I hate clichés. They’re just too easy. Don’t tell me an athlete gave 110 percent. Show me what he did to win the game. What’s the favorite cliché of boat salesmen? They endlessly and repetitively describe a smaller boat as “feeling more like a 50-footer.” Well, let the cliché police arrest me because the Azimut 43 feels bigger than it is. Check out the flying bridge. It has a hatch to close off the stairs, which some 50-footers don’t even have, plus seating for eight people and a 7’6″ chaise lounge alongside the helm seat for that special long-legged someone.
Out on the bow there’s a dedicated chainbox, something that’s often lacking on boats as big as 60′. When you want to reenter the cockpit, there are full transom gates, not hollow-center, tube-framed versions, on each side. From a rigging standpoint, the 43’s circuit breakers are zoned. Again, something you’d expect on bigger boats.
Are there areas where the 43 feels small? Watch your head when stepping into the lower helm or before getting into the berth in the guest cabin. And there’s only an inch of clearance above the engines, but overall, this boat is worthy of big consideration.
There aren’t many other European boats in this size range. One that you’ll want to check out is Fairline’s Phantom 40. With twin Volvo Penta D6-370s, it checks in at $658,000, but to me this boat just doesn’t feel as big as the Azimut.
WITHIN REACH. Aside from the minimal clearance above the motors and the absence of removable sections of decking above the strainers, I found access to the 43’s Cummins MerCruiser engines and accessories to be quite good.
Azimut located most of the accessories abaft the centrally located genset, which itself is at the tail end of the engine compartment. Pull aside the ladder and you can crawl aft to everything. Separators are installed on brackets bolted in place adjacent to the engines, and the genset has its own unit. Fuel lines are all double-clamped or swaged per the American Boat and Yacht Council’s guidelines. Even the trim tab lines are sealed from the inboard side and I could easily reach the rudder posts.
I’m a fan of Azimut’s recessing the fuel fill and the waste outlet beneath removable grates in the walking surface. My overall impression of the anchor locker was positive, but the hatch should open on a gas strut or at the very least have a device that keeps it from flopping against the top of the Quick windlass when it’s in the open position.
Three people can relax comfortably on the cockpit lounge and there’s a clever foldout table. Azimut provides a small locker at the base of the portside flying bridge stairs, plus another one to starboard that contains circuit breakers, the emergency fire-pull pin, and the manual bilge pump.
WIDE-EYED. Enter the salon through the stainless-steel-framed slider and reach your hand out to the port side, where you’ll find light switches and the controls for the air conditioning. You can choose to relax on the large horseshoe-shaped lounge to starboard or on the smaller two-person model to port. Forward to starboard is a low 5′ bridge that you’ll need to duck under to the lower helm. Once I sat down, there was 7″ of headroom on the two-person seat. I liked the navy-blue vinyl that covered the dash to kill glare, and the overall layout was fine with one exception: Azimut grouped the instruments by engine, including the tachometers, which are 2’4″ apart. I know the 43 isn’t an offshore go-fast, but the tachometers should be placed together.
I appreciated the glovebox, but to improve it, I’d put a partition between the small empty area and the AC/DC switches for better stowage convenience. You could describe the 43’s layout as being galley-down, but the cooking quarters are so close to the salon that the chef won’t feel exiled. The food-prep area has the basics covered with a fiddled countertop (something missing on many big boats), good stowage drawers, and a wastebasket. Forward are guest quarters to starboard with separate berths, but watch your noggin. There’s only 4’7″ of headroom when you get in. The hanging locker does have enough inboard-to-outboard depth to handle a sport jacket.
In the head again the basics are covered, plus one noteworthy positive. The shower door has a 1″-tall vent at the top to help rid it of steam. The setup was nearly the same in the master head, with the added bonuses of a bigger layout and private entry.
The owner’s stateroom has outstanding stowage capacity for a 43-footer as well as a comfortable queen-size berth.
Settle into the new and improved one-person supportive bucket seat (the old 42-footer had a two-person bench with no lumbar reinforcement) on the flying bridge and take control. The boat worked well through maneuvers and was unchallenged by 2′ wind chop. With the higher-rpm motors, it’s not on plane until you’re at about 2200 or 2300 rpm, but it cruises easily at 2400. Six degrees of bowrise from 2100 rpm to wide-open throttle was a little high, but you can use the trim tabs to settle the ride. I’d add that the boat has a dry ride, but I won’t. It’s too much of a cliché.
High Points: Features you’d find on a bigger boat including a huge flying bridge lounge and dedicated chainbox for the anchor locker. Good access for maintenance. Shower doors are properly vented.
Low Points: Watch your head at the lower helm and in the guest cabin. Tachometers are too far apart at both stations. Need removable sections of decking above the sea strainers. Anchor locker hatch bangs against top of windlass.
|rpm||knots||mph||gph||stat. mpg||naut. mpg||s. mi. range||n. mi. range||run angle||sound level|
Displacement (lbs., approx.): 30,400
Transom deadrise: 14°
Bridge clearance: 14’0″
Max. cabin headroom: 6’3″
Fuel capacity (gal.): 290
Water capacity (gal.): 132
Price (w/standard power): $740,000
Price (w/test power): $740,000
Test boat power Twin 375-hp Cummins MerCruiser QSB 5.9 in-line-6 diesel inboards with 359 cid, swinging 23″ x 29″ four-bladed Nibral props through 2:1 reductions.****
Standard power Twin 375-bhp Cummins MerCruiser QSB 5.9 in-line-6 diesel inboards. Optional power None. ****
Standard equipment (major items) Marine VHF radio w/repeater on flying bridge; 40,000-Btu CruisAir a/c; 10kW Kohler generator; engine synchronizer; Raymarine Raypilot ST 6001 plus autopilot; Raymarine ST 60 Tri-Data; depthsounder w/flying bridge repeater; trim tabs; sea strainers; 24v windlass; shorewater and shorepower; bilge pumps; Racor fuel/water separators; Seafire fire fighting system; hydraulic steering; tilt steering wheels; engine start and house batteries; 50a battery charger; microwave; Sealand head system; electro-hydraulic gangway; transom shower; AM/FM/CD stereo; compass.