Quick Look: Oyster 54

Jeremy McGeary reviews this New Zealand built boat for the CW 2009 Sailboat Show.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAOyster

Because Oyster Marine has never been tied to a factory of its own, it has been able to outsource construction of its yachts to wherever the local economy and skills are most propitious at the moment. The Rob Humphries designed Oyster 54 is built in New Zealand, long recognized for its sailors and boatbuilders.

From its conservative two-spreader mast to its skeg-hung rudder, and with its moderately drawn out beam aft, the Oyster 54 follows its builder's philosophy of what makes a wholesome blue-water cruising sailboat. It also retains the center-cockpit configuration with the raised saloon that has become an Oyster constant.

The theme persists belowdecks, with the galley snug under the cockpit to port and the chart table to starboard, while the saloon, spacious and sumptuous in port, is still arranged so as to provide a couple of sea berths for when the off watch needs to be on call.