Eyebrows raised several years ago when Mochi Craft entered the lobsterboat market with its Dolphin series. After all, what did an Italian builder known for high-gloss wood have in common with yachts known for decidedly conservative, Downeast style? People changed their minds once they saw how the yachts, from 44 to 74 feet, blended the open-air enjoyment of a lobsterboat with the stylish livability of a cruising boat.
Mochi Craft continues the tradition with its latest offering, the Dolphin 74 Cruiser. The model is an evolution of the Dolphin 74, a four-stateroom yacht introduced about six years ago, and offers four new design elements.
First, the flying bridge extends farther aft, to shade the entire cockpit. It also has more alfresco spaces. Perhaps the best of these spaces is the fully forward seating/dining area. Most yacht builders place the helm station here. Mochi Craft tucked it in at the base of the mast instead, just aft and centered on deck.
The second new design element is on the main deck, where the saloon is separate from the dining area. Consider that most yachts in this size range—previous Dolphin 74s included—have one large space shared by the two. The saloon’s handful of furnishings create intimate conversation and relaxation areas. The dining area, meanwhile, can seat up to eight people.
The last two changes that Mochi Craft made affect the crew. The galley, opposite the dining area, features a sliding door. American buyers will appreciate this, since they tend to have a more relaxed relationship with crewmembers and like to chat with the chef throughout the day. It benefits the crew because it makes it easier to serve meals (some European builders place the galley below decks), yet the door yields privacy to both them and the guests when needed. Equally important, there’s a staircase leading to the crew’s quarters below deck, and a side door opens onto the side deck, for quick service to the cockpit or flying bridge.
Speaking of the crew’s quarters, their area, aft of the engine room, has been redesigned to make work and relaxation simpler. Occupying the full beam of the 74, it now includes a utility room fully aft for stowing diving and mooring gear. Much like a lazarette, it is accessed either via an exterior hatch off the swim platform or from the engine room. There are also dedicated areas for dining and laundry besides a two-person stateroom and the captain’s stateroom.
The Dolphin 74 Cruiser should perform as well as she looks. Preliminary sea trials reveal that the twin 1,550-hp MAN diesel engines permit a 28-knot cruise speed and a 31½-knot top speed. Equally noteworthy, the yacht is optionally offered with the proprietary Mitsubishi ARG Anti Rolling Gyro System gyroscopic stabilizers, which damp 50 percent of the roll motion caused by waves at sea and at anchor.
The Dolphin lineup is renowned for allowing owners to choose from among six different hull colors, and the 74 Cruiser is no different. The first 74 bears a blue hull, in deference to its classic nautical heritage. But you can expect to see aquamarine, salmon, and other unusual tones offered in the future.