Following the announcement of the formation of the Gulf Coast Shipyard Group, its divisional chiefs and new investors have held a meeting to establish a preliminary strategy for the group. The meeting was complemented by the launch of Trinity Yachts’ latest superyacht, Finish Line (T058), a 36.6m raised pilothouse vessel.

Of primary importance is the decision to move all superyacht production to the group’s New Orleans site. Although superyacht work has taken place at the site in the past, the move signals the end of yacht construction at the Gulfport site, which will now be used exclusively for Gulf Coast’s extensive commercial order book.

Trinity Yachts VP, Billy Smith, said operations were already underway in New Orleans. “We have two boats in the water in Gulfport – the 74m and the 51m – but that’s because they’re near completion. But we no longer have the room to build yachts in Gulfport”, Smith explained.

Finish Line was launched on 12 June.

Work is underway on a 59m superyacht at the New Orleans facility. The two 51m superyachts that had construction halted due to customer defaults – T-052 and T-056 are currently in the outfitting sheds ready to begin construction as soon as a buyer is found.

The meeting also gave the investors the opportunity to review the superyacht division’s business model. This renewed activity in New Orleans is an example of their commitment to driving business to Trinity Yachts. The capital injection, coupled with the healthy commercial order book, has provided the liquidity Trinity needed to reinvigorate its superyacht division.

Work is now underway to complete T052.

The next stage in the overhaul of Trinity’s business model is an examination of how the brand will position itself within the superyacht market, although this process is ongoing and no decision has been reached yet. “We have to decide whether we continue building whatever the client wants, or whether we take the Westport and Amels model – limited models, which are still custom but without having to keep reproducing the engineering costs”, Smith said.

Gulf Coast Shipyard Group is also aligning itself with a number of strategic partners that will allow it to offer a range of innovative energy solutions to its superyacht clients. This has been seen with the development of its LNG vessels and there are other power solutions being explored. “We can now offer technology transfer to our superyacht clients”, Smith said. “The owner doesn’t have to feel like they’re the guinea pig.”

But, following the meeting with his new partners, Smith is very positive about Gulf Coast Shipyard Group’s future in yachting:

“We’re active in four markets and that gives us the ability to balance out our loads. If one market is down another may well be up and this gives us a lot more flexibility. It means we don’t have to wait around for a market to turn around. It means we don’t have to judge investments solely on the performance of each division.”

New Orleans will now become the focal point for the group's superyacht work.

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