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Yacht Capital - September 2006 - American-Born But with A European Heart

Written by Giorgia Zen

Yachting Capital

She's the gem of this Fort Lauderdale shipyard but it was the English designer Donald Starkey who made sure that the interiors remained true to a design, classic in style (thanks to mahogany, light fabrics and marble bathrooms) with lots of al fresco space.

The Westport 50 may be American but she certainly has a very European layout and lines. But that probably shouldn't come as any great surprises as she is the work of an English designer, Donald Starkey. Build from fiberglass at the eponymous yard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this is a 50-metre semi-displacement four-deck (three plus fly) powered by twin 3,650 hp MTU engines which give her maximum and cruising speeds of 24 and 20 knots respectively. At their economy setting of 12 knots, the engines will go for 3,700 miles without needing a top up too.

One thing the yard is keen to stress about the Westport 50 is that this really is a turnkey boat. It really does come fully furnished and fully equipped right down to the bed and table linen, the china, glassware and even the cutlery. The interiors are class and nicely opulent with plenty of mahogany and sapele as well as marble bathrooms. Owners can personalize, but they must use Donald Starkey as he is the only one authorized by the yard.

The main deck is followed by a semi-covered cockpit furnished lounge style with seating and dining for 12. It leads into a large saloon with sofas on each side and a large bar unit, too. There is also another unit in the middle with a 50" plasma hideaway TV screen, and this separates the saloon from a formal dining room which seats 12. There is also a pantry with a dumb waiter linked to the two upper decks plus a professional standard stainless steel galley complete with a wine cabinet and a cold room. After the central lobby with the stairwell and day toilet we come to the owner's suite which takes up the entire bow section. It includes a conversation nook, a vanity table, a study, two walk-in closets and two bathrooms, one with its Jacuzzi tub. The lower deck includes a large stern garage which hides a 6.5 metre tender but still has plenty of space for water sports gear. Next comes the engine room. Amidships there are four ensuite guest staterooms (two doubles and two twins). All have their own desks and full-height closets. Lastly, the crew quarters lie in the bow and offer 10 berths in 5 cabins.

The upper deck boasts a strikingly large terrace that can be shaded by a bimini top. It also includes a round dining table which looks into a panoramic lounge area with sofas, armchairs, a 60" TV, games table, bar and pantry. There's even another VIP suite on this deck, too, although this can be converted to another saloon or a gym. It has its own terrace. There's even a second day toilet and the captain's double cabin beside the radio room and bridge.

The bridge itself is elegant and functional with a traditional wooden wheel. It is trimmed in leather and includes a chart table and a large panoramic sofa for guests. There are two joystick stations with bow and stern thruster controls on either side of the bridge to make docking maneuvers easier too. The fly includes a second helm station, an area aft for the crew's inflatable and a pair of wet bikes, a whirlpool tub, large sun pads and another bar with dumbwaiter. The Westport 50's engineering is all-American, i.e. top quality, and it is soundproofed to an amazingly high standard. ABS and MCA certification make it ideal for charter us into the bargain. The real cherry on the cake.