Convinced that owners who invest in premium boats like Oyster expect an exceptional luxury finish, Richard set out to build on the things that have always made the brand special.
It starts with attention to detail and the time-honoured craft skills of our craftspeople, employing swathes of beautifully crafted hardwoods and the highest quality fixtures, fittings and finishes. Add innovative technology and interior layouts that are not only a pleasure to be in but are also deeply practical and you get the picture.
There is no room for compromise here. As an owner himself, Richard understands people are looking for contemporary styling and luxury to make their boat a home-from-home. And he was convinced Oyster could do far more in that respect when he took over the business. He was (and is) certain owners should expect much more: more value for money and aspirational sailing yachts that are a pleasure to own and use
“Oyster is affectionately known as the Bentley of the seas – which is very appropriate to my way of thinking,” Richard explains. “I believe when you buy something with this kind of value (even the smallest Oysters cost over £1m) you expect every aspect to be of a fantastic standard."
The result of this thinking is a growing fleet of modern luxury bluewater yachts that confidently confirms Oyster’s reputation as a premium brand that is truly beyond expectation.
RICHARD HADIDA REVEALS HIS INSPIRATION AND VISION FOR OYSTER’S NEW GENERATION OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY INTERIORS – THE PERFECT HOME-FROM-HOME.
Richard was determined to ensure Oyster lived up to its reputation as a premium, solidly built, beautiful hand-crafted product. “One of the first things I wanted to do was distinguish old Oyster from new Oyster,” he told us. “Now, if you go in the cabin of any of our yachts you get that sense of ‘wow!’ which is something I didn’t feel was there before.”
Fortunately, Richard had the perfect blank canvas to realise his vision and show the world what an Oyster could be. He bought Oyster 885/01 Lush from his friend Eddie Jordan around the time he acquired the company in 2018. At the time, Lush was six years old and had circumnavigated with the first Oyster World Rally; she was now deserving of a refit.
And where better to start than working with an award-winning and highly respected interior designer? Enter Fleur Liversidge with an excellent reputation and a string of incredible projects under her belt from luxe New York apartments to superyachts.
Richard’s vision was wide-ranging, focusing on creating intelligent interiors that reflected the latest developments in contemporary living. How could all the comforts of a modern home translate into a luxury sailboat?
In addition, the pandemic threw a new light on the way owners use their yachts. Many people have spent extended periods living aboard on their bluewater adventures. But during the various lockdowns, many of our owners lived and worked on board their yachts, enjoying them in a way that time and schedules normally do not allow.
The insights gained about everything from fixtures and fittings to technology from owners who had enjoyed the experience, underlined the need for the interiors of Oysters to be designed and specified to the highest standards to create a real home from home.
So Richard and Fleur needed to agree on a set of principles and benchmarks – a line in the sand – that would help them achieve the desired result. They spent a lot of time discussing concepts and the kind of materials, textiles, leathers and finishes that could be combined to bring this high-quality, contemporary feel together in a stylish, modern and tasteful five-star solution.
We are all used to technology being seamlessly woven into our homes. As part of this project, it’s important to mention Richard, with his background in digital technology, led the drive to ensure all new generation Oysters are fully digitally enabled.
He was keen to make this a key feature on all new Oyster yachts. As a result, all new generation models are digitally enabled with leading-edge systems integrated into the design to enhance the home-from-home feel. All the onboard systems, including Wi-Fi and internet, are integrated and work together seamlessly to ensure the yachts are always fully functional, even in the remotest destinations on earth. And now, Oyster yachts are all fitted with Oyster Command™ – a digital switching system that controls everything from onboard entertainment and lighting to all the main systems.
As a result of their work together, Richard and Fleur have created a vision not only for the refit of Lush but also a benchmark to be applied across the entire Oyster fleet. Richard is enthusiastic about what they have achieved together. “I aimed to standardise the best level of fit-out and systems on every Oyster model. Fleur has brought her experience and sensibilities and applied them to our yachts and together we have exceeded what we set out to do.”
Starting with Lush, Fleur and Richard aimed to create a practical yacht that is welcoming but also luxurious. Every detail – from styling, materials, wood finishes, lighting, fixtures and fittings, energy efficiency, technology and connectivity – was considered, developed and finessed.
“Fleur had some great ideas and instantly knew the sort of look I wanted,” said Richard. “She knew I liked rich, dark woods, such as walnut, and she went through the whole yacht and changed its feel with her clever ideas. I saw the CGI renders and knew that was the way I wanted to go. There is no doubt that Fleur’s expertise, bringing in contemporary ideas from luxury home interiors and exacting attention to detail on the Lush refit was the turning point in Oyster’s interior design upgrade.”
Before Fleur can move beyond concepts to making the customer's vision reality, Oyster's Project Design Manager, Chris Lock has some serious work to do. Chris works with the structural designers and engineers to maximise the available space in the large-volume hull. “My job is to go through the whole boat and create the ‘canvas’ for Fleur to ‘paint’ the owner’s dreams. The geometry must work structurally for every aspect of the yacht – for example with engineering and maintenance access.
“Walk through an Oyster and you’ll notice no lumps and bumps sticking out anywhere. On ordinary yachts, you might find a bit of the hull structure or something on deck intruding below. We design all that out, so what you see is a smooth, flush surface, the sort of finish you would expect to find in a luxury apartment.
“The boat is structurally and mechanically designed to the nth degree, which makes it so much easier to make her look great. Now we have got to the point where I hand the boat over to Fleur and explain where she can put fabric and other interior features.” Onboard Lush, Fleur took advantage of the canvas, creating an interior that not only reflected Richard’s tastes but also set the benchmark for the styling, quality and finish of the new generation Oysters.
Fleur took the learnings from the Lush project and applied this new approach to the rest of the fleet, starting with the new generation models including the Oyster 565 and 595. She has also modelled concepts for every Oyster model and created a set of four unique schemes exclusively for the Oyster 495.
“I’ve been looking at ways to bring in the concepts and ideas we pioneered on Lush to elevate the quality, styling, finishes and materials across six different models,” she told us. “I’m also looking to bring in more sustainable materials too. I want to take people’s breath away when they step on board but at the same time make them feel like they’ve come home.
“I take care of the aesthetics and facilitate bringing the client’s vision to life. I have introduced a range of different materials, such as woven leather on headboards, as well as bringing in a lot more texture and detail. “For example, in the past, the floors were often just flat walnut but now owners have a choice of woods and finishes. They can choose a walnut floor with an ash inlay or v-grooves, for example. Or they can upgrade to interiors in different woods – walnut, cherry or ash. We’re doing less teak these days as it is much less sustainable.
“We’ve also introduced a new woven floor covering that looks like sisal. We first introduced it on a 595 to break up the look of the solid wood and give it a lighter feel. Lightening up the floor and the headlining immediately created a space that feels much more open and contemporary.
“There are lots of new materials available too. We’re using HI-MAC, a composite material, on countertops in the galley and ensuites. Owners can choose from 50 different samples and each of them can dramatically change the feel of the boat.”
“Lighting was a really big part of Richard's vision,” continues Fleur. “Working with super-skilled lighting designers, every Oyster model now features the same high-spec systems. The mood lighting makes a huge difference to the overall feel of the boat, during the day utility lighting mode is enabled, then at night you press a button and suddenly everywhere below decks takes on a gorgeous warm feeling.”
“As with every design detail, no matter how small, you’ve got to think about how the boat goes together to prepare for all the other elements further along the line such as hidden cabling, pipework and access panels to ensure a luxury living space remains practical too.”
Oysters are designed to be the ideal liveaboard yacht, where owners can spend their days exploring, working from 'home’ and relaxing in almost any location they choose. “From the start, the idea was to include everything owners would expect to find in their own homes and to make life as easy as possible,” said Richard.
“We have achieved this and I am over the moon with the results. “We have delivered the luxury living space concept we developed on Lush across the whole fleet. You can really see the transformation in our new boats and these luxurious interiors bring a new depth to the experience of exploring some of the most beautiful and remote places in the world.”
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