45 — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
|From concept to construction, Hargrave left no stone unturned on its flagship 45 sportfisherman.|
Capt. Mike Pollack had the aluminum 45 Hargrave running full bore over a light chop off the Fort Lauderdale coast. The Twin Disc EC-200 Commander controls were floored, and the 47,000-pound (with half fuel, or 700 gallons) boat was making about 30 knots. Suddenly I realized I was standing on the teak bridge deck straight up and down with my arms crossed. I didn't have to lean on the L-shape lounge to port or the port-side Pompanette copilot seat just forward of it. We may not have had 10-foot seas, but the ride impressed me nonetheless. And I was curious as to why this boat didn't budge.
Ralph Cantlay, Hargrave's vice president of engineering--the man who designed the 45--greeted my inquisitiveness with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a child who has discovered the joy of blowing bubbles. He explained that the stringent codes of the U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter T and the ABS classification for high-speed aluminum craft set the benchmark for Hargrave when constructing the 45. Simply put, a Subchapter T vessel may not exceed 100 gross tons and is qualified to carry 149 passengers for day trips and 49 passengers for overnight trips. Although a 45-footer obviously cannot carry that many people, Hargrave's 45 qualifies under a subcategory for inspected 12-passenger vessels. "The whole [classification] background is to give the boat a pedigree and build it for open-ocean bluewater service," Cantlay said.
Following the code, Hargrave started with the aluminum alloy 5083-H116, which is the basis for the 45's girders, frames, and plating. The 5083 has extra hardness and tensile strength, adding rigidity to the structure. The hull is 1⁄4 inch thick, but at penetrations there are insert plates that bring that to 1⁄2 or 5⁄8 inch. Longitudinals are extrusions of 5086-H32 alloy. As a result, Ron Pickle, vice president at Hargrave, told me the 45 has "virtually no flex."
Hargrave initiated construction by laying a surface plate, a series of 12 six-inch I-beams to which the 3⁄8-inch-thick keel bar is mounted. Fourteen frames interlock with the four full-length, 1⁄4-inch girders (stringers) and the keel bar, and the longitudinals tie the frames together. There is a frame every 30 inches and a longitudinal every 10 inches. This exceeds the code's requirements for a longitudinal every 12 inches and allows Hargrave to install an extra eight in the boat. (Because the 45's longitudinals are so close together, Cantlay refers to it as a "longitudinally framed" boat.) All frames have 2"x1⁄4" "riders" that each form a T section that receives the outer skin. The result is a monocoque; that is, the skin is an integral, load-bearing part of the structure.
In the fully welded engine room, girders are thickened to 3⁄8 inch from 1⁄4 inch at the number seven bulkhead to help support the diesels. There is a collision bulkhead forward and three watertight compartments. With structure like that, the 45's owner can be assured that if he's caught offshore in deteriorating conditions, he'll get home. Or given the boat's enormous 1,400-gallon fuel capacity, he can outlast most any storm he encounters.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.