Custom Yachts 94 Carissima — By Diane M. Byrne
— March 2003
The Third Time’s the Charm
|Why do owners keep returning to Hargrave Custom Yachts? Ask Oscar Menzano.|
In nearly a decade of covering megayachts, I've walked into my fair share of builders' displays at boat shows. Many times there's been a good deal of activity going on, with handfuls of interested buyers making appointments to see the yachts in the water or waiting to board them. But over the past few years, I've noticed something different at the Hargrave Custom Yachts display: couples standing behind the reception desk, trading cruising stories with one another, and individuals scattered about in chairs, chatting with show-goers who've just stepped off the docks.
Now, you might assume that these people were all Hargrave staff members or maybe temps hired to help out in the booth. But the truth is, they're all Hargrave and Monte Fino owners (Hargrave's Fort Lauderdale-based office also distributes Monte Finos) who wanted to share their experiences with other potential buyers, whether or not their yacht was on display--or even delivered yet, in some cases.
Why do they do it? In conversations I've had with some of these owners, they've all mentioned how Mike Joyce, president of Hargrave, and his staff actively solicit their input not just for the yachts they've commissioned but also for ones Hargrave intends to develop in the future. Several of these owners were also repeat customers, largely crediting the Hargrave team's desire to give them what they wanted.
Oscar Menzano is a prime example of a repeat customer. He bought his first boat, a 60-footer, from Joyce 14 years ago, and in the past eight years, this native of Mexico has purchased the first 65-foot Monte Fino and the first 55-foot Monte Fino, and recently took delivery of the new 94-foot model in the Hargrave Capri series, which he christened Carissima. I met Menzano about two years ago and was immediately struck by his delightful personality and zest for life. He certainly has a zest for the cruising lifestyle in particular--he and his family lived aboard their first boat seven to eight months at a time and traveled the Caribbean, East Coast, and much of Europe over several years. More recently, the Menzanos took the 94 to the Bahamas and are about to take her south from Florida through the Panama Canal and then up the West Coast to Vancouver, remaining there all summer. And that's just for starters: The fall will see Carissima and company head to Australia and New Zealand.
It's fitting that Menzano has these plans, as he's just one of the many owners who told Joyce and his staff that they wanted Hargrave to combine the volume and style of a megayacht with a vessel that emphasized family cruising and good space for crew.
One of the most noticeable ways this is achieved aboard Carissima is through the use of intricate inlays and unexpected details in the decor. In many rooms, interior designer Shelley Higgins and the Menzanos selected woodwork with ornamental grain patterns covered with a healthy dose of high-gloss varnish. Menzano is so delighted with the result that he says it wasn't just made with care, "It was made with love."
Individual rooms received personal attention as well. In the saloon, for example, there's a striking woven-wood pattern on the buffet-like room divider. While oftentimes you'll see a simple column at the base of a staircase, when it comes to the floating staircase on the 94 (opposite the dining area), there's an art niche instead. Even the aft-deck dining table has intricate inlays at each end.
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.