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Yachts International - September 2006

Written by Scott Pearson

And go it did; the 164 topped out at 25 knots, settling into a 19-1/2 knot cruise with the MTU 16V4000 mains at 1800 rpm. Purcell likens Westport's offering to those of the aviation industry, in particular the business jet category. "People don't buy custom-built jets," he says, "whether they buy from Dessault, Gulfstream, Learjet or someone else, they buy a fully engineered product designed from the beginning to be built in series. Every part, every piece of tooling, every step in its fabrication has been designed, documented and tested for the last detail, all at a cost that a one-off products simply could not support." Similarly, he notes, the new 164 is the result of computer-aided design and structural engineering. CNC technology and intricate process development that extends to the configuration of the building in which it took shape, every component and process planned before work began on the first hull. Janicki Industries, applied its considerable prowess in five-axis robotic milling to create composite tooling, the centerpiece of which is a hull mold that, following its on-site installation in Port Angeles, was laser-calibrated to tolerances of mere thousandths of an inch, an impressive margin for the world's largest production mold. Tooling for main and upper decks has been intricately formed, Westport President Daryl Wakefield adds, to produce parts comprising bulwarks and decks in addition to house structure, a consolidation process that reduces the number of primary composite parts to five-hull, main deck/house, foredeck, upper deck/house and flybridge. "Integrating components in this manner also reduces the number of mechanical fastenings for a stronger structural unit overall," Wakefield says.

Drawing talent from naval architect William Garden, Donald Starkey for exterior and interior design, and an in house engineering team headed by Taylor Olson, Westport then shepherded the development and construction of the 164 in compliance with a design brief that, in addition to its mid-20s top speed requirement, mandated a rating of less than 500 tons, an important classing threshold, especially for owners who plan to charter their vessels. The yacht is MCA compliant and ABS-classed +A1 Commercial Yachting Service AMS.

Overall, the 164 is a tri-deck yacht of contemporary style but with a few noteworthy twists, including a top-deck VIP suite, adjacent to the skylounge and complete with a private outside terrace overlooking the starboard side. While the arrangement specifies a full-beam master suite forward on the main deck, some owners might well consider relocating their quarters to that prime upper-deck venue with its good-sized wardrobes, adjacent bath and large view window to starboard.

The interior dcor of hull number one contrasts light fabric tones with darker hues of pommel sapele and mahogany joinery. Guest accommodations on the lower deck include two king-berth suites and two suites with twin berths. An optional elevator serving lower, main and upper decks occupies a corner of the starboard-side twin-berth stateroom, which then can be configured as an office or exercise room. Guest staterooms open to a central foyer, where a coffee station and under counter refrigerator dispense late-night snacks or a morning mug. A stairway curves upward to the main-deck foyer, which in turn opens aft to a dining room with twelve-place table, and the main saloon, the two areas separated by an island cabinet concealing a 50' plasma TV. The aft corners of the saloon have been truncated to give the space an almost rounded, more intimate feel, and at the same tie facilitate outside access between side decks and the covered California deck.

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