With a stunning interior and a typically seaworthy hull the Hargrave 125 is ready to impress, either at the docks or at sea.
Viewed from the outside, the new Hargrave 125 draws second looks. She is, after all, a raised-pilothouse design in a size range dominated by trideck vessels; her profile, while balanced and pleasing to the eye, is a bit different. And the Hargrave’s long, low wraparound windows give her a sophisticated, somewhat European flair. But it’s not until you step inside that you realize how different this yacht really is. “This is a new niche,” says Mike Joyce, the chairman and CEO of Hargrave Custom Yachts. “It’s big and elegant and open, with a lot more space than you’d think. It definitely has the ‘wow’ factor. If you’re a CEO, this is a boat to impress your friends.”
Stepping onboard the yacht during the Miami International Boat Show with Joyce and Shelley DiCondina of Yacht Interiors by Shelley (www.yachtinteriorsbyshelley.com), I realized that a lot of the wow comes from empty, three-dimensional space. The headroom in the saloon is an unusual 7 feet 6 inches and DiCondina used the boat’s 25-foot beam to spread everything out, to keep it simple, to offer long vistas accented by polished walnut, artistic etched glass, and marble with stainless steel inlays. The overall volume of the yacht is stunning, and the interior is a beacon of contemporary design, a masterful blend of form and function. The creative use of space means that nothing is boxed in; everything is open. You have an inviting sense of freedom and relaxation; you want to stay a while, to drink in the view from the spa on the flying bridge or drink something else from the 132-bottle wine cellar. Enjoy your life. All Hargraves are built for long-range cruising. This one holds 8,000 gallons of fuel, enough for a 4,000-mile range at 8 knots. “You can come here from Santa Barbara without stopping,” Joyce says.
You definitely won’t feel crowded along the way. The yacht sleeps eight guests and five crew. Built with an eye toward an owner who might want to charter, the boat has four luxurious staterooms, all with king-sized beds and en suite heads with showers. The master, of course, is a bit larger than the others, but the three guest staterooms are basically the same. “For a charter, it’s easy to split the bill four ways,” Joyce points out. “Four staterooms in a 125-footer is at least one fewer than the norm, which means that they’re all a bit larger. And the quarters for the crew are way beyond the norm for a yacht this size (see “Better Boat: Open for Business,” opposite).
The entrance to the saloon from the covered aft deck (which has 7 feet 10 inches of headroom) sets the stage. First, you step across 60 square feet of beautiful cream marble flooring. Then you look up to see a long row of low picture windows marching down each side of the yacht, taking your eye forward while opening up the saloon to light and warmth. “Every window is a picture window,” Joyce says, “but from the outside it still looks sleek.” Two low, plush, 10-foot-long sofas flanking the sides also lead you forward, all the way past a center cabinet with a television and a panel of art glass to the dining area and finally to the matching etched glass privacy doors to port and starboard that lead to the galley. “The object was to create a contemporary interior with clean, sophisticated lines and enduring appeal,” says DiCondina. Her design contrasts glossy walnut with espresso and taupe zebra veneer accents, sculptured glass, and oyster marble. She also achieved symmetry in the saloon, repeating details in the large squared corner cabinets and in the ceiling soffits. The overall look is understated and elegant. The formal dining area is centered on a custom walnut table. The eight modern chairs all have high backs that project a strong vertical line, further emphasizing the overhead space.
Forward, the galley is a combination of working space and social area, a floating version of your kitchen at home, assuming your home has three large windows on each side so you can see the oceans of the world go by outside. With a center island, barstools, an informal dining table and an eight-person settee, the galley is an inviting place for owners and guests to relax over espresso, breakfast, snacks, or cocktails. Side hallways lead to a pantry, a laundry area with washer and dryer and clothes-folding space, and a dayhead with a high, satin-nickel faucet, marble backdrop, and custom sink that sets a new standard for a functional work of art.
A hallway on the port side gives way to stairs leading down to the master and the two matching guest staterooms. There’s a small fridge on this level so that the owner or guests can have chilled champagne, for example, any time of the day or night without bothering anyone else.
Aft of the foyer, the full-beam master is, as noted before, larger than the other staterooms. The king-sized bed is the center of attention, with lots of space all around; zebrano wood flanks the upholstered headboard and the nightstands. The bench seat at the foot of the bed has the same style legs as the chairs in the dining room; everything ties together. The master head has his-and-hers entries on either side with marble flooring; the massive shower in the center is all marble. The port and starboard guest cabins are identical, with twin berths on slides so they can be converted to kings; there’s easy walkaround space either way. Both staterooms have large closets and his-and-hers heads with marble floors and even a marble seat in the shower. The VIP stateroom in the bow has its own entrance via stairs from the pilothouse for privacy away from the other guests. Then there’s the king-sized bed, dual closets, a large dresser, and another his-and-hers head with lots of marble and another big shower.
The pilothouse itself is multifunctional, with a serious helm station for worldwide cruising and deep overstuffed club-style lounges with 270-degree views where guests can hang out underway. DiCondina settled into a lounge on the starboard side, looked out over the bow and said, “Just imagine … ,” her voice trailing off. I had no trouble imaging at all: Heading for St. Barths for New Year’s Eve, Nantucket for the Fourth of July. For his part, the captain has a Stidd helm chair and a desk just aft for documents and correspondence, while the helm has CAT engine displays for the two C32 diesels (producing 1,825 horsepower each) and a full Furuno NavNet 3D navigation system.
With a semi-displacement hull, the Hargrave 125 cruises at 15 knots and tops out at 19 knots. Naiad stabilizers with 22-square-foot fins keep everything on an even keel. The yacht is built under Jack Hargrave’s rule that all his boats had to perform well at sea. During his time, Hargrave was America’s preeminent yacht designer, working with Hatteras for more than three decades (he designed the first Hatteras, a 41-foot convertible, for Willis Slane in 1959. See our test of that refurbished gem in “The Origin of Species” here ▶), as well as with Burger, Amels, Cheoy Lee, and others. In 1997 when Mike Joyce bought the design firm after Hargrave’s death, he decided to build yachts under the Hargrave brand name, and he has worked with the Kha Shing yard in Taiwan ever since.
From the pilothouse, Joyce slid open a large Lexan hatch and we climbed up to the flying-bridge sundeck. It’s huge. “We’ve had 30 or 40 people up here for cocktails,” Joyce said. There’s a second helm station on the starboard side but one advantage of a pilothouse design is that the crew can run the boat below from the pilothouse, leaving the upper deck to guests. A hardtop provides shade over a country kitchen, a dining table, and a main bar seating six plus another intimate bar facing the spa tub.
After the recession in ’08, Joyce realized he needed to get into the instant delivery business to stay competitive. He picked four models, including this 125, to build and use as showboats for a season; then they would be available for immediate delivery, with full warranties. “This boat has everything right now,” he says, “down to the linens and towels. A new owner just has to make a fast trip to the supermarket and he’s ready to go.”
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This article originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.