There is something special about Hargrave Custom Yachts' new 94-foot Capri Motoryacht. To date, most of the company's yachts have been part of the Signature series, a traditional line. The 94 is the first in the Capri series, which has a more European flavor, intended to extend the brand's appeal in the U.S. and abroad. With the 94, owners will appreciate the company's desire to create a well-outfitted yacht borne of a lineage that holds quality design in high regard.
To understand the 94, it is important to understand the man responsible for her: Mike Joyce, owner of Hargrave Custom Yachts. Joyce's story began in the 1970s, when he gave up a boatyard in New York and migrated to Florida.
"I arrived in a Lincoln convertible in white shorts and knee socks", Joyce said recently. "A week later, I was in cut-off jeans, stuffing caulking into the rotten underbelly of a boat."
Providence showed favor in the form of an offer to work as a yacht broker for the legendary design firm J.B. Hargrave.
"I had a few good offers, but Hargrave was a name that meant something well beyond Palm Beach", Joyce said.
Joyce eventually moved on and formed Colonial Yacht Sales. When J.B. Hargrave's founder, Jack Hargrave, died in 1996, Joyce purchased the company. Under Joyce's command, Hargrave Custom Yachts has launched dozens of yachts from 45 to 115 feet, earning a reputation for quality and value.
Now, back to the 94 Capri. Creating a trideck design of this length that does not resemble a layer cake can be challenging. But the Hargrave design team did a fine job of creating a yacht that remains pleasing to the eye.
Her sheerline is mostly straight, rising subtly forward. This adds to her apparent length and is complemented by multiple hull-side ledges and a chine that rises evenly forward. The superstructure is shaped by soft curves and sweeping window lines-a theme that is duplicated on her bridge deck.
The full-beam deckhouse maximizes interior space, though the crew will have to pass through the saloon to move fore and aft while docking. Access to the foredeck is from the galley area, while boarding is from the stern, where the afterdeck provides access to the saloon. Hargrave offers a version of the 94 with full side decks, which might appeal to those with more traditional tastes.
The enclosed bridge is biased slightly forward of amidships, which allows for a relatively long boat deck. This open deck space easily accommodates a large tender, with room for a lounge area. This is a nice departure from some European designs, which often rake things well aft to enhance aesthetic appeal. Exterior public areas on the main deck include a sunning area forward and a large afterdeck with a seating area. Stairs lead aft to an integral water-sports platform and through-transom access to the machinery space.
The 94's interior is finished in high-gloss cherry accented with lacewood. Fit and finish are excellent. Air-conditioning discharge grilles are sculpted in cherry and incorporated discreetly in the joinery design. Plenty of curves, bull-nosed corners and hearty European fixtures and hardware will please those with upscale contemporary tastes.
The saloon is suited for entertaining with a large seating area, entertainment center and full-service bar. An open, formal dining area is amidships. The galley and a casual dining area are segregated forward with direct access to the crew accommodations belowdecks. Stairs in the saloon lead above to the enclosed pilothouse and lounge area. Owner and guest accommodations are forward of the machinery space and include a full-beam master suite and three guest staterooms with private heads.
These days, the list of those who claim credit for a yacht's design is often long, but in Jack Hargrave's day, there was never any question-the buck stopped with him. Hargrave's drawing files essentially chronicle the history of the modern motoryacht. When Joyce bought the company, its most important asset-apart from the Hargrave name-was the institutional memory packed within the files.
"We always incorporate fresh ideas in our boats, but it would be ridiculous to start a project with a fresh piece of paper", said Joyce. "We believe in platform engineering and try to build on the proven solutions Jack helped pioneer."
His access to so many proven designs allows Joyce to act swiftly when creating a new yacht. The 94's hard-chine, modified-V hull is a product of this approach.
The 94's molded fiberglass construction follows Det Norske Veritas guidelines. Full DNV classification is available at an additional cost. Systems design is in accordance with the American Boat & Yacht Council. Below the waterline, her hull is a handlaid solid fiberglass laminate supported by a network of fiberglass stringers. A vinylester skin coat is used to reduce the risk of blistering. Divinycell foam coring, vacuum-bagged in place, is used to stiffen the hull sides. Decks and bulkheads are cored with Divinycell, as well. Fuel tanks are aluminum.
The 94's twin 1,400 hp Caterpillar 3412Es should provide a maximum speed of 23 knots and a cruising speed of 20 knots. Her 3,200 gallons of fuel allow a range of 2,100 miles at 10 knots, according to the builder.
The 94 is packaged with virtually all the equipment an owner needs for heading offshore. Naiad stabilizers, two 600-gallon-per-day Sea Recovery watermakers, chilled-water air-conditioning and an HPS bowthruster are standard. The shore power system incorporates a Glendinning Cablemaster system and two isolation transformers. The Raymarine electronics package is centered around a 72-mile radar and chart plotter. A Sea Tel satellite phone and Sony DSS receiver also are standard.
"Outfitting the boat completely allows us to choose suppliers that can maintain our service standards", said Joyce. "This is an advantage to our customers."
Considering her outfitting, the 94's price of $3.9 million is a good value. This value is enhanced by her lineage. With thousands of yachts built from his designs, Jack Hargrave was a prolific creative force, one whose keen eye and understanding of ships greatly influenced his peers-and continue to inspire yacht designers of today. The 94 is a good fit in Joyce's successful formula to keep the Hargrave name current.