Oyster 54: A Serious Bluewater Passagemaker
It comes as no surprise that this new Oyster is luxurious below and purposeful on deck. A review from our November 2010 issue.
The engine-room layout is a study in practical access, meticulous order, and efficient use of space. The high quality of the materials and professionalism of the installations, be they electrical, mechanical, plumbing, or rigging, runs consistent from the masthead to the keel bolts.
Unfortunately, en route to Seattle, we didn't get even a breath of wind. I told Will that although we could safely assume that Rob Humphreys had designed a peppy performer, in good faith I couldn't write a credible review without having actually sailed the boat. With busy schedules on opposite coasts, it took us two months to reconnect. It was worth the wait.
With the help of Jonathan Davis, a Poulsbo dockmate, we moved the boat effortlessly off the crowded dock with the powerful bow thruster. On reciprocal courses to nullify any effect of current, we measured 8 knots at only 2,100 rpm on the Yanmar 110-horsepower diesel. The noise level was so low that I had to confirm that the engine was actually running. The helm was smooth and perfectly geared. The vessel turned in a tight radius and backed with complete control.
But we'd come to sail, and sail we did. In 12 to 16 knots of wind, we tacked up and down Liberty Bay, recording 6.5 knots on a dead run, 7 on a beam reach, and 8.3 when closehauled. The ease of handling was such that we found ourselves confidently tacking away from shorelines or fixed structures at the last second. This boat was so seriously fun to sail that I had to pry Jonathan's fingers off the wheel in order to get my full turn at the helm.
If imitation is indeed the highest form of flattery, then Oyster should be well pleased, for there are several Oyster look-alikes on the market. But given Oyster's nearly 40 years of experience, more than 1,200 built vessels, and a highly respected customer-service system, the imitators will be hard pressed to match an Oyster's impeccable quality, stellar performance, and, even with the substantial price tag, overall value.
As I look around at these haunting high seas, I see the natural home for this worthy world cruiser.
Alvah Simon is a CW contributing editor.
LOA 53' 11" (16.43 m.)
LWL 46' 3" (14.10 m.)
Beam 15' 7" (4.75 m.)
Draft (std./shoal) 7' 10"/6' 0" (2.40/1.83 m.)
Sail Area (100%) 1,249 sq. ft. (116.07 sq. m.)
Ballast (std./) 15,562/17,900 lb.
(shoal) (7,058/8,119 kg.)
Displacement (std./) 46,893/48,653 lb.
(shoal) (21,315/22,068 kg.)
Ballast/D (std.) .33
D/L (std.) 211
SA/D (std.) 15.37
Water 198 gal. (750 l.)
Fuel 224 gal. (850 l.)
Holding 50 gal. (189 l.)
Mast Height 70' 6" (21.50 m.)
Engine 110-hp. Yanmar
Designer Rob Humphreys
& the Oyster Design Team
Price Contact Oyster for pricing