Westport Yachts began in 1977, when brothers Rick and Randy Rust were building commercial salmon-fishing boats in the northwest. A changing economy prompted them to apply their knowledge of hardy sea-going vessels to the production of luxury yachts. Their technical expertise and yacht industry contacts, plus experience as businessmen helped in the transition. Then came orders from experienced yacht designers such as Ed Monk, Jr. for a 70-footer. The Rusts invested $100,000 in the first automated fabric impregnator for yacht-building molds. With new designs coming from Jack Sarin for 76-footers, then during the mid-1980s a 112’ model, and the nationally acclaimed 98’ Golden Delicious, a Miami Hatteras dealer ordered yachts based on the design; a relationship which lasted into the 1990s. Westport Yachts was on its way.
Today, Westport is one of the first to use labor and cost saving innovation -- Modular Construction. Not new, the technique was pioneered by Henry Kaiser with Liberty ships in WWII, but its use in composites is a step forward in yachts. The entire boat can be built in four basic components. The hull, main deck, upper deck, and flybridge is each nearly completed before the components are assembled. That means fewer joints and seams, and can pare production times as much as 50%. It also allows simultaneous work in separate locations, spreading the work out so the crews are spread and not congested in one area. Westport is currently one of the largest producers of 95” to 164’ fiberglass yachts.
Westport hulls are built of laminated fiberglass mat and roving, which is applied by automated overhead impregnators – the result of a detailed building plan and synchronized fabrication. Every component and sub-assembly is scheduled and documented by process flow charts tracked by engineering teams. At any one time, a series of four, six or more yachts are processed with quality and efficiency, which would be virtually impossible in a strictly custom build. Westport’s Washington State facilities are in Westport and Hoquiam, as well as in Port Angeles.