When it comes to elegant design, whether you’re talking fashion, cars or Sophia Loren, Italians are hard to beat. The same holds true for yachts, like this Azimut 62S. In 2007, the British boating press voted the 62S “Boat of the Year” in the over-45’ sport cruiser category. A couple of weeks later, it won European Boat of the Year at the Dusseldorf Boat Show. What’s so special about this boat that the Brits and the Germans, not always known to agree on things, would both give it awards?
This is the first shot we’ve seen of a Mediterranean sport yacht without a couple of signorine on the foredeck. Maybe they’re enjoying the luxurious interior of the Azimut 62S, a showcase of Italian styling. Naval architect Stefano Righini created the 62S and drew the lines and exterior styling. The hull is a deep-V with 19 degrees deadrise. A pair of 1015-hp Caterpillar C18 diesels pushes it to 39 mph max, 33 mph cruise, according to the builder. Six hull windows on either side provide light to the master stateroom amidships.
In Italy, folks like to pursue “la dolce far niente” or the sweetness of doing nothing. Is there a better venue for that than the Azimut 62S? It’s a classic Mediterranean boat that’s intended for having fun in the sun, then tying up at night maybe with a nice restaurant nearby. It’ll sleep four, or six with the extra cabin, and sunbathe at least that many. It’s plenty fast to take you from harbor to harbor, slick enough that you’ll make an entrance, and comfortable enough for spending the night without wishing you were back in the villa. You’ll have to do something to get one, though as a typical 62S sells in the low-$2-million range. But once you’ve got it, life should be sweet. And while your Azimut 62S may not be the largest yacht tied up stern-to along the dock, even owners of megayachts will have to admire your taste in yacht flesh.Alas, here’s another empty sunpad and a nice wide swim platform for water sports, too. The teak decking is a classy touch and provides secure but comfortable footing. Note the stern thruster on the centerline that provides extra maneuverability when wiggling the boat’s fanny between other boats to get into the dock.
The Back Story
Paolo Vitelli founded Azimut in 1969 as a sailboat chartering company and was soon selling sailboats as well. In the mid-70s, Vitelli designed the first Azimuts and by 1983 the company had launched the 105’ Farlaka, the biggest production fiberglass boat at that time. It was built in Viareggio, at the Benetti Brothers shipyard. Unlike the relatively new Azimut, Benetti had been building boats for more than a century. Azimut soon bought Benetti and the company as we know it today was started. Since then Azimut has acquired several other shipyards, making it Italy’s leading yacht builder. Paolo Vitelli is still the chairman.There is ample room for two companions at the helm, which we like. The autopilot at left seems a bit unhandy, but this is an aftermarket detail which any owner can arrange to his liking.
Azimut runs its own research and development center in Varazze, Italy. Working with Italian universities, its goal is to develop new technological solutions to improve the comfort and safety and lessen the environmental impact of Azimut boats. New designs are model-tested, and modified if necessary, before going into full-scale production. This technique, one that’s followed by all major shipbuilders and many high-end yacht builders, allows the company to make its mistakes on a small, relatively inexpensive scale. What Azimut learns through model testing soon becomes available on their yachts.Two cabin layouts are available-- we prefer the two-cabin version (the lower one here). It replaces a second guest/crew cabin with a “media room”; not a place for press conferences, as we thought at first -- it’s really a lounge. If you need single berths, the island berth in the forward guest cabin splits apart to form V-berths. There’s a small crew cabin aft, next to the garage.
Easy Everything, Almost
Azimut has developed the Easy Cruising system for its yachts 60’ and over. This is a computer-based set-up that lets the skipper manage all onboard systems – electrical, tankage, pumps, trim, stabilizers, alarms and so forth – from a single control point. Easy Handling is Azimut’s computer-controlled steering and maneuvering system, analogous to those used with IPS or Zeus drives. Yes, there’s also Easy Docking using a joystick and Easy Stability which employs a Seakeeper gyroscope to minimize rolling both underway and at anchor. Not all the Easy systems are available on all Azimuts so consult with your dealer for specifics.The media room is a good place for generally hanging out and, even better, it’s opposite the galley. In this shot, the galley is behind the light-colored shoji screen on the right which is actually a sliding door. The décor looks Oriental to us, not Italian. Maybe that’s the genius of Italian design. With the shoji slider closed, the galley is a little tight, but workable. A large galley isn’t as crucial to Italian boatmen as it is to Americans; Med yachtsmen typically moor at night and eat ashore. The boat’s galley is for breakfast, lunch and snacks. We think that is as it should be – unless it is an evening for just you and your honey, then this galley with shoji screen open could be fun. Midships owners’ cabins are often dark, but Azimut provides lots of natural light through six hull windows on either side. The catty-cornered berth makes better use of the space and still leaves enough room to get around it on both sides. A private head is through the door at photo left and a small table is opposite the berth which could work as a desk or breakfast nook. The guest stateroom can be set up with an island queen, as above, or… … converted into V-berths. This is an idea that’s been too long in coming, but we wonder how the berths are locked into place in either position and if they will come adrift in rough going. All we see is a hook-and-eye latch. But we prefer V-berths up forward and would probably leave ours like this all the time. There’s good light from both hull ports and recessed lamps. Note that Azimut has used the bow flair forward for storage cabinets behind sliding doors. This is one of the best executed and most versatile forward cabins on the market in any size boat today.
On DeckThe main deck layout includes a big saloon with a sliding hatch to let in sun- or moonlight and easy passage through sliding glass doors onto the aft deck with its large sunpad. There’s nothing like the Mediterranean by moonlight or Biscayne Bay or even Nantucket, aboard the Azimut 62S. The swoopy deckhouse windows let you see and be seen, and the dinette is fine for a casual dinner. There’s a TV and bar opposite the settee. Nowadays, a yacht is not a yacht unless it has a garage. This one will hold an inflatable or RIB and makes it easy to launch and retrieve, too. It’s much preferable to carrying the tender on deck – not an option aboard the 62S – or tipped up awkwardly on the swim platform where it’s always in the way. Going forward means navigating the side decks, well-protected by rails all the way to the bow. Decks are teak, so signorine, no stilettos, please. Note the cut-out in the sunpad for champagne. That’s la dolce far niente. Next stop Viareggio, maybe? No, the Azimut 62S is built at the company shipyard in Avigliana. But it will be at home anywhere folks love good design and easy living on the water.
Standard and Optional Features