The new Azimut 70 has all the luxurious comfort you’d expect, and a healthy dose of safety features as well
As the largest yacht builder in Europe, Italian brand name Azimut has a reputation to maintain. They constantly introduce new models and you might expect a sameness to result from their design process. This is not the case with the Azimut 70, one of the latest designs to come off the Azimut drawing board and it is a fresh, new and very exciting motor yacht. Here is a boat that you fall in love with as soon as you step on board. The love starts in the way the 70 embraces you and seems prepared to take care of you out at sea. It is a magic feeling and something that many yacht designers could learn from. This embrace comes not just from the décor and layout, but more in the attention to critical, yet often overlooked, details. For example, there are handholds where you need them, making it safe and easy to move about.
Azimut has obviously spent a lot of time looking after the details, but at the same time they have not ignored style or the technical aspects. In the hidden areas of the hull, Azimut have developed new techniques and used exotic materials to save weight and increase the strength of the structure. Unique to Azimut is the use of internal hull linings that improve hull strength, and carbon fibre is used in critical areas of the superstructure.
The happy helmsman
Azimut has also been innovative with this new design in ways to make a helmsman cheer. There is the Easy Docking joystick that combines the output of the engines, steering and the thrusters to make parking in a marina a simple operation. There is an auto trim feature called Easy Cruising that will set the flaps to the optimum angle according to the conditions. There is an emergency panel that allows you to override the computer systems and switch to manual control. From this panel, you can also plug in a computer to get the performance history of the yacht. Azimut has addressed many of the problem areas of yacht cruising and come up with solutions to keep things on an even keel.
There has to be, however, a downside to this level of perfection. It comes at the lower helm, where the top of the windscreen is just about at eye level, so you need to crouch to see ahead. This is necessary so that the yacht without its flybridge can be transported by road to the assembly plant at Savona. It’s a poor excuse for not getting things right in this area. When the boat is on the plane, the problem is largely solved as the bow lifts. Unfortunately, it is not just at the front that visibility is restricted – the side windscreen pillars are wide and slope so there is quite a sector of the horizon that is not easily visible.
As far as safety and security are concerned, Azimut is one of the very few builders that incorporates good handholds into the accommodation. This is not just in the deck saloon, but you also find them in the cabins below. This means that you can move about the yacht at sea without the feeling that you will get thrown about if the yacht takes a sudden lurch. The side decks are wide and easy to negotiate with secure rails on the outboard side. The seating at the helm is very supportive and you also feel secure sitting out in the cockpit. It all adds up to making time at sea an enjoyable experience, which is what yachting should be about.
The helm is a dedicated area with two excellent tan leather adjustable seats. These have a stand or sit option and a good footrest, but that low windscreen top spoils what is otherwise a very well planned area. It is good to see Azimut using top-of-the-range Raymarine navigation displays so that you have a good clear picture of the navigation situation and the remote control panel keeps the controls within easy reach of the helm.