19 March, 2018
Azimut Grande 27 Metri
A matter of trust
Trust is always earned, never given and with 10 Grande 27 Metris sold off plan well before its Cannes Yachting Festival premier, Azimut’s customer base has put a lot of faith in the Italian shipyard. Has their brand loyalty been justified? We’re about to find out…
Although not the biggest boat show on the calendar, the Cannes Yachting Festival, being the first event of the European season, has always been the place to debut a new model. For this year, Azimut presented four new yachts: the 60 Fly, the S7, the Grande 35 Metri flagship, and her slightly smaller sister, the Grande 27 Metri. We will of course be featuring each of theses models but here we’re specifically to view the 27 Metri, a yacht that has caught the imagination of Azimut owners across the globe. One of the Cannes Yachting Festival’s major attractions is its sea trials. At certain times of the day, Le Vieux Port comes alive with boats of all sizes heading out on to the Goulfe De La Napoule for a quick test. Amusingly, this flotilla also causes the infamous ‘Cannes Boat Jam’ as up to twenty craft wait patiently for the marina’s pontoon walkway to open so they can return to their berths. And it’s here, while queuing to get in after a sea trial on another yacht, that we get to have a really good look at the widebody Azimut. Firstly, due to her sheer size (Cannes is not a superyacht show) the 27 Metri stands superstructure and sundeck above every yacht around her. She also looks like nothing else, courtesy of her very bold Stefano Righini lines. Although the bow, swooping pilot house and the ‘shark fin’ hardtop supports are classic Azimut, the huge amounts of glazing on her flanks (check out the massive Owner’s window) is something we haven’t seen before from the shipyard. The vertical bow is also becoming an integral part of Azimut Grande family style and she certainly stands out amongst her European rivals, but what can we expect inside?
Will Righini’s bold and adventurous style be carried through in the interior design? Moored stern-to in Le Vieux Port, our first close encounter with the 27 Metri does not reveal a whole lot; mainly because of the privacy screen, which is hiding the cockpit’s going’s on from those on the dock. This is perfect for Mediterranean marinas and as we board via the gangway, we can’t see in, but once in the cockpit, the view out is virtually unobstructed. A privacy screen is such a simple idea, and as we ponder its merits, we head into the main salon. The style and ambience of the main salon sets the mood for the rest of the yacht and the 27 Metri is most definitely sending us the correct signals. The immediate feeling is of sophistication mixed with passion; if feels like the designer, who in this case is the highly respected architect Achille Salvagni, has genuinely enjoyed the challenge given to him by Azimut, and the resulting quality details really catch the eye. Along with the huge glazing, the polished wood arch that separates the dining area really catches your eye as you stand by the cockpit door and the asymmetrical tube lighting above the dining table again makes you linger for longer than you normally would. Salvagni created a number of unique furnishings for the 27’s interior, all realised by expert craftsmen. However the Owner can opt for Salvagni’s personal selection of design pieces to match (or contrast) with the calm pastel colours of the Dedar sourced textiles and fabrics.
Moving forward, we stroll through the starboard lobby, admiring the light and dark colourway before dropping down three steps into the Owner’s Suite. Here we can see Salvagni’s signature flowing style as few of the Owner’s furnishings feature straight lines. The huge windows allow unmatched views of the sea and as the glazing is floor-to-ceiling, it is possible to gaze down into the ocean without lifting your head from the pillow. A full beam bathroom located forward finishes off this warm and very livable suite, a testament to Azimut’s wide body concept. Heading back to the lobby and down the central staircase, we find the guest accommodation. Azimut offers two layout options here; either four cabins consisting of two VIPs amidships and two twins forward, or one full-beam VIP forward, with a twin cabin to port and another VIP starboard. Whichever you chose, Salvagni’s subtle use of colours, textures and woods make for a pleasant stay on board, not that you’ll be spending that much time inside… The Grande 27’s Raised Pilot House design is one of the reasons this yacht is so spacious. It also looks out over the expansive foredeck lounge, which is home to a three-person sunpad at the bow and a neat sofa/table arrangement at the base of the wheelhouse’s windscreen. The flybridge can be accessed from the rear of the wheelhouse or from the cockpit stairs and thanks to Azimut’s carbon fibre construction, the sun-lovers retreat is positively huge. The exotic lightweight composite material has been used throughout the 27 Metri’s superstructure, keeping the yacht’s weight and centre of gravity low, allowing Righini to design an expansive entertainment area filled with Salvagni’s curvaceous furniture designs.
Again, subtle colours and plenty of sunpads make the flybridge one of the Grande’s most seek-outable areas. Finally, we head down the port stairways to the beach club. Here the garage door folds flat to create a pleasant waterside platform, perfect for arranging a couple of sunpads for when you climb back from a swim. Covering the garage entrance is another privacy blind, however this one is hiding the tender, which in this case is a RIB. Powering the deep-V planing hull through the water are two MAN turbo diesels. These develop 1900 horsepower each, resulting in a top speed of 27 knots, a cruise speed of 24 knots and a range of over 800 nautical miles. Unfortunately, due to some uncharacteristically rough French sea, we weren’t able to put the big Azimut through its paces, however, we have no doubt that the hull (which was tank tested at the Brodarsky Institute in Zagreb) can match the official figures. Without a doubt, the trust put into Azimut by the Owners who ordered a Grande 27 Metri without even seeing it, has been returned by the shipyard – and then some. Salvagni’s interior design execution sets it apart from its rivals; it’s subtle, but exudes class and has enough detailing to give it a real New York loft feel. Add Righini’s sharp exterior design and the Grande 27 Metri makes for a modern and thoroughly original yacht.