20 April, 2015
S for sporty, s for stylish
Part of the S Collection of open hardtops, the Azimut 77S is technically a ‘sportfly’, with an aggressive profile that is surely one of the best exterior designs of last year. Designed by Stefano Righini and Carlo Galeazzi, this is the yacht that shows off their creative talents to the absolute max
Revealed at the Cannes ınternational Boat Show, the 77S belongs to Azimut’s S Collection, which previously consisted only of open hard top models (the 40S, 55S and 86S). The 77S is something of an exception as she features a flybridge – albeit a much smaller one than the other 77-footers, but still adding enough versatility to make her a feasible sportsfly model. The DNA of the S Collections remains, however, with a truncated bow for greater speed and immense glazed areas in the superstructure – great for epic ocean views. Here, we can clearly see the hallmarks of Stefano Righini, the designer behind the Azimut range for the past two decades.
In the interior, Azimut have gone for the same consistency and longevity that has made them such popular yachts, by employing the talents of Carlo Galeazzi, whose links to the shipyard also seem to transcend time. We found the Azimut 77S moored close to the Palais des Festivals – her three 900hp Volvo Penta IPS drives already grumbling as though impatient to be out at sea. Hooked up to a joystick control system, the Azimut 77S, with her triple pods, is a breeze to manoeuvre out of the marina. Another advantage of the IPS drives is that Azimut have collaborated with Volvo Penta on the hull design, tailoring it specifically to the pod drives installed, which is not the case aboard a yacht with traditional shaft propulsion. Indeed, the shaft drive version of the 77S has a flat hull in the last meter of the stern. Dropping the hammers, the Azimut 77S roars to life, getting up onto the plane in mere seconds and reaching a comfortable cruising speed of 20-knots in just 11-seconds.
Underway, the yacht’s attitude is docile, even when thrown into a full lock turn at speed, with the agile yet controlled heel typical of pod drive propulsion. In short, this yacht is a joy to skipper. Given the excellent test conditions (low wind, bright sunshine and a fairly calm sea), we spent the majority of our sea trial on the fly- bridge which, if not large, offers sufficient space for six people to enjoy a panoramic view and a drink or two. However, due to the ‘sportsfly’ nature of the yacht, there is a noticeable sacrifice made in terms of amenities up here. There is an upper helm position to port, a sunpad to starboard and a wetbar behind the helm. In terms of entertaining and outdoor dining, the owner would be more comfortable in the cockpit below. Down here, there is a table for eight and an aft settee with a collapsible backrest to turn it into a sunpad. Also located in the area, we find the features missing on the flybridge, namely a grill, refrigerator, ice maker and sink. A welcome feature here is the third control console cleverly concealed within the starboard side of the superstructure, providing the captain with joystick control when backing into a tight marina slip.
The side decks are wide enough to ensure some security when moving about the yacht when underway and up on the foredeck there is a large outdoor lounge area, complete with a sunpad, U-shaped settee and a folding sunshade. Another impressive outdoor chill-out feature is the bathing platform at the stern, which folds out of the transom to reveal the tender garage (capable of holding a RIB and a PWC). At anchor, then, the Azimut 77S is an exceptionally pleasant yacht on which to spend time. Entry to the salon is achieved through a set of glass sliding doors and as one steps into a world of rich light, the contrasting colours create a sense of high quality luxury. The side windows are huge for this type of yacht and the salon is extremely generous, taking up around two thirds of the useable space, with the dining room squeezed in to port next to the helm, suggesting that Azimut foresee owners primarily entertaining in the cockpit or on the foredeck. The white, gray, brown and Zebrano veneers of the interior are in perfect harmony with the overall feel of the yacht, with Carlo Galeazzi’s exacting taste emphasised at night by the clever lighting, which essentially hides the source of the light and simply diffuses it throughout the interior, like magic. Taking the staircase below decks, we find the galley to port at the foot of the stairs, with a sliding door to turn it into a private space for the crew – or for owners who are particularly fussy about keeping ‘the help’ hidden away. The owner’s suite is of course located amidships to take. advantage of the full beam of the yacht, a small lounge to starboard is offset by a vanity space to port either side of the large king sized bed. The cabin is separated from the engine room by an en-suite, which isn’t full beam, as the cabin also features a walk-in wardrobe. The guest cabins to port and starboard are fairly standard twin bed arrangements, each with their own small en-suite and moving forward, we find the quintessential VIP cabin; a decent volume for a yacht this size. Owners wishing to charter their 77S will find the eight-bed capacity very helpful. Having already won plenty of praise for its exterior design from the international yachting community, the Azimut 77S is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious and comfortable yachts in the 50 to 80-foot sector and has already secured four orders from owners around the world before its launch.