We tried out the Verve 42 from Azimut Yachts with three Mercury Verado V8s, each developing 450 horsepower
by Fabio Massimo Bonini
It was the first week of November, and there were a few clouds in the sky, there was a fifteen-knot wind blowing and the temperature was around 26 degrees centigrade. I love southern Florida, for a moment I can almost feel like it is in Europe and then I picture myself shivering from the cold… I went up to the quay at MarineMax in Dania Beach, close to Fort Lauderdale, where a few days earlier I had admired Azimut’s Verve 42 during the Boat Show.
LA ZONA LIVING MULTIUSO È ATTREZZATA CON TV, MINI-CUCINA
E TAVOLO A SCOMPARSA, AREA LOUNGE CON CUSCINERIE E APERTURA LATERALE A POPPA CHE, IN POCHI SECONDI,
DIVENTA PIATTAFORMA SUL MARE.
I quickly recognised the boat, with its elegant grey and white livery, and I spotted other American colleagues and Federico Ferrante, the chairman of Azimut Benetti USA, who greeted me with a big smile. He was to be our skipper for day, for the test on the water. A first glance immediately recalls the 47 that I had tried out on its debut at the Miami Boat Show two years ago. Extraordinary details which have also been included in this smaller version, like the table in the cockpit that folds down and away to create a single large floor area, and the port bulwark that folds down to create a single platform at sea level. Still in the cockpit there is a pop-up television screen.
Like on the 47, there is only a gangway on the portside, but that ensures you get a lot of room in the bows and in the steering area. The chairs on the bridge are ergonomic and extremely comfortable, and I was to get confirmation of that not long later, even with a moderate sea. It has an extra touch of light and air compared with the 47, ensured by the large openable sun roof.
All of the instrumentation is by Raymarine. Behind the pilot seats there is a large galley with two electric grills and a basin, all of it cleverly hidden when not in use. Below the flooring of the outdoor galley there is a huge ice box that is nearly two metres long, a marvel for all fans of onboard parties. But that’s not all, because the boat has six ice boxes and three fridges, not bad for a 42-footer. Going back to the areas in the bow, as well as the size which I mentioned earlier, and the comfort of the seats and the sun pad, it is also worth mentioning the awning providing sun and rain protection: it is held up by carbon fibre poles that are easily moved, and the whole thing can be stowed in the appropriate lockers.
Below decks obviously the areas are different, and certainly more confined, if we want to continue the comparison with its big sister, but the large V-shaped dinette has sufficient headroom to stand nearly throughout and is very comfortable to use, or can be completely changed into a bedroom. The real cabin is spacious and set to starboard, down below at the waterline.
The bathroom, which is decidedly large, is impressive with a porthole letting in light and a separate shower. The galley is well-equipped and functional with an electric hob, the Miele oven and of course the fridge and ice box. Knowing local tastes, I would say that it definitely has an American market in mind, but it is more generally for people who like amenities, games and space – none of which are lacking.
Our special skipper got the three Mercury 450 racing motors going, and they quickly made us enjoy the thrust they deliver. The engines are fitted with a joystick and autotrim, and in practice all of the trim adjusters are automatically adjusted according to speed, sea conditions and weight distribution. And then, a vital element is the extremely useful skyhook which means the boat can stay right in the position you choose, thanks to a geo-stationing system linked to GPS.
We had already left behind the quay and we were travelling along the channels that would take us into the open sea. There were six of us on board, the wind coming from the north-east was at around 15 knots. The 130-litre diesel tank for the generator was 75% full, the 1,750-litre fuel tank was at 60%, and the 250-litre water tank was completely full. When we left the Fort Lauderdale outlet, we found a bit of flat sea apart from some waves left over from some storm or other of around 70 centimetres, or a metre. I got a strong desire to hear the Mercury racing engines sing, and by opening the throttles right up the boat literally flew between the waves without losing much shape at all. And the technology meant it was dry and always in perfect trim. Federico was radiant, bursting with proud for his boat.
Before taking hold of the wheel, we stopped and I immediately realised that we were stationary, despite the trying beam sea. It wasn’t magic, but rather the powerful Seakeeper 5, which was doing its job perfectly. It is driven, silently, by the 50-Amp 11 kW generator. I went straight up to the bridge and opening up the throttles I felt the solidity of the boat and a hull that really handles well. At 3800 rpm I was already planing, at 4000 rpm – still some way from the maximum – we were doing over twenty knots, and using 18 gallons an hour for each engine, so 54 gallons in total. The feeling you get is that it is dependable and solid, aspects that essentially mean safety.
The stepped ‘V’ ventilated tunnel hull, designed by Peters, reduces water resistance and ensures the boat meets waves softly but decisively, while still delivering excellent performance.
We did find some waves and the hull, which was designed by the legendary Mike Peters, cut through them without any hard pounding and sat delicately on the water each time it got through a wave. The stability and solidity, even with these conditions, become clear when turning tightly. I opened the throttle up and at 5000 rpm we reached what I felt was a perfect cruising speed – and at 30.5 knots I got the same feeling of comfort and stability, even when zig-zagging disorderly and quickly, without even tackling the waves the way you are supposed to. It was perfect. I pushed as hard as I could, and with theseconditions I got to 45 knots at 6200 rpm… and then I had to slow down, since we weren’t actually racing anyone. I was struck in the same way when I tried the 47. It was another pleasant surprise for a toy that is fit for the family, to those who love the sea and who want a comprehensive experience of it, and to enjoy time spent outdoors, while at the same time cruising safely and with the chance to move quickly or to “get out of there” while still experiencing, and only experiencing, the best of a day at sea.
Francesco Struglia (design) • Michael Peters (naval architecture) • Azimut Yachts (concept)
LOA 12.90m • Maximum beam 3.94m • Maximum draft (incl. skeg) 1.20m • Full mass displacement 14 t (approx) • Fuel tank volume 1,750 l • Fresh water tank volume 250 l • 1 cabin • 2+2 berths • Building material VTR and Carbonfiber
3xMercury 450R • Outlet mechanical power 450 hp • 8 V-shaped cylinders • Swept volume 4.6 l • Maximal rotational speed 6400/min • Weight 313 kg
785,000 €, Excl. options and VAT (October 2022)
(Azimut Yachts Verve 42, a desire for Freedom – Barchemagazine.com – October 2022)