The Azimut 55S is a 56-foot sports cruiser yacht that was launched by Azimut in 2011. One of the few Azimut vessels to boast triple Volvo Penta IPS pod-drive engines, this is likely to be one of the quickest yachts of this size you are ever likely to set foot on. The 55S is also a nautical work of art, boasting a sleek Stefano Righini-designed profile with plenty of geometric angles and dramatic glazing, as well as a sparkling and minimalist interior from the refined hand of Carlo Galeazzi. The Azimut 55S was an immediate hit after its introduction, quickly becoming one of the Italian boat building firm’s bestselling models. Critics, too, were seduced by the yacht’s blend of unmitigated power and undeniable style, with the vessel bagging the prize for “Best Production Boat” at the Robb Report’s 2013 Best of the Best awards, as well as the titles for “Most Innovative Yacht” and “Yacht with the Best Interior and Layout” at the 2012 World Yacht Trophies held in Cannes.
The main deck level on the 55S comes with plenty of outdoor space from which to enjoy the sunshine, including a wide forebridge with a low-slung, leather sofa fitted into a faux-Portuguese bridge, as well as a three-pad sunbed with backrests towards the bow. At the rear of the vessel there is a spacious teak-lined aft cockpit with a hook-shaped transom sofa and a breakfast table, and side steps down to a hydraulic swimming platform that doubles in length as well as a spacious tender garage.
Thanks to extensive side glazing in the shape of cresting waves, a wide windshield, a retractable glass sunroof and tempered sliding glass doors to the rear, the cockpit never feels cramped or enclosed: with all the windows open this yacht very much has the feel of an open-top, boasting an unrivalled connection to the elements of air, sea and sun. The aft salon is given over to a hidden starboard side galley with Miele appliances, a 4-hob range, stainless-steel worktops and a large fridge-freezer, while to port there is a long U-shaped leather dining sofa with a table. At the front of the cockpit there is a helm station with a pair of piloting chairs and a snug daybed. Interiors feature lavish materials such as striped Zebrano wood, Italian leather, teak flooring, chrome fixtures and neutral-tone upholstery for a restrained, contemporary feel.
On the lower deck you will find a surprising amount of space thanks to the pod-drives, which take up less space than conventional engines and is a top choice for Azimut. There is a side berth with a pair of Pullman beds, an en suite master stateroom towards the bow with a queen-sized bed, and an owner’s stateroom with full-beam dimensions positioned amidship. The owner’s room boasts a king-sized island bed, a pair of armchairs, a work desk, plenty of closet space and a large bathroom with a walk-in shower. Lower deck rooms benefit from plenty of natural light thanks to dramatic knife-insert windows built into the hull sides, while the owner’s room features 6-pane mullions for a Manhattan loft feel.
Thrill seekers will love steering this vessel through the waves thanks to the three Volvo IPS 600 pod-drive engines that help this yacht reach top speeds of around 36 knots. Consistent and comfortable cruising, meanwhile, sits in the upper 20 knot range, while acceleration from zero to top speed in as little as 35 seconds will leave rival yachts far behind. At lower cruising speeds of around 7 knots, meanwhile, the Azimut 55S boasts a range of around 1000 nautical miles, making this a surprisingly great option for longer cruising. A super-structure crafted out of hi-tech carbon-fiber keeps this yacht lightweight with a low center-of-gravity, while a snub-nosed bow and a composite planing hull offers a sharp entry into the waves and spray rails that give extra lift. A Raymarine electronics system ensures that piloting is easy and intuitive even for novices, while the use of a Volvo Penta joystick makes this a responsive and agile ride.