Following three years in development, construction of the all new Oyster 118, the largest Oyster yet drawn in partnership with Humphreys Yacht Design, begins in earnest in spring 2015.
Construction is at the Oyster Southampton base where new additional facilities are being created to enable overlapped building of two Oyster 118s at a time, bringing the potential to complete four yachts before summer 2020.
A new evolution of the Oyster/Humphreys plumb bowed, soft chined, twin rudder designs, the 36 metre Oyster 118 has grown naturally from the initially planned Oyster 115, and the resulting profile is even sleeker with a modest freeboard gently sheered and dressed with Oyster’s signature seascape hull windows and G5 teardrop glazing to the deck saloon.
The integral bimini, an enclosable sedan hard top, is distinctly new and this elegantly interweaves guest cockpit and accommodation which, belying that low profile, provides an astonishing 700m3 interior space for her 12 guests supported by six crew. That’s ten times the volume of the Oyster 475. The 118’s entertaining space alone is almost 11x7 metres including the guest cockpit 4.5 metres square.
Built to DNV classification and MCA LY3 coding, specification and engineering is to the highest standards, and there’s much interesting innovation including the mid-boom, single-point mainsheet penetrating the bimini top to run down through the glazed but carbon reinforced saloon entry bulkhead to the captive winch deep in the boat. Further complex design work is seen in the gullwing escape hatches from engine room to sidedecks folding out of the neat teakwork and glazed superstructure.
Sail plan for hull one is single headstay, with additional removable inner forestay for jib, and asymmetrics tacking to the anchor strut prodder. For eased handling, captive winches number four, tending mainsail halyard, then main and headsail sheets. The rig is four-spreader carbon with roller boom, and the nine-person Williams Dieseljet 565 is launched from its foredeck pit by lift-pole homed on the mast, the pit then doubling as cushioned R&R area.
As an Oyster there is, of course, much scope for personalisation in arrangements above and below deck, right through to an alternative squared stern profile adding a further metre to deck length. Whether retroussé or squared there’s an enormous lazarette for dive compressor, toys and gear stowage, and the fold out transom has automatically erecting steps and handrails easing set up and enjoyment of the bathing and tender docking platform.
The first built, anticipated to launch in December 2017 and then sea trial in the Solent for a spring ’18 handover, will feature in the aft lower deck a five cabin/four head plan, and with an emphasis on cockpit dining there is a simply huge social area with potential for frontward observation seating. Interior design will feature mirrored trompe l’oeils opening space even further. On the forward lower deck there are options again for a sixth suite and or a snug and TV room that will convert to kids’ bunk room.
The enclosable discrete crew area forward of the mast ranges around a galley equipped not just for first class cuisine and long-stay aboard but to the extra exacting standards required under DNV & LY3 classification. The near full height engine room, with 360kW (500hp) main engine, which drives a variable pitch propeller, and the Onan 50 and 22.5kW generators, is similarly highly specified and like the galley fully fire constrained. Continuing this, the forced air ventilation and air conditioning systems, too, are upgraded. The list goes on.
That’s the key to Oyster blue water success: a clear focus and emphasis on good, solid, reliable engineering. And the Oyster 118 is no exception. Designed and built in Britain to world class standards, she’s a go anywhere yacht, at pace, in grace, just bigger than the rest of the Oyster/Humphreys range. Key, too, of course, is that exceptional partnership with naval architects Humphreys Yacht Design (HYD) which now with the 118 has in concert with Oyster’s own in-house design team, including interior and exterior stylists and production engineers, introduced a full 17 models to the Oyster range in 17 years.
Oyster 118-01 will be the 358th yacht from this world leading partnership, and will reflect the extensive superyacht experience within Oyster’s Southampton base.