ShowBoats Int'l - July-August 2010 - HARMONY
Written by Louis Beckett
When repeat owner Buz DiVosta returned to the Westport shipyard with plans for a somewhat Dutch-styled 164ft tri-deck, the builder worked alongside him to create the yacht of his dreams-formatted into the yard's high quality, proven platform. After all this is not your father's production builder.
While some superyacht builders start more or less from scratch each time they commence work on a new 50m project, Westport Yacht offers its W164 Tri-Deck composite model, first introduced in 2006, on a "semi-custom" basis. That is the shipyard follows a proven standard and dissuades owners from making any major structural changes to the design, which was developed by Westport's in-house team in collaboration with noted naval architect William Garden and yacht designer Donald Starkey.
"What we've developed is a really predictable platform. It keeps the customer out of the deep end of the pool," says Westport President Daryl Wakefield. That doesn't mean downers aren't invited to bring their own design ideas-and interior designers-to the table, however. "We're certainly willing to look at and do anything that makes sense," he says. "The envelope stays the same, but the interior of the envelope can change."
It took Buz DiVosta, owner of the Westport 164 Hull 5006, Harmony, to push that envelope. A South Florida home builder by trade, DiVosta already had a good track record with the shipyard, having built the Westport 1123 Betty Jane, which launched in 2003. "We made a hundred changes on that first boat," he says. "I think about seventy-five of them stayed on that [model] as standard."
Many of those changes were subtle, but they serve as testament to one of the things Westport is known for: incorporating owner input into its models. "Westport traditionally is known for its country kitchen on that particular model, the 112," says company Vice President Phil Purcell. "[DiVosta] looked at it a different way and said… 'What if we take the peninsula and make it an island?' We said, 'Wow that's kind of neat,' and it became one of the options."