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WESTPORT MEDIA Westport In The Media

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Show Boats International - June / July 2006 - World Debut

Written by Mark Masciarotte

Vango shares much of this heritage, but in this case, structural calculations, weight studies and other critical engineering functions were under the preview of Taylor Olson, Westport's in-house naval architect, and his staff. Furthermore, the production planning needed for the 164-foot project required that Starkey create a set of standard interior details that would at once be attractive, luxurious and able to be produced with the high degree of repeatability that is designed into all joiner built by Westport's furniture plant, located at the Port Angeles airport.

Vango is proof positive that, where the 164-foot project is concerned, standardization does not equate to lesser quality. Starkey's design details are complex and manifold and, as is certainly most important from the customer's point of view, they are executed with precision and finished to perfection. Throughout the boat, various combinations of mahogany and pommele sapele are employed in the furnishings and bulkhead panels. Here and there, high-gloss lacquer is used to provide accents and lighten the overall look of some furniture pieces. Rich, upholstered panels are also used throughout the luxury accommodations to add texture, color and softness as well as help accentuate noise. Stone soles, countertops, and bulkhead facings were installed by Jeff Homchick, and each of the choices is memorable.

In addition to space planning and joinery details, Starkey is also responsible for dcor on each of the 164-foot boats. Owners work with him to specify various wood species and soft goods as well as movable furniture.

"For Vango," Starkey noted, "we decided on the mahogany and pommele mahogany combination as a classic wooden interior that would have a [broad] appeal. Complementing this would be modern detailing to follow the modern style of the exterior. The interior has been detailed with built-in features that allow a buyer to change wood finishes without upsetting the production methods."

One of the key elements in the design of all Westport offerings is speed, and the 164-footer is no exception. Designed with a maximum speed target of 24 knots, the boat attained more than 25 knots during trials at half load and can cruise comfortably and quietly – as well as fairly economically – at 20. Surprisingly, this has been accomplished with a relatively generous beam and a draft that will allow the boat to be easily operated in such areas as the Bahamas and southern New England.

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