Oyster Yachts has announced it will be recruiting 50 staff across all trade skills over the next 3-6 months. The UK boatbuilder says the decision to expand its workforce results from an increased order book for 2016.

The company has started 2016 with contracts totalling £70m, which the builder says is a better order book than the same time last year. There are 15 yachts currently in fit-out — 10 in Oyster’s Norfolk shipyard, five in its Southampton yard — and 11 waiting to start.

The moulding of the first Oyster 118 commenced just before Christmas and fit-out will start in the Southampton shipyard in a few months’ time.

This project is the largest Oyster ever built in the UK and together with a pipeline of three Oyster 825s, two Oyster 745s and two “Raised Deck” versions of the Oyster 885, means that Oyster is now expanding its team in Southampton by 25%, recruiting approximately 50 staff across all trade skills over the next 3-6 months.

In addition, Oyster says it has more than 85% of capacity also sold for 2016 in its Norfolk shipyard.

Three recent orders for the new Oyster 475, the build of the “First of Class” Oyster 675 at the same time as the last of Oyster 72/725 and several Oyster 545s, 575s and 625s in the pipeline for the Norfolk yard, gives a good indication of the wide spectrum of Oyster’s performance in the market during 2015.

“I am delighted that we are continuing to appeal to owners across the whole of our range from the 475 to the 118 and are keeping both shipyards busy,” comments David Tydeman, Oyster CEO.

“For our USA team, 2015 was our best year in more than a decade for new yachts and brokerage sales, with nine yachts sold from 47ft to 72ft and ranging from $0.5m to $2.5m,” he concludes.