I'm standing at the lower helm of Lazzara's 74 and there's a problem. My trusty Radio Shack decibel meter can't go any lower than 60 dB-A. We're running 26 mph at 2300 rpm and it's so quiet that I'm whispering in astonishment into my tape recorder. The meter reads 60 decibels, but I know the levels are quieter. I just have no way of proving it.
Ya wanna know why? Hockey pucks. At least that's what the assemblers at Lazzara Yachts call the 100 or so 3"-diameter, ?"-thick rubber isolators that are set in place underneath the interior liner. The latter consists of all the stateroom structures, soles, and upper sill and is fastened in place with a urethane glue.
That's only the beginning when it comes to a construction process that's as diverse and complicated as those employed by high-end go-fast builders. The stringers, bulkheads, and soles are cored with Baltek's Decalite panels, which are balsa sandwiched in fiberglass. The hullsides and bottom are also cored with balsa but not at the keel, chines, or in the vicinity of any through-hulls, and the entire laminate in the hull and deck is vacuum-bagged. Up top, the flying bridge structure is foam-cored to reduce weight, and when the manufacturer installs the optional hardtop ($49,600), the materials list includes graphite.
The result is what Lazzara calls a superior strength-to-weight ratio. Most people love to talk about the power-to-weight ratio. Lazzara says its boat is about 10 and 25 percent stronger than competitive models.
There's no definitive way to measure a boat's strength, but let's take a look at the stats of competitive models. Fairline's Squadron 74 ($4,264,000 with 1,572-bhp CAT C-30s) has a solid-glass laminate and weighs 108,206 pounds full of fuel, which is how Lazzara lists the weight of the 74. Not known for building light boats, Uniesse sets the weight of its solid-glass-built 72 (with twin 1,360-bhp MANs, it retails for $2,940,000) at 117,562 pounds, again full of fuel. Both boats are faster at 38 and 39 mph, respectively, but the Lazzara is powered by 1,001-bhp CATS. It weighs 107,000 pounds full of fuel and hits 30.3 mph.