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