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|68 / 06
|Cutter rigged sloop with hydraulic in-mast furling
|Nine berths in five cabins
The Holman and Pye designed Oyster 68 was the flagship of the Oyster range at the time of the model launch in 1989. The 68 was conceived as a high quality long range bluewater cruising yacht, and was also our first design that was drawn with a High Performance Bulb (or HPB) keel, which allowed great righting moment while keeping the overall draft to a moderate 2.36m (7’8”) Traditional Oyster build standards are evident throughout, the hull is of a single skin GRP construction with stiffness supplied by massive ribs and stringers with a balsa core only to the deck, as it is an excellent insulator. The mast is keel-stepped for maximum strength and the rudder is protected by a full-length skeg.
The 68 was conceived as a semi-custom yacht from the outset, so there is a great deal of variation in the specifications and layouts. Two 68s were launched for sail training with numerous bunks and ketch rigs, while the majority of private owner-specified 68s have versatile and proven cutter rigs, usually with flush button hydraulic furling, for genuine short-handed capability. Most 68s have between four and five cabins with three or four heads/showers.
Long, strong and elegant, the 68 has been well proven with circumnavigations and well documented cruising among the Patagonian icecaps. Twelve examples were launched between 1989 and 1994. The 68 hull was then extended, and a new deck design added to create the Oyster 70 – the 68’s successor.
Ostro benefits from having her teak deck renewed in 2016 and her sails were also renewed that year. Her autopilot, dinghy and outboard were renewed in 2022, and some canvas including her sprayhood was new last year. Push-button hydraulic sail handling and a powerful bow thruster make her surprisingly straightforward for a small crew. Below decks she sleeps eight in four cabins, with a further single berth possible in the bow cabin.
The Oyster 68 is powerful tough bluewater cruiser, and proven circumnavigator, and Ostro would be superb choice for anyone looking for a well-priced yacht, to go world cruising on or to join the Oyster World Rally.
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