Zhuhai, in China’s Guangdong province, may be a one-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong, but Tricon Marine’s facility there is decidedly Western in its operations. Less than two years old, it was built from the ground up as the only North American-owned and -operated boatbuilding facility in China. Its goal was to use new technology and the land and labor cost advantages to construct all-fiberglass yachts from 70 feet to 200 feet or more.
It also wanted to prove that this combination of cultures could produce something decidedly different for the market. For its first yacht, the management team wanted a style that wouldn’t look like anything else out there. The yacht would additionally emphasize fuel efficiency, long-range cruising, and spacious living in ways that Tricon believed were not presently being offered.
The Argos Gulfstream 92 delivers on the promises most notably through her styling. Whether it appeals to you or not, it is distinct. Take a look at the round ports, the rake of the pilothouse windows, and the amount of open-air relaxation space on the upper deck. Shippy elements blend with softer, yacht-y elements.
Even the hull design is different, developed with naval architect Howard Apollonio. Tricon calls it a hybrid hull, to deliver displacement-yacht fuel economy when the 92 is at low speeds yet swift performance when needed. It features a rounded-V entry and hard chines aft. Tank tests were conducted at BC Research in Canada before construction began, and Tricon says the sea trials were right in line with the results. Seas were six feet at times during those trials, according to Christos Livadas, Tricon’s chairman and CEO. The 1,650-hp Caterpillars were said to burn 8 gph while the 92 was at 8.5 knots, and the yacht topped out at 27 knots. The 4,000-gallon fuel capacity will reportedly permit 35 hours of continuous operation without refueling at a 23-knot cruise.
For long or short cruises, Tricon wanted owners to have more space to relax and stow gear. The 22-foot beam certainly helps, but so does the way various areas are arranged. Since the 92 is part of a semicustom series, owners can choose layouts. But they likely will keep the “SkySuite” arrangement for the master (above). I can’t recall any yacht in this size range placing the owner’s stateroom on the pilothouse level. When I toured the yacht at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, I learned owners can alternately request a “SkyGalley” or, of course, the traditional skylounge.
Plenty of yachts offer a sundeck, but the 92 has a split-level version. Part of the 820-square-foot acreage lies directly outside the master stateroom. Sun lounges and davit for a tender were here on the first 92, and Tricon says touch-and-go helicopter operations can be accommodated on request. As for the second part of the sundeck, it’s atop the master stateroom and includes a hot tub, seating, and a helm station with repeaters, all accessed via a floating staircase from the level below. It’s also nicely shaded by the hardtop.
There were a few other features I liked about the 92. Though it’s tough to see in the photo here, the VIP stateroom features round ports. Similar round ports bring light into the galley. And even though a tender can be stowed up on deck, the oversize lazarette had room for toys besides the two mopeds present during the boat show.
Tricon will continue to build the 92 as a series, adding a few new models to the mix. During the show, I learned the first of these, a 74, should debut at this year’s Fort Lauderdale show. Called Nisi (“island” in Greek), she’s designed by Ward Setzer. Drawings and details should be released within the next month. In the meantime, here’s more of the 92.
Created with flickr slideshow.