When I first witnessed the new Hardy flagship glowering down over the show’s diminutive pontoon, it was difficult not to be impressed. See for yourself with boats.com Hardy 62 First Look Video.
Its masculine, heavy-browed, caveman muscularity immediately reminded me of my Navy days, when a boat was always judged by its potency rather than its prettiness. In fact, more than any other boat on the Southampton’s show pontoons, the uncompromising ‘Battleship Grey’ of the 62’s superstructure, aptly underpinned by a classic Navy Blue hull, seems to dominate the space in which it sits. It would be no surprise at all to step on board and discover a missile defence system mounted on the flybridge – but when you look more closely, it quickly becomes plain that the 62 is about much more than just ‘tough-guy’ posturing. Yes, she appears to prioritise serious seamanship ability and the demands of the committed offshore mariner over all else, but she also factors in some extremely impressive leisure-friendly treats for the long-distance cruiser.
Hardy 62: On board details
The moment you step through the side-opening bulwark gate onto the wide, teak-lined walkway, everything feels usefully over-engineered.
For instance, look down and you will notice that the fuel filler is a chunky stainless steel affair with a digital readout of percentage tank capacity. Investigate further and you will discover that the walkways themselves are enclosed by very high (MCA Workboat-compliant) bulwarks and handrails. And once you reach the foredeck, things remain just as practical, robust and seamanlike: even on the standard model, you get a 50kg Hall Anchor and easy access to the 60-metre chain cable through a hatch beside the windlass. But here, we have an even more robust and practical twin-rig layout with a pair of windlasses and two anchors, one on either side of the bow.
Step up to the flybridge (either via the external aft stairs or the forward internal flight) and you get a full three-man helm position, with controls for the engine, thrusters, trim tabs and steering, plus all the electronic aids enjoyed at the main driving position.
You also get a hinged mast and stainless steel fixing points for the optional radar scanner, aerials and infrared camera – and you can also add a bimini from the options list, as well as a crane to lower your tenders from that huge aft flybridge space.
Down on the lower deck, the 62 comes with three cabins – a full-beam master, a guest double in the bow and a twin to starboard with a spacious and fully equipped galley to port. Certainly, there would have been room down here to generate more sleeping facilities, but as things stand, every one of these spaces is extremely generous, with private ensuite facilities and separate shower compartments. In fairness, the galley would be better positioned on the main deck for easier ventilation plus more effective access to the aft deck and the flybridge. However, such is the scale of the internal spaces on the flagship Hardy that it’s very difficult to feel short-changed.
For proof of that, just take a walk around the saloon on the main deck. Like the similarly proportioned flybridge, you get a vast acreage of space and in this case, it is configured to provide two enormous seating sections to port, with a long storage unit to starboard. While the designers modestly talk about an extendable dining table with seating for six, it seems to me that if you took advantage of all the main deck’s seating, you could accommodate much closer to 20 people.
The use of acoustically efficient underlay beneath the saloon carpet helps minimise the impact of noise from the engine room and it’s also good to see an internal stairwell for safe access to the flybridge plus a pair of side doors for direct access to the lateral walkways and the foredeck. However, if I were the Skipper, I would be very reluctant to leave this deck because the raised, three-man ‘heave-compensated’, Simrad-equipped helm station is immensely impressive. It comes with a chunky six-spoke, steel-trimmed wooden wheel that looks like something salvaged from a 19th century Tea Clipper. Certainly, you can drive this boat from the aft deck or the flybridge, but those who enjoy a sense of nautical theatre will find the primary helm very tough to beat.
Hardy 62: Nuts and bolts
With four fuel tanks (two main and two reserve) offering a combined capacity of more than 7,000 litres, the standard-issue twin MAN R6-800hp diesel engines provide the adventurous Skipper with a serious cruising range. In keeping with that over-riding purpose as a comfortable distance maker, you also get a high-end spread of features, including a high-capacity hot water system, bow and stern thrusters, a heavy-duty generator and inverters and a broad palate of secondary systems. In fact, there are too many features (and upgrade routes) to discuss here, so we’ll simply affirm that it is a comprehensively equipped vessel and turn our attention instead to the oft-overlooked back end…
Accessed through a hatch on the starboard side of the aft deck, the utility area, crew quarters and walk-in engine room represent a splendid asset for the far-flung mariner.
This space houses the main vessel control features in one easy spot, plus additional features to keep the less glamorous necessities of an extended cruise well away from the leisure areas of the boat. You get a washing machine and tumble dryer plus a single-berth crew cabin with ample storage, an ensuite heads and a separate shower compartment. In the spacious, well-ventilated and substantially soundproofed engine room, the engines, generator, hydraulic systems and fuel tanks are all easily accessible and expertly arranged, with non-slip aluminium flooring and workmanlike guardrails throughout. In short, despite the fact that it’s tucked away out of sight, this element of the boat embraces precisely the practical, no-nonsense approach so evident elsewhere.
Hardy 62: Summary
The 62 certainly takes a sage and mature approach to solving the traditional seamanship challenges, but she also provides a level of space, features and fit-out that will appeal to the luxury-seeking mariner. I will never be a fan of the galley on the lower deck but in all other respects, this fusion between tough-guy trawler and elegant gentleman’s expedition vessel is very charming indeed.
Hardy 62: Specifications
Length: 19.75 m
Beam: 5.43 m
Air draft (mast down): 5.8 m
Dry weight: 35,000 kg
Fuel capacity: 3,540 litres
Reserve fuel: 3,560 litres
Water capacity: 1000 litres
Maximum speed: 25 knots
Cruising speed: 15 to 20 knots