Back in July, we posted news of the ownership shift for Westport Shipyards, one of 26 North Yachts’ Top 10 Manufacturers. The US-based operation is now in the hands of Louisiana-industrialist Gary Chouest who acquired it from majority shareholder and Bayliner Boat-founder Orin Edson who invested in Westport in 1997.
With Edson’s impending retirement, Westport had scaled back and wasn’t moving ahead with new development until new ownership was in place. Westport now anticipates ramping back up in product development, upgrades and production upwards of ten yachts per year according to SuperyachtNews.com. Reportedly eight yachts are already in build and two more are starting soon. In addition, Chouest’s American Custom Yachts and Venture brands in Stuart, Fla., will expand to accommodate service for Westport’s larger builds, and their Fort Lauderdale-based New River facility will house a new complex for service, brokerage and sales.
In response to demand for something a bit larger than the 112 but smaller than the 130, Westport announced the two-deck, raised pilothouse Westport 125, incorporating the 112 framework and aspects of the 130. Her beam will measure 26’2” and she will draw about 5’8” (similar figures to the 130). The 125 will offer Westport’s extremely popular country kitchen, and we’ll wait to see if other configurations will be offered (like the trend of main-deck master that’s currently offered in the 112).
The Westport 125 will accommodate six to eight in three to four staterooms depending upon how non-structural bulkheads and spaces are organized. The vessel, of course, capitalizes on the outdoors with the covered main deck aft and a hardtop-shaded lounge area, additional helm station and hot tub on the upper deck. Foredeck seating provides another comfortable spot to while away a day at sea. A tender can be accommodated on the upper deck aft. Twin 2,600-hp MTUs will power her to cruising speeds of 20 knots and top out at 25 knots. The production schedule has the new Westport 125 delivering within two years.
Celebrating its 50-year anniversary this year, Westport is one of the largest yacht builders in North America with three locations in Washington State (Westport, Hoquiam and Port Angeles) and a marina and sales office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They employ more than 400 and have completed more than 140 hulls.
Known for quality semi-custom, composite builds that deliver exceptional speed, range and handling, Westport has remained on the 26 North Yachts Top 10 Manufacturers List. Westport Yachts has pioneered advances in composite construction contributing to builds that are lighter in weight, faster and more fuel-efficient than counterparts in steel or aluminum. They have been persistent in their pursuit for overall vessel comfort, ensuring a quiet and smooth ride free from excessive vibration. They have also achieved excellent structural integrity in their builds which helps reduce potential corrosion in their vessels. Westport pricing is extremely competitive thanks to standardized builds. However, Westport offers a great degree of customization (particularly with interior design flexibility) and the finer touches of teak, cherry, marble and granite materials.