When the stock market burped and the bottom fell out of the boat business, Mike Joyce was one of the first boat-business pals I called.
Joyce is CEO of Hargrave Custom Yachts and he has weathered more than one foul economic cycle in his 41 years in the business. He is a good friend and a straight shooter—his advice was blunt. “I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you that the business models that have worked for the last 10 years are not going to work for the next 10.” I thought about his words and wondered how he might respond with Hargrave Yachts. Now the wondering is over. His answer is Victoriano.
Victoriano is a part of the Hargrave Yachts’s Capri Series, new designs that are intended to solidify Hargrave’s position in the 90- to 110-foot market. “We can build pretty much anything anyone wants—however, we have found that our customers seem focused on this zone,” said Joyce. The reason is simple, he explains, quoting the late, iconic designer whose company he now owns. “Jack Hargrave used to say that anything more than 100 feet LOA is simply space for more crew.”
“Our customers are what we call ‘the working rich’ and they understand the value of a dollar and have worked hard to get theirs...they want us to design and build them boats that make sense,” said Joyce. He makes the point that larger boats equal more expense, more draft, and less access to prime East Coast and Bahamian cruising haunts. Joyce knows his clients and Victoriano’s owner is typical. She is the fourth Hargrave he has commissioned and he has been a customer since Joyce sold him a sailing yacht in the 1980s.