Azimut’s new 68 builds on the builder’s reputation.
I’ve seldom had so much fun with an item of furniture as I did with the table on the Azimut 68. It was clearly a clever piece of design, with its sliders and unfolding leaves, but way too clever for me until I happened upon the missing center section stowed in a locker. Then all became clear, as two useful and unobtrusive low-level coffee tables were joined up into one 6-foot dining table, opposite the midships galley.
Azimut has been in this business a long time, and joined-up thinking is something it’s good at. The midships galley is the standard option, either open-plan or enclosed, but you can place it aft if you prefer, where it sits closer to the cockpit creating more space for formal dining—a simple enough shift, but pretty transformational for a production yacht. Three Italian maestros, whom Azimut has lately been keeping very busy, took care of the 68’s design. Alberto Mancini took care of the exterior, Achille Salvagni the interior and Pierluigi Ausonio worked with the shipyard’s R&D department on the hull design.
Of course there are limits to what can be done on a 68—the lower deck layout has a midships master, a forward VIP and a couple of twin-berth cabins sharing the third head. But the master is another area where smart thinking addresses both practicality and elegance, with a rectilinear plan and straight starboard walkway making it feel unusually roomy. The small-but-useful sofa doesn’t intrude at all, while behind sliding doors the deceptively simple layout of the head, with shower compartment on one side, toilet compartment on the other and the sink in the middle, ensures that you won’t be getting in each other’s way.
Throughout the accommodations, big mirrors and windows maximize the daylight and augment the interior’s feeling of spaciousness. Stowage compartments are pretty generous too, especially under the double beds, and sturdy but comfortable handrails crop up wherever you need them. Headroom of 6 feet, 6 inches on the main deck reduces by just 2 inches in the forward and master cabins, and the double beds are both a good size.
Outside, the flybridge is zoned into three discrete seating areas that work well beneath a generous carbon-fiber hardtop. Up forward, the sunbed features another extremely clever piece of design, as the head cushion flips over to create an additional table-facing sofa. In the stern, a pair of crew berths come standard.
Comfortable for a family and easy to live on, the 68 is also a lively performer at sea. Carbon-fiber is used quite extensively in the flybridge, hardtop and parts of the superstructure, which saves weight but mainly helps to lower the center of gravity, while twin 1,000-horsepower Volvos on IPS drives provide plenty of punch. The medium-V hull accelerated with great verve, cornered precisely, rode the minimal chop we encountered with minimal slamming and topped out at a whisker below 32 knots, even while fairly well loaded with fuel and water. Easily driven and fairly efficient, the 68’s hull seemed happy throughout the planing envelope, offering a good range of cruising speeds to suit the conditions or needs of the day. And a safe cruising range of 300-plus miles at 25 knots is nothing to sniff at.
Azimut 68 Test Report
Azimut 68 Specifications:
Displ: 96,342 lbs.
Fuel: 977 gal.
Water: 264 gal.
Power: 2/1,000-hp Volvo IPS-1350
Price: $2.99 million