Oyster 625

Sailing is about excitement, freedom and motion without machinery. What Americans would call “yachting” also includes security, comfort and luxury. Given this definition, the Oyster 625 truly provides the full yachting experience.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Oyster-625

Sailing is about excitement, freedom and motion without machinery. What Americans would call “yachting” also includes security, comfort and luxury. Given this definition, the Oyster 625 truly provides the full yachting experience.


Construction 

Examine the construction schedule for the Oyster 625 and you'll find each element is executed to the highest standard. Oysters are ready to sail worldwide. The 625’s glass/Kevlar/carbon-fiber laminate hull is solid below the waterline and is reinforced by a structural grid. The topsides are foam-cored, and the entire structure is vacuum bagged. The deck is balsa-cored, with plywood in load-bearing areas.

Oyster-625-galley_0

As usual with Oyster, the systems are robust, carefully installed and of top quality. Open the bilge and you discover dual bronze sea chests with manifolds for saltwater plumbing. The 24-volt DC electrical system is supported by a big bank of batteries; a second 150-amp alternator on the engine and an 11.5 kW genset also provide 110/220-volt AC current.

Poke about and you find substantial wiring and plumbing, a beautiful engine installation and labels on everything. It’s the sort of work that makes a mechanic smile.

On Deck

Oyster-C

The deck of the Oyster 625 is a pleasant place for a stroll, even when the wind kicks up. You’re much more likely to stay aboard than not, thanks to the wide decks, low bulwarks and tall lifelines.

There are excellent lockers for deck gear, starting with a big, deep space in the forepeak with its own ladder. This can also be finished as a crew cabin. Aft there is a big full-width lazarette.

The social portion of the cockpit is separated from the working class neighborhood. Those who want to chat and enjoy the ride sit around the table in first-class comfort. Farther aft in a smaller secondary cockpit, the sailing enthusiasts get dual helm stations, excellent visibility and easy access to the lines and winches. A passageway on centerline lets people move back and forth between the communities at will.

The sail plan of our test boat included an in-mast furling mainsail and a double-headed foretriangle with a genoa and staysail on husky electric roller furlers. When a couple of recreational sailors have to handle more than 2,000ft2 of sail, the layout, hardware and sail plan had better be very good. On the Oyster 625, they are.

Accommodations 

ots of boats that look comfortable turn out to be much less so when you actually sit down to read or visit with friends. But the seating on the Oyster 625 is absolutely pleasant. For an average size couple like my wife and me, this boat has just enough support, the right proportions and the right layout to permit socializing, stretching out or quietly soaking in the ambiance.

Oyster-625-saloon_0

And the ambiance is lovely. The look is modern, but the suede fabric and perfectly finished blond maple joinery make the saloon a space that my wife called, “Comfortable, romantic and sexy. I feel like the pearl in the shell.”

All the spaces below are bright and pleasant. As if the seven deck saloon portlights were not enough, there are six more at eye level when you are seated.

There’s well over 6ft of headroom almost everywhere. The grabrails are plentiful and strategically placed, and both of us appreciated the high, strong, curved fiddles around the countertops that serve to keep both the crew and the dinner plates safe.
Our test boat slept seven in four cabins. Four of the berths were fairly narrow and in pilot cabins, creating a perfect layout for extended offshore voyaging. Oyster will also customize layouts to a buyer's specifications.

Oyster-D

Under Sail 

While the wind had abated from 20 to about 12 knots in the Atlantic off Miami, the sea was still a bit lumpy. The 625 responded with a steady 7.7 knots through the water under full sail. Rolling up the staysail increased the speed a bit, and when puffs came along, the boat accelerated easily to nearly 9 knots on a beam reach. It is easier to unroll a bit of the staysail when tacking so the genoa has a smooth surface to run over, and the big Oyster tacked reliably through about 90 degrees. All the winches were the right size and the rigging ran freely, so it was easy to handle the sheets and furling lines.

While the helm response was quite good, the starboard wheel linkage needed a bit of tightening to remove some play. This boat tracks beautifully. While this is not primarily a race boat, Oysters prove themselves well if competition is desired.

Under Power 

The Oyster 625 was absolutely predictable. It cruises at 8 knots with the engine turning 2,000 rpm. Sound levels were the lowest (60 dBA) I have measured in over 20 years of testing boats. Conversation from the cockpit 15 feet away was louder in the saloon than the engine.
Maneuvering was easy. The big boat stopped and reversed as commanded; the turning circle was 1½ boatlengths.

Oyster-B

Conclusion 

For most sailors, an Oyster 625 will be their ultimate boat. About a third of 625 buyers have owned an Oyster before, and almost all have extensive sailing backgrounds. The busy yard has several models up to 88 feet under construction, but the Oyster 625 hits a sweet spot where an owner can enjoy the sensations of a proper yacht without the crew a larger vessel requires.

Specifications

HEADROOM 6ft 8in
BERTHS 6ft 5in x 4ft (fwd); 6ft 8in x 5ft (aft); 6ft 5in x 2ft 3in (bunk singles)
LOA 62ft 5in // LWL 56ft 7in
BEAM 17ft 10in
DRAFT 9ft 2in (std); 7ft 1in (shoal); 6ft (centerboard)
DISPLACEMENT 73,854lb
BALLAST 22,000lb
SAIL AREA 1,921ft2 (100% FT)
FUEL/WATER/WASTE (GAL) 449/317/99
ENGINE 180hp Volvo diesel
ELECTRICAL 480AH (house); 190AH (engine)
DESIGNER Rob Humphreys
BUILDER Oyster Marine Ltd., Suffolk, UK
U.S. DISTRIBUTOROyster Marine Ltd. USA, Newport, RI, 401-846-7400

Photos courtesy of Oyster Marine Ltd.

Related

FB-BHM-1024

SAIL Black History Month Series: James Forten

James Forten was born on September 2, 1766 in Philadelphia to free Black parents Thomas and Margaret Forten. Forten attended a Quaker school as a young child, then went to work with his father who was a sailmaker. His father died when he was still young, and Forten worked ...read more

sailme-app_ SAIL

5 Ways Sail.me Helps You Monetize Your Boat

Ready to earn some extra funds by renting out your boat or yacht? Sail.me is an interactive service that allows you to monetize your boat in a secure, safe, and easy way. A user-friendly app and website will help you manage reservations, add-ons, and set customized routes to ...read more

VendeePromo

2020-21 Vendée Timeline

As a spectator event, France’s Vendée Globe never disappoints, and the 2020-21 edition of the quadrennial round-the-world race was no exception. From equipment failures to climactic rescues, heartbreaking abandonments and a breathtakingly close finish, this edition, which ...read more

valleytrunk3

BVI Chartering in the Pandemic

The week before I flew out to the British Virgin Islands for a bareboat charter, I was having a few second thoughts. The islands had broken out of their Covid-enforced tourism hiatus in December, but the conditions of entry seemed a little stringent: a negative Covid test within ...read more

01-LEAD-windfarm

Sailing Amid Offshore Wind Farms

Here in Europe, the general feeling about green energy from offshore wind turbines has moved on after an initial surge of general skepticism. Concerns raised over cost, threats to seabirds, wind interference and the rest have to some extent been answered, and it’s hard to argue ...read more

LunaRossaPrada

VIDEO: Luna Rossa Wins the Prada Cup

The show has gone on despite last week's Covid panic in Auckland, and the "underdog" Italians are victorious. After being bested by INEOS Team UK in the round robin section, they seemed to have an uphill battle ahead of them going into the finals. However, the Italians have been ...read more

FB-BHM-Cuffe-2048x

SAIL Black History Month Series: Paul Cuffe

Paul Cuffe was born on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, in 1759. His mother was a Native American woman named Ruth Moses, and his father was Kofi Slocum, a formerly enslaved man from the Ashanti Empire, located in modern-day Ghana. They had 10 children including Paul. His ...read more

Ryan-Finn

Point of SAIL: Ryan Finn on Solo-sailing a Proa Round Cape Horn

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with solo-sailor Ryan Finn, a veteran bluewater passagemaker looking to re-create the famed New York-to-San Francisco clipper aboard the 36ft proa, Jzerro. Although Finn was forced to abandon his first attempt ...read more