New Boats - Azimut Grande Opening
We live in exciting times. Yes, I know that is a very general and rather hackneyed expression, but I am, for once, being very specific — for the first of the big Azimut Grande models are starting to appear from the Italian builder’s sheds.
If you are wondering what the Grande range is all about, then I shall explain. A couple of years ago, Azimut announced that it was going to take the big end of its range — the 100-plus-footers — and tweak them, add in a comprehensive sales and service element, and rebrand them as the Grande range. The result, with divine styling by Stefano Righini, is a range of five yachts from 100ft to a 126ft Triple Deck, four of which are entirely new. With a 105ft Grande recently being delivered to the Dominican Republic (the first in the Caribbean no less) all eyes now are turned to the, er, autumn boat shows, where the Grande 120SL will make its much anticipated world debut.
Alongside technical and hydrodynamic upgrades, Righini also applied thought to how yachts are used and incorporated these elements into the new models. “I have conceived the flybridge,” he tells me, “as an independent area where you could spend all day without going down below because you have all you need there — dining, bar, seating, shade, climate control. A boat is a place where life comes out — it is not an enclosed box like a car. For this reason, we have also increased the window areas and the number of openings, and the boat becomes like a flower — when it is nice, everything opens up, and in the winter it all closes down!”
I know where I am heading at the Med’ boat shows this year — straight to the Azimut section. Like, one might say, a bee to a flower.
— Tim Thomas