Yachts International - September 2006
Written by Scott Pearson
The galley is all business, equipped with a litany of high-end commercial appliances and fixtures consistent with those of five-star restaurants, stainless steel countertops and Azrock commercial flooring. A butler's pantry adjoins the dining room, and leads forward through a service passageway to a large dry store and walk-in freezer and refrigerator. Addressing the demands of the international yachting market, the Starkey arrangement provides separate crew access to the dining room, pilothouse, skylounge and lower-deck stateroom, with galley, laundry and storage areas located for efficient, unobtrusive service.
Access to the bridge-deck pilothouse is by way of the crew stairwell and stairs from main side decks. A leather-faced control console presents an array of five display screens, the left-most of which is dedicated to the Vessel Information and Control (VIC) System, a proprietary feature that in addition to its nominal monitoring of security, tankage and safety functions maintains a history of each for tracking purposes, scheduling maintenance and planning operational routines. Three-dimensional images in system displays help pinpoint specific areas under scrutiny, and monitoring stations are located throughout the yacht in addition to the pilothouse screen. A chart surface and five chart drawers are to port, and a raised five- or six-place settee with table is built against the aft bulkhead.
A portside companionway leads ft pas the captain's suite, radio room and pantry to a bar set into a corner of the bridge deck lounge, where guests can relax on loose furnishings in a club-like atmosphere, and enjoy views aft and to either side. Sliding doors open to a partially covered aft deck with pedestal table and built-in settees on either side. Just forward along the port side deck is an intimate bar terrace.
The flybridge deck features a large sunbed and spa tub forward, a service bar with electric grill and a curved lounge with fixed cocktail table. A dramatically-styled hardtop with skylight panels shelters the bar area forward of a broad boat deck; its aft section swings upward hydraulically to allow helicopter touch-and-go landings.
As specified in the Westport 164's design brief; sound levels are remarkably low throughout living areas, the result of materials and methods that include floating joinery connections, acoustic fill in double-wall bulkheads and isolations mounts for all machinery and hydraulics. Compressors for the walk-in freezer and refrigerator have been located in the engine room, well away from living spaces, the entire acoustic package resulting in at-rest decibel readings by Westport in the 30s, equivalent to a suburban bedroom at night. At cruise speeds the needle barely creeps above 50 dbA in the saloon, a level allowing muted conversation.
Crew accommodations forward on the lower deck include five double-bunk staterooms and a large crew mess with lounge, table and galley, finished in light tones of anigre and maple. An adjacent laundry, fitted with ample linen storage and three sets of stacked washers and dryers, facilitates stateroom make-up. Aft on the lower deck, a control room and equipment room with dive compressor flank the tender garage, where a sliding crane launches and retrieves a 22' diesel sterndrive RIB via a swing-up door in the transom.
Vango, delivered to the former owner of a Westport 130 of the same name, soon will be followed by two more 164s, both currently under construction and scheduled for launch by mid-2007. Early indications give Westport every reason to anticipate yet more orders…and the undivided attention of any other builder weighing the merits of series productions in the large-yacht realm.