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Yachts International - High Stakes Fun - BOARDWALK

Written by Cecile Gauert

Forward is the pilothouse. A change Fertitta specified for the very well-equipped and attractive bridge is the settee. It's been curved and elevated, so that it is inviting and provides the best of views above the leather-clad helm console. We climb up one more set of stairs to the sun deck. One surprise here is the presence of an upper helmstation forward of the Jacuzzi and several chairs ideally positioned to observe the action from on high. This has got to be fun. The yacht is speedy, with a fast cruising speed that flirts with 25 knots.

Gone is the helicopter that usually rides along. It's been sent back to the hangar until the family returns for a vacation. But there is a full assortment of toys, including four Boardwalk scooters. Accessing the lazarette from the large swim platform, which is wide enough to accommodate a fighting chair, we find a complete dive locker. The impeccable engine room (the captain has even ordered special covers to protect the twin MTU engines while the yacht is docked and carpets to hide the metal floor) houses a number of fishing rods stored above the generators. The yacht also carries SeaBobs for the whole family. "Everyone is into everything," Fertitta says. After a busy day playing, the family can retreat to ultra-comfortable staterooms (four on the lower deck, the full-beam on-deck master, plus the Westport 164 signature bridge-deck VIP with private balcony). All, of course, have their own entertainment centers, TVs and access to a full movie library.

The color scheme—beautiful veneers, dark caramel tones, beige carpets and subtle touches of color—is pleasing, but what add to it immensely are the carefully positioned lights. Sconces, lamps and rope lighting in the recesses of the ceilings or under furniture provide contrast and drama or a soft glow. The captain points out many additions made inside and out (including LEDs strategically angled to shine on the boat name at transom), all specified by his boss.

"We probably have four times as many lights than any other Westport 164," says Fertitta. "I don't know how to write, but I do know where to place lights," he adds. When he was a kid growing up in Galveston, Fertitta dreamed of owning a yacht (a 60' Hatteras was his goal). With the Westport trilogy he has gone from a 112' bought in 2002 to the 164' flagship he owns today.

We had to ask, and then what? Fertitta says he has no intention of going for a larger yacht. He is not in this to compete with anyone. Owning a larger yacht would mean he'd have to sacrifice access and speed. "I like to go fast and I like to be close to everything," he says. "What else would I need? It has everything you'd ever want," Fertitta says. After touring the yacht for a second time, we could not argue with that. "Overall, I am a pretty happy owner."

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