Oyster 495: solid values for luxury travel

31st January 2021

Yacht Germany

 

By Michael Good

When the Oyster shipyard in England announces a "small ship", it is already over 15 meters long. The deck saloon yacht with centre cockpit is now under construction.

The new 50-footer is intended to expand the luxury bluewater range of the yacht builder downwards. This means that the British range currently includes no fewer than seven models ranging from 15 metres to the around 36 meters mega-yacht format. And Oyster yachts are recognisable as such from afar. Hardly any other brand cultivates the visual consistency of its models as much as the shipyard in Southampton.

In collaboration with the Oyster Design Team, the brand's go-to designers Tom and Rob Humphreys have now applied the brand's signature features to the latest and smallest model in the range. Characteristic features are the striking deckhouse with its dark-tinted and beautifully curved window band, the foredeck that is completely unobstructed up to the mast passage with its flush sunken hatches, and the eye-catching triple vertical hull windows. The overall Oyster concept with the rather unusual combination of centre cockpit and deck saloon is also transferred to the new 495. Like all recent Oyster models, the new yacht is built with twin rudders. The shipyard's unusual solution for a bathing platform is fascinating. This is because it is not only foldable as usual, but it also folds down flat at the push of a button.

The Oyster 495 is to be fitted with either a furling mast or a conventional rig and battened mainsail. With the shrouds attached to the outside of the hull, the size of the furling genoa is reduced to an overlap of 106%. However, a self-tacking jib is not even provided as an option. An almost one-metre-long bow nose for additional sails such as Code Zero or Gennaker with anchor holder is firmly fixed to the hull. Out of the shipyard, Oyster's new 50-footer will be fitted with a four-cylinder built-in diesel from Yanmar with Saildrive and 110 hp output. Bow and stern thrusters and a generator are also on the list of options.

The interior is a classic mid-cockpit arrangement with a large master cabin aft and en-suite bathroom with shower compartment. The very spacious U-shaped galley is recessed into the side of the port side companionway. The passage to the aft cabin is via the starboard side, where the navigation station is also integrated. The saloon itself with the L-shaped seating area and an additional couch is raised in the centre. The large superstructure windows will provide unrestricted views. Forward, there is an owner's cabin with island bed and en-suite bathroom, as well as an additional guest cabin with two bunk berths.

Build number 1 is already under construction and should be ready for first tests in the second half of the year. The shipyard is also already quoting a price: in standard ex-wharf condition, the Oyster 495 will cost around 1.31 million euros, gross including 19 per cent VAT.

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