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The Azimut 80 Carat is an open and largely informal family yacht, a trait she shares with other models in the Azimut line. Her informality does not imply any lack of quality in her finish, however. Cherry bulkheads, cabinetry and overhead accents are highly detailed, well fitted and finished in high-gloss lacquer that twinkles with clear reflections of recessed overhead lights.
Upholstered furniture, soft bulkhead panels and dramatically shaped overheads are in neutral hues that nicely complement the woodwork. Her countertops are granite. The master head sole is marble, while wood is used in other heads. The sole of the in-line galley is upgraded to marble and is easy to clean and comfortable on the feet.
The Carat's profile, from the talented hand of stylist Stephano Righini, identifies her as a sister to other Azimut yachts, both larger and smaller. Yet unlike Azimut’s that have a large, continuous oval pattern in the deckhouse window, the Carat's window is divided by a sizable "dorsal fin” post. It eases the earlier look's boldness and blends nicely into the curves of the pilothouse and flying bridge.
This boat's size puts her on the cusp of that point between owner-operated and crewed yacht, maybe a little past it. Only the most capable family will want to cruise her alone. Most will carry at least a captain, perhaps a mate, too.
The full-beam master is near amidships, where pitch will be minimal. The master has a vanity and a large walk-in locker to port, and a comfortable settee to starboard. The head includes a spacious shower, a bidet and two sinks.
VIP guests are accommodated in a bow stateroom with an island queen berth. The remaining four guests occupy two twin-berth cabins, port and starboard between the master and VIP staterooms. Though more compact, the twin cabins are finished and outfitted as nicely as the two main staterooms. For example, the VIP and twin cabins have nearly identical heads: All have circular showers with water outlets overhead that provide the rain-showering equivalent of surround sound. Curved acrylic shower doors rotate out of the way when not in use, allowing extra floor space in front of the toilet and sink.
The Carat's dining arrangement lies on the main deck's starboard side. The layout includes an oval dining table surrounded by four chairs inboard, and a large banquette outboard. The galley lies to port, facing the table with a beautifully built tambour panel which allows the galley to remain open as a buffet for informal dinners and cocktail parties. During more formal meals, the panel can be closed for privacy.
A lower helm is forward of the galley. Aft, the salon has fixed seating on two settees facing an entertainment center in the after corner of the room. Like many yachts, the Carat has a power sliding glass door in a glass bulkhead aft, but unlike many other such doors, Azimut's is weathertight. It includes an innovative system that offsets as it closes, sealing tightly against a gasket.
The afterdeck is spacious and fully protected from sun and rain by the extended flying-bridge deck above. Full-length side decks and aft mooring stations with raised capstans, cleats and roller fairleads make docking a snap.
A single stairway leads to an integral swim platform. In port or at anchor, a transom door provides entry to the engine-room and, through it, access to the crew's quarters. Stern stowage lockers large enough for personal watercraft flank the door.
Accessibility in the engine-room is good outboard of the engines, excellent in all other areas. Additional safety features include emergency fire dampers on the ventilation ducts and a structural cage around the V-drive shaft, features too often omitted in similar class vessels.
The flying-bridge deck is huge. Even with a tender stowed aft and a large sunpad, there is still plenty of room for socializing. The driver's pod at the centerline helm has enough space for a companion on either side. Abaft, curved settees flank a small table with what Azimut calls a perimeter leaf. This expands the table by wrapping around, rather than inserting in, the smaller top.
In addition to an open aft stair, an innovative alternating-tread wood stair accesses the flying bridge from the galley. Steeper than most stairs to preserve space, it has footpads rather than full-width treads. It is a clever design that has proved safer than inclined ladders in applications afloat and ashore.
Performance and Handling
She tracks true and is good in turns, with moderate inboard banking, little loss of speed and no noticeable bow drop. In moderate seas the ride is easy with no pounding or slap, and inside, the boat is quiet enough for normal conversation at the helm.
Encountering a combination of swells and small chop is not the same as running in heavy weather, but the Carat's V-hull with a fine entry and 12 degrees of deadrise at the transom takes on the seas with ease.
Navigational controls are straightforward and easy to operate, and response to the wheel and throttles is immediate and predictable.
She tops out at 31.4 knots at 2300 rpm, being equipped with MTU series 2000 M-91 developing 1,500 hp each.
The Azimut 80 Carat's combination of reliable composite construction, interior and exterior comfort, smart yet subdued styling and excellent performance make her a jewel worthy of consideration. She is suitable for formal or informal entertaining, day-tripping or extended cruising.