by Des Ryan
Oyster, long a revered yacht in the luxury class, has just been honoured again with their new Oyster 625 winning 'Best Luxury Cruiser' in the 2012 European Yacht of the Year awards.
Good to cross an ocean - and nice at the bottom of the garden
So what is the new Oyster like?
The Oyster 625 was designed to bring some significant improvements to the already successful pedigree of the Oyster 61 and 62.
A new hull design, again by Rob Humphreys, with increased performance and handling, options for a sportier rig, several interior layout options and increased space in the master cabin by utilising the fuller aft sections are just some of the enhancements being launched with this new design.
Oyster 625 - one of the many layouts
This is a large yacht for two people to handle, so, while it is designed for comfortable live-aboard family and friends sailing, the 625 interior options also allow for a forepeak layout to be set out for a full-time crew member.
The main areas in the yacht feature two forward cabins, each with its own heads and shower, a spacious owners suite and a fourth cabin that can be configured as a workshop, guest cabin or a children’s cabin with access from the master cabin.
When comparing the differences between the Oyster 62 and the new model, some things stand out. The 62 had a fairly tall and upright deckhouse, flatish windows and sharp angles. The 625's deckhouse, on the other hand, has much more flowing lines, without losing that distinctive 'O that must be an Oyster' appearance.
Oyster 625 saloon
The plan view shows that the 625 carries more beam aft than her predecessor does, which, combined with flatter sections, gives the yacht more bearing — an increase in lift — allowing her to surf more easily than her ancestor did.
The waterline has been lengthened - great for an extra knot or so of speed, and there is some added freeboard, good for stability.
So the speed and handling are improved, while offering more volume, better living below decks. The cleaner, more modern bulwark profile, with its integral stanchions and mooring cleats, creates spacious, uncluttered side decks, whilst the smoother, flush lines of her foredeck produces more deck space than the Oyster 62.
There is also the option of three large vertical portlights in the hull, to port and starboard, to further enhance the views out from the saloon giving this new Oyster real superyacht quality.
Oyster 625 Master cabin
There is an option of a sliding companionway access from the master cabin to the aft deck or owners may prefer to keep the aft deck uncluttered giving a 2m by 2.2m leisure area.
With an overall length of just under 19.4m (63.5ft) including pulpit, the Oyster 625 supports options of cutter rig, double headsail and in-mast furling. A displacement length ratio of 182 and a sail area displacement ratio of 22.3 deliver sparkling performance for comfortable passage making. The new Oyster 625 is guaranteed to turn heads wherever she goes - and get the chef member of crew very excited:
Oyster 625 galley
To find out more about the Oyster 625 and the Oyster Group please visit: www.oystermarine.com - and if you decide to buy one this year you'll be just in time to join the Oyster World Rally, starting in January 2013.
About 'European Yacht of the Year':
Every year the winner is selected by a jury of journalists from eleven major European magazines in the marine industry. The winner is typically announced in the opening days of the Dusseldorf Boat Show, BOOT. The boats undergo exhaustive testing and assessment both on and off the water in the judging process.