ECLIPSE was specified and ordered by an experienced blue water cruiser to replace a much larger Oyster. With a focus on his home waters of the Pacific Northwest, ECLIPSE is optimized for summer sailing between Seattle and Desolation Sound where she has spent her life under the care and use of the same family. She has been spared the rigors of tropical sailing and extended ocean passages. Each fall she would return from the northern waters of British Columbia and placed under cover at Shilshole Marina in Ballard. Each spring, the competent team at Miller & Miller Boatyard would remove the cover, bend on sails and perform annual maintenance.
Due to frequent windless summer days, a large block, low RPM, naturally-aspirated John Deere 130 hp engine with Aquadrive shaft coupling was specified to propel ECLIPSE. A diesel hydronic heating system was installed instead of the usual air conditioning/reverse heat. This eliminated the need for a genset. High capacity 24V alternators quickly replace battery power. Extra storage for crab pots, down riggers, fishing gear, and other toys was gained up forward in a “climb into” bow locker. This locker space is gained with the custom VIP stateroom instead of the standard “V” berth and forward bunk room.
ECLIPSE is a “head turner” in any harbor. Her dark blue hull with gold cove stripe and white boot stripes accentuates the graceful shear line, flared bow, reverse transom, and curvaceous deck and cabin details of this striking Rob Humphrey’s design. Spars are painted metallic charcoal grey and canvas is a neutral beige: all elements complementing this proper yacht. The interior joinery is varnished white oak fashioned by English craftsmen to a cohesive modern-classic design theme.
To quote Joe Miller of Miller & Miller boatyard who has moved ECLIPSE back and forth from Desolation Sound and maintained ECLIPSE since new, "It's easy to look good on this boat." This double entendre applies not only to one's appearance while aboard this stunning boat, but also to the ease of sailing and maneuvering. Sailhandling is truly “pushbutton” with the proven Hood Stowaway hydraulically-furled mainsail and Reckman hydraulic furlers on the genoa and staysail. Sheets are led to electric self-tailing winches. A retractable bow thruster and large rudder make dockside handling a snap. Navigation systems were updated in 2017 with three Garmin 7212 chartplotters, AIS, and HD radar. A new Fusion stereo interfaces with the Garmin electronics. A Spectra watermaker eliminates the need to visit marinas. Interior soft goods were updated in 2016 with input from Sylvia Bolton Design.
ECLIPSE is ready to head north for yet another summer season in one of the world’s most spectacular cruising grounds. With minor outfitting ECLIPSE could easily join the Oyster fleet on their next round the world rally.
John Deere 130 hp Series 300 heavy duty engine with Aquadrive shaft coupling
2017 Garmin electronics package with (3) 12” Garmin 7212 multifunction displays
Retractable 24 volt bow thruster
Reckman hydraulic furlers on genoa and staysail
Hood hydraulic Stowaway mainsail
Webasto hydronic heating system
New AGM house batteries installed August 2018
ECLIPSE has dark blue Awl-grip painted hull with double white boot stripes and gold Oyster cove stripe in line with her hull side ports. The bottom is coated with black antifouling paint. A very functional scoop stern/swim step is molded into the transom. The swim step is capped with teak slats and a fold down stainless-steel ladder with teak treads can be deployed from the water for safety. Two stainless and teak steps secured to the transom access the deck. A hot/cold freshwater shower at the swim step allows a welcome rinse off after swimming or quick rinse of sand from one’s feet after a trip to the beach.
Staying on deck is vital to safety aboard any offshore cruising yachts and the Oyster 53 is well set up for crew safety. A 3” tall raised bulwark surrounds the deck and is topped with a 3.5” wide teak caprail. The bulwark rises to 6” high at the bow with a graceful spring of the sheer line. Custom cast stainless-steel open mooring chocks are set into the caprail at the bow, stern, and midships in concert with large mooring cleats. Double lifelines surround the deck running through 29” tall stanchions between the bow pulpit and stern pushpits. Boarding gates are located midships on each side and at the transom. “Eclipse” brass treadplates are secured to the caprail at the midship’s boarding gates. Slatted teak seats are located on each quarter in the elegantly curved stainless-steel pushpits.
Ground tackle and handling gear is well-suited for a world class cruising yacht. Double bronze bow rollers with massive stainless-steel cheeks are welded to the stemhead and recessed into the caprail. A Raymarine ST60 depth display is mounted on the bow pulpit to calculate and deploy proper scope. The anchor locker is top opening and drains overboard.
The deck and coachroof are overlayed with 12mm thick teak and rubber. This decking is recessed level into the coachroof forward of the raised salon and aft of the cockpit. Large, aluminum-framed tinted safety glass windows in the forward face and sides of the raised salon delineate this yacht as an Oyster. The two outboard, forward facing window hinge open when airflow is desired in the salon. A visored and well-cambered roof tops this raised salon. Stainless steel handrails are secured outboard along both sides of this deckhouse.
Sailing Yachts designed for long range cruising need ample “deck-accessible” storage. ECLIPSE’s custom layout has extra storage vs. the standard Oyster 53’s. A large bow locker just aft of anchor locker and forward of the forward head is not found on sisterships with a forward “V” berth. This locker is entered through a Lewmar deck hatch. A storage shelf is located along the starboard side and stainless steel hooks for hanging lines are mounted aft and to port. A marine plywood box covers the retractable bow thruster motor and lifting mechanism. The aft bulkhead is watertight and serves well as a collision bulkhead. A wide and shallow overboard draining locker in the aft coachroof measures 58” wide by 20” long and is 10” deep. The full-sized hatch is hinged, guttered, and help open by a gas strut. This is an ideal location for storing the showepower cord, outboard gas tanks, fishing gear, and snorkel gear. A massive full beam, full height stern locker is accessed through a flush, gasketed and guttered 41” wide by 21” long hinged deck hatch. The deck hatch is held open by dual gas struts. The diesel cabin heater is located to port outboard of a protective plywood divider. The steering system is forward, down low beneath a protective plywood partition. A dedicated cooking gas locker is located in the starboard quarter.
Another hallmark feature of the Oyster line of world cruising yachts is the comfortable and well-protected center cockpit. Located behind the raised salon with narrow, curved coamings rising above the aft coachroof, this space serves well for sailing or lounging. The settees measure 7’-8” long and 18” wide with 13” high backs and are inlaid with teak and rubber. The cockpit narrows slightly outboard of the helm with furler pushbuttons mounted in the coaming transition. The cockpit sole is also covered with teak and rubber. Gutters and drains outboard of the seats and in the sole will prevent the accumulation of water when heeled. A beige canvas dodger mounted atop a raised foundation base protects the forward cockpit and companionway. A large beige bimini folds up from behind the cockpit to provide shelter from rain or sun when desired. Cockpit cushions consist of 2-3/4” thick closed cell foam cockpit cushions covered with striped beige/blue yacht acrylic, blue sides, blue piping, and mesh bottoms.
The steering pedestal is well aft in the cockpit and has many control and monitoring functions mounted or within easy reach of this command location. A varnished teak drop leaf cockpit table is mounted forward of the pedestal and a stainless steel grab rail with drink holders is atop the pedestal. Controls at the helm include: engine start/stop/run and alarm; foredeck, compass, spreader, strobe, and boom(cockpit illumination) lights; bow thruster up/down, port, starboard, and off controls; and engine throttle/shift lever.
ECLIPSE has a powerful yet manageable sail plan with “pushbutton” powered sail handling systems operable from the cockpit. The mainsail furls into and out of the Hood Stowaway mast and is hydraulically powered to precisely control the operating forces. The mainsail is easily reefed on any point of sail and eliminates the need for a sail cover. The headsail and staysail are Reckman hydraulic furlers. Three self-tailing electric winches in the cockpit handle sheets and mainsail outhaul. From stowed to full sail takes about two mintues. One will sail more often and with just the right amount of sail area for the conditions with such a setup. A mast mounted whisker pole and spinnaker will make downwind sailing faster and more fun when desired.
Grasping shrouds in hand and hefting various blocks and tackle will convince knowledgeable offshore sailors that this Oyster 53 is “overigged” and suitable for extended ocean passages. These boats are renowned for completing circumnavigations safely and with little fuss.
An updated Garmin electronics package and Fusion stereo were installed in 2017 to keep ECLIPSE in line with current navigation and entertainment technology.
ECLIPSE was ordered with a strong and reliable, slow turning John Deere engine to comfortably motor between Seattle and Desolation Sound each summer. An Aquadrive shaft coupling, high-quality lead backed sound insulation, and exhaust gas/water seperator eliminate most engine noise while motoring. All systems are of top quality with excellent access for service. The engine is located beneath the cockpit with access through hinged doors in the bunk room, and removable panels below the companionway ladder and galley. Two overhead dome lights switch on for visual inspection of the engine.
Primary accommodation access is through the well-protected companionway hatch forward in the cockpit, beneath the dodger. A 10” high threshold is capped with a stainless steel protective plate. A smoked acrylic washboard drops into a storage cavity and pins closed or half height. A white fiberglass sliding hatch closes the companionway top. The companionway ladder has six curved, solid oak steps and stainless steel rails. Non-skid covers the treads and vertical oak grab rails are fitted on each side. The companionway ladder hinges and secures up for forward engine access.
One immediately senses the elegance, comfort, and quality of the bright and open interior of ECLIPSE. The interior is thoughtfully designed with well rounded corners everywhere, panel reliefs, counter and shelf fiddles, handholds, and contrasting white overheads. Varnished white oak is used for interior joinery and combines with the large salon windows to keep the interior bright on even the rainiest days. The cabin sole is oak with teak accent stripes. All cabin sole boards are easily removed for bilge access after removing retention screws. The overhead is padded white vinyl over marine plywood and fully removable. All vertical ports have Ocean Aire pleated blinds. All overhead hatches are fitted with concealed Ocean Aire blinds and screens. Wall-switched recessed spot lights are well placed for evening illumination. Brass Frigast reading lights are sensibly mounted in each space. All cabinet and cabin doors positively latch closed. Sprung door keeps hold doors open when rolling. Bound beige rubber backed carpets are custom fit for the salon and staterooms.
ECLIPSE features a custom layout with two large staterooms, a bunk room, two ensuite and one “day head.” Forward of the main bulkhead is the VIP guest stateroom with head/shower ensuite and all the way forward. A “day head” is to port and forward of the salon. The full beam/raised salon is centrally and a navigation starboard is aft to port adjacent the companionway. A bunk room to aft of the nav station. A long galley is to starboard in the passageway to the aft owner’s cabin. An ensuite head is to starboard in this aft stateroom.
Entry to the VIP/guest stateroom is through a privacy door to port in the main bulkhead. This full beam stateroom rivals the owner’s stateroom for storage and bunk size. Headroom measures 6’ 3”. A double berth to starboard with aft headboard measures 6’ 3” long by 4’ 8” wide aft by 3’ 6” wide forward. An 8” thick custom Seattle Mattress Company quilted top mattress sit on a wood spring board for ventilation and comfort. A 9” wide open bulk shelf outboard of the berth sits below oak hull side staving. Three huge sliding drawers are located below the berth; large enough for storing unfolded charts. Centerline and inboard leecloths allow sleeping underway. 19” long hanging lockers are located in each forward corner of this stateroom. Additional storage is to port where an open shelf sits atop two drawers and a double hinged door cabinet. Two opening hull side ports, three overhead hatches, two reading lights, a dressing mirror, and cabin fan finish this stateroom.
The forward head/shower is entered through a locking privacy door in the VIP stateroom forward bulkhead. All head compartments are fabricated and finished with easy to clean/water resistant primary surfaces with accents of wood trim for elegance. The lower halves of the space are molded in fiberglass and finished with white gel-coat. A shower pan is molded into the bottom. The upper halves are finished with off-white formica atop marine plywood. Fixtures are chrome finish. A Damixa thermostat mixer valve, adjustable height nozzle holder, nozzle and hose, are used for showering. To port is a blue/white flecked Corian counter with underhung white sink and Damixa single lever faucet set into a nicely curved vanity cabinet with hinged door storage beneath. A hinged/mirror door cabinet with two shelves is above the sink. A toothbrush holder, soap dish, two overhead spot lights, overhead hatch, and cowl vent complete this head compartment.
A “day head” is to port/forward of the salon and entered through a locking privacy door. Construction and finish details are identical to the forward head compartment. A Jabsco manual flush head is forward with sink and vanity to port along the hull side.
Taking advantage of the raised deckhouse and large windows, the raised salon is raised up about 10” from the other living areas. This open central space is well suited for dining, lounging, and entertaining. Upholstery is hue of navy blue. An “L” shaped dinette is to starboard. An expandable, oval table sits atop a large pedestal with spirits locker in the base. Outboard of the dinette, and open book shelf with stainless steel racks sits below hull side port and is flanked by two hinged door cabinets. The forward cabinet holds cups. The aft cabinet has dedicated racks for Oyster signature china plates, bowls, and cups. A 4’ long settee is to port, below an open shelf and hull side opening port. A removable panel in the large cabinet forward of the settee and a lee cloth allow sleeping underway or in port in this settee. Two hinged door storage cabinets sit below this shelf. A narrow/low peninsular shelf separates the navigation station from the salon. Numerous overhead spot lights, two reading lights, a cabin fan, 110V outlets, and two large opening forward facing windows complete this space.
The forward-facing navigation station is aft of the salon to port, adjacent to the companionway for good communication with the cockpit. The navigator sits in a 32” wide by 17” upholstered bench seat at the 36” wide by 32” long chart table. A hinged lid accesses a 3” chart drawer and there are also three drawers located below the chart table forward. A flex-arm red light is used for viewing charts at night. Navigation, communications, and stereo are mounted in a black-faced panel outboard beneath the deck edge. A 10” by 10” bookshelf for cruising guides is further aft. The AC/DC electical switch/breaker panels are located above the navigator’s seat behind hinged, smoked acrylic doors.
A bunk room is aft of the nav station and closed off by a privacy door. A single bunk measuring 6’ 2” long by 32” wide is fitted with an 8” thick custom Seattle Mattress Company mattress. A narrow shelf runs along the hull side. Top loading bins, and a drawer are located beneath the bunk. ECLIPSE was originally fitted with upper/lower bunks and could be returned to this arrangement with little effort. A leecloth, reading light, cabin fan, overhead lights, hull side opening port, cabinside opening port, and opening port into the cockpit provide ample light and ventilation. Headroom measures 6’ 2” in this cabin.
The galley is located to startboard in the passageway to the aft cabin. Two low steps lead down from the raised salon. Countertops are blue with white fleck Corian. High fiddles keep cooking items in place. A top opening 4.5 cubic foot freezer is located below the countertop forward/outboard just forward of the Force Ten four burner stove/oven. Pot and pan storage is found in a hinged door cabinet beneath the oven. Aft of the stove below the counter are four drawers, hinged door cabinet with two shelves and a swing out trash bin. Above the countertop forward is a double hinged door covering a microwave oven and storage cabinet. An opening hull side port is outboard of the stove. A cabinet with sliding doors if above the counter aft of the stove. A front opening 8.3 cubic foot fridge with upper and lower doors and wire shelves is all the way aft/outboard. A single lever pull out spray nozzle faucet serves double stainless steel sinks measuring 12.5” x 12.5” x 7” deep and 9” x 12.5” x 7” deep. A dedicated faucet provides filtered drinking water. Additional cabinets and shelves cluster around the sink. Two overhead lights, two over-counter lights, a fan, a cabinside opening port, and large opening port into the cockpit complete the galley.
Force Ten four burner propane gimbaled stove/oven with stainless steel protective bar
One of the advantages of a center cockpit sailboat is the ability to separate guests from owners. The master stateroom is entered through a privacy door aft of the galley. I true island berth with aft upholstered headboard measures 6’ 4” long by 5’ 2” aft by 4’ forward. An 8” thick custom Seattle Mattress Company quilted mattress sits on wood spring/ventilation boards. Side and centerline lee cloths are fitted for sleeping underway. Four drawers and top opening bins provide storage below the bed. Forward to starboard is a 28” wide hanging locker with mirror-fronted door. Additional storage to starboard along the hull side includes a double door cabinet with shelves, a locker with sliding doors, and a large open shelf below the opening hull side port. Along the port side, a curved dressing seat is located below an opening hull side port. Forward of the seat is a bank of drawers below an open shelf and hinged door locker. Light and ventilation are superb in this cabin with two opening hull side ports, three cabinside ports, an overhead hatch, two reading lights, six overhead spotlights, and a cabin fan. Headroom measures 6’ 3” in this stateroom.
Forward to port is the ensuite master head/shower. Construction and finish details are similar to the other heads. A 26” x 24” shower stall is forward and a shower curtain will keep the head space dry. A Vacuflush head is aft and a Corian toped vanity with oval sink is outboard. An medicine cabinet with mirrored door is angled up for shaving. Additional storage is below the counter behind a curved door.
Seller’s artwork on starboard main bulkhead.
Name “Eclipse” is reserved. BUYER must change vessel name upon purchase.
With the Oyster 53 Deck Saloon, Rob Humphreys has designed the hull, deck, and rig, while Holman & Pye have designed the interior layout and provided the technical and structural specification. The Oyster in-house team have coordinated the styling and overall details of the yacht. As with the Oyster 56 they also integrated the ergonomically-designed cockpit, whose technical specification originated from the Department of Ergonomics at Loughborough University. The design brief for the Oyster 53 was to create a yacht in a center cockpit deck saloon configuration that offers many of the features of the larger Oyster 56, but still maintains a stylish, well-proportioned outboard profile. The design team approach, linked with the use of powerful integrated CAD design computers, has created a fifty-three foot yacht with a spacious cockpit, large saloon, and up to four separate sleeping cabins. Performance and handling under sail and power are well above average, gaining from the undoubted skill of Rob Humphreys whose Whitbread and World Championship winning race designs - not to mention the Chay Blyth fleet - have established his international reputation for safe, fast yachts. The Oyster 53 features a shapely, low center of gravity, and a bulb-type, lead ballast keel which has benefited from Rob Humphreys' extensive wind tunnel testing on foil designs during some of his better known race yacht projects. This keel gives optimum stability with only moderate draft. An optional shoal draft variant with an extended keel stub is also available. Although offered with a sloop rig as standard, we expect many owners to opt for the cutter sail plan for ease of sail handling when blue water sailing. Although the 53 is unusual in offering four sleeping cabins, there is also the obvious opportunity to forgo one of these and create a dedicated machinery room, in itself an unusual feature on a yacht of this size. The 53's 15-foot 3-inch beam has been fully utilized to create a really spacious and well-proportioned saloon which, thanks to the deck saloon, is light and airy. As usual the forward deck saloon windows will open to provide unbeatable fair weather ventilation. The designer's view by Rob Humphreys: Given that cruising is often perceived as the antithesis of racing, one might be forgiven for considering the expression "performance cruiser" to be a contradiction in terms. It is not. It is the concept embodied in the highly successful Oyster 56, launched to record-breaking sales, and in her smaller sister, the Oyster 53. It is about performance in its widest sense, not just speed through the water - which is there in demonstrable measure. It is about the contribution of every design element and characteristic, each one performing and contributing to the efficiency of the collective whole. Thus boathandling is also considered an essential part of the equation. Taking passage-making speed first, it is achieved not by costly and often disconcerting application of aerospace technology to the marine environment; it is achieved in full deference to the commonly stated Oyster owner's preference for a robust, even traditional, approach to structural design, with the designers working around this prerequisite. Not negotiable either, there is no change in the standard of comfort and lavish fit-out that befits the Oyster marque. It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that we are, by necessity, talking about a moderately high displacement:length regime. One cannot magic away displacement when that parameter is the definitive manifestation of onboard well-being, but one can take a different view as to how to arrange its distribution. This, essentially, is the step forward represented by the 56 and the 53. With very few exceptions, recent race-bred naval architectural know-how has been reserved for the lower end of the displacement - length spectrum. One of these exceptions has been my long standing and arguably obstinate desire to give my offshore racing yachts a dual-purpose role. Having worked consistently and successfully on the heavier side of the team, as evidenced by a great number of major championship winners, it enabled me to relate immediately to the philosophy promulgated successfully by Oyster over the past 25 years. The resulting product is a hull-form whose topside configuration reflects what goes on under the water, allowing the necessarily full-immersed volume to run seamlessly into a similarly full topside afterbody, encouraging the water to exit the hull with minimal disturbance and raising the speed potential of the boat beyond what has traditionally been termed the hull-speed hump. The fuller-form aft coincidentally produces increased form stability and, in flattening the wavetrain, improves directional stability by allowing the rudder to work more efficiently and by negating the effect of a suspending quarter wave. Images of a heavy displacement hull pushing its limit, almost hanging off its own quarter wave with a white-knuckled helmsman wondering where he's going to go next, can be put to one side. Of course, the naval architectural sculpting is achieved at no cost to aesthetic considerations, particularly bearing in mind that the eye of the beholder is itself an evolving eye, able and willing to keep step with visual developments. So, while this boat is recognizably an Oyster in all qualitative respects, the Oyster 53 moves the game forward in terms of contemporary styling.