The Azimut 38 is the smallest yacht in the Italian yard’s range, and it proves to be a superb starter yacht for the first-time buyer
Designing and developing a new entry level boat is a challenge for any yacht builder. An entry level boat may be the smallest in a builder’s fleet, but owner’s expectations are still very high, and they want everything found in the larger yachts but in a smaller and cheaper package. For the builder, all that hard-won experience has to be condensed into a compact package that still has to perform and still has to look good. It is a considerable challenge and one where experience counts. Italian builder Azimut certainly has the experience and with the 38 they have created a little marvel.
To look at the 38 from the outside, it does not look small and that is a considerable achievement. The proportions are good and in profile, the 38 is sleek. It is only from the bow that this yacht looks too high for its beam. But then, Azimut has included a great deal into this compact package and the height certainly allows for generous headroom throughout the yacht. To gain extra space, the flybridge has been extended out almost to the transom and people standing up here do look a bit exposed. However, the 38 looks like an excellent example of a fine modern flybridge yacht.
Value in hull
You certainly get a lot for your money with this starter yacht. The two cabins below have plenty of space and they each have exceptionally large bathroom, with full-size round shower cubicles that are a rarity in a 38-footer. Azimut has opted for just the two cabins when others might have squeezed in three. This makes sleeping on-board can be a comfortable experience and if you need extra sleeping space then you can go for the optional conversion of the saloon settee to create another double bed.
The forward master cabin has everything you could wish for in a sleeping cabin with twin closets and storage and a low bed. There are large horizontal side windows but it is the twin cabin amidships on the starboard side that benefits from large vertical side windows. Here there is full headroom in the entrance but it lowers over the bed. The bathroom for this twin has two doors so that it can also serve as the day head.
Also on this level is the galley, which again is nicely sized for a 38-footer. The microwave oven and the fridge are hidden behind a large door, which seems un-necessary and complicates the galley layout, but otherwise the galley works well and it is only a few steps up to the saloon and the dining table.
The layout of the saloon has sensibly been kept simple, with a settee and the associated table on the starboard side. The table opens out as a full dining table and with folding chairs that stow beneath the settee this can be a full six-seater. Opposite is a sideboard where there is dedicated stowage for the Azimut branded crockery and a TV would sit comfortable on top although this is offered as an option rather than standard. The flowing lines of the side windows allow a great view outside when seated and the use of a light-coloured limed oak adds to the feeling of space and quality.
There is another table outside in the cockpit that is equally good for dining or just sitting out for evening drinks. The same folding chairs serve this table and along the transom there is a settee with a cutaway back on the centreline that creates the access point for the optional passerelle. The mooring points are raised and easy to use with dedicated rope stowages underneath. The wide swim platform can be used for stowing a small tender and the passerelle would then be used to launch and recover this.