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Trinity Carpe Diem: Enjoyable Day And Night

Carpe Diem is most commonly translated from Latin as “seize the day.” However, literally speaking, the word carpe means “pick, pluck, cull, gather”—and that is exactly what Nicholas Wise, the owner’s representative, did in the quest for a few slabs of perfect white onyx.


Nicholas Wise made it his personal mission to find that elusive stone. He started with the Italian-born “Marble King” of Brooklyn. Then through connections and chance meetings, he finally identified what he was looking for in Viareggio—the equivalent of a white rhinoceros in the exotic stone world. This is just one story among many, one step in a long process to build this new 191-foot Trinity. Interior designer Carol Williamson went to equally great lengths to achieve exactly what the owners wanted—elegant comfort with an array of unique textiles and textures. Inside, lamps and overhead lighting capture the glimmer of silk, velvet, mother-of-pearl and nickel. Makassar ebony, beautifully veined and stained, offsets white onyx floors and custom carpeting. Moreover, the yacht is a stunning showcase for the owner’s photography collection, which includes the last-known picture of actress Jane Mansfield with Italian darling Sophia Loren; Frank Sinatra lighting John Kennedy’s cigarette and, of course, the incomparable Marilyn Monroe. Collecting vintage photography and Art Deco antiques is one of the owner’s hobbies.

The interior with its contrast of dark and light draws inspiration from European Art Deco, featuring objects from the Streamline period. Williamson, who worked on the refit of the 150-foot Trinity now named Carpe Diem II, sheds light on a few more details: The bar on the aft deck has the same kind of tufting on the side that is also a prominent feature in the owner’s stateroom. There, it is done in a shimmering gray silk. Artisans actually sewed it in situ. The Art Deco theme travels from inside to the outdoors, where the railings and doors—all custom-built at the Trinity yard—feature a geometric pattern. Carol Williamson + Associates created the motif and the craftsmen at Trinity built it.

“This yacht was not pushed out of the yard,” says Capt. Ryan Butterwick, who has worked with the owner for eight years. He contributed to the build of the current Carpe Diem when he was not running Carpe Diem II, now undergoing a substantial refit. Butterwick is a no-nonsense guy, not only in the way he expresses himself, but also in his approach to the proper bridge layout—where everything is centralized and within easy reach. There are three helm chairs facing the navigation screens. The owners of this vessel, who also own a highly customized 58-foot sportfish (Donzi by Roscioli Express) called Carpe Momentum and a Riva 33 Aquariva Super named Carpe Vita, love to be on the bridge. Well, in fact, they love to actively use their boats. Carpe Diem carries two peppy custom tenders, a 23-foot Novurania Chase and a 22-foot jet tender by Nautica in addition to four of the latest-model Sea-Doos, which match the yacht’s color scheme. The decision was made to forgo a garage and carry Jet Skis and tenders, respectively, on the foredeck and sun deck. As soon as the yacht reaches mooring, off they go. The large swim platform, finished in a beautiful teak with crisp white caulking, accommodates inflatable beach furniture that is fun and surprisingly comfortable. Comfort and elegance are evidenced throughout. For instance, the bar on the aft main deck is a casual place to hang out after a swim, and one deck farther up in the large skylounge is an inviting sectional sofa upholstered in velvet and a stunning onyx-topped bar.

The team at Trinity was very accommodating with all of the owners’ special wishes and accessible at all hours of the day. Project Manager Kevin Greene represented the owner at the shipyard. He has supervised a dozen or so projects at Trinity and confirms the yard’s commitment to doing things just right, from the stunning stainless steel to the incredible details on the stairs, to single out just a couple of the outdoor features. “The yard’s stainless-steel department is unlike any other yard,” he says. The spiral staircase from the bridge deck to the sun deck is a work of art with its teak-capped banister and teak stairs wrapping into a fan shape.

The owner wanted continuity, and this was delivered in both obvious and subtle ways. For instance, unique furniture pieces that are now indoors were once planned for the outdoors, and many of the pieces on the outside decks, finished to sustain the heat, humidity and salty environment, could easily be welcomed inside. It all works in concert. Nickel indoors, stainless steel outdoors. At night, 38 underwater lights cast a beautiful halo, and the nameplate shines below the custom-lit mast. Inside, carefully placed lighting highlights the shimmering fabrics, architectural features and the vintage photography.

As the crew readies Carpe Diem for another weekend with her owner, rhythmic dance music, a club-style number that is part of the extensive onboard collection stored on the yacht’s Kaleidescape system, pours out of well-concealed speakers. The skylounge is the perfect place for a party, with guests able to move easily to the air-conditioned aft deck or even the sun deck. Once the tenders are gone, the wide sun deck accommodates chaises aft and a teak-clad Jacuzzi with a Calcutta rim forward. In the middle are group seating and another bar. “The owner works hard and he likes to entertain,” Wise says. Clearly family, friends and charter guests will find the yacht well suited for a variety of activities. Pieces of artwork slide down to reveal TV screens. The screens found outside are waterproof. There are speakers everywhere and deep comfortable chairs. It will be tempting to stay outdoors until the wee hours of the morning. But sleep deprivation will not win. The beamy yacht features six large staterooms, three of which can vie for the spot of master suite. Each has its own private bathroom featuring a collection of great marbles.

And while guests are asleep, the yacht has the capacity to rally to the next port of call quickly. Top speed is 21 knots, and cruising speed is a fast 18 to 18.5 knots. At the economical speed of 10 knots, she has a 5,000-nm range, which allows her to split time between the Americas and Europe.

Carpe Diem is a versatile yacht, based on a Trinity-designed semi-displacement hull with wide beam (first used on Mi Sueño). She has range and plenty of cruising ability. Butterwick enthused about the yacht’s performance after a crossing from Newport, RI, to Kotor, Montenegro, in 12.5 days, including fueling stops. After logging 7,700 nautical miles since the yacht’s mid-March launch, he has a good feel for the yacht. “Trinity has built a great hull! Fast and stable,” he says.

The beam not only helps in providing the amazing volume inside, it makes it easy for the owners to go to a variety of cruising grounds. One of the owner’s favorite destinations off the East Coast of the United States is the Bahamas’ gem, Harbor Island. Few yachts this size could dock there. Carpe Diem can because the hull has a draft of 7 feet 8 inches (8.5 feet fully loaded). A yacht with a displacement hull, requiring a much bigger bilge, could be three to four feet deeper. She may be shallow, but the thinking that went into her design was anything but. Meticulous attention to detail, superbly rendered by top-notch contractors, has produced a yacht fit to feature the kind of stone the Brooklyn Marble King himself would be proud to have found. ■

LOA: 190ft. 11in. (58.2m)
Beam: 33ft. 6in. (10.2m)
Draft: 7ft. 7in. (2.3m)
Construction: Aluminum
• 23ft. Novurania Chase
220-hp Yanmar Diesel,
• 22ft. Nautica Landing Craft
260-hp Yanmar Diesel
• 15ft. Novurania Inflatable
Engines: 2 x 3,384-hp Caterpillar 3516B Series II HD
Generators: 2 x Northern Lights
Speed (max.): 21 knots
Speed (cruising): 18 to 18.5 knots
Range @ 14 knots: 3,142 nm
Range @10 knots: 5,000 nm
Stabilizers: Quantum QC 1800 ZeroSpeed
Bow thruster: 200-hp Quantum
Fuel capacity: 22,000 gal. (83,279L)
Freshwater capacity: 3,500 gal. (13,249L)
Gross tonnage: 749 tons
Classification: ABS +A1 Commercial Yachting Service AMS, MCA compliant
Naval architecture: Trinity Yachts
Exterior styling: Trinity Yachts
Interior design: Carol Williamson + Associates
Builder: Trinity Yachts – 2011

An Interview With Carol Williamson

Clockwise from left: Heidi Snidow, Angela Paschall, Kira Iwasaki and  Abby Glover; center: Carol Williamson

Clockwise from left: Heidi Snidow, Angela Paschall, Kira Iwasaki and Abby Glover; center: Carol Williamson

What is your background?
Before I started my firm in 1984, I headed the interiors department for an architectural firm in Portland. I set out to create an independent interior design office that worked closely with architectural firms. Initially, I worked strictly in commercial design. My most notable project in that area was the Nike World headquarters’ north campus. Over time, clients asked us to work on their residences, and from there it led to the design of their yachts. I have worked on interiors for several yachts that Christensen built—Remember When, Primadonna, Marathon, to name a few—and the refit of the first Carpe Diem, a 150-foot Trinity, among others.

What is unique about this yacht?
The most unique aspect of this build is how involved the owner was in every detail. Design is a true passion of his. We worked very closely on the development of the overall concept. One of my favorite details is the owners’ breathtaking collection of vintage black-and-white photography. It is the perfect complement to the dark Makassar walls and the iridescent materials we utilized throughout.

What was the inspiration for the design?
The owners’ love of Parisian Art Deco design.
The owner also requested a modern interior with clean lines, complemented by a dark, rich and dramatic wood. We had many discussions about the style of the furniture. It needed to be modern and elegant to complement the vintage furniture and lighting pieces that were collected.

What are the major design components?
The Makassar wood veneer was the springboard for the design direction. At the beginning of the design phase, the owner sent us a photo that inspired him, which featured this unique wood. It gave us direction. We experimented with veneers and various stains to get the color and effect we were looking for. We created this very rich shell by utilizing ebonized cherry to complement the Makassar panels, pale cream-colored ceilings, light wool carpets in cream or pale platinum grays for contrast, white onyx floors for the entries and iridescent upholstery materials for the custom-built seating. We incorporated Parisian and Belgian Art Deco design, which has a very streamlined and modern look and vintage pieces that the owner found, which we re-upholstered to match.

How did you make it happen?
My design team and I went through several iterations to develop design consistency without it becoming too thematic. We used fabrics with a subtle reflective quality (silk, velvet, wool and opalescent leathers) to create a great play of light and dark. We worked on all of the railing designs, the gates and elliptical caps to continue the Art Deco detailing outdoors. We used other design elements found inside, like the tufted outdoor leather on the aft-deck bar, which mirrors the tufted sateen walls in the owners’ stateroom. The owner really wanted cohesiveness between interior and exterior design. The dining chairs on the aft deck are vintage Probber chairs the owner saw in a design magazine. Initially we were intending to use them for the interior, but as the design evolved, they were transformed and re-created for use outdoors.

For Additional Information

Builder: Trinity Yachts,
Interior design: Carol Williamson + Associates,
Stone installation: Pacific Stone Source, Seattle,
Stone Sourcing: Jeff Homchick & Associates, Seattle, Wash.
Custom furniture: Durante Furniture,
Interior wood: Zepsa Industries of North Carolina,
Exterior wood: Westhoff Interiors Inc.,
Project management: Kevin Greene, OYS,
Charter management: International Yacht Collection,
Sales inquiries: Frank Grzeszczak, or Kevin Bonnie,