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Yachting - November 2005 - Intelligent Design

Written by Jerry Stansfield

Yachting 2005

At a recent boat show, I joined an acquaintance and his captain as they toured a Westport 112-foot motoryacht. It was one of the yachts on the short list for a planned move up from a 74-foot production yacht. From 74 to 112 can be quite a step in cost, complexity and complications, and I've seen more than a few owners reconsider such a significant upgrade after fully evaluating the pros and cons. In this case, though, I was struck by the owner's immediate comfort level with the bigger vessel. The Westport 1 12 was much larger, to be sure, but it did not overwhelm him. He could visualize his family and friends aboard, enjoying the extra space without having to change their lifestyle.

A Westport 130-footer was moored alongside, so we took in that yacht as well, and I found the reaction of my acquaintance and his captain interesting. Not only was the step from 74 feet to 112 something they considered quite doable, but they both speculated on moving to the 130 after a few years with the 112. That, in a nutshell, is the story of another owner, an American who recently took delivery of Seaquest, the latest 130-foot motoryacht from Westport Shipyard, after a previous move into a Westport 112 from a string of earlier yachts. Further easing the owner's transition was the fact that his 112 was sold within two weeks of becoming available on the very com petitive brokerage market.

Seaquest brings to an even dozen the number of 130-footers Westport has delivered. The yard is having a record year, with six deliveries to date and four more scheduled before year's end from its line of 98-, 112- and 130-foot semi-production yachts. The two smaller models are raised-pilothouse configurations, whereas the flagship 130 is a full trideck.

Yachts are evolutionary products. Each new build benefits from the experience her designer and builder have gained from prior yachts, and in the case of Seaquest, the benefit is considerable. Her naval architect is Bill Garden, whose portfolio is bulging with both sailboats and powercraft of considerable renown. You need only one glance at Seaquest under way to know that her hull form is an especially efficient one. The narrow angle of her bow cuts the water cleanly with a noticeable lack of fuss, and her wake is as minimal as possible given her size and displacement.

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