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When Azimut began conceptualizing a new flagship for its Atlantis line of sport yachts, the work didn’t begin, as one might expect, in the engine room. “We started with accommodations” says Federico Lantero, brand manager for the series. Lantero and his team had discovered that a number of Atlantis owners were parents and grandparents of growing families, and they wanted to dote on their offspring by offering them comfortable cabins in which to spend the night. There were multiple requests for a midsized sport cruiser to sleep six, so the builder tapped the Milan-based firm Neo Design to maximize the amount of usable space belowdecks in a brand-new hull.

Azimut Atlantis 51

Azimut Atlantis 51

It’s not easy to find a sport yacht—one with a true open layout abovedecks—in this size range with a trio of high-style cabins, each designed with plenty of nautical feng shui. “Normally, you have to compromise something below,” says Lantero. But not on this Atlantis. He’s also quick to note that the accommodations were created without sacrificing the thrill of the ride. Even with the extra stateroom, “we were able to preserve the performance DNA of the Atlantis series.” With a pair of 600-hp Volvo Penta IPS800s, the digital tachs should kiss 35 knots at wide-open throttle.

When piecing together the belowdecks layout, the design team began at the forward end of the boat, where the master stateroom with en suite head is located. “We spent a lot of time thinking about and measuring out the distances between furnishings so we could make the best use of space,” says Lantero. A VIP cabin is amidships; across from it is the third stateroom.

Separating the master from the guest cabins is a social area with a galley to port and dinette to starboard. It’s one of a few pleasant surprises on the 51. A galley we would hope to see, but the lounge with table that folds out for meals? Not so much. Another boat in this size range might offer the owner a choice between the dinette or the third cabin. On the 51, you get both. Another surprise feature is the lounge itself. It was made by an Italian artisan specializing in home furnishings. As a result, the foam and fabrics of the settee are tough enough for life at sea, yet as comfortable and civilized as the furnishings in a great room.

The living spaces below the waterline are a big part of the 51’s allure, but remember, the Atlantis line was developed for people who want to spend a lot of time on deck, surrounded by the sun, wind and water. For that set, the 51 doesn’t disappoint. In fact, one of the nicest spaces on board is under the coupe-style hardtop, where a very chic entertaining area functions like an outdoor salon. We like the square-shape arrangement of settees. Atlantis designers recognize that when families cruise together, they want to relax in spaces where they can all see and hear one another.

The 51 also has a sunbed at the stern, a swim platform and tender garage. Those are the predictable amenities. Not anticipated are features like the composite decking by Esthec. It’s a lightweight, low-maintenance replacement for teak, but it looks like fine wood and has proven nonslip characteristics. “We’re always keen to introduce the latest technologies,” says Lantero. “New materials are some of the things we use to create a yacht with elements of the un-expected.”

Azimut Atlantis 51 Specifications:

LOA: 53'1"
Beam: 14'11"
Displ.: 44,000 lbs.
Draft: 4'3"
Fuel: 380 gal.
Water: 118 gal.
Power: 2/600-hp Volvo Penta IPS800
Top Speed: 35 knots
Price: Upon request

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This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.