Westport Shipyard sold to Louisiana company; Port Angeles plant to continue, buyer says
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Westport Shipyard — now Westport LLC — builds 164-foot yachts at its Port Angeles plant. —Photo by Timothy A. Owens

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ABERDEEN — Westport Shipyard Inc., one of the state's largest builders of luxury yachts — including a mega-yacht plant in Port Angeles — has been purchased by a Louisiana investor.

The terms of the deal were not released, but statements from the company said Westport will continue to build yachts in Port Angeles and in the cities of Westport and Hoquiam in Grays Harbor County.

“We are pleased to join the Westport family, and look forward to pursuing the synergies that exist between the Chouest companies, ACY, and Westport,” said Gary Chouest, principal of the Chouest family, in a statement announcing the purchase.

ACY is American Custom Yachts, a yacht builder in Stuart, Fla.

Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle and media in Grays Harbor County first reported the sale.

Westport Shipyard Inc. was renamed Westport LLC as a division of Edison Chouest LLC of Cut Off, La., and on Friday signed a new contract with the Port of Grays Harbor.

The company leases a Hoquiam warehouse from the port to build its 112-foot yachts.

The company owns its 3-acre plant on Marine Drive across from Tumwater Truck Route in Port Angeles, where it builds its 164-foot yachts, the largest in the Westport catalog.

“Gary [Chouest] has always been passionate about our industry, and we are honored to count him as a customer and now our majority owner as well,” said Daryl Wakefield, Westport's president, in a statement.

Wakefield will retain that position with Westport LLC.

Westport employs 400 people at three sites in Washington: Its Westport headquarters, and plants in Grays Harbor County and Port Angeles as well as at an office in Florida.

The purchase comes at a time when the yacht industry is rebounding in Washington after a slump during the 2009 recession.

Westport, founded in 1964, is building two 112-foot yachts this year, with two more for next year and the order book filled through 2016, Peter Schrappen, director of government affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, told Puget Sound Business Journal earlier this year.

The Chouest family of companies [ http://www.chouest.com ]includes substantial holdings in its primary business in the oil and gas marine transportation industry worldwide, according to a news release from the Port of Grays Harbor.

Last modified: June 07. 2014 10:06AM
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