Boats International, USA - August, 2002
Written by Staff
Over the past 30 years, this Pacific Northwest builder has evolved from building commercial fishing boats to become the largest luxury yacht builder in North America. Boat International USA visits thier facilities in Washington.
We'll keep on running," says Daryl Wakefield, when asked how he plans to stay ahead of the competition. And, as president of the largest boat builder in North America, he is certainly fit. Wakefield joined the Pacific Northwest builder in 2000, and he has a mission: secure Westport Shipyard as not only the largest builder on the continent, but also the best, and he is well on his way to succeeding. Today Westport is an industry leader in composite motor yacht technology, with more than 50 vessels built to date, each an eloquent statement of style, performance and quality design and construction.
Established in 1964, Westport began building commercial fishing boats for the then-thriving salmon industry in the Pacific Coast community of Westport, Washington. When the industry declined, technological expertise and resilience allowed the yard to follow the trend of many a successful boat builder, turning their attention to passenger ferries and, later, to luxury motor yachts. Using their expertise in the commercial fishing industry as a basis, Westport has evolved with one common denominator: each and every vessel that leaves the yard will be of the highest quality design and construction and the ultimate in seaworthiness.
Today, Westport builds composite motor yachts from 98 to 130 feet in their Westport and Hoquiam, Washington facilities. At the company's state-of-the-art yard in Port Angeles, the first of their largest builds, the 50 Meter (164ft) series, is about to be launched. With six to seven vessels in production at one time, these facilities are by far the most organized and efficient operations we've seen yet. Of course, they have to be, as their motto is to delivery builds of the highest quality, "on time, on budget, and as promised."