Mochi MaxiDolphin 74 — By Alan Harper
She may look like a Downeaster, but this 74 is an all-Italian proper yacht.
When Norberto Ferretti unveiled the Mochi 51 Dolphin at the 2003 Cannes Boat Show, he mockingly referred to her as a “langoustine boat” —in other words, a lobster boat with a Mediterranean twist. She was beautiful and performed well, but at 51 feet she was bigger than any lobster boat I had ever seen.
I had no idea then what Ferretti had in mind for the future, namely the Mochi 74. The appropriately named MaxiDolphin made its European debut last autumn, and any doubts I had about whether this distinctive style of motorboat could be adequately translated to a hull length over 70 feet were quickly dispelled when I saw her sitting quietly at the dock in Cannes’ fashionable harbor, looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. She was gorgeous.
No longer a lobster boat—at this length and this tonnage, any residual Downeast connotations have long since evaporated—she came across instead as a particularly pretty yacht, with curvaceous yet subtle styling that somehow belied an impressive length and beam. That graceful sheer, modest superstructure, and surprisingly upright stem, a bold flare to her bow worthy of an American sportfisherman, and lower freeboard than most flying-bridge boats in this class—all these stylings combined to produce a look that seemed right and familiar, yet at the same time was completely distinctive.
And although there is a world of difference between 51 and 74 feet, Mochi Craft has been here before: Prior to the Ferretti Group’s takeover, it was building more conventional-looking flying-bridge boats of almost this size and volume. The difference here is that the MaxiDolphin just doesn’t look big enough to pack in four en suite cabins. With a low freeboard and short superstructure, she was surely designed to be pretty first and practical second. But hull volume is more a factor of waterline length than length overall. As Andrea Frabetti, vice president of Ferretti’s engineering group, pointed out, if she had the same angle of rake to her stem as more conventional boats, she’d be an 82-footer. Instead, that broad-shouldered bow and pugnacious stem give her beamy hull nearly 74 feet of useable volume.
All this is just another way of saying that although on the outside she looks small for a 74, on the inside she’s more like an 82-footer. And Frabetti isn’t exaggerating. The forward VIP cabin is set well into the bow, but with headroom of around 6'9", an unusual amount of beam, and plenty of light admitted through a pair of portholes and an overhead hatch, it really feels spacious.
The amidship owner’s suite also benefits from the Dolphin’s full 22'6" beam, as well as from those huge windows in the topsides, so it’s no surprise to find that even with a significant amount of floor area taken up with a dressing room, it still seems vast. With its big curved sofa, a dressing table, and matching en suite head compartments linked by a huge spa bath, this is a place where you could happily spend time reading and relaxing.
Even the two en suite guest cabins, with bunk berths on the port side and a pair of single berths to starboard, enjoy plenty of daylight thanks to some generously proportioned windows in the coach roof sides. And throughout the accommodations, volume has been used intelligently: whichever cabin you put them in, guests and family will not lack stowage space.
This article originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.