95 — By Diane M. Byrne — December 2000
A New Tradition
|Part 2: High Cotton continued|
Another specific desire was a good turn of speed while enjoying extended cruising in warm climates. Considering her 241/2-knot top speed, High Cotton is well suited to making a day out of island-hopping. It's a testament to her semiplaning hull, which is solid FRP below the waterline and incorporates a 131/2-degree deadrise aft. At 20 knots and with 3,500 gallons of fuel, High Cotton realizes a 720-NM range; scaled back to 12 knots, she sees her range increase to 1,600 NM. And her 5'4" draft lets the Hirsches anchor close to shore when exploring their favorite southern latitude getaways.
The Hirsches discovered that Hargrave Custom Yachts upholds Jack Hargrave's dictum that style must evolve from smart, practical engineering. The 16-inch-wide, walkaround side decks are clear of ankle-bashing obstructions like cleats; such hardware is instead mounted outboard. The side decks, in turn, have safety rails at about hip height on most adults. Doors to each side of the house near the pilothouse give High Cotton a balanced look, but more important, they let the crew quickly access lines for docking. Stowage for fenders lies in the cockpit sole, and additional horizontal stowage areas extend deep into the superstructure to each side on the aft deck.
The classic exterior styling is paired with an equally handsome interior designed by Interiors by Shelly with input from the Hirsches. High-gloss sapelli mahogany paneling envelops most areas (it's satin-finished in the starboard-side foyer leading from the saloon to the galley), while camphor burl creates a nice contrast on counters. The prevailing wisdom that dark woods close in a room, especially onboard a "small" megayacht, doesn't apply here, thanks to the 20-foot beam and 6'8" headroom (seven-foot in the crew cabin that's tucked in the bow).
The most beautiful joinery lies in the saloon/dining area. Just forward of the dining table is a "feature wall"--really three sole-to-overhead closets for the wine locker, dishware, and linens--covered with sapelli mahogany panels arranged so their grains form diamond patterns. The design was conceived by Shelly Higgins, head of Interiors by Shelly, and also incorporates columns flanking each section.
There's more beautiful woodwork in the starboard foyer leading to the galley, although you'd never see it upon initial inspection. That's because it takes the form of a pocket door/gate fashioned like an intricate iron gate found on prewar-building elevators. The gate prevents the Hirsches' pets and grandchildren from tumbling down the stairs to the staterooms; a similar, smaller gate blocks the stairs in the galley to the crew stateroom.
The "feature wall" is repeated below decks in the VIP stateroom, which is forward off a foyer that yields access to two other guest staterooms as well as the master suite. A pop-up vanity plus his-and-her closets are crafted of the high-gloss wood, and shoji screens soften light coming from the ports. The other two guest staterooms (each containing a Pullman berth plus twins that convert to queen berths) also feature rich mahogany and shoji screens, as does the master stateroom, although it has less wood, using leather for covering bulkheads.
To ensure that the master, just forward of the engine room, would permit the Hirsches a good night's sleep, Hargrave Custom Yachts employed double insulation in the machinery space plus a third layer of insulation within the master stateroom's bulkhead. And to enable the crew and mechanics to work efficiently in the engine room, all pumps and valves are clearly labeled. Wiring runs are bundled within fiberglass races that have evenly spaced "windows" to reveal color coding. There is abundant room above each Caterpillar powerplant, and a shelf at about eye-level along the forward bulkhead groups together air-conditioning compressors. A Delta T ventilation system removes moisture from the air as it enters the machinery space.
Given High Cotton's bottom line of a little more than $3.2 million, it's obvious that Hargrave Custom Yachts is focused on building a competitively priced yacht with practical standard features and tailor-made touches. The Hirsches feel they got this and more. "I think we not only built a boat, we built a relationship that we are very fond of and happy we have," says Etta Rae. "Very true," Henry adds. That's the kind of customer satisfaction that would have made Jack Hargrave proud.
Hargrave Custom Yachts Phone: (954) 463-0555. Fax: (954) 463-8621. www.hargrave-usa.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.