Luxury Yacht Builder Oyster Yachts Ceases Operation: British luxury yacht boatbuilder Oyster Yachts has closed its doors leading to the loss of 160 jobs and is in the process of entering administration. All boatbuilding staff were let go on February 5, although Oyster’s events and brokerage businesses were expected to continue as a separate enterprise.
Oyster Yachts chief executive David Tydeman noted that the company had been unable to secure financial support to enable it to continue operations and was looking at all available opportunities.
The shutdown came as a surprise to many in the yachting industry as Oyster recently reported its largest ever order book worth more than £80 million. Dutch majority shareholder HTP Investments BV, however, has reportedly withdrawn its funding.
Oyster had more than 160 employees cross two boatyards in Southampton and Norwich, along with offices in Ipswich, Mallorca and Newport, RI.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, whose constituency includes Oyster’s Wroxham yard noted that he intended to contact HTP Investments BV to ask the company to reconsider their decision to withdraw funding at a time when the manufacturer has a full order book.
The shipyard had planned to launch its new flagship series, the Oyster 118 this year, with a second hull following in 2020. Additional projects included the 33-meter luxury yacht Project Alpha, a Reichel-Pugh design built from carbon fiber, which would have been a first for the yard.
Long-term collaborator Rob Humphreys of Humphreys Yacht Design said he was deeply saddened and perplexed by the news. The company had built an enduring relationship with Oyster’s team, crews and owners, having designed over 20 models for the yard.
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