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Show Boats International - June / July 2006 - World Debut

Written by Mark Masciarotte

The same beam and draft combination does not appreciably reduce the boat's interior volume. In fact, the 164 has a spacious, well thought out arrangement that is sure to please most potential customers, including those contemplating far more expensive yachts from custom builders. It is also noteworthy that the boat is classed by the ABS and was carefully designed to admeasure at less than 500 gross tons.

"During the development of the detailed design," Starkey recalled, "fine-tuning adjustments were made to ensure compliance with the tonnage rules, and so what might have been considered reductions in space became benefits."

"Examples are the upper-deck side terraces, created to reduce the internal volume; one being accessible from the VIP suite on the starboard side and one on the port side, from the bar area in the lounge. The forward area in front of the bridge was extended to reduce measurable volume in the forward deckhouse, providing a further outside entertaining area, and the extensive sun-deck area, for the same measurement reason, became comparable with yachts of 180 feet or more."

As most readers know, Westport has continue to refine its production yacht building methods year after year, and while the 164 sets higher standards of finish, the boat strictly adheres to Westport's precept of lean manufacturing One construction detail that any builder would find impressive is the small number of parts that are required to assemble the boat. Because the boat was designed in great detail before any work began on the tooling, and because the boats are constructed in a purpose-built facility, the 164 can be assembled from only six large FRP parts. Furthermore, the company's real-time tracking and accounting system allows Westport to use just-in-time ordering procedure that minimize the requirement for warehouse space and dramatically lower the need to carry expensive inventory for long periods of time.

This system, however, does not overly limit the customer in terms of layout. Wakefield noted that the builder will work with customers to arrive at an arrangement that is personalized to the highest degree possible.

As an example, Vango's general arrangement provides three guest cabins and an exercise room on the lower deck, a master suite on the main deck, and a VIP suite and bar on the bridge deck. Layouts for other customers replace the exercise room with another guest cabin, remove the bride-deck bar or replace the elevator with stores on each of the three decks.

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