PHOTOS: SUKI FINNERTY
It’s one thing to enjoy repeat business from a client. It’s another to have a client who builds four yachts with your company.
Such is the case with Hargrave Custom Yachts. Funny enough, the owners of the 101-foot Victoriano “were lifelong sailors until they met us,” according to Michael Joyce, president of Hargrave. They owned a 54-foot Gulfstar sailing yacht before taking the motoryacht plunge, first with a 65 Monte Fino, then an 82-foot Hargrave several years later, followed by a 94-foot Hargrave.
“There are some people who are so creative by nature that they’re always looking for something new,” Joyce explains, adding that the husband half of Victoriano’s owners is among them. When the economic slowdown was in its early stages, Joyce says, he was relating to the gentleman how Hargrave was still preparing new concepts, including a 101-foot series. Sassy was the first delivery in that series, and while the owner liked the overall length and amenities, she was a bit too traditional in style for him. Joyce explained that Hargrave’s team was modifying the 101 for the European market and that it would include some different features. “He said, ‘You know what? I like it. I think that’s going to do well. What do we need to do?’ The next thing you know, there was our new Victoriano.”
While on paper Victoriano’s raised-pilothouse design, with eight guests and six crew, sounds pretty typical, in reality it’s anything but. Take the crew accommodations. Not only are there three separate heads for the three staterooms, but there’s also an ample dinette/relaxation area, with a full wall of lockers. The captain’s stateroom is the size of a guest stateroom aboard some yachts just a few feet smaller. The crew also gets a separate laundry room and, unheard of for a yacht this size, a hidden door yielding direct access into the guest accommodations. Particularly if Victoriano ever charters, this is a welcome feature, for quick bed-making and linen changing. (On a related note, Joyce explains how the late naval architect Jack Hargrave, the namesake for the company, began his career as a crewmember. Good-size crew cabins were a signature style of his, in recognition that if you treat the crew well, they’ll work well.)
Another atypical feature on Victoriano is the on-deck master and its impact—or lack thereof—on the rest of the deck. You might assume that either it had to be squeezed in or that the galley would lose floor- and counter space, given the 101-foot LOA. Victoriano proves it doesn’t have to happen. In fact, it’s the biggest galley Hargrave has built to date in this size range, and it rivals that of any other galley aboard similar-size yachts. Two full-size refrigerators and four SubZero freezer drawers, abundant counter space for plating, two sinks on two separate counters... it’s a well-equipped and well-laid-out space. There’s enough room for guests to stop in and chat without getting underfoot. And of course, the galley has direct access from the crew cabins below deck.
Speaking of access, there’s nearly four-sided reach around the twin Caterpillar C32s in the engine room. The gensets partially block the pathway outboard of each powerplant, but in fairness it’s rare to find a full walk-around engine room in the 100-foot range. Hargrave wisely makes the gensets serve double duty, in a sense, topping each with a work table.
To what does Joyce ascribe Hargrave’s repeat success, with this client and others? A lot comes down to eliminating stress for the owner and making the building experience fun. “We’ve done everything possible to reduce the risk of building a custom yacht,” he explains. “We’re able to get between the owner and the problems... we make sure we’re in a position to step in and resolve a problem without even telling the owner there’s a problem.” Most of all, though, he says that Hargrave strives for “fantasy service,” in recognition that owners’ time onboard is precious and limited, and they don’t want (nor need) to be bogged down by delays or malfunctions no matter how small.
Here’s more of Victoriano, which achieves a top speed of 21 knots and a cruise speed of 18 knots.