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Used Boat Review: Hargrave 109 Sky Lounge

Photography by Charlie Clark

Hargrave 109 Sky Lounge

Twin Caterpillar 3412 diesels ensure that the Hargrave 109 Sky Lounge can get up and go, and a proven hull design means you’ll travel in comfort.

Home and Abroad

Staying true to the design tenets evoked by the name Hargrave, the 109 continues to make good on her dual promises of seaworthiness and style.

Tenacity,” said Mike DiCondina, president of Hargrave Custom Yachts, in describing the 109 Sky Lounge, “was first launched in 2001, and the owner was focused on space, on giving it the feel of a 130-foot yacht. On a typical sky lounge, the enclosed top-deck structure is about 25 feet in length, but we stretched this enclosure to 40 feet to accommodate the owner’s need for a spacious living and entertaining area aft of the pilothouse forward, and to improve spaciousness throughout.”

Tenacity’s owner originally wanted a 105, but by adding just 4 more feet, all the living spaces became much more substantial, including more headroom on the main deck, as well as showers in the en suite heads, which are more spacious. The layout is interesting, with five staterooms accommodating 10 persons, plus crew’s quarters aft. In competitive yachts of this size, one often finds only four staterooms. The fifth cabin is forward of the galley, and is typically reserved for a professional captain-and-mate couple.

Hargrave 109 Sky Lounge salon

Large windows, when paired with strategically placed mirrors, enhance the openness in an already airy yacht.

To make movement within the yacht’s three levels seamless, the company installed a spiral staircase with clear glass panels framed in cherry, linking the sky lounge with the main deck and the accommodations deck below. Hargrave has also built elevators in larger yachts, to improve access to all decks for those who cannot climb stairs.

Working with Hargrave’s designers, Hargrave CEO Michael Joyce, and Shelley DiCondina of Ft. Lauderdale-based Yacht Interiors by Shelley, the owners created layers of comfortable living spaces, incorporating luxurious furnishings and materials that never fail to impress.

Timeless lines that will never look dated, luxurious custom interiors that perfectly reflect the tastes and lives of the owners, and seaworthiness that can be counted on to get family and crew there and back in comfort and safety—these are all components of every Hargrave Custom Yacht, as well as the tenets of its founder, Jack Hargrave.

Under the steady hand of this well-regarded American designer, the naval-architectural and engineering firm that bears his name saw its reputation rise with the successes of the yacht builders whose core values mirrored his own: Hatteras, Burger, and Amels, to name but a few. More than 7,000 yachts were launched under the watchful eye of the Hargrave team.

When Jack Hargrave died in 1997, the task of maintaining and growing the firm’s name and success was embraced by Joyce, who became CEO and president. Once at the helm, Joyce helped launch Hargrave Custom Yachts, to continue the firm’s design functions, while simultaneously expanding into the role of a luxury yacht builder—and Hargrave has thrived as a desirable brand. Today, Joyce continues in the role of CEO, with DiCondina as president.

Country kitchen on a Hargrave motoryacht

Many Hargrave owners cruise with family, so a country kitchen is a popular spot for get-togethers

Hargrave’s yachts are bespoke, at the top of the American custom category, with hulls ranging from 70 to 140 feet LOA, and with beams ranging from 19 to 27 feet in 1-foot increments. Superstructures are all one-off, in styles that include sky lounges, like Tenacity, raised pilothouses, open bridges, and trideck yachts, among others. Hull molds are similar for a variety of lengths—models ranging from 68 to 75 feet LOA have a beam of 19 feet, models ranging from 70 to 85 feet LOA have a beam of 20 feet, and so on. 

With Tenacity, the company’s intentions are plain: Step into the main saloon from the well-protected aft deck, through double sliding stainless steel and glass bulkhead doors, and you experience warm, cherry bulkheads and cabinetry, with burl-wood doors, black granite countertops and marble flooring, a burl-wood table for entertaining, and a Yamaha baby-grand player piano. The buffet counter to port conceals a well-designed bar with stowage for glasses and china, and is well positioned to serve guests and family, whether on the aft deck or in the saloon.

Foyer on Hargrave 109

Joinery is fine even in the passageways.

The recessed overhead features a mirrored center finished in cherry trim, adding a stylish look and interesting lighting possibilities to the main deck. The designers made outstanding use of the space available on the main deck, giving a long view forward past the leather sofa and massive desk, past the sculptured spiral staircase, to the formal dining room with seating for 10. 

Forward of that dining area, the galley and country kitchen are separated from the saloon by a bulkhead. This portion of the main deck enjoys fabulous views forward and to both sides, and is finished with the same care and attention to detail that you’ll find throughout the yacht. The galley is thoughtfully laid out, with a large, granite-topped island surrounding Corian countertops, blurring the distinction between food preparation and presentation areas in this informal dining and relaxing environment. Even with cabinets above the island and below the counters in all the usual places, there’s room for two sinks and a complete complement of full-sized quality appliances—a KitchenAid five-burner cooktop and ice maker, GE Profile side-by-side refrigerator, two Panasonic microwaves, and much more.

At the base of the spiral staircase, a marble floor defines the landing for the accommodations. The master stateroom is aft through double doors, a full-beam wonderland of space, marble-topped nightstands, and abundant stowage, including his-and-hers cedar-lined closets. Behind the bulkhead aft of the centerline queen-size berth, you find separate, full-size shower and soaking-tub enclosures (with marble walls and floors), each flanked by private vanities.

The VIP stateroom forward, accessed via the centerline companionway, is no less comfortable or appealing than the master. It also has his-and-hers cedar-lined closets, a queen-size berth flanked with marble-topped nightstands, and a private, marble-clad en suite with a shower large enough for two persons. Some of the same design and comfort cues are also found in the guest staterooms.

The lengthened sky lounge houses the raised pilothouse forward, a spacious living and entertaining area, and a long boatdeck aft, which includes a portside hydraulic davit. There’s another spiral staircase to starboard, making it easy for the crew to launch and retrieve PWCs, RIBs, or water toys without having to climb the interior staircase or intrude on family activities.

Opening side doors allow the helmsman easy access to the port or starboard wing controls—clutches, throttles, bow thruster—for precise maneuvering around docks. The large cherry console has room enough for a full suite of navigation and communication electronics, and twin or triple multifunction displays, plus all of the related control panels for smaller screen units, which back up the MFDs, and which also relate to engine operation. Three Stidd helm chairs allow family or crew to keep the captain or helmsman company underway.

Propulsion for this Hargrave 109 Sky Lounge is provided by a pair of freshwater-cooled Caterpillar 3412 diesels, each producing up to 1,400 horsepower, turning 3½-inch shafts and 5-blade Faster props. Cruising speed is said to be 14 knots, with a top speed of 16. A Racor 800 fuel-management system helps ensure that the main propulsion engines, as well as the primary 55-kilowatt Onan generator and the 45-kilowatt auxiliary generator, will always have pristine fuel. Naiad 354 MultiSea II stabilizers with 16-square-foot fins help provide roll stability in an active seaway, while the Naiad hydraulic bow thruster adds precision to handling around the docks. 

On a yacht like the Hargrave 109 Sky Lounge, the equipment and fit-and-finish details could fill pages, and yet there’s an overarching sense of luxury and style that makes this yacht as comfortable in the Bahamas, St. Thomas, or the Lesser Antilles as it is in West Palm Beach. Given Jack Hargrave’s belief that every yacht should be comfortable and safe at sea, it behooves you to see this boat for yourself.

Take a photographic tour of Tenacity here ▶

Click here for Hargrave’s contact information and index of articles ▶


  • Builder: Hargrave
  • Model: Hargrave 109 Sky Lounge
  • Year: 2000 to Present
  • LOA: 109'0"
  • Draft: 6'6"
  • Beam: 21'4"
  • Displacement: 251 tons
  • Fuel Capacity: 5,000 gal.
  • Water Capacity: 600 gal.
  • Standard Power: 2/1,400-hp 3412 Caterpillars

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.