power_boat_review-azimut_53-largeThe brand new Azimut 53 Sedan Bridge is a yacht for entertaining. The owner of our test boat, Tony Romanelli of RCC Media has made his new Azimut 53 the centerpiece of his lifestyle. His young family includes a preschooler; their home is a downtown waterfront condominium, within walking distance of the marina. On a summer morning, he can walk to the boat to check it out, enjoy some coffee plan his day, set up meetings and even use it as a floating boardroom. His physical company offices are north of the city so this represents significant time saving. At the end of the day, the whole family can cast off for a scenic cruise around the Toronto islands and harbour. And of course, the Azimut is perfect for luxurious vacations whatever your destination: Georgian Bay, the Thousand Islands or even down Florida's Intracoastal Waterway.

One of the most rewarding things about owning a yacht like this is being able to share the enjoyment of the experience with family and friends. This new Azimut 53 stands ready to be the entertainer. With an actual overall length of 54'9" on a beam of 16'2", the new 53 Sedan Bridge is a three stateroom, three head yacht that includes a separate crew cabin, spacious salon, dinette, full galley on the main deck and barbecue galley on the bridge. And, even that summary doesn't cover all the comfortable or handy areas to carry on a private conversation or read a good book.

We have to start our overview on the flying bridge because this is exceptional. The bridge helm is off to the port side with a fixed seat, ZF electronic controls for the 715 hp C12 ACERT Caterpillar high-tech diesel engines, navigation screens and basic engine instruments. Surrounding the helm is an amazing expanse of sun pad forward, protected by a large venture-type windscreen. It is the perfect spot for small children to sit so the captain can keep a close watch; there is space for a large number of passengers. The view from the bridge is commanding, of course, and Azimut has given the 53 Sedan Bridge a dramatic radar arch and framework for a sun shade that slides out to cover the whole bridge.

The bridge deck also extends out over the cockpit and, optionally, an owner can have an aft-facing sun pad here or a spot for life rafts, dinghies or other equipment. On our test boat, the bridge was adorned with real teak flooring, a removable teak picnic table and overhead lighting. A refreshment area with barbecue grill and refrigerator will undoubtedly make this a favourite place to spend the day.

The beautifully laid teak flooring extends all the way from the aft edge of the swim platform, through the cockpit and up the side decks right to the bow. It looks fabulous, it's lovely to walk on in your bare feet and it will offer good grip as well.

On our test boat, the swim platform was set up to carry personal watercraft with a hydraulic lift. There's a pull-out boarding ladder, transom shower and gate into the cockpit. The cockpit is nicely sized with a U-shaped aft seat which provides headroom for the crew cabin lying beneath. The crew cabin includes a single berth, storage areas and a private head; the laundry facilities are also located there. It's also served by a separate air conditioner. Access is through a hatch and ladder.

The seat is large enough for two or three couples to enjoy dinner on the aft deck with the overhead halogen lighting, sitting around the removable teak table. Two elegant folding chairs are included and these stow in the salon under one of the seats.

To accommodate different types of marinas and mooring opportunities, Azimut includes an Opacmare hydraulic boarding ramp with an integrated handrail that can be raised and lowered with a remote control. There are also doors in the cockpit sides when that is more convenient.

One of the most dramatic features of the 53 is the full glass aft bulkhead to the salon. Although wooden Venetian blinds and drapes are included throughout the boat, the huge expanse of side glass, enormous forward facing windshields and the glass aft bulkhead really expand the main deck making it feel even larger than its 53 feet. As you enter the salon, attractive cabinets up the starboard side include an electric lift for a large flat screen television, climate controls, electrical panels, wine racks and drawers fitted for glassware. Opposite on the port side is a comfortable couch and two hassocks as convenient added seating, or as end tables with storage inside. Love those little touches!

The galley, dinette and main helm are up a step. The galley is on the port side with a home-type refrigerator built into the cabinetry, sink, microwave and three-burner ceramic stovetop with serious potholders.

Stylish cabinetry with a glass-top shelf divides the galley from the companionway and gives you both a placed to serve from and also drawers fitted for dishes and glasses.

The dinette is particularly good and has a clever feature as well. The U-shaped layout could accommodate 6 to 8 around the handsome wooden table. There is storage underneath and the front seat back is electric, enabling you to reposition that backrest to make a double helm seat when it's time to castoff.

The interior helm is very complete, surrounded by vast areas of structurally mounted glass with Azimut's trademark opening side glass panel that looks like a protractor. Incidentally, the side glass has a slight mirror finish to reduce the greenhouse effect. There are also serious double-arm windshield wipers because the designers expect this boat to be run from the interior helm a fair bit to take advantage of the A/C.

Down the companionway and directly ahead is the forward guest stateroom with double bed and very innovative glass areas in the bow as well as an escape hatch overhead. The mid cabin is particularly impressive with six-foot headroom throughout the area, two single berths, significant areas of storage and a porthole.

Perhaps most impressive for a yacht this size is the full beam master stateroom. This has a queen berth, standing headroom throughout and simply remarkable side glass built into the hull. A lot of daylight comes into this stateroom and your vantage point is only a foot or so off the water. It's a real design innovation from Azimut. Another great feature is the port-side table where two can sit and talk, play cards or use it as an office desk. The table top also lifts to reveal a makeup table. Of course, there is also a full private head with enclosed shower.

Even considering the price will be something above the million and a half range, there is a lot of yacht here. And it really goes too!

The twin 715 hp Caterpillar diesels are simple and robust traditional shaft drives;the hull is a modified vee with sharp entry but flattened out aft sections for lift and efficiency. It seems to run happily at almost all speeds, accelerating with determination and reaching an impressive 37.5 mph top speed.

The steering and tracking are precise and it can carve a tight turn at speed too. Test conditions were mill pond flat but we expect a comfortable and capable ride in rough weather.

Around the docks, Azimut (a very large builder with plenty of resources) has developed their own joystick docking solution they call Xenta which coordinates the main engines and bow and stern thrusters to pivot, move sideways and to control small docking adjustments.

Overall, this is a high-style yacht with strong performance and a level of accommodation that we feel is top-of-class.

By Andy Adams

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

Destinations

  • Prev
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...

Mediterranean Shakedown: A Summer Cruise in Spain

Mediterranean ShakedownBy Sheryl and Paul Shard

This summer my husband, Paul, and I bought our fourth offshore cruising boat, a new Southerly 480 built by Discovery Yachts in the UK. It’s a unique boat with a retractable variable-draft swing keel giving you the option of sailing with a deep draft of 3.1 metres when the keel is down or just less than a metre with the keel fully retracted. Southerly Yachts are great for bluewater sailing and also for gunkholing in shallow creeks and inland waterways. You can even dry them out at low tide so they are is the perfect boat for the type of exploring we like to do. Our new boat, Distant Shores III, is the third Southerly Yacht that we’ve owned over 29 years of international cruising to destinations in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Middle East, UK, Scandinavia and South America. This boat we plan to sail to the South Pacific.

Read more about the Shards' cruise in Spain...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...
Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...

Beneteau Antares 27

Beneteau Antares 27By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

You have to love it when something exceeds your expectations on so many levels; the new Antares 27 from Beneteau looks to me like that sort of all-around overachiever.

This is a brand new express cruiser design. With twin Mercury 200 V6 outboards, it delivers impressive performance, a reassuring and comfortable ride, and a level of versatility that will enable this boat to be your vacation partner for all sorts of adventures.

Read more about the Antares 27...

 

 

 

 

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read More about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 

Ask Andrew: Electrical Installations – Part 1: Electrical Connections - basics and how-to’s

Electrical InstallationsBy Andrew McDonald

Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is aboard, areas of improvement and ways to upgrade.

One of the most common jobs that I’m asked to look at are electrical installations and upgrades. Surprisingly, the majority of these types of jobs are to ‘clean up’ the wiring of years past – when electrical standards were more fluid, and jury-rigged upgrades have been added and adapted over multiple owners and contractors.

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
Most of us have heard of fuel additives, whether it be for gasoline or diesel. But which one to ...
While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...