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Megayachts

Westship 140

Westship 140 — By Diane M. Byrne July 2001

Perfect Pair
Low maintenance and high style are mutually exclusive, right? Not onboard the Westship 140.
   
 
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It's interesting how "low maintenance" and "high maintenance" can be equally disparaging when used in reference to a person. Think about it: The former phrase implies a person who wouldn't know a bottle of cologne from a bottle of dishwashing liquid, and the latter phrase implies someone who takes more time getting dressed than it does to count votes in Florida.

How interesting, then, that despite the fact that boats and yachts are often ascribed human characteristics--typically feminine--"low-maintenance" is always a positive description for them. Conventional wisdom holds that megayacht owners have worked hard to earn more than just a weekend pass, so the last thing they want is to lose precious cruising time while the crew is cleaning and polishing.

But just because owners want a lower-maintenance yacht doesn't mean they want their pride and joy to look low-maintenance, making it hard to tell the vessel apart from, say, a barge. It's an exaggeration, to be sure, but the point is that owners want their yachts to resonate with elegance and sophistication, especially inside. While this is a concept that yards specializing in one-offs and commissioned projects well understand, a few yards that build on spec overlook it. Instead, they craft "safe" interiors, ones that are decidedly middle-of-the-road in taste and style.

So what's a yacht buyer to do if he or she doesn't want to wait two-plus years for a low-maintenance, high-style custom yacht--settle for having to hire an interior designer to revamp a spec yacht's interior? Not at Westship World Yachts. It's banking on its trideck 140-footer to back up your conviction that these seemingly contrary concepts actually match well.

Westship is a familiar name in megayacht circles, having built fiberglass yachts at Washington State's Westport Shipyard while simultaneously serving as that yard's exclusive East Coast-based sales and marketing agent. More recently Westship had a similar relationship with Florida-based Trident Shipyard. The difference with the 140 is that she's the first yacht to emerge from a shipyard that Westship owns outright, the former Trident facility on the Gulf Coast. This gives Westship (now known as Westship World Yachts) and its founder, Herb Postma, more control over the design and construction processes.

One of the first areas aboard the 140 where you'll see Postma's influence is the main deck. There are no caprails or brightwork along the side decks, in keeping with the concept of simplifying maintenance. Further emphasizing this idea, the yacht is constructed of Awlgrip-coated fiberglass. In a nutshell, both the components of Awlgrip and the way the product is applied provide a barrier layer that's extra-resistant to water intrusion. In addition, should it be necessary, Awlgrip is also relatively easy for a service yard to patch. (Conveniently, Westship World Yachts has a new service and repair facility on-site.) The Awlgrip protects a hull and deck composed of knitted biaxial E-glass, impregnated with vinylester and polyester resins and vacuum-bonded to linear and/or cross-linked PVC foam core. Structural bulkheads are FRP core sandwich construction with knitted biaxial E-glass. Longitudinal stringers are also FRP composite.

Also in keeping with reducing maintenance, there is abundant room to walk around and access various points on the twin MTU powerplants. When you're standing in this voluminous and well-arranged space, you're hard-pressed to remember that you're onboard a 140-footer, not a yacht 20 feet larger. Another welcome surprise is the inclusion of an enclosed, soundproofed observation area aft, permitting the engineer to look after things in the engine room while monitoring the main switchboard (a custom 200-KVA Atlas system on the first 140). While this feature is commonly found onboard some European-built megayachts, it's rare to find it onboard an American-built megayacht--or one in this size range regardless of country of origin.

Next page > Westship 140 continued > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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