By Kim Kavin
The Yacht Insider: Trinity Yachts Defying Market Slump
In the face of a down yacht market, Trinity Yachts continues to fill orders and is even looking to expand.
Not to take anything away from the second-largest sportfishing yacht in the world, which has some nifty features including Quantum MagLift stabilizers, but Mary P’s launch was more than just a christening. It was a definitive moment in the history of Trinity Yachts itself.
Mary P, you see, is the first yacht that Trinity has built and launched entirely in New Orleans since the yard reopened following the devastating Hurricane Katrina. At the time of the storm, countless naysayers said Trinity was done for good, literally underwater. But company principals Felix Sabates, John Dane, and Billy Smith invested in everything from equipment to employees’ housing needs, refusing to let the brand collapse. Today, Mary P is one among seven yachts under construction at the New Orleans yard, and one of 24 yachts that Trinity is building altogether.
That last number is significant, as the recently released Global Build Report from Yachts International states that Trinity now has more linear feet of custom luxury superyachts under construction than any other shipyard, anywhere in the world. That’s darn impressive when just a few years ago, workers were literally trying to stay safe and forage for food onboard a new build while water flooded the yard and city all around them.
Now based in Gulfport, Mississippi, Trinity has plans not just to survive, but to continue thriving. The company is looking for as many as 400 new employees, with skills ranging from welding to engineering. This, at a time when more than a few other boatbuilders are blaming the foundering U.S. economy for cutbacks and production slowdowns.
So yes, indeed, all hail the launch of the Mary P-not just as the birth of a new yacht, but as the official rebirth of an American boatbuilder.
- Kim Kavin is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who specializes in marine travel. She is the author of six books including Dream Cruises: The Insider’s Guide to Private Yacht Vacations, and is editor of the online yacht vacation magazine www.CharterWave.com.