When I first learned about bluewater cruising sailboats, my fantasies included Oyster, the British-built world-class cruisers that have plied distant waters around the globe. For me, as for many others, Oyster has long signified a sturdy and posh platform from which to witness the world going by and although I've been on many boats since, Oyster still features prominently on my “if I won the lottery” list.
Oyster’s latest introduction is the 625, which replaces the 62. With this model, designer Rob Humphreys stepped up Oyster’s performance by creating a flatter underbody than her predecessor and significantly reducing displacement. The result has been ease of handling and increased speed under sail.
On deck, the 625 is sleek, with stanchions and cleats out on the low bulwarks and clear decks all around. The triple-spreader rig carries nearly 2,000 square feet of sail area and comes with the options of a cutter, double headsails with electric furlers, and in-mast furling on the mainsail, which Oyster says is quite popular. There are dual cockpits with the forward one being more of a social area where those not involved in the yacht’s handling can relax and converse. Twin helms anchor the aft cockpit with some of the winches positioned behind the helmsman. An interesting option is three vertical hull windows which bring terrific light into the salon and add a superyacht feel.
Standard accommodations feature a large master suite aft, a guest stateroom in the bow which is nearly as opulent, and two additional cabins, one of which is an over/under bunk stateroom that can be made into a workshop or office. Another configuration removes the guest stateroom and adds another over/under stateroom and a skipper’s cabin in the bow because although this boat may be handled by a couple, professional crew might be just the ticket for some.
Oyster sort of invented the deck saloon so the 625 includes a raised living space with steps down to the cabins. To port is a long and luxurious galley which will please most chefs with vast countertops, a microwave, stove, various refrigeration units, and twin sinks close to the centreline. To starboard is a large navigation station which has more of the feel of an onboard office. The livability in the aft sections of the boat has been significantly enhanced with the extra beam that has become standard on most recent designs, from production boats to semi-custom builds. The joinery, as on all Oysters, is premium, the fixtures and hardware are high-end and the maple finish is excellent.
|Sail Area||1,921 sq. ft.|
|Fuel capacity||449 gal.|
|Water capacity||317 gal.|
The Oyster 625 is powered by a 180 hp Volvo diesel. Power management includes a 11.5 kW genset and a 150-amp alternator on the engine. The 24V DC system includes 480 amps in the house bank, which is about half of what I would expect on a vessel this size, and 170 amps in the engine battery.
There are three smaller designs in the line but the upper end reaches all the way to a 125-foot model, so this places the 625 just about in the middle of Oyster’s offering. The newest addition clearly carries the Oyster pedigree but adds a bit more performance due to Humphreys’ racing background. And of course, it more than fulfills my fantasies of distant shores seen from a luxury yacht.
For more information, visit Oyster.