Lazzara’s LSX Quad: revolutionary & evolutionary

Author:
Publish date:

At the unveiling of Lazzara Yachts’ LSX Quad, company president Dick Lazzara described his motivation behind designing and building the 75-footer. Simply put, he had a dream.

At the unveiling of Lazzara Yachts’ LSX Quad, company president Dick Lazzara described his motivation behind designing and building the 75-footer. Simply put, he had a dream.

It took the company less than 10 months to turn that dream into the elegant reality that sat before us at the Lazzara facility in Tampa, Fla. Lazzara sees Volvo Penta’s Inboard Performance System as a powerful, emerging propulsion package, and he designed the LSX to maximize the advantages IPS offers. The IPS 600 units used are inherently free of noise, vibration and emission concerns.

The installation — the first of its kind — consists of four IPS 600 units mounted abreast that rapidly accelerate the LSX to its 35-knot top speed, while providing greater range and significantly lower fuel consumption than other yachts its size, according to Lazzara. The vessel is designed to be light- weight, with efficient use of space and simple-but-practical accessories.

“Rapid prototyping,” an advanced technique in product development, was employed to get the LSX program under way. Beginning with detailed sketches, a model was created using Chavant clay, a non-drying wax and oil-based clay commonly used for sculpting. The rapid prototyping process represents the latest technology and design, incorporating 3-D scanners and a six-axis router. Without rapid prototyping, what took Lazzara four days to complete would have taken up to two months to accomplish.

To help understand why the LSX is considered both revolutionary and evolutionary, I spoke with Fabrizio Loi, product development manager for Lazzara Yachts. Loi explains that the LSX started from a clean sheet of paper and that the hull was specifically designed to take advantage of the 0-degree thrust angle provided by the IPS. The LSX doesn’t use trim tabs, and since it gets up on plane at 12 knots, their absence shouldn’t be an issue. There is a simple aluminum edge at the transom to detach water flow from the hull and transom.

The yacht’s prismatic hull has no keel, which contributes to its shallow draft of 3 feet, 6 inches. A conventional hull of this length typically would draw at least 4 feet, 2 inches. The LSX also makes use of a softer bow and harder chines. She goes where you point her, and with the forward-facing props there is no cavitation. Cruising at 31 knots (3,250 rpm), the LSX consumes 71 gallons per hour and has a range of about 400 nautical miles, according to the builder. The yacht requires 187 meters for a full turn, about a third less than comparable inboards, thanks to the IPS.

The hull bottom, sides and stringers are balsa-cored for weight savings, while the areas supporting the quad IPS units and any auxiliary through-hull fittings are solid laminate. In hull No. 1, the seawater intakes for the generator, air conditioning and watermaker have separate through-hull fittings but should be integrated with the IPS seawater pickup on future hulls. The entire deck is a molded one-piece unit; manufacturing details couldn’t be discussed, as Lazzara has a patent pending on the process/material.

The machinery space was a challenge. In order to take advantage of the smaller space requirements of the IPS, the size of the machinery space also was decreased. While this allowed for a crew stateroom and sixth head, it also reduced the space available for such auxiliary systems as a generator and electrical panels, requiring the design team to reduce electrical load, heat dissipation and overall demand of the auxiliary systems. More efficient, compact equipment and installations were required. There is a sizable utility space between the galley and the guest staterooms that is accessed from below a set of steps, where you will find electrical transformers, the air conditioning plant, black-water tank and other systems neatly arranged.

Loi explains that his product development team, which consisted of just four people, spent about 80 percent of its time on research and 20 percent on development. The company chose the E-Plex multiplexing system to link various control modules to remote stations, which is far more versatile and compact than the conventional wiring systems found on most boats today. In addition, the natural ventilation of the machinery space is so effective that the vessel maintains a 0.5-percent positive air differential within the space during operation.

The interior is designed around the New York loft concept, with two levels and plenty of open space. Furniture is designed with a “floating on air” appearance, eliminating toe-stub issues and contributing to the open feel of the interior. The three windshield panels are on an incredible rake, appearing almost horizontal, and lead to an electrically operated sliding roof panel. There are no interior bulkheads on the main level, allowing an unobstructed view forward.

This design presented additional engineering challenges, since it was difficult to create interior support for the weight of the glass and sliding roof system. Loi explains that construction of the superstructure is similar to the roll cages found in modern race cars. They used a core of square steel tubing, wrapped with unidirectional graphite and encased within fiberglass laminate. This construction begins at the bow, runs to the windshield panels, becomes the windshield mullions, and continues around the sliding roof to the aft deck, evenly distributing the weight along the sides of the structure.

Lazzara uses Low-E glass in its windshield panels and aircraft style thermo-reflective foil barrier insulation to aid with interior temperature control. The Low-E glass is said to reduce the temperature at the windshields by 15 degrees.

Lazzara thought U.S. helms were outdated compared to those on European-designed yachts, so it pushed the envelope with instruments that can be enclosed to blend in with the interior when not in use. There’s also an “all-glass helm” incorporating three large, flat screens that can display everything from Lazzara’s proprietary ISIS system data to navigation charts, radar, night vision images from the FLIR camera mounted on top of the pilot house, or a television broadcast. The helm console face, incorporating the flat screens, is electrically controlled, allowing the displays to be adjusted for the most desirable viewing angle whether seated or standing.

There are far too many details to discuss in the space here, but I’ll highlight a few. For example, the so-called “garage door” aft, where the RIB is stored, is laid up with more than 16 layers of carbon fiber for weight reduction while offering tremendous strength and rigidity. It is operated by a center-mounted remote-control hydraulic actuator. The swim ladder is hydraulically actuated as well, as is the aft foyer window. Electronically controlled blackout glass on both sides of the garage door enables monitoring of the machinery space when necessary. And the fuel tank is designed so that its center of gravity doesn’t change with the fuel load.

An important feature on all Lazzara boats is the ISIS system. ISIS is an acronym for Integrated Ships Information System, which could be compared to an airliner’s black box. The computerized system transmits data fiber optically and monitors 64 different on-board functions, from engine rpm to bilge pump cycles to hatches that come ajar. The system logs data, and a report is generated that Lazzara provides to the vessel owner. From this data, Lazzara can determine such specifics as a particular pump’s life cycle, various service and maintenance requirements, and exactly how a vessel is operated. By examining how its existing fleet of yachts is being used, Lazzara says it is able to determine client needs and service requirements. This information was helpful in determining certain design parameters for the LSX, according to Loi.

Since the unveiling of the LSX Quad in October, more than a dozen contracts have been signed for Lazzara’s newest and most innovative yacht, the company says. Although not a precise quote, the LSX Quad is selling for around $3.6 million and is in production. Visit www.lsxquad.com for an up-close look at the LSX Quad.