p r o t e c t i n g t h e w o r l d ’s o c e a n s
First, people assume that ocean collapse is driven by aquaculture does not reduce the pressure on the wild
pollution. That’s discouraging, because pollution is difficult ocean ecosystem – in fact, quite the reverse. Salmon
to prevent. For example, oil and mercury pollution of the farmers need at least three pounds of wild-caught fish to
oceans is a consequence of things that people want and produce one pound of salmon. On the other hand, if you
need – for example, gas in their cars, electricity to their are farming a fish that eats vegetable protein, then with
homes. The good news is that most of the collapses in appropriate safeguards (on use of pesticides and
ocean fisheries are not caused by pollution. They are antibiotics, for example), such a fish farm can indeed
instead caused by shortsighted commercial fishing practices contribute to solving the problem of ocean depletion.
that include overfishing, habitat destruction and high levels
of bycatch. These are fixable problems. We know what to Ocean ecosystems are generally quite resilient. While there
do. We just need to get the government officials who set are distressing exceptions – the collapse of the Atlantic
the rules for commercial fishing to do a better job. cod fishery off Canada is a vivid one – fisheries will
rebound if managers enforce scientifically sound quotas,
Second, people assume that international action is protect habitat and reduce bycatch. One example: during
required to save the oceans. Because vast parts of the World War II, when fishing in the Atlantic dropped off,
oceans are beyond the reach of any one country, one fishery populations increased dramatically.
naturally assumes that ocean protection requires action by
the United Nations or other international treaty bodies. At Oceana, we make it a practice to give ourselves a limited
That’s discouraging too because, sadly, the track record of number of policy objectives – restoring ocean fisheries, for
many such bodies is long on words and short on results. instance – and to hold ourselves accountable for delivering
The good news is that many of the most ecologically and results within three to four years. We resist the tendency to
commercially valuable parts of the ocean are coastal. spread ourselves too thinly among too many objectives,
Shallower coastal waters produce more productive marine doing just enough on everything to lose. And by results, we
environments. In the 1980s, the nations of the world took mean a policy change that will deliver concrete benefits to
control of their coastal oceans out to a distance of 200 healthy oceans. We do not mean objectives like "raising
nautical miles. That means that you can protect much of consciousness of the problem." Happily, our practical
what is most important in the ocean by national action. approach has made us very effective in the seven years
since our founding. Here’s to an abundant future.
Third, people assume that fish farming is a solution to
For more information please see: www.oceana.org
overfishing. The facts are that it depends what fish you are
farming. If you’re farming a fish that eats fish, then Photos: Courtesy of Oceana
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 19
The 2009 Oyster Fleet
The 2009 Oyster Fleet comprises a range of modern OYSTER 62
sailboat designs from 46 to 125 feet, including the new The 62 is an excellent performer, proven by being top
Dubois designed 100 and 125 superyachts, and the new cruising yacht in the ARC and winning five firsts at Antigua
twin-cabin Oyster OM43 motoryachts. Sailing Week. Twin wheels give safe and easy deck to
cockpit access, while the cockpit itself is easily the best in
Every Oyster is built with blue water live-aboard cruising in her size range. Now with her new g5 deck styling she offers
mind. Great sailing performance, sea keeping, ergonomically an even more striking outboard profile.
designed cockpits and comfortable, spacious interior layouts
come as standard. So too does a host of practical OYSTER 655
seamanlike features, that make an Oyster an Oyster. With her fully-optimised hull lines, long waterline, generous
sail plan and Kevlar/carbon hull, the Oyster 655 offers
Also standard is Oyster's After Sales Support, which our performance, comfort and style in abundance. Below decks,
owners tell us is the best in the industry. Regattas and social her contemporary, open-plan saloon and U-shaped galley
events around the world encourage camaraderie and make make best use of the yacht’s generous 5.62m beam.
owning an Oyster feel like belonging to a large, but rather
special, family. OYSTER 72
Maintaining all the advantages of the proven Deck Saloon,
OYSTER 46 the Oyster 72 has one of the sleekest profiles in the
The Oyster 46 has established herself as the quality choice range. A fast cruising yacht with winning ways, the 72,
in this popular size range. Her great interior layout, with Oystercatcher XXV, won the Rolex/RYS Around the
typical Oyster build quality and her stylish deck, sets her Isle of Wight Race, and several other races overall,
apart. The 46 sails really well and almost certainly has best proving the yacht’s potential against world-class
in class stability for real sail carrying power and comfortable competition. A look below will show the 72 also offers
passage making. luxurious live-aboard accommodation.
OYSTER 54 OYSTER 82
With hull lines designed by Rob Humphreys and styling and With sales well into double figures, the Oyster 82 has proved
detail from Oyster’s own Design Team, a glance at the 54’s herself beyond doubt as a really superb yacht. Light on the
outboard profile confirms that her stunning appearance will helm and well balanced, the 82 sails remarkably well. Built
be admired around the world’s cruising grounds. Careful, from cost effective tooling, the 82 offers a combination of
design development by a team of talented, artistic designers build quality, performance and comfort above and below deck
has created what we think is one of the best-looking Oyster that really puts her into the superyacht league.
deck saloon designs ever.
OYSTER SUPERYACHTS BY DUBOIS
OYSTER 56 Comprising of three models, the Oyster 100, Oyster 125
With well over 70 yachts sold, the Oyster 56 remains a Deck Saloon and 125 Flybridge, our Superyacht project is
market leader and has established herself as one of the well underway with the Oyster 100 about to commence
most popular Oysters and for good reason. An ergonomically moulding and the first 100 expected to launch in summer
designed cockpit, proven performance and a stunning 2010. Tooling for the 125 Flybridge has started with the
outboard profile amongst them, which makes the 56 a true first yacht launching in 2011.
blue water cruiser.
OYSTER 575 The OM43 motoryacht range is built to the same high
The new Oyster 575 is about evolution and experience. standards as our sailing yachts. Offering daytime comfort for
Evolution means an exceptionally sleek deck saloon and at least six people in her comfortable saloon or cockpit and
cockpit with twin wheels. Experience means creating a now with two cabins, the OM43 is powered by water-jet
design that benefits from the knowledge we have gained in propulsion allowing you to explore those shallow creeks and
building over 125 Oyster yachts in this size range. With dry out when required, without the dangers of fouled props.
three new 575s already sold from the drawing board,
the first yacht will be available early in 2010.
20 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
Oyster at the 2009 boat shows
As we start the 2009 boat show season, we extend a very warm welcome to
you to visit us and see some of the newest Oysters afloat.
In London, the new Oyster 54 makes her London debut at Excel, alongside the
stylish Oyster 655 in the North Hall, whilst the new twin cabin version of the
OM43 Motoryacht makes her world premiere in the South Hall.
In Düsseldorf, our new German sales team, Thorsten Flack and Britta Bunkenburg,
along with some of the team from Oyster UK, will be welcoming visitors to our
2009 boat show stand, which this year will be bigger and better than ever.
We will be showing the new Oyster 54 alongside the Oyster 655.
Also in Düsseldorf, we have a separate Oyster Superyacht Stand in Hall 7 where we will
have large scale, detailed models of both the Oyster 100 and Oyster 125 Flybridge,
together with the latest drawings and specifications on the Superyacht range.
As usual, we will be operating an appointment system to enable as many visitors as
possible to view our yachts. Whilst we try to ensure everyone who wants to view
our yachts can do so, we do get extremely busy. Booking a boarding time ahead of
your visit to the show will ensure you are not disappointed.
Appointments can be made via the on-line Boarding Pass request forms on our
website at: www.oystermarine.com or please call:
UK/European Shows UK Office Tel: +44 1473 688888
USA Shows US Office Tel: +1 401 8467400
London Boat Show
9-18 January 2009
Stand Nº N08
New Oyster 54
Stand Nº S30B
New Oyster OM43 motoryacht
Boote – Düsseldorf
17-25 January 2009
New Oyster 54
Stand Nº 7AD23
To contact us during the Düsseldorf Show please call: +49 163 1435723
Strictly sail – Miami
12-16 February 2009
Buy tickets for the London Show online and help the
Ellen MacArthur Trust:
Buying your tickets to the London Boat Show via the Oyster
website saves you money on the gate price and ensures you
fast access to the show without queuing on your arrival.
But even better, Oyster will make a donation to the value of
10% of all tickets purchased via our website to the
Ellen MacArthur Trust. Tickets can be posted to you or you
can print your own tickets to take to the show with you.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 21
By Chris Duc ker, Oyster 655, F l ying Duc kman
On 21 March this year, a dream came true and we
took ownership of our new Oyster 655. Up to this point,
I had only raced in a variety of boats, from dinghies to
50-footers, in various regattas and championships around
the world. We had limited cruising miles under our belts.
However, we had decided to experience a new way of
seeing the world and enjoying our free time, so what
better way to do it than in an Oyster, we had been reliably
informed. As a result, our expectations were high.
Although we had spent many hours coming up with a name
suitable for an Oyster, my friends told me I had no choice.
Most of my racing boats had been called Flying Duckman
and I was associated with this name (along with one or two
not so ingratiating others), even having a caricature
presented to me. So Flying Duckman it was.
The port of registration was another interesting one. Did I
“One of the greatest pleasures of owning have London or Bahamas or some other exotic location?
I am a pond sailor from Windermere and my nearest port of
our Oyster has been sharing her with friends.”
registration is Barrow-in-Furness, in fact all the passenger
steamers on the Lake are registered in Barrow, so if it is
good enough for them it was good enough for me. It has
raised a few eyebrows, but I think we are pretty unusual,
how many luxury yachts have you seen registered in
Barrow? I also think that our Oyster is as indestructible as
the nuclear submarines produced there!
Having been fortunate in finding a young and enthusiastic
crew, in An and Jens, who have guided us in the do’s and
don’ts of cruising (I have to say mainly the don’ts though!)
we left snowy Ipswich.
ABOVE: The Ducker family and their crew An and Jens
OPPOSITE PAGE Thick fog in the English Channel was no fun, but my learning
TOP RIGHT: Ian enjoying his first go on the helm curve was already rising quickly with this new experience.
TOP LEFT: Preparing to leave snowy Ipswich Emerging out of the fog, we were welcomed by the beautiful
BOTTOM: Our favourite marina, Calvi estuary of Benodet in Brittany, what a first port of call.
22 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OW N E R R E P O R T
I would recommend it to any one, but suggest you leave at secure. When I did venture down below to eat one of An’s
high tide when you don’t have 7 knots of flow pushing you tasty dinners, that she had some how managed to serve with
sideways, another interesting moment, well done Jens! her usual excellent presentation, the calmness and relative
stability in the saloon was remarkable, especially when you
We had many adventures along the way and throughout considered what was happening outside.
Flying Duckman acted impeccably. I knew one day I would
have to sail through a bit of a gale, but didn’t expect it to A variety of friends hopped on and off at different ports on
happen quite so soon. As we left Benodet the local forecast route to assist with the trip to Corsica, our destination for
and GRIB files for the Bay of Biscay were for a reasonable the first couple of months. I was amazed at how many
force 6 to 7. Reality was force 9, but our new 655 took it all friends I suddenly had! One of the greatest pleasures of
in her stride. As I sat on deck, wind gusting 45 knots plus, owning our Oyster has been sharing her with friends,
the occasional wave breaking over us, I felt totally safe and 21 guys assisted with the trip to Corsica on the six different >
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 23
“As a relative novice of cruising and specifying legs we had planned. Many of them had never done a night
passage and for one, his time onboard left him with an
a yacht, other than for racing, the benefits experience he won’t forget in a hurry – surfing down a wave
in 27 knots of wind, under a sky of shooting stars, hitting
arising out of the patience and guidance shown 13.8 knots on the log. It wasn’t a bad moment for me either.
by our Project Manager, Julian Weatherill,
Just when a fresh group onboard had settled into a routine,
has been immeasurable.” something would happen. Thick fog, a beautiful piece of
coast line, catching of a 7kg tuna, which was miraculously
turned into instant sushi and sesame seared steaks by An
and many other fond memories. There are too many to
mention, but here are a few.
Due to a couple of storms and having plenty of time, we
ended up in two marinas that we would never normally visit.
La Coruna, on the North coast of Spain, provided us with
fantastic seafood and many a late night in a local bar,
serving their wonderful beer brewed on the premises.
If you ever end up in La Coruna, visit the beautiful yacht
club, they made us most welcome, serving large gin and
tonics in marvelous glasses, with impeccable style. We also
ran from the weather in Marina Porto Atlantico in Leixos,
just north of Porto in Portugal, what a pity! Again, the two
local yacht clubs made us most welcome, serving
unbelievably good value food, in generous portions. Porto
ABOVE: Flying Duckman at anchor off Corsica was only a short taxi drive away and it would have been
FAR LEFT: Approaching Calvi rude not to sample the locally produced liquor. By this stage,
FAR RIGHT: Friends became keen crew there appeared to have been a trend developing on our trip!
24 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OW N E R R E P O R T
A group of three climbed onboard in Estepona, Spain to Why did we choose Corsica as our destination? Simple
assist with the next leg, one who had never sailed before, really, everyone that I had ever discussed Corsica with,
Ian. The second night at 3am, the wind built to 30 knots had never had a bad word for it and we weren’t
with a sharp chop. Although we had carried out a full safety disappointed. Every headland we sailed around there was
briefing, no one had thought to tell Ian that it was quite another remarkable view. The mountains, wildlife, bays and
normal and indeed safe when Flying Duckman slammed into old towns all add up to make it a special place for those
waves and the whole yacht shuddered. A series of rapid onboard. My favourite marina was Calvi, what a location to
texts were sent to his wife, wishing a fond farewell and leave Flying Duckman in the capable hands of my crew.
telling her where the insurance policies where. Once we had
turned a corner to enter our next destination the wind and A key lesson learnt in retrospect is that we have no doubt
waves eased, much to Ian’s relief. Having been informed of benefited from the knowledge and expertise provided by
his horrors I comforted him with the fact that Oysters were Oyster during the build process. As a relative novice of
designed to take all that can be thrown at them and he cruising and specifying a yacht, other than for racing, the
relaxed. The next day we set sail in 15 knots of wind that benefits arising out of the patience and guidance shown
built to a perfect 25 knots. We spent a few minutes training by our Project Manager, Julian Weatherill, have been
Ian and put him on the helm. You have never seen a grin immeasurable. Although we have many additional features
so big, he is now a total convert and wants more. fitted to Flying Duckman, to enhance our experience and
further cosset us in the Mediterranean and on crossings
We had dolphins joining us on many occasions, but the most to the Caribbean, I was guided to keep things simple and
memorable of the wildlife were the whales. Half way between effective. This has greatly contributed to making the last few
Minorca and Corsica on a calm sea with little wind, we saw a months experience even more enjoyable. Thanks to
small pod of whales directly ahead of us. On checking one of all the team who have helped put our dream together.
our guide books, we determined they where Fin whales, five of
them, including a mother and her calf. On one occasion they
came directly along side, just two metres away, running parallel
and the largest of the group was virtually the length of us, So, what are our feelings after the first few months onboard
close to 20 metres. Wow and wow again! The longest lasting Flying Duckman as relative cruising novices? Well, it’s
memory of them though was their breath. We were slightly difficult to knock it really, it has been a pleasure all the way
down wind on one occasion, when the pod decided to surface along the line, with so many happy memories and lessons
and exhale It was the most disgusting smell on earth, it was a learnt. There are many people who have contributed to
combination of rotting fish, a sewage works and the after math making the first year of Flying Duckman so successful –
of a night on stale beer! As we sailed on there was a silence friends, An and Jens and those people back in the build yard
onboard, they had left quite an impression. and offices of Oyster, thank you to you all.
We had remarkably few problems on our first voyage My next trip is to help take our ‘baby’ across the Atlantic,
considering we departed Ipswich with only the Oyster test it will be the first time for both of us, and it’s going to be
miles under her belt. When issues did occur it was always a bit special I think.
reassuring to know that David Hayward and his After Sales
Team were there to support us in their impeccable and Well done Oyster, you have surpassed our expectations.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 25
26 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
An inside look at...
the Oyster 655
By Duncan Kent
SLEEK, STYLISH AND SOPHISTICATED, THE ELEGANT OYSTER 655 IS A WORLD GIRDLING LUXURY YACHT
DESIGNED TO BE HANDLED BY NO MORE THAN TWO PEOPLE. DUNCAN KENT REPORTS… >
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 27
“ATTENTION TO STYLING HAS GIVEN THE NEW G5 RANGE A MORE MODERN, STREAMLINED APPEARANCE
AND A TRULY SEDUCTIVE PROFILE.”
28 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
A N I N S I D E L O O K AT. . . t h e O y s t e r 6 5 5
The 655 is one of Oyster’s most successful models in its ON DECK
impressive new ‘g5’ series of Kevlar/Carbon deck saloon
cruisers, with 11 built already since its launch two years ago Her twin-helm cockpit, standard on all Oysters over 56ft,
and further orders already signed. As with all current has a working area that is kept separate from the main
Oysters, this lustrous ocean cruiser was created by cockpit, so guests can be entertained under way without
renowned yacht designer, Rob Humphreys, together with being disturbed by the crew. The lectern-style consoles at
Oyster’s own in-house design team. In addition, during the both helms are large enough to house a substantial chart
initial construction, Oyster formed a close partnership with plotter/radar LCD, plus a plethora of other instruments and
High Modulus – one of the world’s leading composite displays. The deck gear is sensibly arranged so that a
engineering companies – to help them create the strongest couple can manage her quite easily – in fact she can even
but lightest hull possible without compromising Oyster’s be sailed single-handed without much difficulty, thanks to
renowned build quality. her standard powered sheet winches and furlers. Headsail
sheets, mainsheet winch and furling controls are all within
The 655’s single skin hull is moulded from an reach of the helms and hydraulic adjustment to the Navtec
E-glass/Carbon/Kevlar composite using a balance of outhaul and vang is made from the consoles, duplicated
materials designed to offer superior strength and stiffness each side.
to the hull, whilst making significant weight savings over
a typical GRP construction. The hull is further reinforced Many of Oyster’s traditional features have been retained,
by bonding a matrix of foam stringers and floor bearers such as the handy rope bins in the cockpit seats that keep
to the inside – both above and below the waterline. the decks tidy and hazard-free. The main/guest cockpit has
The consequent weight reduction, allied to a long waterline, a teak table that extends to provide dining space for at
shallower underwater sections and generous sail plan, has least eight in comfort. Twin helm stations provide an
resulted in an easily driven hull that is not only pleasingly unobstructed passageway from the cockpit to the transom,
quick under sail, but also extremely well balanced. where steps lead down to the teak-planked swimming
platform and deck shower. The large afterdeck leaves plenty
In standard form, the Oyster 655 sports a high-performance of room for drying off and lounging about, whilst two
bulb keel combining a moderate draft with good sailing L-shaped, teak rail seats offer a fantastic view of the whole
performance. She sports a GRP stub keel to which is bolted deck and are a great place to sit under way. Beneath the
a 14.7-tonne, hydro-dynamically efficient lead ballast bulb. afterdeck is a huge lazarette large enough for a diving
A shoal draft keel reducing the draught from 2.93m to compressor and bottles, as well as all the other
2.16m is also available as an option for those that like to paraphernalia associated with long-term cruising. Flush
get a little closer to the beach. hatches, fold-away cleats and recessed headsail tracks mean
moving around her decks bare footed is not a toe-stubbing
Attention to styling has given the new g5 range a more experience. Her wide side decks sweep enticingly up to her
modern, streamlined appearance and a truly seductive commanding bow, which looks and feels immensely powerful
profile. Completely new moulds were created wherein the as it carves a deep groove through the oncoming waves.
hull to deck join, finished with upstanding bulwarks on
previous models, has been modified to create a smooth, Anchoring facilities are robust on any Oyster as its designers
moulded toe rail that can be left bare, or teak-capped. and builders fully understand that their boats frequently lie
The new deck moulding offers improved headroom at anchor for long periods in all conditions. Long-term
throughout the length of the boat without adversely cruisers need formidable ground tackle to enable an
affecting her sleek contours. undisturbed night on the hook. The 655’s 48kg CQR
self-stows in a massive bow roller and together with
100m of 12mm calibrated chain and powerful Lewmar
electric windlass, should undoubtedly keep yacht and crew
safe and sound. >
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 29
RIG AND SAILS double in size simply by folding over the entire upper
section, bringing the opposite settee into the seating plan
Oyster has retained the traditionally robust masthead cutter and providing a huge dining area for special occasions.
rig, which it believes to be the most versatile for its overall
design function, although two so far have been built with a Typically for Oyster, the woodwork and joinery is of superb
single, non-overlapping headsail. Standing rigging is quality and there is a wide range of different timbers
discontinuous rod throughout and another of the g5 available. Some have the American White Oak, which is
features, a hydraulically jacked mast, greatly facilitates the bright and pleasing to the eye, although alternative woods
setting up and tuning of her rig. Detachable check stays are include equally attractive maple, cherry or teak. Throughout
also supplied for windward work in heavy seas, although the yacht the sole is a teak chequerboard pattern with
some owners have chosen mast jumpers instead. every board dampened to stop squeaks and screwed down
A carbon spar option is available for those looking for
maximum performance, otherwise she is supplied with a Hall Two steps down to port and you’re in the long, U-shaped
Spars alloy mast and boom as standard, with triple spreaders, galley. There is a large, top-loading freezer and a single front
fully-battened mainsail, single line slab reefing and lazy jacks. opening fridge under the granite-style counter top. At the
Yankee and staysail furling is via two manual Harken furlers as end is space for a drawer-style dishwasher, or a second
standard, but Reckmann hydraulic furlers powered by a fridge. Meals for eight or more can be created on the
Lewmar Commander hydraulic power unit are a popular option, Force 10 cooker with its full-size oven and most other
with push-button controls at the helm. She has powerful conveniences, including a microwave, are built in.
Lewmar three-speed electric (77CEST) primary winches and
two-speed manual (65CST) spinnaker winches. One of several To starboard is the navigation station, comprising a full
other winches beside the mast foot is also electric as standard, admiralty sized chart table with a desktop alongside for a
as is the mainsheet winch, but more can be upgraded if laptop or keyboard. Plenty of surrounding console space
required. Sails are by Dolphin Sails, now part of the Oyster has been provided for large displays and there’s a deep
Group. Dolphin knows exactly the cut that favours these yachts bookshelf above for manuals, pilot books etc. A Digital Yacht
after many years of supplying Oyster as an independent sail navigation and communications computer can be built in
loft. Getting a cutter rig to sail especially well can be a tricky under the tabletop. Standard electronic navigation is by
business, but the design of the 655’s headsails put them in Navionics on a Raymarine E120 series chart plotter/radar,
perfect harmony when working to windward – something not with a repeater on the starboard helm station, but other
always achieved with such precision. makes of equipment can be fitted on request.
Sleeping accommodation is provided for eight in four
BELOW DECKS luxurious cabins – a master suite aft, a VIP cabin just
forward of the saloon to starboard, and two twin-bunk
In common with all modern Oysters the 655’s raised deck
cabins. The master suite has a raised, queen-size island
saloon features large windows that allow plenty of natural
berth on the centerline, excellent headroom and enough
light to flood the saloon. Sunblinds are provided and both
stowage for very long periods on board. It has its own
forward deck saloon windows open to allow a good breeze
access ladder and escape hatch to the afterdeck and a
through at anchor.
comfortable settee large enough to relax in and read a book,
or to watch a DVD on the optional bulkhead mounted,
The layout of the main cabin is quite open plan. The large
32in LCD. The settee can also be used as a sea berth
table is set against a curved settee to starboard that
for long passages. >
comfortably seats six for dining. However, modifications are
frequently made to this arrangement whereby the table can
30 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
A N I N S I D E L O O K AT. . . t h e O y s t e r 6 5 5
“TYPICALLY FOR OYSTER, THE WOODWORK AND JOINERY IS OF SUPERB QUALITY AND THERE IS A WIDE
RANGE OF DIFFERENT TIMBERS AVAILABLE.”
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 31
“IN ALL, THE OYSTER 655 IS AN EASILY HANDLED, RELAXING AND FUN YACHT TO SAIL.”
32 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
A N I N S I D E L O O K AT. . . t h e O y s t e r 6 5 5
Forward of the saloon the VIP cabin has a roomy double Once out at sea the breeze filled in a little as we hoisted full
berth, ample dressing area and excellent clothes stowage in sail and trimmed. The whole business took very little time
cedar-lined lockers. As with the owner’s suite, the en suite and effort – courtesy of the powered furlers and winches –
facilities include a separate shower stall. and we were soon driving to windward at a respectable
7-knots plus. She has a nicely balanced helm that gives
There are two further cabins with twin berths – one opposite positive feedback to the wheel, but as the wind rises the
the VIP suite forward, also with its own en suite facilities, mainsheet traveller needs to be slid down the track a touch
and a second, smaller cabin, which is accessed through the to avoid excessive weather helm. The view forward from
corridor to the aft cabin. either helm is exceptionally good and her long waterline and
powerful, deeply V’d bows give her a resolute, but
Access to the engine is through full height twin doors in the comfortable motion through the water. As we came a little
aft corridor, but the sole boards in the saloon must be lifted off the wind onto a beam reach, the log surged over the
to service the generator, which is forward of the engine, 8-knot mark, despite a true wind of just 12-knots. At this
alongside the batteries. point I could have left the helm and made tea without the
assistance of the autopilot – although she was eager to
reach up to her favoured slot at around 40° off the apparent
UNDER WAY wind, where she would happily cross half an ocean with
little more than the odd tweak of her wheel.
We took hull No 2, Acheron, for a trial sail out of Oyster’s
homeport, Fox’s Marina in Ipswich. Motoring her down the Sadly, Acheron’s spinnaker had yet to arrive, so we could
River Orwell to the sea was a relaxing half-hour, thanks to only try her off the wind with the white sails, but her big
the exceptional engine soundproofing and Oyster’s tendency yankee is not far short of genoa proportions and with the
to ‘over-engine’, which enables her 185hp Perkins-Sabre staysail rolled away we still managed a relaxing 5.2-knots on
diesel to push her through the water at a steady 8.2-knots, a broad reach in 10-knots of true wind. The small 10° angle
cruising economically and quietly at just 1,500rpm. of spreader sweep allows her boom to be let a long way out
Her four-bladed, Brunton folding propeller pushes enough without chafing her sail or risking an accidental gybe, which
water over the large rudder to give her steerage, even at makes for well-mannered and less fraught downwind sailing.
low speeds. This was admirably demonstrated by Oyster’s
Senior Commissioning Assistant, Adrian Mulville, as on our In all, the Oyster 655 is an easily handled, relaxing and fun
return he threaded us back into a berth just a foot or yacht to sail. Sensible planning and powerful deck gear has
two longer than her hull, after completing a 180° turn enabled her to be sailed short-handed, which for a 65ft,
between the pontoons, to take her in stern first – with the 40-ton boat is a considerable achievement.
assistance of her powerful bow thruster.
Details on specification, a gallery of the latest images
and video footage of the Oyster 655 are available on the
Oyster website: www.oystermarine.com
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 33
CURIOUS - London to Morocco
By Ste ve Brown, Oyster 56, Curious
Our maiden voyage on our new Oyster 56 Curious When we were searching for a name for our new home we
took us from Fox’s Marina, Ipswich to St Katharine’s wanted something that was in keeping with such a beautiful,
ocean going boat and a name that captured the freedom and
Dock in London where our new yacht was showing
wandering spirit of the adventure we were to embark upon.
at Oyster’s Private view and it was there that we After hours of scouring the internet for other boat names for
officially named the boat. inspiration (and to avoid picking a name that was already
in use) Tricia resorted to reading through the dictionary,
jotting down names she liked and thought I might also like.
Most were discarded but one stood out above the rest and
our decision confirmed when she heard a speaker on the
radio say "you know when you are old because you stop
being curious". We also saw a quote that we liked from the
American poet and writer, Dorothy Parker who said that "the
ABOVE: Curious makes her debut at St Katharine’s Private View
cure for boredom is curiosity...there is no cure for curiosity"
OPPOSITE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Trish in shoe shop heaven, specialist souks in the old medinas
One of many historic and intricate doors, Kasbah in Rabat
View from the rooftop, Kasbah du Toubkal, High Atlas mountains
34 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
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We had been looking for willing volunteers/crew for the the brand new marinas in Smir and Rabat, leaving Curious
Atlantic crossing in November and, as most of my friends for extended periods to explore inland.
are climbers, we needed crew that knew how to sail.
In the end things fell nicely into place and we met up at The pilot book shows that Asilah is a small fishing port where
St Katharine's the day before departure with the aim of it is possible to anchor but there is a sand bar at the
spending a week together sailing the boat to Camaret entrance and also the depths inside need carefully monitoring
in North West Britanny. We were also lucky to have as you enter. In our experience there was no wind and very
Duncan Bush from Oyster as far as Falmouth. He had little swell so entry was quite straightforward. However, there
commissioned the boat and was a great source of detailed is little room for a boat of our draft and we had to search out
knowledge as well as a Yachtmaster Instructor and helped the best spot on a falling tide. We still had to move closer to
us enormously. He was also great fun to be with! the entrance either side of low water and even then felt the
boat touch the sandy bottom once or twice. As it was, we
Although our plans were loosely formed, Trish and I decided decided not to prolong our stay and left early the following
that as we were so close we should officially start our trip morning in order to avoid the next low tide.
from the Greenwich Meridian. We pushed aside the hordes
of other tourists and took a photo of our feet either side The forecasted NW winds did not materialise and with a
of the meridian. We also tried to get a photo of our GPS 1 knot south going current, we motored the 95 miles to Rabat
read-outs showing 00.00.00 but could only get 00.00.02! at an average of 9.5 knots under clear blue skies and flat
seas. Is the Atlantic supposed to be like that? We passed
The first few legs of our trip took us from London to fishing boats large and small along the way and even tiny
Camaret, La Rochelle, Lagos and then on to Gibraltar where wooden rowing boats miles out at sea. We were also stopped
we had the option of crossing to the Balearics Islands by a coastguard cutter who asked where we had come from
to join the Oyster Regatta at the beginning of October. and where we were going to, all in a friendly manner and were
But despite the obvious attractions of the regatta, Trish then sent on our way with a wave and good wishes.
and I decided to spend some time in Morocco having read
an article by Liza Copeland, which we followed up with We arrived at the entrance to Rabat and called up a pilot
research on marinas and ports along the Atlantic coast. boat as both the charts and the pilot book shows the
Everyone we spoke to had enthused about the country, Oued Bou Regreg to be un-navigable due to silting. However,
its diverse countryside and landscapes, its friendly people they have dredged a channel up river and built a brand new
and its ancient towns and cities. marina complex. The only danger was from hundreds of
children swimming across the river as you motored by with
A week long Levanter kept us in Gibraltar longer than no room to motor around them. The guy in the pilot boat
anticipated. These easterly winds create a large cloud cap shepherds them out of the way, all done in good humour.
over the west side of the Rock, keeping everything in the We felt safe leaving Curious in the marina whilst we explored
shade while everywhere around is under blue skies. They the two cities either side of the river Bou Regreg, Rabat on
also create an accelerate zone, making leaving and entering the south bank and Sale on the north bank.
port difficult. We finally made the crossing to Tangier only
to find that the tiny marina was full and the port authorities Now the capital of Morocco, Rabat has its own long history
unwilling to find another berth for us, so we made a hasty and much to see in and around the old Medina and Kasbah.
change of plans and sailed on to Asilah on the Atlantic Situated on top of the hill overlooking the river, the minaret is
coast of Morocco. all that is left of what was the second largest mosque in the
world. As well as the mosque, there is also the tomb of King
Although the pilot book warned against taking larger Mohammed V the grandfather of the current, young reforming
yachts into many of the por ts, we were surprised to king Mohammed the VI has introduced many changes to the
later find that a number of new marinas had been built country including universal suffrage, school education for
since the book was published and we were able to use children up to the age of 15 and a programme of >
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 35
OW N E R R E P O R T
infrastructure development that includes many new roads the Tiz'n'Test pass, punched through the mountains by the
and motorways as well as opening the airspace to create French in the late 1920's and now one of the great road
additional tourism and trade. journeys, passing by dozens of high Berber villages that
have changed little over the centuries apart from the coming
Trish and I ended up leaving the boat in Rabat for a week of electricity in the mid 1990's and now the addition of the
and hired a car to drive across to Marrakech and on through ever-present satellite dish. The recent elections throughout
the High Atlas Mountains. The 450km trip across to the country exposed the problems of Morocco's high
Marrakech was surprisingly easy with a new motorway now illiteracy rate and new ways had to be found to enable those
connecting Rabat to Casablanca and beyond to Marrakech. that could not read or write to vote. This was done by
Motorways are usually boring or stressful but the roads were painting squares on walls and numbering the square or
almost deserted and ran across some fantastic landscapes placing symbols linked to the candidate in the square.
ranging from fertile farmlands to arid desert. The colour of These ranged from Palm Trees to Fish.
the soil ranged from vivid red, to chalky white and volcanic
black, with areas of geological importance along the way. The next stage of our trip took us from the High Atlas
across the fertile plains to the south west and on to the
The Medina in Marrakesh had a completely different feel to it coast near Agadir. From there we travelled north along the
than Fes, with cars and scooters allowed into the Medina’s coast past miles and miles of deserted sandy beaches.
narrow streets. But it also had a greater vibrancy, more The road took us inland through more farmland that was
tourists and slightly pushier shop and restaurant staff. It also filled with Argane trees, the fruits used to produce an oil
had a greater variety of shops and stalls and, being closer that seems to be used for everything from cooking to
to central Africa, some strange and wonderful sights, sounds aromatic massages! Wherever there are Argane trees there
and smells. We had decided that once again we wanted to are climbing goats. We saw a herd that was tended by two
stay within the medina in one of a number of old Riads that small boys who appeared from nowhere as soon as we
have been renovated and now cater as upmarket B&B’s for stopped to take the photo. They asked for change with a big
tourists. Quite by chance we chose one in the Mellah, what cheeky grin, but complained when I tried to take their photo,
was once the old Jewish quarter, situated close to the King’s relenting when I offered some coins in return. I had been
palace for protection. careful throughout our time here in Morocco never to take
photos of people as it was apparent from the outset that
Being in Morocco at the time of Ramadan gave us the the people did not want to be photographed and objected
opportunity to see what life is like during the long days of even when we were taking wide angle shots of scenery
fasting. With many visitors choosing not to come to Morocco and souks, etc.
during Ramadan, the medina was much quieter than usual
and like a ghost town once the break fast had been called This was a great pity as Moroccan's come from wide and
around 7.00pm when food and drink could be taken for the varied backgrounds – indigenous Berbers, Jews from Asia
first time since 4.30am. Despite the creation of school that arrived in the 3rd century BC, Arabs that came bringing
education for children up to 15, many families cannot afford the Muslim religion in the 8th Century AD and people from
the books needed and so put their sons into apprenticeships the Iberian Peninsula that arrived to escape persecution and
while still quite young. We saw children from 7 or 8 upwards the Spanish Inquisition. This mix has created a wide range of
working in the small workshops, some while they were off features and skin tones and together with the different ways
school for the holidays and others in full time employment. of life in the RIF and Atlas mountains, the fertile valleys,
From Marrakech, Trish and I drove east into the High Atlas coastal plains and the Sahara desert offers some amazing
Mountains. We had reserved a room in the Kasbah du photographic opportunities. But I could not bring myself to
Toubkal, a renovated fortress now serving as a ‘mountain impose on them and sadly missed many great shots.
retreat’ but in a great position at the end of a long valley
and beneath North Africa's highest mountain, Toubkal. From We had originally intended to sail down the coast and stay
Imlil we drove south through the winding valleys and over in Essouira but had been put off by other sailors that had
36 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OW N E R R E P O R T
Everything you need to know about Morocco and up to date
information on facilities for visiting yachts can be found on
the excellent Noonsite website at www.noonsite.com
RABAT – BOUREGREG MARINA
A new marina opened in March 2008 on the northern side of the
city, in the Bouregreg River. The river entrance is protected by both
outer and inner breakwaters, but breaking waves can penetrate
even as far as the inner entrance in certain conditions. Watch out
for fishing nets in the river. Service is reported to be excellent and
marina staff will escort you in and out of marina if you call on VHF.
Pontoons have power and water. Fuel berth, laundry, small
supermarket, cafe, 24 hour security. Marina and fuel berth now
accept credit cards. Work is currently in progress to provide WiFi,
car hire, slipway, boatyard with crane.
Customs and Immigration facilities available at the marina.
found little room to moor and been rafted to local boats who Docking
tended to be a little less careful than the visiting yachtsmen Rabat´s once busy port has suffered from the silting of the
would have wished. The harbour was a hive of activity day Bouregreg River but dredging is now taking place and this
and night with a range of fishing boats based there, from activity is something to be aware of when approaching the port.
30m long line boats and 20m sardine fishing boats down to
small wooden rowing boats now powered by small outboard
7 rue Abou Inane, Hassan, Rabat
engines. The sardine trawlers go out at night and come back
Tel:+212 37 849900
in during the day, they all seem to arrive back at the same Fax:+212 37 785858
time making for some amusement for bystanders as they VHF Channel 10
push and shove their way into the harbour. Email: email@example.com
Position 34°02.5’N, 06°50.3’W.
We were very privileged to have been in Morocco for the
whole of the Ramadan Festival as well as before and after.
After 30 days the fast ended on a Tuesday to be followed by
two days holiday. The locals then took time out to be with RABAT – MARINA SMIR
their families to stroll around the city, along the riverside walks Full service marina; 150 ton travelift, 10 ton crane. Electricity and
and into the new marina complex. Once again I regretted water on all berths. Showers, ice, full repair facilities and shore
storage area. Restaurants, bars, swimming pool.
being unable to take photographs of the people in a variety
of dress styles. The girls wore typical western mini skirts and
skimpy tops, a stark contrast to the older woman in Burkas or Formalities are relatively straightforward here as officials are
Kaftans and headscarfs. The men and boys in western style used to dealing with yachts. Initially go alongside the
suits, casual shirts and trousers or Jalabas and Fez. Customs/fuel berth (to port just inside the entrance) and wait
to be allocated a place.
To sum up Morrocco – it is probably the easiest going of all
Muslim countries and we have been impressed by the Docking
friendliness of the people, their freedom of dress and their This marina development on the north African coast is just 25
acceptance of other religions, with the Catholic churches and miles from Gibraltar. It offers a secure and economic base for
Jewish synagogues in Rabat as full as the many mosques. repairs, winter berthing (afloat or ashore) or generally cruising
At the same time this is most definitely a Muslim country the western Mediterranean. It is well protected from all weathers.
with the Meuzzin calling the faithful to prayer throughout the
day and the strict but self imposed, observance of the
B.P. n83, Mdiq, Tetouan, Morocco
Ramadan period. Trish and I were sorry to leave Morocco but
with favourable weather forecast for the next five days we Fax:+212-39-977 265
needed to make the crossing to the Canaries to arrive in time VHF Channel 09, 1
to meet friends and family who were flying in to spend some Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
time with us before we headed off for the ARC.
Having got to know a little of the country it would have
been nice to have had more time to explore inland and in
particular take another road trip over the Tiz'n'Tichka pass
to Ouzarzate and then south to the northern edge of the
Western Sahara. Perhaps another time... Inshalla!
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Goat boys, photo opportunity exchanged for ‘argent’
View from our room in the Riad Assakina in Marrakesh
Essouira’s ancient fortifications, home to the Barbary pirates.
Mud walled villages, High Atlas Mountains
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 37
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 39
40 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OY S T E R S U P E R YA C H T S
There was a time, long ago, when Turkey was the centre of the
civilised world. Today, Turkey is rapidly becoming recognised
as a centre of excellence for superyacht production.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 41
The outstanding and innovative Turkish built 290ft The investment in tooling, a new build hall, oven and fitting
Maltese Falcon has turned heads around the world and we out the first of class Oyster 100 and 125 can only be
are confident that Oyster Marine’s new superyachts, the 100 described as massive by industry standards. This is only
and the magnificent 125 Flybridge, will also be head turning possible by the joint participation of Oyster, one of the
once afloat in 2010 and 2011 respectively. world’s most successful yacht builders and by RMK as a
member of the Koç Group. Putting the Koç Group into
Both yachts have been designed by the Dubois office, perspective is difficult, but the cash dispenser for one of
with structural engineering, styling and interior detail from Turkey’s major banks, which is sited by the shipyard gate,
Oyster’s own in-house team. Dubois has a justifiable claim gives a clue – the Koç Group owns the bank, which has over
to be one of the worlds most successful designers of 400 branches! That’s not all, because Koç build cars and
very large, fast, cruising yachts with over 30 yachts in vans for Ford and others, are a leading manufacturer of
the 100 foot plus category already afloat and many more white goods, have 22% of Europe’s television market and
in build around the world. refine 70% of Turkey’s petroleum.
The Oyster superyacht project is the result of collaboration The Group is one of the major retailers in Turkey, owns a
with RMK Marine, whose shipyard is in Tusla, 40 kilometres chain of hotels and marinas and holds the West Marine
from Istanbul. Mike Burnham, who runs the yacht division of franchise for that country. Altogether the Koç Group has over
RMK, was formerly MD of VT Halmatic in the UK, which built 90,000 employees, represents 11% of Turkeys GNP and is
the 237ft Mirabella IV, at the time the largest sloop in the ranked around 200 in the Fortune 500 Companies
world. It was at VT Halmatic that a dialogue started with worldwide. In financial terms this must make the Oyster
the founder of Oyster Marine, Richard Matthews, about a superyachts one of the most strongly backed projects of its
100-footer. When VT stepped aside from the yacht business kind anywhere in the world.
to concentrate on their core commercial and naval work,
Mike saw the opportunities at RMK. The relationship with Oyster, with a commitment to build
series production tooling for both the Oyster 100 and
The RMK yard is owned by the Koç Group and their Oyster 125, has given a virtually instant start to a project
principal, Rahmi Koç, is a fanatical lifelong yachtsman whose whose scale would have taken most builders several years
family are also enthusiastic sailors. When the Koç Group to aspire to. Not only is RMK tooling for series composite
acquired the RMK yard it was an established builder of small construction, but the yard has also simultaneously invested
ships, with a few powerboats to its credit but few sailing in a new 40,000 sq ft 3720 sq m building hall. This hall
yachts. RMK’s first large sailing yacht project Nazenin V is a is amongst the most modern in Europe and includes a
170ft S&S design in steel for the Koç family. This yacht is 150ft long high temperature oven, one of Europe’s largest,
already showing her pedigree of flawless build quality and to post cure hull and deck structures.
will be afloat for the 2009 season.
42 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OY S T E R S U P E R YA C H T S
As at 1 December 2008, the Oyster superyacht project was Julian Weatherill, who joined Oyster Marine in 2001,
in full swing. The tooling for the 100 was in the final stages has been appointed Oyster’s Superyacht Project Manager.
of preparation and laminating, using the resin infusion Julian, who has over 75,000 nautical miles on his log
process, will start in January. Tooling for the Oyster 125 is and holds an MCA Class IV qualification, has a wealth of
close behind with the hull plug fully skinned and the experience in project managing and skippering a number
flybridge deck plug set out and already taking shape. Sample of large yachts. Julian will be working closely with
panels have passed all their quality checks and a full size Hamish Burgess-Simpson, Oyster’s Superyacht Project
interior mock-up for 100-01 has been built with most of a Coordinator, to ensure every Oyster Superyacht meets
cabin’s worth of completed joinery for evaluation and quality each owner’s expectations.
benchmarking. Every yacht will be completed to and
certificated by Lloyds to their 100A1 LMC standard and be Oyster’s Joint Managing Director, Murray Aitken, will
MCA compliant to facilitate chartering if required. personally handle all enquiries for the superyachts and will
arrange tours of the RMK Shipyard, where potential buyers
Oyster are proceeding with the moulding and fitting out of can view the 170ft Sparkman and Stephens yacht as she
100-01 and 125-01, which will be used for promotional nears completion and see the early stages of a project that
purposes once afloat. The 100 is being offered for we believe will set a new standard for very large, fast
immediate sale, while being underwritten by Oyster founder cruising yachts in the years ahead.
Richard Matthews as a stepping stone towards 125-01,
which will bear the name Oystercatcher XXX and be For further information contact Murray Aitken
Richard’s personal yacht. For obvious reasons a lot of care on +44 1473 688888
and attention from all involved will go into these early yachts or email email@example.com
while the RMK shipyard is gearing up to be able to produce
three or four vessels each year.
While build quality will take precedence over all other
considerations, the investment in female tooling will facilitate
cost effective production that will enable the Oyster
Superyachts to be offered on very favourable terms. While each
owner’s layout and taste will be incorporated, these yachts
should be a serious alternative to a commissioned one-off with
less risk and expense and predictable standards of build quality
and after sales value. The Oyster After Sales team will offer
worldwide warranty and support, which will be another benefit
to owning a yacht that bears the Oyster marque.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 43
44 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OW N E R R E P O R T
Summer? No, Thank You...
By Mariacristina R a pisardi, Oyster 72, Bill y Budd
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 45
OW N E R R E P O R T
Billy Budd has been down South for almost a year. She arrived at Puerto Monte in
September 2007 and we explored the Chilean coast in November and December before
pushing on to the Antarctic in February 2008 and then to the Beagle Channel.
So what next? Where could we take her before heading What possessed us you might ask? Who knows? One night
off to South Georgia in January 2009? Simple, of course... at dinner we put it to all four and instead of getting the
the Beagle Channel in winter, that’s July and August in expected and immediate "No, thanks all the same but we’re
these parts. actually busy around then…" we received an enthusiastic
and emphatic "Yes no problem…we’re packed and ready
When we arrived at Ushuaia Airport I asked our taxi driver to go!"
whether anyone ever sailed the Beagle Channel in winter,
he said "no, absolutely not! The Channel is cold in winter There is nothing quite so difficult as trying to retract an
and sometimes even freezes over. It snows. Why bother?" invitation that’s been accepted. And so we found ourselves
Winter-time in Ushuaia, he said, meant skiing in Cerro Castor with two couples champing at the bit to cast off for the
or staying at home warm and dry, waiting for summer to Beagle Channel but blissfully unaware of what that would
come round again. involve after a lifetime of sultry Italian summers.
Yes, sure, but we wanted to try it all the same. I suppose This marked the start of months of sheer panic for me.
sailing the Beagle Channel in winter was just something we How would I cope with them? How could I explain that it
had to do to cap our two years down South. So we began to would be cold; very cold, dark, very dark; windy, very windy;
organise the trip and think about which friends we should and wet, very wet? That we’d have to turn off the heating
invite along. at night and that they’d be waking to temperatures of
5/6 degrees in their cabins each morning, without even
We always take two Italian couples with us on our Billy Budd mentioning what the bathroom would be like! How could
adventures. We choose who to take depending on where we I explain that they were absolutely forbidden to fall
are going, of course; the more relaxed friends for warmer overboard or get into the inflatable without a life jacket,
seas, the sportier, more outdoor types for the tough seas, and that when we went ashore we’d be surrounded by snow,
and mountain lovers where there is any climbing or skiing snow and more snow?
to be done.
In the end, after various dinners involving long explanations
But who could we choose for the Beagle Channel voyage? and hefty doses of psychological terrorism, we decided
We had to look to our sportier, hardier friends, of course. there was nothing more we could do. If they really wanted
Whoever came along would have to be able to endure the to come, then we’d have to take them with us. First however
bitter cold and extreme solitude and not be worried by ice. we had to clothe them properly and ensure they bought all
the vital gear that spending the winter on a boat in
And so with unerring logic, we chose two friends that had Patagonia would demand. Then we got together a collection
spent every summer of their lives on the beach, stirring only of various board games, playing cards, CDs and DVDs to
from their sun loungers for quick dips in 30 degree seas, help pass the long southern evenings.
plus another two that hadn’t ever been aboard a boat before!
46 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
“How could I explain that it would be cold, very cold, dark, very dark, windy, very windy, and wet,
very wet? That we’d have to turn off the heating at night and that they’d be waking to temperatures
of 5/6 degrees in their cabins each morning.”
We had a lot of very short days and long hours of darkness spend the winter working on the boat, preparing it for the
ahead of us. In fact, we’d have to anchor very early in the following season. Pablo is Argentinean but had spent many
afternoon and wouldn’t have anything to do until cocktail years working as an Alpine guide in Switzerland. We hired
hour or dinner time. him at once and went off looking for some good off-piste
skiing - which we found, of course. And excellent it was too!
My husband and I arrived on Billy Budd first, a week ahead
to get an idea of how things really stood and to prepare We cast off for Cape Horn. We had to go via Puerto Williams
the boat for our friends’ arrival. We landed in Ushuaia and get permission from the Chileans, something that’s more
on a typical winter’s evening. The streets were snowy and and more difficult to do with each passing month. This time
the lights bright – it felt like Christmas but was actually they gave us ten days to get there and back but refused us
15 July. permission to anchor.
We pulled our skis out from under our bed and the following We sailed off in that direction, stopping off at Caleta Martial
day set off to try out the pistes of Cerro Castor. To our (where we anchored!) for the night. The following day,
great surprise we found chair lifts, ski lifts, perfect, modern however, the wind was very high as was the sea. The result
beautifully maintained pistes, gorgeous snow and, to our was that although we tried to get near the Cape itself, we
delight, not too many other skiers. The rental system was soon realised that we’d never be able to land in the tender.
impeccable and there were even a few quite good We had to turn back. A real pity as this was the third time
restaurants too. All that and fantastic warm sunshine to boot! we’d come to the Cape without managing to get our name
on the illustrious list of folk that had managed to land there.
We were introduced to a local guide, Pablo, by Gregg and
Kerry, two great sailors that keep a boat at Ushuaia. In We had no other choice but to be patient. While we were
summer they do a bit of chartering to pay their bills and then there the Chilean Navy hailed us over the radio. >
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 47
OW N E R R E P O R T
“The surroundings were stunning: frozen mountains, rivers, trees, impenetrable forests...
it was like being in a fairytale.”
We are well used to getting these calls as the Navy tracks all But then, at long last, the big day arrived and with it our
boats mile by mile and demands continual updates on their four friends.They emerged from Ushuaia Airport wrapped up
positions. This time, however, they were calling to invite us in the winter woollies they’d left Italy in and looking a little
to anchor in the Caleta, off their lighthouse – it was too lost but thrilled to arrive and raring to go. And go we did.
windy and rough, they said, for us to keep going. We neglected We sailed, once again, via Puerto Williams, where we paid a
to point out that it was they that had forbidden us to quick visit to the museum where a local scientist gave us a
anchor in the first place but instead thanked them and said talk on the Fuegans and their lifestyle, before finally we cast
we’d keep going. After all, was Billy Budd or was she not, off for the Channel itself.
a sailing yacht?
The sun was beaming down and it was neither warm nor
And so we returned to Ushuaia and spent the last few days cold, as we arrived into Yandegaia, where Jose and Anne
before our friends’ arrival skiing. We also met up with all the keep several horses. This marked the star t of the holiday
new buddies we’d made over the last year. All of the boats of our dreams. The following morning, we mounted up at
at Ushuaia were battened down for winter at that point in 9am in the bitter cold. Luckily, however, the sun was still
the season. No one does any chartering or ventures out in shining and we began our ride across the glacier at the
the channels that time of year. So instead they all came to bottom of the valley, a 12-mile trip through snow at least
dinner aboard Billy Budd and we went over to them on their 40cm deep. The surroundings were stunning: frozen
boats. It felt like we were all part of a small floating village mountains, rivers, trees, impenetrable forests... it was like
in which everyone knew everyone else and people kept each being in a fairytale. >
other company by chatting away about the sea and sailing.
48 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 49
That evening we got back aboard and set off to fish for We cast off once again and finally got to the glaciers:
‘centolla’ king crab for supper. Fishing was allowed at this Italy, France and Germany. In the meantime all of our board
time of year and the water was teeming with them. Having games stayed in their drawer and no one made any attempt
centolla for dinner was something we’d done before but a to take them out. The days were short, true, but it only
totally new experience for our Italians friends. We spent two got light at about 9am and darkness fell again at 6pm.
days at Yandegaia, which is just gorgeous. We were berthed That didn’t leave a whole lot of time to get bored.
beside a boat owned by two Dutch people – they told us Showering, chatting and an aperitif brought us up to dinner
they’d been there ten days and had no intention of moving. time after which none of us could keep an eye open.
Perhaps it was the cold, the place or the winter, but we
We, on the other hand, did and so we continued on through would all get unbelievably sleepy and be tucked up in bed
the Channel. We arrived at the Caleta Sonia lighthouse incredibly early every night.
where the lighthouse keeper, his wife and two children were
expecting us. We’d met them in April when we discovered We moved from cove to cove, glacier to glacier. Tying up
that they supported the Italian football team, Roma, and so was always complicated, but we already knew that would be
we brought some t-shirts and baseball caps for the children. the case. First we had to run a minimum of two lines ashore,
They were delighted but were actually expecting something then anchor, then reverse the boat to position it properly.
else too: to be invited aboard for some of our spaghetti. We had to look for the right depth and the right trees to tie
So we ended up stopping for a long leisurely meal and lots on to. A complicated job that sometimes took over an hour
of stories. These people spend up to a year at a time all to complete. But at that point we were well versed in all the
alone at the lighthouse. A few ships pass occasionally but secrets of getting this task out of the way as quickly as
yachts hardly ever do and even then they never stop. The possible; everyone had their own specific role and we all
family is in radio contact with the Navy but other than that worked quickly to get the boat right so that we could
they are completely on their own. They are so isolated in go ashore.
fact, that before sending them to the lighthouse the Navy
insisted they all have their appendixes removed – they just The landscape was magnificent but rough. There was a lot of
couldn’t run the risk of a serious infection in such a remote snow this year, more than normal, and it was fresh and
and inaccessible location. powdery. This meant we had to use snow shoes or skis.
50 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
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“We left a strip of sea in our wake as we made our way through the frozen water like an ice-breaker.
Hats off to Billy Budd!”
It was cold too so we had to pile on the clothes. We also wreaths of clouds if the sky was particularly clear.
had to take a rucksack everywhere. We didn’t really know An impressive sight indeed with snow scattered on their
where we were going so we had to take a portable GPS, steep rocky slopes like icing sugar. These great mountains
sat phone, VHF radio and some food with us at all times. exuded an increased aura of power and energy. We could
Needless to say, not getting lost was a priority. see very, very clearly just how un-climbable they were. We
finally understood how Cerro Torre got its fearsome reputation.
The forests were dense with no real reference points.
They quickly closed around us with nothing but trees and We were constantly on the lookout for animals too but they
more trees everywhere we looked, so we’d immediately lose were probably all hibernating. Apart from a few seals, we
sight of the boat, the sea and the mountain tops. Even the saw a guanaco that ran off the minute he caught sight of us,
tracks of our skis and snowshoes would often be quickly and we saw a fox that followed about a metre behind us and
swept away by the wind or covered up by fresh snow. wouldn’t leave us alone. But that was it. We didn’t see any
So we had no real alternative but to keep the GPS to hand other boats or ships after Yandegaia apart from a single
and save the route. It was either that or tie bits of coloured fishing boat whose crew swapped some ‘centolla’ for a
string to the trees – however, I think the GPS is a much couple of bottles of wine and some cigars.
more reliable and modern alternative!
The cold was relentless but we were fine once we were in
We found some small frozen streams that we could walk on, the boat. The reflex stove worked brilliantly as did the
following the tracks of the guanacos. If they were able to heating which we only put on at night. It snowed a lot,
walk on them, then why couldn’t we? Though come to think clothing the landscape completely. Some mornings we’d
of it, how much would the average guanaco weigh? All this wake to find 20cm of newly fallen snow on the decks
meant that we were able to get to places that would have and surprise, surprise…the sea frozen around us! We felt
been completely inaccessible in April, February or December. like heroes, the ice was, of course, only a few millimetres
It’s much easier to walk on ice, than through the 50cm of thick but there was still enough of it for us to have to smash
mud we’d have faced at any other time of the year! it from the bow or the inflatable. We left a strip of sea in our
wake as we made our way through the frozen water like an
Our Italian friends were rendered speechless by the ice-breaker. Hats off to Billy Budd!
whole scene of course. And not because they were frozen
to the spot either, they were simply blown away by the Billy Budd really came into her own when we got near to
incredible surroundings. the glaciers. At Ventisquero, the last glacier in the first part
of the Channel, there was a lot of ice and a strong current.
Sunny day followed sunny day. It was cold but the sky was I’ll never know how we managed to get permission to go
incredibly clear and the mountains looked etched in the there, – maybe the Navy made some kind of mistake.
distance. They were ‘only’ 2,800/3,000 metres high, but We were near the rocks and the shore but luckily in deep
that’s 3,000 metres literally from sea level – the equivalent water where the ice didn’t seem as thick. However, two or
of a 4,000 metre mountain. The mountains France, Italy, three of us still had to stand on the bow to push the larger
Darwin and Bove would peep out now and then from their chunks of ice out of the way. >
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52 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
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“This is how we spent three enchanted weeks in the cold and sun, managing tough but do-able
shore trips, sailing and tying up and watching glaciers emerge from the distance.”
We were moving at less than a knot but we only had a Our holiday ended with a 10am flight to Buenos Aires.
fibreglass bottom so even if we’d wanted to, we couldn’t In all our time aboard Billy Budd, we hadn’t opened a single
have pretended we were an ice-breaker. Eventually though, game or watched a single film. We’d barely even had time to
navigating the fjords near the glacier became impossible and read the books we had on board. We’d sailed a lot, seen a
we had to turn back. lot and lived a heck of a lot! Our friends returned to Italy
enchanted by a world so very different from their own,
This is how we spent three enchanted weeks in the cold and by the unique, fascinating people we’d met, people that told
sun, managing tough but do-able shore trips, sailing and stories that sounded like children’s fairytales but were
tying up and watching glaciers emerge from the distance. actually very much their own.
Until, that is, we had to return to Ushuaia as our holidays
came to an end once again. We, on the other hand, returned to Italy determined to come
back to the Beagle in winter once again. It was just too
Back in Ushuaia, the other boats awaited and we took our majestic not too at least one more time. In the meantime,
four Italian heroes skiing at Cerro Castor to give them a however, we’ll be getting both ourselves and the boat ready
taste of the southern hemisphere’s pistes. We went to dinner for another great adventure…this time to the remote, sea
with the crews of the other boats too: four Dutch, various and wind-lashed mountain isle of South Georgia.
New Zealanders and Americans but no other Italians apart
from ourselves. And Billy Budd will keep on sailing.
Photos: Courtesy of Mariacristina Rapisardi and Giovanni Cristofori
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 53
The OM43 with twin ca bins… f ast, fun and comfor ta ble
56 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OY S T E R M O TO R YA C H T S
The new OM43 is a development of the successful LD43, out for a beach par ty and offer shallow water exploring
which Oyster brought to the market two years ago. and extra safety around bathers. There can be no fouled
props on passage with all that can mean for the safety
While the LD has lots of space we were increasingly aware conscious boater.
that some owners wanted the ability to take friends on their
cruises. Time then for a new configuration to give more live See the new twin cabin OM43 at the London Boat Show,
aboard accommodation, while maintaining the fun appeal Stand S30D.s
and unique style of this boat.
By bringing the galley into the upper saloon level, the Oyster
design team has cleverly created a second twin berth cabin For further information contact:
of reasonable size. The saloon features a U-shaped seating
area, offering a panoramic outboard vista when seated at the
UK Office: Paul Harding
table which has plenty of space for six people to dine in
Tel: +44 (0)1473 688888
style. The cockpit offers lots of space for outdoor living with
a host of subtle improvements. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Power is by two of the new generation, fuel efficient US Office: Bob Marston
Cummins 480hp motors, while most impor tantly the OM43 Tel: +401 846 7400
retains the two Hamilton Waterjets which, linked to the email: email@example.com
unique ‘Mouseboat’ system give incredible manoeuvrability
at high and low speeds. Water jets allow the OM43 to dry
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 57
58 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
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Singapore, through the Malacca
Strait to Thailand and Malaysia
By Keith Hamilton, Oyster 62, Car pe Diem
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Carpe Diem, our Oyster 62, arrived in Singapore on
14 November 2007 from Bali, Indonesia. It was an
uneventful passage with reasonable winds and moderate
traffic – mostly shrimp boats whose bright lights made
them very easy to spot at night. The traffic in Singapore
Harbour however was another matter. As expected from
one of the busiest harbours in the world, its waters were
absolutely full of large commercial vessels and smaller
ferries, tugs, pilot boats and recreational powerboats,
all busy going from one spot to another.
The major vessels, which were our main concern, were quite
strictly held to traffic lanes, which at least gave them some
predictability. Crossing the lane to get to the area for
immigration clearance however was quite tricky as the
vessels were moving very closely one after the other at least
We called Singapore Immigration when we were abeam
Sister Islands at the Western Immigration and Quarantine
Anchorage, as instructed by the Pilot Book and they came
alongside in their launch, checked papers and cleared us in.
They were extremely courteous, efficient and professional.
A welcome contrast to Indonesia and an insight to the way
Singapore is run.
After clearance we proceeded to One 15 Marina on the
South side of Sentosa Island. After this initial clearance
we had 24 hours to go to the One Stop Document Centre
to complete fur ther paperwork. It was a shor t metro ride
from our marina. The marina is named for its latitude
Nor th. We decided to go there rather than the traditional
Raffles Marina on the recommendation of an Australian
couple we met in Bali. One 15 is more of a country club
marina than a working marina, but it is extremely
convenient to Singapore City. Raffles has great facilities,
60 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OW N E R R E P O R T
but is a long way out of town. As we did not need anything day brought it all to the ground. We spent the next week or
done by way of repairs we chose One 15. The staff were so exploring Singapore, provisioning and preparing for our
extremely helpful and we had a very secure berth close next passage to Phuket, Thailand. Provisioning was very
to the clubhouse. easy, as one would expect. We made good use of a huge
Carrefour in the Suntec Mall, downtown. We had decided
The recreational facilities were superb with a large glass to go straight to Phuket, bypassing Malaysia, as we were
sided swimming pool and a couple of good restaurants. meeting our youngest son there for Christmas, and the
There was a free shuttle bus to a major shopping mall on clock was ticking.
Singapore Island, which had great provisioning, eating and
shopping. It was also a subway stop on the Singapore Sam Ringdahl, our new Captain and his partner, Jenna Prado,
metro. The metro was a great way to get around the city Mate/Chef arrived in Singapore on the 15th December.
and we made good use of it. Singapore is a totally They had a very hectic two days to orient themselves to
controlled city where chewing gum is illegal, corporal Carpe Diem and we left on 18th December.
punishment can be par t of a judicial sentence and drug
smuggling carries the death penalty. It is spotlessly clean, The traffic leaving Singapore was as busy as when we
tidy and efficient, but free speech and public dissidence arrived, worsened by some squalls that blew though the
are not well tolerated. Under the functional dictatorship of harbour. We planned to run up the Malacca Strait on the east
Lee Kwan Yew for decades, it has achieved tremendous side, just outside the shipping lane. We were aware of the
economic success for a geographically tiny city-state. reputation the Malacca Strait has for pirates, but by most
Lee Kwan Yew has retired but his influence and philosophy accounts they seemed to focus on commercial shipping for
live on. After some months in the significantly more relaxed the payrolls or cargo. My father-in-law added to our concern
culture of Indonesia it was an interesting contrast. by ‘helpfully’ giving me a copy of the latest National
Everything comes with a price. At 58 years old, the price Geographic article on Malacca Strait Piracy. We hoped we
for clean streets and efficiency in Singapore seemed would be a low profile vessel and not worth bothering!
reasonable to me. I don’t think I would have felt that
when I was 18. In fact the passage was quite interesting and really not as
stressful as we had thought it may be. Being outside the
One 15 Marina was extremely secure, both from the shipping lane we could watch with interest, not concern,
weather and crime perspective so I was quite happy to the hundreds of huge vessels passing in their North and
leave Carpe Diem there for a few days while I went back South lanes continuously. What a vast amount of energy is
to England for some business and to engage crew. used moving stuff from one part of the world to another.
Although we were clear of the major commercial ships,
Rosemary and I arrived back in Singapore in early December. many smaller ships and barges were doing the same as us,
I was happy to see all was well with our boat, except for the using the narrow space between Traffic Separation scheme
absolutely filthy dust that covered her. Being in the middle of and the shore, so we were never bored! >
a city the pollution was terrible, and the rain that fell every
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 61
Interestingly, a few days later we heard that a medium size We were impressed by the number of mega-yachts in this
commercial vessel had been captured in the Strait the first area. Talking to their crews it was obvious that Phuket,
night we were passaging through. together with the Maldives and Seychelles, are an attractive
alternative to the Caribbean for winter cruising.
After a quiet passage of three days we arrived at Yacht
Haven Marina, Phuket, Thailand. We had to clear in at Cliff climbing is very popular on the rocks and little islands
Ao Chalong on the South coast before proceeding to the in the Bay and Trevor and Sam made the most of it. They
Marina on the North coast. It is worth noting that if any of spent many hours climbing up the cliffs and jumping back
the crew are going to fly out of Thailand rather than sail out, down into the sea. Definitely a spectator sport for me!
they should come in as passengers rather than crew, as
transferring off the crew list is a hassle and expensive. From Ao Chalong Bay we cruised south and around many
of the islands, spending a very pleasant week around the
Yacht Haven Marina is a very secure harbour on the North area. The water in the north of the Bay is not very clear,
Coast of Phuket Island, it is very well run by Nick Wyatt the but improves as one moves south.
Manager. We rented a car and braved the hectic Thai traffic
to explore and provision. The Island of Phuket itself is a very overcrowded tourist
market and Patong and Phuket town are best avoided,
Our son Trevor arrived a couple of days later and we set especially on shore, unless one is enthusiastic about alcohol
off to cruise the waters around the nor thwest Thai coast. excess, touts and bar girls. What is interesting though is the
We star ted in Phang Na Bay, between Phuket Island and extensive rebuilding that has occurred after the devastating
the mainland. There are many, many islands in this area, Tsunami in 2004. Clearly the profit to be made from basic
their limestone carved into extraordinary shapes by instincts is extensive. One good aspect of the towns were
rain, wind and tide. One of the islands features in the the restaurants, which were of high quality and reasonably
James Bond film ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ and hence priced. Rosemary spoke well of the foot massages and
has become a popular tourist site. Despite that it is wor th facials too.
seeing, either before or after the crowds. Another film
location that we visited was Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le Island We spent a quiet family style Christmas anchored off a small
where the beach was used as a location for the film ‘The island to the south of Phuket, and so decided to crank it up
Beach,’ with Leonardo DeCaprio. This was again a very a bit for New Year’s Eve. Koh Phi Phi is a young persons’
beautiful spot until about 10am when it became a bit party island most of the time, and at New Years Eve it pulls
swamped with visitors from nearby Krabi. The people out all the stops. We made a good anchorage off the village
themselves were just having a good time, but the and went ashore. The village itself was extensively rebuilt
ubiquitous longtail boats that use automobile engines, after the Tsunami. The photographs of the destruction were
unsilenced, were extremely noisy. terrible, but the spirit of the people in starting again was
very impressive. We were pleased so see a bar called >
62 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
“About 50nm west of Phuket are the Similan Islands. They are protected by the
Thai Government as a Marine Park with great success. The water is very, very clear,
the coral is extensive and undamaged, and the fish and turtles are numerous and large.”
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 63
OW N E R R E P O R T
Carpe Diem! A fine philosophy. Rosemary and I bailed out The passage to Langkawi was pretty straightforward. Our
fairly early in the evening to enjoy the show from the relative adventure started after arrival. We approached the Langkawi
peace and quiet of our cockpit, but Sam, Jenna and Trevor Yacht Club, our port of entry, in the afternoon. The docking
made the most of the occasion. was a little tricky, tight distances with a few knots of cross-
tide and cross wind. About 10 seconds after we put the first
At midnight fireworks seemed to come from everywhere, line on the dock the throttle mechanism snapped! We quickly
together with ship horns, bells, car horns along with any got settled and then checked out the problem. We needed a
other possible noisemaker. A unique and beautiful aspect of new throttle mechanism and morse cable. We called Oyster
the celebrations was the lighting of flying lanterns. These After Sales and asked them to send the throttle mechanism
were basically small, 1-metre diameter, hot air balloons made to the crew person who was flying from England to join us
of rice paper and bamboo strips with a wax impregnated in Langkawi to passage to the Maldives and we bought a
coil at the bottom supported by wire. On being lit they morse cable locally. As we had to wait a few days for the
would rise up into the sky for at least 100 to 200 metres crew to arrive we decided to haul out and anti-foul. Lashing
depending on the breeze. To see hundreds of these floating the RIB alongside Carpe Diem we manoeuvred out of the
through the night sky was just magical. We set off a couple Langkawi Yacht Club and sailed to the Rebak Marina, about
ourselves, narrowly avoiding setting alight the boat near us, five miles away.
as the wind was a little stronger than we (I) had estimated!
When we got there we hauled the boat with the help of the
About 50nm west of Phuket are the Similan Islands. They very professional marina team, and checked her out prior to
are very well protected by the Thai Government who keep antifouling. To our intense disappointment we found that the
them as a Marine Park. The water is very, very clear, the cutlass bearing and the stern tube bearing were loose and
coral is extensive and undamaged, and the fish and turtles needed to be repaired. Normally this would be enough of a
are numerous and large. We had a few days there and hassle, but it was the day before Chinese New Year. In
could easily have spent many more. There are extensive Malaysia this involves about seven to ten days of holiday
recreational diving operations in the area, but they are well for the local Chinese, and all the local hardware, chandlery,
taken care of and the operators work hard to preserve the engineering shops and mechanics are Chinese! Fortunately
environment. Anchoring is not allowed in most spots, but we were lucky enough to find Peter, an Aussie engineer who
there are many moorings in good condition. We would love worked for a mining company in Sumatra but spent some of
to go back and spend more time in the Similian Islands. his time in the Marina. His help was invaluable in removing
the Maxi Prop, prop shaft, machining the cutlass bearing to
Before we started our next passage to the Maldive islands size and putting everything back together.
we wanted to repaint our antifouling. The marinas in Phuket
that had a large enough travel-lift for Carpe Diem were too Langkawi itself was not a very exciting island. The
shallow for us, so we decided to go to Langkawi, Malaysia. provisioning was quite good and the antipodean wines were
Langkawi is also well known as a duty-free island with good quality and cheap, but otherwise there wasn’t a lot to
extensive provisioning and many liquor stores! do. On the advice of all those who had made the trip
64 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OW N E R R E P O R T
previously, we took the opportunity to stock up on cartons A ride on the Chao Phraya River is a popular activity for
of cigarettes and bottles of scotch to facilitate our passage tourists, and the various ferryboats that travel up and
through the Suez Canal. downstream are a very useful way of avoiding the notorious
Bangkok traffic as you explore.
The water during this passage tended to be green and
opaque in contrast to the clear blue translucent seas we had After a few days we travelled up country to Chang Mai,
come to expect in the previous 10,000 miles of Pacific and 700 miles north west of Bangkok, at the base of the Golden
Australia, so the sea and beaches weren’t very attractive. Triangle. Chang Mai is a very attractive country town with
Rosemary and I therefore decided to do some traveling many Wats (temples). It also has a famous Night Market,
inland. We spent a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which is a descendant of the old trading markets from the
and then a few days in Bangkok and Chang Mai Thailand. days when Chang Mai was a stop on the route from China to
the coast of Myanmar. A lot of backpackers and trekkers come
Kuala Lumpur has an extremely modern down town core, the to Chang Mai as part of their hiking trips in Northern Thailand.
main aspect of which are the Petronas Towers, which were
the world’s tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004. The town As well as walking around town we spent some time at an
was attractive, but seemed quite sterile compared to many orchid farm and an elephant compound in the nearby hills.
Asian capitals. The elephant camp was very impressive. The animals ranged
fairly freely around the area. When we arrived they were in
Bangkok was a huge contrast. We had visited there many the river being scrubbed by their attendants. As a token to
years before, and other than a few more high-rise buildings environmental discretion, several women hovered
it still felt the same. The markets are an extravaganza of downstream with baskets, catching the bowling ball sized
noise, smells and movement. Everywhere one looks one is faeces that the elephants released as they relaxed!
overwhelmed with sensation. The Pak Khlong flower market
is an unbelievable sea of colour, with every kind of bloom After ten days inland we were happy to return to Carpe Diem
one could imagine in huge clouds as far as you can see. and prepare for our next leg, to the Maldive Islands. Repairs
completed, provisioning done we prepared to leave.
The shopping in Bangkok covers a complete range from local
crafts and silks, through designer knock-offs to top European As usual, towards the end of season, marinas are full of
names. There are multi-level department stores and malls cruisers discussing weather windows, passage timing and
and small outdoor markets. Something for everyone. future dangers. The Chicken Little syndrome reigns large.
We noticed that about half the cruisers felt we were going to
Buddhism is an important part of Thai culture and there are leave too soon while the other half thought we were too
hundreds of beautiful temples in Bangkok that are very early. That seemed reasonable and on February 14th we left
peaceful and rewarding to visit. Malaysia to continue our circumnavigation, heading for the
Maldive Islands, a 1700nm Passage.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 65
This annual transatlantic rally starting each November in Paul Bateman, owner of the new Oyster 56 Stardust, whose
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has now become the most Atlantic crossing has been two years in the making, was
popular way to cross the Atlantic. As the largest transocean emphatic in his praise for the Oyster service.
sailing event in the world, the ARC brings together over
200 yachts from all over the world every year, this includes
a large fleet of Oysters. The Caribbean destination is
Rodney Bay in St Lucia, one of the most beautiful islands in “I have been wanting to do this all my life and
the Lesser Antilles. The 2700nm passage on the NE never thought I would get the chance. Thank you
tradewind route takes on average between 14 and 21 days.
Conceived as a friendly race for cruising yachts to make to Debbie Johnson at Oyster Marine, her help and
the Atlantic crossing both safer and more enjoyable, support has been wonderful since the day we set
participating yachts must carry a range of safety equipment
out designing the boat and we would not be here
including a liferaft, EPIRB and VHF radio. Daily radio nets
contribute further to the safety of participants. The presence in such good shape without her. Thank you
of experienced sailors is another incentive for those with Debbie, Eddie and the whole Oyster team.”
little offshore experience. The ARC has a special flavour,
Paul Bateman, Oyster 56, Stardust
which successfully combines racers with cruisers, old with
young, and provides entertainment for all with a wide-ranging
programme of entertainment taking place both before the
start and after the finish. Start day for the 23rd Atlantic Rally for Cruisers started in
spectacular style with 211 yachts from 21 different nations
Good preparation is essential for a safe crossing and, crossing the start line off Las Palmas de Gran Gran Canaria.
as usual, a five-man Oyster service team, led by Oyster The sea surface had a slight swell running after two days of
Customer Care Manager, Eddie Scougall, was in Las Palmas gentle north easterlies, but the NE 10-15 knot breeze meant
one week before the start to give every Oyster taking part, more crews than usual were hoisting spinnakers. Winds are
regardless of size or age, a complimentary ‘health check’ expected to remain from the north-east with tradewind
before their Atlantic adventure. conditions likely to establish themselves, offering the
prospect of a steady passage to St Lucia, with a
For many owners this ARC will be their first Atlantic recommendation at this stage to stay south of the rhumb
crossing, and not just owners! David and Becky Werrett, line route. The good weather meant a wonderful sight for the
owners of the Oyster 49 Chilli Oyster, gained an hundreds of spectators watching afloat and ashore.
unexpected crewmember after being refused permission to
repatriate their dog, Molly, back to the UK, having visited We wish all the ARC Oysters a safe and fast Atlantic
Morocco on route to Las Palmas! On the new Oyster 72, crossing and hope to feature stories from some of those
Stravaig of Argyll, there are three generations of the taking part in the next issue of Oyster News.
Gibson family on board – owner Scott, his 70-year old father
Alex and 14-year old son, Cameron, whilst on the Oyster 46 For more details about the event and how to enter please
Sophistikate, Oscar Parkinson will celebrate his 15th see: www.worldcruising.com
birthday mid-Atlantic along with his Mum and Dad, Angela
and Richard, who make up the three-person crew. Photos: Richard Langdon of Ocean Images
66 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 67
Palma to Las Palmas
By Ste ve Powell, Oyster 655, UHUR U of Lymington
After taking part in the Oyster Regatta in Palma our plans were to sail to Las Palmas for the ARC via Tangier,
Mohammedia (Casablanca) and Essaouira, a small fishing port that I had read about. Bad weather put paid to all those
plans as we sat in Gibraltar for over a week waiting for a series of south-westerly storms to pass though. With an
easterly going on inside the Med, this was producing similar sea conditions to those that caused so much damage
in Queensway Quay just a few weeks before.
So our itinerary was cut short and we decided to head After the sale, runners would rush the catch off to the local
directly to the old fishing port of Essaouira, (formally restaurants or fish market. One night we watched our dinner,
Mogador) and what a find this place turned out to be. a very large Sea Bass, being selected from the fishing boat,
We arrived early in the morning as the fishing boats were paid for on the quay and then rushed around to Chez Sam’s
coming in from their predawn start. The port was heaving to be baked in a salt crust - mouth-watering experience.
with fishing boats, people buying and selling, and thousands Chez Sam’s has to be the best place to eat. Right on the
and thousands of seagulls. We had been warned against dock, you can watch the sights and sounds of the port while
Essaouria by another Oyster skipper who told us tales of enjoying the very freshest fish you can dream of.
woe and disaster. But on further questioning it transpired
that he had never actually been there just heard stories. Yes it was challenging and tight getting into the port and we
What we found was the most exotic fortress city with the had to be on our watch all the time, but we had our local
nicest people you could hope for and some of the best food ‘boat boy’ to look after us, ask for Omar. After two hours and
we have had on this trip, very French with a touch of Africa. five different offices to get through the entry formalities
Mind you we had been stuck in Gibraltar for a week or so, (plus a few packets of Marlboro and a bottle of wine in
not exactly the gourmet centre of Europe! baksheesh, which may I remind you is not bribery, but an
appreciative gift for services rendered) we settled in. The
The sights, sounds and smells were mesmerising. We spent formalities were very friendly although a little long winded.
hours just watching the fishermen coming in and out with Spelling out every detail on six passports using the phonetic
their catches. Some of the little boats would come in nearly alphabet while the immigration chief types with two fingers
awash with six or seven large shark and a sword fish was a little different, we became friends in the process and
onboard. Then the trading began right there on the quay. exchanged family pictures. >
68 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
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When we arrived there was just one other sailing boat there, My everlasting memory from Essaouira, will be leaving
a German catamaran and they left the next morning. just before dawn with an escort of waving fishermen.
So despite the number of boats heading down to Las Palmas, What a fantastic, spectacular, colourful, friendly, exotic
Essaouira still seems to be a little bit of a secret. and delightful place.
What we found in town was a classic old for tress city Our route to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria took us to Isla Graciosa,
(medina) and in the walls of the city many little shops and a small island off the north coast of Lanzarote, some 225
ar t works. Essaouira appears to be half way between an miles from Morocco. The main attraction for a stopover here
unspoiled back packers haven with few facilities and a fully is that it’s a National Park, has one of the most beautiful
blown tourist town with all the baggage that that comes bays to anchor in and has a challenging narrow channel
with. So it still has its old world charm, the shops don’t between the two islands called Estrecho del Rio, with very
hassle you like they do in Tangier and Marrakesh and there steep cliffs on one side and four volcanic cones on the
are very few street hawkers. It has a number of very good other. We ‘goose winged’ down the Estrecho del Rio with the
ar t galleries and there is some genuinely good ar t for sale. NE Trade wings funneling in behind us until we arrived at
The local speciality of carving and polishing the root of the Playa Francesa for the night.
thuya tree produces extraordinary sculptures in a rich
golden colour with dark dramatic grain. The oppor tunities We are now just over four thousand miles into our journey,
for good, high quality shopping here where endless, and with only another 54,000 nm to go! Most of our trip so
needless to say the girls took every oppor tunity to suppor t far has been about going south into warmer climes, well
the local community. now we are star ting west towards the Caribbean with the
first stop being Las Palmas for the star t of the ARC.
UHURU heads west, the Caribbean beckons, Bob Marley
here we come…
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 71
TOTAL SERVICE FOR
YACHTS AND BOATS
The 72ft Oystercatcher winning Antigua Sailing
Week with rigging, custom stainless and painting
all by Fox’s. She later returned for a refit,
replacement generator and new bow thruster.
Boadicea the Essex oyster smack believed
to be the oldest sailing vessel in commission
celebrated her 200th birthday with a refit by
Fox’s including paintwork, new engine
installation, spars, rigging and electronics.
Small jobs to major refits - projects of every size
An improved range of services for 2009 and our
fair deal pricing policy makes Fox’s the right choice
for quality, service and value. From engineering,
stainless, osmosis treatment, painting, electronics,
joinery and workshop services - you name it,
we do it and do it well.
Fox’s new Chandlery and Outdoor store opens
January 2009, the largest of its kind in the UK.
Great prices and traditional standards of service
for personal and Internet shoppers with the new
Fox’s online - www.foxsonline.com.
Fox’s Marina Ipswich Ltd
Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SA
T: +44 (0) 1473 689111
F: +44 (0) 1473 601737
For nearly 30 years, Southampton Yacht Services has been providing a full range of
services for yachts of all sizes… we went to spy on a few of their current projects,
and find out why their skills are in such demand.
Founded in 1980 by Piers Wilson at Shamrock Quay in Piers Wilson explained: "We were perfectly placed to fit
Southampton, SYS has established itself as one of the best the interiors of these yachts as our team has the expertise
major refit yards in Europe, building a name for its high to finish the joinery to the highest standard. We are also
quality workmanship. Over the years the yard has completed able to pull together all the other trades – marble work,
restoration work on a number of the large classic sailing and electrical work, luxury leather work, upholstery – that are
motor yachts, including rebuilding one of the most famous needed to complete a luxury fit-out." The expertise SYS has
yachts in the world, the J Class Velsheda. But what’s going built up over the years in the luxury yacht field is rare and
on in the yard at the moment and what’s so special about much sought-after.
the service that SYS offers? You don’t have to spend long
in the yard to find out… OY S T E R R E F I T S
Over the last ten years, SYS has become involved in fitting
CUSTOM PROJECTS out Oysters for Oyster Marine, and in December 2000 the
One of the most stunning projects the SYS team are company became part of the Oyster Group concentrating on
currently working on is the beautiful Fife classic Cambria. building the larger yachts in the Oyster range.
Cambria is having an extensive engineering and electrical
refit, which will see her ready for a new season in the As Oyster builders, SYS is ideally suited to refit and maintain
Mediterranean next year. Her engine room is being re-planned Oysters of all ages, and the company has been slowly
to improve layout, sound-reduction and access for increasing and developing their service to owners.
maintenance. The new main engine with improved hydraulic
drives to the two propellers is being planned and a full Visitors to the yard over the past year include Richard
rewire of the electrical system will upgrade the installation. Matthews’ Oyster 82 Zig Zag, which stopped in at SYS on
her way back from the Fife Regatta. She spent three weeks
Next to Cambria, two brand-new 43 metre motor yachts, in the yard, emerging gleaming and refreshed ready for the
Waterlily and Caneli are having their interiors fitted before Oyster Regatta in Palma.
heading for their new home in Monaco.
74 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
FAR LEFT: Velsheda
LEFT: Caneli & Waterlily
BELOW: SYS Technical Director Harvey Jones
For those buying used boats, SYS offers all the expertise 25 YEARS ON
owners need to make their pride and joy look as good as Keeping quality staff is key to this attitude, and to the
new, allowing them to put their own stamp on the boat. company’s success. Technical Director Harvey Jones is
Among the boats in the yard at the moment is the Oyster 62 celebrating 25 years with the company, having joined the
Emeah. The original owner had young children and tried to business straight from school. He recalls, "When I went for
squeeze a fifth cabin in, but the berths were very narrow. interview, I ended up helping with a survey on a 212ft motor
The SYS team is currently rebuilding the forepeak berths, yacht." The yacht, Shemara, was once owned by industrialist
adding two hanging lockers and fitting blinds to make it into Sir Bernard Docker, whose wife allegedly threw a fortune’s-
a habitable and useful cabin for ‘grown-ups’. At the same worth of jewels over the side during a disagreement.
time the rigging is being replaced and the boat is
undergoing a general refit so she’ll be as good as new for "I remember how Harvey climbed up onto the funnel and
her first season with her new owner. thought it was great to be on something so large," founder
and Managing Director Piers Wilson laughs, adding: "He has
Next to Emeah is an Oyster 82, which is used regularly for been a fantastic support to me over the years and worked
charter. She is having her regular five-year service, her rig his way up to Technical Director. We have always aimed to
and safety equipment are undergoing a thorough check, her have long-serving staff and we have a good history of
hull’s just been sprayed and the team is replacing keeping them, so that the skills that are built up over the
components in the rudder system so the owner can enjoy years are maintained." In this spirit, Harvey’s milestone
another five care-free years. Due in the yard after Christmas wasn’t going to pass unrecognised. As a wine-lover, the
are a whole queue of boats, including an Oyster 61, Oyster company organised a special wine-tasting trip to visit the
56, two Oyster 53s, an Oyster 45 and 47 and an Oyster 72. famous vineyards of Bordeaux.
As Andy Willett, SYS’s Project Manger reeled off the list, it
was obvious that each one was much more than a number, SYS also try and cultivate long standing relationships with
each one was an individual needing attention, a project to owners and captains and they are delighted that the captain
take pride in, and it’s this that marks out the SYS approach. of Caneli first came to the yard as captain of a 55ft new
build sailing yacht 25 years ago.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 75
THE CHOICE OF OYSTER MARINE
Oyster 62 UHURU and Oyster 655 Sotto Vento
designed to perform... built to last
400 Main Road • Harwich • Essex • CO12 4DN • Tel: +44 (0)1255 243366 • Fax: +44 (0)1255 240920
firstname.lastname@example.org • www.dolphinsails.com
Just Launched A selection of recent Oyster launchings
OYSTER 46 ON THE MARK
On the Mark was handed over to Mark, Julie and
Eric Kaufmann by Oyster’s Will White in Newport, USA.
On the Mark was on display at both the recent Newport
and Annapolis boat shows, where she attracted plenty of
attention. This winter will see her enjoying the Florida
sunshine, before her return to the US East Coast in 2009.
OYSTER 54 CYGNUS OF ANGLESEY
Recently handed over to Sir Peter Davis and his crew,
Tim and Sybilla, Cygnus of Anglesey is Peter’s fifth Oyster.
Peter becomes the first owner to have commissioned five
new Oysters, having previously owned an Oyster 45, 56, 82
and an LD43 motoryacht. Handover took place on a
beautiful autumn day with a blustery sail, short-tacking up
river from Felixstowe to Woolverstone, before turning back
downstream to set the MPS. In recognition of his loyalty to
the Oyster brand, Sir Peter was presented with a perfect
half-model of his new yacht by Oyster Directors Alan Brook
and Liz Whitman. Cygnus will be spending the winter in
Antigua and we look forward to seeing her at the Oyster
Regatta in Antigua in April, before she heads off to spend
the summer on the US East Coast.
OYSTER 655 LARETTE
Larette’s maiden voyage was from Ipswich to her owners’
house in Sweden, she covered the 560nm miles in just
66 hours giving the crew an exciting ride to the Baltic!
Larette will eventually be based in the South of France
from where her owners intend to cruise the Mediterranean.
ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Fitted out in a contemporary style with maple joinery and
The Kaufmann family, Oyster 46, On the Mark white leather upholstery, Larette makes a special and
Oyster’s Alan Brook with Sir Peter Davis, Oyster 54, Cygnus of Anglesey
Oyster 655, Larette
individual statement. With her carbon spars and fully-
Cameron, Laura and Stuart Gibson, Oyster 72, Stravaig of Argyll battened sloop rig she has proved to be a powerful cruising
Midge Verplank, Oyster 82, Sundowner of Tortola yacht with plenty of pace.
RIGHT: Jonathan Mould, Oyster 72, Koluka
78 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m
OYSTER 72 STRAVAIG OF ARGYLL
Owner Scott Gibson brought his young family, Cameron,
Laura and Stuart to Ipswich to witness the launch of their
new ‘baby’ Stravaig of Argyll when she was handed over.
After a fantastic sail on the River Orwell, Scott was full of
praise for their new acquisition. Stravaig of Argyll departed
Ipswich immediately after handover to sail to Las Palmas
where she joined a large fleet of Oysters taking part in this
year’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, which set off for St Lucia
on 23 November. Joining Scott on this big adventure, which
will be a first Atlantic crossing for all of them, will be his
70-year old father, Alex, and 14-year old son, Cameron,
making Stravaig of Argyll probably the only boat in the
ARC fleet with three generations on board. Stravaig of Argyll
is available for charter through Oyster Yacht Charter.
OYSTER 72 KOLUKA
Koluka is owner Jonathan Mould’s second Oyster, having
previously owned the Oyster 56 Kuyenda. Koluka arrived in
the Caribbean this autumn and is a stylish addition to the
Oyster Yacht Charter fleet with her teak and cream leather
interior, state-of-the-art entertainment system and carbon
performance rig. We look forward to seeing Koluka at
Oyster’s Antigua Regatta next April.
OYSTER 82 SUNDOWNER OF TORTOLA
The Oyster 82 is owner Midge Verplank’s second Oyster and
replaces his Oyster 66 of the same name, which was
launched in 2004. This stunning new Oyster 82 is the first
of the new Supershoal 82s with a centreboard and the
interior is beautifully fitted out in maple. The boat is crossing
the Atlantic as part of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and will
then spend her first winter season in the Caribbean.
w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m 79
t h e w o r l d ’s y o u r o y s t e r
s s s s s s s s s s s s
46 54 56 575 62 655 72 82 100 125 125 motor
SAIL POWER CHARTER
DOUBLE QU E E N ’ S AWA R D YAC H T BUILDERS
Head Office: Oyster Marine Ltd Fox’s Marina Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SA England T: +44 (0)1473 688888 F: +44 (0)1473 686861 E: email@example.com
Oyster Marine Germany: Saseler Str. 192a 22159 Hamburg Germany T: +49 40 64400880 F: +49 40 64400882 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oyster Marine USA: Newport Shipyard One Washington Street Newport RI 02840 USA T: +401 846 7400 F: +401 846 7483 E: email@example.com