Originally conceived as the replacement for the Oyster 39, the 406 was designed by Holman and Pye, with the first hull launched in 1986. Very much a smaller sister to the hugely successful Oyster 435, the 406 has many of the bigger yacht’s bluewater cruising features; single skin hull construction (eliminating the need for a core material), full length rudder skeg and keel stepped mast.
Two versions were produced; Coachroof and Deck Saloon. The Coachroof version has a lower profile deck superstructure, without any level changes to the cabin soles below decks. By contrast the Deck Saloon version has the characteristic Oyster Deck Saloon windows, two of which open for better light and ventilation. The saloon sole is raised in the Deck Saloon version to provide space for bigger fuel, and water tanks below.
Both versions are ideally laid out for cruising for two couples or a small family. Both have two double cabins with en suite head/shower, and both feature a saloon, which offers two further sea berths if required. A seamanlike corridor galley and proper navigation station ensure practicality offshore. All 406s are rigged as sloops or cutters, most have conventional slab reefing although some have in-mast furling. Of the thirty-five 406s launched between 1986 and 1991, twelve were Coachroof versions and twenty-three were Deck Saloons.
Penny Oyster Coachroof 406, cutter rigged with fully battened mainsail and furling to her yankee and staysail. Below decks she has an offset double cabin aft with en suite head/shower, and a versatile forward V-berth, which can be a twin or double berth with an infill. The forward head/shower has two door entry doors, one into the forward cabin making an en suite, and another into the saloon, making a day head. In addition to the saloon seating, which can sleep another two, Penny Oyster also has a pilot berth outboard to starboard.
Penny Oyster has benefitted from a number of recent upgrades - among the most eye catching are her teak decks, which were renewed in 2010, and the engine and windlass were replaced in 2011. With her pale blue hull and classic profile, Penny Oyster is a strong, and simple ocean cruising yacht, of a compact size.