251 NAU­TI­CAL MILES

MAX­I­MUM CRUIS­ING RANGE AT 23.5 KNOTS

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ev­ery­one in the con­ver­sa­tion. With seven peo­ple on board dur­ing my sea trial, I could see that the seat­ing ar­range­ment worked well. ¶ While sun­shine was nonex­is­tent, the main-deck in­te­rior was bright thanks to nearly 360 de­grees of glass: two for­ward win­dows, eye­brow-shaped side win­dows that stretch the length of the su­per­struc­ture, and a glass door that, when open, con­nects the cov­ered aft deck and sa­lon. All that glass, from the out­side, en­hances the 55’s rel­a­tively low pro­file too. (The yacht’s air draft is 17 feet 3 inches to the top of the radar arch.) ¶ The Azimut 55’s L-shaped gal­ley aft is geared for se­ri­ous meal prep with a four-burner Miele elec­tric cook­top, Miele mi­crowave/con­vec­tion oven, Dometic standup re­frig­er­a­tor and freezer, and two sinks. When the cock­pit glass doors are open, the gal­ley be­comes the so­cial hub at cock­tail hour. ¶ Out on the wa­ter, the wicked weather cre­ated a quick, short chop, but the 55 dis­patched the sea with mal­ice. She has a sabre­like bow for slic­ing through a sea­way. Her planing hull form’s dead­rise tran­si­tions to a mod­er­ate 21 de­grees amid­ships and then to 12 de­grees at the tran­som, cre­at­ing a sta­ble ride. ¶ It’s a ride made even more sta­ble thanks to the stan­dard Zip­wake trim sys­tem, which uses in­ter­cep­tor tabs to ad­just au­to­mat­i­cally for pitch and roll. The setup is plug-and-play, and the in­ter­cep­tors mount flat to the hull, ad­just­ing up or down as needed. The sys­tem also min­i­mizes per­for­mance-sap­ping drag. To make it all work, an owner plugs the boat’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions (length over­all, beam, dis­place­ment) into the Zip­wake sys­tem. The soft­ware does the rest. I’ve run sev­eral boats with Zip­wake in a va­ri­ety of sea con­di­tions and found it in­tu­itive and ef­fec­tive. ¶ Com­bine the 55’s steady ride with smooth han­dling from the stan­dard SeaS­tar elec­tric steer­ing, and you get con­fi­dence-in­spir­ing wheel time. It’s sporty wheel time too, with the 55’s 800 hp i6 MAN diesels. These diesels, the only en­gine op­tion, gave my test yacht an av­er­age top hop of 30.5 knots at 2,350 rpm, which is within 50 rpm of the en­gines’ top-end rat­ing. At a 2,000 rpm cruise, the 55 jogged along the brine at about 23.5 knots with 25 per­cent fuel and 75 per­cent wa­ter in the tanks. ¶ Run­ning at cruise speed, the MANs burned 56.8 gph. Con­sid­er­ing a 10 per­cent re­serve on the yacht’s 673-gal­lon fuel tank, the yacht has an ef­fec­tive range of around 251 nau­ti­cal miles. At wide-open throt­tle, fuel burn climbs to 81 gph and range drops to 228 nau­ti­cal miles. ¶ The re­lent­less rain pre­vented me from run­ning the 55 from the flybridge, where there is a sec­ond helm sta­tion be­neath a sun­roof-equipped hard­top. I sus­pect it would be a fun place to be at speed on a sunny day. ¶ Six teak-cov­ered steps pro­vide ac­cess to the flybridge, which is also a party spot with C-shaped seat­ing and a teak table to star­board, and a sun pad for­ward of it. Across is the sin­gle-seat helm. The flybridge over­hang ex­tends over the cock­pit, in­creas­ing deck space aft for a table and a cou­ple of set­tees for sun­down­ers with friends. ¶ There would be no top-deck sun­down­ers on this day, but the Azimut 55 per­formed solidly in the slop, al­ways felt sturdy un­der­foot, boasted an im­pres­sive ar­ray of new tech­nolo­gies and had a next-gen­er­a­tion aes­thetic for the builder’s seven-model flybridge line. It’s a com­bi­na­tion that should shine in any weather.

“Wicked weather cre­ated a quick, short chop, but the 55 dis­patched the sea with mal­ice. She has a sabre­like bow for slic­ing through a sea­way.”

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