There are those for whom owning an Oyster is the first step towards fulfilling a dream to complete a circumnavigation.
And for some, owning an Oyster becomes a lifelong addiction.
Since taking ownership of his first Oyster in 1995, Sir Peter Davies has had no less than five, including an Oyster LD43 motorboat. Yet, despite kicking the boat owner habit several years ago, his passion and enthusiasm for Oyster on and off the water remain. “I’ve sailed all my life and when I moved into keelboats in the 1990s my first Oyster was 45/01 Cygnus III, which I kept in Anglesey where we have a family base. I had a great time on it for three years, then in 2000, I decided to buy Oyster 56 Cygnus of Anglesea, which we sailed extensively around the Caribbean and Europe with the help of a professional skipper.
“In 2003, I then stepped up to an Oyster 82, with a professional crew, which we also sailed in the Caribbean as well as spending a September in Maine.
“In 2006, I had retired and decided to downscale which is where the LD43 motoryacht Rip Rap came in, but it wasn’t long before I was looking at another sailing yacht and bought Oyster 54/01. When I bought her, she was originally a 525, but Richard Matthews decided to increase her space aft and so the 54 was born. I had her from 2007-2009 and cruised her around the Caribbean.
“I think out of them all my favourites were the 56 and the 82 and if I had to pick one in particular, it would be the 56. There are several reasons for this, one is that she offered such good value for money and the other is that she was such a versatile boat. You could just as easily operate her with a professional crew crossing the Atlantic as you could handle her shorthanded in the Caribbean. This gave us a great deal of flexibility when it came to the variety of sailing that we wanted to do.
“Having said that, the 82 was a brilliant boat that I loved, but it did require more people to handle her, plus we found ourselves inviting more people aboard because we could.”
But like many others, it hasn’t just been the boats that have kept Peter with Oyster.
“They’re a very well-organised company. Right from my first dealings, I thought that their sales operation was good and they were skilled at doing demonstration sales and test runs, the handover process and other related aspects were all professional throughout. As someone who grew up in marketing and sales, I was impressed by their professionalism.
“When it came to design and the quality of finish, they have always had talented individuals working on them, along with excellent project management. Whichever way you look at it, they take great care in ensuring the boats are built properly.
“When it comes to costs, they may be among the more expensive in their field, but I was reviewing some of the acquisition and sale invoices recently and after deducting the agent's commission, the cost per year was quite modest. Plus, most importantly, Oysters retain their value and I think it is those two factors that make the original outlay worthwhile.”
After selling his fifth Oyster, Peter decided to call time on boat ownership. He continues however to charter and sail with friends. So, when he does, is it Oysters that he charters?
“Oh yes, certainly. We’ve recently chartered an Oyster for my sister’s birthday where we cruised in Antigua and Guadeloupe. They run such a good charter operation and being so familiar with Oysters, I always feel comfortable on the boat with the team.”
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