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Even though the majority of yachts over 120ft in length are custom built to suit the needs of their owners, it is surprising how similar many of them are when it comes to design or internal layout. Perhaps this is just a coincidence that different..


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Even though the majority of yachts over 120ft in length are custom built to suit the needs of their owners, it is surprising how similar many of them are when it comes to design or internal layout. Perhaps this is just a coincidence that different people desire the same thing, or perhaps there is a sense of security when making an investment in a proven product. But every now and then someone builds a real ground breaker that makes the rest of us sit up and ask ourselves: “Why didn’t I think of that?”. FORTY LOVE is the perfect example for such a breaktrough.

FORTY LOVE's owners charted yachts for many years, but they were never satisfied with the way that the boats blended with the family's outgoing, sporty lifestyle. They decided to purchase their own yacht. After a lengthy search for the ideal vessel, the couple concluded that they would either have to built one from scratch or modify an existing yacht. To avoid the risk of an expensive new build, they chose the latter course and bought a nearly completed self building project based on a cored composite Westport 112ft semi-displacement hull.

Today, they are happy with the prize “a well built vessel that exactly suits the family's needs” but looking back on the seven years that it took to finish Forty Love, they admit that with prior knowledge of the task that lay ahead, they might have chosen the easier route.

The original plan was straightforward. With a custom yacht, holidays would be enhanced and some of the running expenses could be defrayed by offering it for charter. Rather than compete with the charter fleet that operates in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, this yacht would migrate between the idyllic Turkish cruising grounds and the relatively undiscovered waters of the red sea. It is easily accessible from Europe, the winter weather is perfect, the coast is filled with attractions, including some of the World's best diving and fishing spots.

Back in 1994, the political situation in the Middle East looked highly promising, and the semi-annual Suez Canal transit was far less expensive on a yacht than two Atlantic crossings. The plan seemed eminently workable.

The project was approached in the true spirit of yacht customization -built to suit both the needs of the owners and their chosen cruising grounds. The Red Sea climate is very hot and there are no maintenance facilities for yachts, therefore huge air-conditioning systems and a very high level of equipment redundancy had to be incorporated into the machinery.


The owner wanted to carry a good range of water sports equipment and have ample deck space for entertainment. Good exterior lighting was also a necessity because the cool evening is one of the best times to be outside. They asked that the saloons have the greatest exterior visibility possible in order to take advantage of the amazing panoramas in both of the planned cruising areas, and while the cabins should be comfortable, they said they need not be overly large. An unusual requirement was that the owners wanted the yacht to be able to provide other vessels with essentials. They foresaw that their friends, whose yachts might not have the range for a lengthy cruise, might need to be supplied with fuel, water, and possibly even power. Large tanks (both diesel and gasoline) and fuel transfer pumps were needed, as was the ability to supply electrical 'shore power' in the same way as a marina. This latter service could also come in handy if their island home in the Red Sea would suffer a power breakdown. A new twist for shore power!

Another unique request was made to accommodate the owners’ Labradors (a dog breed known for its affinity with water). In the fear that they would enter the water but not be able to climb back out onto a regular swim platform, the stern of the yacht would be built with wide steps that descended below water level. And all stairs in the yacht would also have to be dog-friendly .With the yachts design approved, the owners took a completely open-minded view at how she could be laid out and began with major alterations. Most of the existing interior on the main and lower decks was stripped and rearranged. The Westport GRP hull was lengthened by adding a huge beach-style swim platform to the stern that stepped down into the water, extending the Westport's 112ft hull to 125ft. This added interior volume providing extra space for fuel tanks, storage freezers, and garbage lockers which give the yacht two months' autonomy.