The Hargrave 95 is a custom-built motoryacht suitable for private use and for chartering. This report describes a specific Hargrave 95 -- Freedom, hull 95-J03. Freedom has four en suite staterooms for the owner and guests, or for a charter party, and accommodations for five crew members. The layout and all equipment and décor was a collaboration among the owner, Hargrave Yachts, and interior designer Shelley DiCondina of Yacht Interiors by Shelley in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
This yacht can go anywhere she wants, all she needs is the fuel to get there -- and at displacement speeds, because she carries 3,600 gallons (13,627 L), she can go quite far.
Hargrave creates each of their yachts to meet the specific needs and desires of the client, so subsequent 95s might be much different from this one, while sharing a common hull. Custom-building appeals to experienced owners with definite ideas about how they will use their yacht -- about what their yacht's mission will be -- and who want to create a unique vessel to carry out that mission. Hargrave is one of a relatively small number of builders who offer such a high degree of customization.
How to Commission a Hargrave Yacht
Hargrave Custom Yachts has built more than 100 yachts in the last 20 years; and, typically, several are under construction at any one time.
The first step is imagining and creating the yacht on paper, or, today, on the computer. Working with the Hargrave staff, clients determine the size of motoryacht needed to fit the mission, then develop the layout, interior décor, list of equipment, and virtually every other detail of the vessel.
The second part of the process is engineering and building the yacht, which in the case of Freedom was done at the Kha Shing shipyard in Taiwan. For over forty years Kha Shing has been building motoryachts up to 125’ (38 m) in length. Most of its craftsmen have been working there for over 20 years, and some much longer. Depending on the size of the boat, the complexity, and the number of change orders, it can take anywhere from nine to 16 months to complete a Hargrave yacht. Typically, it is one year to 18 months.
After a reasonable down payment, one scheduled payment is made when engines and generators ship and the balance is not due until the very end. This gives buyers time to sell their current boat without being under pressure as the work progresses. Hargrave submits pictures and reports as construction progresses and owners are invited to visit the yard to share in the excitement. The final payment is not due until after the sea trial. Then the boat is shipped to its destination.
Hull. Freedom was built of foam-cored fiberglass, hand-laid and vacuum-bagged where appropriate. Her stringers are laminated into place with several layers of fiberglass fabric, to create a strong, stiff hull. Vinylester resin is used in the skin coat to prevent osmotic blistering. Otherwise, Hargrave builds each yacht to D.N.V. and ABYC construction standards and full classification is available at additional cost.
Full-time Hargrave staff at the yard work with the builder and engineers on every aspect of the boat during construction. First-class materials and equipment are selected and installed at the yard; appliances and other systems are selected from manufacturers with proven sales and service networks in the U.S., so maintenance isn't an issue down the road.
Once the yacht is launched, she undergoes full sea trials and certification by key suppliers like Caterpillar and Naiad aboard. Once the yacht is delivered in the U.S., Hargrave personnel duplicate the entire process to ensure trouble free boating experience for their clients.
- • Four Staterooms: Master, VIP and two Guest Suites – The master, VIP and one guest cabin have double berths, the fourth cabin a pair of singles. The beds in the master and VIP are on pneumatic lifts for easy access to stowage beneath.
- • Seven Heads on Board – The Hargrave 95 has a main deck day head, a large en-suite head in the master stateroom, en-suite heads in the VIP and two guest cabins, and two crew heads. The master head has a walk-in shower. All heads are by Headhunter, which is considered one of the best brands in the business.
- • Crew Quarters – Accommodations for five crew, with direct access from one crew cabin to the engine room through a watertight door.
- • Flybridge Spa/Jacuzzi – There's an 80.5"-diameter Spa City Octi-Round hot tub, with access to the flybridge bar.
- • Fully Stocked with A/V Entertainment Equipment – The Hargrave 95 features big-screen HDTV on the flybridge, in the salon, galley, and each stateroom -- in almost every space. The high-tech stereo system can sync with smartphones, high-quality speakers throughout the yacht, Blu-Ray players on the TVs, and extensions for using an iPad for control of much of these electronic packages. DirecTV and Apple TV provides the content.
- • 600-Gallon (2,271 L) Water Capacity. This is a place where most builders scrimp for some reason. Perhaps they’ve never cruised with six people aboard or more using the showers, dishwasher, or washing machine for a couple of days.
- • 3,600 Gallon (13,627 L) Fuel Capacity. Only serious motoryachts carry this much and there are not many 95-footers built with this capacity. At 8 knots this boat has transpacific range with a 10% fuel reserve.
- • Vacuum-Resin Transfer Hull. Pulling a vacuum on a hull this big is not easy, but it helps ensure a better glass-to-resin ration.
Freedom: Less Is More
Freedom's owners are experienced yacht owners with many vessels under their Top-Siders -- most of them sport fishermen. For their first motoryacht, they asked Hargrave to create a vessel with contemporary American exterior styling and a minimalist, but elegant, interior design.
The result is a yacht that we think hits the mark: She has plenty of eye appeal without being visually aggressive, with lines that recall the latest look coming out of Milan.
Much of the decking aboard is Balterio-Metropolitan/Misty Oak, Bulkheads and many cabinets are lacquer paint in light gray. Other bulkheads are veneer painted gray. Free-standing cabinets are taupe/walnut engineered veneer. Headliners are lacquer pain in Snow White.
Countertops and decks in the master head are Carrera marble with a honed finish.
Her main deck reminds us of a high end New York City loft apartment, segueing smoothly from an uncluttered living and dining area amidships into the open galley forward, steps away from, and on the same level as, the fully equipped lower helm station. The aft deck, through automatic sliding doors, is ideal for watching the sunset.
Hargrave equips its galleys with top-quality appliances that are easy to maintain and service in the U.S. and Caribbean. Some foreign-built yachts carry European high-end brand appliances; but, good luck finding a burner for the stove, or repair man for the refrigerator on a Caribbean island or in British Columbia. Freedom's galley is a showroom of premium GE, Sub-Zero and U-Line appliances, the equal of any modern kitchen onshore.
Because the Hargrave staff has little or no turnover, and handles each customer’s needs long after the boat is out of warranty, it knows what appliances can be quickly fixed, and which cannot. They have been there and have done that.
Having said that, owners can have any appliance brand they want. (Just put it in writing.)
There are auxiliary fridges and icemakers on the flybridge, aft deck and in the salon, and a propane grill and wet bar on the flybridge (convenient to the hot tub).
The primary steering station is on the flybridge deck, with duplicate equipment on the main deck forward of the galley. There's a complete array of Furuno electronics, including all of their high-end models. The yacht carries 72- and 30-mile radars, a Navpilot autopilot, a FLIR thermal night-vision camera and an AIS transponder, something all vessels should have, in the name of safety. Electronic charting is by Nobletec, ship-to-shore communications by KVH Tracphone, bridge-to-bridge by multiple Standard VHFs.
How Many Staterooms?
One of the decisions custom-yacht buyers have to make is how many staterooms? Too many, and the cabins get smaller; but if the plan is to accommodate grandchildren and their nannies, then more can be better. Too few staterooms, even though they are relatively palatial, can turn out to be disappointing on some occasions and will definitely limit the yacht’s chartering opportunities.
A good example of big yachts with too few staterooms were the Feadships and Burgers built in the 1960s and early 70s. They were large motoryachts at the time (i.e. 100’ to 125’), but they had only three staterooms. Today, they sell on the used boat market for low prices because they can’t be chartered because they can only accommodate three couples.
Freedom has four guest suites: a luxurious master, two almost-as-luxurious doubles and, finally, a twin-berthed cabin for those who want to sleep alone. All are decorated in the same minimalist style as the common areas of the yacht.
Freedom has unshaded lounging areas on the foredeck and the after end of the flybridge deck, on both moveable lounge chairs and a built-in seat and sun pad on the foredeck. And there's the stern platform, a bit small but fine for taking a swim or dangling one's feet in the Caribbean.
Hargrave installs twin Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesels in their 95-footers. These engines can be tuned to produce various horsepower; Freedoms are the most powerful option, at 1925-hp. each. A charter brochure we found on Freedom says she has a top speed of 24 kts., cruises at 21 kts. We haven't tested her, so can't vouch for these numbers, but they sound reasonable.
How Much Horsepower is Needed?
Not every Hargrave 95 owner will need so much horsepower -- those interested in long-range cruising will do fine with less. After the basic 1550-hp C32 ACERTs the small increase in speed increments aren’t worth the commensurately greater fuel burn for most people.
The charter brochure says Freedom has a "reduced-speed range" of 1,700 miles. Since it's necessary to throttle back substantially to maximize range, folks who want to make frequent long-distance passages should consider installing lower horsepower C32s, such as the 1550s, or maybe even something less.
Say What? For years we have heard on the docks that it is not a good idea to throttle back a high horsepower diesel. We’re not sure that is true because when we asked our Cat distributor how he would gauge engine longevity, he responded by saying it all has to do with the pounds of fuel run through the engine. Modern diesels are held to far stricter emission standards (VW notwithstanding) than they once were, and therefore burn far cleaner than in the past at all RPM settings.
Buying a custom yacht lets each owner make his/her own decisions on questions like this, with knowledgeable input from the experienced, veteran Hargrave staff to fend off costly errors.
Partial Equipment List
As we peruse the equipment list for Freedom we notice a number of items that are noteworthy for one reason or another. In no particular order—
- • Two 38 kW Northern Lights Generators. Under normal conditions the boat can operate with just one, but when everything is on, plus a couple of hair dryers, both will probably be needed. We also like redundancy. These fins are huge and will cost the boat a couple of knots at the top end.
- • Hydraulic Noise Suppressors. No stabilizer system should be without noise suppressors.
- • Hydraulic Bow and Stern Thrusters. These are much more reliable than those which are electrically-driven. They are made by Naiad and they are 46-hp and 38-hp, bow and stern, respectively. They also have back-up hydraulic systems on the PTOs.
- • Delta-T Demisters. There are four fans and the plastic vanes which keep salt mist out of the engine room.
- • Algae-X Fuel Filter System. This is in combination with the Standard Racor system.
- • Naiad stabilizers, model 360, with 18.3 sq. ft. fins. They have datum control and the At Rest system, which means they will dampen the roll when the boat is at rest at anchor or at the marina.
- • Chilled Water A/C System. The Cruisair system has a 15 ton capacity.
Standards and Options
These yachts are custom. Other than the structure, almost everything is optional. It's up to the buyer. FYI, the equipment list for Freedom runs 13 closely spaced pages.
Hargrave lists the price of the Hargrave 95 on the new Sarin 22’ (6.71 m) wide-beam hull described above as $8,267,000. Because each 95 is custom, this price will surely vary from boat to boat, depending on the client's needs and depth of pocket.
All world-class builders of motoryachts use pretty much the same materials, equipment, and engines. Therefore, the root cost is about the same, transportation and quantity discounts notwithstanding. What is not the same are tooling costs, labor costs, national governmental taxes and requirements, marketing expenses, design and engineering costs, general overhead, shipping, and two or three-step distribution costs. These items are the ones that make one yacht with nearly identical specs cost more than another of the same quality.
What sets Hargrave apart from all but a few brands is its ability to deliver a seaworthy world-class motoryacht for a price that is usually the same or less than most production yacht builders. Further, the Hargrave organization is very much a family affair, which means the personal care for customer satisfaction comes with an intensity not exhibited by hired sales people that come and go. It also means that this is not their first rodeo in a building project that is as complex as they come in boating.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Standard|
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