The 55 which was presented in 2000 was always about the full beam owners cabin, making sure this model was delivered at 300 plus in an 8 years production span, a record in its size and time. The 58 offers a similar interior 3 cabin 2 head lower deck plan mirror improvement to the 55, but board the new Azimut and it does feel bigger and different. The theme is about modern minimal accents, with oak wood joinery and natural light coming from the large windows featured in all part of the yacht from the large shark fin windows in the saloon, to the rectangles in the VIP cabin and the three longitudinal windows in the owner cabin which also are a novelty here being able to open. Praised feature is the fore VIP cabin which with a scissor movement can go from a nice queen size double to twin single berths. Full beam owners cabin follows the traditional layout with a 45 degrees positioned berth, and a beauty desk opposite. There is also the twin guest cabin in between all this. If desired a single berth crew cabin with private head can be fitted as optional aft.
The welcoming main deck has a spacious c-shaped settee to port, step up two steps and you have the open space galley to port with opposite a 6 people dining area. Forward of this there is a a nice 2 person settee, just to the side of the central positioned helm station, very good for lounge entertainment during navigation trips with full views forward and to the side. This concept is again followed on the fly but this time more of a sun lounger. On the flybridge you also find a c-shaped settee, l-shaped wetbar and a free astern area, with Azimut's plan suggesting to put two free moving deck chairs for maximum sun worshipping.
A tried and tested hull also derived from the 55, with a good balance of weight and navigational speed put into it. Azimut 58 hull is a variable geometry moderate vee with 15.5 degrees aft, with deeper sleeker forward sections. Running gear and propellers run in tunnels for reduced shaft angle and better efficiency. The twin MAN R6 800hp are the real difference here which give top speeds of 32 knots and a cruising of 28 knots. Not bad for a loaded weight of close to 29 tons, and what I would also call moderate power. For easy marina manoeuvring Azimut also offers a joystick which can spin the boat around with the help of a stern and bow thruster, a solution seen on the bigger boats from this Italian builder since 2003.
Forward VIP Cabin which from a double transforms to twin single berths
Passenger settee by both helm stations
Hi Low bathing platform
Small crew cabin aft
Criteria for competition was 17 metres and 3 cabins on what is a highly competitive size, with many builders offering a similar concept to the Azimut 58 F, that is of a full beam owners cabin. The others going to a more traditional layout of a forward owners cabin are the Ferretti 551 or the VZ 56 which surprisingly both come from Italy. Another surprise is how much this type of motor yacht with flybridge and 3 cabins is international today. with builders spanning from Europe with Italian British builders, to the middle East from Gulf Craft owned Majesty to Australia with Maritimo. The US offers are the feel big Hatteras and Canada built Neptunus, but there could be 3 more to this, but other American built flybridge don't offer lower helm.
Aicon 58 - full beam owners and 3 heads, much waited 56 replacement after 100+ sold
Ferretti 551 - classic layout fore owner 2 double cabins 3 heads, galley down
Hatteras 56 Motor Yacht - optional lower helm, third l-shaped cabin
Majesty 56 - 3 saloon settees, 3 heads and 2 berth crew cabin aft
Maritimo A55 Aegean Flybridge - four cabins but 4 bunk beds, astern galley, sports look
Neptunus 56 Flybridge - changing room, dining table to fore with nice surround views
Princess 58 - galley down give three settee saloon, double crew cabin aft available
Sunseeker 52 Manhattan - galley down, bunk 3rd cabin, sunlounger aft adds sport looks
Uniesse 58 My - three heads, galley up on saloon, renowned sea keeper
VZ 56 - classic layout forward owner cabin, 2 heads, on purpose designed hull
WILD CARD: Fairline 55 Squadron - 4 feet short, closest competitor in concept and style
Azimut has built the 58 around improving the 55, with new ideas introduced on the other models of the range: like hi-lo bathing platform for easy tender stowage, square shaped bow which allows better deck space but also gives more room below in the cabin, free usable space on the flybridge which looks coming from an 80 feet plus super yacht, and last but surely its higher selling point in the scissor moving double berth forward. All this while not really new on an Azimut looks still very fresh on the 58! The big billion $£ question now is whether the 58 will have the winning success the 55 enjoyed in its 8 plus years of production. First outing in Genoa Show 2007 showed good sales in favour for the 58, what is an exceptional result with much tighter competition now then in 2000.