The low, sweeping lines of the Trojan 12 Meter Express suggest speed and power. Out on the water, it delivers on that promise. To experience the power of a pair of Johnson & Towers Detroit 6-71TI diesels is to appreciate how relative the term "fast" can be. With a top speed of just over 30 knots and a comfortable cruising speed of 25, this boat would meet the criteria of most seekers. Our test boat was equipped with the Detroit diesels, but the Express is also available with Caterpillar 3208TA diesels or Crusader 502 CID gasoline engines.
Still, speed and power alone do not make a great boat, and the people at Trojan Yacht, a division of Bertram-Trojan, know this. That's why they made the 12 Meter Express functional and comfortable inside and out. This balsa-cored hull is designed for speed but is still easy on passengers. Handling was easy at all times, and turning was smooth and on track. Hynautic hydraulic steering handled the pair of bronze rudders with proper ease, giving a nice short and stable turning radius. The foredeck allows clear vision from the helm, is free of deck hardware and sheds water quickly, providing a nice sunbathing area.
The cockpit features a U-shaped lounge and dinette table that can fold up to make the seating area more of a conversation pit. The standard radar arch rises above, providing a mount for halogen lights directed at the cockpit. It is through a hatch in the port aft corner of the cockpit that you can access one of the 12 Meter's most unique features: a storage space large enough to contain an eight foot inflatable. On a boat as sleek and elegant as this, it' s nice not to have to ruin its profile with a scuffed-up inflatable tied to the deck.
Entry to the cabin is through an angled, sliding companionway door made of tempered glass. Inside, the boat has a light and airy atmosphere. Created by Trojan's in-house design team, it features a swank, modern design characteristic of European yachts 30 feet longer than this Pennsylvania-built 41-footer. Plenty of deck hatches bring sunlight into both the main and owner's cabins. While the 12 Meter Express can be ordered with air conditioning, opening the deck hatches will, under most circumstances, provide flow of cool, fresh air throughout the boat.
Cool colors accent the counter tops, wall and port coverings, nicely complementing the darker carpeting. Four interior color schemes are available: Florentine opal, shown in the accompanying photos; Venetian quartz, which features mauve and pastel earth tones; Stardust, featuring blue tones; and Carrara onyx, featuring black, white and gray. The galley, separated from the dinette by a curved bank of cabinets, is small but has every necessary appliance: a refrigerator, a two-burner stove and a convection microwave oven. With plenty of Corian-topped counter space and a built-in circular cutting board, on-board food preparation needs are well satisfied. The owner's cabin, forward, has a large double berth flanked by steps, which can be used as sitting areas. Two hanging lockers, under-bed drawers and wall cabinets offer plenty of stowage space.
The 12 Meter has sleeping accommodations for a total of seven people. Just aft the owner's stateroom and across from the galley is a vinyl settee which converts into a double berth below and a single berth above, making the most use of space. Two more berths can be created by enclosing the aft settee with snap-on curtains. An entertainment center featuring a color television, VCR and AM/FM stereo cassette deck, which comes standard, is mounted at an angle just forward of the port settee. The television can be viewed at close range from that seating area or the galley, but most comfortably from the dinette.
The head, with its usual amenities, is enhanced nicely by the deck hatch overhead, which can let out shower steam. The head has a separate owner's door. Standard equipment on the International 12 Meter Express includes stainless steel bow, side and stern rails that are powder-coated white at the factory. They look great and clean up with a damp rag. The sea cocks and strainers are heavy duty bronze, the cockpit is self-draining and the hatches are weather sealed. Cockpit lights are everywhere, which is great for evening cruises. Also standard equipment is a convertible top with side curtains, double wide helm seat, non-skid deck, electric compass and a swim platform that is an integral part of the hull.
Trojan Yacht, as it should have, kept the boat owner in mind while designing and constructing this model, providing easy access to the parts the owner will most often repair or maintain. Oil and fuel filters are located between the main engines and forward of the generator. The main engine and generator water intakes are located just aft of each engine, with room to clean the strainers and service the cooling system. Even the instrument panel is removable, to aid in changing panel lights and servicing gauges, if necessary.
The Trojan International 12 Meter Express is a boat that offers comfort and practicality in a mid-size boat without sacrificing style and luxury. It is a boat that will satisfy an owner's penchant for both high-speed travel and relaxing weekend cruising.