With over 7,000 nautical miles behind her in her first five weeks Trinity’s new 58-metre is the yacht that never stops. By Charlotte Bailey

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

When I meet the captain on board Carpe Diem, the 11th largest yacht to ever be built in America and one of only four with Trinity’s new semi-displacement hull, he’s feeling rather pleased with himself. He’s just cruised the new-build 4,700 miles across the Atlantic, from Newport, Rhode Island, to Kotor, Montenegro, stopping only for fuel. “I don’t know any other boat that has done that journey in 12 1⁄2 days,” says Captain Ryan Butterworth. “She ran like a champ and handled flawlessly.”

Carpe Diem’s owner, a New York-based attorney who also owns a 50-metre Trinity (renamed Carpe Diem II) and previously owned a 40-metre Palmer Johnson, is making sure his new yacht stays in optimum condition by keeping her on the move constantly. Before the Atlantic crossing, she already had 2,700 miles behind her, meaning that in the five weeks since delivery, she had run almost 7,500 miles. Huge stabiliser fins and the new hull made the crossing a smooth one, according to Butterworth, and whereas often in the first few weeks of running, a yacht will throw up an extensive snag-list requiring the engineers to tweak some of her systems, Carpe Diem didn’t.

See a gallery of Carpe Diem

Although speed and manoeuvrability were key parts of this yacht’s design, when you step on board it is evident that style is also an important concept to the owner, who took a hands-on approach when it came to both the building and the finishing. In many ways, she seems to reflect the owner’s personality. An active man, he runs six miles a day, so it’s appropriate that resting on the foredeck ready for a burst of energy are four PWCs, brand-new models with GPS and independent suspension. He is also a keen sunseeker, and has indulged this with a multitude of outdoor areas that beg to be played in. Aft deck on the bridge deck is a black and white seating area, which features a full-width sofa with extra-deep seats, and on the sundeck is a 12-seater hot-tub with lounging area, wet-bar with loungers and waterproof TV. There is also an extended swim platform below.

The owner's suite with living area separated by an island credenza

The owner's suite with living area separated by an island credenza

Inside, the yacht the owner’s touch is also in evidence. “The owner requested the interior be modern and understated but elegant and inviting,” explains interior designer Carol Williamson of Carol Williamson + Associates (CW+A). “We’d worked together on the refit of Carpe Diem II, so I was aware of his design preferences. I knew about his love of rich woods, subtle colour work and the complex textures of fabrics – accentuated by his black and white photography collection – before we started this amazing project. The design evolved throughout the process. We would review the drawings and he would request subtle adjustments based upon detailing or a picture he had seen. With each adjustment, the design became more refined and sophisticated, until it reflected exactly what he was envisioning for the finished design.”

One of the yacht’s most unusual features is a dramatic main-deck foyer, a corridor spanning the width of the deck, lined with the only full-colour artworks on board, original colour prints of Marilyn Monroe. Both the main salon and the sky lounge have honey onyx corner bars, and the galley kitchen, in cherry wood and marble, even has a breakfast bar for guests as well as walk-in fridge/freezers for the chef, who was previously on the 78-metre Lurssen Madsummer. Although there is a 12-seater dining table on this deck, it is rarely used unless the weather is bad or the occasion is very formal, the outdoor table on the aft deck being more popular. Carpe Diem’s lucky guests can expect stunning views as they eat here under the sun or stars.

The interior is a carefully planned series of contrasts, setting dark leather and woods against cream. Macassar ebony is used for bulkheads and furniture in the main salon and in the VIP and guest suites, and the effect is strikingly different to what would have been achieved with a more conventional cherry wood finish: it’s bold and dramatic, particularly when set off by cream silk velvet sofas and the pure white onyx bar aft.

The guest hallway on board Carpe Diem

The guest hallway best illustrates the contrast of light and dark and Art Deco styling

The overriding theme throughout the boat, apart from the contrasts of dark and light, is Art Deco. “The owner has long admired elements from the Art Deco period in Europe,” says Carol. “He was interested in incorporating subtle references to it not only in the architectural detailing but the furniture, lighting and accessoriesaswell.”In the full-beam mains alon,with its large square windows, vintage armchairs were sourced from Paris and recovered in dark velvet to integrate with the rest of the room. The owner also selected several vintage nickel lamps to be used in various spaces on the yacht, including a pair of orb lamps on the side tables in the sky lounge. Anything not vintage was custom-designed for the boat by CW+A and fabricated by Durante Furniture of Vancouver. “Each furniture item we designed has understated Deco detailing,” says Carol. “Our selected fabrics and leathers possess a subtle iridescent quality and directly reflect the owner’s request for a luxurious look throughout the yacht.”

Fun has evidently been had designing the main suite’s ‘hers’ bathroom: whilst the other bathrooms give a nod to the Art Deco theme with vintage photographs, this room is pure Hollywood glamour; walk in and you instantly picture Greta Garbo putting on her makeup. Its features include an opulent white marble tub, scalloped cupboard doors, and mother-of-pearl tiles on the walls and in the door-handle inlays.

In the full-beam master guest suite, approached through the office, a central macassar table divides the room into sleeping and living space. Inside it is a TV, which emerges from the table and swivels towards either area at the touch of a button but lies hidden when the room’s occupants choose. The owner was very involved in the design of this space, requesting that the walls were upholstered in a diamond pattern with button tufting. “He was very specific that he wanted the warmth and subtle light play that the grey sateen would bring to this elegant space,” says Carol.

The project commanded a budget bigger than anything Trinity had ever done before, but the owner wanted everything to be perfect and was willing to wait longer. In fact, the boat was complete two years ago, but when he saw it the owner decided to extend the ceilings on the main deck by six inches. It added significantly to the build time, which ended up totalling 51⁄2 years, but since he already had the 50-metre, he was in no rush, explains Captain Butterworth. It wasn’t only the owner who made radical changes to the yacht during the design and building process. “I didn’t care for the first design for the bridge,” he says. “So I redesigned it: the boss likes to sit in here, so I added higher chairs behind where I sit.” There are multiple 32-inch plasma screens, and he also had a full-size chart table installed.

With a maiden voyage of such magnitude behind her, Carpe Diem’s next test will be the owner’s first trip, and after that, chartering in the Western Med and then the Caribbean. But on a yacht so abuzz with activity even when docked, with her always-energised captain and lively, attentive crew, one thing the owner won’t worry about is what happens when things slow down. SyW

This feature is taken from the September/October 2011 edition of SuperYacht World. Click here to buy the issue for your iPad