The Friendly Giant
This 214-footer‘s adaptability allows her to offer something for everyone.
When you think Feadship, you probably think quality, experience, and precision. Or maybe your mind floods with visions of long graceful hulls with elegant lines. Indeed Trident, Feadship‘s new 214-foot leviathan, has all of the trademarks we‘ve come to expect from the storied Dutch yard: Her interior is immaculately finished, discreet crew access points run through all four of her decks, and she sports the classic De Voogt flared bow. But to the traditional Feadship mix, Trident also adds something new: This is one seriously flexible vessel. Or as Francois van Well, president of Feadship America, puts it, “[Trident] adapts to the group rather than the group adapting to the boat.”
Delivered last summer, Trident immediately became available for charter (at presstime, her owner had also put her up for purchase). This is why she was designed to accommodate all manner of guests and any number of possible groupings—from couples and large families to big corporate groups. Nowhere is this goal of flexibility more perfectly realized than in the guest staterooms on Trident‘s lower deck. There are five (for ten guests) arranged around a lobby, but the two aft and to starboard can be transformed into two large suites, each with its own sitting area (the extra-large twins in two of the rooms can be converted into L-shape settees).
The adaptability doesn‘t end there. Should guests want to enjoy a more private, formal dining experience, the main-deck dining room can be separated from the main saloon by closing two striking Asian-inspired sliding doors, which feature panels of translucent Avion and a geometric design made from crackle paint-finished, rusty iron and aluminum. Even the crew quarters are adjustable. A divider in the lounge on the tank deck slides out to create a small, private bunk area for two temporary crew—perhaps a pair of helicopter pilots. This is in addition to the seven en suite crew cabins on the vessel‘s lower deck—two of which feature double beds—and the spacious captain‘s cabin on the bridge deck.
Trident‘s Donald Starkey interior design further reflects the yacht‘s focus on flexibility and charter friendliness. Her owner basically gave the designer free reign, and Starkey responded with a vessel that he describes as “modern-ish” with a “wide appeal” but that also features the occasional “wow factor.” I took a dinner cruise aboard the boat around Amster-dam, just after she launched but before her interior was completely finished, and also toured her during the most recent Monaco Yacht Show: I can report that Starkey accomplished exactly that. Trident‘s interior has a kind of chic calmness to it—thanks to the frequent appearance of cream, taupe, and brown. These muted colors are accented by some unusual wood finishes, including satin-finish, whitewashed chestnut in the lower-deck staterooms and dark amazakoue in the main saloon.
But Trident certainly does have those “wow factor” surprises as well, most notably her stunning central elevator, which is encased in wire-brushed walnut travertine. Surrounding the base of each floor‘s elevator entrance (it runs through all four decks) is a mirror-finish stainless steel border, which, according to Feadship, “gives the impression that the entire shaft is an independent structure that stands on its own.” What I would say, having stepped over the border into the elevator myself, is that the effect is equal parts breathtaking and heart-stopping. If you look down as you cross the threshold, it feels like you‘re stepping over an actual—and quite sizeable—gap before entering into a free-standing tower. It‘s certainly a “wow” moment, but for acrophobes like me, one that might take some getting used to.
Another eye-catching, albeit slightly more subtle decorative touch, can be found in Trident‘s full-beam bridge-deck lounge, which is finished in a grey-stained pine. Starkey believes that Trident is the only luxury yacht with a public space finished in this material, a design decision he made because he believes that the precious wood finishes that are more common in such lounges can make people uncomfortable. Starkey figures, quite rightly, that when guests spend time on the bridge deck, they‘re often outside, wearing shorts or bathing suits. When they step back into a formal space, it can be a jarring experience. Not so onboard Trident. The grey finish is soothing and relaxed and, as Feadship says, helps give the entire deck area the feel of a very cohesive indoor-outdoor zone.
Considering that Trident is the 800th yacht to be launched by Feadship‘s Royal Van Lent yard, it should come as no surprise that behind those handsome aesthetic touches are some very well-thought-out logistics. One example: the VIP stateroom is on the main deck, just a stone‘s throw from the master suite, because it is assumed that the former will be used by children or other family members, meaning the owner (or a charter guest staying in the owner‘s area) would like to have them close by.
Another is in the owner‘s private office, just opposite the VIP. There are two entrances—one from the guest hallway and one directly from the owner‘s suite. Should the owner desire privacy, he can simply lock the stained-glass hallway entrance. But should he want to create a public library space, he can open the hallway door, letting guests enter and exit without disturbing his suite.
Finally, there‘s the decision to place the gym on the lower deck, just a few feet away from the guests‘ staterooms so they don‘t have to head all the way up to a sundeck workout space. If the devil‘s in the details, Feadship‘s got nothing to worry about here: It made sure the ceilings were high enough for guests to have plenty of headroom on the treadmill, which can be an annoying issue on other megayacht gyms. It also added an additional dedicated air-conditioning unit so guests will stay cool no matter how hard they work out.
But Trident wasn‘t built for work, she was built for entertainment, relaxation, and above all, to accommodate a wide range of guests. And nowhere is that more apparent than on her sundeck, which though open, is subtly separated into several different areas. Feel like having a full sit-down meal? There‘s a 12-person shaded dining table in the center that‘s easily serviced by a dumbwaiter running directly to the galley. Want to take a dip? There‘s a Jacuzzi forward, surrounded by a sunpad and just a few steps from a private shower and powder room. Looking to welcome a few more friends onboard? All you need to do is move the chaise lounges, and you‘ve got a temporary helipad.
When you‘re up here, towering well over the ocean, Trident might start to feel like an imposing vessel. Size-wise she is, of course, but in so many other ways, she‘s not. This is one friendly giant who‘s all about adapting to her guests‘ every whim and desire.
Feadship America (954) 761-1830. www.powerandmotoryacht.com/feadship/.
This article originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.