Maybe it was one too
many bags of the airline’s salted peanuts that got me thinking about
food. But by the time I got back home after testing the new Azimut 55,
I was fixated on the idea that many of the qualities that make for satisfying
cuisine are similar to those found in a fine yacht. Let me explain. Culinary
success usually requires a good recipe, fine ingredients, skillful preparation,
artful presentation, and first-rate service. Now, if you think of boat
design as being the recipe, with equipment and materials as the ingredients
and construction as the preparation, the analogy works, specially with
the Azimut 55.
Artful presentation of the Azimut 55 begins with her exterior styling.
Stefano Righini’s sweeping contours are evident in the profile, but
absent are the familiar elliptical side windows in the saloon area that
have become ubiquitous within the marine industry. In their place are
two glass panels, canted like a pair of dorsal fins. Whether you like
them or not is, of course, a matter of personal taste, but they do provide
good sight lines from the lower station to both aft sides of the yacht.
Beneath these windows, in the hull side, are three large oval portholes.
From the exterior, they are an attractive styling element, but they also
bathe both sides of the master suite in sunlight. To take advantage of
those portholes, there is a beautiful cherry dressing table on the starboard
side of the master stateroom fitted with a top that slides out when you
need it and retracts when you don’t. Just aft is the master head,
an attractively designed space with handholds integrated into cherry rails
that follow the curves of the countertop. The adjoining shower is especially
nice, with wooden-grated flooring for comfortable, secure footing and
room left over for a bench to sit on with a top that raises to reveal
a bidet. Another nice touch is the adjustable showerhead, which can slide
up or down nearly a foot.
Stylish circular portholes forward and a large opening hatch in the deck
make the forward guest stateroom as bright and airy as the master. Cabinet
doors on the two large lockers flanking the centerline berth are beautifully
finished in cherry, cross-grained like a parquet panel. This attractive
motif is also applied on cabinet doors throughout the yacht.
Many of the 55’s styling features are as functional as they are attractive.
For example, in the starboard guest stateroom, which is sure to be popular
with rambunctious children, padded bolsters surround the twin berths,
and at the base of the stairs to the upper deck, a full-height mirror
makes the companionway seem brighter and more spacious, while offering
stowage in a cabinet behind. It struck me that this would be a great place
to put the washer/dryer—far more convenient than its current locale,
aft in the lazarette, adjoining the crew stateroom.
Next page >
Azimut 55 continued > Page 1, 2,
3, 4, 5