What’s the Mission?
Like all Azimuts, the 64 Flybridge is designed for one thing: Having a lot of fun on the water. We think that water ought to be the Mediterranean, but anyplace warm and sunny will do. This is strictly a boat for hedonists – it’s not for fishing, or long-range cruising, or battling the elements (although it’s built to CE Class A standards, meaning suitable for almost any weather and sea conditions). It’s a boat for leaving the dock after a leisurely breakfast al fresco, racing to a nearby cove, having a swim, enjoying a gourmet lunch. (Don’t worry about the cooking: If you can afford this boat, you can afford a chef.) Then, after a nap, up anchor and off to Portofino or Capri or Ischia or some other trendy spot for a romantic dinner. Maybe clubbing or dancing onshore afterwards, or just a lazy run back home under the stars. It’s all about the fun of doing nothing special on the water. We love it – we’ll buy our fish at the market and take the Azimut 64 as our yacht.
A Life Lived Aloft
Historically, many Italian-designed boats have been a little short in the flying-bridge department – the bridges tend to be low-sided, more for sitting rather than standing, and maybe a bit Spartan compared to the rest of the boat. This is more of an issue for Americans, used to big, roomy, well-protected flying bridges that can be used in any weather. In designing the new 64, Azimut expanded the typical Med-style bridge to make it “the most complete in the category,” according to the company. They say the flying bridge is the boat’s heart, “the center of gravity for the passions of the owner and his guests.”
So what’s new about the bridge? It has a newly designed hardtop with a Bimini that can be kept rigged at all speeds, to provide sun protection for the ubiquitous bikinied signorine camped out here. The open back and sides let in the breeze. There’s a table and large, comfortable settee – Azimut calls it a sofa – and a fully equipped barbecue. Aft, the sundeck is big enough for two chaises lounges. Optionally, it can be set up for tender stowage to free up the lifting swim platform.
We like the higher-than-usual radar arch. Too often Med-style boats have low arches that place the radar scanner just about cranium level for anyone of even average height. The weather is so good in the Med most of the time that nobody thinks of using the radar when on the flying bridge – when the weather’s poor and the radar’s on, everyone is below in the pilothouse anyway. But New World boaters like to keep the scanner spinning all the time, and that’s probably not good for the little grey cells. No worries on the Azimut 64: The arch is plenty tall.
Beauty Not Just Skin Deep
Sometimes a pretty skin can hide a nasty structure, but that’s not the way they do it at Azimut. Every boat, no matter how nice it looks, is built to take it, with state-of-the-art construction and materials. The 64 Flybridge is built with traditional, proven fiberglass laminates combined with high-tech composites and reinforcements – carbon fiber, for example -- where necessary to achieve strength without excess weight. Certain areas are laminated using resin-infusion for the same reason.
Reducing weight will coax maximum performance from the twin 1,150-hp Caterpillar diesels; we don’t yet know what those performance numbers will be. The boat was introduced only in late June, 2010, so we haven’t had a chance to test it yet. Nor has anyone else, as far as we can discover.
Most owners will hire a crew to maintain their Azimut 64, but might want to do their own piloting. That can be a recipe for disaster, but probably not with this boat. Azimut engineers have developed a computer-controlled Easy Docking system that works with the engines, steering and bow and stern thrusters to make close-quarters maneuvering as easy as it can be. Like pod drives, it’s joystick controlled, and intuitive to use. It also works with straight shafts and rudders – no pods required.
Easy: If you’ve got the money -- and we don’t know what the Azimut 64 will cost, but it won’t be cheap -- and you want a boat for simply having fun on the water, buy one. You won’t go far wrong, unless you decide to take up fishing.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!