Boats of the ’90s: Azimut AZ40 is the “compact” cruiser that became a cult favorite


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Azimut AZ40
Azimut AZ40

When we talk about
Classic Boat
we often tend to forget, perhaps even consciously, that whole segment of great designs that have been able to revolutionize boating since the early 1990s. Sure, the iconic lines of the wooden turtleneck hulls, or the sharp lines of the ’80s racers, have a flavor all their own, but there are great Classic Boats after that, too! After all, major projects now over 25 years old, that is, pre-1999, are considered as such, including. Here, then, is an often forgotten, but actually pivotal hull: a great little 12.3-meter, theAzimut AZ40, the masterpiece of 1993, Azimut’s milestone and the beginning of a new “era.”

Azimut AZ40 (1993)

Azimut, now at the top of the European shipbuilding industry, took off in the early 1990s (1992/93), with the striking release of the first examples of its, by then, new line. Characterized by the absence of edges and strong with new wraparound windows, including that sleek and aggressive look that everyone later adopted, it was in fact with the first AZ40 that the style still so visible today was born. To match, it was with the AZ40 that new construction systems were also introduced, then ahead of the domestic market, but making the hull lighter, better performing, and with a stronger gelcoat. In short, a hull that marked history and that, fortunately for some, is still findable, appreciable and still full of so much to offer today.

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The cabin yacht that changed Azimut

Among the first to introduce a “new style,” the AZ40 is a strong hull with significant momentum, a bow high above the water, tapered deckhouse, and soaring superstructures toward the stern, for an overall dynamic, if understated and elegant, performance. Instead, the overall lines lose those sharp edges and cuts typical of the previous decade, thus fully introducing the new look that will populate the 1990s: softer curves, large wrap-around windows, and plenty of attention to on-board comfort.

Azimut AZ40

In terms of layout, a small aft platform immediately introduces the furnished cockpit, the “antechamber” to the salon present just opposite. In the bow, on the other hand, the long deckhouse runs all the way to the bow end, lending itself, however, as an excellent sun deck, although, as standard, it does not include an integrated sunpad. Real gem here, however, is the fly, very large by the standards of the period and strong with a cantilevered aft area, not at all sacrificed. Larger than 8 square meters, in addition to the external wheelhouse, the fly then accommodates 5 armchair seats, including the helmsman’s, with the addition of a sizable aft sundeck, capable of accommodating as many as three people.

The cabins of this cabin yacht (12 meters)

Shifting the focus, however, to its role as a small cruiser, the AZ40 was first offered in two variants. The interiors, in fact, could accommodate three cabins and galley on the broadside, in a 6-berth version, or reduce to two cabins (including an immense master) for 4 beds total, however, with the addition of a large separate galley. Another detail related to the interior spaces, the design, already projected to more contemporary standards, curvilinear and less imbued with the visual weight typical of the earlier period.

Azimut AZ40 – Motorization and Performance

Coming, finally, to the related performance and engine front, the standard version of the Azimut AZ40 contemplated the presence of a pair of Volvo engines of 306 horsepower each. Propulsion sufficient to provide top speeds of 32 knots, with a cruising speed, on the other hand, of 27 knots at 2400 rpm.

Azimut AZ40 – Data Sheet

Length Over All (LOA) 12.35 m
Baglio Massimo 4.05 m
Standard Motorization 2x Volvo 306 hp
Maximum Speed 32 kn
Cruise Speed 27 kn
Sleeping places 4/6
Years of production 1993 – 1997
Construction site Azimut

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