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International Yachtsman - July / August 2007

Written by Georgia R. Byrd

International Yachtsman

When the owner of the company builds his own boat, everyone ends up happy.

The second of Westport Shipyard's 164-foot tri-deck series, by all accounts, is faring true to her top media billing according to her owners. Just back from a three month long cruise in and around Mexico, Orin Edson, who just happens to own Westport, speaks of his composite masterpiece as if it were his first car, or more appropriately, his first child. He's so excited about his new yacht, and if he had a pocket-sized brag book illustrating his recent time on board, he would probably share it for hours with anyone who would take the time to look and listen.

"Oh, my," he exclaims when asked about the yacht's seaworthiness. "Elated is the term! This yacht really has performed better than we've ever expected. We ran into all kind of conditions [on our cruise through Mexico] and she performed beautifully."

Picking up the vessel from Westport's Port Angeles facility in Washington in December 2006, Edson and his cruising companions followed their adventurous instincts north and tested the yacht's abilities. "We sailed on New Year's Eve through the Straights of Georgian in gale force winds. We sailed along at 19 knots through really rough waters and it was very smooth."

Edson's association with Westport came after an illustrious career in boatbuilding that began humbly, in his garage. After becoming a boat dealer in 1955, he founded Bayliner Marine Corporation in 1961. Streamlining the building process, he oversaw the production of more than 400,000 fiberglass boats until he sold the company to Brunswick Corporation in 1986. His passion for flying brought a successful marriage of land and sea. Edson and his wife, Charlene, enjoy at least six months a year aboard their yacht, utilizing aircraft to transport them to and fro.

Boasting a name that appropriately characterizes the yacht's stunning exterior and lavish interior features, the Edson's yacht M/Y Evviva, which translates to "something beautiful" in Italian, is molding a series that is unveiling a new breed of yachts in the under 500-ton category. With the first and third 164-foot yachts sold and the third scheduled for delivery in August, plans for a fourth and fifth are already underway.

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