Azimut’s standard-setting S series of sportscruisers has a new, smaller sibling. It looks a lot like the 68, but can the 62S cope with the loss of 6ft?
The entire Italian boatbuilding industry has experienced something of a rush of blood to the head in recent years.
The Ferretti Group seems intent on world domination, introducing new models by the truckload every Cannes Boat Show and buying up any boatyard that isn’t nailed down.
Meanwhile arch-rivals Azimut are giving no quarter, expanding and developing the product range in their measured way until it now extends from 39 to 116ft.
One of Azimut’s most impressive coups has been the launch in 2004 of the ‘S’ sportscruiser range.
They hadn’t built a non-flybridge boat for decades, but with the 68S and soon afterwards the 86S, they instantly became a force to be reckoned with in this most competitive of market sectors.
And then at Genoa last October they brought out not one addition to the bright red range but two: the attractive 43S, based on the hull of the flybridge 43, and this all-new 62-footer.
Driving the Azimut 62S
Although packing some 700hp less than its bigger sister, the Azimut 62S is considerably lighter and doesn’t give much away in speed.
And while the 68S is a pretty good drive, the 62S is better.
Azimut’s design team have worked hard to refine this hull, with three distinctly non-parallel spray rails each side of the keel – the outer ones providing lift and reducing drag at speed, the inner ones assisting with directional stability when off the plane.
The job of the central pair, which curve in towards the stem below the static waterline, is to provide lift forward in high speed turns, and stop the bow digging in.
Or so I was told. It all seems to work.
The helm station, with its separate driver’s seat, is comfortable and well-organised, although that long row of separate, silver, moulded instrument pods stretching away towards the horizon makes it virtually impossible to monitor temperatures and pressures at a glance. They look cool, though.
With powerful hydraulic steering, no propeller tunnels to exaggerate the straightline effect of the keel/and fairly deep hull sections (24° amidships, 19° aft) the smaller boat’s handling characteristics have more urgency about them than the 68S’s.
Up forward, though, the bow is still pretty full, and on a beautiful early-spring morning off Savona, in the only waves we could find – our own wake – we were able to make pretty firm contact with the water on occasion.
Acceleration is exceptional (zero to 30 knots in 24 seconds), the turning circle is commendably tight, and far from digging in, the bow showed no inclination to do anything except pull the rest of the boat round as quickly as possible.
With an enthusiastic angle of heel, that enormous sunroof has its uses as a window for checking over your shoulder.
The trims tabs are reasonably efficient when working together, helping to keep the boat on the plane down to about 15 knots – useful in choppy weather, especially given this hull’s firm ride in head seas – although individually they seem to have more effect on tracking than on heel, suggesting that their usefulness at keeping the boat level in crosswinds might be limited.
Finding out how much trim tab has been applied involves scrolling through pages on the small screen of the Motronica monitoring system, which also jealously guards other important information such as battery state, fuel levels, consumption and alarms. It’s quite annoying.
But that aside, the Azimut 62S lives up to its looks and provides a seriously fun drive, especially at speed – although manoeuvring in harbour also has its entertaining side, courtesy of the optional Sea Energy system on our test boat.
Developed in conjunction with Azimut, this computerised joystick controls the bow and stern thrusters and engines (at idle) in a logical and intuitive way.
Particularly nifty is the fact that the top of the joystick twists left or right, like a steering wheel, to steer the boat. But press the ‘bow thruster only’ button and traditional control is instantly restored: engines on the throttle levers, with the joystick operating just the forward thruster.
The tender garage will fit a RIB of up to 9ft 2in (2.80m), launched on rollers over the bathing platform, and concealed beneath a simple transom hatch that doesn’t disturb the cockpit seating.
Our test boat was the prototype – not that you could tell – but from the third Azimut 62S off the production line the platform will be hydraulic.
This will make it the obvious place to stow the RIB, while the garage mouldings are designed to quickly adapt to take a PWC.
Wide side decks and sensible guardrails are not things that can be taken for granted on sportscruisers these days, but the Azimut 62S’s are fine and safe, as well as luxuriously laid with thick teak.
The foredeck is well organised and uncluttered, but the standard anchor is a 55lb (25kg) Delta, which according to the manufacture’s recommendations is too small.
Have it replaced with the 88lb (40kg) as a minimum, and while you’re at it the 10mm chain ought to be 12mm.
Engineering and build quality
This kind of boat is all about looks, but looks aren’t enough to ensure success against either home-grown competition or indeed against the British, who know a thing or two about Med-style sportscruisers.
Azirnut have invested heavily in new plant and technology, and il shows in the quality of finish and fitout of the Azimut 62S, which has a vacuum-moulded hull and deck, osmosis-resistant vinylester resin (and a five-year anti-osmosis warranty), and foam-sandwich stiffening in both hull bottom and sides.
The saloon sole is reinforced with carbon fibre, so as to reduce its thickness and maximise headroom in the master cabin below.
Down in the engineroom the 18-litre, sixcylinder Caterpillar C18s, the only power units offered, sit level on V-drive gearboxes in a bright and well-designed compartment.
The fuel tanks are mounted outboard of the engines, with the genset sitting centrally aft.
Access is reasonable all round, although the moulding for the lender garage aft restricts headroom back there to crawling height, and the crew cabin bulkhead intrudes into the compartment’s port quarter.
But here as elsewhere in the boat, hidden nooks and crannies seem as carefully finished off as the teak decking or the hull’s burgundy paint job – it’s hard to find anything to criticise in the way this boat is put together.
Which is all very reassuring, but for a million pounds plus you might expect perfection, or near enough.
For that sort of money it’s not about satisfaction, but gratification. So prepare to be gratified.
The Azimut 62S clearly takes its lead from the bigger 68S, with essentially the same exterior styling, featuring those distinctive square topsides windows, plus new hull windows forward for the benefit of the guest cabin.
Singular. Yes, this is a two-cabin boat.
Amidships is the owner’s suite, very nearly as large as the excellent one on the 68S, and with the same layout: a diagonally offset double berth, a shower and heads compartment aft, and that rather marvellous raised dinette on the starboard side.
Up forward the guest cabin is pleasantly large and light, with an overhead hatch as well as the side windows.
The scissor-hinged berths are highly innovative: they can lie along the hull sides as a pair of vee-berths, or simply snip together to form a double.
The idea, new on this boat at Genoa, has already been copied elsewhere – but you saw it here first.
The berths have drawers each side – which means when they’re slid together the inner drawers are inaccessible.
Single drawers that slide out both ways might be an idea.
Both heads have moulded glass sinks. The big stowage locker behind the toilet and bidet in the master heads is particularly useful.
Extractor fans are fitted in the heads as screens are more robust than they look, with Plexiglass behind the fabric, and transmit light throughout the hull, and can be backlit at night.
Big topsides windows and the forward hatch play their parts too, and the cutaway console forward of the helm station and the plexiglass panel above the galley help to banish the shadows from the lower deck.
This space between the sleeping areas is the key to the boat’s unique appeal. Raised on the same half-deck level as the forecabin, the small lower saloon has an armchair, a long right-angled sofa, and a large projection screen coupled to the on-board Lantic entertainment system.
But it’s not just a home cinema. As a seating area it works extremely well, shielded from the sun and nosy passers-by.
With the optional Raymarine RNSV5 remote keyboard you can use the screen to access all the data from the helm, which is useful for keeping track of progress when under way.
The galley is just opposite, so the chef need not be out of circulation, and afterwards you can slide the galley door shut, putting the washing-up out of sight and mind, and settle down in front of the film.
This lower saloon is terrific. Incredibly, there is an option of a third cabin in this space. Don’t even think about it.
Azimut 62S verdict
If you’re going to build a boat that looks as fab as this. it had better deliver.
Well, it does. On the water the Azimut 62S handles well. accelerates willingly, offers a good range of cruising speeds to suit different conditions. and has a perfectly respectable top speed.
Nothing to be ashamed of there, then.
But it’s down below that this boat really scores, with an excellent master cabin -and that versatile lower saloon in particular. opposite a self-contained galley. is a revelation.
Although this space could be made into a small third cabin. it’s hard to believe that any owner, having seen the alternative, would make such a catastrophic choice.
If it’s beds you want. Azimut’s 68S is a viable three-cabin boat.
But if you’re after the coolest and most usable accommodation layout available in any sports 62. look no further.
First published in the May 2006 issue of MBY.
- Amazing owner's cabin
- Safe side decks
- Interior layout
- Build quality
- Handling and performance
- Versatile forecabin
- Impractical instrument layout
- Undersize standard anchor and chain
Price from: €1.48 million ex tax (approx £1.19 million inc UK VAT)
Overall length: 62ft 6in (19.06m)
Hull length: 60ft 5in (18.41m)
Beam: 16ft 1in (4.90m)
Displacement: 27.5 tonnes light, 30.7 tonnes loaded (loaded = light + 100% fuel & water)
Draught (max): 5ft 0in (1.53m)
Fuel capacity: 594 imp gal (2,700 litres)
Water capacity: 198 imp gal (900 litres)
RCD category: B for 12 people
Slow cruising: 20.0 knots, 261 miles@ 1,500rpm
Fast cruising: 30.1 knots, 214 miles@ 2,000rpm
Flat out: 34.2 knots, 190 miles@ 2,250rpm
Designers: Stefano Righini/Carlo Galeazzi/Azimut
Tel: +44 (0)1489 565555