FrontRunners: Azimut 72S

    Launched in 2007, Azimut’s red-hulled 103S paired the muscular lines of an open express with a flybridge and other features common to large yachts. By creating unbroken space between the cockpit and salon—and incorporating a massive sunroof—the boat’s designer, Stefano Righini, pushed the boundaries of the open-yacht category.

    The Italian builder followed that breakthrough boat with the launch of the Azimut 72S (www.azimutyachts.com) late last year. For the new vessel, which starts at about $4 million, Righini used banks of windows to provide a 360-degree panorama in the salon, while employing his signature square windows in the owner’s suite. A joystick control allows for easy maneuvering, and a navigation screen permits operational control from the upper deck. With its 1,800 hp MAN diesels, the 72S also reaches speeds of more than 39 knots.

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