Viva Italia

This 60-foot flying-bridge yacht gets minor updates to make a major improvement.

With its glossy topsides and Harley Earl fins, this sleek and sinuous Azimut 60 might look like it’s been plucked from some pinnacle of sybaritic luxury, but what you’re actually looking at here is a battlecruiser.

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Construction:

Azimut’s new 60 replaces the 58 in the yard’s flying-bridge lineup, and while she is built on the same hull and machinery package as the 58, there are several improvements Azimut felt justified the new name. Not the least of these is the new swim platform, which, in addition to providing the boat with its extra overall length, is also hydraulic as standard, allowing for stowage of the yacht’s tender. Complementing this arrangement is the new 550-pound capacity davit on the flying bridge, which makes it possible to hoist a 9-foot RIB up there.

The crew cabin is new too and can be configured as a twin or a double—depending on whether you opt to have the Seakeeper gyro stabilizer fitted—with a neat door in the transom for access. The engine room is reached via a hatch in the cockpit. It’s not a big compartment, but the MANs are compact and mounted flat on down-angled gearboxes, so even with a genset mounted aft there is good access to all the principal service points. There is also a useful door on each side of the cockpit, to make life easier for guests when moored alongside rather than stern-to.

Accommodations:

A three-cabin layout down below is focused on the master suite, which occupies as much floor area as the other two cabins put together. That might seem an extravagant use of space, but you can’t say it’s wasted when you take in the big, offset berth, the comfortable asymmetric dinette on the starboard side and the full-beam shower and heads compartment, flanked by big hull windows. Up in the bow the VIP is a more conventional cabin, with an equally generous berth and its own set of windows. The twin-berth guest cabin, meanwhile, makes up in headroom what it might lack in floor space.

Performance:

We were blessed with a three-foot swell off Savona on the day of our test, which provided us with a better opportunity than the usual mild Mediterranean calm to see what the Azimut’s hull could do. The 800-horsepower MANs are notably torquey engines—as you might expect with six cylinders displacing 130 cubic inches each—and the 60 launched herself out of the hole as we left harbor, reaching 20 knots in 15 seconds and recording a two-way maximum of 32 knots, while effortlessly proving herself master of the conditions.

With its 15.5 degrees of transom deadrise, we found the hull would plane nicely at speeds as low as 15 to 16 knots, which is useful in choppy weather to reduce slamming—although a glance at the fuel-consumption data suggests a dip in efficiency at this point, with the 60’s optimum fast cruise to be found slightly further along the curve of the graph, at around 22 knots. On all points of the compass, the hull proved well balanced and unflappable, tracking upwind, down, and diagonally over the swells with equal aplomb.

60’2"
16’6"
4’6"
52,640 lb. (dry)
740 gal.
166 gal.
2/800-hp MAN R6 6L diesels
ZF 325-1A reduction gears, 2.037:1
29.9" x 42.1" 4-blade Nibral

Seakeeper gyro stabilizer; Easy Docking joystick control for engines and thruster; electric cockpit winches; underwater lights; teak side and flying bridge decks.

Temperature: 59ºF; humidity: 48%; seas: 3 feet; load: 260 gal. fuel, 149 gal. water, 5 persons, 100 lb. gear. Speeds are two-way averages measured with GPS. GPH taken via MTU display. Range is 90% of advertised fuel capacity. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.