Italian marque Azimut has been hard at work revamping its range over the last couple of years. The top end — the yachts over 100 feet — now have distinctive cross-model styling, and have been dubbed the Grande range. Meanwhile, the mid-sized models have also been undergoing a refresh, and the latest model to be announced is the 55S — a critical one to nail, sitting as it does right in the heart of the classic flybridge battlegrounds.
The 56ft8in 55S is no fly though — rather she is the nautical equivalent of a sports hatchback, complete with hardtop and sunroof to open the interior saloon to the skies. The overall design incorporates new elements along the length of the hull, from a new bow to a new garage aft, maximised thanks to a pivoting garage door that allows stowage for a tender up to 2.85m long. The hull and superstructure get a new window design, including a set of six hull windows amidships to flood the central master cabin with light. The layout includes two further guest cabins, including a VIP forward, and there is also provision for an additional single crew cabin in the bows — a nod, perhaps, to the rising market in Brazil, which tends to favour a paid skipper even on the smaller yachts.
Construction will include carbon in the hull, and carbon-glass sandwich for the superstructure, while power will come from three Volvo Penta IPS units that should give a cruise speed of 31kts (with an estimated 310nm range) and a top speed of 36kts — handy for escaping the bad weather in Northern Europe (or the tax police in Italy…).
The first 55S is due to be shown at the Cannes boat show in September.
From Trade-a-Boat, Issue 428, June-July, 2012.