Mine GamesTrinity Yachts unveiled and christened Mine Games at FLIBS, a 164’ yacht with a highly-customized interior, a helicopter and a two-passenger submarine. She was exhibited next to the 161’ Lohengrin at FLIBS, and at first glance the two appeared very closely related; but several features, not least of all her interior, make Mine Games a different yacht.
The line between series yachts and custom yachts is getting blurry, says Trinity Yachts’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing Billy Smith. As we note in a feature elsewhere in this issue, even custom yards are now turning to semi-custom series to answer the increasing demand for quality yachts delivered faster. The 161’ Lohengrin and 164’ Mine Games, both built on aluminum semi-displacement hulls with a 28’ beam and an aluminum superstructure, share a real likeness but are close cousins rather than sisterships. Trinity Yachts has been refining this particular shape for about 10 years now, Smith says. “Owners like that it is a proven hull shape, but Mine Games is very much a custom boat, as the owner and Fort Lauderdale-based Interior Designer Patrick Knowles chose all of the interior design,” he adds. In addition Mine Games has more powerful engines than Lohengrin—twin Caterpillar 3516B HD that achieve a top speed the shipyard lists conservatively at 22.5 knots but in reality, according to Captain JD Ducanes, is closer to 24— and has been stretched to 164’ in order to accommodate the yacht’s submarine and a helipad. For the sake of performance naval architects also made slight modifications to the hull.
At 164’ Mine Games stays below the 500 gross-ton threshold, beyond which a whole new layer of regulations complicates the build, adding substantial construction and operational costs. This threshold is the reason why Trinity Yachts—which also offers clients the option to build yachts on full displacement steel hulls— recently delivered five aluminum yachts, all within a 157’ to 164’ range, Smith says. Even within this range, aluminum hulls offer quite considerable latitude in terms exterior styling and interior arrangements, opening up a great range of possibilities thanks to the flexibility in bulkhead placement. Trinity Yachts, however, also takes great care to ensure that their yachts comply with a number of classification authorities including ABS and MCA, which also makes them suitable for charter, a clear advantage when owners decide to sell or simply look to offset some of the cost of yacht ownership. This in turn dictates certain reasonable interior layout decisions, including the number of guest cabins, their size and amenities, and the inclusion of a suitable galley with ample storage and cooking space.
Mine Games embarks on its first Caribbean charter season this winter, and the yacht’s interior is well suited to accommodate up to 12 passengers in five staterooms, including four lower-deck guest cabins, two of which each have a Pullman bed. The nearly identical and spacious three king-bed staterooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, ensure that charter guests will experience comparable comfort. Just off the dining room, the main deck galley is spacious, with a walk-in refrigerator and freezer, ample prep space, a pantry and a stove with eight burners. Captain JD, who followed the yacht’s construction at Trinity’s Gulfport, Miss., yard, ensured that storage be included everywhere possible, including beneath the crew mess, where several cleverly-designed bins allow keeping ample supplies organized. An additional freezer is also located there, as are three crew cabins and a spacious lounge and eating area.
But what really makes Mine Games a unique yacht are the highly detailed custom interior, an inventory of interesting toys and an oversized swim platform. When the glass sliding doors open onto what deserves the name of great room on the main deck, it becomes clear this is a highly personal yacht. There are no cathedral ceilings here to be sure, but two overhead frescos—painted by the same artist who decorated the ceilings in the owner’s private Palm Beach home— make striking centerpieces above the salon and the spectacular dining room table. Highly custom architectural woodwork— in American cherry with maple burl accents and bubinga, cut and prepped for assembly in New Zealand by Robinson Marine Interiors according to Knowles’ detailed drawings— warms the interior. Offering a vintage look, intricate stone work makes the floor an integral part of the overall décor. The yacht’s owner has an exceptional eye for detail, says Knowles, who worked on several proposals and made a pre-selection of no fewer than 40 different kinds of stone before retaining 14 species.
One centerpiece that exemplifies the overall detail level of the yacht’s décor is a spectacular 12-place Italian dining table, which appears to have come straight from a Tuscan countryside estate. The table’s “French polish” and inlay design make it credible that the table came from one ancient tree trunk and acquired its patina from generations of hungry guests. A beautiful floor medallion, ceiling fresco and alabaster chandelier complete the dining room design. Another example is found within a small room that does not usually receive such a high level of attention, the on-deck day head. Having designed many aircraft interiors, Knowles says he loves designing small rooms; this becomes apparent as soon as the door opens. “It is like a jewelry box,” he says. “It has everything in it, a great painting, a multiple inlay medallion, a hand-carved vanity and alabaster sconces.”
The very private on-deck master stateroom, with his and hers bathroom, has been designed to take full advantage of surrounding views. The two-level design places the bed several steps higher than the seating area, facing large vertical windows. To open up the view even more, the builder lowered the window sill, another custom treatment.
Outside, Captain JD points out the swimming platform, which is extra large at about 450 sq. feet to accommodate one of the yacht’s many toys, a two-passenger submarine able to dive to a maximum depth of 1000 feet and to collect marine samples for oceanographic research. Captain JD, who has a Bachelor’s degree in marine science and received special training for the sub operation, plans to make available the Triton 1000 available to charter guests. Although compact and lightweight, the Triton 1000 did require additional space. This works to the guests’ advantage, as the entire platform becomes a convenient beach area, shaded when necessary with a removable awning. The large davit that handles the toys is neatly stowed out of sight aft of the main deck. Another change to the exterior arrangement was the addition of space on the reinforced sundeck to accommodate the yacht’s helicopter, an Italian-made 7000-lb. Agusta Grand. The extension not only provides sufficient clearance for the helicopter to take off and touch down, it also creates additional shade for the spacious dining area located aft on the pilothouse deck below. (For additional information on these and other yachts’ toys see our “Toys for Boys” feature, also in this issue.)
Captain JD expresses great satisfaction with the yacht’s performance and equipment. A couple of days before her Fort Lauderdale debut Mine Games left her dock in Nassau at 10 a.m., traveled 150 nm across the Gulf Stream and was docked in her temporary home at Bahia Mar’s Yachting Center by 4 p.m. From the spacious pilothouse, Captain JD can keep an eye on all the yachts’ vital signs. The Simon monitoring system keeps track of alarms, engine data, engine fuel burn and directional flows. He can control bilge valves and pumps from here. He also has the ability to switch cameras from one of the five large flat screens to the next according to his needs. Captain JD likes the all-yacht entertainment system—in this case the Kaleidescape system, which the owner also enjoys at home—neatly stacked in a closet near the pilothouse. The system’s servers allow pre-loading the yacht’s entire DVD collection and music on servers, whose contents guests can then access on demand.
All this and more is found on a tried-and-true aluminum hull with a 28’ beam, which the owners very much have made their own.
Maximum speed (trial load): about 22.5 knots
Classification: ABS, MCA Compliant
Marine Designer: Trinity Yachts, LLC
Interior Designer: Patrick Knowles
Engines: 2 x Caterpillar 3516B HD rated at 3,384 hp at 1,800 rpm
Generators: 2 x 125 kW Northern lights @ 1,800 rpm
Bow Thruster: 150 hp hydraulic
Stabilizers: “Zero Speed” Quantum
Fresh water: 2600 Gal.
Fuel: 16,100 Gal.
Displacement: 330 tons
Cruising range@12 knots: 3000 nm