Designed by Mancini and Salvagni, with surprising volumes and headroom. A pod propulsion system developed together with ZF makes its debut in the range
No ifs or buts. Space. Volumes. Comfort. It is no coincidence that they have called the range Grande. Azimut has the answer to anything a buyer might look for, such as people who love the classic design (as in the Fly line), sports cruisers (the S series), or long-range trips (the Magellano collection). But it is over the search for size, real or perceived, that the battle is really fought.
It is always a tough fight, regardless of the boat’s length, but one that is especially fierce in the super competitive market for 24-metre yachts. The new Azimut, without compromises, goes in search of its Greatness. It has done so in the external shape designed by Alberto Mancini, who – as always – has not neglected his vocation for taut, fluid lines, which in this case are also proudly impressive. The size, the majesty cannot be hidden. And nor should it be. The Grande 26M is imposing, recognisable and elegant.
Touches of colour repeat themselves in various different areas in the yacht: the cobalt blue of the sofa base and the lamps hanging over the dining table, the orange of the coffee table, the chromatic details which catch your eye inside the cabins. The Luxury Wood oak flooring, which is perfect for interior use, suggests the warmth of teak, and with the slats cleverly laid at 45 degrees they make the areas look larger.
This aspiration is also clear in the design of the layouts and the interior design, where the unmistakable mark of Achille Salvagni Studio can be seen. Here too, above all, there is a drive to be important and different from the rest. And then there are soft lines and light colours. Barriers, both visual and real, have been eliminated. The movement is always agile. For owners and their guests, and for the crew too.
Using an approach that is often seen on megayachts, the master cabin on the Grande 26M is full beam and located in the bow of the main deck. There are a further four guest rooms on the lower deck.In the owner’s suite, the cabin and bathroom are linked together through an open dressing area, which is bathed with natural light from the curved, fluid cell-shaped windows.
The splendour of this 26-metre also lies in what you can’t see, but do nevertheless feel when you stay on the boat and travel, and in the yard’s experience of producing a good boat.
Two new important elements have been introduced from the megayacht area of the Azimut Benetti Group and which particularly stand out: the Pod 4600 propulsion system that has been developed together with ZF, and the Deck2Deck Terrace, an extension of the cockpit that comes from raising the transom up to a horizontal position that increases the surface area that can be used as a lounge or dining area, with a walkaround table.
Also, the use of carbon fibre in the superstructure, with real benefits in weight reduction, and thus also performance, although no longer a new feature, is part of the yard’s construction culture. As well as admiring the boat’s spaciousness, we were also lucky enough to see what performance it delivers.
THE FLY BRIDGE EXTENDS AFT RIGHT TO THE TAFFRAIL, PROVIDING
A SURPRISING AMOUNT OF USABLE AREA.
The boat we tried out had the most powerful set-up available, with two MAN V12s each developing 1,650 horsepower. At full revs, we touched 30.5 knots, which is definitely impressive, but something that is not so important when dealing with this kind of boat where speed isn’t the ultimate goal.
AZIMUT HAS DEPLOYED THE DECK2DECK TERRACE APPROACH,
WHICH EXTENDS THE COCKPIT SURFACE BY RAISING THE TRANSOM,
FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THE GRANDE RANGE.
The boat cruises best at 1900 rpm, with 21 knots and 17.7 litres per nautical mile. Those are surprising figures for an 84-tonne boat with a 6.3-metre beam. And here, leaving aside the figures, we should stress how little the boat heels, even in the tightest of turns (never above seven degrees). There is also the complete absence of vibrations and the great silence not just at the bridge and the central lounge, but also in the master cabin in the bow. Fast cruising speed comes in at around 26.5 knots, where 20.3 litres per mile are used.
Alberto Mancini (exterior design) • Achille Salvagni Architetti (interior design) • P.L. Ausonio & Azimut Yacht R&D Dept. (hull design)
LOA 26.09m • Draft 2.04m • Maximum beam 6.3m • Light mass displacement 84 t • Fuel tank volume 8,500 l • Water tank volume 1,500 l • Planning hull – 13.8° astern, 20.4° amidship
2 MAN V12-1650 • Outlet mechanical power 1,213 kW (1,650 hp) • Bore&Stroke 128mm x 157mm • Swept volume 24.2 l • 12-V90° cylinders • Maximal rotational speed 2300/min • Weight 2,365 kg
(Azimut Grande 26M – Endless – Barchemagazine.com – April 2023)