Good visibility from the helm
The helm at the forward end of the saloon has surprisingly good visibility. It is a couple of steps up from the saloon deck level and it is dominated by the wide Raymarine navigation display that can be used for showing both the radar and the electronic chart. The hooded dashboard should reduce reflections on the screen and the controls and switches are all mounted on the lower dash with an adjustable steering wheel on the centreline. The visibility is enhanced by the commendably narrow windscreen supports and there is also a clear view aft even when the trim changes as the 38 rises onto the plane.
The upper helm on the flybridge has been engineered in a similar logical way, but with only a single seat at the helm. It is surrounded by a sunbed while the aft area is taken over by a corner settee with an optional fold down table attached to the access hatch rails. A reverse angle windscreen helps to deflect the wind at speed and the side rails are set at a good high level to ensure security. These rails merge into side fins aft and these are linked by a cross bar to form a mounting for the radar and other antenna with the radar unit raised to give a clear view ahead.
Things get a little tight in the engine compartment with limited headroom over the engines but everything is accessible and there is excellent space aft for the auxiliaries. The twin Cummins diesels can be either 355 horsepower or 425 horsepower units, with the latter being fitted to the test boat to add sparkle to the performance. The engines are close-coupled to U-drive gearboxes with the propeller shafts then running aft below the engines. It makes for a compact installation combined with relatively level shaft lines for efficiency. With the larger engines, the speed topped out at over 34 knots.
Out on the water, you become very aware that the 38 is based on a deep-V hull in the way that it cuts cleanly through the waves with very little motion. Certainly, the deadrise of 18-degrees is deep for a flybridge yacht of this size, and this enhances the performance at sea considerably. The chine line keeps relatively low at the bow and there is a secondary chine just above it. This second chine, combined with a relatively sleek hull shape, demonstrates how Azimut has made the sea-going ability of the 38 a top priority. With the 38, you get a thoroughbred ride, and serious boaters will find that this, more than anything, makes the 38 stand out from the crowd.
The 38 is also easy to handle in harbour, with the bow thruster aiding the manoeuvrability. There is an optional joystick control that combines the thrust of the bow thruster and the engines, making berthing a very simple operation, once you have gained confidence in the system.
The standard version of the 38 is quite basic, but all the essentials are there. Azimut has worked on the principle that with a starter boat, some owners of the yacht might find the purchase price critical. So with all the options that are available, an owner can tailor the yacht to his purse. Whichever options an owner chooses, the Azimut 38 has to be one of the best of the small flybridge cruisers on the market today, and this yacht is going to particularly appeal to those owners who want excellent sea-going performance.
In Asia: www.simpsonmarine.com
Technical Specifications – Azimut 38
Length overall 39 ft 04 ins
Length waterline 30 ft 11 ins
Beam 13 ft 01 ins
Draft 3 ft 08 ins
Displacement 27 tons
Hull deadrise 18°
Fuel capacity 290 gals
Water capacity 105 gals
Engines 2 x 435 hp Cummins diesels
Optional engines 2 x 355 hp Cummins diesels
Propulsion U-drive to shafts and propellers
Exterior styling Stefano Righini
Interior styling Carlo Galeazzi
2-ring ceramic hob
Raymarine Tridata display
Electric anchor windlass
RPM SPEED SOUND
600 4.6 62
1000 7.2 63
1500 9.5 77
2000 15.6 78
2500 26.2 82
3000 33.7 86
Readings measured during sea trials in the Solent, Southampton, UK with slight seas and the wind from the SW at 10 mph. Speed readings taken by GPS in water depths in excess of 50 feet with ¼ fuel and water and 2 people on board. Sound measured at the lower helm