Unlike the charming LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle, the new LEGO Technic 42074 Racing Yacht, despite also being a ship, doesn’t come inside a brick-built bottle. Instead, this bright and vivid ship was designed for high-speed regattas. Even though its playability is rather limited, the set can give a young builder the very basic idea of a modern racing vessel’s mechanisms. The set is just 330-pieces big, but its retail price of £24.99/$39.99/29.99€ can make it a pretty good addition to your collection if you can deal with the model’s flaws…
The set comes with two building guides. Because both builds (A-model and B-model) look so much alike, it may take you a moment to notice that these are two different booklets for two different models and not just two parts of the same building guide.
Pieces and stickers
Besides the two building instructions, the box contains 4 unnumbered bags, a sticker sheet and the highlight of the set – a plastic sheet with two vast sails. The set includes a number of panels in dark azure, although any of them can be found either in sets of 2017 or in other Technic sets of the first half of 2018, e.g. in 42077 Rally Car.
The plastic sheet is very flexible, so I wonder if it can be damaged inside the box during transportation. A thin sheet of cardboard or plastic wrapping might be a reasonable safety measure in this case.
The sails are die cut round the edges. My first impression: plastic is very flexible, yet rather firm and looks durable. I believe the only way you can damage the sails severely is simply by cutting them with a pair of scissors.
And, of course, there’s a very modest sticker sheet. The stickers are bright and look very fresh. No doubt, the model will look better with stickers applied rather than not.
Surprisingly, the building of the yacht took a lot less time than I expected; experienced builders will be able to finish the ship in under 30 minutes.
You start building the yacht with its main play mechanisms – one turning the rudder and another one rotating the boom. The build is very simple and every part of both mechanisms is exposed, so don’t expect any exceptionally smart design solutions.
Unlike the yacht’s exposed stern, its nose is a nice-looking combination of panels and beams. Stickers help a lot to smoothen the transition between azure and yellow.
However, I was slightly disappointed with what the top of the mast looks like. An exposed yellow axle looks odd, even though it is clear there is no other way of creating a proper angle. Moreover, the smaller of the sails has only two fixing points. This means that the sail swings loosely each time you tilt the yacht. On the picture above you can see an unsecured side of the sail lying on the photo backdrop.
The finished model
Once finished, the yacht leaves a dual impression. The model’s design deserves a solid “A”, but that can’t be said about its playability. The set has only two basic features, and even these are as limited as possible; get ready to constantly hit your fingers with the boom any time you try to adjust it. And there’s no way you can make the yacht stand upright: it will always heel over. You’d need a proper display stand if you’re planning to exhibit the model on a shelf.
A couple of wheels in the bottom of the yacht are meant to add playability, but in fact they make the whole vessel utterly unstable. I don’t see a problem with the ship gliding on any home surface (either wood, glass, or soft fabric). Removing these wheels might improve the whole play experience significantly.
Even though the overall shape of the yacht and the color solutions are brilliant, the model leave a lot of space for improvements and modifications. For instance, small yellow panels in the centre of the body can be easily replaced with some other types of smaller panels to conceal huge empty spaces between the pieces.
Conclusions & recommendation
If you’re already tired of building cars, trucks and helicopters, an eye-catching 42074 Racing Yacht might be a breath of fresh ocean air for you. The set hasn’t got anything to surprise us with, but still it makes a rather great basic model for almost unlimited improvements. Other then that there is not much the set can be valued for: no new pieces, no new mechanisms, and even the sails are hard to apply in any other non-marine creation.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.