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An objective opinion on Azimuts...

Discussion in 'Azimut Yacht' started by lwrandall, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. lwrandall

    lwrandall senior member

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    I am trying to distinguish between fact or fiction when it comes to the quality of a particular Euro cruiser. What I am looking for are objective opinions on the new Azimut 58, or for that matter any Azimut in that 50' to 60' range. Many stories have been told about Azimut nightmares. But how many of the nightmares were caused by the builder and how many were caused by poor dealer service and follow thru? I am concerned with design, fit and finish, quality of construction and materials. Many of us can say that they are pretty boats but are they good boats. I spent sometime this past weekend viewing and sea trialing a new Azimut 58. Ascetically, she is beautiful, but when opening drawers many of the insides were not wood. The sides seemed to screwed and glued, box style. Not the dovetail you see in other boats in this price range, especially some of the Taiwanese boats.

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  2. lwrandall

    lwrandall senior member

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    A Running Shot

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  3. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Lionel,

    I've re-titled the thread to make it more relevant to keyword searches, as well as search engine indexing. It's not only important to YF's search function, but also to external bots. BTW... I do this regularly with everyone's threads, so don't be offended.

    Back on topic now. Are Azimuts... mutts?
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The Azimuts are a good sea boat, they handle well, can be a little wet sometimes, perform well, and they are built strong. I've run extensively a 50' FB, a 68' Plus, and a 70' Seajet. I would say some of their small hardware can be frustrating in both quality and finding it. Cabinet latches, push buttons, light lenses etc. Electrical can also be a little quirky on them and hard to find parts for, such as a bilge pump float switch, or grey water pump. A lot of times it's quicker, cheaper, and easier to retrofit a US part. Every once in a while you may need a good electrician to fix a few things. Of all of the European boats in it's class I would say the Azimuts are near the top of the bunch. They're also much higher maintanence then say a 63' Hatteras MY, with the teak decks, gelcoat that needs to be waxed, lots of stainless and windows etc.......Sometimes you have to wait 3 weeks to order small plastic parts that break often like the cabinet latches. And I'm located in Fort Lauderdale, the yachting capital of the world and home of Azimut's US warehouse.
  5. lwrandall

    lwrandall senior member

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    Not offended at all. It's almost an honor to be to be adjusted.:)

    P.S. I hope my new avatar is ok....Kind of nautical related
  6. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Roger on that, but is there a difference in waxing requirement for different kinds of gelcoat....?

    (Not trying to be smart, but my own boat has some gelcoat problems right now and I am trying to learn about gelcoats...Epoxy-based or vinyl-based or what? Old technology gelcoat or new stuff, different maintenance..?)
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No, all gelcoat needs to be waxed to protect it's shine. Different manufacturers do use different qualities of gelcoat. Some of the lesser grades of gelcoat need to be waxed more often to stay shiny. The Gelcoat Searay uses as well as Ocean, needs to be waxed more often and is more porous then say that on a Cabo or Viking.......

    Hatteras' are painted with Awlgrip and not gelcoated. Awlgrip explicitely states on their website not to wax it, only to wash it with the Awlwash soap. So therefore you never have to or should have to wax or compound a Hatteras or any other yacht that has Awlgrip as long as it's washed with the proper soap. However, if someone unknowledgable with Awlgrip starts washing it with an Ammonia based soap such as Orpine it will start looking hazy in 3 years. The Awlgrip rep told me that using the wrong soap will shorten Awlgrips life by 3 or so years.
  8. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    A few thoughts.

    Unless things have changed drastically over the years, Hatteras does indeed gelcoat their boats--so they can pull the parts from the molds. Yes, they are then painted..but they don't have to maintain the tooling to the degree that purely gelcoated boat manufacturers do.

    The quality of the (finished) gelcoated hulls & decks--for those constructors who do it in this fashion-- vary depending on the year of manufacture. At least one major builder has been quietly performing major 'scratch & squirts' on it's '99-'01 (all originally gelcoated) models.

    Late '90s Azimuts seem to suffer from the dreaded milky interior varnish problem. Don't know how the newer ones will fare.
    In my experience, dove-tail joints in drawers are still uncommon enough to warrant small delight in discovering it on this or that boat.
    Azimuts are beautifully styled, as only the Italians can do it, and have some engineering details that are, um, uniquely Italian as well, especially in the areas of electrical and fuel management in the machinery spaces..
  9. elsupremo

    elsupremo Senior Member

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    As someone who has been looking and researching and trying to gain as much knowledge as possible about sport cruisers in this general size range in the last few years, this is a very interesting thread. Thank you for sharing your opinions and knowledge! Hope it keeps going.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I ran a 2004' 59' Feretti a few times and was very impressed with a lot of things on it. Mainly the size of the boat internally. It was very beamy and there was a lot of room in the salon, staterooms, and so forth. It also was fast for it's size and power and seemed to handle fairly well. You would have to start backing down in a 3-5' sea most likely though. 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.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Those last (3) sentences impressed me (not in a good way). Add to that Faretti's financial situation and I doubt I'd recommend one.
  12. Opcn

    Opcn Senior Member

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    If the boat is rigid enough to prevent shifting screwed and glued can actually provide superior results. Dovetailing by jig in production is not difficult, if you are doing 100 identical drawers in one go it falls to a matter of tens of cents to maybe a dollar, depending on how smart you are about it, Some operations CNC mill their furniture and its literally a matter of a few seconds on a 5 axis. modern adhesives have made dovetails primarily an aesthetic feature in most applications. I still love them with all my heart, and I still practice at least once a week trying to get my hand cut dovetails up to snuff (they are not) because they are a source of pride in carpentry, but I digress. While I prefer wood in all applications where it is even remotely feasible there are legitimate (non-financial) final product quality reasons for doing it the way they did.
  13. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Opcn, perhaps you can tell us what material was used in this superior way, as it wasn´t wood?
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    The info will probably be written in UNICODE and be on a CD that can't be found at the moment.

    When I first became involved in yachts I was amazed how little real wood is used even on boats costing over $100m there is a lot of Plywood, MDF and veneer.
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, this is true on many yachts and as we all know a yacht is a compromise between performance, looks, use etc etc. Real wood is heavy in comparison to MDF, or divinycell with a veneer over it. For example, I'm pretty sure "The World is Not Enough" doesn't have 1 piece of solid wood on the interior, anywhere. Everything was built with weight in mind and all of the interior doors and such are divinycell with a veneer over them. Same with the granite countertops in the galley on that yacht.

    I think what OPCN was trying to get across is that, synthetic materials can be stronger in a lot of uses then wood, or at least more durable in the long run. For example MDF is a lot lighter then solid wood of it's thickness, and with a veneer applied properly can be very very strong. Galley cabinet drawers made out of lexan or a similar material can be as strong as wood, if not stronger, yet weigh less, and last a long long time, and be easier to make.

    While a yacht built with real wood is beautiful, like a classic Trumphy. Where everything you see on the interior is built by a craftsman and every cabinet you open and closet and such is a work of art. Weight is an issue, as is longevity as is price. I don't think there are as many true wood workers around that have the craftsmanship as in the old days.
  16. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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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.
  17. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    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.
  18. lwrandall

    lwrandall senior member

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    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.
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    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.
  20. CapLady

    CapLady Senior Member

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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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