The Oyster 56 is perhaps best summed up as a quality blue water cruiser that was ahead of its time and combines good sailing characteristics with luxurious accommodation.
Built over a 10-year period from the late 1990s onwards, the Oyster 56 is the most popular model in Oyster’s 42-year history, with more than 70 built. There are a number of reasons for this success, but in particular, it’s an optimum size for many people: small enough to be sailed by a couple without paid crew, but large enough to take four or even six guests in comfort as well.
A Rob Humphreys design with good performance and up-to-date design thinking, while retaining hallmark Oyster features including a skeg-hung rudder, option for a cutter headed rig with an efficient heavy weather jib on a furler and a spacious deck saloon.
The 56 was offered with the choice of two interior arrangements and Wildcard has the A option with two guest cabins plus a walk-in stowage/crew cabin alongside the separate engine space. She also has a large en-suite owner’s stateroom aft, and a double fore cabin, both with island beds.
As you might expect, the saloon is superbly spacious and well lit. There’s also an impressive galley, with a five-burner gimbaled cooker, front opening fridge, a freezer and ample worktop and stowage space. The Oyster 56 offers an impressive amount of stowage that makes living on board for long periods significantly more comfortable and organised.
Equipment and options
The boat was offered with a comprehensive inventory as standard, including many items that appear on the extras list of other yachts. These include a teak laid deck, sprayhood, dorade vents, folding prop and bow thruster. In addition the engine is equipped with twin alternators – one dedicated to the start batteries, the other (a 3.6kW unit) for charging the 480Ah domestic battery bank. There’s also a 75 amp mains power charger, plus a full set of electronics, including pilot, chart plotter and instrumentation.
Wildcard was ordered form new by the current owner who utilised the skill and knowledge of Vortec marine who are Oyster specialists to make sure she is an exceptional example of a very successful model.
What it does best
There are a number of standout factors for this boat, notably the blend of excellent accommodation and good sailing performance, as well as the build quality and high standard of equipment. In addition, a degree of after-sales support continues long after an Oyster is first delivered – the company keeps files of all the boats it has built, including documentation of all the gear that was originally fitted. For those planning to undertake longer voyages and extended cruising, the generous tankage and stowage, and the design’s excellent load carrying ability will all be advantageous.
Standard deep draught version
Sails & Sail Handling
12/24V. DC Electrics
Refrigeration & Air-conditioning
Port Hamble Marina
Satchell Lane, Hamble
Southampton, Hampshire SO31 4QD