Yacht Class n°17 (june-july-august 2019)
This yacht with her sporty profile can reach up to 35 knots, allowing more stopovers and anchorages. An opportunity for the crew to enjoy its welcoming facilities, be it inside or outside, where the art of living the cruise is exalted by the Francesco Guida’s refined style.
Written by Philippe Leblond – Photos : All rights reserved
In the S series, she is the only one with no flybridge. True, the S6 (18.00 m) is smaller than her elders, the S7 (21.37 m) and the S77 (24.06 m). Stylistically-speaking, we can easily sense the touch of Righini, in charge of the exterior design, apparent in her extended silhouette with its hull windows segmented into six small panels that bring light in the main cabin. She also features the same miter bow that her predecessor, the 55S, and her little sisters of the Atlantis series. Her silhouette is also characterized by glazed superstructures, a design initiated by Nuvolari & Lenard on the Sarnico 65, early 2000. Upon boarding, we noticed something unusual: from the swim platform, only the port staircase leads to the cockpit. The starboard one directly goes to the walkway, so as not to discontinue the long U-shaped settee. Perfect to seat as many guests as possible around the varnished carbon fibre table. Furthermore, to give the cockpit a decent surface and a large sunbed, the latter extends over the transom. It actually both increases the useful surface area and offers underneath a garage for a Pirelli J33 (3.30 m) tender. The pretty grey fabric upholstery elegantly dresses up the seats and mattresses. It is also present on the foredeck, which features a long sofa (six seats) and a vast sunbed cut in the deck volume. Thus, the S6 can accommodate a dozen of sunbathers.
A very Zen indoor atmosphere
The living-dining area opens up on the cockpit. This reception area, which also accomodates the wheelhouse, offers a very “Zen” atmosphere (light woods and fabrics, large bay windows, air conditioning) in line with the work of its designer, Francesco Guida, as shown by some of his designs for Arcadia or Isa Yachts. Its glass sunroof electrically opens, as does the side window by the captain’s side. The portside features a long galley cabinet, of a sober elegance, with a “polished stone” worktop. This fully-equipped piece of furniture is facing a U-shaped sofa for six, around a beautiful height-adjustable table. Despite the S6’s streamlined silhouette, the saloon offers a headroom of 2.00 m. It is slightly less generous below decks: between 1.92 m in the master and 1.96 m in the guest cabins. Be careful in the companionway as there is no handrail! The location of the engines, very far aft thanks to the pods, frees up as much space as possible for the accommodation, and allows a crew cabin in the bow, with private shower room and independent access. Aft of it, there are three other cabins: the VIP (bed :190 x 160 cm), a guest (two separate bunk beds: 200 x 67 cm) and a full-beam master (bed: 194 x 164 cm). The latter is en suite, while the other two cabins share the second bathroom. The master bed, in diagonal position, made it possible to accommodate a large office-furniture. The decoration, always sober but luxurious, plays on contrasts between natural woodwork, white fabrics and carpets and black satin-finish lacquer. Natural light floods into the large hull windows, and nights at anchor will not be a punishment in this hushed and tasteful universe endowed with all the modern facilities. With the sea view, happiness will be complete!
At the helm, the S6 is evolutive and reactive
The time has come to see how performs this great launch and her three Volvo IPS, a technology Azimut has been working on since 2013 with the Swedish engine manufacturer. These are D8 developing 550 horsepower. A power in relation to her size, as the S6 displaces nearly 30 tons despite the use of carbon. In a bay of Cannes with a residual swell of 80 cm and a messy chop, we reached 35.5 knots, half a knot more than the “manufacturer speed”. Acceleration is energetic: she went from 0 to 20 knots in only 7”6 (the turbo response time is almost non-existent) and lifted-off at around 1 800 rpm (only 15 knots) with 10 people on board and half full tanks. Her ability to plane at low rpm gives the captain a wide range to adapt his cruising speed to sea conditions and timing requirements. It is also worth noting the excellent performance of the Swedish engines, up to their maximum speed, the figures being almost identical between 1 800 and 2 945 rpm! With 0.11 mile per litre of diesel, the S6 can cover the equivalent of a Saint-Tropez/Calvi round trip without refuelling, at both moderate speed (20.2 knots) and full throttle. Another interesting time: 22”, only, for a 180° avoidance move, thanks to the manoeuvrability given by multidirectional pods. A godsend in summer in crowded marinas. Back in port, we saw the effectiveness of the intuitive joystick, acting on the two external pods, that shows remarkable precision and efficiency, even in reverse. Perfect to falicitate the docking and allow this 60-foot to be handled by her owner… As for sound levels, Azimut has also worked on the soundproofing of the engine room. The three engines are barely audible at idle (55 dBA), discreet in mode (66 dBA) and even at full throttle (71 dBA). The Italian yard decided to opt for three “small” engines, rather than two large ones, which make less noise and generate less vibration. In addition to greater rigidity and lightness, the S6 features carbon fibre in the hull, to strengthen it, but also in the superstructures, to lower her centre of buoyancy. This ensures greater lateral stability, both at anchor and in navigation, where the S6’s hull skillfully erases the chop and completes tight turns with a remarkable ease considering her size.
You will have realized that the shipyard, based in Avigliana, offers a successful sportyacht, banking on its considerable experience in this market segment. Comfortable at sea and at port, with good performance, the S6 also offers a quality of construction and finishes above criticism. It remains to be seen whether her “trendy” design will stand the test of time.