Date toured: December 2007
The 115-foot motoryacht Watercolours was the first boat ever built by Trinity shipyard, launched in 1990 as the 98-foot-long Big Don Carlos, then stretched in 2002 to her current length and given the name Leda. Her new owners discovered her at this past February’s Miami International Boat Show and sealed the deal to buy her just two months later, when they changed her name to Watercolours. It is the couple’s first motoryacht, and they spent a few months onboard with their two young children in the Bahamas before bringing in the sledgehammers.
“When we bought it, there was a formal dining room here on the main deck,” the husband told me as he showed me around the newly refit yacht. “We knocked down a wall and put in a country kitchen-style galley for our family. The dining room was fine, but it didn’t suit us. We have a big kitchen in our house, and everybody congregates there. So we decided to do that sort of thing.”
The finished product is drop-dead gorgeous—a compliment I do not grant lightly. The sepele mahogany in the new galley and throughout the main deck literally made me drop my jaw. The galley (see photo above) looks like the kind of oversized kitchen you’d find in a brand-new luxury home, which makes sense, since the owner’s business is real-estate development. Instead of having the work done in a shipyard, he docked the boat near his home in Charleston, South Carolina, and brought carpenters onboard from June through September.
“I looked at the boat as a challenge,” he told me. His wife quickly added that in the past three years, they’ve built 25,000 square feet of houses (their main home and a beach house) as well as overseeing the refit of Watercolours and having two children—who were crawling happily across the newly padded area forward of the galley table during my visit. A challenge, indeed.
The British spelling of Watercolours is thanks to the husband’s mother, who is from Great Britain. The crew—whom I didn’t get a chance to interview—also have an international bent, with English, French, Spanish and Portuguese all being spoken onboard.
If they can make the same kind of memorable impact that the new refit does, then Watercolours is nicely positioned to earn a reputation as a lovely charter yacht for families.
She’s part of the fleet at Northrop & Johnson, with a weekly base rate of $49,500 that includes the use of a 32-foot Intrepid center-console fishing boat. For eight guests with typical 25-percent expenses included, expect to pay a total of about $7,700 per person. Contact any reputable charter broker to learn more.—Kim Kavin