The 68 was the flagship of the Oyster fleet at the time of her launch. Designed by Holman and Pye, the 68 was also the first Oyster to use a HPB or High Performance Bulb keel, which allowed for better stability and performance, whilst maintaining a moderate draft.
Traditional Oyster build quality is evident throughout, the hull is of a single skin GRP construction with stiffness supplied by massive ribs and stringers, with a balsa core to the deck for insulation. The mast is keel stepped for maximum strength, and the rudder is protected by a full-length skeg.
The 68 was conceived as a semi-custom yacht from the outset, so there is a great deal of variation in the specifications and layouts. Two 68s were launched for sail training with numerous bunks and ketch rigs, while the majority of private owner-specified 68s have simple cutter rigs. Most 68s have between four and five cabins, with three or four head/showers.
Long, strong and elegant, the 68 has been well proven with circumnavigations and well documented cruising among the Patagonian icecaps. Twelve examples were launched between 1989 and 1994. The 68 hull was then extended, and a new deck design added to create the Oyster 70 – the 68’s successor.
In The Mood II is hull number 06, and has been in her current ownership for a decade. She has recently completed a circumnavigation of Australia. In The Mood II has a fully battened mainsail for enhanced performance and reliability, whilst her headsails benefit from hydraulic furling.
Below decks she has light oak joinery, which was unusual at the time, and sleeps ten in five cabins. In The Mood II is comprehensively specified, and has been very well maintained.