There’s a big move by some larger motoryacht buyers in Australia these days away from the ultra-modern, high-speed superyachts to more classic boat designs. The shift seems to go hand-in-hand with the lifestyle changes these people are adopting. They may still work in the fast lane and maintain their high profiles, but when the time comes to relax away from the maddening crowd, many prefer to do so in the luxury and old world charm of a design more akin to a ‘gentlemen’s club’. People are drifting (pardon the pun) towards a simpler, more elegant style of d’cor. A little less glitzy and gaudy, but no less opulent.
These people are past the need to get from point A to B at 100mph, preferring to take a more leisurely route at a pace that allows them to enjoy the scenery along the way. And certainly Oscar enables her new owner to do just that. Oscar is the latest 100-footer to come from Aussie yachting legend and shipwright Ian Murray’s stylish Azzura stable. She’s a unique custom-built vessel designed and constructed to meet every special requirement of her new owner. According to the team at Azzura, the client’s brief was to deliver a long range, fuel efficient, worldclass motoryacht.
To achieve this, world-renowned Dutch designer, Frank Mudler, was commissioned to design a hull that could fully utilise all the benefits of Azzura’s high-tech construction techniques and superb quality workmanship. But Oscar is not only a stylish vessel with classic good looks; she’s also built like a main battle tank. Her hull bottom and topsides are Balsa-cored and extra fibreglass reinforcing was added to the keel, hull bottom and impact and gunwale areas. Then the stringers and frames were fitted and three structural bulkheads were bonded to the hull forming four watertight compartments before the deck beams were installed.
The result was a super strong, yet relatively lightweight hull with an internal structure that was constructed to attenuate sound and vibration throughout the vessel. And, as the Modern Boating team can attest, it works. Cruising along at 16 knots engine noise is no greater than the sound emitted by a wellmuf 5 ed generator. Definitely not the throaty rumble we normally associate with some vessels also fitted with twin 800hp diesels. But no matter how quiet she was her most appealing virtue was her looks. It is said that looks aren’t everything, but most elegant ladies ‘ and gentlemen for that matter ‘ would probably admit to doing that little bit extra to improve their appearance.
And the team at Azzura are no different with their approach to the yachts they build. For instance, Oscar’s exterior was finished in a two-part Urethane ‘buffable-system’, so she’s capable of keeping her ‘just built’ look for years to come ‘ using a bit of elbow grease of course. But it’s not just what you can see from outside that make this boat special. The obvious attention to detail used during her construction was evident everywhere we looked onboard. Even the engine room bilge is finished with a gloss white polyurethane coat. No oil leak would go unnoticed here.
Then, there was the superb woodwork of the decking, cabinetry and paneling that Azzura Yachts are famous for ‘ it was truly stunning. State-of-theart electronics, including an ‘around the boat’ video system, light ! ttings and hardware that could easily grace the ! nest hotels of Europe and two surround sound cinema systems playing through giant plasma screens ‘ one in the owner’s stateroom, the other in the saloon ‘ are just a few of the onboard luxuries. Even the clear glass porthole in the owner’s bathroom frosts over for privacy at the flick of a switch. And what about the pop-up drinks bar in the main saloon’
Step aboard the Azzura 100 motoryacht across her oversized teak-laid swim platform and you enter a laid back realm designed for entertaining and fun, while still retaining an air of privacy in three distinct, albeit openplan areas. Guests out on the massive aft deck even have a toilet for their use, so they don’t have to traipse through the owner’s private areas to go to the bathroom. When the outside temperature cools, guests can be ushered into the lower level of the main saloon, but the owner can still use the upper dining area if he wished to have a more private conversation with only a few people.
As I said earlier, the open-plan saloon, dining and helm area could easily be mistaken for one of the ! ne gentlemen’s clubs from a bygone era that boasts a standard of workmanship and furnishings that take your breath away. Below decks the five-star treatment continues with highly polished veneer panels and stainless steel trims, quality ! xtures and ! ttings and carpets that make you feel like you’re walking on soft sponges. The massive owner’s stateroom and en suite would leave many a ‘top dollar’ hotel apartment in its wake, as do the three guest’s staterooms. All have en suites, * at plasma television screens, ample hanging lockers and bedside tables.
Two of the guest cabins have double beds and the other has twin single beds. Back up stairs in the dining area is another set of stairs that lead down to the galley and the engine room. The engine room is open and spacious making daily maintenance and routine servicing easier. Unlike the forward private owner’s areas, the galley has teak and holly flooring, pristine white polyurethane cupboards, grey Corian bench tops and stainless steel splash backs and appliances. It is also large enough for two chefs to work in unison without getting in each other’s way. Again we move back up into the main dining area to climb the cleverly designed stairs that lead to the fybridge.
Why clever, well the stairs are offset so that people moving about in the dining area don’t have to continually step around them. It’s only a small innovation, but it makes carrying trays around the magnificent eight-seat table a whole lot easier. The stairwell also had an electric/hydraulic operating system, so its hatch could be automatically closed from the helm when required. All the entertaining areas on Oscar are large and the flybridge is no exception. Here too the area is open-plan with all lounges and tables surrounding its parameter. And there’s literately enough room to hold a dance between them. Like the station below, the fybridge helm features all the required electronics and controls, but surprisingly its biggest feature is the way it sits perfectly sheltered behind a custom-built stainless steel windscreen.
As mentioned earlier, the Azzura 100 was powered by twin 3406 800hp Caterpillar diesels, which, when she’s lightly load, could push this semidisplacement hull to more than 20 knots. However, during our time onboard 17 knots pulled her up, but she was able to cruise effortlessly between 12-15 knots. She also reacted extremely quickly to the helm and had an impressive turning circle for a 100-footer. Fully loaded with 13,000lt of fuel and 3800lt of freshwater onboard this boat has a cruising range of 1200nm at 10 knots, so a trip from Sydney to the Gold Coast wouldn’t be out of the question.
The Azzura 100 also has separate accommodation for a crew of four and a spacious storage area accessed by two large doors in the transom. A 4.3m RIB tender rides on the aft flybridge deck, which is controlled by a 600kg Bezzenzoni electric/hydraulic davit. Other vital inclusions on a vessel of this size are a bow thruster and two Niaid 12sq ft stabilising all the ‘rock ‘n roll’ takes place upstairs on this boat. Suffice to say, Oscar was fitted with all the appliances ‘ refrigerators, freezers, icemakers, washing machine/drier, water makers, gensets and etc. etc. ‘ that makes living onboard as easy and luxurious as living in any multi-million dollar apartment.
The only difference here is you can always take this floating apartment with you when you go on holidays and you’ll always have water views. There’s one other extremely import aspect about owning an Azzura motoryacht ‘ no two boats are the same. Each is custom-built exactly to her new owner’s requirements. Why’ Because the people who buy these beautiful vessels don’t want an identical boat pulling up next to them at the marina as can happen when you buy a production model vessel. They aren’t being snobbish, or unfriendly. It is just that they are individuals and that’s the way they want their boats to be ‘ totally individual.