The designers of the Azimut 50 were tasked with designing a 50-footvessel reminiscent of the Azimut 80, the model
that has proved to be incredibly popular on the international market. Designed by StefanoRighini, the exteriors pick up on concepts found in the Azimut 80.
Some of the eye-catching features include the single mirrored glass window on the deckhouse with similar detailing on the flybridge, the decidedlyimpressive size of the bow area, and the classic vertical windows on the hull. The exterior spaces are given priority, including a sizeable cockpit and enormous flybridge that makes it one of the largest in its category. The interior layout is reasonably typical of most flybridge boats, with a saloon, dining and relaxation area and lobby leading to the cabins.
However, one point of difference from locally produced cruisers is the below deck galley, with the majority of custom and production boats of this size having upper-aft galley arrangements.
Reinventing the Luxury Motor Yacht
One of many notable features on the new Azimut 50 is the atrium that pours natural light into the galley at the base of the stairs to the helm deck, creating a bright, attractive venue that’s out of the traffic flow. Ahuge sun pad covering much of the foredeck is one of the more entertaining features, and full-width couch seating is also available on the bow. Every cabin below decks, including the heads, has a portlight providing natural light. Azimut’s intent with the 50 was to make the boat’s interior feel bigger than her 15.88 m length.
The designers focused on using large windows wrapping completely around the saloon to accomplish this. Below decks,
Azimut’s signature vertical windows provide excellent water-level views from the master stateroom. Additionally, all three cabins have headroom exceeding 1.83 m to enhance the extra-large feel.
Focus on the Flybridge
The flybridge measures more than 18 sqm and has a large hardtop with clears. Accessed from stairs to port in the aft cockpit, the Azimut 50’s flybridge offers lots of seating. The entire forward starboard side of theupper deck is a lounge that wraps around a fixed table. A large sun pad welcomes guests to catch some rays forward. Aft, the area is open for possible tender storage or for passengers to stretch out on portable chaise lounges. Flybridge storage is provided in a locker forward of theupper helm and the base of the starboard lounge.
To port, the upper helm station has a single bucket seat and is laid out with twin electronic screens in a raised vertical panel that should deflect most of the onrushing wind. The station has a tilt wheel and is equipped with a VHF radio, engine monitoring screens, an autopilot and controlsfor the trim tab, windlass and spotlight.
Beckoning Bow & Stern
The Azimut 50’s bow looks like it belongs on a larger vessel. There’s a six-person, couch-style lounge and long foredeck sun pad with a raised aft cushion so that passengers can lay out with their heads in an elevated position. There’s a passageway between the two and each area has a pair of cup holders outboard on each side. All the wayforward, there are foot controls for the anchor windlass. In-sole hatches on each side access the rode and ground tackle.
At the other end of the Azimut 50, the stern area features a U-shaped lounge providing seating in the aft cockpit. The flybridge extends out over this area to provide shade and gated passageways on each sideopen to stairs that lead aft to the swim platform. Lockers outboard in the passageways contains the utility and shore power connections as well as the freshwater intake.
A sliding, stainless steel framed glass door opens for entry to the saloon. To starboard, there’s a C-shaped lounge across from a counter that includes a retractable flat screen TV and the entertainment system. The large windows have privacy blinds and overhead lights to illuminate the area.
It’s two steps lead up to the helm deck from the saloon. To starboard is a seat that can be used by two people because the tilt steering wheel is positioned far enough to starboard. Twin electronics screens are side by side in a vertical panel that puts them in good sightlines. Electronic shift/throttle controls are just outboard of the steering wheel and the joystick is outboard to starboard. To the left of the wheel, the buttons for the trim tabs, spotlight and autopilot are in easy reach. A sliding window to starboard provides ventilation. Across from the helm to port, the dinette has a booth-style lounge around a fixed height table that can be folded to a smaller size for cocktails. Again, the large windows provide excellent views of the surroundings. Stairs between the helm and dinette lead below decks.
Directly at the foot is the Azimut 50’s galley. Because it’s positioned beneath the port windshield, the area gets plenty of natural light. It’s outfitted with a refrigerator/freezer, a microwave oven, four-burner ceramic cooktop with a fiddle rail and a stainless-steel sink.
The Azimut 50 can be configured with either two or three staterooms. Abaft of the galley and guest cabin, the full beam master stateroom is situated amidships so the owners will be less affected by vessel movement when they are asleep. The island berth is a queen and on theport side of the stateroom, there’s a vanity with a hanging locker forward. The master head forward to starboard is entered from the passageway into the stateroom. This makes it a little more private than it would be otherwise. The toilet is a Tecma and the sink is the freestanding basin-style, which is attractive and functional. There is a separate circular shower stall shower with an extraction fan in the overhead. A cabinet-style locker has a mirrored hatch and a small vanity mirror. The VIP cabin, located in the bow, has a double-berth with storage in the base. There is hanging lockers aft in each corner and electrical outlets. An overhead deck hatch and opening porthole provide fresh air while long horizontal windows supply natural light. The VIP cabin has direct access to the second head on the Azimut 50 while those sleeping in the guest stateroom enter via the passageway.
This head also has a separate shower stall with an extraction fan, basin-style sink and a Tecma head. Across from the galley, the starboard guest cabin has two fixed bunk berths, a full hanging locker and electrical outlets so that passengers can charge their phones or laptops.
Power and Propulsion.
Azimut powers the 50 with twin 660-hp Volvo Penta D11 diesel inboards., which gives a top speed at approximately 32 knots and cruise at 26 knots. The 50 weighs in at 24.85 tonnes fully-loaded. Each engine has two sea strainers and there’s also one for the generator. There are fuel-water separators for all three. The engine compartment has automatic Seafire FM-200 fire extinguishers. The electrical system includes a 15.5-kW generator with underwater exhaust and a sound box. There are six service batteries and four starting batteries for the engines plus one for the generator, with chargers for the 12-volt and 24-volt circuits.
Azimut is unquestionable the largest production boat builder of boats inthe 40ft-100ft category in the world. They offer 33 different boats over seven model ranges and have an annual production of around 380 boats. NZ distributor, Azimut Yachts New Zealand has sold seven new boats into the local market in the past two years. MD, Grant Sanders says thatwhile the market perception of the Azimut brand is one of quality, but with a high price tag, that is not entirely true.
“While we guarantee the quality of every new Azimut we sell, they are very competitively priced against other local and imported brands. “The construction of the boats is exceptional, from the robust solid grp hulls, through to the highest quality fittings and equipment and they have the performance and seakeeping to match”, says Grant. The Azimut 50, one of 12 models in the Azimut Flybridge range, offers a unique balance of beauty, comfort, safety features, technology andelegant living solutions. Like all models in the Azimut range, it reflects the attention to detail and the style excellence of Italian manufacturing. Azimut Yachts New Zealand will land their first 50 Flybridge later this year.