Azimut 75 — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
For the Art of It
Barcelona, Spain, a playground of culture, sets the stage for the test of an Italian boatbuilding masterpiece.
If you ask ten boaters to write a list of what makes up a great boat, chances are you will get ten lists with few common factors. Moreover, those shared elements will likely differ in importance. For instance, I enjoy bare-bones sportfishermen, but my friend Tom D’Angelo craves home-like accommodations aboard his boat. However, every once in a while, a vessel that blends an artful design with a well-planned layout will top almost every boating enthusiast’s must-see list. My recent trip to Barcelona, Spain, turned up just such a vessel: the Azimut 75.
A lack of sleep on the hop across the pond had my mind in a surreal state as I arrived on the last day of the Barcelona International Boat Show. Dropping my bags at the Cristal Hotel, I scurried (as best as you can after being awake for 24 hours) over to the show to get some background on the 75 before the next day’s test. Gazing down the long line of white-hull vessels moored stern-to at Port Vell, I caught a glimpse of the “beach.” I’m not talking about that sandy place where beer coolers and beach-ball-colored umbrellas reign, but a 4'x15' teak swim platform on the 75 that electronically extends, lifts, and locks flush into a second, fixed 4'x15' teak swim platform. (There’s a control panel in the port-side rail leading to the cockpit that makes this magic happen.) And while there’s no sand on this beach, the two standard teak chaise lounges that rest on the platform offered my sleep-deprived brain an inviting mirage of a day floating on the Med. Aside from being a great place to kick back, this area will appeal to divers looking for a staging area. There’s also access to the crew’s quarters and engine room through the centerline transom door here.
It’s a steep four steps down from the platform to the crew’s quarters, which has two crossover berths to port and a wet head to starboard. The engine room just forward offers 5'9" headroom, and there’s access around three-fourths of the standard 1,300-hp MAN diesels. However, saddle tanks obscure the aft outboard areas of both engines (sometimes art and function bump heads). I measured 34 inches of space between the powerplants, which provided me with enough room to turn between them, making oil-level and fuel-filter checks a standup operation. Just forward of both engines are two soundshield-protected 17.5-kW Kohler gensets. And with cool gadgetry like that retractable swim platform and a passarelle, 100,000 Btus of Cruisair air conditioning, a full Raymarine electronics suite at both the upper and lower helms, and no fewer than five TVs aboard, these gensets will get a workout during your passages.
Maybe it’s because I was near a Picasso museum, a Dali exhibit, and several Antonio Gaudi-designed buildings, but as I left the mechanical areas of this yacht in my wake and explored the 75 further, I found this artisan city a perfect complement to the Carlo Galeazzi interior. The marriage of satin-finished, grain-matched, softly curved cherrywood and earth tones of sculpted leather and raw flax furnishings set against the clean stainless steel accents of the sliding cockpit door and galley give a contemporary feel to the saloon and dining space. It’s reminiscent of some upscale Manhattan digs I’ve visited.
The arrangement of the furnishings is as well thought out as the materials used are high-end. The saloon’s port-side lounge is a great place for a couple to chat privately, while a second lounge and two chairs across from it enable a larger gathering of guests to entertain each other or take in a DVD on the 42-inch Panasonic retractable plasma TV behind the port-side lounge. (Just remind the lovebirds to move forward to the port-side dining area, or you’ll be watching their heads onscreen.)
This article originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.