After decades of dominance throughout Europe and many other areas of the Eastern Hemisphere, Azimut Yachts is strengthening its position as one of the world’s leading powerboat brands through a concentrated emphasis on the American market. But American yachting enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from this new strategy. In fact, based on the perspective from a prominent US-based Azimut dealer, the boatbuilder’s recent enhancements, though implemented with the American consumer in mind, are creating power yachts that are proving to be equally appealing to boaters who dock their vessels at marinas all around the world.
Barry Marshall, a regional president with Marine Max, has worked in the boating industry since he was 13, and he admits that over that time he has seen plenty of poor yacht designs come to fruition—boats with layouts that made it difficult to enjoy them. Those layout blunders have never graced an Azimut yacht, he says, not in the salon, galleys, or engine room. The engine room layout is particularly important, according to Marshall, since many Azimut owners are intent on performing basic maintenance themselves. Just like in the automotive world, where exotic automobiles can prove difficult to service in countries with a limited network of authorized repair centers, a high-end exotic yacht’s appeal rests in the owner’s ability to enjoy it without complication or aggravation.
Marshall could point to all of the ways that an Azimut yacht succeeds—the quality of the materials used during construction, the engine’s high-performance capabilities, the attention to detail in design and layout—but ultimately, he knows that they all stem from the company’s willingness to listen to its network of dealers. “They’ve always been great with new innovation and they really listen and want to improve it,” he says. “It’s exciting when the president of the company asks you what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong and how they can make their product better for you and your customers.”
James Corts, a senior sales executive at Marine Max who specializes in Azimut and other luxury yacht brands, says that Azimut has one of the highest retention values in the industry and that demand is always high, mostly due to the fact that a pre-owned Azimut never stays on the market for very long. Older models retain their value, while new models—like the brand’s latest 55s, which is projected to cost about $1.9 million or close to €1.45 million when it debuts at the Miami Boat Show in February—turn heads due to new hull and bow designs. “It looks like it’s going 100 miles an hour when it’s standing still,” Corts gushes.
“Azimut has always had the edge and is always leading with its designs,” he adds. “They’re known for their styling and designs, and that Azimut styling is what everyone else seemingly tries to do a year or two later.” In that respect, Corts likens Azimut to one of the most prestigious luxury automakers. “Mercedes builds an excellent car,” he explains, “but when you sit inside a Bentley, it feels a little different.”
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