NEW BOATS - Swimming with Dolphins
Italian brand Mochi Craft hit the right note when its MaxiDolphin 74 flybridge cruiser won the Custom Yacht category of the Motor Boat of the Year awards back in 2007, with a design that married a great hull with a gorgeous sheerline to an elegant superstructure that offered considerable interior and exterior space.
Roll forward three years, and the MaxiDolphin is no more — but its replacement is even better. Launched this Northern Hemisphere summer as the Mochi Dophin 74 Cruiser, the updated version uses the original hull — albeit with a few more windows and ports added — but from the bulwarks up, everything is different.
As someone who dislikes intensely the idea of large flybridges on smallish yachts, I can honestly say I was bowled over when I saw the new beast in the flesh. Apart from some styling differences, the superstructure element has grown imperceptibly, adding an impressive six feet to the main saloon. This has allowed a number of interior layout refinements, including a separated seating and dining area, and an enclosed galley on the portside aft of an interior helm.
Moreover, the flybridge itself has been extended, now offering a 28ft-long upper platform to enjoy the sun. The lower deck accommodation has also received attention, and the hull now incorporates a crew area aft with cabins for three, a galley and a crew mess that all have access from the aft ‘beach’ — meaning crew can go about their business without disturbing guests at all.
The guests themselves will no doubt be fighting over the master cabin, set amidships and taking advantage of the full beam of the yacht with impressive hull windows, decent en suite and a proper walk-in wardrobe. Not that things will be too bad for the others — a double and a twin sit forward of the master, while a good VIP cabin takes pride of place in the bows.
Clever design tweaks abound, including a flybridge helm set on a plinth in the centre of the sundeck, allowing for 12-person seating forward up top and a giant sunpad aft. She is no slouch either — twin 1550hp MAN engines will drive her to more than 31kts, while a cruising speed of 28kts will deliver a range of 305nm. Ex-tax price starts from a smidge under €3.4 million, but with such beautiful styling, who could possibly resist her. - Tim Thomas
Photos: Mochi Dolphin