Every so often a new model comes along that turns our perception of a builder upside down. For me a new Hargrave 80 appropriately named Deal Maker did just that starting with its metallic brown-ish hull color that leapt off my computer screen the first time I saw it. Now, that’s different, I though to myself.
“Yeah, Sterling Paints made a custom paint just for this boat,” confirmed Hargrave President Mike DiCondina. “Like most of the features aboard, the owner got to pick the color. He liked a mocha and a chocolate color but wanted to combine the two so that’s what he got.”
Deal Maker’s owner is a repeat Hargrave customer who was looking to downsize from his 100-footer yet maintain his cruising ambitions with just a captain and stew aboard. Like many American yachtsmen, this owner knows that a happy crew means a happy you, so he pushed Hargrave and designer Jack Serene to add comfort to the crews quarters; he was adamant that their accommodations have two staterooms, two heads, and a comparable crew mess to what he had on his 100.
That’s not the only thing the owner refused to give up, accord to DiCondina, the owner wanted to maintain the his-and-hers bath, the same amount of closet space, and the nice-sized bar on the upper deck.
If you forgot Hargrave built sub-100 footers you’d be forgiven. The builder built two 76s—the most recent being completed three years ago—from a dammed hull that accommodates boats of 70 to 85 feet LOA. It was ultimately agreed that everything the owner wanted could be accommodated within an 80-foot shell.
There are differences between the 80-foot Deal Maker and his 100-footer, of course. “Instead of our traditional built-in seating they wanted to go with club style seating, so it’s low,” says DiCondina. “So we found a custom furniture guy for them in Miami and locked it down.”
It wasn’t just in the accommodations where the decisive owner made his demands known, but in the boat’s range as well. “[Deal Maker] Tops out at 21 knots, cruises at 18, but the owner runs it slower because that’s what he’s used to. He really wanted a range of 1,000 nautical miles; we managed to achieve that at 11 knots with full fuel and water.
Asked if there was anything Hargrave couldn’t/wouldn’t accommodate aboard Deal Maker, DiCondina laughs. “All I do is say, yes. I don’t say no unless it’s unsafe. We’ll advise about resale of course and the market. But then we’ll get with Jack [Serene] and go over everything to make sure from the lamination process to the balance and center of gravity is on point.”
When a custom boat builder like Hargrave is that willing to match your vision, it makes me think that the Deal Maker moniker is a better fit for the builder than the boat itself. —Daniel Harding Jr.
DISPL.: 14,000 lbs.
FUEL: 2,000 gal.
WATER: 450 gal.
POWER: 2/ 1,150 hp CAT C-18s
CRUISE SPEED: 18 knots
TOP SPEED: 21 knots
PRICE: $5.5 million