Westport Strikes Gold

With its new 125, Westport Shipyards listened to customers and surprised them as well.
By Diane M. Byrne ,

Business 101 dictates listening to your customers, which is why, in the yachting industry, a healthy portion of new models stem directly from client requests. The Westport 125, of which Black Gold is the first delivery, is the latest example. She addresses issues raised by owners of the long-produced Westport 112 who didn’t want to move up to the Westport 130, which would force them to switch from a raised-pilothouse to a trideck.

Westport could have eliminated the 130 and replaced her with a smaller, nearly identical model, but instead, the builder created the Westport 125—the first new model from the Washington state yachtbuilder in a decade.

Over the years, the 112 and 130 have evolved in terms of layouts and interior features, but Westport did not shake things up beyond that. Clients have continued to want both models: The builder has delivered 66 units in its 112 series, with three more under construction. Forty-two 130s are out on the water.

In designing the 125, Westport looked at what clients liked about both the 112 and the 130. The roominess of the 130 held great appeal, so the builder’s in-house design staff specified the same beam, 26 feet 2 inches, for the new series. The 125 thus has a strong sense of volume, putting similar-length yachts on notice.

With a stone prep counter, barstools and dining nook, the country kitchen beckons guests to enter and enjoy.

Scott Pearson, courtesy of Westport

Equipping the 125 with a raised pilothouse akin to that of the 112 solved the problem of customers being overwhelmed by a trideck. When it came to draft, each existing model was skinny-water friendly, so the design team gave the 125 a 5-foot-9-inch draft. That’s just 3 inches more than the 112’s draft and a full 9 inches shallower than the 130’s.

Westport’s designers used the 112 as the reference for performance, too. While all three models are powered by twin MTU 16V 2000 engines, the 125 sees the same speeds and range as the 112. That means a reported top end of 25 knots and best range of 2,500 nautical miles at 12 knots. The 125 does have a higher fuel capacity than the 112, with 7,065 gallons versus 5,480 gallons.

In addition to the similarities with previous models, Westport included surprising features that led Black Gold’s owner, who stepped up from a 112, to commission her, plus another customer to sign up before she splashed.

Being a semi-custom yacht, the Westport 125 allows owners to personalize the decor down to handrails and hardware. They can move nonstructural bulkheads, though Black Gold’s owner kept the salon and dining area traditional.

Scott Pearson, courtesy of Westport

One of those features is a beach club—a real beach club, not a double-duty space. Yachts in this size range typically have either a tender garage or a garage used for lounging after the toys are in the water. Even then, the space mostly resembles a garage. Westport dedicates the area on the 125 entirely to TV watching, horizon gazing and conversation. There’s also a dayhead. The beach club is accessible via a lift-up transom hatch with a central door to allow the crew quick transit to the engine room.

The tender, instead of being in a garage, sits abaft the pilothouse, and the relaxation area that might have gone there is instead at the bow, with a sunpad in addition to seating.

Inside, the master suite’s configuration holds another surprise, one benefitting the owner of Black Gold as well as the crew. Situated forward on the main deck, the master has a vestibule-like entry with doors fore and aft. The aft doors are accessed from the same foyer that leads to the country kitchen. So, on mornings when the owner feels like sleeping in, the crew can quietly set up coffee. It’s a level of privacy typically reserved for larger, and fully custom, yachts.

The standard accommodations plan calls for a main-deck master and four belowdecks guest staterooms.

Scott Pearson, courtesy of Westport

The country kitchen itself has pocket doors that respect the privacy of guests in the salon. Guests who want to eat in the galley will find a dinette with barstools lining the prep counter. The layout is reminiscent of a chef’s table at a fine restaurant.

Even with the 125 having her own nature, Westport isn’t shunning some traditions. Buyers can collaborate with the builder’s in-house design staff or work with their favorite interior designer in choosing woods (sapele mahogany is standard), fabrics and stones. Non-structural bulkheads can be moved to create rooms that suit various needs. While eight guests can stay belowdecks in the standard accommodations plan, a gym and three guest staterooms are possible.

One of the three 125-foot hulls now in build is not yet under contract with an owner, and is available for customization prior to launch. And who knows? Some of the resulting configurations might inspire Westport to incorporate them in future 125s. The builder will be sure to give credit where it’s due.

An existing Westport owner commissioned hull number one of the shipyard’s 125 series, christening her Black Gold.

Scott Pearson, courtesy of Westport

For more information: westportyachts.com 

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