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Boat International - September 2009

Written by Rebecca Cahilly

Always a favored retreat, the skylounge aboard the 40m is truly special. The owner of Miss Michelle, the first of the series pictured here, chose to incorporate a full bar in addition to the convivial conversation areas and faux fireplace that makes the space so welcoming.

It is here, throughout the interior, that an owner's style can be showcased, but Westport has been known to accommodate owner preferences well above and beyond the color of the upholstery or an integrated wine cabinet here or there. However, the yard will not hesitate to say no if a requested change will compromise the boat's integrity or the promised delivery schedule.

And anyway, with the yacht delivered fully fueled, decked out with top-of-the-line appliances, with the linens in their drawers and the dinnerware in its custom designed racks, what changes could an owner possibly want?

One visit to the Westport shipyards – which are spread over three locations in Westport, Port Angeles, and Hoquiam, Washington, and easily accessed easily by private jet – and you'll instantly become part of the Westport family. There is a pride of ownership exhibited by the Westport yard employees that is unparalleled. Like his employees, president Daryl Wakefield knows these boats inside and out, and, unlike any other big yard president we've ever encountered, he is as hand-on as they come.

Westport matches its turnkey, on-time deliveries with a build captain who stays onboard the first two weeks to show the crew (and in many cases the owners) the ropes. He is then on call to fly to the boat in nearly a moment's notice should any unforeseen problems occur. Daryl himself is also known to jump on a plane to check out a potential problem. All of this comes at an exceptional price. "18.895 million total?" I ask. "$18.895 done," says Phil. No hassle, no delays, no number crunching? Where do I sign?

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