The launch of the Grande 27M in 2018 was a success for Azimut, both with the public and with the market, such that the model became a benchmark in the category. Azimut hopes to duplicate that success with the Grande 26M, presented at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September. The new model offers solutions designed for superyachts, but on a 26-meter boat. It also offers an innovative propulsion system designed to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 20 percent. The model has encountered an enthusiastic reception with 22 units sold within two months of its launch.
When it refers to a yacht, the term “super” identifies specific characteristics, which the Grande 26M delivers through smart design choices that reflect the expectations of demanding owners in terms of the onboard experience. The model has five cabins, including a full-beam owner’s suite on the main deck, and completely separated guest and crew flows. These distinctive features along with a large flybridge—50 square meters, all on the same level—have never been seen before on a yacht this size, the company says.
“The project was driven by the enthusiasm to create a compact superyacht, with five cabins, an enormous flybridge and a larger cockpit than usual for the category, which we wanted to extend to give the yacht a fully fledged dining area overlooking the water,” says Alberto Mancini, the designer of the Grande 26M’s exteriors
One result is what Azimut calls the Deck2Deck™ Terrace, the first of its kind, created using a transom extension system. The Deck2Deck™ Terrace is formed by raising the teak-clad garage door to expand the size of the cockpit to over 18 square meters. The walkaround table, when extended, seats up to eight guests in an al fresco dining room with a view out over the water.
The creative design approach behind the Grande 26M is also reflected in the interiors, particularly in the choice of a partially raised wheelhouse, which, taken together with a smaller engine room resulting from the innovative Large POD propulsion system and the light carbon fiber superstructure (more volume for the same weight), offers interior designer Achille Salvagni plenty of space to express his vision of organic architecture, in which the elements created by the designer are in complete harmony with the natural environment.
The yacht’s interior shapes and hues are soft and warm like the marine environment seen through full-height windows on the main deck and in the owner’s suite. Color accents in various settings on the yacht act as playful, but discreet elements with which Salvagni sparks the imagination: the cobalt blue of the sofa and the suspended lamp over the dining table, the orange coffee table, the eye-catching chromatic details inside the cabins. The oak floor conjures up the warmth of teak, while the boards laid at a 45-degree angle give the impression of even wider spaces.
The star of the show is the owner’s cabin on the main deck, which is flooded with light through two full-height, glazed surfaces and represents a unique feature in this market segment. Salvagni’s idea was to rethink the spaces in the suite, mixing the settings to offer greater depth. The cabin and bathroom are connected by an open dressing area, bathed in natural light entering through original cell-shaped windows that feature curved, flowing lines. The same shape also appears in the handrail incorporated in the wall leading to the raised wheelhouse.
Azimut has been investing in research for more than 10 years to develop innovative solutions that reduce the environmental impact of its boats. It was among the first brands to believe in POD propulsion systems. Drawing on its extensive experience, the yard developed the new Large POD 4600 propulsion system for the Grande 26M in partnership with ZF. The system, combined with a 30 percent lighter superstructure achieved through the extensive use of carbon fiber, delivers 20 percent lower fuel consumption at the most frequent speeds.
These percentages are unmatched on the market today and have been achieved without compromising performance. The PODs pivot, eliminating the need for a rudder and the associated drag to achieve unrivalled performance for maneuvering and reaching high speeds, and the Grande 26M accelerates effortlessly to 28 knots. Compared with the POD systems already available on the market, the new ZF POD 4600 system was developed to increase efficiency on larger boats for the first time, with top speeds between 20 and 30 knots. An additional benefit of the system is higher torque at low speeds for easier maneuvering. The system is hybrid ready. The builder says its future is sustainable.
The Grande 26M joins Azimut’s fleet of Low Emission Yachts, which now includes more than half the brand’s models. These boats guarantee a 20 to 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions, compared with equivalent shaft-line models with hard-chine hulls. This result has been achieved by combining three key factors: the adoption of innovative propulsion systems; the development of increasingly efficient hulls, tailored to master the challenges of each series’ mission; and extensive use of carbon fiber to reduce weight.
Azimut, founded by Paolo Vitelli in 1969 and part of the Azimut|Benetti Group, offers owners a wide range of motoryachts from 42 to 125 feet in length, organized in six series (Verve, Atlantis, Magellano, Flybridge, S and Grande). The path it has pursued over the years has reconciled steady growth with an entrepreneurial philosophy focused on the major issues raised by environmental and social sustainability. With headquarters in Avigliana (Turin), Azimut has five production facilities in Italy (Avigliana, Fano, Viareggio, Savona and Varazze) and one in Brazil, in Itajai, and a presence in 80 countries through a network of sales and customer service centres and representative offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Fort Lauderdale and Itajai.
For more information: azimutyachts.com