Let’s just say I was feeling on top of the world. It was a lazy Saturday afternoon early this past September on the Solent - the historical straight off the south coast of England that lies between mainland United Kingdom and the Isle of Wight - and I felt right at home, styling at the helm of the new Oyster 595, freshly launched from the company’s shipyard in Wroxham.
The gleaming yacht - a word I do not freely bandy about, but this glamorous steed was far beyond your basic “sailboat” - cleaved through the light chop effortlessly, gliding upwind at 8 knots in precisely the same amount of breeze. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many a lucky trick at many a lovely wheel, moments I’d wished could be frozen in time, and this was yet another one. This Oyster is a vessel that should, can and will taste far-reaching waters all over the globe, and do so with power and panache.
And frankly, it damn well should.
We’ll get this over with straightaway. For all its magnificence - and that’s the surefire correct adjective for this Rob Humphreys-designed stunner - the 595 will set back its well-heeled owners more than $3 million, which means, I might know how to drive one, but I surely will never own one. But the Oyster 595, perhaps more to the point, has a lot to say not only about contemporary, state-of-the-art, high-end production boatbuilding - and boat buying - but also the broader seascape as the marine industry slowly emerges from what is hopefully the worst of the pandemic.