This is floating luxury with a price tag to match, $3.25m with all the trimmings our review boat has. You could no doubt shave a few hundred thousands off that figure by deleting this and that, but the this-and-thats make up a lot of the allure. Where would a boat like this be unless everything that was not electric was hydraulic?
There is no flybridge, so the saloon has to give up space for the control station, but with plenty of Italian flair the driving position is virtually ornamental. A triple seat in leather faces a sculptured console. The driver’s section of the seat is particularly well shaped, electrically adjustable, and faces an adjustable wheel. Analogue dials positioned above the digital equipment are angled towards the driver, informing him of the health of the twin 1015hp Caterpillars.
Aft of this section is a lounging and dining area that is infinitely variable. Sections of the seating are moveable, and the table varies in area according to its use. Its height is also power-changeable to suit function. The built-in furniture changes function at the touch of buttons, TVs appearing and disappearing to order. Drawers are tailor-made to match the special crockery and cutlery they contain.
The space is air-conditioned, of course, but at the touch of more buttons it becomes naturally ventilated; side glass and a powered sliding roof open up. Access from the cockpit (a vast area by European standards) is via a wide-opening set of glass doors that adjust ingeniously to shift from flush panels when shut to parallel when open.
The item present in the saloon of Australian vessels but often absent in overseas-built examples is the galley; in the Azimut it has been moved a deck down. This could be an extension of the thinking that put crew’s quarters adjacent to the engine room. There is, of course, no compulsion to actually employ crew, and their accommodation then becomes available for children or in-laws. The crew accommodation is aft, alongside the engine room.
Ahead of the engine room is the sleeping accommodation. This comprises three bedrooms and three bathrooms of a size and class to shame the average luxury apartment. The main cabin takes up most of the space below the saloon and has its bed thrusting out from a corner, making the most of the room. Bathroom, wardrobes and vanity area are extravagantly spacious, but room is left over to pace up and down in the unlikely event of a sleepless night.
Each of the other cabins has its own bathroom with circular shower compartments. The forward cabin has one of the few electric beds afloat, the twin beds converting to a queen at the command of a button. The wardrobes could easily cope with the demands of people who need to be appropriately dressed for every conceivable occasion. Cabinetwork and joinery, here as in the saloon, is of a very high standard. You would need feeler gauges to detect any inconsistency in the fitting of doors.
An unusual item on the lower deck is the galley. Australian practice would put it up top, but the size of this one would shrivel the rest of the social space. There is not a single appliance missing, and a professional chef hired for the day would feel well at home.
The owner would be likely to use the cockpit barbecue more than the galley. The cockpit, very large by overseas standards, caters to Australian tastes by having an awning that appears and disappears at the order of a finger. Every permutation of seating is available here, and there is space left over should anyone want to dangle a hook or organise a diving party.
The engine room of course is below the cockpit – and a particularly well-organised space it is – together with the typically European provision of crew’s quarters. On the snug side, but well fitted out and including an en suite, they would be welcome guest quarters for one of the many friends clamouring to join in a trip.
There is still space left over for a garage right aft. One more button takes care of the door that closes a compartment capable of housing a realistically sized tender.
Given a few more days I might have discovered everything the Azimut has to offer, but one day’s acquaintance made me determined to become friends with whoever buys it.
Price, as reviewed $3.25m
Length overall 19.06m
Hull length 18.41m
Fuel capacity 2,700L
Fresh water 900L
Motors 2 x 1015hp Caterpillar C18s