International Yachtsman - July / August 2007
Written by Georgia R. Byrd
Westport’s first 164-foot hull was produced against the speculation of many, who guessed their next logical venture would be a 145-foot, following the successes of their 112-foot raised pilot house and 130-foot tri-deck series, which dominated the U.S. order books. But management had a different plan. Vice president Phil Purcell says the evolution of yachts is similar to what corporate jet builder’s experience. “We defined the outer boundaries and then decided we would go to the fastest envelope and keep it to 500 tons. It is kind of like companies such as Gulfstream (Aerospace) that built the 450 and 550 and then, they recently just introduced the G-150.” In essence, the numbers don’t follow in sequence, but the refinement of each boat leads to broader thinking.
While Purcell notes a similar evolution in jet and yacht production, the likeness ends there. “People don’t buy custom-built jets,” he says. “They buy a fully engineered product designed from the beginning to be built in series. Every part, every piece of tooling, every step in its fabrication has been designed, documented and tested to the last detail, all at a cost that a one-off products builder simply could not support.”
Purcell says Westport’s 164 - a $34 million yacht – can be produced in as little as 22 months and with a 7.5 foot draft, an expansive garage an MCA compliant helicopter landing pad and Donald Starkey design, Westport is betting on success. The Washington-based company will retain its all star design team: Taylor Olson, naval architect; designer Starkey and prominent naval architect William Garden. It is that team that Edson attributes his satisfaction to. “All areas of this yacht are my favorite,” he says. “It’s so comfortable and luxurious. Everything works well.”
With a six-stateroom layout and an on-deck full-beam master suite, 164 owners are enticed with a design feature that offers a bridge-deck VIP suite with a private terrace. Edson, who opted to select the VIP as his master stateroom, says the space has become one of his many favorites on Evviva.
“We usually have breakfast on the back deck [off our stateroom],” he says. “Behind the pilot house is our suite of rooms. We have a separate stateroom, a separate owner’s salon that is just ours. We’ve got just one whole, great big area and it’s just magnificent! When the boat is running, you don’t ever hear the engine. If most prospective owners experienced this, they would say, “I want this one as my master stateroom!”
Ellen Henry, who worked as part of Evviva’s interior design team, says the Edson’s decision to switch the master to the bridge level was, “a change that was well-received by the team. In sacrificing the full beam space below, they were awarded with abundant light, fresh ventilation and a much grander master bathroom suite.”