— By Capt. Bill Pike
|Part 2: I was especially impressed with the layout of the 62’s lower deck.|
Having finished with the lower helm station, I went topside to check out the upper one. What I found was not wholly impressive, however, again because our prototype had been rushed to the press event, I was subsequently told by Azimut. The bench-style helm seat to port was too close to the steering console for comfort—and it was not adjustable. On the plus side of the equation, Azimut’s since moved the seat astern and added a sliding adjustment, according to the company rep I talked to after the test. Moreover, the radar arch overhead was a lofty one—the promulgation of lofty arches, and the resultant protection of folks on flying bridges from the harmful effects of radar waves, is one of my little crusades—and the average top speed I recorded while driving was a respectable 37.4 mph. As a result, we had a fine, fast ride returning to Santa Margherita, where I promptly launched into a dockside tour.
The interior of the 62 seemed more American than Italian to me, at least in terms of the openness of the layout. On the main deck, the lower helm station, galley, dinette, and saloon were all combined into one big living area, with excellent sit-down visibility virtually everywhere thanks to the size and positioning of Righini’s shark-fin windows. But Carlo Galeazzi’s interior decor was Italian all the way, thanks to the artistically finished American cherry furniture and cabinetry, finely crafted Ultraleather upholstery, polished stainless steel accents, and burlwood shelves and countertops.
I was especially impressed with the layout of the 62’s lower deck. First of all, by creating a landing at the bottom of the stairwell that serves it, Azimut’s created an integrated, almost residential arrangement below. Our test boat’s three staterooms were focused around the landing, not lined up nose to tail like cows traipsing into a barn. The VIP lay forward, with its own head—a sizable compartment that, like all others except the optional crew’s quarters astern, featured beveled mirrors and countertops of what Azimut calls “enameled crystal,” a snazzy blue, resinous-looking substance. Very Euro! The guest stateroom to starboard, which offers twin berths and a fair-size hanging locker, was just across the landing from a conveniently located day head. And the full-beam master aft, with its big, diagonal berth, was savvily separated from the forward engine room bulkhead by a large en suite head with separate shower stall and walk-in closet. The ploy works. When I closed the doors I could just hear the genset whispering away in the engine room.
Which brings me to the last aspect of the 62 that I want to cover here: the machinery spaces. Upon entering them via a cockpit hatch and ladder, I found most of the auxiliary equipment positioned in a well-organized way, although mounting the air-conditioning pump in the aft bilge sump looked like trouble to me—if sloshing bilge water doesn’t get it, dampness surely will. Access to the mains was good, however, and I liked the Polistone Marine Tec flooring underfoot, a plastic material that looks nice and seems to offer good traction. And finally, I liked the baffled, eductor-equipped fiberglass air-intake ducts Azimut installed—these are much safer and more seaworthy than the simple screened openings I used to come across on Azimuts years ago.
I departed the boat at the end of the day the same way I’d arrived, via the walkway on the quay. At the spot I’d been transfixed earlier, I turned around for a moment. The sight was just as stunning as before. Certainly, I’d come across a few shortcomings while testing the Azimut 62, but on the other hand, she was a trendsetting super-styler of the first order. A true fashionista, no doubt about it.
Azimut Phone: (39) 011-93-161. www.azimutyachts.net.
This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.