Azimut Atlantis 43
I’ve been working with Italians for nearly two decades and during this time have developed an appreciation for cultural nuances. Where Americans want a grande bucket of coffee with a straw, the typical Italian is happy with a small, yet effective espresso. We’re running around like madmen in our daily lives, heckling the poor sap that actually took some of his allotted vacation time from work, while Italians plan to spend a fair portion of the month of August with family. We go from office to car to home to office with nary a break but walk through any Italian town at sunset and you’ll notice people congregating outside, enjoying the outdoors and each other. And it’s within this context of Italian culture that the 43 finds her DNA.
Take the outside living space for example. It’s extremely functional and versatile with an aft sunpad that conceals dedicated fender stowage, along with a movable backrest to form either forward- or aft-facing seating. The seating rests atop a garage, which can house a small tender up to 6 feet 9 inches long. Additionally the platform lowers and can be equipped to handle a slightly larger tender. Personally, I’d go with the platform option to allow for better mechanical access from the garage.
The portside wet bar has space for a refrigerator/freezer or optional ice maker. The starboard settee surrounds a teak table and can seat up to seven comfortably for outdoor meals. I’m not kidding. Opposite, on the forward port side is a raised bench seat that converts to a forward-facing chaise longue, and also allows for the guest stateroom’s decent headroom below. Don’t judge the functionality of this arrangement at the dock. You need to test its merits while running. During our sea trial in what can only be described as snotty weather, this area became the prime spot to sit back and relax.
It’s not surprising that a boat built in the country that developed the concept of al fresco has not one, not two, but four exterior areas for lounging and relaxing. There’s the helm chaise, the U-shaped settee, and sunpads on the bow and stern. Access to the forward deck from the cockpit was safe thanks to well-placed handholds and grippy teak decks. The 43 pushes the width of the deckhouse right to the limit, resulting in relatively narrow side decks. A large, soft, opening sunroof turned the 43 into an open express in less than a minute and opening side windows were a welcome benefit during our summer sea trial. Although there is a double helm seat, the center wheel orientation really creates a one-person show while running. The unobstructed, single-pane windshield made driving through an active commercial boating area stress-free.
Within the nearly 14-foot beam, which is carried well aft, there are two staterooms and two heads, a larger galley than other similarly sized express boats, loads of stowage, and a bright and airy saloon area. The light walnut and fabrics avoid the cave-like feeling typically found on this category of boat. The aft guest stateroom tucked under the helm deck features twin berths, which can also join to form a double. An optional layout places another single berth on the port side.
While running at a high cruise speed in the 20-knot range in a foul sea with rollers and whitecaps, there was no creaking or groaning of interior woodwork. The seas were stacked high and close. In 4- to 5-footers with spray blowing off the whitecaps, we were able to effortlessly maintain plane at 14 knots. You want a boat that can find this sweet spot and get you home comfortably. It’s not always about top speed! (Which is 35 knots by the way and the thrust from the stern drives is fantastic.) I pushed the throttles beyond 2500 rpm, trimmed the Volvo-Penta DPH stern drives up slightly and we were cruising around 25 knots. Remarkably, if I kept the seas slightly off the bow quarter the variable V-hull with a 15-degree deadrise kept us dry as a bone.
The Azimut Atlantis 43 represents the best of Italian craftsmanship and design, yet the voluminous interior and versatile on-deck accommodations will satisfy demanding buyers on this side of the Atlantic too. Such a combination makes her unique in this size range. Perhaps it’s this ingenuity that defines the 43. Now that certainly is Italian.
Azimut Yachts; 888-429-6812; www.azimutyachts.com
: 21,400 lb.
: 237 gal.
: 108 gal.
: 2/400-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels
: 2/400-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels w/ DPH stern drives
: Upon request
: Volvo Penta DPH, 1.59:1 gear ratio