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Greatest hits: Six memorable moments in Westport's 50-year history
Westport is a cornerstone of American shipbuilding. From humble beginnings in commercial fishing vessels and fast passenger ferries, Westport made the leap into luxury composite yachts at the end of the 1970s, pioneering a modular construction approach to boatbuilding that set it apart from the competition. Today, Westport is not only the largest yacht builder in North America but is one of the most respected names in the yachting world.
Delivered in 1990, Mr Terrible, formerly known as El Terrible and Northstream has gone through two refits. One in 1996, and a second in 2003 by Driscoll Yacht. She’s still going strong, too, last spotted off the gulf of California at the start of April this year. This yacht stands out as a credit to what Westport promises; a quality vessel that stands the test of time and offers luxury and comfort whilst still being practical. This yacht was also seemingly the first boat the company made over 30 metres.
The Westport 112 is arguably one of the most popular superyacht series of all time. The first of these raised pilothouse models was launched in 1994 (Lady Melia) and marked the beginning of a new era for Westport. Since then, the shipyard has been churning out two-to-three W112 production yachts per year. For some, it is the ultimate entry-level superyacht. For others, it’s the go-to yacht when it’s time to downsize. The W112 has undergone a number of upgrades and iterations throughout its history and the 65th hull is currently in build. “It’s the smallest offering we have, which is amazing to me,” says company President Daryl Wakefield. “It’s just a really spacious boat for its length, it’s easy to operate, it has a shallow draught and it’s high quality through-and-through.”
Westport Yachts introduced the shipyard’s largest yacht in its range at the time in 2006. The 50-metre Westport 164 known as Trending, formerly known as Vango, was designed by Donald Starkey. With enough space to accommodate 12 guests and capable of reaching top speeds of 24 knots, the tri-deck motor yacht pushed expectations for what the yard could deliver. She had her name changed in 2016 under a new owner, and was last seen island hopping in the Bahamas this month.
Six years on from its biggest build, Westport launched Annastar. Ordered in 2010, Annastar can accommodate up to 12 guests and 12 crew members comfortably. This model of hull, the 164, was the tenth to be built by Westport, and the owners said at the time of delivery that what attracted them to Westport was their reputation for quick turnarounds and quality outcomes. They signed the contract on 3 August 2011 and their boat launched on 10 November 2012, despite massive customisation.
Hailed as Westport’s most radical yacht to date, Pepper XIII was launched in 2018 sporting a fully custom interior, which was an unusual route for the American shipyard. While Pepper XIII was built as a Westport 125 she is truly a one-of-a-kind vessel with interiors likened to that of a New York-style loft apartment. The colour palette throughout is based on the coat of a Weimaraner dog - soft taupes and deep browns - a special request from the owner, punctuated by bursts of eye-catching colours.
In 2019, the shipyard announced its biggest project to date, the Westport 172. The 52-metre luxury yacht is set to become the flagship of the fleet when it hits the water in 2022. Currently in the early stages of construction, the flagship model is based on the builder’s existing 50-metre platform and retains many of the same features. The biggest difference is a new and improved beach club set-up with two shell doors that open to provide two sunbathing terraces by the sea. The Westport 172 is set to have a top speed is 21.5 knots and can accommodate up to 12 people with 12 crew members.