July 6, 2012

New Model: Azimut 55 S

A new Azimut is always a lot of talking from the professionals to passionate people alike.  Rightly so as this Italian builder has in the last two decades pushed the border of yachting design to new heights, and its constant research and development is something to admire.  The new 55 S started to make it to the news more or less three months ago, when a rendering was shown on the official web site along with the novelties coming with it; triple pod propulsion, new transom pivoting system, integrated garage, and carbon fiber reinforcements.  Obviously my biggest surprise was to see Azimut going the Volvo IPS pod propulsion route in the 55 S.  Yes the Azimut-Benetti Group has flirted with pods on its models, officially on the 43 S in 2005, and Atlantis 50x4, plus testing a 50 and 55 in Volvo's base in Sweden, and the 62 S was also the bench mark for the ZF Zeus pod much acclaimed large 4000 unit.  But after this there always seemed to be a pause in launching models with pods. Still I am as at today surprised by this choice in the new Azimut 55S.  But what is a fact is that the triple pods set up has obviously made extra space available to interior designer Carlo Galeazzi who presents a three double cabins layout; with a full beam midships owners stateroom which would not look out of place even in a sport yacht ten feet larger.  The living of the 55 S is on the main deck with a galley to starboard, and a C-shaped settee which join up with the aft cockpit settee when patio door is open.   There is also a choice here to port side for a unit or a small lounger.  Back to the past is the single person crew cabin located to fore, and also giving sound insulation from wave splash to the forward VIP suite.  Other interesting details in the 55 S; are the fore deck settee, transformation of the aft deck to a large sun pad, and how the bathing platform area feels like that of much bigger yacht.  In the technical department Azimut again with the 55 S go to carbon fiber reinforcements; also used in the latest 64 and 60 of the Flybridge series, although to what extent this is done is not officially communicated.  Needless to say at 22 tons loaded for seventeen meters is a very low displacement compared to similar sized vessels.  So three to four tons are definitely saved.  The three Volvo 435hp with IPS give a 36 knots max speed, and 31 of cruise.     
Technical Data:
LOA - 17.29 m (56.9ft)
Hull Length - 15.35 m
Beam - 4.65 m
Draft - 1.14 m
Displacement - 22 t full load
Fuel Capacity - 1600 l
Water Capacity - 590 l
Accommodation - 6 berths in 3 cabins, 1 crew cabin berth
Engines - 3 x Volvo D6 435hp
Propulsion - Volvo forward looking dual propeller IPS 600 pods
Speed - 36 knots max, 31 knots cruise
Construction - Vinilester resins vacuum infusion, Carbon fiber reinforcements
Hull Type - Vee shape with medium 15,6 degrees deadrise aft
Project - Stefano Righini exterior, Carlo Galeazzi interior
Certification - UNI ISO 8666