Escapade | Oyster 55' 1996

Annapolis, MD

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Bernie Jakits & Kate Christensen

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Basic Info

Yacht Name: Escapade
Builder: Oyster
Model: 55
Year: 1996
Location: Annapolis, MD
Hull Material: Fiberglass

For 500 years England ruled the seas largely because England mastered the oceans and ship building.  For the past 35 years, Oyster Marine Ltd had continued the tradition leading the way in ocean sailing boats from 37 to over 80 feet LOA. At the start it was English sailors that proved these vessels to be true ocean passagemakers that romp over the high seas. Oyster earned a reputation in transoceanic and ‘round the world races. Imagine in 1995-6 Trade Winds Round the World Rally that nine of the thirty entries were Oysters. That started it all! In the ‘90s Oyster was definitely the choice for world voyaging. In the 90s these boats were overbuilt to the standards of the ocean and they have survived the test of time.

Today, the center cockpit Oysters are considered one of the most outstanding cruising boats you could choose to own, to live aboard and sail far. Indeed, we have sold quite a number Oyster and have met amazing seamen and women as a result: the Oyster is a real boat for real sailors who want to comforts at sea and at anchor and at the dock, not to mention the brand reputation and resale value. All for good reason as she is a solid fiberglass hand-laid hull with Kevlar added in the bow area. The hull is robustly constructed with structural stringers longitudinally and latitudinal for a rock-solid boat. The bulb lead keel is bolted to amazing standards and the rudder is skeg hung and fully protected. The deck is a fiberglass sandwich with balsa core (notably still the best for all its reasons). The fiberglass decks are overlaid with teak and glued down with no screws. The Oyster 55 (no longer built), was once the pinnacle of cruising yacht luxury, style, and seamanlike qualities in abundance.

Our current offering, the 1996 Oyster 55 is aptly named Escapade. She is one of the last Oyster 55s to come out of the factory. She is essentially the same boat that Oyster still builds today featuring the same sea-worthy fin keel underbody on the solid glass hull. She was measured for ORC rating and is ready for your Bermuda Race entrance. She’s pretty with her attractive Oyster deck salon and eyebrown styling. The new tinted tempered glass main salon windows look sharp along with the new hatches and new portlight lenses. The stainless steel pulpits and stanchions gleam and the workmanship are flawless. The boats look like a perfect cruiser on the outside right down to the swim step and transom shower. The cockpit with a new enclosure and custom seating is so inviting. She’s so modern and the raised salon with opening windows is still featured on the Oysters built today with the still popular shadow gap interior joinery style. The light-colored American white Oak is quintessential Oyster and the traditional cabin sole of teak and holly was replaced new in 2013. The new epoxy barrier bottom was professionally done in 2012.

This Oyster has been incredibly maintained by experienced owners who spared no cost. In fact, you will be very impressed with the current owner’s amazing maintenance and restoration.

The Oyster 55 is an incredible three-stateroom vessel with ample space for three couples or a big family for a grand adventure. Of course, there is a brilliant owner’s stateroom aft with an offset large double berth and loads of storage and shelves with an ensuite head and shower. It’s nice to have private space on a 55-foot boat. Up forward the guest quarters or the kids’ cabins with a V-berth cabin and a twin cabin with uppers and lowers to starboard just aft. The head to port includes a shower and vanity and a marine toilet. This is all that you could need. So take the family and just go! Escapade has all the space storage you need for around the world voyage.

Is she ready to go? You may think that a 1996 boat is not on your shortlist. Think again. When you understand the build quality and reputation and when you see that what her owners have done recently to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars, you start to see that someone just made this boat ready for your world voyage. That’s a nice thing if you can get it.

So keep reading and give us a call now!

Highlights Include:

Major restoration in 2012: When the owners of Escapade set out to maintain her in excellent condition, they did not skimp: 1) New standing rigging; 2) Awlgripped mast, boom, boom vang, and spinnaker pole all removed, prepped and finished; 3) Epoxy bottom job with the hull prepped, and coated with five coats of epoxy and finished with coatings and antifouling; 4) Bow thruster serviced with new self-lube gearbox and seals; 5) New Harken electric genoa furler AND all new Hood Vectron sails, main, genoa, and staysail; plus 6) LED masthead light, blue mast lights, and deck lights plus a beautiful radar mount and VHF antenna. That was just the start!

 This Oyster 55 is maintained in incredible condition both aesthetically and also mechanically and systems. Everything is attended to. In 2014 it was the year of the restoration of the interior with the new cabin sole, new headliner, new Ultrasuede upholstery in the saloon, forward cabin, and aft cabin, new memory foam mattresses in all cabins, new window treatments, new entertainment systems, and with a Pioneer audio system with Bluetooth and USB input and JVC amplifier and stereo speakers in saloon and cockpit as well as LED lighting throughout interior of the boat; oh and new windows, hatches, and portlights –tinted, new tempered glass in main saloon windows and tinted Acrylic hatch and new portlight lenses and of course OceanAir hatch screens.

In 2016 Escapade received upgrades for her next adventure including a New Northern Lights 9kw Genset, water maker, solar panels, and sophisticated electrical monitoring system as well as all-new navigation and communication systems. That’s right, all new upgrades in 2016! The Raymarine radar/plotter/autopilot is all top Raymarine coupled with ICOM communications equipment, VHF, SSB, AIS, and even an Irridium Sat phone.

All the batteries are new in 2018 which is a substantial investment as there are eight AGM batteries in the house bank and two engine start and one for the generator.  All of the safety equipment is new in 2016 as well including the new eight-person Winslow life raft and everything else you could fathom.

Do not miss this opportunity!

If you are looking for a real liveaboard cruising boat with modern style and pedigreed substance you will really want this boat. Escapade is a fortunate vessel that has received excellent care and many significant updates. If she is in the realm of your budget you owe it to yourself to give her a chance.


Length: 55'
Beam: 15' 8
Draft: 7' 6
Water Tank Capacity: 290 Gallons
Fuel Tank Capacity: 158 Gallons
Holding Tank Capacity: 30 Gallons
Engine Manufacturer: Perkins
Engine Model: 4 M90
Power: 82 HP
Number of Engines: 1
Fuel Type: Diesel


The Oyster 55 was designed and built for ocean going comfort. In the 90s she was a literally the pinnacle of yacht of style and substance. You already know she has been restored to all her brilliance and maintained in peak condition. You will instantly see her quality and loveliness. She is a three stateroom center cockpit vessel with ample space and storage for everything. She sleeps six in the three staterooms and she has two complete heads. The oak interior joinery is factory completed and of the highest quality and the restoration complete with a new teak and holly cabin sole, new headliner, and new upholstery and even new stove and faucets. The raised salon  windows have been replaced and they are now tinted for shade and coolness. You will find this vessel lovely from stem to stern.

As you enter the companionway, the galley is tucked to starboard with the nav to port and the spacious main salon spreads out before you. The passage to the owner’s aft cabin is accessed through the walk through on the port side. You’ll be pleased by the private well-appointed stateroom with a large double berth and memory foam mattress and ensuite head with electric Vacuflush toilet and separate stall shower. There is ample storage in shelves, drawers and lockers.

Just at the companionway, the galley is to starboard with a new Force 10 three-burner stove and oven with broiler and a nice upright fridge and freezer chest as well as a microwave and many nice features. Just adjacent to port is the navigation station with and extra large chart table and drawers and deep storage.

The salon is classic with a fixed dining table to starboard with a bookshelf outboard. The settee to port makes an ideal sea berth. With the beautiful upholstery, the new headliner and the new cabin sole as well as window curtains also new, she is lovely. Of course the engine room access is excellent and the space is functional.

Up forward, there is a lovely guest stateroom with a spacious true V-berth with an insert to make a full double. There is a private entrance to guest head from the forward cabin which makes it really nice for guests. There is ample stowage in lockers, shelves, and drawers. Just aft of the forward stateroom is the third cabin with upper and lower berths that make great crew cabins on a passage or spots for kids or just easy storage like we did on our Hallberg Rassy 53. You can get pretty lazy with all that easy storage!

With three sleeping cabins, the boat is amazing and sleeps six adults in private comfort. The forward head is complete with a vanity sink, toilet and shower mainly for your guests or family. The owner’s stateroom has a private ensuite head for you.

The boat is delightful with a light and with the headroom and light and new windows and hatches. You have everything you need with a totally workable galley, giant refrigerator, and freezer and a spacious salon with nice big dining table she is great for entertaining or showing the grandkids the ropes.  The light Oak interior is warm feeling with plenty of light from the windows and ports. The white vinyl headliner was replaced and creates a spacious light feeling with the American Oak joinery.

Creature Comforts:

  • Beautiful light American Oak joinery and satin varnish
  • Three zone air-conditioning system with reverse cycle heat
  • Sumsung Flat screen TV 32” television screen with GE amplified antenna
  • Nice LED low amp cabin lighting and reading lamps
  • New upholstery
  • Memory foam mattresses on all the berths
  • New Force 10 stove with oven and broiler
  • Pioneer Audio System with Bluetooth and USB input and JVC
  • New speaker system in salon and cockpit
  • Magma Catalina II propane grill mounted on the aft deck rail
  • USB chargers in all cabins (five dual ports)
  • Caframo Sirocco 24v fans in each cabin
  • New shower heads and fixtures as well as double rod towel bars
  • Window tinting, which is a wonderful thing
  • Window curtains are new
  • LED interior lighting throughout
  • OceanAir hatch screens
  • Custom dodger and bimini with Lexan window forward and roll up panels all around for shade or shelter
  • Custom C-Cushion seating in the cockpit
  • Alpine speakers – four sets! Main salon, owner’s stateroom, guest stateroom, and in the cockpit with volume control in the cockpit.
  • Large center cockpit with dodger, bimini and connector and full enclosure with screens also
  • Teak cockpit table
  • Electric furling for /Stoaway mainsail and furlers on both headsails
  • Stall shower in aft cabin and electric Vacuflush toilet
  • Opening transom gate with swim ladder and hot and cold transom shower



  • U shaped galley with nice space, light, and air
  • Custom white cabinetry
  • Almondine Avonite counter top
  • New faucet
  • Custom teak spice rack
  • Towel holder
  • Ample storage, counter space and drawers
  • Good access to the cockpit
  • Refrigeration is a new Frigoboat keel cooled refrigeration system 12v
  • Separate freezer
  • Force 10, three-burner propane stove with oven and broiler 2015
  • Microwave
  • Double deep stainless steel sinks
  • Hot and cold pressure water
  • Trash bin
  • Salt water manual pump



  • Stern locker
  • Properly vented with solenoid
  • Two 10 lb tanks



  • 215 gallons of water in two fiberglass tanks
  • Hot water heater 12 gallons
  • Philippi system monitor 2016
  • Two heads
  • Ensuite owners head accessed from the aft cabin
  • Sink with vanity and separate stall shower
  • Vacuflush electric toilet
  • Holding tanks, Two 30 gallons with deck pump-out
  • Diverter valve for direct overboard
  • Forward guest head is large with a vanity sink shower faucet and manual toilet
  • Pressure water pump
  • Hot water heater 12 gallon electric and engine driven


Navigation & Communication

Escapade has a beautiful functional nav station/ships office with complete visibility and new Raymarine navigation and Icom communication systems all new in 2016. Pretty much everything!

At the nav station:

  • Raymarine E120w chart plotter at nav desk  2016
  • ICOM M604A VHF with DSC at nav desk with the HM162B Command Mic at helm
  • ICOM M802 SSB at nav desk with ICOM AT-140 automatic tuner
  • ICOM MA-500TR AIS at nav desk and helm
  • Iridium 9575 Extreme satellite phone at nav desk
  • Beam LiteDock Extreme docking station for Iridium 9575 phone

At the helm station:

  • Raymarine E90w chart plotter at helm  2013
  • AIS integrated at the helm
  • Raymarine P70 Autopilot  with control at helm and at companionway 201
  • Raymarine i70 multifunction displays in nav pod
  • Wind speed and direction, boat speed, depth/log/DTW multifunction display
  • Icom MA-500TR AIS at the helm
  • Sleipbow bow thruster joy stick at helm
  • Two NavPod instrument panels at the helm
  • New 1.25” stainless steel binnacle stanchion
  • Ritchie 6” compass
  • Masthead windex



  • Perkins Range 4 M90 4 cylinder diesel engine, 82 hp
  • New HBW Transmission with cooler kit and damper plate
  • Max Prop 22” three blade feathering prop 2008
  • Ambassador line cutter on prop
  • Fuel – 220 US gallons in fiberglass tank
  • Dual Racor fuel filter
  • Alternator is 40amp 24v
  • Secondary 100 amp alternator dedicated to charging the house bank
  • Philippi System Monitor 2016
  • Good engine room access
  • Steering system completely rebuilt (cable on quadrant)
  • Emergency tiller
  • Engine room blower
  • Annual service


Other Mechanicals

  • Northern Lights 10kw Generator 240v/50hz new in 2016
  • Marine Air dual 50/60 hz AC systems 16,000 BTU, 12,000 BTU and 9,000 BTUS
  • Vacuflush electric toilet
  • Grunert 240 v upright fridge and chest freezer 50/60 hzRefrigeration
  • Sleipner 10 hp tunnel bow thruster with controls as the helm
  • Side Power joystich control at the helm
  • Bow thruster serviced and updated 2017
  • Hurricane Diesel Heater in salon and aft cabin with thermostats and fans



Electrical system is 240V DC power with 110v stepdown transformer. It all works in the US and in Europe. There is a 10kw genset new in 2016 and solar panels all with a Paneltronices electrical panel wired in 2013.

DC 12v Electrical System

  • Lifeline AGM batteries in proper battery box
  • Separate two start batteries
  • Generator start battery 2016
  • Main engine alternator
  • Two Solara solar panels mounted on davits 2016
  • DC electrical breaker panel was replaced in about 2013
  • All new LED recessed overhead cabin lighting 2016
  • Imtra LED reading lights (six) Cabin lights - 12 volt LED new in 2014
  • Two LED overhead engine room lights 2016
  • Osram flexible chart table light
  • Red courtesy lights at companionway
  • Main Battery switch
  • 12 Volt Systems:
  • Nav LED lights new LED Aquasignal deck love port and starboard nav lights
  • Tricolor masthead LED light
  • Steaming light LED
  • Anchor light LED
  • Blue mast lights 2012 LED
  • Spreader lights white and blue LED 2012
  • 12 Volt outlets  with one in each cabin
  • Electric bilge pump with automatic float switch
  • Second electric bilge pump manually operated
  • Emergency manual pump in cockpit locker
  • Stern light
  • Cockpit light
  • Deck wash pump
  • Sump pumps for showers

AC Ships Supply Power System:

  • The 24v DC system has a step-down transformer to deliver 110v for electrical outlets.
  • The Paneltronics electrical breaker panel is new in 2013
  • Mastervolt MASS 24v/75A battery charger
  • Mastervolt Ultra 24/3500 watt inverter charger 2016
  • Mastervolt Inverter 24V/3500W 220 volt 60 HZ to power outlets and microwave
  • Blue Seas Systems heavy duty battery switches for house battery bank, engine starter batteries, generator starter battery, in-mast furler and bow thruster (2016)
  • Philippi System Monitor 2016
  • 50 ft. 50amp shore power cord
  • SmartPlug socket 2013
  • Galvanic Isolator – Fail Safe 60amp 2016
  • Ringmain: Mains AC ringmain with four double 110v outlets
  • 110v outlet at the nav station and one in utility locker
  • Hot Water Heater 12 gallon
  • Air-conditioning – three systems


Rig & Sail Inventory

  • Ocean going cutter rig
  • Masts pulled, sanded and painted with Awlgrip 2012
  • Booms sanded and painted with Awlgrip 2012
  • New standing rigging -All new 1/19 ss wire rigging 2012
  • New Scanstrut radar bracket on the mast 2012
  • Lightning protection –“No Strike” dissipater on the masthead
  • LED tricolor masthead light and LED spreader lights
  • Chain plates pulled and inspected in 2016
  • Hood Stoaway in-furling mainsail system with new electric furler 2014
  • Line stopper on the cabin house to manage mainsail outhaul and furling line
  • Boom end sheeting to traveler aft of the helm station
  • Lewmar traveler 2016
  • Custom preventer system in boom with cockpit control
  • New Harken electric furler for headsail
  • Hood Seafurl for staysail furling
  • Harken backstay adjuster
  • Folding mast steps at the masthead
  • Mast safety pulpit
  • Rigid vang
  • Lewmar traveler cars 2016
  • Harken electric furler new in 2012
  • Hood Seafurl staysail furling gear
  • Spinnaker pole mast mounted with track and control lines
  • Harken pole and track 2016
  • Cruising chute rigging package
  • New running rigging 2016
  • Sta-set halyards for spinnaker with Tylaska shackles, pole topping lift, boom topping lift, boom preventer, traveler control lines (all Sta-set
  • Storm trysail mast track with Antal slides 2016



  • By Harken: (All winches professionally serviced 2017, by Harken dealer)
  • Two #66 electric two-speed self tailing primary winches
  • One #48ST electric two-speed self tailing mainsheet and outhaul winch
  • Two #48ST two-speed self tailing winches for staysail
  • Two #42ST two-speed self tailing winches for traveler
  • Harken mainsheet and primary winch control switches inside cockpit.


Hull Construction & Design

  • Solid fiberglass hull
  • Modern cruising fin keel
  • Skeg mounted protected rudder
  • Lead keel 8500 lbs ballast
  • Displacement 28,000 lbs
  • Sleipbow thruster installed 2005
  • Teak rub rail
  • Flag blue Awlgrip paint
  • White boot stripe
  • New epoxy bottom 2012



  • Fiberglass sandwich with Balsa core deck reinforced for deck fittings
  • Glued down teak overlay
  • Teak toerail finished in Cetol
  • 32" high SS stanchions thru bolted with backing plates
  • Bow and Stern pulpit
  • Double lifelines
  • port and starboard boarding gates amidships
  • Boarding ladder amidships
  • Passerelle – Timage aluminum 3.5 meter folding passerelle with secure connection point in the transom including ss spreader bar and guy wires
  • Aft deck with large lazarett
  • Hot and cold transom shower
  • Walk through transom with fold down swim ladder
  • Fiberglass dorade boxes with 4 inch SS cowls and guards
  • Eight new stainless steel opening ports
  • Gebo opening hullports
  • Lewmar Atlantic portlights with new lenses 2013
  • Portlights in cockpit from galley and from workroom
  • Lewmar alloy-framed deck hatches with new “glass” in 2013
  • New Lewmar forward hatch 2016
  • New Lewmar aft hatch 2017
  • New OceannAir “Skyscreens” on all deck hatches 2013
  • Six fixed windows rebedded and tinted
  • Four large deck hatches all rebedded
  • Dorades with SS cowls and teak boxes
  • Teak hand rails on the cabin top
  • Bow, stern and midship cleats
  • Motor mount on the stern rail
  • Magma grill on the stern rail



  • Center cockpit with great seating
  • Custom C-Cushion custom cockpit seating cushions
  • Great winch placement for single hand sailing
  • Dodger with Lexan windscreen forward 2016
  • Custom bimini with full cockpit enclosure
  • Full screens for enclosure including aft roll down panel
  • Binnacle/pedestal with Whitlock wheel steering and leather wheel cover
  • Dual lever controls
  • Engine instrument panel
  • Controls for bow thruster
  • Compass-Richie compass binnacle mounted
  • Teak cockpit grate
  • Four large cockpit drains
  • Teak cockpit table stows on the pedestal – customized for perfection
  • Sheet winches on the teak coaming
  • Staysail winches on the cabin house
  • Electric mainsail winch on the cabin top
  • Mainsheet winch aft of the cockpit
  • Flat coaming makes a nice seat
  • Smoked 14mm Lexan washboard for companionway 2013



  • Custom dodger with Lexan panels forward (2016)
  • Custom bimini with roof window panels with Velcro closing (2016)
  • Full cockpit enclosure with removable clear Eisenglass panels (2016)
  • Screened cockpit enclosure panels (2016)
  • Aft roll-up sun screen (2017)


Ground Tackle

  • Stem fitting with double bow anchor roller
  • Maxwell VWC 3500 24v electric anchor windlass with foot switch controls 2016
  • AutoAnchor 560 windlass controller and rode counter
  • Anchor washdown system
  • Primary bow anchor Spade M180 99 lb with 400’ HT chain
  • Secondary anchor Bruce Kedge 44lb with chain and with 300 ft of rode
  • Divided chain locker


Additional & Safety


  • Ocean Signal EPIRB (2016)

Radar Reflector

  • Firdell “Blipper” on mast

Bilge Pumps

  • Jabsco Maxi 3000 puppy electric pump
  • Henderson MkV manual bilge pump
  • Jabsco engine-driven bilge pump
  • Whale manual bilge pump in cockpit (2016)
  • High water alarm

Deck Safety

  • Lifesling (2016)
  • Jacklines (2016)
  • Rescue rope throw bag (2016)
  • Galerider sea drogue with 300’ line (2016)
  • Stainless steel grab rails to aft coachroof
  • Stainless steel dorade guards for handholds
  • Emergency tiller

Fire Extinguishers

  • (5)  Handheld fire extinguishers. Halotron in galley
  • Automatic Halon fire extinguisher in engine bay
  • Fire blanket in galley


  • Diagram of all through-hulls, fire extinguishers, and medical equipment posted in forward hallway (2016)
  • All seacocks serviced (2016) 

General Inventory

  • Dock lines and fenders
  • Clock and barometer
  • Magma Catalina II propane grill (2016)
  • (7) Caframo Sirocco fans in saloon, galley, nav station and cabins (2016)
  • Assorted spares and manuals
  • 3-brick safe in aft cabin
  • Extensive range of cruising spares (roughly $5,000.)
  • Large variety of tackle with blocks, sheets, boom preventers etc.
  • Viewing pane into engine compartment