With show-stopping lines and a design that stopped the Times Square crowd in their tracks, the new Sportfly version of the S6 is making some serious waves.
If something weirder than usual caught your eye as you were strolling through Times Square last summer, it might have been the above S6. As part of the company’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Azimut Benetti was given leave to turn downtown New York City into a boat showroom, for a few days at least, and took the opportunity to mount an S6 Sportfly on a pedestal, right underneath the Wicked billboard.
A new version of the popular Azimut S6, the Sportfly has a new upper helm station on the hardtop, reached via a rather steep set of steps, the top half of which folds away so as not to interfere with the cockpit barbecue. With just a helm seat, a short curve of a sofa and control console, it’s small—if it’s bigger than a 1960s Bertram 31’s, there’s not a lot in it—but for an elevated, open-air driving position I would happily settle for even less.
Gallery: Azimut S6 Sportfly
Of course it was vital to keep the size and weight of the flybridge to a minimum so as not to interfere with the center of gravity. The S6 is a sporty boat, after all, and the shipyard had already invested in carbon fiber construction in the stern and superstructure to keep the weight low and imbue the original model with sharp and spirited handling. The S6 is a very enjoyable boat to drive, and the Sportfly should be no different.
Like all Azimut’s S-boats (except the 94-foot S10) the S6 Sportfly has a triple installation: three IPS700s, producing 1,650-hp. The idea behind using three short engines rather than two long ones is primarily to maximize hull volume; shorter engines need a shorter engine room. Fortunately, counter-intuitive as it sounds, three IPS700s are not just shorter than two IPS1050s producing the same horsepower, but also slightly lighter and less thirsty. So it’s a triple win. The only downside is engine room service access. Basically, there isn’t any.
But the triple engine installation isn’t the cleverest aspect of the S6. That accolade has to go the cockpit’s asymmetric layout. It doesn’t sound like much but it allows for a comfortable L-shaped seating plan around the folding table, and although this does slightly compromise access to the starboard side deck, there is a cunning cut-out in the seat back that makes it straightforward to clamber through.
A three-cabin, two-head layout down below is dominated by the midships master suite, with its offset double berth, a breakfast dinette along the port side, generous head and shower compartment, and those dramatic hull windows. It’s spacious and luxurious. By contrast the VIP up in the bows feels rather small, although in fact it’s perfectly comfortable and quite well-off for stowage space. The third cabin is a twin-berth on the starboard side.
The interior of the S6 Sportfly was designed by Francesco Guida, who is perhaps better known for his pioneering work at Arcadia Yachts. With enormous windows on either side as well as overhead, the deck salon is all about the light, with muted veneers and pale upholstery given a bit of an edge by contrasting areas of darker leather. Externally, Azimut gave the gig to the redoubtable Stefano Righini, whose bold shapes have become such a signature of the shipyard’s output. Bold enough, even, to hold their own in the middle of New York City.
Azimut S6 Sportfly Specifications:
Displ: 65,036 lbs. Fuel: 686 gal.
Water: 155 gal.
Cruise speed: 30 knots
Top speed: 35 knots
Standard power: 3/550-hp Volvo Penta IPS700
Price: Approx. $2 million