Well... we’ve seen, read, and even written enough of how the furnishings look and how the drapes bring out the tones of the carpeting on Hargrave’s newest launch, the 76. But really... this is a boating publication, not Architectural Digest. Our readers wanted us to get the nuts and bolts of how the boat handles and feels from an owner/operator’s perspective, oh... and while we’re at it, put them into the helm seat. Not an easy thing to do as most reviewers aren’t usually handed the keys to multi-million dollar yachts. But BoatTEST.com’s Capt. Steve got an exclusive chance to do exactly that... and bring you first hand video and narrative of how the Ana C handles not only in open water but in close quarters as well... Gawd-awful close quarters. The first of our two videos is ready and shows the performance numbers and a bit of the handling characteristics of the Hargrave 76.
Try this hairpin turn on for size with a 100’ megayacht coming in the opposite direction on the New River. It is places like this that you need a responsive vessel...and a cool hand.
When testing large motoryachts in Ft. Lauderdale the standard practice is to pick up the yacht at Pier 66 or another venue close to the Port Everglades inlet. But when Capt. Steve was sent to test the new Hargrave 76, the luxury yacht was all the way up the New River, which is megayacht alley, some 6 miles or more from the ocean. Not only is the New River known as one of the narrowest, and most winding navigable waterways in the country, but it’s a virtual steeple-chase course of six-knot currents, hairpin turns, narrow bridge abutments, barge traffic, careening tour boats, and huge megayachts – all trying to claim their space in the middle of the narrow river where the water is deepest. And, as if to add insult to injury, the banks of the river’s entire length are lined with moored megayachts as well, so understandably...mistakes come hard.
The New River is a sleigh ride that can easily put butterflies in even the most experienced stomach. Little wonder then that from time to time one even sees a megayacht tethered bow and stern to a couple of Sea Tow boats that gingerly maneuver their charge up and down the river like mini tug boats.
Capt. Steve, however, negotiated the river in the new Hargrave 76 – a boat that he had never before been aboard – with aplomb. Squeezing through spaces with just 2’ of clearance on either side in 6-knot current in some places, Capt. Steve pronounced the boat remarkably responsive to the helm. That is good news for all concerned.
This boatyard is near the end of the navigable area of the New River for large motoryachts. Getting in an out of berths such as these requires skill and a responsive vessel. Be sure to check the tide as water can be sucked out of – and pushed into – side channels like the one above at three knots or so.