Tradition — By Richard Thiel —
|Part 2: The Tradition bristles with features seen before on Benettis and Azimuts.|
All of the remaining accommodations are on the lower deck. Identical twin-berth staterooms are accessed by a stairway off the entrance foyer, which also leads to the upper deck. Each room has an en suite head aft, separating it from the amidships engine room. Another stairway in the saloon leads down to the full-beam VIP. Only about 20 percent smaller than the master, this private room is on the after side of the engine and forward of the garage. Its head and large walk-in closet are both forward, again to insulate the sleeping space from the machinery space. A double settee with table, from which there’s a comfortable view of the flat-screen TV, lies to port, while a small desk/vanity occupies the starboard side.
Vitelli has frequently mentioned the importance of caring for crew, and that philosophy is reflected in a considerable area forward of the two guest staterooms given over to comfortable crew quarters, including no fewer than three single-berth staterooms with en suite heads. The area is accessed by yet a third stairway, this thoughtfully leading to the forward port-side deck and main galley, so that crew can come and go without disturbing the owners and guests. At the foot of these stairs, abaft the crew staterooms, is a sizable lounge and well-equipped demi galley. Some food preparation may be done here, but the main galley is better equipped for major meals, not only in terms of appliances but also of layout. It lays fore-to-aft, with its forward door leading to the side deck and crew stairway and its aft door opening onto the dining area, which is separated from the saloon by a mahogany credenza. Even better, it has a dumbwaiter that allows for easy transport of food and beverages to the semienclosed upper deck.
At the top end of the dumbwaiter is a configuration found on many Benettis and which Vitelli has apparently borrowed for the Tradition. Here on the expansive teak-soled third deck is a large pantry with ‘fridge and sink. The pilothouse, which includes a comfortable viewing lounge for guests, is forward and a half-deck (three steps) down and can be accessed from the stairway leading to the foyer. Walk aft from the pantry through a glass door, and you come to an alfresco dining area with an eight-person table and stand-alone wet bar with built-in stools. Three steps up on either side lead to the flying bridge with centerline helm and large lounge that’s fully exposed to the sun but thankfully protected from wind and offers spectacular views. The other prime sunning space is back down on the third deck, aft of the covered area, where there’s a large L-shape lounge with two more small tables. Aft of that is athwartships tender stowage, a davit, and port and starboard liferafts. (Traditions are ABS-classed and set up for MCA.) In the aft starboard corner is another staircase that leads down to the covered cockpit, which has its own table and lounge, just forward of which is a door leading to the engine room.
Vitelli has a long history of offering boats with garages, on both Benettis and Azimuts, so it’s no surprise to learn that the Tradition has one beneath her cockpit that can handle a RIB and a couple of PWCs or mopeds, or one large tender. On his yacht Vitelli has opted for the latter, a 12-foot diesel-powered waterjet. There’s also plenty of room here for the standard davit plus a variety of swim and dive equipment, sure to be needed given the fact that essentially the entire transom folds flat to create a giant swim platform, another Azimut-Benetti trademark.
Indeed the Tradition bristles with features seen before on Benettis and Azimuts, and to that extent she might just as well be called the Evolution. But considering the passionate involvement by the company’s CEO, perhaps an even more appropriate name might have been Intensity.
Benetti Phone: (39) 0584 3821. www.benettiyachts.it.
This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.