Oyster 46

For the 2007 Cruising World Sailboat Show, we review the Oyster 46

Oyster Regatta -Valencia 2007
Oyster Regatta -Valencia 2007Oyster

In some circles, the new 46 could be called an entry-level Oyster, but only size-certainly not style and workmanship-separates it from its lengthier sisters. The new Oyster is the first to sport the builder's G5 styling, which can be seen in the profile of the deck saloon, with its double curves and contours. The 46 replaces the Oyster 45, offering 15 percent more volume below and a hull off the board of Rob Humphreys that delivers better speed and stability than did its predecessor.

The 46 we sailed for this review in the Solent, off England's Isle of Wight, was fitted out with the standard 7-foot-1-inch deep-draft keel (a shoal-draft keel, at 5 feet 9 inches, is available) and a full-battened main, roller-furling genoa, and an asymmetric spinnaker. In-mast furling is also available. In about 14 knots of wind, the 46 sailed at 6.5 to 7 knots closehauled; with the kite up and on a close reach, the knotmeter fluttered nicely above 8.5 knots.

Belowdecks, a teak interior is executed with fine joinery throughout the three-cabin/ two head layout. The center cockpit above means a roomy aft stateroom underneath, and the cabin has an en suite head that contains a shower larger skippers and mates might find tight.

Aside from that, the 46 serves up all the luxury and elegance you'd expect to find in a sailboat with a $1,500,000 price tag. Designed with the cruising couple in mind, the Oyster 46 should take a shorthanded crew afar in safety, comfort, and style.

Oyster 46 Specs

LOA: 46' 10"
LWL: 40' 7"
Beam: 14' 6"
Draft (deep): 7' 1"
Sail Area: 973.9 sq. ft.
Displacement: 38,580 lb.
Water: 172 gal.
Fuel: 198 gal.
Engine: 75-hp. Volvo with saildrive
Designer: Rob Humphreys
Price: $1,500,000
Oyster Marine USA, (401) 846-7400, www.oystermarine.com