Trinity Yachts, LLC has moved one ) nearly completed yacht and four of their partially built yachts over to their new production facility in Gulfport, Miss. These yachts were towed through the Intracoastal waterways that are strewn with sunken or damaged fishing and pleasure boats left over from Hurricane Katrina.
According to John Dane III
, President of Trinity Yachts, “The last eight weeks have been very hectic since hurricane Katrina stuck, and with the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show quickly approaching, we really haven’t had a chance to pause and reflect on how far we have come. But two weeks ago when the first hull was hoisted out at the new facility and we began the continuation of manufacturing, it was a good feeling, especially when you consider what we have all been through here.”
The modern shipyard based in Gulfport, MS., has over 9 acres/3.6 hectares (392,040 sq. ft./119,493 sq. m) of covered building area situated on approximately 50 acres/20.5 hectares of land. This new facility combined with the existing 10 acres/4 hectares (435,600 sq. ft./132,770 sq. m) of covered buildings on 38 acres/15.5 hectares at the New Orleans yard, (the New Orleans yard will be retained as their Repair and Refit shipyard), provides Trinity Yachts with a very large capacity to create up to 8-10 megayachts annually for the yachting industry and the capability to build up to 400 ft. (122 m) in length. The Gulfport main construction building has a height of 90 ft. (27.43m) allowing Trinity to build five (5) deck yachts.
Dane continued, “Even though the New Orleans yard sustained a small amount of damage compared to many companies in the area, the loss of reliable power for a projected 6 months and the amount of employees displaced by the floods warranted the search for another facility in a different environment. We had been eyeing the Gulfport facility
as a location to expand our operations into, but Katrina forced us to make the move to the new Gulfport yard as quickly as possible to take advantage of the large space. The modern facilities and equipment there, could be pressed into service immediately to minimize delay for our Owners. We began by towing the 157 ft. M/Y LADY LINDA over with hull #01, the M/Y LEDA. Since she (M/Y LEDA) was at the yard for refit, it was decided to press her into service as most of the workboats and commercial tows in the area were either out of commission or working in the recovery process. This unique towing operation created quite a few comments from the locals.”
Felix S. Sabates Jr., Chairman, confirmed that “Trinity Yachts now has moved all of the yachts and modules that were in various stages of completion prior to hurricane Katrina to the Gulfport facility and the progress of construction is moving forward rapidly with over sixty percent of our workforce now back on the job. This is a wonderful achievement by all the staff and management of Trinity considering the amount of devastation along the Gulf Coast.”
Trinity Yachts also has completed the installation of seventy (70) of the planned one hundred (100) mobile home trailers it has purchased to house the many displaced Trinity employees and their families. This effort was also monumental involving the installation of all services including power, sewage, water and road work. The balance of the installations will be completed within the next few weeks and this will allow additional workers to return to work and a sense of normalcy.
While many companies are wary of participating in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show due to Hurricane Wilma, Trinity Yachts will be there in full force with five (5) yachts on display. “Our decision to participate was never in doubt, since we knew that Show Management and their staff would find a way to get the show up and running in the manner we all expect it to be. So we invite everyone to come and see us at the show or at our new location in Gulfport!” stated Dane.