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An objective opinion on Azimuts...

 
 
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Hi,

A lot of the Non all wood deal these days has to do with Fire Retardant products that are required by the Classification Societies.

The heavy ply with rubber lining is every bit as heavy as pure wood but it will comply with the regs, give good sound deadening and also stay straight in an Air-conditioned environment.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1W1
Hi,

A lot of the Non all wood deal these days has to do with Fire Retardant products that are required by the Classification Societies.

The heavy ply with rubber lining is every bit as heavy as pure wood but it will comply with the regs, give good sound deadening and also stay straight in an Air-conditioned environment.
I think right there you hit on a major factor, especially in the very high end yachts.

Who, when buying a brand new vessel, wants doors & drawers that swell and jam in high humidity, only to shrink and rattle in drier climes? On an older yacht, that can be chalked up to character, as in an older home. Not so on something newly minted.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt J
This said boat did have an electrical fire underneath the main helm on the main buss bar though. Which from the electrician, it sounded like he's seen it a few times.
This would certainly give me pause. Considering Ferretti in 2004 would have been in better financial shape then compared to now. I definitely feel Azimut is one of the better Euro brands. Now I am far from being an engineer, but when I crawled around the engine room of the 58 all major components and service points seemed to be accessible.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwrandall
This would certainly give me pause. Considering Ferretti in 2004 would have been in better financial shape then compared to now. I definitely feel Azimut is one of the better Euro brands. Now I am far from being an engineer, but when I crawled around the engine room of the 58 all major components and service points seemed to be accessible.
Yes, everything had good access. Another issue with Ferretti's is that they use steel for the steering components, like the hydraulic hose ends and such in the lazzarette and they rust.

The problem according to my electrician with the electrical is this one terminal part that they use on the buss bar. The lugs are not large enough or strong enough to make a good connection long term and the vibration and stuff makes the nuts rattle loose and the wires ark. He replaced it with a much larger one, and said you won't have another problem. This is on the one bus bar that is located under the helm and accessed from the owners head ceiling panel. It cost $700 to fix the problem, however had the captain not been running the boat from the lower helm at the time the fire broke out, the whole boat would've been on fire before they figured it out on the flybridge.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I did a delivery on a 68 Azimut twice a few years ago. Nice boat, fast, handeled well. Very pretty and comfortable.

However, on one of the trips it was a little bumpy, 5-6 foot seas. She pounded a lot at cruise, had to slow down. Many cabinets opened and spilled contents. The salon headliner came off as well. No serious damage and it was a near brand new boat. You always need to get some kinks out.

She's fine in rather calm sea but I'd make sure the headliner was fastened better and add better latches to the cabinets.

I'd pick a better weather window with one than I might with other boats on an open sea trip. But if you don't mind waiting for better weather it's a very nice boat.

just my 2 cents
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapLady
I did a delivery on a 68 Azimut twice a few years ago. Nice boat, fast, handeled well. Very pretty and comfortable.

However, on one of the trips it was a little bumpy, 5-6 foot seas. She pounded a lot at cruise, had to slow down. Many cabinets opened and spilled contents. The salon headliner came off as well. No serious damage and it was a near brand new boat. You always need to get some kinks out.

She's fine in rather calm sea but I'd make sure the headliner was fastened better and add better latches to the cabinets.

I'd pick a better weather window with one than I might with other boats on an open sea trip. But if you don't mind waiting for better weather it's a very nice boat.

just my 2 cents
Call me hard to please, but I expect a boat over 50' to be able to handle 6' seas in relative comfort. This is the problem I found with the 60' Sinseeker, the 51 Bertram and a few others. Meanwhile, I handled the 50 Viking SC in way more than that. Even when I wasn't exactly enjoying myself the boat handled it fine.
Another problem on the 68 I've heard about and seen is that electrical system.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I've owned a couple of Azimuts, have also visited a number of different manufacturer's factories, and have sea trialed many different boats. I believe I am fairly picky wanting both functionality/sea worthiness AND style, but it is just one person's opinion.

Within the last 3-4 years, Azimut quality has improved remarkably. While they do certain things in a way that is "different" and sometimes in contradiction to the North American market, they make a decent production boat for coastal cruising. If you focus the discussion around short duration (away from a marina for less than a week), coastal cruising, then there is a lot to like about their boats. I had an Azimut 62S in 35kn+ winds and 12'+ seas and it handled it well.

Now if you have requirements to be away from a marina for more than a week (without necessarily needing to cross an ocean), most production cruisers fall pretty short. They usually lack sufficient storage space, fuel capacity, water capacity, etc. Even garbage storage quickly becomes a problem.

If I could only get that new Palmer Johnson 267' World in something in the 90' range... that's stylin' with functionality!
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by goplay
If I could only get that new Palmer Johnson 267' World in something in the 90' range... that's stylin' with functionality!
I'm sure PJ would be happy to work with you in building one!

and if you need a Capt for it shoot me a pm!
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:11 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I was thinking specifically of materials like MDF for its ability to handle fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity with little expansion and contraction, and its milling characteristics. Also Plywood for its stability and high degree of rigidity to weight. With non-wood materials you can often make choices that can handle a good deal of direct exposure to moisture with little to no lasting damage, thanks to modern advances in adhesives.

Fire retardation is something that hadn't even occured to me.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:24 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt J
Yes, everything had good access. Another issue with Ferretti's is that they use steel for the steering components, like the hydraulic hose ends and such in the lazzarette and they rust.

The problem according to my electrician with the electrical is this one terminal part that they use on the buss bar. The lugs are not large enough or strong enough to make a good connection long term and the vibration and stuff makes the nuts rattle loose and the wires ark. He replaced it with a much larger one, and said you won't have another problem. This is on the one bus bar that is located under the helm and accessed from the owners head ceiling panel. It cost $700 to fix the problem, however had the captain not been running the boat from the lower helm at the time the fire broke out, the whole boat would've been on fire before they figured it out on the flybridge.
Are these items something a good surveyor should find? Are lugs, steering gear materials, wiring etc. part of the survey process? Or would hiring a marine electrician, metallurgist, etc. or other specialist be prudent.

All of these items seem very important to the safety and proper operation of a boat, but I have not heard of such details being looked at. My guess is that it is either a matter of time it takes to do a survey of these items or the surveyor doesn't have the appropriate training.

At one time I think Yachtforums had a couple of active Azimut owners who seem to be very quiet. Also, IIRC did Nilo have an Azimut?
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:42 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwrandall
Are these items something a good surveyor should find?
Hi,

IMO- The answer to this is yes.

If as CaptJ Suggests that this problem is well known I would expect a surveyor with current knowledge of the brand to be especially vigilant in looking this area.

It can also be very much of getting what you pay for with surveys as with any other marine business.

Try to choose one that someone you know has used and didn't have any major issues with.

Also remember a thorough inspection takes time and this adds to the cost for you as the one who requests the survey.

If this is a new boat you are looking at things like steel hydraulic fittings might be what they call Yard Standard and you wont get them changed or any discount. Do what the commercial world and fishermen do and wrap them in Densotape, they will last just fine like that.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:52 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1W1
If this is a new boat you are looking at things like steel hydraulic fittings might be what they call Yard Standard and you wont get them changed or any discount. Do what the commercial world and fishermen do and wrap them in Densotape, they will last just fine like that.
So, if a yard is using steel for a steering component, which is essential to the safe operation. Furthermore, this part is be exposed to a salt water environment and this is considered yard standard wouldn't you question builders thinking? Steel vs. saltwater, the salt water will always win.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:05 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I would tend to think this would be overlooked by a surveyor unless there was evidence of burn. Otherwise, he should notice lugs being off and hopefully if they were lose, but he can't know the specs of every nut on every boat. A lot of manufacturers cheap out where it can't be seen and most of the time it never comes to light ("industry standard"). Even with a situation like this Ferretti lug, although it's apparently known, how many fires have actually been started by it. If everything on a boat was brought up to top notch spec it would have cost a lot more and probably been built by.......
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1W1
Hi,

Steel hydraulic fittings are not a safety hazard if they are not left to rot unattended. Why is your steering gear on one of these exposed to Salt Water so much?
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I was referring to the salt water environment in general. I have found that salt air will always find a way to get into places and cause some deterioration when that part isn't treated with the appropriate coatings.

If I have salt water around my steering arm, I think I will have much more serious problems besides rusting.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:02 AM   #30 (permalink)
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To get this thread a little bit back on track...

Yes, one very well-respected YF member (not stating his name because I'm not sure of proper etiquette on this one...) at one time had an Azimut and has been around them since then. He is very familiar with them and he was very kind to share some of his experiences with me regarding this brand. On his Azimut, he said he had problems with the gel coat, sea water leaking through the windshield, water leaking into the exhausts due to improper installation, and trim problems causing the boat to list 5 degrees. Additionally, in several internal areas of the boat (ie under the stairs to the cabins) he saw a lot of wood chips and dust from the yard that they left in the boat. He believes that the massive increase in production numbers has led to more emphasis on looks and marketability and less importance on build quality and functional design (a trap which Ferretti may also be falling into).

After moving on to his 68 Ferretti, he had more experiences with Azimut - one time, while making a longer passage in choppy water, he passed a 70 Azimut Seajet. An hour after he arrived at his destination, the Azimut arrived and the owners commented to him their surprise at being passed by a smaller boat in the rough water. One of his friends owns a 70 Seajet and complains of its poor handling in rough water (particularly due to its height) and numerous build quality issues. Another friend of his purchased a 40 footer and had to have additional layers of fiberglass applied to fix numerous cracks in the hull...

Lastly, he spoke with an engineer who had worked on a 85 Azimut for 2 years. The engineer said the boat constantly had problems and the quality was very poor.

Not to be entirely negatively, he complimented the looks of the Azimut designs since after all, they are beautiful boats.

I thought these experiences should be shared, I know they were significant for me to read.
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