Page 1







Contents Issue 69







David Tydeman EDITOR Liz Whitman





Keith Hamilton







Barry Pickthall



Richard Haworth






FROM THE EDITOR We publish Oyster News twice a year and we know from our readers that the articles they most enjoy reading about are the contributions from Oyster owners. If you have a story to tell or information about cruising in your Oyster please let us know. Photographs are always welcome with or without a story. email: or FRONT COVER PICTURE: Richard Smith’s Oyster 655, Sotto Vento at Oyster’s Palma Regatta 2009 Photo: Nico Martinez BACK COVER PICTURE: Oyster Superyachts go live! The first Oyster 100 hull 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













2009 ARC Barry Pickthall



By the time this Oyster News reaches you, I will have

jealousy as we imagine what we would be feeling in these

completed my first year with Oyster and I’m delighted to

locations; well, I guess there is only one way to find out!

report we’ve had a good year. Contrary to many other yacht

Sometimes, something in the article triggers a thought – I was

companies, we’ve built more boats in the last two years than

lucky enough to share in the naming ceremony of Miss Tippy

in 2006 and 2007 and the order book is building up nicely.

and reflected at the time how my 7-year-old daughter might

Southampton Yacht Services has also completed some great

similarly come up with the name to describe the yacht’s

projects including some rather special custom carbon fibre

movements – it’s great to now read how the Norton family

lifeboats and two 42-metre motoryachts.

adventure is progressing in this issue.

2010 will bring several new events too – starting with the

We held our inaugural German owners’ dinner in Hamburg last

first showing of the Oyster 575 at both the London and

month and one owner, who has owned his Oyster for a

Düsseldorf boat shows. Building starts on the first Oyster 625

number of years, said to me “I arrived unsure of what to

and the first Oyster 125 starts moulding in the first week of

expect, and left with new friends”. It was a successful and

February. Later in the year the first Oyster 100 will hit the water

very enjoyable evening and we will make this an annual event.

(we have just booked the berth to display her at the Monaco

It also gives us the confidence to hold a dinner during both

Yacht Show) and with the usual challenges of timing, due to

the London and Düsseldorf boat shows. Despite the fact that

availability of berths and infrastructure, our 25th Oyster

nearly 75% of our owners hail from either the UK or USA,

Regatta celebrations will happen around the same time in late

there is clearly an opportunity for us to meet in different

September, hopefully with an Italian flavour. The first swing

places and I look forward to hosting more events next year.

keel Oyster 655 will also take to the water during the year, just to keep us all on our toes!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and good sailing in the New Year.

What continues to impress me about the Oyster team is their constant passion for what we do and for our yachts. New product launches, new events, and helping new Oyster owners get as much enjoyment out of building their yachts as owning them, are only possible because we have a great team and I thank them for their continued efforts. The many adventures of Oyster owners also never fail to impress me. Their stories make great reading and its so much fun for the team putting together this section of Oyster News.

David Tydeman

I guess, like me, reading these stories of adventures leave us

CEO, Oyster Group

with a mixed feeling of wonder, tinged with a little bit of

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m




Photo: Clark Donahue

CARIBBEAN 1500 SUCCESS FOR OYSTER 53 Mike and Vicky Wallace’s Oyster 53, Arbella, took line honours in Class 3 in this year’s Caribbean 1500. The event, which is organized by the Cruising Association, attracts an international fleet of cruising yachts and sets out from Hampton in Virginia, USA and finishes at Nanny Cay, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

Time Out Wins DUBAI Commodore’s Cup The Dubai Offshore Sailing Club's Commodores Cup is a series of races, which runs from September through to May as it is too hot to race during the summer months in Dubai. Racing is under the IRC handicap rule and there are three divisions. David Maddern’s veteran Oyster 26, Time Out has won the Commodore’s Cup in Division 3, having achieved second place last year. David has owned Time Out for the last 10 years.

4 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Oyster Marine has signed a threeyear agreement with GWM Racing Ltd to manage the race organization of the Oyster Regatta programme in the Caribbean and Mediterranean from 2010. John Grandy and Peter Wykeham-Martin said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by Oyster Marine and look forward to working with the Oyster team and continuing to develop the traditional style of Oyster racing, a proven formula much enjoyed by the owners of these prestigious yachts”. John who was formerly Rear Commodore Yachting at the Royal Yacht Squadron is already well-known to many owners, whilst Peter was Chief Executive of the RORC, so both are extremely well-qualified to organize a first class event for Oyster owners to enjoy, with the emphasis on low key racing and plenty of partying. Oyster’s own team, led by Liz Whitman, will continue to manage the events. Oyster’s 2010 Caribbean regatta will be held in the British Virgin Islands from 12-17 April. A large fleet of Oysters is expected to arrive in Nanny Cay for the 24th regatta in the Oyster series.

OYSTER DINNERS by David Tydeman I have now had the privilege to host four owners’ dinners in London, Southampton, Annapolis and recently our first ever event in Hamburg. These events are a fantastic opportunity for me, and the Oyster team, to get to know our owners and so important for maintaining and encouraging the ‘Oyster family’ to grow and share their cruising adventures. I have been told my speeches have ranged from too corporate to ‘OK’ and I know I’m on a learning curve here! With that in mind I rather nervously asked Britta from Oyster’s German office to translate a few words for me to read in German for our dinner in Hamburg in October. I was not at all sure, as I stumbled and read slowly through the speech, whether I was giving Britta a pay rise or a free Oyster but it seemed to go down well! I was rewarded with one owner saying as he left that he had travelled across Germany to be there and had come rather cautiously to the dinner, not knowing what to expect or whether he was right to come. But he was leaving having made new friends and with firm plans to meet other owners again. For me, that comment sums up why we arrange these functions and will always continue to do so – my promise in future is not to treat them like AGM’s when I try to welcome you all! The Oyster team and I hope to see many of you in London on the 9th January when we will be cruising down the River Thames on board the Silver Sturgeon and also on 23rd January at our first international dinner at the Düsseldorf boat show. This show is huge and, in my view, really is one of the best shows in the calendar and we hope many of you will come and see us.

Photo: Phil Goodhead

Red Arrows Flypast for Ixion The owner of the Oyster 62, Ixion, Peter Maxwell-Brown and his family enjoyed their own private Red Arrows display whilst anchored in Salcombe Harbour over the summer. Local Harbour Master, and Oyster fan, Phil Goodhead took the photograph.

Cappriccio Circumnavigation Completed It was with great pleasure that David Tydeman presented Michéle Colenso with a special award to mark the completion of her four-year circumnavigation in her Oyster 55, Capriccio of Rhu, during Oyster’s Palma Regatta. Michéle, who received a standing ovation from fellow owners and everyone present, had to make an unplanned, two-year stopover in Sydney, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. During that time, not only did she raise a significant amount of money for research, but also took part in the Sydney Hobart Race, whilst sporting her now famous pink ‘40DD bra’ spinnaker, which she kindly flew during our Palma regatta! We salute Michéle and wish her all the very best for the future.

Photo: Silver Sturgeon

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m



by David Tydeman

This was my first Annapolis show and it was a great pleasure to make new friends. John Noble and I enjoyed a long discussion during the owners’ party about sights he should see on his planned first ever drive around the UK when he comes over next year to see his swing-keel Oyster 655 – the first of its kind – under construction. Ideas are welcome apparently! John’s business life involves clearing up chaos after hurricanes and this year the weather has (unfortunately!?) been so stable he’s had more time to think about his new yacht! The Annapolis boat show has a lovely feel to it and, in the sunshine, it was full of enthusiasts of all ages with many flying long distances across North America to visit. The Oyster 46 and Oyster 655 were the star attractions of the show, a ‘must-see’ on every visitor’s list and our team worked hard to accommodate everyone. The owners’ party went on well into the night and during the evening I was pleased to present our US Broker, Bob Marston, with his 10-year Oyster service award. This reminded me of a recent discussion with the global head of sponsorship at Rolex – I pointed out that we have given many Rolex watches to our staff as a thank you for 10 years hard work and wondered if Rolex were interested in working with Oyster. Sadly their strategy is to focus on sponsoring events, but he did say to his global CEO that he thought Rolex should give their staff a free Oyster for 10 years service - now that would be a marketing coup!

Tommy Moscatelli

New Representatives for Oyster Oyster has made two appointments in recent months. Bart Kimman who is based in Hong Kong, will represent Oyster yachts in Asia, whilst Tommy Moscatelli, will promote our deck saloon range throughout Italy. Following the appointment of Alexander Markarov in Moscow earlier this year, Oyster Representatives will actively promote Oyster yachts in their own regions, acting as a local point of contact and an extension of Oyster’s own team, who will continue to be closely involved in all aspects of every customer’s yacht purchase and ownership.

WHISKY HEAVEN - THE CLASSIC MALTS CRUISE Four Oyster owners took up the challenge of 'nosing' their way around the Scottish Western Isles during last summer's Talisker Classic Malt Cruise. Blessed with brilliant weather (for most of the time) an abundance of wildlife and copious amounts of the 'water of life', Andrew Tibbits' Oyster 435 Mythos, Nikita, the Oyster 406 owned by Jayne Marlin, Peter Kassell's Oyster 46 Nimrod and Larry Quinn's Oyster 461 Blue Fox were united by a passion for sailing, scenery and single malt whisky. Each chose their own route through the Inner Hebrides, to share in the hospitality offered by the coastal Classic Malts distilleries of Oban, Talisker and Lagavulin. “This is certainly one of the best sailing cruises we've made – certainly one to do before you die” enthused Larry Quinn. The next Malt Cruise will be held in June 2011. For further details visit

6 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Alexander Markarov

Bart Kimman


London Boat Show 8 – 17 January

We have recently introduced a password-protected section to our website, exclusively for Oyster owners. In this area you will find our new Crew Register, browse our range of Oyster merchandise, download owners manuals and aftersales advisory notes and find information about our events and regattas. We also plan to post information of general interest to other owners such as the request below from Australian owners, Peter and Karen Wilson. Owners who wish to access the site should click on the owners link at the bottom of our home page and follow the instructions on-line or if you have any difficulty please contact Katie Bond at

London Owners’ Dinner Silver Sturgeon, Thames River Cruise 9 January Boot Düsseldorf 23 – 31 January Düsseldorf Owners’ Dinner Das Meilenwerk 23 January Oyster Regatta – BVI 12 – 17 April Oyster Private View, London 21 – 24 April Moscow International Boat Show 15 – 18 April Boat Asia, Singapore 15 – 18 April Oyster Rendezvous, Newport, USA Dates to be announced Orust Open Yard, Sweden 19 – 21 August HISWA In-water Boat Show 31 Aug – 5 September Norwegian International In-water Show 2 – 5 September Festival International de La Plaisance, Cannes 8 – 13 September Southampton International Boat Show 10 – 19 September Southampton Owners Dinner 11 September


Oyster Regatta – Mediterranean Dates to be announced

Oyster 53 owners, Peter and Karen Wilson, who live in Australia, have a rather unusual proposal for fellow Oyster owners...

Genoa Boat Show 2 – 10 October

Having sailed our Oyster 53 from Sydney to the Whitsunday Islands in The Great Barrier Reef, we are ready for our next adventure and want to enter the Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally in 2011 - a flotilla of 80 boats, which sails from Turkey to Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Cyprus and back to Turkey over a two and a half month period from the end of April until early July. The catch is that our Oyster will be in Sydney and the boat entered cannot be chartered or be the subject of any other commercial arrangements as it is purely an amateur event. We are therefore looking to swap our homes and Oyster 53 based in Australia for a 50’ to 55’ Oyster to help us fulfill this dream. We need to register for the Rally by March 2010 and look forward to hearing from any Oyster owners who may be interested in this idea. Full details, a selection of photographs and contact details for Karen and Peter can be found on the new Owners area of the Oyster website.

Annapolis Sailboat Show 6 – 10 October Annapolis Owners’ Party 8 October Hamburg Boat Show 23 – 31 October Hamburg Owners’ Dinner 23 October ARC Owners Party 18 November ARC Start, Las Palmas 21 November Full details about all Oyster Events and boats shows can be found in the events section on our website.

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


8 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Oyster Regatta Palma 2009 by Bar r y Pickthall

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Palma is fast becoming the maxi-yacht capital of the Med, a trend that Oyster yacht owners have been supporting for much of the past decade. With daily flights from almost any city across Europe, the rich mix of history, culture and sunshine that surrounds the Mallorcan capital, makes it the ideal venue for Oyster’s traditional end of season European regatta. With an emphasis on fun and camaraderie, Oyster regattas attract family crews, and those who don’t want to race are just as welcome to take part and join in the social events after a spot of sight-seeing or shopping.

ABOVE: Al Parrish and Paula Mott’s Oyster 655, Proteus RIGHT CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: John Marshall’s Oyster 56 Rock Oyster Time for a spot of fishing on board Oyster 655, Flying Duckman Heinrich Schulte’s Oyster 655, Anabasis Close racing in the Oyster fleet

10 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

23 crews representing Britain, Hong Kong, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands, Russia, the USA, and of course Spain, made this year’s Mediterranean gathering a truly international event. Richard Smith, owner of the Oyster 655, Sotto Vento was attending his 8th Oyster regatta in just four years of ownership and arrived having won Class 1 at this year’s Oyster regatta in Antigua, whilst Philip Scott whose Oyster 46, Eve, is usually kept on the UK’s east coast, had his yacht delivered to Palma specially to take part. Mix in a winning team of match race sailors from The Société Nautique de Genève, the Swiss America’s Cup holder, who attended as guests of Oyster and everyone anticipated some pretty close racing.

T H E OY S T E R PA L M A R E G AT T A 2 0 0 9

And that is exactly what we got, though the lack of wind each morning left race officer Alan Brook with a few more grey hairs by the end of the week! The problem for Alan and his team of buoy layers were four small high pressure systems that continued to box their way around the Balearic Islands throughout the regatta, leaving even the locals guessing which way and when the breeze would appear.

23 crews representing Britain, Hong Kong, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands, Russia, the USA,

Balmy weather has its followers of course, especially after a tropical storm had turned roads into rivers and spiked electricity and broadband services around the isolated splendour of the Real Club Nautico Palma the weekend before. The sun only returned on the day of judging for the Concours d’Elegance trophies, which led to copious quantities of water and vinegar being applied to bring back the gleam on stainless steel and topsides. Two crews in particular excelled themselves in bringing order back to the dockside. Americans Al Parrish and Paula Mott exhibited their metallic gold Oyster 655 Proteus in such meticulous condition, we were all left to wonder how these two could have possibly been cruising around the Med alone for the past season, seemingly without inflicting a scratch. They were easy winners of the Concours d’Elegance in Class 1, along with Scott and Susan Gibson’s Oyster 72 Stravaig of Argyll, while in Class 2, John Marshall’s eye-catching Oyster 56, Rock Oyster, and Philip and Helen Scott’s Oyster 46, Eve took the top prizes. >

and of course Spain, made this year’s Mediterranean gathering a truly international event.

That evening, crews mingled on the Club’s elegant poolside terrace for a cocktail party prior to dinner in the Club and the good-natured banter that developed led to a series of late-night raids to strike at rival battle flags and mascots during the remainder of the week.

Pantaenius Cup Races The following morning, Alan Brook made a valiant effort to scour Palma Bay for any kind of sea breeze to open the series for the Pantaenius Cup. By 2:00pm, when more of crews were swimming than sailing, he was forced to cancel the day’s racing.

ABOVE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Oyster 655, Solway Mist II The Oyster fleet off Palma

The sudden appearance of Hans Kampers and his daughter Renee on the bathing platform of the committee boat Flame II after swimming over from their venerable Oyster 49 Mareka of Holland, might have had some bearing on the decision. Hans and his crew were very much the jokers in the pack. Having swum over to question how many bottles of Sangria the committee might have consumed during the delay, the airwaves crackled with the alert “This is Mareka, Mareka, Mareka… We are sinking”. A startled Brook, speedily handed his portable VHF to Hans who responded…”Vot are you zinking about?’ ‘Ve are zinking about lunch. Ven are you coming back?’

Drinks party at Es Baluard RIGHT: Close racing between the Oyster 655 Proteus and Oyster 72 Cookielicious

12 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

The subsequent signal to abandon racing for the day brought a cheer as crews headed off to spend the afternoon anchored in beach-lined inlets. Perversely though, it also stirred the wind gods to provide a cooling breeze across the bay for the rest of the afternoon. It was a lesson learned for future days.

T H E OY S T E R PA L M A R E G AT T A 2 0 0 9

That evening, the now sunburned Oyster crews gathered in the courtyard of the Es Baluard contemporary art museum for cocktails. These historic battlements provide some of the best views over the harbour, and its imaginative transformation mixing concrete, stainless steel and glass with 12th Century brickwork overpowered many of the modern artworks on display. “What a great place for a party”, exclaimed Hans Kampers as golden rays from the setting sun spilled out over the Bay.

Pelagos Yachts Cup

What a great place for a party”

Day 2 dawned with a forecast that promised… nothing as far as wind was concerned. Worse, the long-range synopsis looked no better. “Have Oysters ever had a regatta without a race?” Alan Brook was heard to ask, before patience brought its reward. Soon after 14:00, a refreshing force 2-3 sea breeze put a spring in the step of the 22-strong fleet. Crews were treated to a sparkling 22-mile passage race from Palma to Andraitx for the Pelagos Yachts Cup – just the aperitif for the wine tasting and paella supper planned for that evening. >

exclaimed Hans Kampers as

golden rays from the setting sun spilled out over the Bay.

Bill Munro’s Oyster 54, Boarding Pass and Ulrika of London, the Oyster 56 owned by Jari Ovaskainen, led Class 2 fleet away, closely followed by Jesús Gasca's smaller Oyster 46 Sine Die on a 5-mile fetch to the Cal Figuera lighthouse, the first turning mark. Ten minutes later, the larger Oysters set off in chase, led by Alexander Markarov’s high-kicking Russian crew on Solway Mist II and Chris Ducker’s rival Oyster 655 Flying Duckman. As the two classes merged at Point de Cala Figuera, a large hole opened up to trap the entire fleet. What wind there was, determinedly boxed the compass from every angle before releasing the front-runners on a beat around the west of the Island to the sheltered port of Andraitx.

ABOVE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Robert Gillespie’s Oyster 82, Sarita Crew onboard Oyster 655, Sotto Vento Wine tasting and Paella at Bodegas Santa Catarina Fun onboard Wouter and Monique ten Woldes, Oyster 56 Olanta RIGHT: Jesús Gasca’s Oyster 46, Sine Die

14 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Only Sarita, the Oyster 82 owned by Robert Gillespie had the might to carry her own wind. Effectively skirting around her becalmed rivals, she went on to take line honours in grand style. But it was the distinctive crew with their red and white hooped shirts aboard Solway Mist II who, after rock hopping around the Cape, captured the final hurrah. As Sarita headed out offshore, Markarov’s team picked up an inside track when the new wind filled in from the north and just saved their time to steal the handicap prize from Sarita’s hands. Richard Smith’s Oyster 655 Sotto Vento took third.

T H E OY S T E R PA L M A R E G AT T A 2 0 0 9

Ulrika of London crossed tacks with Sine Die several times on the 17-mile beat up to Andraitx, and at the finish there was little more than a pulpit’s length between them, giving Jesús Gasca's local crew a line and class double over their larger rival. Rock Oyster, John Marshall’s aptly named Oyster 56 finished third in class.

We had a few guys onboard who have never raced before, let alone on an Oyster. They, as was I, were most impressed by all that went on, from the event

Gasca and his crew continued to lead when it came to boarding the bus to take crews up into the hills to the famous vineyard of Bodegas Santa Catarina for an evening of wine tasking and a traditional paella. The bus was parked exactly where Event Director Liz Whitman had directed crews to muster, but Jesús had to make an impassioned plea to the Spanish driver to wait for the remaining party. The driver condescendingly honked his horn to hurry passengers along but insisted that the bus would leave exactly on 6:30pm. He also insisted on everyone paying their fare, and as Jesús grudgingly dipped his hand into his pocket, grumbling in Spanish something that loosely translated to “It never used to be like this at Oyster regattas”, it began to dawn on others that this might not be the right bus. Our bendy bus, it transpired, was heading straight back to Palma. The Oyster buses were congregated at another gate at the far end of the marina. “When was the last time that Señor Gasca had ridden on a public bus.” one crewman quizzed the famous Spanish design guru? Jesús could not remember….. “A long time ago” he laughed. >

locations, standard of food, to the crack between the Oyster team and participants.

Chris Ducker, Oyster 655, Flying Duckman

As our coaches wound their way precariously up into the hills, hearts were in mouths as the front overhangs swept out over unguarded precipices at every turn. At the Bodegas Santa Catarina, staff greeted passengers with just the right remedy – a nerve-soothing glass of their finest Chardonnay. The Mallorcans have been producing wine in the La Serra de Tramuntana for centuries, no doubt treating Roman, Byzantine and the Moors to the same palatable welcome. The problem for our intrepid Oyster invaders, is that they had worked up quite a thirst, so it was the wine rather than the bouquet that took precedence during the tasting session under the olive trees. We learned that it was a Scandinavian entrepreneur who had established this particular bodega, which had flourished when a plague of root-eating ‘Filoxera’ (wine lice) marched across Europe a century ago to devastated French and Spanish vineyards. Today, the bodega produces 500,000 litres of the finest Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Shiraz and Pinot Noir varieties which Oyster crews did their best to consume during a splendid dinner served in a magnificent cellar cut into the sandstone rock where these vintage wines are aged in oak barrels.

Dolphin Sails Trophy Race

ABOVE: Heinrich Schulte’s Oyster 655, Anabasis RIGHT CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Michéle Colenso’s Oyster 55, Capriccio of Rhu Oyster 72, Cookielicious Paella cooking at Bodegas Santa Catarina

16 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

The morning after was a slow affair, and for once, the fleet welcomed the lack of wind until after lunch for the passage race back to Palma. The delay also gave Michéle Colenso and her eager crew on Capriccio of Rhu the opportunity to prepare their party piece. Two years ago Michéle was diagnosed with breast cancer mid-way through a circumnavigation aboard her Oyster 55 and was forced to stop in Sydney to undergo treatment. Keen to make others aware of the early signs of this illness, she embarked on a cheeky campaign to raise breast cancer awareness. Taking part in the 2007 Sydney Hobart race, she and her crew ‘shocked’ their Aussie rivals by flying two ‘42DD’-sized pink spinnakers on the sail down Sydney Harbour emblazoned with the slogan ‘Want to keep em? If in doubt….Feel em!! Check em out!!’

T H E OY S T E R PA L M A R E G AT T A 2 0 0 9

After some considerable strap adjusting onboard, the Oyster fleet was treated to a private view as Capriccio of Rhu emerged from the cliff lined entrance flying all before her. At the time, the Race Officer and his crew on the committee boat were still considering when and where to make a start for the Dolphin Sails Trophy Race, and Michéle came up with a sensible suggestion. “We have some wind. Why not set the line in front of us and time the start when we cross it?” She asked helpfully. We were treated to a downwind start and the Dolphin Sails representatives must have been rubbing their hands in glee as crews fought to prevent several spinnaker wraps as the shifting winds sweeping down from the high cliffs protecting Andraitx played perverse tricks on the fleet.

Your event is simply amazing. The Oyster welcome and every crew's sportsmanlike and easy

Timing the downwind start correctly proved no easier than it had been aboard Capriccio of Rhu, and led to some frantic last minute jostling to avoid crossing the line prematurely. Three of the Oyster 655s – Richard Smith’s Sotto Vento, Chris Ducker’s Flying Duckman and Solway Mist II skippered by Alexander Markarov crossed the line three-abreast, leaving Heinrich Schulte and his family, racing the rival Anabasis, a clear run.

attitude made it very enjoyable,

At the Cal Figuera lighthouse, 17 miles into the race, positioning was just as tight, with Sotto Vento rounding just inside Anabasis, while Flying Duckman, Solway Mist II and Robert Gillespie’s larger Oyster 82 Sarita did their best to stifle >

few days.

from the beginning. We really

enjoyed the feeling of being part of the Oyster family for a

Rudolphe Gautier, Société Nautique de Genève

each other’s wind close astern. None were as efficient as the wind gods who seemingly took this moment to have a short siesta, to provide an unscheduled re-start to the race for the leg back to Palma. The leading Class 1 crews managed to scramble across the finish line still under spinnaker, but the smaller yachts were forced to shed their coloured sails and unfurl headsails in a hurry for what turned into a beat. The three Oyster 62s – Ole Vagner’s Golden Gate, Robert and June Beeston’s Star of Acabar and Jeff Graham’s Stuff ‘n’ Stuff crossed the line with little more than an anchor pin to divide them. Class 2 again saw Jesús Gasca's Spanish crew on Sine Die make much of the front running, but this time they found themselves pipped on handicap by Aidan Millerick’s rival 45, Tusitala after her crew had taken the decision to fly their asymmetric spinnaker on the end of a pole. John Marshall’s Oyster 56 Rock Oyster finished 3rd just ahead of Wouter and Monique ten Wolde’s Olanta.

Lewmar Trophy Race


In the final race for the Lewmar Trophy in the Bay of Palma, the Spanish Sine Die crew led their class from start to finish. Not even a concerted spinnaker luff from John Marshall’s Oyster 56 Rock Oyster put them off from their mission, and it was not until well into the second round that they eventually conceded the overall lead to the larger Class 1 yachts.

Scott and Susan Gibson’s Oyster 72, Stravaig of Argyll RIGHT CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Bob and June Beeston’s Oyster 62, Star of Acabar Paula Mott, Oyster 655, Proteus Prizegiving drinks party, Cases font Seca Jeff Graham’s Oyster 62, Stuff ‘n’ Stuff

18 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

The two Oyster 56’s, Rock Oyster, and Ulrika of London, took second and third, but were later split on corrected time by Aidan Millerick’s evergreen Oyster 45 Tusitala – a performance that confirmed 2nd place in the overall class standings after their class victory in the down-wind passage race for the Dolphin Sails Cup.

T H E OY S T E R PA L M A R E G AT T A 2 0 0 9

The prize-giving cocktail party and banquet at Cases de Sa Font Seca, a 17th century manor house up in the hills above Palma provided a fitting finale to what proved to be a great week, where friendly rivalry and a great social programme more than covered for any unplanned deficiencies on the part of the wind.

It is a credit to Oyster that as owners of a ‘previously owned’ boat, you made us feel as much a part of the Oyster family as the owners of the brand new ones. Debbie Goldie, Oyster 49, Zebahdy

Within Class 1, two Oyster 655s, Heinrich Schulte’s Anabasis and the Russian team on Solway Mist II, gave the Sotto Vento crew a determined run for their money in this final encounter, and though Anabasis eventually finished 2nd across the line behind Robert Gillespie’s mighty Oyster 82 Sarita, her 7-second lead over Sotto Vento was reversed on corrected time. Solway Mist II also squeezed in ahead of Sarita on corrected time to give her Russian crew, something to celebrate in this, their first Oyster regatta.

T H E OY S T E R PA L M A R E G AT T A 2 0 0 9



Al Parrish & Paula Mott



Scott & Sue Gibson



Philip Scott

Rock Oyster


John Marshall



Solway Mist II


Alexander Markarov




Robert Gillespie


Sotto Vento


Richard Smith


Golden Gate


Ole Vagner


Sine Die


Jesús Gasca


Ulrika of London


Jari Ovaskainen


Rock Oyster


John Marshall




Aiden Millerick





Sotto Vento


Richard Smith


Flying Duckman


Chris Ducker




Heinrich Schulte




Al Parrish & Paula Mott

Bill Munro and Susan Harris, Boarding Pass with Barry Sullivan of Pantaenius The crew of Oyster 655, Anabasis


Wouter and Monique ten Wolde, Olanta with Matthew and Frances Vincent of Dolphin Sails




Aiden Millerick


Sine Die


Jesús Gasca



Rock Oyster


John Marshall




Wouter & Monique ten Wolde

Richard Smith, Sotto Vento, with Jonathan Beeston of RTYC Winners of ‘Best Dressed Crew’ award, Oyster 655, Solway Mist II Chris Ducker, Flying Duckman with Oyster CEO David Tydeman Richard Smith and crew, Sotto Vento, winner of Class 1 Jesús Gasca and crew, Sine Die, winner of Class 2

20 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Photos: Nico Martinez

T H E OY S T E R PA L M A R E G AT T A 2 0 0 9


Sotto Vento


Richard Smith




Heinrich Schulte


Solway Mist


Alexander Markarov




Robert Gillespie


Sine Die


Jesús Gasca


Rock Oyster


John Marshall




Aiden Millerick


Ulrika of London


Jari Ovaskainen


THE ROYAL THAMES YACHT CLUB TROPHY Presented to the best placed yacht overall from Class 1 and Class 2 in all races Sotto Vento


Richard Smith


Sotto Vento


Richard Smith




Heinrich Schulte




Robert Gillespie


Flying Duckman


Chris Ducker


Sine Die


Jesús Gasca




Aiden Millerick


Rock Oyster


John Marshall


Ulrika of London


Jari Ovaskainen


w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


The Juan Fernández Islands By Ale x Muñoz, vice president for Oceana in South America

Photos: © OCEANA - Maximiliano Bello

Nearly four hundred miles from Chile’s jagged coastline lies one of the world’s hidden sailing destinations: the Juan Fernández Islands. This archipelago, composed of three volcanic islands among a series of seamounts, has been compared to the Galápagos Islands for its rugged beauty and incredible biodiversity, including dozens of endemic species found nowhere else in the world. But while the Galápagos have become a major destination, the Juan Fernández Islands remain relatively unknown. Isolation is a part of the island’s heritage. In 1704, sailor Alexander Selkirk deserted the Cinque Ports, choosing to remain on one of the Juan Fernández uninhabited islands rather than stay on a ship he considered unseaworthy. (The ship would sink just weeks later.) Selkirk lived on the island for four years and four months, surviving on the rich native flora and the meat of feral goats. His story and eventual rescue would inspire the classic novel Robinson Crusoe. Today, just 600 people live on Robinson Crusoe Island, the largest of the islands at 58 square miles. The islands remain one of the world’s great natural laboratories with a strikingly high percentage of unique native species. The islands are also home to the Juan Fernández fur seal, once thought hunted to extinction, and the incredibly rare Juan Fernández firecrown, a wildly coloured hummingbird. 22 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


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

Photos: © OCEANA - Eduardo Sorensen

Robinson Crusoe Island is a World Biosphere Preserve, a United Nations designation that denotes its vital importance to global biodiversity and awards it protections. Yet just five miles from the shore, the marine ecosystems surrounding the islands are unprotected from the damaging commercial fishing techniques of bottom trawling. This fishing method uses weighted nets to drag the seafloor, indiscriminately killing sealife and reducing corals and seamounts to rubble. It is the equivalent of clearcutting a forest to catch a few rabbits. Trawling is used to catch only two popular seafood species, the orange roughy – originally known as the slimehead – and alfonsino. Thanks to trawling, some ancient corals in the area have already been demolished. These slow-growing corals are the home for dozens of other species and it take decades or centuries for them to recover.

Sailing to Juan Fernández, then, not only means an exceptional and thrilling experience for the sailor. It provides an economic incentive for governments to protect gems like these islands. Of course, if you go, be sensitive to the marine habitat and be watchful in order to avoid setting your anchor on coral reefs. Oceana has already succeeded in encouraging governments to proactively protect 640 million acres of seafloor from trawling north of the equator. Hopefully, the waters surrounding the Juan Fernández Islands will be next. In the meantime, making the islands a significant sailing destination will help bolster the argument for saving its rare and awesome natural beauty. OCEANA | Protecting the World's Oceans For more information:

Juan Fernández is still an ecological treasure, but it needs proactive protection in order to remain that way. It makes both scientific and economic sense. Oceana conducted a survey of divers last year that found they were likely to pay a premium if it meant seeing healthy marine ecosystems. Divers indicated they would spend an average of $55.35 more per dive to encounter vibrant coral reefs.

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m



24 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Go Live! At last we have a boat to show everyone! The first Oyster 100 hull and secondary structure was post cured in the hi-tech 40-metre long oven in early September and came out of the mould on 14th September. In parallel we completed the mould tooling for the Oyster125, which is simply enormous. I’ve seen the statistics noting that there is almost twice as much volume internally in the 125 compared with the 100 and that the 100 is almost twice the volume of the Oyster 72 and so on, but when you see the mould in front of you, you realise just how big these yachts are! These new Oyster flagships, the Oyster 100 and 125, will reflect our heritage of building yachts that have carried their owners in comfort to the Arctic and Antarctic, and across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans to discover faraway places that only well founded and reliable yachts can explore. These new superyachts increase Oyster’s reputation for quality, innovation and style and, with the experience we are gaining from the engineering challenges these extremely advanced yachts present, we will see a transfer of technology and processes which will further enhance the proven qualities of the existing Oyster range. By selecting a series-produced superyacht, owners will share these benefits of proven design, construction and engineering and can devote their attention to stamping their individuality on the interior. Only those owners who have commissioned a one-off superyacht will be aware of the

cost and time impact that pulling together specialist companies and individuals from around the world has on building a superyacht to such high standards. Adding the most stringent world classification standard for superyachts – Lloyds +100A1 G6 MCH (something very few yards actually do) – is part of our target of producing top quality yachts that can save two years on the time it takes to research and build a one-off vessel – time that is better devoted to realizing those life-long ambitions to cruise anywhere within the seven seas! The decision to go for female tooling for series build of these yachts is now beginning to show its strength. As we take the next few months running infusion testing for the 125 and set up to mould the first 125 in early February 2010, the mould tool has gone back into the oven for 100-02 hull to be built. By spring next year we are therefore planning to be in build with three yachts and are aiming for 100-01 and 02 to be sailing in the Dubois Cup in late spring 2011. The female tooling allows a process of moulding a hull every three to four months and, as we get the yard production working, we will start to offer a build cycle of three months moulding, 12 months fit-out and three months commissioning for an Oyster 100; and four months moulding, 15 months fit-out and four months commissioning for an Oyster 125. With the fourth moulding slot available to start in late June next year, we will be in full swing soon and over the challenging engineering hurdles this start-up venture has involved. >


w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


26 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Composite, moulded hulls are stronger and tougher for their weight than alloy hulls and will require much less maintenance. Avoiding the need for internal frames and stringers found in alloy hulls, we calculate that Oyster superyachts will also have around 10% more internal usable volume than a similar length alloy yacht. We believe they will hold their value well. For example, despite the global financial issues, we know of several deals done in the last 12 months, where owners of 120-150ft superyachts have sold their boats for more than they cost to build. Oyster has set out to produce value through investment and structural integrity. Our commitment to research and design is showing benefits now and ensuring the success of the Oyster 100 and 125 superyachts. We brought together the best team of internationally recognised designers, engineers and consultants to research every aspect of their build from the overall design concept, to the engineering, structure, rig and interior design. Within our programme and commitment to female tooling we have recognised that the Oyster superyacht must be the yacht of your dreams and no two Oyster superyachts are likely to be the same inside and we have set up to allow for a process of customisation. 100-01 is being built in dark walnut with beautiful fabrics and soft furnishings by POD Designs, an affiliated company to the well-known Redmond Whitely Dixon styling team. 100-02 will have a more modern feel to it,

and Richard Matthews is choosing his personal style for 125-01. Our experienced in-house design and yard team is working on some quite different accommodation themes including a full size mock-up of cabins to turn paper-based schemes into 3D reality and fine-tune the design and choice of materials. Behind the styling there are some sophisticated solutions to minimise sound and vibration involving specialist hull linings, double bulkheads, under floor treatments, void filling material and even a layer of sound dampening between the laid teak deck and the owners and guest cabins to minimise the sound of footsteps on deck! Flexibly mounted furniture, floors and non-structural bulkheads further reduce sound and vibration transference. With twin matched generators providing 220v (or 110v), three-phase electricity, 24 hours a day, all the comforts of home will be constantly available. Air conditioning, air management, hot water, water making, electric cooking, microwaves, trash compactors and dishwashers are all part of the live-aboard experience – and available at the flick of a switch. With the Oyster 100 and 125 superyachts, we are setting out to raise the threshold in fresh, creative thinking to bring “Stradivarius quality” to the modern world of superyachts! We recognise that Oyster yachts are not just a possession – they are passports to experience and pleasure, bringing freedom, adventure and quality of life and we are very proud of what we’re achieving with these new Oyster flagships.


w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Pimalai Resort & Spa


Sail Away with Small Luxury Hotels of the World For Paul Kerr, CEO of the luxury hotel brand Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) and chartered accountant, experiencing the world at an average rate of seven knots makes a welcome respite from the break-neck pace of running a highly successful global hotel brand. To an outsider, the life of Paul Kerr appears like a permanent holiday. Flying around the world, staying at the world's most exclusive resorts, tucking into Michelin–star dinners and being treated like royalty sounds like a job most people would kill for. Paul admits that he is very fortunate: "I always tell my children, most people like 20% of their job and hate the other 80%. Luckily for me, I am now at a stage where I love it 80% of the time". However, such reward doesn't come without a lot of hard work and it hasn't always been plain-sailing. "When I first took over SLH in 1991 there were 75 hotels in the brand, today we stand at 500 hotels in over 75 countries. The growth of the brand has been due to a number of factors: the increase in demand for the small, independent boutique hotel, the advent of low air fares and the unbridled success of the internet as a reference and research source as well as a direct booking channel. However, most importantly it has been due to a tremendous amount of effort and I still remember the nights toiling away until 3am, smoking cigarette after cigarette and hoping that it would all come together. It has, of course, also been down to the fact that I am lucky enough to have a very talented crew; pardon the pun."

28 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


So if you spend your working hours in luxury hotels what do you do for a holiday? You take up sailing! "I discovered sailing eight years ago and I find it such a liberating experience. I love to travel, yet I don't really like schedules or airports. With sailing there are no queues, no delays and no lost baggage and I suppose the only schedule is that determined by gravity, the tide." “For me the enduring appeal of a sailing holiday is that there is something timeless about making a journey by means of just the wind and the sea; the days feel much longer and afford a greater opportunity just to think and to relax which is something hard to find the time for. This is why you'll never catch me on a gin-palace in Monaco! “Our last family holiday was to Thailand and we sailed from Phuket to Langkawi stopping off at some of the truly outstanding SLH properties along the way. It was a fantastic experience. We started off at Aleenta Resort and Spa Phuket. It sits on the edge of Pilai Beach, a long stretch of pristine white sand. The sunsets are amazing and the hotel is very tranquil, so perfect for easing you in to "holiday-mode". The next day Paul and his family set sail for Ko Racha Yai, an island 15 miles south of Phuket, where another SLH hotel, The Racha, is located. The island is popular with divers who come for the spectacular crystal-clear waters, hard coral forests and varied tropical fish. Ko Racha Yai literally means "big king island" and in Paul's eyes it is definitely "a king of resorts".

The Racha

"The Racha embodies what the discerning traveller is seeking from a resort today - pristine and chic yet surrounded by natural beauty and operating on ecologically sound principles. And, of course, with a holistic spa and a choice of exciting restaurants," says Paul with a smile. "People want to go somewhere exclusive and private where they can relax. Resorts on islands, which are accessible only from the sea, are the ultimate embodiment of this concept and arriving by yacht makes it seem all the more of a hideaway.” However, if you yearn to emulate Robinson Crusoe and get away from it all in slightly more traditional surrounds Paul recommends Zeavola, the only luxury villa resort on Phi Phi Island. Set on the beach it is easily accessible by dinghy. "Although you have to watch the corals," says Paul. “This is an enchanting eco resort with traditionally-styled teakwood villas. For dinner here we ate on the beach underneath the stars and the understated, natural setting made the experience even more magical". For Paul one of the joys of sailing is the freedom, tranquility and variety it affords. "Some of the best moments on this holiday were on the journey getting to the resorts. Simply being able to drop-anchor off an uninhabited island and snorkel or enjoying a deserted island is very special. By taking a yacht even the travelling part of the holiday becomes such an incredible experience. I also think that people today are much more restless and whilst they want to relax at a luxury resort they also want adventure".

Aleenta Resort & Spa Phuket

So, if you want a varied and luxurious sailing holiday SLH's award-winning collection of hotels scattered over the islands in the Andaman Sea offer the perfect opportunity; each hotel is unique yet each upholds the international standard of luxury which is the underpinning philosophy of the SLH brand. Meandering between such exquisite properties by yacht is the perfect way to island hop. Paul and his family visited: Aleenta Resort and Spa Phuket ( The Racha ( Zeavola ( Nakamanda Resort & Spa ( Pimalai Resort & Spa ( The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 500 hotels in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. From cuttingedge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, historic country houses to idyllic resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers only the very best. Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property at

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Miss Tippy’s

Round the World Voyage begins

By Brian and Sheila Nor ton, Oyster 56, Miss Tipp y

Once our new Oyster 56, Miss Tippy, had been commissioned, the weeks prior to our departure from Ipswich were filled with trips to Fox’s Marina and their well-stocked chandlery, supplemented with arranging boxes of spares organized by Natasha Rendell from Oyster’s Aftersales department. It was quite a challenge to stow all our booty before departure! While we were packing up the house and finishing school, Brian departed Ipswich and sailed straight into 30-knot headwinds through the Dover Straits. Despite close encounters with a buoy at the end of the River Orwell and shifting sands by Knock Deep, Miss Tippy handled the conditions well and arrived in Brighton intact and eager for more. With our family of three children safely stowed on board we left Brighton on a rainy day in July with Annie’s friend, Lottie Roberts (aged 9) as extra crew. The children ceremoniously threw their old worn and tattered shoes overboard to signify the end of prep school and the beginning of their new life on board Miss Tippy. We tacked out a long way south of the Isle of Wight in S/SW winds of 17-22 knots and had a cracking sail on a beam reach. Miss Tippy sailed like a dream with our two youngest crew (both 9) taking turns at the helm as we were roaring down the coast at speeds of up to 11 knots. Eddie Scougall, Oyster’s Customer Care Manager, joined us in Torquay and spent a couple of days with us, answering questions thrown up by our initial voyage and taking us through the maintenance regime. The only mechanical things we had to look after on previous boats were engines and plumbing. Miss Tippy involves a step change for us in terms of boat complexity. Those couple of days with Eddie, together with his constant support via phone and Skype have proved invaluable as we have got to grips with the maintenance required. 30 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

We had travelled to Torquay to join the Biscay Triangle Rally, which was due to cross the Bay of Biscay to La Coruna. Joining the Rally gave us a sense of assurance as we embarked on the longest single sail we had undertaken as a family. Sadly the weather conspired against us and the Rally went to Brittany while we had to peel off with another Oyster, the 46, Solway Mist, to cross the Bay of Biscay to La Coruna. We set off on July 24th with a westerly wind of 15 knots and a low expected in from the Atlantic. By the next day the wind had changed to a South Westerly and our two intrepid Oysters left the main rally group to head off for the notorious Bay of Bones! We stayed in radio contact with our new Oyster friends, Allan, Shirley and David Cook and their cousin Clive. Solway Mist with her gleaming blue hull was a reassuring sight on the horizon when visibility allowed. As the wind stayed head on we lurched up and down towards our destination but Miss Tippy kept us safe and protected from the elements. The water washed over the decks while Annie aged 9, in her on board role as our cook and hygienist, made bread. The kids sang ‘Drunken Sailor’ while water chopped and sloshed around the hull. At all times we trusted Miss Tippy would carry us safely to Spain whatever the weather. She sails so well and is able to cut through the waves so gracefully that even our voyage against headwinds and the big Atlantic swell was comfortable. After three days of wet and cold beating we were visited by dolphins and within 15 minutes the wind changed direction and with palpable relief we spent the final day of our crossing on a reach. We reached La Coruna in fine fettle and spent a few days relaxing there after our big voyage. However, we were soon off again around the notorious Cape Finisterre and down the Portuguese Coast towards Gibraltar. En route we anchored in several of the idyllic rias

At all times we trusted Miss Tippy


would carry us safely to Spain whatever the weather. She sails so well and is able to cut through the waves so gracefully that even

our voyage against headwinds and the big Atlantic swell was comfortable.

in North West Spain before reaching Isla de Cies near the Portuguese border, where we spent a week anchored off the gorgeous beach. The spell finally broke and we left for Baoina for a touch of civilisation and re-stocking before heading onto Portugal. Porto was our first stop in Portugal. It was Freddy’s 11th birthday and he was keen to sample the cultural delights and museums on offer in a major city. We moored outside the city in a fairly cramped marina, in Leixoes. An over-ground metro whisked us effortlessly into the City Centre and we enjoyed a day wandering the ancient streets and even visiting a port bar where we were persuaded to buy some vintage port to lay down in our ‘cellar’ aboard Miss Tippy. We had thick fog all the way to Lisbon and tested our new AIS, automatic foghorn and radar. We managed to avoid tangling with the multitude of lobster pots off the Portuguese coast and arrived at the river leading to Lisbon at dawn with a gale blowing. The Rio Tejo gave us shelter and we motored upriver under the suspension bridge straight into the heart of the city and then spent a night at the rather soulless marina of Doca de Alcantara. We had had enough of City life by then and slipped back along the river to the lovely town of Cascais before venturing to a remote beach at Portinho de Arabida. Strong winds of over 30 knots tested our anchor during the night while we stayed there among shallow channels with ominous looking rocks all around! After a few days at the beach we headed south again and came around Cabo Sao Vicente in very heavy winds and confused seas. Boats before and after us on the visitors

pontoon in Lagos told us of winds of 55 and 67 knots respectively although we only recorded a maximum of 37 knots. Annie celebrated her 9th birthday in Lagos with friends from England who had a villa there. Marina prices were a bit of a shock at over €100/night but we had a great time there. Oyster had arranged for local boat-builders, Sopramor to come and fix a few minor warranty issues for us (including our wind instrument!). They were very professional and quickly solved our issues. The Algarve offered us the opportunity to sample a number of secluded anchorages, which we took advantage of at Alvor, Faro/Ohloa and Tarifa before a long leg to Cadiz. Our final jaunt took us into the Straits of Gibraltar under cruising chute. Wind suddenly accelerated off Tarifa and it was all hands on deck as we subdued the chute. Just as we got under control again a fast catamaran ferry hurtled out of the harbour at Tarifa bound for Tangier. The pilot book had warned that the ‘might is right’ principle rules in this area and this was soon proven as we had to jibe to avoid being run down by the aggressive ferry. That was our last test before sauntering into Gibraltar and tying up in Marina Bay later that evening. John our teacher joined us in Gibraltar and soon got to grips with the demands of teaching our children aboard (more about that in later articles!). We have been in Gibraltar since early September but are now just a few days away from departure to Lanzarote. The Blue Water Rally boats have gathered, we have run out of things to buy when we visit the chandlery ... we must be ready to leave! Readers can follow our daily progress as well as seeing films from our trip on our blog at w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


The New Oyster 575 Launching at the London and Düsseldorf Boat Shows With a brand new Rob Humphreys hull design for increased performance and greater interior volume, and a sophisticated, modern hull construction, which incorporates the strength characteristics of carbon with the impact resistance of kevlar to give a structure that is significantly stronger and lighter than traditional construction methods, the new Oyster 575 is an exciting addition to Oyster’s fleet of blue water cruising yachts. An evolution of the highly successful Oyster 56, with nearly 80 yachts afloat, the new 575 features twin wheels, giving the helmsman great all-round visibility both under sail and when manouevring and has a longer waterline, finer entry and greater sail area/displacement ratio. Whilst exhilarating performance is important, onboard comfort is a prerequisite. The Oyster 575 features a large centre cockpit with a substantial dining table for comfortable al fresco living, whilst below decks the four cabin interior layout, which can be semi-customised to suit your own requirements, enjoys a sumptuous owners’ ensuite stateroom and a spacious light and bright saloon thanks to Oyster’s hallmark deck saloon styling and opening windows. A practical and safe passageway galley with space for washer/dryer and dishwasher plus plenty of storage, works as well in port as it does at sea, whilst a large and very easily accessed engine room houses a state-of-the-art VW 130hp diesel, specially mapped to suit the yacht. With her exceptionally sleek outboard profile, proven performance and stunning interior, the new Oyster 575 is fitted with a multitude of well-designed and practical seamanlike features, allowing you and your family to cruise the oceans in safety, comfort and style.

32 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Oyster at the 2010 Boat Shows

2010 Oyster Fleet 46 Deck Saloon

As we approach the 2010 boat show season, we extend a very warm welcome to you to visit us and see some of the newest Oysters afloat.

54 Deck Saloon In London, the new Oyster 575 makes her UK debut at Excel, alongside the popular Oyster 46 in our usual position in the North Hall. In Düsseldorf, we will be welcoming visitors to our 2010 boat show stand, where we will also be showing the new Oyster 575 for the first time in Europe alongside the Oyster 54. Also in Düsseldorf, we have a separate Oyster Stand in Hall 7A, where we will have large scale, detailed models and all the latest information on both the Oyster 100 and Oyster 125 Superyachts, together with our Custom Build, Refit and Repair facility Southampton Yacht Services. 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 get on board can do so, we do get extremely busy and, spacious though Oyster yachts are, we can only fit so many people on board at once. 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 or please call:

56 Deck Saloon

575 Deck Saloon

625 Deck Saloon

655 Deck Saloon

72 Deck Saloon

82 Deck Saloon

UK/European Shows Tel: +44 1473 695005 UK Office

100 Deck Saloon USA Shows Tel: +1 401 8467400 US Office LONDON BOAT SHOW 8-17 January 2010 Stand Nº N016 New Oyster 575 Oyster 46 BOOT DÜSSELDORF 23-31 January 2010 Stand 16C58 New Oyster 575 Oyster 54 Stand Nº 7A E17 Oyster Superyachts, Custom Build, Refits and Repairs

125 Deck Saloon

125 Raised Saloon

125 Flybridge

OM43 Motoryacht

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


34 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Boysterous Round Scotland By Colin Hall, Oyster 53, Boysterous

About a year ago, I was sitting in the cockpit of our Oyster 53, Boysterous, contemplating the world. We’d crossed the Atlantic four times, explored the Azores and the Mediterranean, and wintered in the Caribbean and the Canaries. ‘What’s next?’ I asked myself. ‘Not the world’, I answered, because while Oyster owners know that the world is indeed our oyster, I thought the world would take too long. However, there’s a limit to how often you need to cross the Atlantic and I had often thought that sailing Round Britain is every bit as much of a challenge: tides, weather, rocks, oil rigs, traffic, fog and other hazards that you rarely experience on the oceans. So, the plan was hatched that after wintering in Lanzarote we would bring Boysterous home and go round Britain, but unlike many others, we would go round Britain, and Ireland, and all their offshore rocks and islands – outside everything. This part of the story is our trip to and through Scottish waters.

WHO ARE ‘WE’? Bernard Lightbound, Hamble resident and member of the Royal Air Force Yacht Club, is a frequent crew on Boysterous including a win in the ARC Europe from Bermuda to the Azores. John Laczik is an Oxford University engineering Don and third time ocean voyager on Boysterous. As for me, Colin Hall, sons Alastair and Matthew announced in 2002 that they wanted to sail across the Atlantic. And so we did in 2003, and I haven’t really stopped sailing long distances since, first in our Oyster 406 Boysterous, and now in the Oyster 53. My wife Naomi doesn’t do the long bits but joins us for ‘bays and islands’ when we get there. >

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m



“The wind was light, the sun was up and the combination of the sea, rocks and grassy islands with all the birds was a great sight.”

DOWN CHANNEL We left the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble on Tuesday 30 June 2009 at 15:00, in time to take the tide down the Solent and past Portland Bill. With light easterlies, we motor-sailed all the way down Channel and past the Scillies. Eventually we got a decent reaching wind across the Irish Sea and so it took just an hour over two days to do the 360 miles to Kinsale.

OUTSIDE IRELAND After a weekend in Kinsale – lots of history and the gastronomic capital of Ireland – we set sail for Scotland, outside the famous Fastnet Rock and all of the many other headlands and islands off Ireland’s west coast. Now we had real wind, beating round Ireland’s south west coast for two days and then, as we started heading north, the wind went north and light and headed us all the way to the Outer Hebrides.

OUTER HEBRIDES AHOY As we closed on the uninhabited islands at the south of the Outer Hebrides, the bird life was just astonishing: guillemots and razorbills littered the surface of the water, then they were gone, just like little penguins flying under water. Puffins joined in with the larger birds, petrels, fulmars, gulls, gannets and boobies. Our route in to Castlebay on Barra was easterly through Pabbay Sound. The pilot books talk of overfalls, rocks awash and great caution to be taken. For us, the wind was light, the sun was up and the combination of the sea, rocks and grassy islands with all the birds was a great sight. As we cleared the Sound, there were two small sharks close by and a small fishing boat headed down island to haul his lobster pots.

CASTLEBAY Castlebay is an incredibly well protected large harbour and ferry port with twelve free visitors’ moorings. There was a strong wind warning out for that night and so we chose the one with best shelter from the south east. The mooring buoys all said ‘Max Wt 15 Tons’. We are 24 tons, so having tidied up, we went ashore to seek advice. As we dumped the rubbish in the waiting containers, a man walked by wearing a long yellow waterproof working jacket with ‘P&O’ on the pocket. Sure enough, Arthur knew all about the moorings: “Och away”, he said. “Ye dinna ha’ tae worry aboot the weight. There’s bin

36 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

much bigger boats than yourn on they”. So, having been put in our place, we proceeded to the Castlebay Hotel for some R&R.

THREE DAYS IN BARRA An old friend of mine told me that he recently spent three days in Barra – “a God forsaken place”. Well we couldn’t have had a better experience. Naomi and I checked in to the Castlebay Hotel for the weekend. We worried at first about it being too ‘laid back’ but everything worked well, the food was great, and our ship’s laundry was just £5 the lot. We dined at the hotel on a fine meal of Barra scallops, Barra lamb and Minches prawns. That night, the forecast strong winds arrived and Naomi and I could feel our hotel windows rattling. In the morning, we found that John and Bernard had been up re-arranging the mooring lines to minimise the yawing but it soon turned into a fine sunny day. We took the bus up the east side of the island, walked on the beach at the northern tip, admired the clarity of the colours of the sea and beaches, and then returned to the airport cafe to watch the local plane landing in a cloud of spray on the cockle shell beach, the airport. Bernard asked them to move the fire engine as it was blocking our view from the cafe – and they did! And we had some fine cockles for lunch, collected just off the end of the runway.

SCALLOP PAKORAS Back at Castlebay, we watched the Heaval Race up the local mountain and back, went out by ferry to Kisimul Castle, the stronghold of the Clan Macneil that sits on its own private island and then booked in for dinner at the Kisimul Cafe. This specialises in Barra scallops and Barra lamb, but all done Italian or Indian style – as you would expect in the Outer Hebrides? Scallop pakoras were an interesting idea, best left as a concept! The next day, Sunday, Hungarian John cooked us Hungarian lunch accompanied by Hungarian gypsy music while we

watched the fishing fleet arrive for the annual Fishermen’s Mass. The fishing boats and quay were decked with bunting, the altar was on the back of a lorry and the congregation was large. Afterwards, the locals piled on to the boats with the fishermen for a burn up round the bay led by the Barra RNLI lifeboat at full chat. We were glad that we had dressed overall as the cox brought his lifeboat over and demonstrated his manoeuvring skills around us – very impressive. Afterwards, everyone tucked in to free herrings and mash on the quay – a great community occasion. After another fine dinner in the Castlebay Hotel, we walked along to the school for the dance. The Vatersay Boys played Scottish dance music with attitude and a driving rhythm, very compelling. Everyone, babies, teens, and grannies took to the floor, the Boysterous crew included even though some of our manoeuvres were a bit unorthodox. I thought of the famous Morecambe and Wise sketch with Andre Previn as Naomi and I did the Gay Gordons: ‘all the right steps (notes) but not necessarily in the right order’!

THE WORST ANCHORAGE Well, you are warned in the pilot books that Village Bay in St Kilda is not an overnight anchorage, a short day stop at best. We arrived here at 23:30 having sailed from Castlebay. It was just getting dark and although very gusty, staying the night at anchor beat the prospect of carrying on beating to the Shetlands. Anyway, to bed and for my part, it was a pleasure to get up at 06:00 after the rolliest anchorage ever. As the sun rose to slant across the hills, the outlines of the old stone and grass roof storage buildings, houses, dry stone walls and sheep pens stood out on the slopes of the hill. But down below, what looks like an olive green Portakabin city dominates the shore line. What a shame. St Kilda was an Army garrison for some years and while the Army had to have somewhere to live, what is left behind ranks high in the ‘monstrous carbuncle’ stakes. >

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Bernard and John dinghied in to the small pier. They met the warden, signed the Visitors Book and had a quick look round – well worth it, they said. It was still very windy with gusts blowing over and round the hills as we headed off into a very lumpy sea, wind over tide and waves bouncing off the cliffs between the islands of Hirta and Boreray.

BIRDS Then followed one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen: Boreray is a dramatic island with jagged peaks and two outlying Stacs several hundred feet high, one of which was shimmering white. As we got closer, we could see that Stac Lee was surrounded by thousands of birds wheeling in the wind. The Stac itself was covered in birds, cheek by jowl, or beak to beak, to such an extent that the whole stac shimmers.

A bit later the wind went round to SW and dropped to Force 2. Boysterous does not respond well to less than 8 knots dead astern and so on went the motor. All night we motored on, outside Rona, (did you know about Rona?), and in the morning saw our first oil rig on the horizon. The sun shone all day and the wind stayed light and directly astern. I rang Naomi on the Iridium satellite phone. She told me about gales in Thames, Wight, Portland and Plymouth while we, now level with Norway, were enjoying another gentle sunny summer’s day!

MUCKLE FLUGGA As day broke we could see the outlines of the Shetland Isles over to starboard. The birdlife increased and we saw one fishing boat, that’s all for two days.

This is the largest gannet colony in the world, 70,000 pairs all piled onto what is a tiny area of sheer rock with a sloping top. They and thousands of fulmars were gliding around and diving for fish while strings of razorbills, guillemots and puffins sped by at sea level, wings whirring.

Muckle Flugga is the northernmost lighthouse in the UK and has a small Out Stac just north of that. That’s where we could be sure that we would complete our circumnavigation because once there, it would be much quicker to carry on than to turn back.

The story of the inhabitants of St Kilda and their evacuation in 1930 is well known, and people come to see the ruins of their village and hear the stories of how they lived by catching the gannets and fulmars on the sheer cliffs. But for others, it is the sheer quantity of the bird life that impresses, and I found it one of the great experiences.

We rounded Muckle Flugga and the Out Stac at mid-day and turned south. Our most northerly position was 60°N 52.40. The log read 1487.8 nautical miles, well over half way round. This merited a celebration, so out came the Boysterous champagne. The sun was still shining and the wind remained SW Force2 although the forecast warned that the gales in the Channel were now heading our way.

SAILING AGAIN Off we went, heading north and hoping for the wind to back from NE to north, which surprisingly and obligingly it did. Tacking on to port, we could sail to clear the Butt of Lewis and its fierce tides. For the time being, we could even point more or less at Orkney, not quite north enough for Shetland but well on the way. A couple of tankers went down the channel inside the Flannan Islands while we continued to go ‘outside everything’.

38 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

BALTASOUND We rounded the island of Unst, the most northerly inhabited island of the UK, and turned into Baltasound, which had several salmon and mussel farms. There was a wee boating club with showers, the UK’s most northerly bar and hotel, and the most northerly bus shelter, decorated and fitted out in all things Pompadour pink including an arm chair, TV, computer and the Visitors Book which we duly signed.


Bernard and John went one way to the village with a food shopping list. I went the opposite way to the garage to track down some distilled water. We were all offered lifts there, and back. Here, everyone helps each other. I wonder if anyone ever catches a bus at the bus stop as they would all be offered a lift before the bus arrived.

£7.97 Back on the boat there was a knock on the hull – Ian Mackay, the Harbour Master. He had produced his own Visitors’ Notes and was very helpful and informative. And the charge was £7.97 for 1-4 days! Outrageous! We must go back as we still have three days to claim! Ian told me that I had waved at him earlier when he drove past me in the Police car: he’s also the policeman.

“Our most northerly position was 60°N 52.40. The log read 1487.8 nautical miles, well over half way round. This merited a celebration, so out came the Boysterous champagne.”

13TH OUT OF 13! We had a busy evening ahead, first to check out the most northerly bar in Britain and then to walk to the village hall for the Unst Week quiz night. We came thirteenth out of thirteen. Oh dear! Our knowledge of clinches from films was worse than our knowledge of Shetland history, but we won a box of wine gums and a round of applause for turning up. On the way back we were close to that bar again so had to pop in. There we engaged in hearty conversation with the locals including Drewie who lived by the pier. Could he come back and look at the boat? Of course. It was a scary ride back in Drewie’s car, and it was several hours and hints later before we finally got to our bunks.

TO LERWICK We thought that it might be unwise to spend another evening in the bar with Drewie so set off for Lerwick via the Outer Skerries, the most easterly of the Shetland Isles. More light airs and another fine sunny day gave us a motor sail outside the east coast islands to the Outer Skerries, just sixty people and a lighthouse together with a sheltered harbour. Lunch on board was some delicious flaky hot smoked salmon from South Uist that we bought in Castlebay (see for mail order). >

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m



“We had travelled 2,332 nautical miles on the log, had some great experiences with the natural world and especially the bird life, the comradeship at sea, fun times ashore, and the further north we sailed the better everything was. We will surely go back.”

MORE BIRDS Going outside Bressay, we cleared Noss, another amazing bird colony. The strata of the sheer cliffs slant down gently to the sea, and every two feet or so, there’s a gannet, row upon vertical row of them lined up just a peck away from each other. There must be a lot of bird food in these waters to feed the thousands of birds that watched us watching them.

MORE WIND The wind started to build and strong NE winds were forecast overnight. There are two yacht basins in Lerwick, one well sheltered for smaller boats, and the other open to the north-east. It was already rafted three or more deep, except for a very large Belgian catamaran. It was already blustery and the only way in was to back down wind to the corner of the dock. A season in the Mediterranean gives you lots of practice at stern to mooring so we swung round and backed in to come alongside the big cat. The cat’s owner was worried because although a good fifty feet long, he only weighed seven tons and we are 24! We did offer to change places, but that would not do – “Non”. We checked in to the harbour office along with lots of Norwegians over for a duty-free weekend. We went to the famously hospitable Lerwick Boating Club, and then to the Queen’s Hotel for more local scallops and lamb, this time from the Shetlands of course.

SPLIT TACKS Next morning after another rolly night, we got up early to stuff the fenders back down between us and the Belgian catamaran. I was to fly back to London for son Alastair’s and fiancée Francesca’s Engagement Party. Bernard and John kindly drove me down to Sumburgh Airport for the flight and then went on to Sumburgh Head to commune with the puffins. At the Scalloway Boating Club, Alan, who owns a sixty foot fishing boat, told them that to comply with EU fishing regulations, 10 boxes of dead fish of the wrong kind are tipped back into the sea for every box of quota fish brought ashore. So much for fish conservation with regulations made up in an office in Brussels, not at sea.

OFF AGAIN The forecast on Sunday evening was for a day of obliging westerlies on Monday night/Tuesday, then strong south easterlies by Tuesday evening. So as soon as I arrived back from London on Monday, we topped up with diesel and departed

40 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

south for Peterhead, 167 miles away. Sadly, this meant that we could not call in at Fair Isle, but we did go outside it, and so have still gone ‘outside everything’.

BACK TO THE MAINLAND By midnight we had passed Fair Isle, silhouetted against the darkening sky. I tried to take a picture of it when the lighthouses at either end flashed simultaneously, but ten shots later I owned up to being beaten by the delay on the camera shutter.

On arriving from Peterhead, we could see a dozen rig support vessels anchored outside Aberdeen harbour and we were told that we couldn’t get in for another hour. We’d just anchored behind the breakwater when we were told it was our turn after all. So in we went, dwarfed by large vessels towering over us. There were just two other yachts in town. Our £20 charge for a short stay was certainly well over any other charges we had paid, but then, this is not a yacht harbour. John arrived back from Sheffield on schedule, and by 22:00, we were off again, leaving Scotland behind and heading down the North Sea direct for Lowestoft.

PETERHEAD Peterhead has a Port Control system in view of the large number of oil rig support vessels coming and going. Permission to enter was granted. We couldn’t raise the marina on the VHF but went in and there was a suitably large space, but now complete with Jim ready to take our lines. That night, as forecast, the big wind came and once again we were in harbour, and now a day ahead of our schedule. I thought we might hire a car and visit Speyside because one of our number is a confirmed Malt man and was denied any visits to the Scottish west coast distilleries as they were too far inside our ‘outside everything’ track. We drove up to Fraserburgh with its fleet of enormous deep sea trawlers and visited the Northern Lighthouse Board’s Museum, and then carried on to the Strathisla Distillery, the home of Chivas Regal. At our next visit to GlenDronach distillery, John was also able to buy a limited edition of Benriach’s ‘Maderensis Fumosus’ - one of the few peated Speyside whiskies. This made John a very happy man as he flew back to Sheffield for his daughter’s graduation.

ABERDEEN The pilot books say ‘no facilities for yachts’ about Aberdeen, another big oil port. I had emailed the Harbour Master in advance and got back a very nice reply, ‘Just turn up, call my colleagues on Ch 12 and they will look after you’, as indeed they did.

HEADING FOR HOME The main impressions of the trip down the North Sea were: westerly winds and flat seas, the water getting brown and silty, favourable tidal streams for nearly eighteen hours, lots of oil and gas rigs, wind farms and sand banks, a quick trip to Lowestoft but no birds. Then we had a slow uncomfortable trip down Channel bashing against WSW wind and tide until at last the wind went south, the tide went west and we sped past the Isle of Wight at 12 knots. The Commodore gave us a wonderful welcome back at the Royal Southern, and suddenly it was all over and within a day or so, just a memory as the day-to-day routine of life ashore takes over. We had travelled 2,332 nautical miles on the log, had some great experiences with the natural world and especially the bird life, the comradeship at sea, fun times ashore, and the further north we sailed the better everything was. We had wonderful weather in the Outer Hebrides and Shetland, and the joy of joining in with the island communities as they made their own entertainment. We will surely go back. So, thank you for reading the Scottish part of our trip Round Britain and Ireland, outside everything. You should do it yourself some time, because if we can do it, so can you! w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


42 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

2009 ARC By Bar r y Pic kthall

Twelve Oyster crews took off from Las Palmas in November on the annual migratory Atlantic Rally for Cruisers bound for a Christmas cruise in the Caribbean. For two of the crews, Stephen Hyde’s Oyster 56 A Lady and the newly launched Oyster 82 Rivendell, this was the start of an even wider adventure. A Lady is taking part in the two-year World ARC World starting from St Lucia on January 6, and Rivendell’s English/Dutch crew took off on a three-year global adventure. Katharsis, the newly launched Oyster 72 owned by Mariusz Koper was also using the ARC as a shakedown, this time for an equally adventurous cruise to the Antarctic.

All were well prepared, thanks in part to Eddie Scougall, Will White, John Johnson and George McCormick, the four-man Oyster service team who worked to ensure that every Oyster yacht set out in fine fettle. They couldn’t do much to help those with problems back home however. John O’Conner, a crewmember on the Irish yacht A Lady, learned while washing the fruit and vegetables on the dockside that his cycle company in Cork had succumbed to the flooding that hit Ireland and the North East of England. “After looking at the pictures of the carnage, my first thought was to go home, but then I realised that my team is just as capable of drawing up an inventory of the damage, and decided to stay.” Said John, confident that he can keep in touch via the Internet. “Hopefully, they will have everything sorted by

the time I get back at Christmas.” He added with typical Irish optimism. David Tydeman, Oyster Marine’s CEO, also escaped the monsoon conditions back home by making a fleeting visit to Las Palmas to meet the crews and host a cocktail party on the terrace of the Hotel Santa Catalina. Andrew Bishop, the ARC organiser reminded the crews, most of whom were taking part in this Atlantic passage for the first time, that Oyster Marine has been a key supporter of the Rally since the first organised crossing back in 1986 and that Oysters remain one of the most popular marques. “They are just a little bigger now than they were 24 years ago.” He observed. In addition to the many fun prizes available for every one of the 210 entries to win, David presented Andrew Bishop with a trophy for the first Oyster on handicap and magnums of champagne for the first in each of the two cruising classes to reach Rodney Bay.

Oyster Marine has been a key supporter of the Rally since the first organised crossing back in 1986 and Oyster yachts are one of

Leaving the carnival atmosphere of Las Palmas with the sound of a jazz band still ringing in their ears. The comradeship that had built up within the 12-strong Oyster fleet during their stay in the Canaries, was set to continue with each crew keeping in touch on the SSB radio and internet during the 2,700 mile crossing to Rodney Bay, St Lucia.

the most popular marques in the ARC fleet.

Several crews took the opportunity to leave their mark on the harbour wall in time-honoured ARC fashion by painting a mural. A seagull soared above Gwylan’s name, whilst horses surged dramatically through the surf in search of Guinness for the Rivendell >

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


artwork, and the Polish flag was still drying above Katharsis’ name when the crew let go the warps on the day of the start. Others carried mementos with them. Peter Gibbon, the babbling baboon that had been the subject of so much mirth during Oyster’s Palma regatta, is now comfortably ensconced aboard Richard Smith’s Oyster 665 Sotto Vento. The well-travelled ape, who first made himself comfortable aboard Heinrich Schulte’s Oyster 655 Anabasis at the Cannes Boat Show, now has his own page on Facebook and all those who conspired to abduct or lynch him during the Palma regatta can expect to receive rude Christmas cards from the Caribbean! Gibbon clearly had a role to play onboard, because Sotto Vento was credited with crossing the start line in

44 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

4th place and continued to lead the fleet away under spinnaker towards the trade winds. Both A Lady and Gwylan had their secret weapons flying in the form of parascending spinnakers, while others sported the more conventional cruising chutes. Which are more efficient? That will be one of the debates to be had over a rum punch when the Oyster fleet get together again in Rodney Bay. Follow the action online News from the fleet can be found on the official ARC website where daily yacht position reports will be displayed and visitors can view individual route maps for each yacht. Crews are also contributing daily logs and images direct to the site.

Oyster 2009 ARC Fleet Sunsuea

Oyster 46

Mariusz & Paulina Kierebinski



Oyster 47

Roger Huguet


Cornish Oyster

Oyster 47

Keith Merrifield


Fizz of Cowes

Oyster 53

Chris Willis


A Lady

Oyster 56

Stephen Hyde


Both A Lady and Gwylan had


Oyster 56

Harvey Death



Oyster 56

Vincent Bloem



Oyster 56

Charles Manby



Oyster 61

Hannes & Steffi Fehring

Invitation Cruising

Sotto Vento

Oyster 655

Richard Smith

Invitation Cruising


Oyster 72

Mariusz Koper

Invitation Cruising

sported the more conventional


Oyster 82

Rivendell Adventures

Invitation Cruising

cruising chutes.

their secret weapons flying in the form of parascending

spinnakers, while others

The 2010 ARC will be the 25th since Jimmy Cornell’s first ARC set out from Las Palmas in 1986. Oyster yachts have consistently been amongst the most prolific supporters, with some 226 Oysters having taken part over the last 24 years. Oyster will continue to support the event and our owners and look forward to taking part in the 25th Anniversary event. It’s fitting that Oyster’s Alan Brook, who will be heading off across the Atlantic at the start of his retirement, will be taking part in his own new Oyster 56, the yacht that has dominated the ARC fleet in recent years. For more information:

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


The world really can be your Oyster...

Oyster Yacht Charter has a range of very special, privately owned Oyster yachts available to charter from 56’ to 82’, all with experienced, professional crews who understand how important your holiday is to you and it’s a lot easier to organize than you might think. Many charter guests return time after time and their comments are testament to the care that Oyster Yacht Charter puts into the planning and running of every Oyster Yacht Charter holiday.

46 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Thomas Nygaard first chartered an Oyster 56 and returned the following year to charter an Oyster 66. The following winter he asked Oyster Yacht Charter to arrange a specially tailored holiday that included a charter aboard the Oyster 655 Blue Destiny, together with a shore-based villa for his friends. The week entailed day sails around Antigua, a fully catered party at the villa, and island tours. This winter he is enjoying a private cruise with his wife from St Lucia to Grenada, again aboard Blue Destiny.

We are just about to end our vacation and I just wanted to tell you that EVERYTHING has been absolutely superb!!! And it all worked as planned with our friends coming, the day sails etc. Simon and Stephanie were great crew (her cooking was fantastic!), same with Fernella doing the cooking and provisioning at the house. Just superb! Thanks for your help in arranging all this, an unforgettable experience for us and our friends.

Nothing can compare with the sense of freedom and adventure that a holiday aboard a fully crewed Oyster yacht, can give you, whether you are looking for lazy days or exciting hands-on sailing; a romantic holiday for two or sharing the fun with family or friends. Every charter customer is unique, with their own special requirements so there are no fixed itineraries, a bespoke Oyster Yacht Charter is always tailored to suit your own requirements.

Thomas Nygaard, Charter on Oyster 655, Blue Destiny

Further testimonies from our charter guestbook:

Sotto Vento is a great yacht, but having chartered for five years we know that the crew determines the success of the week. However, with a combined total of over 35 years of sailing and sailing experience (including 10 years experience on large yachts), this crew not only works non stop to make the week memorable, but exudes confidence, ability and control. The week literally flew by. Dee continually prepared great meals, Gary constantly entertained us with back flips off the pulpit or a sing along strumming his guitar. As great as Dee and Gary are on entertainment, these former sailing instructors really shine when it comes to sailing and never tired from answering our questions, whether those questions were on sailing basics, navigation, or the systems and instrumentation on Sotto Vento. Gary and Dee worked tirelessly to put the sails up on any sign of a breeze. In addition, all six of us literally were given a week of individual sailing instructions tailored to fit our vastly differing level of experience. Having crossed the Atlantic multiple times, Gary treated us to lessons on the sextant that increased our appreciation for those who sailed the oceans before the invention of GPS to a new level.

I can say that our experience with Oyster Yacht Charter has been first class. I am very grateful to you for the time, attention and help that you gave to me to decide on our charter of Koluka in the BVI's. The administration of the charter agreement, the planning, the payment and the meeting/greeting/parting arrangements were all perfect. We had a terrific time, which exceeded our high expectations. It is a great boat with an exceptional crew and we cannot praise Eric and Briony enough – they are a great team. Eric is a wonderfully calm, hugely competent and professional skipper. He was very sensitive to our beginner, choosing just the right sail plan, passages and anchorages to get her acclimatised, and she loved it. He was very happy to respond to my enthusiasm and enquiry about sailing and the boat. He was very caring and safe on our dinghy and snorkelling excursions. He was a very efficient ‘butler’ too. Briony is exceptional – her catering is superb – by far the best food I have had in the Caribbean in top hotels and restaurants. The choice, the balance and standard of cooking and presentation amazed us every meal.

From the surprise birthday cake that First Mate Dee Hudson prepared for our arrival on Sotto Vento to Captain Gary Christie taking us to our first anchorage that literally was on the cover of one of our Croatian travel guides, we had a week that all six of our travel group will never forget.

Together they made us feel special and private, but we also enjoyed their personalities and their presence. Please tell the owner that he has a superb complement to his boat. Paul Sands, Charter on Oyster 72, Koluka

Given the complete professionalism of this crew and the design quality of Sotto Vento, I would have no concerns about a sail across the Atlantic.

In short, this is the kind of crew and yacht that is normally reserved for owners, not those of us who charter. Charter guest, aboard Oyster 655 Sotto Vento

For more information or details about all the Oysters available through Oyster Yacht Charter contact Molly Marston email:

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Maldive Islands to Turkey By Keith Hamilton, Oyster 62, Car pe Diem

48 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Keith and Rosemary Hamilton set out on a circumnavigation in their Oyster 62, Carpe Diem, from the Balearic Islands in September 2004. Here, Keith describes their passage through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea on route to the Suez Canal and their return to the Mediterranean. February 2008 was a great month for Carpe Diem, our Oyster 62. We arrived in the Maldive Islands after an uneventful trip from Langkawi, Malaysia and spent several wonderful weeks swimming and snorkeling in the fabulous waters and reefs of the area. As we were getting close to completing our circumnavigation that had started in England in 2004, we felt that we had enough tropical experiences to be able to make pronouncements on the quality of waters. Without doubt the reefs, corals and fish around the Maldive Islands were the best we had seen anywhere. The population density is quite low once you are outside Male, the main island, and there are many many spots that are essentially untouched. In an attempt to protect their environment (or the local boat chartering industry) the Maldive government makes it quite expensive to cruise the islands, but it is well worth it. Be wary (as always) of electronic charts in the Maldives as there was significant offset in some of the atolls as you can see in the photograph of our chart plotter. All good things come to an end however and in mid-March we left Male on our next leg to Suez though the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The thought of this passage had been hanging over us for some time. Our major concern was piracy around the Island of Socotra (off the Horn of Africa) and the Gulf of Aden. We had discussed at length whether to avoid the problem altogether and head South around the Cape of Good Hope and then through the South Atlantic to the Caribbean, but we really wanted to cruise the Eastern Mediterranean and that was the clinching factor.

LEFT CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Carpe Diem at Anchor in the Maldives Cooling off in the Oyster pond! A sting ray in the Maldives Looking for wind ABOVE: Keith and Rosemary in the Maldives

A disturbing element that was becoming more obvious with regard to piracy was the increasing incidence of kidnapping and ransom (in fact this became a very significant pirate strategy during 2008). As a means of limiting the problems of kidnapping we took out kidnap insurance with a major European company who specialized in this business. The rationale was not so much to cover the costs of the ransom, as to ensure that we had a professional and

competent negotiator brokering the deal to minimize the chances of damage to the product (us!). We had no discussion about weapons. Being brought up in Great Britain and having lived in Canada for several decades we do not have a ‘gun mentality’. My belief is that carrying guns on board turns what is a primarily robbing situation into a killing situation (which I would certainly lose), and that in a primarily killing situation a mild mannered Canadian with a shotgun is not going to prevail over a gang of pirates with AK 47’s who have been using them for many years. I am not trying to convince anyone of the correctness of my views, or justify them, I just state them. Over many years of cruising we have found that the topic of carrying arms on board a vessel, like the topics of religion and politics, is not amenable to rational discussion. We also decided not to join a convoy, and to motor/sail at maximum speed in the danger area, with no lights at night, and radio silence. The weather forecast was good when we left Male with a forecast of fair winds from the NE. We planned to sail directly to Djibouti, about 2300nm, giving Socotra a wide berth and staying in the middle of the Gulf of Aden. In this fashion we would be as far offshore from Somalia as possible, without getting too close to Yemen. The other advantage was that, unlike normal practice, we wanted to be as close as possible to the shipping routes where we hoped the concentration of Coalition warships would be highest. We then had seven continuous days of absolutely no wind over 4 knots! There was a very experienced crew of five aboard and none of us had seen such a long-lasting windless stretch. The only consolation was that there was no swell. By our third day of motoring it was obvious that we wouldn’t make Djibouti if the wind didn’t pick up, and the forecast showed little sign of that. We had filled our 2000 litre tanks in Male before we left, but motoring 2300nm > w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


50 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


have passed what I think was the most potentially dangerous

We were extremely happy to

part of our circumnavigation and our arrival party lasted until dawn!

was a stretch! As we were about to enter the most dangerous part of the passage when we really wanted to be able to use maximum rpm we decided to divert to Salalah, Oman. Salalah was a very friendly and efficient port. Mohammad Saad acted as our agent in purchasing fuel at an incredibly cheap rate. As we were feeling time pressure we only stayed in Salalah long enough to refuel, which was a shame, as Oman seemed to be a very pleasant welcoming country with very friendly people. Setting sail from Salalah we ran straight, with still no wind, to Djibouti. It was happily uneventful in terms of bad guys. We were buzzed once by a Coalition helicopter and heard quite a lot of warship radio traffic, which was reassuring. Our only stressful moment came when we saw a ‘fishing trawler’ on the horizon, from which two high speed RIBS came towards us as we turned to pass further from it. As this was a classic pirate manouvre we were fairly stressed until they came close and started to offer us fresh tuna! We finally arrived in Djibouti late in the evening. It is an easy harbour to enter, apart from unlit sunken ships. Several agents came out to meet us in their speedboats to offer their services. They strongly advised that we keep an anchor watch all night as a precaution against thieves. As a physician I was distressed, but interested, in the large facial tumours that many of the men seemed to have until I realized that they had huge wads of Qat, a narcotic leaf, tucked between their gum and cheek!

LEFT CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Hot, sunny and windless Bullet ruined building in Massawa Flying Camels, Djibouti Carpe Diem motley crew, island outside Massawa ABOVE: Typical street in Djibouti

We were extremely happy to have passed what I think was the most potentially dangerous part of our circumnavigation and our arrival party lasted until dawn! As our skipper Sam Ringdahl and I waited, somewhat bleary eyed, to clear in at the Capitainerie later in the day we were extremely surprised to see a pair of camels apparently floating in the air outside the window. At first I attributed this vision to the very late night we had just finished, but the dock agent explained that this was how they loaded camels from the dock. They were on their way to Dubai. A very unusual sight. A few days after our arrival we were very distressed to hear that a large French

yacht, Le Ponant, had been captured and its crew of thirty held for ransom. The attack took place in the same location that we had just passed through. Fortunately the crew were eventually released and we in fact saw the vessel in Corsica later in the summer. The huge increase in the number of pirate attacks in the Somali area in 2008 is extremely disturbing, both for commercial and recreational vessels. I would be very keen to take Carpe Diem back to the Maldive Islands and Thailand for a winter season as a change from the Caribbean, but unless the situation in Somalia improves the risks seem too high. Djibouti is a very vibrant, strongly French influenced town, with excellent restaurants and provisioning. It was obvious when walking around town that Djibouti is very close to one of the worst war ravaged areas of the world. Refugees begged in the streets, many with missing limbs. There was a very different approach to life and death from our culture. I was on anchor watch one night and came up on deck after making a cup of tea at about 0230 to find a young man on board. Just wearing shorts he had obviously swum about 1 km through the harbour to get to us. He had no knife or weapon that I could see and seemed almost as frightened as me (which was considerably). I shouted at him and he jumped overboard and swam away. When I mentioned the incident to the Agent the next day he very matter of factly said that we should have killed him. I said that seemed excessive and he was surprised. If you are in society where you have so little, someone who steals from you is potentially killing you. In fact, putting the situation in perspective, I was surprised that we were not targeted more often. It’s hard to make judgments if you don’t live in the same world. After a few days in Djibouti we made the short trip up to Massawa, Eritrea. One of our crew had been here before and spoke very highly of it. Eritrea has had many years of war as part of its separation from Ethiopia, and still bears the scars. Most of the buildings in the dockyard were damaged and bullet marked. A fishing fleet of six, modern boats, given to Eritrea by an aid organization, sat idle on the dock as there was no diesel available, and no engineers or parts to maintain them. > w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


52 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


We berthed alongside one of the commercial docks where an armed guard watched over us.

extremely friendly and cheerful. They seemed

The people we met were

very proud to be an

independent country after years of struggle.

We had a very pleasant few days in Eritrea, despite minimal provisioning or facilities. The people we met were extremely friendly and cheerful and wanted to know about our countries and to tell us about theirs. They seemed very proud to be an independent country after years of struggle. One day we hired a van and driver and drove over the mountains to the capital, Asmara. The city was bustling and much less war damaged than the port Massawa. There is a tank graveyard outside town where generations of tanks from wars over the years have been dumped. From Massawa to Hurghada, Egypt is about 1000nm, and it was some of the hardest sailing we have ever done. The passage northward in the Red Sea is notorious for wind and seas on the nose and our trip was no exception. We had 15-20 kts and a very steep, very short high chop on the nose. Some authorities advocate waiting for brief weather windows in anchorages along the coast, but we elected to just get it over with. Nothing broke and no one was hurt so for us it worked out. Hurghada is a small port south of the bifurcation of the Red Sea. Its main industry is high volume tourism, primarily from Russia. The marina there is very clean and safe and a good place to stop and organize Suez Canal transit procedures. It is a good base for visiting the historic sites of Egypt. We took a one-day tour from Hurghada to the Valley of the Kings and the temples at Luxor. It was an outstanding experience that even the thousands of other tourists couldn’t diminish.

LEFT CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Port Said Market stall, Djibouti Luxor, Egypt Tank graveyard, Asmara ABOVE: Luxor, Egypt

Transit of the Suez Canal, like the Panama Canal, is an exercise in patience and preparation. We used the well-known Felix Agency to facilitate the process and Najib Latif, our contact there, was invaluable. It is essential to arrange the paperwork in advance before you arrive at the southern entrance to the Canal, the town of Suez. Najib was extremely helpful. A useful tip is to clear out of Egypt prior to entering the Canal if one doesn’t want to stop at Port Said at the northern end.

On arrival in Suez we tied up to a buoy at the Suez Canal Yacht Club. Shipping transits the Canal then convoys North or South bound, as there is not enough room for large vessels to pass. Small yachts tag on at the back of a convoy. We had to wait a couple of days in Suez in order to be measured by a Suez Canal Authority employee and then to process the paperwork. In Egypt paperwork is paramount and one can only wait with apparent patience while it is processed. The other aspect of Egyptian culture that was harder to get used to was the universal habit of baksheesh or tipping, even to professionals like the Canal Pilots. The accepted currency is cigarette cartons and/or pint bottles of scotch. I was concerned at first that we shouldn’t offend people by offering a gift inappropriately or in the wrong quantity, but was soon reassured, as we would be asked directly for a gift and usually the amount and brand was specified. We had been advised about this in advance and were pleased to have stocked up in duty-free Langkawi, Malaysia, prior to our transit of Egypt and the ‘Marlboro Canal’. Other countries other customs! The actual passage of the Canal was interesting. It is a true canal through the desert in the southern part until you enter the Bitter Lake complex. Yachts often have to spend the night at the Ismailia Yacht Club in Lake Timsah before continuing the northern part of the canal and we were no exception. The pilot left when we arrived and a new pilot joined us at dawn the next day. The Canal Authority pilots were very pleasant and low key. We dropped our second pilot off in Port Said to a launch, and continued into the Mediterranean. It was a tremendous feeling to be back in Europe and we were very excited by the thought of being relatively close to the Balearic Islands, which we had left four years earlier, going westward at the start of our circumnavigation. After a very comfortable passage of about 400nm we arrived in Marmaris, Turkey and were looking forward to a summer of cruising in the Mediterranean.

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m



MERRYMAID – MAJOR REFIT Merrymaid, the 100 foot gaff cutter designed by Charles Nicholson and built by Camper and Nicholsons in 1904, had a complete rebuild with Southampton Yacht Services finishing in Spring 2008. Since then she has sailed approximately 20,000 miles, been around Cape Horn and cruised amongst the glaciers at the Southern end of Chile. She returned to the yard via the Panama Canal this autumn and has had a few additional details and minor alterations made over the last few months. She left in mid November for the Caribbean and is planning to cruise through the Pacific during the winter and spring next year.

ALINDA V - MAJOR REFIT Alinda V is a Classic Gaff Ketch designed by Alfred Mylne and built in 1934 at Alexander Stephen and Son in Glasgow as the yacht Fiumara. She has returned from Greece where she has been for some 50 years under the same crew to have an extensive refit including machinery systems, hull structure, deck fittings and rig. At the same time the opportunity is being taken to re-plan the interior layout to suit the owner’s current needs. The engine room has been scanned with a 3D model prepared by the Drawing Office. The new engine room layout has been drawn up ready for installation of all the new machinery. The joinery is now underway, being manufactured in European Oak in a style very similar to the original 1930’s details which were taken off the original joinery.

54 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

CANELI & WATERLILY INTERIOR FIT OUT Caneli and Waterlily are 43m motor yachts, which came to Southampton Yacht Services in late 2008 with virtually no joinery fitted. The entire interior fit-out including joinery, marble work and domestic services has been completed in Summer 2009 and the yachts are currently cruising the Mediterranean.

CAMBRIA – ENGINE ROOM REFIT Cambria is a large Bermudan Cutter designed by William Fife and built in 1928. In Spring 2009 we completed an extensive engineering and electrical refit. The engine room was completely re-planned to improve access for maintenance and to reduce noise and vibration throughout the boat. The yacht was completely rewired and all electrical systems upgraded. A new navigation area was built in the saloon in a style matching the existing joinery to ensure that this did not detract from the traditional style of the yacht. She has had a most successful racing season in the South of France and is now laid up for the winter in Cannes.

SMALL WORKS DIVISION Southampton Yacht Services’ Small Works Division has been extremely busy this year with work on a number of Oysters and they have also had two interesting projects on RIBs. The first one was the building of a custom waterjet driven RIB as a tender for Motor Yacht Caneli. This had very tight dimensional constraints as it had to fit in the aft dinghy dock of the motor yacht and the team did an excellent job in producing a really first class superyacht RIB. The second one was to modify a virtually new 12.5 metre RIB which had been built for the Classic sailing yacht, Mariquita. This RIB had serious flooding problems immediately after handover from the manufacturers and Southampton Yacht Services were tasked with the job of re-engineering the vessel to prevent flooding in the engine room in the event of swamping. Tests were carried out on the proposed alterations and, once approved, has produced a first class, large and powerful tender.

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


56 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Oyster Aftersales – a lifetime of support worldwide In the last issue of Oyster News we featured the Oyster in-house design and engineering team and some of the projects they are working on. Another essential part of Oyster in which we will always invest is our Aftersales Service, which commences long before an owner takes delivery of his or her newly commissioned Oyster. We work hard to provide the best Aftersales service in our industry and judging by the feedback we get from the majority of our owners we are succeeding. The Oyster Aftersales team roughly outnumbers our sales staff by 2:1 and our aim is to provide a one-stop, comprehensive service to every Oyster yacht, regardless of its age or location. Our Aftersales team has access to a massive archive containing build records for every Oyster yacht so, when an owner needs help half way across the Pacific, no time is wasted in working out what parts are required to fit the boat and solve the problem. We work closely with our key suppliers and sub-contractors to provide a professional response to every kind of Aftersales call, be it warranty, routine maintenance, damage repairs or planning a refit.   Our Quality team works closely with Aftersales, so we are quickly on the trail of any recurring problems working on the basis that prevention is

OYSTER AFTERSALES TEAM Sarah Harmer – Aftersales Manager A keen sailor, Sarah has crewed on several Oyster yachts and now enjoys weekends dingy racing and instructing. With a financial background and experience in the Oyster commissioning, customer service and warranty departments she now enjoys leading the Aftersales team. David Abbott – Senior Warranty Manager Having been brought up with family sailing since the age of five, David has always had a keen interest in nautical matters. He has been working in the marine industry for over 35 years, and is now very much enjoying life in Oyster Aftersales. Leanne Lincoln-Smith – Aftersales Assistant Leanne’s roll is mainly admin, but you may find you are occasionally fortunate enough to have her looking after your customer service or warranty requirements. On spare weekends, Leanne enjoys spending time on the family’s wooden canal boat. John Johnson – Customer Service Manager John started out dingy sailing on Oulton Broad, then explored the coast of Holland, Denmark and Sweden, bought an Oyster 34 and did the Atlantic Cruising Circuit with his wife. With a background in engineering, John enjoys combining the technical challenges that occur with his passion for sailing. Natasha Rendell – Assistant Customer Service Manager Natasha spent her early years in the Caribbean, living onboard the family yacht. As one of the longest standing members of the Aftersales team, Natasha is always happy to help and will go that extra mile to ensure all of our Owners are happy and well looked after. Mary Counsell – Customer Services Assistant Mary has recently ‘come indoors’ after being on the water for a number of years and is happiest hanging off the side of a catamaran at full tilt. She is currently rising to the challenge of finding out where every part found in an Oyster fits.

better than cure. Our Customer Care Manager, an experienced yachtsman himself with a circumnavigation to his credit, will attend a vessel anywhere in the world to provide help or advice. Although our Aftersales hub is centered at our Head Office we also provide local service for the US market from our Newport, Rhode Island, location. For events such as the ARC transatlantic rally where, from its outset, Oyster yachts have been some of the most prolific participants, Oyster sends a full service team to the Canary Islands to give every one of our yachts a complimentary health check before the fleet sets sail for the Caribbean.   Our ability to respond quickly is enhanced by improved communications where yachts are able to email or telephone us from mid-ocean. In turn, using express carriers, we are able to send parts, anything from an anchor windlass to a replacement halyard, on short notice to even the most remote locations.   Last, but by no means least, because our yachts are so well travelled around the world’s cruising grounds, we have built relationships with a network of service providers in many locations who are very often able to provide a quick local response to Oyster owners under guidance from our team here in the UK.  

Alison Ford – Customer Services Assistant Alison spent six years working on large sailing yachts as a chef and stewardess and understands both the crew and owners needs for urgent spares. She thrives on getting the right parts sent out to far-flung destinations. Elly Rule – Customer Services Assistant Our most recent addition to the Aftesales team, Elly is a sailing enthusiast, having already sailed the Atlantic circuit on a number of Oyster Yachts. When at home, she is a keen local Smack sailor, and frequently to be seen out on local waters. Having previously worked in both our Aftersales and Commissioning departments, it is great to have Elly back with us. Will Taylor-Jones – Technical & Quality Development Manager Will is a successful offshore racing sailor with Round Britain and Fastnet race victories. With over 20 years service, Will trained as a boat builder, working in the yard, our commissioning department, Aftersales and Customer Care so he really knows what goes into making an Oyster yacht. He has a young family and a classic yacht to occupy the brief periods spent away from work. Eddie Scougall – Customer Care Manager Eddie is a life long sailor, with a background in mechanical engineering and holds a Yachtmaster Ocean with Commercial Endorsement. He has professionally skippered numerous yachts including several Oysters, completing one circumnavigation plus several Atlantic crossings and he has sailed the Chilean coast rounding Cape Horn. Eddie spent eight years in service with the RNLI on the Dunbar Lifeboat. Will White – Customer Service USA Will grew up just down the road from the Herreshoff Yacht Yards in Bristol, Rhode Island and from a young age spent every free moment out on the water. Later he worked as crew on a wide variety of sailing yachts, working his way up from deckhand to engineer and finally captain. After running an Oyster 56 for Oyster's former chairman, Richard Matthews, Will joined our Newport office, where he has spent the last 10 years helping our US based customers with their aftersales, commissioning, and customer service enquiries.

To contact Oyster Aftersales direct Tel: +44 1473 690198 email: w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


High Line Practice AT 78째 N By Ric hard Hawor th

58 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

“We would like to practice a high line rescue onto your vessel”. The words from the helicopter crew would have been quite exciting if we were in the Solent on the way to Cowes. As it was, we were in Isfjord on Spitsbergen in the high Arctic, which made the request a little surreal! After giving our consent, we were instructed to hold our course and speed and the chopper moved into position off our starboard quarter. The exercise went very smoothly; this clearly wasn’t the first time that these guys had surprised a cruising yacht with this request. When the winch man was safely on the aft deck, he shook hands all round, said his thanks and left us. As the sound of the aircraft had receded, we were once again left in the peaceful fjord, surrounded by snow capped peaks and glaciers. >

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m











fd L ie



ra St





o s fj


I Longyearbyen






Gundamain had been handed over to her owners just three months previously and in that time they had already cruised the Western Isles of Scotland en-route to Norway. This trip started from Tromso, in northern Norway and we had broken our crossing to Svalbard with a night at anchor on Bear Island, the setting for Alistair MacLean’s novel. On approaching the southern point of Spitsbergen, Sorkapp, we had encountered fog so dense that we could only just see beyond the bow. This stretch of water is notorious for the presence of ice brought down from the Arctic pack by the East Spitsbergen Current. We therefore gave Sorkapp a wide berth, so as to avoid this ice in the limited visibility.


Aiming to make our first landfall entering Isfjord, we found it to be ice-free. Thankfully this meant we could have a peaceful nights sleep alongside the town of Longyearbyen.

H I G H L I N E P R A C T I C E AT 7 8 ° N

Here, visiting yachts must clear in with the Governor’s office, from whom prior permission for our voyage had already been obtained. In Longyearbyen the visiting yachtsman can also re-provision, bunker diesel and learn a lot about Svalbard’s history, culture and nature. Essentially, we had also arranged to hire a rifle, necessary as a weapon of defence against the possibility of attack by polar bears while ashore. From Longyearbyen we headed north, up the spectacular west coast of Spitsbergen. Visiting a few well-known haul-out points for Walrus and were rewarded when we found around 20 of these impressive animals in residence at one such spot. On the north coast of the island, we made a detour into Liefdefjorden, where there is often found a small population of Polar bears that have begun adapting to the world’s changing climate. These animals do not follow the retreating ice fronts northwards, as most bears do; rather they have forsaken their diet of seals for that which can be found ashore on the tundra. We found three of these magnificent creatures foraging for berries and birds’ eggs on the tundra.

calving glacier, we found a lone Bearded Seal, who seemed to be as curious about us as we were about him. He was not in the least bit afraid of us in our red dinghy, but was very wary of the yacht. We had hoped to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, the largest of the islands of Svalbard. However, we found the Hindlopen Straight to be choked with ice; so much so that to date no vessel had made the circumnavigation that season. We returned to Longyearbyen, exploring the inlets which we had not visited on the outward trip and sadly left the boat, leaving the crew, Mike and Adele the task of bringing her back to the UK. Surely one of the more adventurous maiden voyages of an Oyster? The owners of Gundamain were advised during her build and supported on this trip by High Latitudes who specialise in assisting private yachts visiting the Arctic and Antarctic. For more information contact Richard Haworth or Luke Milner

We had expected to see numerous seals, resting on ice floes in these waters; however, our search had been in vain for most of the trip. Finally, in a wide bay backed by a

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


62 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


Working Lives Spanish design guru Jesús Gasca, owner of the Oyster 46 Sine Die By Bar r y Pic kthall

Meet the Terence Conran of Spain. Like the Habitat founder, Jesús Gasca is revered as one of the world’s most innovative designers, having won countless awards in America, Europe and Scandinavia for his simple timeless tables and chairs, including recently Spain’s most prestigious National Design Award. A firm believer in minimalism, Gasca’s beautifully engineered furniture has been selected to adorn both handsome homes, corporate edifices, and perhaps the greatest accolade, by some of the best known art galleries and museums in the World. Born in San Sebastián, Spain, the 70 year-old design guru has always had a passion both for technical engineering and sailing. “The sea is part of my city, San Sebastian itself, so it is very much in my blood.” Says the Oyster 46 owner. Gasca came to designing furniture relatively late in life. His ‘big break’ came quite literally in 1982 when his electrical engineering company became a casualty of the last great recession, sparked by the oil crisis at the end of the ‘70s. That knock gave Jesús the opportunity to look at his life and start afresh. The turning point from mid-life crisis to creative genius came with the design of Deneb glass topped table which took a year to design and put into production. It was immediately hailed as an icon of modern design and to underline its timeless nature, remains very much in demand 26 years later.

64 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Gasca’s STUA brand was born. Now the company has prestigious showrooms in San Sebastian and Madrid and the STUA’s distinctive furniture is displayed in the best design shops across North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia. You can even find them in Conran. “I just started slowly, one step at a time, product by product to build up the STUA collection. A good design requires a lot of time and reflection and usually takes two years from conception to showroom.” Says Jesús who does not generally take commissions. “I design what I feel like, and usually there are enough people in the world that like the finished products.” Like his Oyster 46 Sine Die (meaning timeless) in which Jesús had considerable input on the interior, each piece within the STUA collection is exquisitely executed out of the finest materials. “Our mission is to improve the habitat in which we live, by refining our designs, and using recyclable components and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes." He says. Others have characterized Gasca’s design as Scandinavian with a Mediterranean touch. To me, they are simply practical pieces of art. That’s certainly why the Milwaukee art Museum and the iconic 7-star Burj Dubai Tower Hotel, which will be the world’s tallest building, have specified STUA tables and chairs. Other well known names to import the Gasca look are Microsoft, Coca Cola, Nokia and the German train operator Deutsche Bahn which ordered 4000 classic Egoa chairs for their headquarters. >



CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Malena armchair Jesus racing his Oyster 46 during the Oyster Palma Regatta 2009 The revolutionary Deneb glass top table Jesús and his son Jon

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m



CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sine Die during the Oyster Palma Regatta 2009 Globus chairs The innovative ONDA stools Nube armchairs

66 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Working Lives The Egoa design was a collaborative project between Jesús Gasca and Josep Mora and won them the Innovate Design Melbourne prize. Gasca's recent designs include the Globus Chair, Milano Table, Sapporo Shelving System, Gas Chair, and the Zero table. Each piece is a wonder of aesthetic innovation with such enduring form that they will still be admired many decades from now. Take one of Jesús’ latest creations – the ONDA stool. Not only is it beautifully simple, but innovative too. The seat mirrors the curves of the human body, moulding itself like a glove to the contours of the sitter to provide lumbar support by hugging the person’s lower back. The cleverness of this design is in the soft rubber seat 'skin' which is slightly smaller than the shell. The two are moulded simultaneously and incorporate two different materials, densities, and colours. It looks beautiful from any angle. The Sapporo Shelving System, another recent addition to the STUA range combines the elegant minimalism of Japanese design with technically refined modernism to produce a system of boxed shelves that meet a multiplicity of needs in a gracious and flexible format. You can start with the one high unit, which sits on a steel base, then add identical units up to 6 high.

Among Gasca’s other award winning designs is the Gas chair, made of aluminum, and a transparent plastic mesh or upholstery. This has become STUA’s most prestigious product, feted with the IF Silver design award Hanover, the Good Design award, Chicago, Red Dot’s Best of the Best for the highest design quality at Essen, the Bo Bedre timeless chair award, Copenhagen and the Selección Delta Adi-Fad award, Barcelona. STUA’s best selling product is the Globus chair who’s gentle curves and teardrop shaped frame has become Gasca’s trademark. It is also one of his most widely copied designs. Copy they say is the finest form of flattery. To Gasca, it is a sin. Counterfeiting is of course widespread within the world of design. We have all been approached by salesmen in dark alleys offering fake Rolex watches or Louis Vuitton bags, but tables and chairs? “Copying is the disease of design,” said Gasca with contempt and he has devoted several pages on the STUA web site to highlight the shoddy workmanship of these cut-price copies. Happily there are enough people in the world who prize a Gasca original and are pleased to pay for it. The same people perhaps who prize their Oyster yachts. For more information and examples of Jesús Gasca’s work visit

w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


38:58.5N 76:29.07W or ‘The taking of Manhattan’ By Steve Powell, Oyster 62, UHUR U

68 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


in my life I will always remember this day. Steve Powell

70 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m



If I do nothing else


With the winds right behind us we goose winged down Long Island Sound towards the entrance to the East River and our first bridge. It doesn't matter how much homework you do with bridges and you know in your heart that you have plenty of room to get under, it’s always a heart stopping moment as you get closer and see your 95ft mast getting closer and closer to what looks like a very low bridge!

One of the highlights of our trip to the East Coast of the USA has to be sailing up the East River into Manhattan. The official pilot book describes it as follows:

We hadn’t planned to do the East River under sail, motoring is generally the preferred option, but as we progressed with the wind behind us and a favourable tide our confidence grew and with many quick gibes, and sometimes just under main, my ‘amateur’ crew performed like top pros. The early section of the river was pretty rough as we passed Rikers Island, the state penitentiary and Harlem, but our first true view of Manhattan was quite special.

“The East Rivers reputation as a tricky passage is well deserved. It’s not and never will be a popular spot for casual sailing. In fact the East River is not a river at all. It’s a 14 mile long tidal gate that’s narrow and twisty with eight bridges that cross it and a tide that run at up to 6 knots”. The toughest section is dog leg called ‘Hell Gate’ named by the first European to the navigate the East River, Dutchman Adriaen Block (of Block Island fame).

In the end Hell Gate proved to be a pussycat. We came across it very quickly having just gone under two bridges very close together. Next thing we were heading directly towards Mill Rock (in the middle of Hell Gate) at about 11 knots. A couple of ‘calm’ instructions to the crew and we performed a perfect gibe in the middle of Hell Gate and were spat out on the other side in an instant.

“The waters seem to boil at Hell Gate, where the river bends and the Harlem River joins from the northwest”. Up until 1885 the currents used to run at up to 10 knots, which was responsible for many a shipwreck. Then engineers blasted a large rock out of the middle of the channel in what was the largest manmade explosion ever created right up until the first Atomic Bomb in 1945. So much for the scene setting, our little adventure started on a freezing cold and wet morning as we left Stamford, Connecticut, at dawn. The winds and the tides were in our favour and we set off in high spirits, although a little cold.

We were then careering down a very narrow section of the river at 11-12 knots with rush hour traffic jams on either side as we passed the United Nations at speed with a brisk tide under us. With just two bridges to go, Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge we were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, and just carried on sailing. With our Blue Ensign and the RTYC burgee flying, UHURU entered the gates of the Good Old US of A. To actually sail down the East River was never my plan, but sometimes the moment is right and it all comes together. The trick is to recognise that moment and seize it with both hands. We did just that, and thanks to a game and fearless crew we had a very special day. If I do nothing else in my life I will always remember this day. Photos: Mike Powell w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Just Launched

... some of the newest Oysters on the water

OYSTER 46 SUNSUSEA Mariusz and Paulina Kierebinscy fell in love with sailing after enjoying a couple of skippered charter holidays in the Seychelles and Caribbean. After a quick visit to the Southampton boat show they had planned to buy a Southerly 46, until they looked at the Oyster 46 on display and were smitten.

OYSTER 54 SEA AVENUE The new Oyster 54 Sea Avenue is the first Oyster to be handed over in fresh water, which took place inside the locks of Salmon Bay, Seattle and overseen by Oyster’s team led by Will White from the Newport office and Project Manager, Stephen Parkinson.

Since signing their contract at the end of September 2008 their plans have become increasingly ambitious and they’ve decided that, despite both having full time jobs in Poland, they should start on their world cruise immediately. They set sail from Fox’s Marina in October, clad head to toe in waterproofs and joined by Oyster’s Commissioning Assistant, Mick Hart, bound for Guernsey before heading straight on to Las Palmas for the beginning of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. SunsuSea is one of twelve Oysters taking part in this year’s event.

Owners Don and Deborah Smith were overwhelmed by the quality of build and sheer luxury of their new Oyster 54, in their own words “A complete new level of sailing” compared to their old Hylas 51.

Polish Grammar Lesson #1 The suffix ‘ski’ is used at the end of a man’s surname, - ‘ska’ for a woman, and –‘scy’ for a couple/family. You learn something new every day at Oyster!

OYSTER 54 LIGHT LANA After spending the last few years sailing a Mini Transat on a lake in Moscow, their new Oyster 54, Light Lana, is a welcome change for Igor Lazurenko and his family. Light Lana departed Fox’s Marina and sailed directly to Turkey where the boat will be kept in Marmaris. Igor is extremely pleased with the outcome of his boat, from the quality of build down to the really stunning paint finish.

72 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m

Sea Avenue will remain on the West coast of the USA for some time, while future plans involve taking her to the Caribbean, where we hope to see her at a future Oyster regatta.

OYSTER 56 MAGIC SPIRIT Owned by Mr and Mrs Rudolph Kagi, Magic Spirit was handed over following a brisk sail on the River Orwell, which ably demonstrated the Oyster 56’s sailing prowess. After owning a variety of yachts over the last few years, the Kagi’s are looking forward to enjoying the luxury and sailing performance for which the Oyster 56 is renowned. Magic Spirit will be based in Cogolin in the South of France from where her owners will enjoy cruising the Mediterranean.


overwhelmed by the quality of build and sheer

Owners Don and Deborah Smith were luxury of their new Oyster 54, in their own words “A complete new level of sailing”

OYSTER 655 ANABASIS The new Oyster 655, Anabasis, was handed over to Dominik Schulte on behalf of his father Heinrich, who arrived later in the week for a fantastic sail in 15 knots of breeze, which saw them disappearing down the Orwell at 10 knots with her cruising chute up. Anabasis replaces the family’s Oyster 49 and Heinrich was reported to be so pleased with his new Oyster he stayed up until 2am playing with all the switches and gadgets on board! Anabasis was shown at the Cannes Boat Show to much acclaim before making for Palma where she was a stunning sight taking part in Oyster’s annual Med Regatta. She will remain in Palma. Anabasis is the first Oyster 655 to feature a taller carbon inmast furling sloop rig, with swept back spreaders and 110% jib, making her a real pleasure to sail. Anabasis certainly has ‘wow’ factor, with her retractable hydraulic passerelle, flush Rondal deck hatches, forced air ventilation system, underwater lighting and cockpit LED lighting that changes colour and ‘dances’ to music. All complimented by her cherrywood and slate leather interior.

OYSTER 82 RIVENDELL OF WIGHT The new Oyster 82, Rivendell of Wight, was recently handed over to her new owners Robin and Carla Stoop. Robin and Carla already own a 94’ modern classic, but decided that the Oyster 82 was a much better boat for their planned three-year circumnavigation – and we certainly wouldn’t disagree with them! Rivendell will cross the Atlantic along with the rest of the Oyster fleet in this year’s ARC and will enjoy a short Caribbean season before heading for the Panama Canal and an exploration of the Pacific.

ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Heinrich and Dominik Schulte, Oyster 655, Anabasis Oyster 54, Light Lana

OYSTER 72 KATHARISIS II Katharisis II has been handed over to her owner Mariusz Koper from Poland, who previously owned an Oyster 485. With a modern, maple and leather interior, she is a beautiful example of this very popular Oyster model. After appearing at both the Amsterdam and Southampton boat shows, Katharsis II sailed to Gdansk for her official Christening party before heading to The Canaries for the start of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers where she will join the Oyster fleet.

Don and Deborah Smith, Oyster 54, Sea Avenue Cherrywood saloon of Oyster 655, Anabasis Mariusz Koper, Oyster 72, Katharisis II Robin and Carla Stoop, Oyster 82, Rivendell of Wight RIGHT: Mariusz and Paulina Kierebinscy, Oyster 46 SunsuSea

“Sotto Vento” - 1st Overall Oyster Antigua Regatta 1st Overall Oyster Palma Regatta



We have a long and proud tradition of making sails for Oysters. Many of our records date back to the very first yachts launched. We have a comprehensive database of rig plans and sail data which allows us to make new sails no matter where in the world the boat is.

Oyster Antigua Regatta


Oyster Palma Regatta

Sprayhoods Biminis Winter Boat Covers Cockpit Enclosures Boom/Sail Covers Table Covers RiB Covers

Royal Thames Trophy for 1st Overall Sotto Vento


Launched early in 2010... The NEW 575 with D4 Dyneema membrane sails. D4 is the only system to have successfully laminated Dyneema fibres. Perfect for performance blue water sailing!

1st Overall Sotto Vento CLASS ONE 1st Sotto Vento Oyster 655

Oyster 56 with Dolphin Sprayhood

CLASS TWO 1st Cygnus of Anglesey Oyster 54

CLASS ONE 1st Sotto Vento 2nd Anabasis OYSTER 56'S 1st Rock Oyster 2nd Ulrika of London

MCLUBE SAILKOTE PLUS Sole UK Agent • Protect your sails from Mildew for up to 5 years • Reduced chafe • Allows tighter furling • Keeps sails cleaner and drier • Increased longevity

400 Main Road • Harwich • Essex • CO12 4DN Tel: +44 (0)1255 243366 • Fax: +44 (0)1255 240920 77 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m •

“Cygnus of Anglesey” 1st Class Two Oyster Antigua Regatta


78 w w w. o y s t e r m a r i n e . c o m


Oyster Marine Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1473 688888 Sales Team: Tel: +44 (0)1473 695005 Aftersales: Tel: +44 (0)1473 690198 Email: Oyster Marine USA Oyster Brokerage USA Tel: +401 846 7400 Email: Oyster Marine Germany Tel: +49 40 64400880 Email: Oyster Representatives Oyster Yachts Asia Bart Kimman Tel: +852 2815 0404 Email: Oysters Yachts Italy Tommy Moscatelli Tel: +39 0564 830234 Email: Oyster Yachts Russia Alexander Markarov Tel: +7 495 5006789 Email:

Oyster Yacht Charter Tel: +44 (0) 1473 688888 Email:

ONLINE CHANDLERY Comprehensive range

BOATYARD SERVICES Refits and repairs

Competitive prices


Worldwide delivery


Oyster Brokerage Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1473 695100 Email:


Fox’s Marina & Boatyard Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SA T: +44 (0)1473 689111 E:

Southampton Yacht Services Ltd Saxon Wharf Lower Street Northam Southampton SO14 5QF England Tel: +44 (0)23 8033 5266 Fax: +44 (0)23 8063 4275 Email:

t h e w o r l d ’s y o u r o y s t e r









575 625 deck saloon yachts

















125DS 125RS superyachts





OM43 motoryachts

Oyster Winter 2009 // Issue69  
Oyster Winter 2009 // Issue69