Azimut Yachts’ trifecta of new debuts at the Cannes Yachting Festival September 11 to 16 will be part of the strongest field it has presented in years. The Italian builder’s Cannes fleet will actually total 18 yachts, but the new Azimut S6, Azimut Grande 25 Metri, and Azimut Grande 32 Metri promise to be the stars of the show. Cannes is the first yacht show of the fall season, an international event like the film festival months earlier, where the world gets to see the best new yachts from European, U.S., and Asian yacht builders. Azimut will have one of the largest displays at Cannes, with models from its five collections. Its S and Metri series show the range of Azimut’s design and innovation.
The S series has always shown the yachting world how innovative, unorthodox, and stylish Azimut can be when it is unchained from convention, and the new S6 promises to be a continuation of that tradition. Stefano Righini, Azimut’s longtime designer, has really made his mark with the S series, and the 59-foot S6 shows that he can reach into the future by embracing the past. The boat has classic cues of the S series, including its muscular profile, large enclosed cockpit, and the six-pane through-hull window in the master suite. On this boat, Righini created a protected upper sanctum with the extended hardtop, an area near the helm where the owners and guests can relax in shade and air-conditioning, but also enjoy the sun with the opening sunroof. The upper area also has a full galley and bar for large social events. For sun worshippers, there is a three-person sunbed on the bow and three more sunbeds on the stern of the yacht, along with a large lounge beneath the hardtop’s overhang. Having the galley on the main deck left Azimut’s interior designer Francesco Guida extra space below for the three staterooms, including the full-beam master in the stern (with two tables and chairs beside the window, walk-in closets, and adjoining bathroom), and a large VIP cabin in the bow area. The third stateroom has twin beds. Guida did a wonderful job, enhancing the interior’s natural brightness with light-colored woods and fabrics. It is modern without being overly formal, something the S Class has excelled at for 15 years. The new Azimut will be powered by twin 700 hp Volvo IPS D8 engines, giving it a top-end speed of 35 knots. Its cruising speed is 30 knots. Given its 59-foot length, the boat feels unusually spacious, both on the main deck and in the staterooms.
Azimut’s 86-foot Grande 25 Metri follows the success of the flagship 35 Metri, which was launched last year. The new 25 will share the larger yacht’s carbon-fiber superstructure, which not only dramatically lessens weight but allowed the builder to create a larger space that is accented by a roll bar and hardtop. Like the Grande 35, Achille Salvagni did the interior, delivering a custom, whimsical, and often curved interpretation of a traditional yacht cabin. Salvagni’s light touches extend beyond the shape of the saloon and staterooms. He designed the light fixtures and furniture, and even put sculptures into the bulkheads. The Rome-based architect, known more for cutting-edge residential design than yachts, also did away with the usual living room/dining area dividing line. He created a large open-plan saloon on the main deck. By pushing a button, a large dining table rises from the cabin floor between sofas, turning the social area into an eatery. This feature highlights the informal, but innovative, nature of the new 25 Metri. The boat will have five staterooms, including one for crew. Azimut also offers two engine choices. The upgraded twin 1,800 hp MAN diesels give the boat a maximum speed of 29 knots, with a cruising speed of 26 knots.
At 105 feet, the new 32 Metri is a slightly different take on the Metri concept than the 25, but employs the same design team. Righini did the exterior and Salvagni the interior. The contrast of styles between these two designers really works for this mini-megayacht. Righini employs a straight-edged, masculine style, while Salvagni loves softness, light, and curves. The extra 20 feet of length was put to good use by Righini, who designed a large sunbed toward the bow of the boat (while leaving the very forward section a working area for the crew), with a large table, lounge, and hot soaking tub farther aft on the forward section. The flybridge is another great social area, with a shaded area beneath the hardtop and aft open platform that extends above the rear cockpit. The 32’s many windows often look asymmetrical, giving the profile its modern look. Azimut designed plenty of sliding-glass windows into the boat, so the interior can benefit from fresh breezes on warm days. The32 Metri also uses a raised-pilothouse design, which allows the captain (there are quarters for three crew) to drive without disturbing the guests in the main saloon. It’s a smart design that makes best use of available space. Salvagni did a masterful job with the interior, using loose custom-designed furniture, rather than traditional, built-in couches, to make the saloon feel more like a seaside apartment than a boat cabin. Chrome-finished cabinets and odd-shaped mirrors reflect the light coming through the large floor-to-ceiling windows, making everything feel more expansive. The full-beam master suite also has its own picture window, the ultimate water view. The newest Azimut will be powered by twin 2,200 hp MTU engines to reach a top end of 26.5 knots, with a cruise speed of 21 knots.