The boat’s ensign looks starch-stiff. It’s blowing 20-plus knots, and white-tipped four- to six-footers roll in steady sets. From the flying bridge 20-plus feet above the frothing water, I see a Gulf Stream horizon that looks like Monet’s “Rough Sea at Etretat.” Perfect.
Beneath my feet sits 135,000 pounds of time-tested hull, stout construction, and first-rate craftsmanship. I’m onboard the Lazzara 84, and she engages the sea without pause: 25 mph, 30 mph, 36 mph display on my radar gun. She’s now making 36.5 mph, spray is exploding to the sides with depth-charge-like force as the twin 1,550-hp C30 Caterpillars hum along at 2315 rpm and the 38x46 five-blade Rolla props chew up the water and hurtle this behemoth forward.
The 84 is putting the big hurt on the ocean today thanks to her modified-V, single-strake, shallow-keel hull that’s constructed of vacuum-bagged triaxial unidirectional fiberglass with balsa coring in her hull, deck, and flying bridge to add stiffness but not weight. There’s also solid fiberglass in her keel, chines, and hull-penetration areas for extra strengthening. Her keel is reinforced additionally with cement.
“Run her beam-to,” instructs Dick Lazzara, owner and chief designer of Lazzara Yachts, turning over the wheel as he disappears down the steps to starboard just abaft the flying-bridge Jacuzzi to check on some things below. I note the heading. She’s tracking steady while beam-to the seas. American Bow Thruster’s two-fin hydraulic stabilizers snub most of the roll as we run in the trough. Her engine-driven power-assist steering is real-time responsive. Out of curiosity I turn her upsea with the help of the custom-designed solid-cast stainless steel rudders, and the 84 easily splits the seas with her fine entry. Occasionally she dips her bow through a wave, yet spray isn’t reaching up to the flying bridge.
As well as she’s handling, she’s also quiet. After my wring-out I head below to the main-deck starboard-side helm station to get some decibel readings. I take my first at 1000 rpm. Fifty-eight dB-A? Heck, 65 is the level of normal conversation! I shake the unit. Check the batteries. Check them again. The low readings continue as speed increases: 59, 61, until we’re at WOT and my meter is clocking 71. This is library quiet. Lazzara explains that sound attenuation is a major goal, and that the quiet stems in part from the drivetrain. Basically, it’s a huge strut molded out of stainless steel that absorbs a fair amount of sound. Lazzara also floats its floors: Between the sole and stringers are a hundred or so quarter-inch-size rubber doughnuts that absorb vibration. Even the urethane used to secure the sole has sound-absorbent properties.
Yet the surface under my feet is solid as a rock, thanks in part to one 70-plus-foot main-deck plate that is bonded to the hull, creating a monocoque structure that minimizes creaking and cracking. The bulkheads are also cored and have isolators between the structure and the finished surface. “Almost like a soundroom,” Lazzara says, adding, “Any sound that hits that panel is isloated in the wall.” Of course, the underwater exhaust also contributes.
These are just a few ways the 84 benefits from her builder’s obsession with high-end technology, but it doesn’t come at the price of luxury. Take, for instance, the Jacuzzi, bar, and Miele electric grill on the flying bridge. Or her full-beam master with double-sink-equipped en suite head, her formal dining room for six, her optional satin-finish pecan wood (cherry is standard), and her contemporary galley featuring names like Sub-Zero, GE, and KitchenAid.
That galley is also functional, thanks to a food-prep island on centerline, and its proximity to the lower helm and dinette enables the chef, captain, and guests to congregate. If you prefer privacy from the helm area, the main saloon can be closed off with a pocket door, which is great onboard when space is at premium. The luxury even extends to her engine room, where a bright, diamond-plate decking reflects the overhead lights, making the room bright. Six-foot six-inch headroom enables the tallest technician to maneuver around and between the powerplants, just behind which are twin 21.5-kW Onan gensets.
If you like being at sea, the 84 is geared for exploring. Consider her dual-anchor setup and standard Maxwell 4000 dual-anchor windlass, guaranteeing a solid hook set just off that never-been-seen beach and her Novurania tender with 50-hp Yamaha four-stroke for finding that cove to call your own. Of course, her solid build, luxurious appointments, and seven staterooms, including two crew quarters abaft the engine room, don’t hurt.
Suffice it to say, Lazzara’s 84 has her Is dotted and her Ts crossed. While her standards list is impressive, her technology is at or ahead of the curve, and her luxury is obvious, this vessel shows her best side when she’s duking it out with a big sea. And her builder wouldn’t have it any other way.
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