At the huge boat show in Cannes, France, last September I had the good fortune to be invited to visit with the new owner of Oyster Yachts, Richard Hadida, aboard his Oyster 885, Lush, that was anchored in Cannes Harbor. Although Richard is new to the marine business world, he is a veteran sailor and Oyster owner. As the founder of the gambling company Evolution Gaming, he is a successful entrepreneur, and he is not averse to taking on big and interesting projects. Oyster Yachts is his latest such effort.
As we talked, Richard laid out his vision for the company’s future and no boat epitomizes this vision better than the new Oyster 565. Designed by Rob Humphries, who has been the Oyster designer for many years, the 565 is a family cruising boat with world cruising capabilities and the finish and quality of a truly luxurious yacht. She is modern yet embodies all of the best traditions of British yacht design and construction. This is the path forward for Richard’s Oyster Yachts.
The 565 is an evolution of the center cockpit, raised deck-saloon concept that has been an Oyster hallmark for many years. In the 565, the cockpit has been moved aft and the sailing and lounging spaces are distinctly separate. The twin helms and all sail controls are in the sailing cockpit while the cockpit table and bench settees are forward where they can be protected from the elements by a dodger.
The rig is a simple, fractional sloop configuration with an in-mast furling mainsail and a 110-percent roller furling genoa. An inner fore stay can be rigged for a staysail or storm jib while a large downwind sail can be flown from the permanent bowsprit. The sprit also doubles as the anchor roller which can accommodate two anchors at once.
The standard layout down below calls for a large master cabin aft with its own head, a walk around double berth, a small love seat and ample lockers. Forward of the saloon, there is a double cabin forward with a Pullman cabin with upper and lower single berths just aft and to port. These cabins share the large head across from the Pullman cabin.
The other available layout option puts the master suite forward and turns it into a huge and commodious private cabin with a centerline double, an L-shaped sofa with a coffee table and the huge head and shower. This is truly a cabin into which you can retreat and relax. Aft, this layout has two quarter cabins with double berths. In both cabins, you can climb into the berths from the side instead of from the end as in most quarter cabins. This is a small but important design feature that makes the berth easier to make up, keeps your pillow from falling off the end at night and makes getting in and out of the berth much easier.
In both layout variations, the saloon and galley remain more or less the same. As in almost every Oyster I have been aboard, the galley is in the passageway that leads aft from the saloon to the after cabin or cabins. The sinks are nearly on the boat’s centerline so they will drain on both tacks. The large stove and oven are just across from the sinks. There is ample counter space for meal preparation and a large fridge and freezer.
The dinette is to port in the saloon and with a couple of folding chairs will seat six comfortably. Across from it is a large settee that will double as a comfortable sea berth when on passage. Aft of that is the old-fashion and spacious chart table where you can spread out a Chartbook, use a laptop and monitor all instruments, radios, satphone and ship systems. The skipper will spend a lot of time at the chart table and this one is one of the best around in a boat of this size.
Oyster Yachts are famous for their fine finish work and the quality of construction and engineering. The 565 is no exception and shows extraordinary attention to detail wherever you look. Built on a semi-custom basis, you have a long list of options to choose from and the ability to make changes to suit your needs and preferences.
As Richard Hadida emphasized when we were onboard Lush in Cannes, Oyster Yachts have always appealed to owners who are serious sailors and are looking for the qualities in their boats that will allow them to explore the world, even circumnavigate, in safety, comfort and luxury. And, they always will.
For more information: oysteryachts.com/new-sailing-yachts/oyster-565/