Photography by Jim Raycroft
Trinity’s 120-foot Finish Line puts fun and a family-focused lifestyle front and center.
While I almost tirelessly love the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, I was flat beat that afternoon last October, having tramped around all day, looking at scads of watercraft and talking to seemingly thousands of people. So my response was instantaneous when Joanne Lockhart pointed invitingly at a U-shaped lounge on the cool, hardtop-shaded sundeck of Trinity’s new 120-foot Finish Line and said, “Why don’t you have a seat, Bill? If even for a moment.”
Whoof! I went down like a Great Lakes ore carrier’s anchor in free-fall. “Oh, wow,” I observed, upon hitting bottom. “Yeah!”
Not since I’d spent weekends as a kid at my Uncle Jim’s wonderful old Adirondack hunting camp, with its billowy, cloud-like feather tick mattresses, had I experienced such a soft, sumptuous, ergonomically excellent landing. After a long, appreciative moment, I asked Lockhart to explain how she’d created such a magnificently comfy piece of furniture, she being the boat’s interior designer and all. I hoped fervently that, with a little encouragement, she’d take a good long time doing it.
A Tale of Sumptuousness
“Well, it’s a funny little story,” she began, settling into a pillow-backed, faux-rattan chair nearby. “You see, I’ve worked for this owner for over a decade now and, really, comfort is one of his highest priorities. Every sofa onboard this boat, every settee, every mattress, every fabric, whether outside or inside, has to be soft. He simply does not want his family to sit or lie down on anything that is the least bit difficult.”
Over the years, the comfort-first emphasis has greatly influenced Lockhart’s personal, shoreside life, she went on. In fact, she said, way back when Finish Line was still abuilding at Trinity’s yard on the Gulf Coast, her own penchant for softness and comfort manifested in the purchase of some especially cushy-looking garden furniture for her home in Ft. Lauderdale. But when she actually tried the stuff out, the sleek new vessel’s sundeck came to mind immediately. “The owner’s family is young, vibrant, outdoorsy—they’re fun,” she said, “and the ergonomics of the furniture, as well as its appearance and feel, fit their relaxed but active lifestyle perfectly.”
Designing an array of fiberglass modules with the appropriate dimensions was easy for Lockhart, but coming up with a fabric for the upholstery that would be super-soft as well as weather-resistant enough to withstand rain showers without getting soaked was way more challenging. Indeed, ultimately the task proved impossible—there simply was nothing on the market that would fit the bill.
“So what I did,” she explained, “was cover custom-filled Dacron pillows with very pliable, lightweight, waterproof Stamoid Marine vinyl sleeves and then cover the sleeves with one of the outdoor fabrics from Perennials. We sewed grommets into the bottoms of the sleeves so air could escape whenever someone sits down or leans back. The result, I’d say, is as comfortable as a residential product, perhaps even more so. And it’s such a fun look!”
As Lockhart finished her story, her husband Billy, Finish Line’s captain, pulled up another chair and introduced himself. Then, perhaps because the ambiance of the sundeck felt so remotely sub-tropical and private, with a go-anywhere helm station up forward and an array of festive watertoys stowed astern, the three of us fell silent for a bit, with the cacophony of the boat show seemingly miles away. At length, the skipper cleared his throat and broke the spell. “Well then, tour of the engine room?”
I’m tellin’ ya, the place was a mindblower. Never in my entire life have I seen such a whopping display of chrome-plated stainless steel, whether onboard a yacht, boat, ship, tug, or whatever. The triplex Racors for the mains and gensets were chrome-plated stainless. The engine-mounted secondary fuel filters were chrome-plated stainless. And then there were the two giant, waist-high seachests, a gleaming phalanx of fancy engine valve covers, all the compression posts and exhaust trunk hangers, the searails overhead, and every single fuel line. Heck—even the aluminum diamond-patterned decking of the centerline walkway underfoot had been chrome-plated via some esoteric process.
“Right off the bat, we told the guys at Trinity that we wanted every separate space onboard this boat to have a wow factor,” Capt. Lockhart said, “and this is the engine room they came up with. Primarily aesthetics, of course. But plenty of wow, eh?”
Fabulous Sea Boat
I found two additional aspects of Finish Line’s engine room to be pretty darn impressive as well, once I’d recovered from all the chrome-plated exuberance. First, there was the top-shelf exhaust system from Von’Widmann Designs. By comparison with more conventional arrangements, a Von’Widmann setup keeps big, powerful main engines running cooler and more efficiently, and cuts backpressure, noise, and performance-robbing hydrodynamic drag, too. It does all this via a set of finely-tuned, rectilinear, straight-pipe-type exhaust tunnels—with no mufflers or baffles—that stretch all the way from each main engine (where spray rings introduce water) to two expansion boxes well aft, port and starboard. The boxes vent exhaust gases through squarish holes in the bottom of the boat, a process energized by suction-producing wedges (they protrude from
Finish Line’s running surface by about 2 inches, said Lockhart) each bolted athwartship, along the leading edge of each hole. Idle-speed exhaust is vented through smaller bypass ports in the hullsides, well aft.
Second, there was the fuel system. With daytank delivery to each main engine and triplex Racors on the transfer pump that fills the daytank from any or all of the boat’s three storage tanks via a big Alfa Laval centrifuge, the whole thing was commercial-grade all the way and, at least seemingly, completely bad-fuel-proof.
“And she’s a wonderful sea boat as well,” Lockhart said as we finally exited the ER. “Enormous bow, very little top-hamper weight, great stability—she’ll do 24 knots wide open and cruise at 20 knots all day. My first trip back from the Bahamas we had 25-knot winds and 7- to 10-foot seas almost abeam and I sat in the wheelhouse drinking coffee while we did 18 knots comin’ across! Towing a 32-foot Fountain!”
A Comparatively Small, Big Boat
I completed my tour of Finish Line with both Lockharts alongside. We started on the main deck where the layout was pretty straightforward. At the rear, there was an immense cockpit with a full wetbar and dining table with seating for eight. I hit the switch for a vast set of glass sliders and we went forward into the saloon, which featured a formal dining area, another full wet bar, entertainment options galore, and L-shaped lounges and chairs that were at least as soft and comfortable as those up top on the sundeck. Venturing all the way forward brought us to a very American-feeling country kitchen with appliances by Sub-Zero and Miele.
The lower deck was much more family-centric by comparison. For starters, the full-beam master was immense, with a king-sized berth, an ample en suite bathroom, and a full-beam walk-in closet that was flat-out gigantic. “I was told it had to duplicate the menswear department of Barneys New York,” Joanne said with a grin, “but I think it’s turned out nicer.” Then, all three en suite guests were immense as well, with a conventional queen berth in one, a queen (convertible for playroom usage) in another, and two twin berths and a Pullman in a kid-friendly third. Then finally, the area for the crew (divided into three separate en suite staterooms forward) was just about as immense and comfy as the accommodation spaces farther aft.
“Long before Finish Line was much more than a theory, we’d made some decisions ,” said Capt. Lockhart, leading the way into a glass-bridge-style pilothouse that featured seven (but who’s counting) 19-inch KEP Maine displays, an Arcturus TRAC thruster control, a Simrad A50 autopilot, a Simrad RGC50 gyrocompass, and a couple of long-range Furuno radars. “We wanted a modern, sexy, stylish, high-quality yacht, but also a comparatively small one with a Bahamas-friendly draft. Big boats are slow, need big crews, take ages to move, and can’t get into some places—we didn’t want any of that. Instead, we wanted a comparatively small, big boat.”
“But also a very comfortable one,” added his wife, with a smile.
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Better Boat: Entourage
Finish Line seldom goes anywhere without an attendant entourage tagging dutifully along. For pure, hell-bent-for-leather fun (as well as spur-of-the-moment fishing trips) there’s the 32-foot Fountain center console (shown above)—she’s rigged for towing and reportedly swoops along quite nicely in the flat water of her mothership’s wake, even at rousing speeds. And then for big-time sportfishing expeditions, there’s a brand-new Viking 55 with her very own captain and crew. The 55 is a shadow-type vessel of sorts, with an interior that—as with her big sister’s—owes its look to designer Joanne Lockhart and her firm Yacht Next (www .yachtnext.com) of Ft. Lauderdale. “So it would not clash in any way with the interior of the big boat,” explains Lockhart.
AIR DRAFT (HALF LOAD): approx. 40', BOW THRUSTER: 100-hp Arcturus TRAC hydraulic, STABILIZERS: Arcturus TRAC w/ zero-speed capability, CONSTRUCTION: aluminum, CLASSIFICATION: ABS, MCA-compliant, NAVAL ARCHITECTURE/ENGINEERING: Trinity Yachts, INTERIOR DESIGN: YachtNext, GENERATORS: 2/80-kW Kohler, CRUISING RANGE: 3,670 nautical miles (with 10% reserve at 10 knots)
Test Boat Specifications
- Test Engine: 2/2,600-hp MTU 16V2000 M94 diesel inboards
- Transmission/Ratio: ZF 3370/4:1, TK gear ratio
- Props: 53 x 64.5 6-blade Veemstar LC Interceptor
This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.