There was snow on the peaks. In northern Italy they always say you can spend the morning on the beach and go skiing in the afternoon, although in my experience even the balmy Tuscan coast is never quite balmy enough in February to tempt me into the water. I also couldn’t help noticing that the beach was completely deserted. Nevertheless, it was sunny, and it felt like spring off Viareggio on the day of our test, with the wintry mountains lending a
backdrop of dramatic splendor.
It seemed appropriate to be testing such a grand motoryacht amid equally grand surroundings. The Azimut 85 was launched at last year’s Genoa Boat Show, and although it’s tough to at-
tract much attention at that most competitive and dazzling of shows, there was a definite buzz about the 85.
It helps to be big, of course, and the 85 is an imposing vessel, which promises particularly voluminous accommodations. Then there was that flying bridge, which looked huge under that enormous hardtop. And everyone also knew that this new Azimut was the first yacht in Italy to be fitted with the 1,825-hp Caterpillar C32As, so her potential performance was also a talking point. But it was Carlo Galeazzi’s interior that was the cause of most of the gossip—and especially his intriguing maindeck layout.
It’s all about the galley. The temptation for designers on boats like this often seems to be to try and minimize the galley’s impact, running it narrowly along one side so as to create through-views from cockpit to helm, in an effort to make the main deck seem as roomy as possible. On a smaller boat that might make sense, but Galeazzi realized that on an 85 with a helm set this far forward, you don’t have to create an illusion of space—because there is plenty of the real thing.
So the galley is the focus of the 85’s main deck: It sticks out well over the centerline in a diamond shape, with the dining table set on a diagonal. The result is at once interesting and practical as well as perfectly spacious. The galley, of course, is huge—and with sliding screens fore and aft and doors leading both into the saloon and out to the side deck, it is exceptionally versatile for the crew.
Two alternative layouts are offered below, both featuring a pair of twin-berth guest cabins, a VIP suite in the bow, and the master stateroom amidships. Two crew cabins occupy the stern. The English owner of this first 85 had opted, quite sensibly in my view, for the “owner” layout, which borrows space from the forward guest accommodation on the starboard side to create a large dressing area—a sort of antechamber—leading towards the head. There is also a shower room on the port side. Added to the already generous proportions of this full-beam suite, this option really gives the owner something in return for signing all the checks. It’s quite a long walk from one corner of this suite to the other—you wouldn’t want to forget your socks.
It’s unlikely that your guests will notice if you decide to pamper yourself with the owner layout, however. The twin-berth cabins are a good size, although the one to port has more floor space and lockers and also has a roomier head compartment than its opposite number. The forepeak VIP seems especially light and spacious thanks to those big topside windows, and although it seems low on stowage at first, there is in fact a huge locker under the berth.
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