I hope this update finds you well. Although not a complete return to normality, the second half of 2021 felt like a step in the right direction. And, as always, there is lots happening at Oyster as we head towards the new year.
When people ask me how the business is doing, I tell them the 595 sums it up perfectly: better, in demand and stronger than ever! Three years in the making, her launch was a highlight of the last few months. We’re all immensely proud of this next generation Oyster, from the quality of her finish, effortless sailing characteristics, new tech and super-luxurious interior. I was lucky enough to put 595 through her paces on her maiden voyage – see the video below and how she exceeded my expectations and those of some of the excited new owners.
The pandemic has provided us all with a few challenges, but we’ve come through the worst, with build bays full and 22 builds in progress. Constant innovation and improvement mean we are now devoting more time than ever before to building better boats. In fact, I calculated it would take one of our craftspeople a lifetime to build one of our mid-sized yachts. No wonder Oysters last a lifetime and beyond.
Our plans to bring new talent into British boat building saw record numbers apply to the Oyster Apprenticeship Academy. We took on 14 apprentices in September and they are already bringing their impeccable work to our builds.
The New Oyster 495 continues to take shape – catch up on progress with Shirley Robertson’s behind the scenes video series here. The interiors of 495/01 are in place and the deck has been married to the hull. With ten 495’s already sold, we expect demand to be strong following her premiere early next year.
Our private view of the new Oyster 595 and Oyster 745 in Southampton in September was a huge success. And there was lots of interest in the fleet, especially in the new 495, at the Newport and Annapolis boat shows.
We are planning a UK Private View in the Spring of 2022, dates to be confirmed. On show will be the new Oyster 495, along with a stunning selection of new and brokerage boats. I hope you can join us – you won’t be disappointed! Register your interest here.
The demand for pre-owned Oysters continues to be strong too – good news for residuals and those listing. If you’ve made the tough decision to sell, or are thinking about an upgrade, talk to our experts at Oyster Brokerage.
It was great to be back on the water over the summer and to end it with Palma Rendezvous in Mallorca. Eighteen Oysters gathered for a weekend of cruising and fun times on and off the water – it was great to be with family, friends and other owners.
The next Oyster World Rally will set sail from Antigua on January 9th. Twenty-five lucky owners have spent the summer preparing and are now en route to the Caribbean. Our technical support team did extensive complimentary health checks for 29 Oysters in Las Palmas before they set off on their transatlantic passages with the ARC, ARC+ or transit to Antigua for the start of the Rally. Read the full story here and keep up-to-date with the Rally live on the website.
Recently, we celebrated the achievements of two special colleagues: Kevin Webster and Molly Marston.
Kevin has been with Oyster for 50 years, starting as an apprentice. He retired earlier this year but will continue to pass on his time-honoured craft skills to the next generation of boat builders at the Oyster Apprentice Academy.
Molly originally set up (and still runs) Oyster Charter – in fact, she introduced my family and I to Oyster! She recently celebrated 25 years with Oyster along with her thousandth charter. Last year was tough, but Molly turned it around in 2021 with a record year for charters.
I’d like to thank Kevin and Molly for their time and commitment – their dedication is at the heart of what makes Oyster so special.
I hope to see you on the water or at one of our events very soon.
CEO and Owner, Oyster Yachts