Roulette Charters


Summer 2017 - Croatia & Western Mediterranean

The Oyster 655 was conceived and developed as the "sportiest" yacht in Oysters range.

Rob Humphreys' hull lines were untouched during the vessels development. The 655 has a fine bow with little more width internally than the old Oyster 62 but the beam is carried aft giving similar volume to the Oyster 72. This gives a powerful hull form with good pointing ability to windward and the bonus of a very large owner's suite aft.

Roulette's development was a response to the owner's request for an even faster cruising yacht but one that would loose none of the marques comfort and luxury. Apart from the in house Oyster team, the design was also influenced by John Boyce and Richard Matthews.

Work started with the rig. Carbon fiber was chosen because of its combination of lightness and strength. The Hall spars mast is 2.5m taller than a standard aluminium one but also one tonne lighter. This saved another tonne in the keel whilst also providing a "stiffer" yacht.

A cutter rig combination was rejected because it is inefficient in the majority of sailing situations due to an increase in windage. In storm conditions a detachable inner stay can be simply rigged and tensioned for a storm fore sail. The spreaders were swept back to allow the 105% head sail to be close hauled for enhanced upwind performance.

The main sail is fully battened with some roach and stowed in a Hall spars V boom. The mast track has a shuttle system at its base to allow the sail to be dropped and stacked in the boom very quickly and easily. There is single line reefing for the first of 3 reefs. In storm conditions a trysail can be quickly and simply rigged.

A small carbon fiber bow sprit or "prodder" was developed for the asymmetric sail and the sail wardrobe, by North sails, is completed by a spinnaker for down wind work.

Deck gear was uprated for the additional loads generated by the larger sail plan. The standard chromed winch drums were replaced by aluminium ones saving over 70 kilograms and further weight saving were achieved by using aluminium mooring cleats.

The standard bow roller is massively over designed but it was felt that this is a good thing for a cruising boat so no weight reduction was attempted. It required no strengthening to support the bow sprit. The 2 stainless wheels were replaced with carbon ones to save weight and also achieve a more contemporary look.

The steering pedestals were also redesigned to reduce their visual impact. Davitts were considered for the tender but dismissed due to their weight and aesthetic considerations.

On short passages the tender can be towed, and on longer ones it is lashed onto the foredeck complete with its 30hp engine in situ and lifted by a halyard. On ocean passages it is deflated and stored in the lazzarette. The lazarrette also has dedicated space for the dive compressor. The sail locker forward has a small compressor to inflate the tender and the ships "toys".