ShowBoats Int'l - July-August 2010 - HARMONY
Written by Louis Beckett
Ultimately, DiVosta returned to Westport and asked the shipyard to build him a 164 that would incorporate some of the design concepts he and Johnson had created for the Dutch project. Surprisingly, Wakefield and his team agreed. "He is a very experienced builder," attests Wakefield. "When he has something to say, you have to listen. What comes out of his mouth will have a lot of logic behind it."
"This time, with the 164, Westport gave us a little more room, [as long as] we didn't change the structure too much," notes DiVosta. During the 22-month construction process, DiVosta spent about one week per month at the shipyard in Port Angeles, Washington. "I'm a builder at heart, so I like seeing it go together," he says. "The finishing shop, the cabinet shop…I don't know of any other builder that can do what they do." The process to make changes was streamlined, and he and Johnson (who drove to the yard often from his design studio in Bellevue), worked closely with Westport's in-house design team. Harmony's captain, Mitchell Heath, stayed at the yard full time during the project's final year.
Although the physical modifications to Hull 5006's exterior styling were subtle, the differences between this yacht and her fiver sisterships are apparent at first glance. "The whole aesthetics changed quite a lot," DiVosta said, noting a modification to the alignment of the yacht's aft fashion plates. Forward, the main-deck owner's stateroom windows are continuous glass panels.
Most dramatic is the owner's addition of semi-permanent awnings to all three aft decks. Fabricated of Stamoid and supported by stainless steel posts, these are removable yet rugged enough to remain in place during inclement weather. The awnings have tracks that hold clear side curtains, creating an indoor/outdoor living area on each level. "When you get a bad day, you are able to close in those 'back porches,' so you don't have to be eating every dinner in the dining room," DiVosta says.
The sun deck awning extends aft from the hardtop to cover an enormous sun pad, creating a cabana setting in a space where other owners have opted for a helipad. "I'm not into helicopters," says DiVosta. "We took the detail of the other two decks up to the sun deck [instead]. I think it makes the top deck a little prettier."
Only a practiced eye would notice that Harmony's hardtop was raised slightly to make room for one of the yacht's main innovations: the first elevator on a 164 to serve all four decks, including the sun deck. Located forward of the bar area, its shaft is concealed by a teak-topped cabinet. When the lift arrives, an automatic lid opens, and it rises to full height. "It's not necessary until it's necessary," DiVosta says of his elevator. "When stairs are an issue, you can go to all of the decks without missing out." The ease of access undoubtedly would make Harmony a successful charter yacht – as she is ABS-classed- and MCA compliant – but her owner prefers to keep her private.
DiVosta and Johnson tweaked Westport's standard arrangement slightly on the bridge deck, placing a kidney-shaped settee and cocktail table on the foredeck, providing yet another place to relax outdoors. They also enlarged the sofa and table in the wheelhouse, where DiVosta and his wife, Betty, like to have breakfast as the yacht leaves port.