Yachts - September 2009 - The Next Level
Written by Jerry Stansfield
The first of Westport's 130' tri-deck series was launched in 2001. Since then the design has earned a remarkable following, with no fewer than 28 130's delivered to their delighted owners. With that kind of record, what do you do for an encore?
The concept driving the development of the original 130 was to offer a luxury motoryacht built to a level of quality and performance comparable - and at times even superior - to the custom jobs, with a standardized layout and primary components list, and conservative, contemporary exterior styling. As a production yacht, the 130 was designed to deliver predictable speeds, an earlier delivery date, a complete list of standard equipment and an attractive price. "The 130 has been especially popular among owners who don't want to wait the two or three years a custom build might entail," says Westport President Darryl Wakefield. "They simply want to get out on the water and enjoy everything a luxury yacht has to offer."
The idea behind the 130 has resonated well among that type of customer. It is now a matter of record that the yacht has enjoyed remarkable popularity since its introduction, with sales on three continents. Perhaps the yacht's most compelling attribute has been its William Garden-designed hull, whose slender bow cleaves the water to produce an agreeably smooth ride even at its full-load maximum speed of 27 knots, and whose low wake profile accurately reflects its enviable cruise efficiency. The yacht's five-stateroom arrangement, which accommodates 10 or more guests, has proven equally popular in the charter market.
For its considerable strengths, then, the original must have presented a daunting challenge to the Westport design team when the time came to take the 130 concept to the next level. To its everlasting credit, the Westport design team proved itself up to the task as its members applied their collective skills to produce a worthy successor in the form of a new 130' (40m) series, the first of which was completed and commissioned in mid-year.
A first look at the new yacht as it rested alongside a Westport 164 (50m) tri-deck at the builder's commissioning dock in Port Angeles, Wash., reveals both similarities and differences relative to its predecessor. Proportions are substantially the same on both, as is the graceful sheer line that curves upward to a raked bow. Superstructure contours create an unmistakable family resemblance to the flagship Westport 164, especially at bridge deck level, where the angular windshield gently tapers aft toward the larger side windows of the skylounge, and the two-legged signal mast has given way to an arch supporting both the antenna array and a composite hardtop. Upon boarding the new Westport 130, other changes become apparent. Ascending either of two stairways leading from the swim platform, a visitor will note that the after corners of the main-level deckhouse are truncated at a 45-degree angle, with engine room air intake and exhaust trunks located well outboard and separated from the main superstructure to create a dog-leg entry to either side deck. The resulting angled corners allow an inviting arrangement of furnishings and cabinetry in the salon just inside. While the owners of hull number one elected to separate salon from dining room by means of a free-standing buffet-style cabinet housing a popup television screen, a choice of peninsula cabinets extending from one or both sides is available.