45 — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca — March 2002
|Part 2: Hargrave 45 continued|
Such exhaustive attention to detail is not limited to construction. I gazed down the steps leading to the engine room and noticed the Racor fuel filters parallel with the first step, which means they can be serviced from the cockpit. As someone who's often had to climb into a hot engine room to check fuel filters forward, I appreciated the value of this smart move.
But this was only an inkling of this boat's clever design. As I perused the engine room, offering 4'0" headroom, Cantlay explained that the Cats are almost completely serviceable from inboard. The only thing outboard is the port-side raw-water pump and the starboard alternator. To access the pump you simply remove the air filter, and it's a clean run forward. The alternator access is equally straightforward, and in fact I could maneuver my 5'7" frame around the entire engine room with ease.
Everything here is clearly labeled for quick identification, and access to all switches, all shut-offs, and the quick connect/disconnect for boat-to-boat fuel transfer are within arm's reach. I also noticed the relative coolness of the engine room even though we'd been running at speed for a while. The reason for this, I was told, is two eight-inch, 110-volt, axial fans running at about 3600 rpm that can circulate the entire engine room air volume in 30 seconds. Since the fuel-return lines are cooler (with the help of an additional chiller), you should always get maximum power out the engines regardless of the ambient atmospheric temperature.
In fact, the only thing that slowed our boat down was the Pipewelders tower, but given the bird's-eye view of fish it affords--not to mention providing a great place from which to shoot speed numbers and observe her running angle--I'd have the tower anyway. As the 45 hit her top speed of 34.9 mph, I could watch the six-inch-wide spray rails deflect spray down and out. Working my way back down to the helm station, I peered out over the highly cambered foredeck and saw that she was dry.
Taking the wheel, I put the 45 through her paces. The power-assisted Hynautic hydraulic steering felt like driving my car, and acceleration was smooth throughout the rpm range. The one picking point I had with the 45 was running at wide-open throttle, where her running angle is about 5 degrees. For someone of my height, that leaves somewhat obscured sight lines. Of course, this was without tab, so an adjustment of the Lectrotabs solved this issue, albeit at some increase in drag. The 45 turned in about a boat length with little banking. At drift her roll was gentle, due in part to her wide chines. At WOT the 45 hit 2150 rpm (2300 is the Cat's maximum rating), and each 3406E burned 31 gph instead of the rated 40 gph. After I consulted Caterpillar, three possibilities arose. One is that she may be overpropped. Two, her throttles may have prohibited from going fully forward. The third possibility is that the display was reading lower-than-actual fuel burn. Caterpillar said it has had some problems with low readings on the 3406E's Marine Power Display and is currenly working out the bug.
I also spent some time in her 117-square-foot cockpit, where I noticed a lack of diesel fumes. Cantlay explained that the reverse tumblehome and side-dumping dry exhaust, which exits via 10-inch outlets, get the credit.
The cockpit is armed for anglers, with a 45-gallon circulating transom livewell, tackle center with sink and freezer, and 8'Lx2'Wx18"D fishbox. There is also a plate for a fighting chair and fresh- and saltwater washdowns and connections for shore power and cable on either side because, as Cantlay told me, "You never know which side you'll be getting power from."
But the cockpit is not the only place to have fun on this boat. Rough and rugged as she is on the outside, the 45 is comfy below decks. There's 6'6" headroom and a U-shape galley to port with four-burner Thermador ceramic cooktop, two Sub-Zero refrigerators, and Sharp microwave/convection oven. A fair number of cabinets can hold stores for a long trip, and the lounge to starboard offers a great view of the 20-inch Sony TV to port. All cherry wood is varnished with polyester for durability. The master stateroom forward offers a queen-size berth. The head abaft the master and to port has a separate shower with 6'6" headroom and Sealand vacuum MSD.
After the test Mike Joyce, president of Hargrave, told me that the 45 is just the first in a series of sportfishermen the builder is launching. A 48 flying bridge is being designed now, and a 65-plus-footer is also in the works. I imagine this series will adhere to the strict guidelines set forth by the construction of the 45. If it does, Hargrave just might be setting the standard for other extreme machines.
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.