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Westport Media Coverage

DockWalk.Com - September 2010 - HARMONY

Written by Louis Beckett

One of the world's most successful builders of semi-production composite series yachts, Westport essentially "blueprints" each model from its naval architecture to its antenna array. This holds true even for the largest model in the shipyard's line – it's flagship Westport 165 Tri-Deck motor yacht. But that doesn't mean Westport isn't open to innovative ideas. The newly launched Westport 164 Harmony incorporates a large number of design and layout changes specified by the owner and the yacht designer Glade Johnson.

"We didn't change any structural bulkheads. Most of our changes were to the interior, plus a little exterior styling," says Haromony's Capt. Mitchell Heath, who served as a build captain for the project. The yacht took just 22 months to build, and Heath spent the last 12 of tehm at Westport's yard in Port Angeles, Washington.

The South African-born skipper, who has "been out drifting around in the water for the last twenty years," has spent the past seven of tehm working for Harmony's owner. His last yacht was also a Westport, the 112-foot Betty Jane. The owner had been planning to replace her with a European-built 160-foot new build, also designed by Johnson, but ended up selling htat hull. Ultimately, he went back to Westport to build the 164 and the yard gave him considerable latitude in personalizing the project.

Johnson and the owner altered the angle of Harmony's aft fashion plates slightly. Her profile also varies from the stock boat thanks to the addition of semi-permanent Stamoid awnings on all three aft decks. While previous owners have parked a helicopter on the 164's aft upper deck, on Harmony, this area is an alfresco entertainment area.

The hardtop was slightly raised to accommodate the first elevator installed ina 164 to server four decks, including the sun deck. Thanks to some very clever engineering by Westport, the top of the levator shaft is concealed in a built-in cabinet that opens automatically when the car arrives. A dumbwaiter is hidden in an adjoining cabinet.

Johnson's wholly custom interior styling for Harmony incorporates the extensive use of fine woods, including Madrona burl, maple, pear and both straight grain and figured anigr. "There are lots of stepped moldings, all recessed," Capt. Heath says. "We have our own stain which is on everything; Westport named it after the hull, Number 5006." There also is an impressive stonework package, installed by Michael Homchick. "Glade Johsonon and I approved ever piece of stone," the captain says.

The interior GA for the yacht reflect subtle tweaking in some areas and dramatic alterations in others. The full-beam owner's suite has a new, forward bath with recessed pocket doors that open it up to the stateroom, exposing the Jacuzzi tub and its stunning backdrop of glass tile with gold leaf. "LED diode lighting makes it the nightlight for the whole area," Heath says.

The galley was completely redesigned and enlarged, sacrificing a bit of the owner's office but gaining in functionality. In addition to a large island work station, it features an extra-large adjoining dry storeroom, which houses a walk-in refrigerator and freezer. The storeroom has two entries – one for the chef from the galley and another from a crew passageway for loading provisions.

When it came to the yacht's machinery spaces and technical systems, however, "I didn't' mess with much," Capt. Heath says. "The mechanical and electronic equipment is pretty much Westport's standard package for the One-Sixty-Four…It's common equipment you can service everywhere in the world, and a new captain can just step on board." It's also top-of-the-line gear. Harmony features an InteliSea control and monitoring system and a Kaleidescape entertainment system with full Crestron controls for everything – even the underwater lighting.