Azimut Magellano 43
Azimut continues to move downwards in size on its stylish expedition Magellano series, but seemingly upward in quality
When Azimut introduced their Magellano series of long-range yachts, they chose to confound the pundits and start with the largest in the range first and then work down, unlike most builders who start small and work up. The Magellano 74 was introduced four years ago, and then came the 50. Now, the latest addition to the range is this 43 and without doubt, this is the star of the range. At 13.6 metres, this is the size where the Magellano concept really works.
The Magellano range of motor yachts is aimed at the owner who takes his cruising seriously. This is a yacht where there is as much enjoyment from the time at sea as there is when at anchor. Speed is not the main criteria of this design but rather long range cruising at modest speeds while still keeping the ability to turn on the taps when required to make harbour quickly if the weather turns nasty. To achieve this, Azimut called on experienced designer Bill Dixon to develop his Dual Mode Hull.
This hull design bridges the sometimes-conflicting requirements of displacement and planing hulls. With the Dual Mode Hull, the yacht comes onto the plane when the engine power is increased but for normal cruising the hull acts in an efficient displacement mode. The hull features a central, rounded shape that flattens out towards the chines to create a lifting surface for planing. There is a skeg on the centreline to improve the directional stability and to offer some protection for the propellers. The result is that you can cruise at 12 knots for hundreds of miles in the fuel saving mode, but power up to 22 knots when urgency is required.
This performance is contained in a package that is very attractive. Dutch designer Cor D Rover developed the exterior styling, and the 43 looks every inch a classic long range cruising yacht but with modern looks. This is a yacht that will attract respect wherever it goes, while being very versatile in function.
The Magellano 43 comes in two versions; one with a flybridge and one with a lower profile hardtop that would allow it to navigate most inland waterways. When the mast is lowered, the bridge clearance is just 3.5 metres, so the scope for cruising is widened considerably, but the 43 is equally content in the wide open spaces of the ocean as in the confines of inland waterways and rivers. The draught is just 1.2 metres so there would be few restrictions there as well.
Unlike many motor cruisers these days, the wheelhouse is set well back from the bow to leave space for a sun bed on the foredeck. The wheelhouse windows are forward sloping still but at only a modest angle so you get few problems with sunlight on the dashboard. The style is upright, which is emphasised by the single pole vertical mast and the designers have managed to find a good balance in the profile despite the relatively short overall length. Everything looks in proportion, from the near vertical bow to the swim platform aft.
The hull is deep with a pronounced chine line running half way up the stem. A slightly ungainly feature is the anchor stowage, which projects out from the bow and could affect marina charges. But this stowage system does keep the anchor chain well away from the hull. Large side windows allow generous light into the cabins and on the standard dark blue hull, these windows almost disappear from view.
On the flybridge version, there is good space, but to keep the profile low the rails are low and you feel a bit exposed. You do get a commanding view from up here when you are manoeuvring in harbour, but there could be considerable wind out at sea. The helm has been kept fairly simple with a single screen navigation display and a single seat. On the port side there is a table with a surround settee so the helmsman is not isolated from the guests and aft there is a barbecue counter and space for loungers.
On the hard top version of the 43, there is a large sliding sun roof to open up the saloon to the sun and this version does look more attractive and in proportion, but then you have to rely on the aft cockpit for open air seating and dining. The aft cockpit has a transom settee and a small bar and/or barbecue in the corner, where the flybridge stairs would be located.
In both versions, the interior is virtually the same. Cockpit and saloon are on the same level so there is an easy transition through the double sliding glass doors. As is now a common feature on many motor cruisers, the galley is located aft in the saloon and for a 43-footer, this is extremely well equipped with a full range of equipment. The fridge is in the sideboard on the starboard side along with a dedicated stowage for the Azimut branded crockery with the TV mounted on top. This TV swings out for viewing from the main saloon with its table surrounded by a C-settee to leave a clear passageway forward to the accommodation below.
A three-cabin layout with two bathrooms is generous accommodation space for a 43-footer. The forward master cabin has its own ensuite bathroom while the twin bed cabin and the single share the second bathroom that is also the day head. The quality of the accommodation is excellent, with the master cabin looking a lot larger that it really is. There is also very generous stowage that is practical for the requirements of a long range cruise. The interior features warm woods and textured fabrics, while the overall impression is of a yacht that is much larger than it really is.
The lower helm has been kept simple with the focus on a single large navigation screen that is raised above the dash with the engine display panel alongside. The switches have been kept to a minimum and the visibility from the helm is reasonable despite the quite wide windscreen pillars. An opening window alongside the helm allows communication with the outside world.
While the helmsman has a good supportive seat at sea, the guests have to fend for themselves a bit with only the saloon seating or the cockpit as their options. There are good handholds located around the saloon but for a long-range yacht guests might want more comfortable seating arrangements at sea.
There are two options for powering this yacht both from the Cummins range of diesels. The top performance is 22 knots top speed from a pair of 355-horsepower units, while the option of a pair of 305-horsepower engines yields 19 knots at full throttle.
On both versions, the drive is taken to a close-coupled vee-drive gearbox and then aft through a conventional shaft and propeller system, with the propellers in semi-tunnels.
The first Magellanos generated a lot of spray when running at speed, but on later versions as well as this 43, the spray has been curbed by modifying the chine size and shape. Despite its relatively small size this 43 should be able to handle most sea conditions that would be found when cruising and it is good to see an Italian yard designing and building cruisers that can cope with the wide variety of sea conditions.
Low speed manoeuvring is aided by a bow thruster so that at all times, both in harbour and at sea, you should have this yacht under good control and be able to live in considerable comfort.
This Azimut Magellano 43 has to be one of the most versatile motor cruisers on the market today. It combines both a sophisticated lifestyle with a seagoing capability that few yachts of its size can match. It looks good and it performs well and it looks like Azimut has another winner in this new design.
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Technical Specifications – Azimut Magellano 43
LOA: 13.63 metres
Beam: 4.4 metres
Draught: 1.2 metres
Displacement: 17.4 tons
Fuel capacity: 1680 litres
Water capacity: 600 litres
Engines: 2 x 355 hp Cummins QSB5.9 diesels
Optional engines: 2 x 305 hp Cummins QSB5.9 diesels
Speed (Max/Cruise – 355hp engines) 22/17knots
Propulsion: V-drive; shafts and propellers
Cabins: 2 or 3
Berths: 4 or5
Naval Architecture: Bill Dixon Yacht Design
Exterior design: Cor D. Rover