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New Azimut 50 Fly

Discussion in 'Azimut Yacht' started by Mike Jvel, Oct 19, 2016.

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  1. Mike Jvel

    Mike Jvel New Member

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    I just traded my Sea Ray for a 2016 Azimut 50 Fly. I'll let you know how it goes in the first year. So far, I'm at least as impressed with the build quality and materials as I was with the Sea Ray. Everything looks robust and serviceable in the US.
  2. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Congrats on the new boat and welcome to YF! We love when owners document their ownership experience.
  3. gteipel

    gteipel New Member

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    Mike, I purchased an Azimut 43 last year and traded in a 355 Sea Ray. I can say one thing about Sea Ray is their parts manual and getting parts. Azimut need to put a lock on their parts department door! I like my boat!!
  4. Mike Jvel

    Mike Jvel New Member

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    I'm glad to hear you like your new Azimut. So, you were not happy with Sea Ray?
  5. Mike Jvel

    Mike Jvel New Member

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    Having owned 3 Sea Rays in the last 10 years and recently purchasing an Azimut, I have considered all I have read and heard about the dangers of switching from a solid American company to a European brand without an equivalent dealer network and parts availability. First, I need to start by saying that if you have not seen late model Azimuts and you are generalizing issues with build quality from pre 2010 years, your generalizations do not apply. Something changed for the better in their design and construction after 2013. There can be no comparison made with any accuracy between older Azimuts and current models. Of course, the jury is still out and I will report my experience over time.

    I have read all the negative online reviews and experiences of Azimut owners, even those of current models and there seems to be a common denominator, electrical. There are a lot of complaints with motors, compressors, and electronics. I realized that my boat did not come with an isolation boosting transformer, like my recent 10 year old Sea Ray had. It wasn't even an option on the Azimut. Why? Well in Europe, they are on 240V and don't have floating docks. Voltage is stable and more forgiving. Here in the US, especially in the Boston area, shore power is terribly unstable. Voltage drops kill motors, compressors, and electronics. I don't think the European designers and engineers are privy to that fact about our American electricity. Everything is supposed to be better in America. right? Guess what my first upgrade will be before the boat hits the water. Hopefully, electrical issues will be eliminated from my problem list.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I manage 10 yachts, only 1 of them has a voltage transformer. I have been managing/maintaining over 10 yachts for almost 15 years now (all different ones). If your dock has low voltage then a step up transformer will help. We don't have any issues with pumps or anything on all of them. Azimut's electrical is by far and wide crap. poke and stick electrical terminals, mickey mouse connectors, euro trash electrical panels and terminal blocks that are 90% plastic,wiring run poorly, and on and on.
  7. Mike Jvel

    Mike Jvel New Member

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    I see you are in Ft. Lauderdale. We spend the better part of our short summer season repairing docks and their electrical systems after harsh winters. Ice, salt on the docks, heavy winds straining the floating docks, and freezing temperatures take a toll on the wiring, connectors and posts. Talk about Mickey Mouse connectors, you should see the condition of the shore power on our old wooden docks up here. Outages, inoperable outlets, arcing, fires, and brown outs especially at the end of the docks where they put the big boats are not unusual. The big boats are at the end of the run at our marina. If you have a 50A boat up here and don't have an isoboost transformer, you can bet on losing a modern fridge, or AC condenser like mtvernon did. The older components tend to be more forgiving. I believe American made appliances have a wider voltage range. Not to mention that your boat will be grounded together with every boat on the dock, including those with electrical leaks. All the more reason, to protect an electrically sensitive European fridge or AC condenser with an isoboost transformer.

    I don't see what you are describing of the electrical system on my 2016 50 Fly. Have you poked around the engine room and behind panels in one of the current Azimut models?
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Some of the marina's down here have crappy voltage too.....one large on in Miami has 208 volts.....3 phase split up but the transformers are no longer working etc.

    Current Azimut, no. But have friends that do or have and mentioned the same thing regarding electrical. One works for one of their warranty approved yards down here doing woodworking, but of course you see the electrical at the same time.
  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    The Wye transformers on most newer docks make a good 115Vac but 208Vac. It still delivers the required current and is not a real problem.
    Usually these transformers are on or near the docks and from this deliver better and constant Vac power and does not offer problems.
    The big problem is when people think there is an issue and use the IsoBoost transformers or step up the taps on the on board system transformers and forget; NOTHING is free.
    Voltage up, Amps are lost; Then you have problems.

    IMO, it's not 208Vac causing problems on Muts or SleyRays, It's poor current managing.

    Kids, you can not draw 40Amps on one 115Vac leg and expect the whole 208/230Vac to deliver 50Amps over all to deliver proper current to the A/C and heavy equipment.
    You change the tap to find 230Vac and now only get 40 to 45 Amps.
    Something is going to get hot AND FAIL.
    This is where most of these Vac problems are.

    As on the US converted Muts and other short-thought out electrical service systems, Some kid forgot you can only get so many Amps on a wire to run things.

    Yes, some docks have problems. I have found it's mostly the bote with the issues.

    This will be my only defense on da Muts.
  10. Mike Jvel

    Mike Jvel New Member

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    Yes, sir. If you don
    Yes, Sir. If you don't have eyes on the monitors it is easy to screw things up, especially running the whole boat off one 50A cord. As you said, using an isoboost transformer to keep the electronics in the happy range may drop the available amperage, which will cause them to get hot if you are drawing more than what is available after the voltage boost. I'd bet money most yacht owner know nothing about any of this and that's why they are able to complain about parts availability. They are burning out their electrical components by either low voltage or drawing more amps than what is available in the one cord. That is not hard to do.

    I plan to run one cord most of the time, but will put the voltage on autopilot with the isoboost transformer. I hope to protect the boat from voltage drops without having to constantly have eyes on the display. Plus, if the voltage drops without the isoboost, the only option you have is to disconnect from shore power. Now, knowing I may lose amperage by boosting voltage, I can limit my use at the panel and keep that under the available amperage. That is easy enough to do by shutting off a non-critical high load device or two and watching that the crew don't run the microwave, toaster, and hair dryer while the hot water heater and AC are cranking. Those times can be anticipated and the generator can be switched on or that second shore power cord can be put to use.
  11. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    50a. 208 is crappy, I have been running our 70ft on 50a 240 since 1991 with zero issues, and being on board over the winter with lots of radiant heat, cooking, reverse cycle a.c etc, as soon as you go to 208 Marinas and turn on the boost, problems start with low AMPS in comparison to 240 and you had better be aware of those issues.
  12. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Weh, I thought you were talking about me..

    Ya got to remember, when you go to that Iso-Boost thingie, You do not have the current (Amps) you had on the 230/240 line.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That's true, but you're using less amps at the higher voltage. But it keeps your electronic items, which just about everything has, are happy
  14. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Reinforcing...
  15. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Volts x Amps ( current) = Watts.
    The appliance draws current in amps.
    The lower the voltage the more current the appliance will draw to do the same job.
    If an appliance is rated at 240 it will run on 208 volts but not as efficiently because the lower voltage causing higher current draw by the appliance.
    If the appliance is rated at 120, then either 240 or 208 volt system will be fine because they both read 120 volts to neutral.

    This is all well and good to use an iso transformer but the voltage can and will vary depending on the load of the boat, the load of the pier, the load of the entire marina and even the community around the marina depending on how far from the source you are.

    Hot August days and everyone has the AC running in every boat, home and RV and the utility system is being stressed to it's limits in some cases. that is when you could see the overall voltage on the utility system drop which is related to larger voltage drops the further from the source you get.

    Now assume the original marina electrician installed the minimum sized wire to save money or for whatever reason.
    If the conductors feeding a pedestal 200 feet ( 100 feet out and 100 feet back for voltage drop calculations ) from shore are not over-sized, then there is an additional facet to the equation.
    Conductors too small for the load and the distance, chokes the voltage a little more and the drop is even more and the current draw is a little more.

    Now add a bad outlet or cord connector into the mix. More resistance, another voltage choke point.

    If you have a 50 amp- 125/250 volt cord to your boat and you are drawing nearly 50 amps at full load, you will probably see some voltage drop.
    If you can manage your load to, which is a PITA, to draw 80% or less, you MAY not experience the voltage drop as bad.
    That being said, it is still a function of many facets, unknowns and variables to get good electric.

    The current is drawn by the appliance and only governed by the Iso-thingy if the overall load is GREATER than the Iso-thingy's rated output or if the load is greatly out of balance.
  16. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    My Iso-Thingy coment was to make light of the voltage boost it provides from 208 to 230Vac. This in not free. It takes current to raise the voltage level.
    Now you don't have the current you may thought you may have had.
    Then your comment makes better light that " overall load is GREATER than the Iso-thingy's rated output" (now lowered) and Must involve better monitoring and balancing, as you stated.
  17. Mike Jvel

    Mike Jvel New Member

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    Aside from protection from brownouts, the isolation boosting transformer also removes the boat from the daisy chain that makes all of its underwater metals protect the entire string of boats. I suspect that the corrosion problems relating to the lift are partially caused by the lack of isolation from other boats in the marina. I also agree that not having anodes on the lift, using the wrong anodes, or painting the anodes are service related issues that can cause the corrosion. Not having an isolation transformer in a million plus dollar yacht is pound foolish. Perhaps it is not necessary in Europe with stable 230V standard and masonry piers. It is not out of the realm of reality that many of the Azimut electrical problems voiced in online forums are preventable with power management.
  18. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    I do not see many boats come out standard out of the box with galvanic isolators fitted (that is what we call them here).
    Obviously some inexperienced owners will never tick the box for this and see it a waste of money useless item.
    But if you have a good captain it is one of the things he would get or retrofit in a boat straight away.

    Most big marinas in the Med are pretty stable but in some of the small marinas or on the temporary summer berths, electricity does get to be unstable in Summer. (190-200v from 220)
    Obviously this happens in Summer when you have large yachts (50 feet plus) screwing electricity with AC going on at full power etc, and a whole list of other gizmos going on.
    Yachts in Summer are like homes so everything is working at full tilt in cruising season.
    I have no experience of the US so really cannot comment.
  19. Mike Jvel

    Mike Jvel New Member

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    I have some experience and information to report. The most important thing to understand about Azimut is that it is a European designed and equipped yacht. That is to say that it is different in some ways. Not worse, but different. In some ways better.

    You will need to spend some time studying and understanding how it is different. For example, raw water pumps have permanent bronze impellers, not rubber impellers. The grey water pumps out underwater from a large holding tank. Everything runs on 24V DC. Fridges and pumps have a narrow range of working voltage, not 120-240V, like American systems. There are no Cruisair units with raw water cooling. There are 7 chillers that circulate antifreeze from the engine compartment.

    I can't find fault with the design or equipment, except that is does not come with an isolation or boosting transformer. If you buy one in the US, then you have to have an isolation AND boosting transformer, just like all big Sea Rays, Tiara's, Carvers, etc have. Why? Because American shore power is terribly unreliable compared to European shore power. In Europe, you med moor to the concrete pier that has 240V power installed and grounded on land at your mooring. European 240V power is robust and reliable. In America, you attach to floating docks that have overtaxed and poorly maintained, fluxuating 190-240V electrical lines constantly moving under the docks. Your ground needs to connect with every boat on the dock before it reaches land. Why is this a problem? Because this boat has two 50A power cords that need to be connected to run the boat properly. Are you familiar with all the Azimut electrical issues reported online? In my opinion, they are due to one thing, human error. The error is not understanding the design of the boat and specs of the electrical equipment and not installing an isolation/boosting transformer or monitoring the boat's electric use. What does that mean? It means plugging in both 50A cords at the dock or when using one, make sure the voltage stays above 220 AND the amperage use stays below 50. If you are only plugged into one and approach 50A, you will see the voltage drop below 220. What happens when your voltage drops below 220? The electrical components that you did not read the specs on, receive a lower voltage and a higher current than they are designed for. Then, they fail. If you are on one 50A cord, shut off high powered items, like the hot water heater, SeaKeeper, and chiller if you are going to use the stove, grill, or oven. If you don't you will burn out compressors and pumps. What happens if you tie into all the other boats on the dock for your ground? Galvanic corrosion. Get an isolation transformer.

    The most important point is that this is not an entry level, turn key machine. Don't expect it to run without understanding, monitoring, and maintaining things. This is not Europe, so if you buy an Azimut, use both 50A cords if you are not capable of frequently monitoring your electric use. Definitely, install an isoboost transformer to keep yourself isolated from all the other boats on the dock and boost the dock voltage to the specs of your equipment.

    Mechanically, the boat has no more problems than any other new boat on the first month's shake down. The punch list is shorter than my previous new Sea Rays. An isolation and boosting transformer is on that list. Until then, I will minimize my grounding to the dock and monitor my electric use to keep it at or above 220.

    The seaworthiness and build quality is as good or better than US yachts. Better in that the hull is vacuum formed and not sprayed. No shards of fiberglass when reaching behind panels. Everything is smooth, white, and finished on the inside. All electrical and plumbing is neatly run and labeled. It is better in that it is built to CE Category A Ocean standards. Comparable American yachts are built to Category B Off-Shore standards. The hull is strong. You can feel the difference in heavy seas. The Seakeeper necessitates a more robust stringer system. The upper deck is formed with carbon fiber. I've seen it inside. The hull does not flex. Doors open and close with the same force, no matter if on land, in the water, or during or after running in seas. That was not my experience with prior American built boats.

    The hull design is excellent. Fuel load is well balanced. Cruise speed is an easy 25 knots at 2100 RPM with full fluids. I've topped out at 32 knots.

    So far, I am pleased and report positively on the Azimut 50Fly.
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You keep saying "compared to American yachts". What American yachts are you comparing to as I'm struggling to think of one in that size range and like the Azimut. I guess Marquis and Cruisers come to mind. Really though in shopping for the type boat you have in it's size you're talking UK or Italy, with a little France tossed in and at least one Dutch. Compare to Hatteras or Westport and it's not going to be fair to it.