It´s so inhospitable outside with temps regularly dropping below freezing point here in Germany that I am a bit hesitant to be outside in the boat working. So, in this transition time to “real” winter I am using the working hours to do some stuff of a more decorative kind: Working on my Oyster Yachts 745 half model for the boat´s salon resumed.

The Oyster 745 has without question been the sexiest boat of this show

I am fascinated by these blue water cruisers since I´ve been first time on an Oyster 757 during Cannes Yachting festival 2 years ago. Finally, exploring the absolute dream yacht Oyster 745 during last BOOT Duesseldorf was blowing away my mind: This is really the style I would rather love to sail the world with. The Oyster 745 is, when it comes to design, attractive lines and style the pinnacle of my sailing dreams concerning classic blue water cruising. Anyway, lastly during summer I began to utilize some offcut Teak material to make a half model of the desired Oyster 745 – here´s how it goes on.

Last raw Teak works

Having finished the hull drawn by Rob and Tom Humphreys – whom by the way I had the pleasure to be interviewing some weeks ago, read it here – I began to sand down the coach roof for the cabin and the superstructure. That´s a crucial part for now because the superstructure with the distince “cat´s eye” windows is a signature style element of all of them Oyster yachts.

The raw sanded coach roof cabin superstructure. No keel mounted yet.

I then marked with a pencil all the hatches, windows, portholes and the waterline and sat down with a Dremel and tried to have a steady, calm hand whilst engraving these elements. Most of all, the three large vertical windows in the hull which are a second signature of blue water ocean cruisers made in the UK – the Oyster 745 has two of them, one in the salon, one in the stern part for the owner´s cabin.

Engravings of windows applied. The keel is mounted.

Of course, I am no pro and so these engravings lack the professionalism of industrially made half models (or half models made by pros) but anyway, I hoped that further work, especially with paint, would hide most of the flaws in the model. Let´s buy paint and go on!

Starting to paint the Oyster yacht model

But which paint? Oyster yachts come in various designs and colours, but I decided to go for the classic paint scheme here: pale black antifouling for all of the parts submerged in water, which is what I was painting first. Then the shiny black windows which were second to paint. Again, hard to keep a steady hand and not to paint too much, but it went fairly well.

Starting to paint from dark to bright

Now it was time for the glossy white paint, the Gelcoat layers. I started with the hull and used some masking tape to achieve a clean water line. Suddenly the appearance of the whole model changed. Right at the point when waterline and white hull were finished, along with one of the two double rudder blades, the whole boat began to look even more like the familiar Oyster-design. I was so happy!

The cabin superstructure is tricky …

I also began to paint the coach roof, the windows and the seating benches in the cockpit. Along with one of the steering posts which are in plain white as well. I am planning to add grey or blue cushion here and an impression of “push button sailing”-panel on the steering post. I have decided not to go for any further details like reeling, winches or steering wheels because I guess that´s the stuff that first will be vanishing when the model is in “use” on the boat.

Next up: Last finishing touches

So in the end I am excited: The boat looks quite like the desired 745 Oyster yacht except for some flaws in the Teak body, some bigger seams, unclean paint and stuff, but that is – I fear – a signature of MY work in the whole boat. So no problem here. The model will be fixed to an already finished Teak base mounting and I am somehow trying to acquire Rob & Tom´s signature to be engraved in a brass plate as well. We will see.

First raw three layers applied: Time for the elaborate things …

Next up is the waterline stripes (blue), the trim strip (blue as well) and the name for the boat. Also, after cushion is added I will paint the mast-step in grey (carbon rigging, of course) and just yesterday I realized that I somehow missed the bowsprit which will be added as well in the coming weeks. Hoping to have the model completely finished by spring next year, ready to be mounted to the starboard side frontal bulkhead of my King´s Cruiser´s salon. A piece of the wide world in my small boat …


Like Oyster yachts? Here are some more articles (also on the real boats):

Sailing Rolex: Onboard an Oyster 757

The role model of blue water ocean cruising: The Oyster 745

Talking Oyster: Rob & Tom Humphreys on making the dream yachts