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Boats

Azimut 50 Flybridge

Azimut 50 Flybridge By George L. Petrie — November 2004

Bella Donna

For a weekend fling or a summer-long cruise, this pretty 50-footer has secret spaces for all your favorite things.

   
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Azimut 50
• Part 2: Azimut 50
• Azimut 50 Specs
• Azimut 50 Deck Plan
• Azimut 50 Photo Gallery


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I found a lot to like about Azimut’s 50 Flybridge. Sightlines from the lower helm are excellent; there’s only a single, narrow mullion in the windshield, and the forward side windows are at eye-level from the helm. The aft side windows are a bit lower, giving guests in the saloon a great view from the plush Ultraleather settees, and affording good visibility while docking alongside a pier, and sightlines aft are great, thanks to the full-width glass panels and sliding glass door to the cockpit.

Our test boat had the two-stateroom, two-head layout, which offers an exceptionally spacious galley on the lower deck, only three steps lower than the saloon, so the chef can still converse with guests. And directly above is the large, sloping windshield, flooding the cooking area with natural light. Two large, circular portholes alongside rich-looking, black molded countertops offer more light and air, while recessed fixtures provide task lighting for the chef’s toils.
But what I liked most about the galley was its roominess, with copious stowage spaces and appliances sized for real cooking, not just warming up a few snacks in the microwave, which is out of sight in a cabinet below the sink. Speaking of the sink, it’s a double-basin affair, as big as one you might find at home, with a built-in dish drain along side. I was pleased to note that each of the cooktop’s three burners was fitted with a stout pot restraint, a functional feature too seldom seen on yachts of this style. Forward of the stove is about four feet of open counter space for food prep, a full-height double-door refrigerator/freezer (in a handsome varnished cherry cabinet), and a matching full-height cabinet with five shelves, each about two feet wide and more than a foot deep. There are also five big under-counter cabinets for stowing bulky items; one is fitted with bottle racks, while another has a nifty pull-out shelf for spices and smaller items. Tucked behind a series of varnished wood panels that look like a decorative cornice above the counter are five more eye-level cabinets, perfect for canned goods, jars, boxes of cereal, pasta, and the like.

In the three-stateroom layout, the galley is about half this size, yielding just enough space for another small stateroom with bunks. Personally, I’d opt for the two-stateroom layout and leave the kids at home for the weekend. But in either configuration, the layouts of the master and guest staterooms are the same; both are big and bright with three-sided access to double berths.

Located beneath the raised helm, the guest stateroom offers at least 6'6" headroom and more than ample sitting headroom above the berth. Guests will appreciate the privacy of the adjoining head, which allows entry from the stateroom or (as a day head) directly from the main passageway. Teak soles in the head and the separate shower area add a classy touch, as does the polished glass countertop, complete with a household-size under-mount stainless steel sink. Above the sink there’s a mirrored panel that serves as a door to the medicine cabinet, and when the panel is slid to the side, it also covers a porthole, offering privacy to anyone using the facilities. Clever. Above the cabinet, though, there’s a quirky feature: An overhead bin that offers nice stowage for extra towels or paper goods. But its door is in the underside of the bin. I couldn’t figure out how you could open it without spilling the contents. A vertical flip-up door, similar to the overhead cabinets in the galley would work better.

Buffered from the guest stateroom and the galley by two heads, the master stateroom, all the way forward, is a private oasis with an astounding amount of stowage. Along each side of the centerline double berth are two, 24"x18" eye-level cabinets, plus under-counter bins for your wallet, camera, cellphone, and such. To starboard, there’s a full-height, 30-inch-wide hanging locker and an adjoining cubby with three shelves (each about 2'x2'x1'); a great place for stowing extra towels, blankets, and other stuff that finds its way aboard. Alongside the locker is a full-height cabinet, 24 inches wide, with three drawers and three deep shelves; plenty big for a weeklong getaway.

But the slickest feature of the stateroom is built into the aft bulkhead. Gently tugging on a tiny cloth tab deployed a small fold-up dressing table, complete with built-in makeup mirror and lights. Folded up, it disappears into the beautifully lacquered panels on the bulkhead.

Next page > Part 2: Overall, I really liked the 50’s layout and with a top speed in excess of 32 knots, it was hard to fault her performance. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This article originally appeared in the October 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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