Hargraves 94 Motoryacht Review

Issue: July 2003
Manufacturer: Hargraves

Although Jack Hargrave passed away several years ago, his legacy of designing rugged, liveable, exceptionally seaworthy yachts with proper ship’s systems and engineering, lives on in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Hargrave Custom Yachts. Jack Hargrave’s original company has evolved in recent years to not only provide naval architecture and design services for high-end custom and semi-custom yachts, but now builds yachts under the Hargrave brand name at two major facilities. 

The recently introduced Capri 94 Motoryacht is an excellent example of the total project expertise the company provides. Designed and engineered by the Hargrave design team, the 94′ (29m) tri-deck is built to Det Norske Veritas Society specifications with electrical and plumbing standards meeting the American Boat and Yacht Council guides. The Far Eastern shipyard chosen for this project is ISO 9000 Certified, assuring owners of quality construction methods. The Hargrave team’s experience gained from years of designing and engineering megayachts is applied to each of its yachts and they could easily be mistaken for a small ship in disguise. 

The hull is a Hargrave designed V-shaped semi-displacement one of hand-laid vacuum bagged fibreglass. Below the waterline the hull is solid with two additional coats of Vinylester resin, providing excellent strength. Stringers are bonded and the laminate schedule of hull and decks are to DNV specifications. The Hargraves 94’s decks are foam-cored FRP for strength and lightweight. The exterior styling of the Capri 94 is smooth, sculpted and has flowing lines with a definite rakish European look, and you will probably agree this is one of the best looking tri-deck yachts on the water under 100′ (30m). 

The interior of this first 94 is cherry wood, finished to a high gloss. As you probably know, builders don’t apply a high gloss finish unless their woodworking craftsmanship is impeccable, because every small imperfection seems magnified by the finish. This interior definitely warrants a high gloss finish. The workmanship of the joiner work is excellent. The main deck interior is well laid out for both casual and formal activities. The covered aft deck has twin tables just forward of the wide athwartships settee that will comfortably seat either two small parties or a party of eight for alfresco dining. A clever hinged leaf connects the two tables, whereas with the leaf stowed, access to the middle of the settee is easier. 

Even with full walkways along each side, the 20′ (6m) beam still allows for a large saloon/dining saloon combination. A generous wet bar is located aft to port. Comfortable leather seating is arranged forward and the dining area is separated from the main part of the saloon by beautiful cherry cabinetry, which provides a home for the concealed TV on the aft side and china storage on the forward side. The effect is two fold. First, the entire space visually seems larger than either of the individual areas because the separating cabinetry is only table height, but secondly, each area appears to be self-contained. 

It’s seemingly a paradox, but it works. The galley with tremendous granite-topped counter space and all appliances necessary for you or your chef to prepare gourmet feasts is forward with a large U-shaped table just aft of the windshield, similar to a ‘country kitchen’ in shore side terminology. This is definitely the informal dining area aboard. A generous sized circular stairway from the forward part of the saloon leads either up one deck to the boat deck, sky lounge and helm station, or below to the accommodation deck. The lower deck accommodations, accessible via an elegant foyer that houses a concealed washer and dryer (logically located adjacent to the staterooms), include a full beam master stateroom suite aft with full beam ‘his’ and ‘hers’ heads against the engine room bulkhead, a pair of large hanging lockers, commodious storage, settee and it’s own entertainment centre. 

Two guest cabins (one to port, another to starboard) with a pair of single berths, head and shower are for children or short term guests, and the full beam VIP suite forward with head and shower will pamper your special friends. Forward of the VIP suite are crew quarters for two, including head, shower and crew’s washer/dryer. A watertight bulkhead separates the crew quarters and access is by stairway from the galley. Engine room access is by way of the swim platform on the transom and a watertight door. As one might expect on a yacht bearing the Hargrave name, the engine room was laid out ship-like and ship shape, with easy access to all mechanical equipment, not only for service, but also for installation and removal. 

All piping was labelled and easily identified. Extra attention to noise control is apparent in the two most likely areas to find objectionable engine noise-the master stateroom area, which shares a bulkhead, and the saloon, which is located directly above the powerful Caterpillar engines. Both areas were surprisingly quiet. A normal conversational level was easy in both locations. You will be aware that machinery is running, but the noise levels were low by any standard. The top deck, with both large outside areas and enclosed helm station, small bar, settee and entertainment centre is where the owner and his guests will most likely spend their time while the yacht is underway. 

If this deck seems larger than you might expect on a yacht of 94′ (29m) it’s because the deck extends all the way aft. The main aft deck is fully covered by it. This makes the lines of the yacht appear especially sleek, and it creates usable area approaching that of the main deck. With plenty of boat deck space to accommodate a large hard-bottom inflatable tender, Switlick 10 person life raft, a pair of wave runners and a Quick Lift low profile davit with hydraulic rotation for launching of the water sport ‘toys’, there is still plenty of room for a large U-shaped settee with dining table, grill and a couple of lounge chairs for sunning. 

However, this arrangement is what the owner of this 94 footer wanted to accommodate his lifestyle and cruising requirements. Should you want a different layout to more suit your cruising needs, the Hargrave Design team and Shelly Higgins, the interior designer of choice for most of the Hargrave Yachts, will be happy to accommodate you, frequently with no additional charge. Asked why overseas clients might be interested in purchasing a Hargrave Custom Yacht with it’s delivery and service facilities based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Michael Joyce, President of Hargrave, said, ‘Several of our overseas clients have purchased yachts and located them here for a year or so, taking cruises to the North East America, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and like the owner of this 94 footer, through the Panama Canal and up to Canada and Alaska. 

These are some of the finest cruising grounds in the world. In addition to our clients enjoying great cruising waters that they ordinarily would not have access to, it allows us to do any necessary warranty work more effectively, and especially with a new model, we are able to offer the client a significant financial incentive to show the yacht at a boat show or two. This incentive will frequently offset all, or a great portion of, their cost of dockage and transportation of the yacht back to her eventual home port. It’s truly a ‘win-win’ situation for both the client and Hargrave Custom Yachts.’ One of the best ways to investigate the performance of a yacht builder, its sales organization and the overall quality of a yacht, is to speak directly to owners of other yachts built by the builder. 

It’s interesting to note that Michael Joyce, President of Hargrave Custom Yachts, actively encourages folks considering the purchase of a Hargrave Yacht to speak with present and past owners. These owners frequently visit the various boat shows that Hargrave participates in and all volunteer to tell their story to prospective buyers. Some even tell stories about two Hargrave yachts they’ve purchased. Another reason foreign clients as well as American clients might be interested in the Hargrave 94′ (29m) Capri is that a fully equipped yacht that not only is one of the finest semiproduction yachts available on the international market, it can be easily and cheerfully customized to your personal requirements. 

With a delivered price in Fort Lauderdale in the US $4 million range (depending upon electronics, etc.) it is easily one of the best values per dollar/ franc/Euro today. 

Words by Rick Friese