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Text and photographs by Antonio Bignami
AZIMUT 68 PLUSThe 68 Plus has been built in the brand new Avigliana-based Azimut yard: 21 metres of modern and elegant design, based upon the design ethic of producing a substantial, elegant, sophisticated and innovative boat. Most importantly, this is a boat which, conceptually, could be accepted in all markets, and which should meet the requirements of the most refined connoisseur.
In fact, the Azimut Group has successfully launched not only a splendid boat but also a brand of production philosophy of extremely high technology, together with the highest quality standards. This writer finds it difficult adequately to describe this masterpiece, relying on the pictures taken and memories of the extras on the 68 Plus. The length overall is actually calculated without the aft bathing platform, which adds another meter to the total; the side glass windows, in addition to the trademark elliptical shape, are mirrored and electrically operated from beside the cockpit.
In the master suite, amidships, large vertical portholes have been included so increasing the interior lighting; the guardrail is completely new and redesigned, with a cross-over amidships. Beyond the aft entrance door, there are also two side portholes in the american style; the access ladder to the bathing platform is motorized and can be concealed together with the mounting ladder so that the aft is clear when manouvering. The fairlead with anchor chain at the bow pulpit and the aft fairleads are electrically wound. The effort and attention given to the detail, styling and design is truly innovative.
Post-modern design concepts, typical of the fifties, have been applied tastefully! Hinges, handles, even the flybridge furniture that hides a fridge, barbecue and sink, resemble 50's style. World Boat for Azimut 68 Plus, a motor yacht that will play a leading role in all the seas of the world.
TECHNICAL DATADesigner: Stefano Righini external layout; Carlo Galeazzi
Interior design: Technical Office Azimut
Builder: Azimut; Via Martin Luther King 9-11; 10051 Avigliana (Turin) Italy; Phone +39 011 93161; Fax +39 011 9367270; Web site www.azimutyachts.net
EC Category type: "B"
LOA: 21.60 m
Beam: 5.50 m
Maximum width: 5.50 m
Draft from lower tip of propellers: 1.65 m
Displacement: 38,000 kg
Maximum passenger capacity: 18
Berths: 8+3 in 5 cabins
Test boat power: 2 x 1,150 HP MTU 12V183 TE 93
Total installed power: 2,300 HP
Declared power: about 2000 HP
Total engine and reduction gear weight: 3,500 kg
Displacement/installed power ratio: 16.52 kg/HP
Type of transmission: in line shaft with five-blade propellers in semi tunnel
Maximum declared speed: 33 knots
Cruising speed: 30 knots
Declared fuel consumption at cruising speed: 390 1/h
Range at cruising speed: approximately 370 miles
Fuel capacity: 2 x 2,400 l
Freshwater capacity: 1,200 l
Price with standard equipment and test boat power: Lit. 3,150,000,000 (ex VAT)
Notes: possible motorization 2 x 1,000 HP MTU 12V 183 TE 92 (speed: 27/30 knots; standard price Lit. 3.090.000.000 ex VAT)
CONSTRUCTION CHARACTERISTICSHull: deep-V hull with a 16° deadrise aft and variable transverse sections
Hull construction material: fibreglass
Deck materials and fittings: fibreglass
Bow area: pulpit, anchor winch, anchor, chain and various peaks, mooring equipment, teak decks, sundeck with cushions, fuel and water access, side exits
on side deck, two side doors in the wall of the two side decks.
Cockpit layout and equipment: curved settee, various lockers and storage bins, the entrance door to the saloon is in curved glass, teak table and chairs for cockpit with appropriate storage bins in the bow column, access to engine room and equipment zone in the left column, mooring
equipment concealed either sides, access porthole to the aft platform electrically operated. Shower with mixer tap, dockside electric connection
Aft platform layout: hydraulically operated bathing ladder and gangway, bins
Superstructure and window materials: deck equipment in stainless steel and windows in tempered glass
Description and characteristics of the flybridge: double entrance, both from saloon and from cockpit, roll bar, pulpit, garage with hydraulic cover and tender
hauling and launching system with tender of 3.20 m; amidships curved fly table and semicircular divan transformable into sundeck, helm station complete with all electronic switchgear, pilot and co-pilot seats, galley furniture complete with fridge, sink and barbecue.
INTERIORLayout and internal characteristics: day section with large saloon on two levels with aft, two opposing settees, bar with ice-maker, cabinet with Stereo, TV and VCR, steel and teak access ladder to the flybridge, galley in two typologies, helm station. Accommodation includes four double cabins, all with en suite bathroom; the master stateroom is amidships with vanity cabinet, settee, wardrobes, TV and stereo cabinet (the en suite bathroom in this cabin has two sinks and the shower stall converts into a Jacuzzi). The two guest cabins both have twin beds and en suite bathrooms with shower stall (the starboard cabin can be converted into a captain's cabin, studio or a fully-equipped laundry).
Last but not least, forward there is the VIP cabin with double bed and fully equipped bathroom. Aft is the crew area with three beds and en suite bathroom. Furniture is in cherry-wood, ceilings are in lacquered wood and synthetic leather, upholstery may be chosen by the owner.
Internal helm station: winding console with inserts in leather and burr walnut, ergonomic and electrically operated pilot seat, which can be rotated completely to the left to access the charts or computer. Steering compartment with power assisted hydraulic wheel, electronic controls, compass, VHF, echo-sounder, GPS with Chart Plotter, radar, engine instruments and indicators
Chart table: on the left in the helm station
Galley: in the centre of the saloon which can be concealed by a horizontally sliding door in cherry wood, ceramic hobs, dishwasher, garbage compactor, 290 lt. fridge, microwave oven, double sink, worktop in shiny black granulon, teak floor, sliding door,cabinets, cupboards and shelves.
FITTINGSStandard fittings: other than those described, air conditioning in all living spaces, bow thrusters, generator, trim tabs, boiler for hot water, tender on the flybridge
Optional fittings: MMC synchronizers, fittings for desalinisation equipment.
CONDITIONS DURING TESTING
EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCESea keeping ability, turning and behaviour on waves: excellent stability and manoeuvrability. The Azimut-68 Plus moves very little water to the side, it maintains stability and performance, is low and fast on the water and looks even better at speed due to the design and the exterior lines.
Wheel and trim tab response: efficient and precise
Visibility in different weather conditions: excellent from both helm positions
Docking manoeuvrability: excellent and safe.
EVALUATION OF COMFORT AND FUNCTIONDeck: the layout is excellent as are all the components and equipment
Flybridge: very beautiful and elegant considering its generous headroom and flexibility
Interiors: charming and elegant, with the full headroom not compromised by the design requirements
Passenger comfort: excellent
Helm positions: excellent, functional, with futuristic technology and elegant design.
Chart table: large and innovative
Galley: well designed and functional.
Bathrooms: very large and stylish.
Engine room: excellent
Electrical switchgear and plant: excellent.