112′ Westport Yacht Refit Emilia Part V

112' Westport Yacht Refit Emilia

We are making it happen on the main deck aboard the 112’ Westport Emilia yacht refit. The intention for the main deck was to create a space for entertainment and relaxation in the main salon, but allow the forward country-kitchen-style galley area to be separated or integrated with the salon as desired. The standard Westport 112’ layout situates a VIP stateroom in the bow, which is accessed through the forward galley. Emilia’s owners decided to create a multi-purpose VIP stateroom that houses crew in two separate bunks that convert to a queen when the cabin is reconfigured for guests. This allows the entire forward area of the main deck to be a comfortable space for crew or seamlessly convert to accommodate guests as needed. The main salon itself required some major re-working of the HVAC system to improve efficiencies and the forward bulkhead now houses the motorized door as well as hidden pull-out storage. Check out the latest progress updates of the main salon, day head, galley and VIP below!

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Several intensive and challenging projects are now wrapping up in the main salon. From the re-working of the entire HVAC system to the incorporation of a motorized door and sliding hidden storage cabinet in the forward bulkhead, to the modifications to the windows, soffits and squaring off any previously rounded edges, this space has been a complete rework in progress.


As mentioned in Part II, we added a motorized sliding glass door within the forward bulkhead of the salon to allow the galley to be closed off from the guest areas when desired. In order to accommodate this sliding door on the starboard side, we were able to take from the very deep existing cabinets against the forward bulkhead while leaving plenty of space on top of the counter for a plate or platter and inside the cabinet for dish or glass storage. On the port side we were able to create a sliding hidden storage cabinet with a hidden magnetic lock. The bulkhead will be graced with a beautiful map that is being matted and framed to fit the space.


As we described in Part II, “Replacing the A/C system is not unusual for a yacht refit. However, replacing the A/C system and creating a baffling system for noise reduction is!” The main salon HVAC units were originally located in the doghouse below the pilothouse. They were responsible for providing air to the entire main salon and returning it through a single air grill positioned in the overhead of the main stairwell. (See photo previously posted in Part IV.) However, this setup had a significant drawback. It caused the hot air from the main salon aft door to travel all the way through the salon, into the stairs, and finally into the doghouse. The long supply ducts had to reach back into the main salon all the way to the aft door, which was an inefficient setup that overworked the units.

To address this issue, the salon was divided into four equal quadrants, and each quadrant was equipped with its own HVAC unit and return located in both the forward and aft corners. Supply ducts were positioned in the outboard soffits, creating a much more efficient system.

The HVAC grill faces were designed with Mid-Century Modern style vertical wood slats, an element that repeats itself in the main stairwell as described in Part IV. This created a visual interest and provided a cohesive look that remains true to the clean lines and minimalistic approach that Mid-Century Modern design is known for.


Incorporating this new HVAC system described above meant that in some areas we had to do a lot of design work to the cabinetry and soffits. As mentioned in Part I, “we raised the ceiling in the salon by nearly six inches and created new soffit designs… One specific change the owners requested was to remove as many bullnosed and rounded elements as possible such as all of the bullnose window ledges, curved nightstands, and circular ceiling soffits throughout.”

We not only needed to square off the bullnose window ledges but also make the window boxes larger to accept the different style as well as the larger window shades we planned to use. What was existing needed to be covered by the wood window box rather than having an exposed fabric valance. This was quite a challenging part of the project due to the unexpected — although not immediately obvious — shape of the windows. You expect to see odd-shaped windows on most boats, we just don’t typically see it so drastically on a 112′ Westport, but I attribute this to it being a much earlier model. 

Another rounded element that was on the owner’s wish list from the onset of the project to be removed was the existing fluted soffits seen throughout the entire vessel. In most spaces, we were able to leave the existing soffits and clad over them with the newly fabricated flat soffits. (This was not the case, however, in the galley where we had walls that were not plumb as well as minimal space and minimal headroom.) All soffits throughout were able to be brought on board prior to finishing, fitted, then taken to the paint shop for finishing, then brought back on board for final installation. The window frames and mullions were finished on site.

The materials and a beautiful shag-style area rug have been selected for the Mid-Century Modern-styled interior.

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This space just plain needed a drastic update! This day head happened to be smaller than any 112′ Westport we have worked on to date. To add insult to injury, the existing wainscot treatment of the walls impacted its perceived size even further by visually cutting the walls in half, making them appear shorter and the ceiling lower. The visual weight of the heavy onyx wainscot material also influenced the perception of the space diminishing the sense of spaciousness overall. There was a time when dark smoked mirrors as on the existing ceiling of this day head were used to create an intimate ambiance, but in this space it was dated, reflected the surrounding dark elements, and made the space appear even smaller so we decided a major renovation was in order. 

We removed the mirror and will be replacing it with white painted ceiling panels and replaced the onyx wainscot with an inviting and easy to maintain vinyl wallcovering. Rather than try to work with the existing vanity, we removed it altogether and designed a wall-mounted vanity. By elevating the vanity as well as opting for a vessel sink, we were able to create a perception of height, making the ceilings seem higher than they actually were, and create a sense of openness by having more visible floor space, making the tiny space feel less cramped.

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As mentioned in Part I, while the owners enjoy cooking, they don’t plan to spend much of their time in the forward galley, so this space will be closed off from the salon with the aforementioned sliding glass door to become part of the crew area. Since this space will be primarily used for and by the crew, it has been designed in an industrial style, with stainless steel countertops and backsplash and a quartz-top table.

The original configuration of Emilia‘s galley included two air handlers, one located in the bow locker and the other in the doghouse. However, this arrangement proved to have some drawbacks. The air handler in the doghouse, situated aft of the galley, caused moisture and dust to accumulate under the refrigerator. The forward unit, placed in the outside locker, had a subpar performance and featured a return air passage from the galley to the exterior bow locker. To address these and other issues, significant improvements have been made to the HVAC system, as described above. The air handler in the bow locker has been relocated inside the galley settee. This compartment has been insulated for sound and vibration reduction. The supply duct now runs through the forward cabinets and has been engineered to minimize sound typically generated in short supply runs. Baffles have been strategically installed to slow down and absorb the sound generated by the rushing air and air handler motors. In addition to the HVAC system upgrades and improved insulation throughout, the owner prioritized installing a vent hood with a make-up air system. The purpose of this system is to replace the air exhausted by the hood, ensuring a balanced environment and preventing negative pressure situations. By incorporating the make-up air system, the load on the new HVAC system is reduced, and it helps to control cooking-related odors and moisture more effectively.




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Re-conceived as a multi-functional space to house either crew or guests, Emilia’s forward VIP stateroom now features a convertible queen-size bed that separates into two outboard twin beds for the chef and a stewardess to use when the family is onboard. Almost everything in the VIP Stateroom had to be completed and installed (carpentry, finishing, wallpaper, carpet, and headliner) prior to bringing in the sliding bed parts to be assembled and upholstered inside the room because it would have been too large to have been brought down the stairs in one piece. And, because the beds slide and the carpet had to be laid under the beds, although possible, there would have been very little space to maneuver the beds for the carpet to be installed once they were already in the room. 


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This extensive refit is well underway and will soon be nearing completion at Safe Harbor Lauderdale Marine Center, so stay tuned for the final project update on Emilia, coming soon!

For more on refits of all types, be sure to check out our blog posts Yacht Interior Designers Guide: To Refit Or Not To Refit Part 1 & Part 2. Be sure to come back and check in on our News Page for more progress on the refit of the 112′ Westport Yacht Emilia and other news and project updates!

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About the Author

Destry Darr Pethtel is an award-winning interior designer based in Florida. Her designs have been featured in several luxury yacht publications such as Showboats, Boat International, Yachts International, Yachting, Luxe Magazine to name just a few! Read More About Destry >>

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