Oyster LD43 Page 2

Oyster LD43 By Jeffrey Moser — April 2006

Downeast, Kiwi Style

Cross a PT boat with a lobster boat, and you get this jet-driven, deep-V 43-footer.

Billy Black
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Oyster LD43
• Oyster LD43 Part 2
• Oyster LD43 Specs
• Oyster LD43 Deck Plan
• Oyster LD43 Acceleration Curve
• Oyster LD43 Photo Gallery

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But while the 43 was stylish and plush, I still wondered what kind of performance I'd see from a powerboat that came from a sailboat builder. When it came time for the sea trial, a light chop was kicking on the Severn River. I watched as Marston eased her off the dock sideways, using the joystick to manipulate the twin Hamilton HJ 292 waterjets. We switched spots, and I weaved the 43 effortlessly through hundreds of moored boats using only the joystick (see "Gear Onboard," this story). Once we were clear of the mooring field, I maneuvered the 43 through a series of tight turns at a 32-mph cruise, and she came around in less than two boat lengths: Hard chines prevented spray from reaching the windshield, even at a WOT of 36.8 mph, and helped her carve the turns smoothly. Whether I used the wheel or the joystick, maneuvering was effortless, and sightlines were excellent in all directions. When spray did reach the windshield while we were running into the wind, I just trimmed up the bow a bit, and it disappeared.

As we idled back in, more than a few salts craned their necks and whistled. At the dock two couples approached me as I loaded test gear into my rental car to inquire about the 43, and they had only seen her profile. "That's one heck of a lobster boat," they said. I replied, "You should see her interior."

At the outset, Marston had explained that Oyster did not want to make a copy of a picnic boat, and as I drove away, I concluded that they certainly had not. Like Hillary, Oyster has risen to the challenge. But then what else would you expect from a Kiwi?

Oyster Marine USA (401) 846-7400. www.oystermarine.com.

Gear on Board >> Hamilton Blue Arrow

Oyster packs the bevy of standard electronics by Raymarine in its starboard-side, burled-walnut and leather-trimmed helm: a 10.4-inch C-Series chartplotter; ST60 depth and speed displays; ST60001 autopilot; and 240 VHF just to port. Faria analog gauges and a Plastimo compass are just above in a small cluster, at eye level. Also here is the interface of Hamilton's Blue Arrow system: the Station Control Panel (SCP).

The SCP features a LCD screen that displays steering and bucket position and includes an interface that allows you to set a desired rpm range. This is in turn daisy-chained to Hamilton's hydraulic steering, single-lever controls, and joystick. For example, if the helmsman were to firewall the throttles while using the joystick, the engines would not exceed their preset rpm limit. But if he were to switch from the joystick to the wheel for steering, the system would automatically release the controls from its rpm range and the single-lever throttles could be engaged to any rpm. The system can also be integrated with an autopilot and includes a backup joystick in the SCP should a loss of steering occur.


SPOTLIGHT ON | Door Design

The three-piece, polished stainless steel door that leads to the saloon is not only beautiful, but also a great design. Its upper glass portion can be unlocked and lowered on tracks. In conjunction with similar glass panels to port and starboard, this makes the saloon and cockpit one big space. While they locked tightly in place and did not rattle during the sea trial, the panels were a bit heavy, and opening or closing them in sporty seas might be problematic. When I asked Oyster's Bob Marston about this, he mentioned subsequent models would have electrically retractable windows here.

Next page > Oyster LD43: Specs > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This article originally appeared in the May 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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