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Review: Delta's 164 Expedition "Triton"

 
 
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Review: Delta's 164 Expedition "Triton"

Delta's 164' "TRITON"

by Capt. Chuck Gnaegy

In the legends of ancient Greece and Rome, Triton was the son of Neptune, God of the Sea (or Roman Poseidon) – a half man/half fish idol, girded with a conch-shell trumpet. Now, Triton emerges in modern times as a yacht destined to become legendary: from Delta Marine Industries, whose exquisite megayacht designs grace the great oceans of the world.

Delta's Triton, at 164’ was the largest composite yacht built in the U.S. when it was launched in 2004. Originally, the owners had presented naval architect Jay Miner with a set of requirements not yet met by any yacht. They wanted not only long range cruising capabilities, but the ability to withstand the ocean’s testy weather challenges from the near-Arctic to the sunny Caribbean; plus the capability to disport with confidence in domestic and foreign ports at all ends of the earth.

But, given that, they also specified the yacht must be user-friendly to its adventure-prone owners and guests, not just while comfortably ensconced in her luxurious salon, but for sport fishing, deep-sea scuba diving, and water games as well – activities that can register as polar opposites. So now, Triton was to become the model for "Do-Everything" yacht owners.
Delta Marine, based in Seattle, Washington since the early 1960s, has specialized in yachts from 108 to 164 feet. From its early high speed craft to today’s luxury megayachts, the founding Jones family has produced pleasure and commercial vessels of composite materials as well as aluminum. Its award winning designs have earned many plaudits including “Best Motor Yacht Interior” and “Highest Technical Achievement.”

At its Duwamish River location, Delta is known as an industry leader, having built more than 800 vessels, boasting an earned reputation for delivering vessels able to cope with the often unfavorable sea conditions of the Pacific Northwest. Advanced technology, innovative design, and a passion for detail characterize its officers and staff of 350 highly trained craftsmen.

As the company grew, so did their respect worldwide, attaining a reputation for building some of the finest luxury megayachts afloat. The facilities grew as well, now devoting three assembly buildings and 560’ of dockage to vessels up to 300’ long. Also a highly respected name in refit and repair, the company boasts a 400-ton Travelift, the premiere system in North America.
Triton’s magic as an innovative expedition yacht creation began with structural elements, as her owners perceived their multiple uses of the yacht. The concept enlarged on several previous ideas and advances from its predecessor "Affinity", a 151’ Delta megayacht designed in 1999, whose owners also trended towards the adventurous lifestyle.

This laid the foundation for many of Triton's technologies, including a hull that uses carbon fiber laminates for increased torsional strength. Offsetting this rigidity, Triton's engines are soft mounted, thereby reducing vibration and ultimately dampening sound that can be transmitted throughout the hull. Taking this insulation a step further, interior spaces are suspended. And finally, Zero-speed stabilizers are incorporated to provide sea-keeping steadiness in addition to a bulbous bow for increased speed and efficiency. The bulb also serves as a ballast tank to provide trim as needed and increase longitudinal stability in offshore conditions.
As luxury yachts grow in size and granduer, Triton has redefined our expectations of an expedition yacht. It has set a precedent; a fanciful blend of classic elegance and uniquely designed functionality, brought together through the genius of innovation. It is the rarest of the rare, but a design that will most certainly be emulated in the future.

While Triton is Delta's top-drawer vessel to date, the builder is also known for several other significant megayacht launches, each defining excellence in their own realm. Among the many are – 126’ Sinbad, 147’ Gran Finale, 124’ Aerie and 160’ Gallant Lady. In this picture, a design departure from the standard approach includes extended bulwarks – forward topsides above the deck – to promote increased foredeck safety in the higher seas far from a coast.
Triton’s four decks of living and entertaining space are designed to fulfill every option which enhances her world-wide cruising capabilities; plus deep-sea fishing and multi-level reef diving. They’ve also added an elevator, top to bottom, and a submersible shark cage strong enough to photograph creature's that would otherwise make a meal out of lesser boats.

One of Triton's most visible attributes is a Crows Nest that dwarfs high-rise condos. Constructed entirely from carbon fiber, it not only provides commanding views of the horizon, it also serves as a control station that offers an uninhibited line of sight for docking. Complete with controls, a bench seat and a full hardtop, it will accomodate several crew or guests for extended exploration.
Looking aft, Triton’s swim platform features a modified design enclosing a hydraulic lift/lower mechanism to benefit swimmers’ and divers’ entry/exit. Since the owners expect to indulge in avid scuba activity, they also specified a functional approach to handling and refilling scuba tanks. This involves extra tank storage and a lazarette which contains the deep-divers’ decompression membrane system. For advanced deep dives, she is equipped with Nitrox and Tri-Mix capability, plus sonar and Simrad photographic equipment to provide 3-D images of deepwater reefs and sunken ships. Recording these adventures is an aimable sub-surface camera, located just under the stern, complete with underwater lighting.

Integrated into the sides of the heli-deck are overhead Gantry Cranes to launch the pair of 24’6” Willard Cummins Inboard RIBs that are garaged on the main aft deck. In order to withstand the loads imposed by the helicopter, PWC's and RIB's, the heli-deck is re-inforced with carbon fiber and supported by steel columns. This also ensures a rigid, unbinding structure for the Gantry side-load cranes.
From the helicopter viewpoint, Triton’s top deck and sat-nav tower seem to reach to the stars. The view from the Crow’s Nest is accessible by an easy ride in the ship’s second elevator, from the flybridge deck. A GREAT place for fish spotting, or just to exercise your 1000-yard gaze. Ultimately, it is much more than a vantage point. The height of this structure enables greater range for the navigations and radar systems.
A closer look at the forward flybridge deck reveals the Jacuzzi, snack settee and forward seating, each offering their own world-view. Subtle features include a forward swept windscreen to reduce seated turbulence, a Jacuzzi outlined with a splash ring and storage compartments for quick access to sunning supplies or binoculars.
Giving you the feeling of being onboard, this picture also shows the lower deck access door, which is neatly integrated into Triton's arch. This area, which is certain to a be a favorite gathering spot, teases guests with a completely unencumbered viewpoint. Out there... is the genuine horizon.
As a testament to Delta's detail, notice the mirror-like image of the whirlpool as reflected by the underside of the arch. Other details include generous lighting from above, illuminating lights for the decks and teak surfaced steps leading to the Jacuzzi that provide secure footing.
Also on the FlyBridge – though shaded by the massive arch holding the radar and sat-nav equipment – Triton’s 360 degree wet bar offers a refrigerator and icemaker, plus snack food prep, all to keep the party in high spirits. Stainless swivel stools sprout the perimeter of the wetbar in an inviting fashion.
Two white pillars rise skyward from the flybridge deck to form a track for the electro-hydraulically powered elevator that shuttles guest and crew to the birds eye view. The lift platform incorporates a security gate to ensure safety of its passengers during transit. Capable of stopping at any elevation, it provides quick access to Triton's mid-level arch where Kayak's are safely stored for long voyages.
From atop the Crow's Nest, the spacious helicopter deck is well organized, giving Triton a quadruple capacity for off-yacht travels by sea... or by air. The heli-pilot is allowed ample room for the EuroCopter EC 130 4B take-off and touch-down, while RIB tenders and PWCs await their turn too.

Tucked neatly away behind Triton's aft deck shroud, a 6,000 lb. - hydraulically-deployed Nautical Structures knuckle boom crane (fully extendable) allows the crew to launch or retrieve on demand. Among it's duties will be deploying Triton’s 18’ RIB tender, equipped with a jet-drive outboard and a pair of Sea Doo PWC's for shallow water reconnaissance.

Another retrieval system, not seen in this photograph (or any other supplied) is a unique, hydraulically deployed tender towing system, designed especially for Triton. It consists of a boom and self-tailing winch that deploys outwards from the side of the hull, about midship, allowing tenders to be harvested even while underway.
On the main aft-deck, astern of the wet bar are additional party tables with wrap seating, facing forward in shaded comfort. The bulbous, transparent globe of the ship’s helicopter rests easily on the aft deck helipad, like a giant Dragonfly. This machine is designed to standards of the American Petroleum Institute, as it may be flying over large bodies of water to reach remote destinations.
Just outside the sliding glass doors of the main deck salon, the outdoor wet bar – in glistening slump glass – offers casual seating at a curved, glass-topped half circle, with sun-guarded but open views of the seascape. The wetbar is complete with its own refrigerator and icemaker, as well as food prep facilities. Overhead, the cross-beamed motif is carried on from the interior, but with finishes more suitable to the elements. Just behind the wetbar, a stainless steel and teak outlined staircase leads to the skylounge deck and beyond.

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