Designed by Holman and Pye to replace their legendary Oyster 435, the 45 did so with aplomb. With greatly enhanced interior volume, the 45 feels a lot more spacious, whilst retaining the Oyster rugged offshore trademarks of single-skin hull construction, keel-stepped mast, and full length rudder skeg.
Perhaps the best feature of the 45 is full width saloon, which has a lovely light and open feel due to the large Oyster deck saloon windows, two of which open to provide superb ventilation. The straight saloon seating provides two excellent sea-berths. When opened up, the wonderful saloon table connects the two settees, and enables a large number of guests to be entertained. The aft end of the saloon is open to the galley, so the cook is also fully involved socially.
Just aft of the navigation station is a large walk-in locker, which can also be accessed from the cockpit. A hugely popular feature among 45 owners, this space can be used for storage, a workshop and location for an aft holding tank.
A great performer under sail, the 45 nonetheless has a gentle motion offshore thanks to her balanced hull, fine entry, and the stiffness provided by her external lead bulb keel. The 45 is a proven circumnavigator, long distance blue-water cruiser and liveaboard, but due to her compact overall length she is also a great local family cruiser, as she is simplicity itself to handle.
‘Free Mind’ is still in her original ownership, and has enjoyed relatively light use by her caring owner. She is the standard three cabin layout, offering six berths in three cabin, with a further two seaberths possible in the saloon. Her hand crafted joinery is in the popular light oak, giving a bright and airy feel below decks. Her simple sloop rig with in-mast furling mainsail and furling genoa, all handled from the cockpit, make her easy to handle for the shorthanded crew.