Like her larger sister, the Azimut Grande Trideck, the Azimut Grande 26M presents big-yacht solutions for so-called small-superyacht buyers. Exterior designer Alberto Mancini even explains, “The project was driven by the enthusiasm to create a compact superyacht.” With five staterooms, a flying bridge the same length as the main deck, and more, the mission succeeds.
Firstly, since owners and guests initially experience life aboard on the main deck, the Deck2Deck Terrace needs mention. It’s a section of the transom, clad in teak, which rises to main-deck level and effectively expands the cockpit dining area here. Overall, the larger space spans 194 square feet (18 square meters), rivaling that of larger megayachts, despite this being an 86-footer (26.09-meter). Opt for an expandable table to seat more than the 10 who can stay aboard. Or, simply enjoy the additional elbowroom and feeling of perching above the water.
Additionally unusual for an 86-footer, the Azimut Grande 26M not only has a main-deck master suite, but makes it two levels. The sleeping area benefits from nearly full-height and full-width windows, with opening ports, too, to each side. A few steps down forward, the en suite bath and wardrobe also have big windows. The split-level configuration comes from Achille Salvagni, the interior designer, who wanted to enhance usable space and the sense of volume. He even re-thought the windows themselves on the lower level. They’re organic shapes, like cells. Eagle-eyed owners and guests will spot the same shape characterizing the handrail up to the raised pilothouse (solely for navigation, therefore without an observation settee).
Arguably, the area onboard that makes the Azimut Grande 26M feel like a far larger yacht is her flying bridge. Extending the full length of the yacht, it’s 538 square feet (50 square meters) of relaxation and entertainment space. It’s the full beam, of course, as well. (Beam is 21 feet/6.3 meters.) At the Cannes Yachting Festival, where hull number one premiered, more than a dozen journalists were walking about the deck without being in each other’s way. From an open area aft where you can have loose furnishings or a tender, to a bar and dining area beneath the hardtop and a big settee adjacent to the extra helm, you’ll be surprised by how many amenities the flying bridge has for this LOA. You even get a pop-up television, adjacent to the helm chairs.
Capable of operation by a captain and two crew, or owner-operators, the Azimut Grande 26M has podded propulsion. The shipyard is using ZF’s POD 4600, which ZF created for megayachts to 130 feet (about 39.6 meters). Notably, Azimut is the first builder to use them, and this megayacht is the first to launch with them. Pod drives earn accolades for their ease of handling and having less drag. Anticipate a top speed of 28 knots, according to the shipyard. Azimut also says the system results in 20-percent less fuel burn in part due to the lighter-weight superstructure, which incorporates carbon fiber. Carbon fiber shaves about 30 percent off the weight in comparison to traditional all-fiberglass superstructures, the builder adds. On a side note, Azimut can install hybrid propulsion as an alternative.
When designer Alberto Mancini says that Azimut had “enthusiasm to create a compact superyacht,” apparently it was onto something. It says it signed 22 contracts within the first two months of the project’s public reveal in September.
Achille Salvagni Architetti salvagniarchitetti.net
AM Yacht Design amyachtdesign.com