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Yachts - September 2009 - The Next Level

Written by Jerry Stansfield

Whereas on its predecessor the hot tub is located on the bridge deck just outside the skylounge, the 130's arrangement places this feature forward on the sun deck, where it awaits sun worshippers amid an expanse of fitted cushions arrayed behind a surrounding vertical windscreen. Favoring the flexibility of open topside areas, which allow owners to arrange and re-arrange furniture as required for sunning, socializing or large receptions, Westport designers have left the aft most portion of the sundeck clear and free of built-ins; this level, like most other outdoor venues, is finished with teak decking. As important as the changes manifested in this new yacht are the attributes that Westport was wise enough to leave alone, not least of these the aforementioned Garden-designed hull.

In as much as the new 130 weighs in only fractionally heavier than its predecessor, with its twin 2,735 hp MTU 12V4000 main engines it still cruises at around 20 knots, tops out in the mid 20s, and at 12 knots delivers a maximum range of about 3,000 nm. Equally noteworthy is the hull's uncannily smooth ride, modest wake profile, and its signature lacy curl of a bow wave offering dramatic contrast to the foamy wall produced by many other hull forms.

Westport continues to see series production as the best - and perhaps the only - way to ensure predictable performance and on-time delivery with every yacht, at a considerably lower price than a custom project would command. Wakefield equates his yard's business model to that of the aircraft industry. "It isn't uncommon for owners of private jets to park their aircraft next to another one that's identical except for paint and interior finishes," he says. "That's because each jet in the series is built to a fully engineered standard to achieve predictable levels of performance and integrity, and to meet all regulatory requirements.Our objectives with these yachts are virtually the same."

In any case, the new Westport 130 represents an intelligent evolutionary advancement, a functional, well-equipped and aesthetically pleasing motoryacht that reflects a blend of meaningful innovation and the discipline to preserve proven attributes. It is a promising encore to one of the most successful designs ever launched.

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