Westport On The Shifting Landscape Of U.S. New-Build

By Ben Roberts

An American yard with both heritage and a promising future, Westport has been a solid player in the yacht building market since their inception in 1964. We sat down with President of Westport, Daryl Wakefield, on board the new 40m to discuss the state of American new build market and the subsequent concentration of demand in the states.

“As always we all think it could be better,” explains Daryl Wakefield “but we’re pretty fortunate with what we have and feel like the market is definitely recovering. By no means is the storm over, but it’s definitely on the mend.”

A humble point of view as always, Daryl Wakefield is optimistic but sees stability as an ongoing notion within both the American and European market. Westport is one of the most successful yachting brands in America, but what lies behind the extremely high-quality, yet somehow understated, yachts is a family of loyal owners.

“We’ve had a great run of loyal customers, we do our best to get them in early in the line and work really hard to keep that relationship and listen. We want it to be a great experience for them, it’s expensive to make that a reality but we feel that if they’re having a good experience we can keep them in the family.”

Albeit the American market is a buoyant platform for demand, the landscape of brands with the ability to supply superyachts changed somewhat over the last few years. This shift in the build sector led to a new concentration of demand, providing Westport with the ability to expand and offer new ranges such as the 40 to an open market of qualified buyers.

“We’re hopeful, but we think it’s a good opportunity for us. I hate to refer to it as someone else's misfortune, but it happens, I don’t know why or how any of those things took place but we look at it as a great opportunity for us to expand and now we just need to listen carefully to what [owners] want and make sure we fulfil it.”

For more information of Daryl Wakefield’s expert view on the American market, the new-build demand facing Westport as well as the expansion opportunities of the ever-changing marketplace, watch the above video.

By Ben Roberts