Westport Shipyard Under New Ownership – News Release

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Aberdeen, Wash. – The Port of Grays Harbor Commission approved the lease assignment of Westport Shipyard, Inc. to new owners Westport, LLC, an ownership group that includes members of the Louisiana-based Chouest family. Westport Shipyard, Inc. leases Warehouse H from the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, WA, to construct its 112’ yacht.

Commission President Stan Pinnick applauded Westport Shipyard for their commitment to a quality product and the people that make it all possible. “We are pleased to hear the hundreds of jobs tied to our local economy will be retained and we look forward to establishing a prosperous business relationship with the new ownership.”

Celebrating 50 years of business in 2014, Westport maintains three locations in Washington State, as well as a marina and sales office in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Employing over 400 skilled employees, Westport has completed more than 140 yachts since 2000. And one of those customers was Gary Chouest.

“Gary 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, who will remain in that position, along with General Manager Dave Hagiwara, and the rest of Westport’s management team and employees.

The Chouest family of companies includes substantial holdings in its primary business in the oil and gas marine transportation industry worldwide, but also includes the successful Stuart, FL based American Custom Yachts (ACY). Since 1994, ACY has maintained a 63-acre facility accommodating the design and construction of world-famous custom Sport Fisherman, as well as a host of other affiliated companies.

“Similar to the history of the Chouest family business, Westport began five decades ago focused on a commercial fishing fleet and has diversified into other core businesses, but maintains an emphasis on customer satisfaction and the pursuit of excellence,” said Gary Chouest.

“We are pleased to join the Westport family, and look forward to pursuing the synergies that exist between the Chouest companies, ACY, and Westport. We will continue to pursue the employment of skilled local workers, and will remain an active participant in the communities Westport serves,” Chouest added.

Also similar to the Chouest business model, Westport maintains its own in-house vessel design and development team. Their composite-built yachts perform to a known standard, delivering exceptional speed, range and handling characteristics.

“The Westport family is excited about joining forces with the Chouest family, but we also must acknowledge the wonderful contributions of Mr. John Orin Edson, our majority shareholder since 1997,” Wakefield noted.

Founded in 1911, the Port of Grays Harbor is one of Washington State’s oldest port districts and Washington’s only deep-water port located directly on the Pacific Ocean. The Port of Grays Harbor operates 4 deep-water marine terminals, the Westport Marina, Bowerman Airport and numerous industrial and business parks throughout the region. The addition of Satsop Business Park increases the Port’s properties to more than 1,000 acres of industrial properties and an additional 1,200 acres of sustainably managed forestland. Strategically located midway between Seattle and Portland and less than 1 ½ hours from open sea, the Port of Grays Harbor provides businesses a diverse portfolio of facilities. More information on the Port of Grays Harbor’s facilities and operations is available at www.portofgraysharbor.com.

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