109 — By Diane M. Byrne
— October 2001
The Seven-Year Itch
|An Alabama couple took a while to make their first yacht a reality, but it was worth the wait—for them and Hargrave.|
The best things come to those who wait, according to an old adage. But taking seven years to decide what your boat should look like? Now that takes waiting to a whole new level.
Actually, Grady and Sharon Burrow didn't take seven years to settle on the design of Missy B, their new 109-foot Hargrave. To be more accurate, the time frame represents the span between their first meeting with Michael Joyce, president of Hargrave Custom Yachts (then head of brokerage firm Colonial Yachts, which he still runs), and the day they took delivery of their boat.
Still, it begs the question: What took them so long?
The Burrows certainly weren't dragging their feet--rather, the couple from Birmingham, Alabama, were carefully navigating their way through the process of building their first yacht. For the first three or four years, they were mapping out plans for a 150-footer to be built in Malta to accommodate frequent personal and family cruising (they have seven children and a few grandchildren) as well as occasional chartering. According to Joyce, when the government-controlled Malta Dry Dock decided to turn its attention back to the massive ship projects it had traditionally focused on and asked to be released from further dealings, the Burrows began looking for brokerage offerings in the 125- to 150-foot range. Unable to find the right yacht for their needs, the couple decided to build a smaller vessel with the then-recently established Hargrave Custom Yachts. The purpose of the project remained the same, however, so the final two years were spent on planning and constructing the 109-footer shown here.
But just because they decided to build a smaller yacht doesn't change the scale on which they and Hargrave measure Missy B's success. In fact, according to Sharon Burrow, they were able to incorporate many of the proposed 150-footer's features without having to crowd them in.
A main reason for this is Missy B's wide-body design. Since her beam is 22'3" and there are no full walkaround side decks, three distinct conversation areas plus a baby grand player piano fit in the saloon. A number of guests can fill the room without anyone feeling as if he or she is sitting on top of one another.
The wide-body design has another benefit. It allows the high-gloss dark woods--anigre, cherry, burl, and bird's-eye maple--to warmly envelop each room. On a narrower, smaller yacht, the interior might feel closed in. The paneling is enhanced by big-boat architectural details like columns and prominent crown moldings. "The level of finish in the interior is really a notch above what we have been doing," Joyce says. "Phil McIntosh, who supervises all our production at the yard, said, `When Grady's boat arrives, Mike, you'll be in the big-boat business!' We can build up to 130 feet in the yard at present, and this boat will let people know we can deliver the goods in that size range." (Hargrave builds in Europe and Asia as well as stateside.)
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.