BOAT REVIEW Azimut Atlantis 45

June 2020 Launch Reviews
Words by John Eichelsheim, photography and video by Roger Mills.
OUR RATING
4 STARS
Performance
Economy
Handling
Value
Build Quality
Specification
MODEL DETAILS
MODEL Azimut Atlantis 45
DESIGNER Neo Design
BUILDER Azimut Yachts
CONSTRUCTION GRP hull, cored topsides and decks, carbon strengthening
SPECIFICATIONS
LOA 14.61M
DRAFT 1.1M
DISPLACEMENT 16000kg
ENGINE 2 x Volvo Penta IPS600 III 440hp
FUEL CAPACITY 1000L
WATER CAPACITY 350L
Maximum Speed 33 knots
Cruise Speed 28 knots
ACCOMMODATION Two cabins, sleeps up to 7
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Crisp, modern styling inside and out
  • Sports boat-like handling
  • Latest Volvo Penta tech
OBSERVATIONS
  • Dinghy garage a bonus in this size range
  • Fits a 15m berth

A successor to the popular Atlantis 43, the very first Azimut Atlantis 45 in the southern hemisphere was put through its paces on the Waitemata Harbour just a couple of days after Covid-19 Level 4 restrictions were lifted.


Italy has been hard hit by the Covid-19 epidemic, including its world-leading marine industry. However, Italy’s largest boat manufacturer, family-run company Azimut Benetti Group, which employs thousands of people in four different shipyards, put in place protocols which allowed it to keep some plants open.
While the first Azimut Atlantis 45 to reach New Zealand, meant to make its southern hemisphere debut at the now cancelled Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in May, was completed and shipped before Italy shut up shop, it arrived on these shores just as New Zealand went into Level 4 lockdown.

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New Zealand Azimut agents Pinnacle Marine were given special dispensation to collect this vessel off the ship and drive it to a temporary Westhaven berth, from which Boating NZ took the opportunity to review the new Azimut as soon as Level 4 restrictions were lifted.
Although the model was only released earlier this year at Cannes, this Atlantis 45 is already hull number 29. A successor to Azimut’s Atlantis 43, of which 140 were manufactured, the new model has proven so popular that Azimut sold 43 before it was officially released.
It’s easy to see why this model is such a hit – and I expect New Zealand boaters will find it equally appealing with its modern styling and social layout. Its size – 47 feet/ 14.61m overall – hits a sweet spot with Kiwis – big enough to be spacious and comfortable, but small enough to fit a 15m berth. Its sporting, cabriolet-like styling is very much attuned to the sea and sky.

The one-level, teak-soled main deck is like a huge, open air lounge, especially when the electric sunroof is rolled back to expose the sky, and the hydraulic bathing platform, which drops 1.5m below the waterline, is both broad and deep. Sun worshippers can take their pick between a sunpad over the dinghy garage aft or an expansive padded sunbed on the foredeck.
Yes, this boat has a dinghy garage – a good-sized one with rollers and an electric winch, able to accommodate a 2.5m RIB tender with storage space left over. A dinghy garage is very unusual in this size division, especially so given that this model is equipped with Volvo Penta IPS where the engines and pod drives are positioned well aft rather than conventional shaft drives.
Access to the machinery space is via a hatch in the after part of the main deck. There is no ladder, just an aluminium platform to lower yourself down onto. It’s a relatively tight below, but access to the engine service points, battery bank, genset, inverter, air-conditioning units and other systems is pretty good.


The helm station is on the starboard side with the wheel closest to the boat’s centerline. Two side-by side helm seats feature fold up bolsters and comfortable support and all-round vision is excellent. Sliding side window panels provide ventilation, though they aren’t needed when the vast sunroof is open to the sky, and the single-piece, curved windscreen creates no blind spots.
This vessel is equipped with Volvo Penta’s latest, third generation IPS, the first such installation in New Zealand. Twin Series III IPS 600s, each producing 440hp, power the Atlantis 45 to 34 knots. The helm features Volvo Penta’s Glass Bridge with integrated Garmin MFDs displaying all the relevant engine and systems data, as a well as navigation, depth/fish finder and radar.
Volvo electronic engine controls are also the latest generation – crisp and precise, along with the power steering, they’re a pleasure to use. Likewise the integrated trim tabs, which are fully automatic if desired and do an excellent job maintaining a level attitude when the boat’s underway.
A joystick takes care of low speed manoeuvring at close quarters and there’s a bow thruster for even more precise control in tight spaces.
The main deck is configured for entertaining. Open at the back with a canvas awning for shade and drop covers to completely enclose the cockpit for overnighting and comfort in foul weather (there’s dual-cycle air-conditioned for all seasons use), it incorporates the already mentioned sunpad, a comfortable wrap-around settee, teak table and an outdoor galley with ice maker, refrigerator-freezer and electric grill, all on one level.
Opposite the helm to port is a large daybed easily big enough for two. All the upholstery on the main deck is a smart-looking high-tech fabric. It’s quick drying and the seat cushions are made from a special open-cell foam that doesn’t take up water. The sunpads get the same treatment.


The lower deck is something of a surprise. This is a big volume boat, so there’s more space below than you might expect. A sliding cavity door opens onto stairs leading down to a good -sized, partially carpeted saloon and galley with a leather-upholstered settee wrapping around the table. The seating addresses the wall-mounted flatscreen TV and an L-shaped galley on the port side aft. Side windows let in natural light and there are opening ports as well.
Like the boat’s other zones, the saloon has independently controlled, dual-cycle air-conditioning, including a low power dehumidifying mode that keeps the boat’s interior fresh and dry when the Atlantis is not in regular use.
The galley, like the outdoor grill, is electric with a two-element cooktop, microwave oven, dish-drawer, stone-like work surfaces and generous under-bench and overhead locker storage. An underfloor locker provides additional stowage.
The fridge-freezer is an Isotherm unit, which like the other 240V appliances, is hidden neatly away behind cabinet doors. All the cabinetry and trim are manufactured from solid timber or plywood with wood grain veneer. No MDF is used anywhere in the vessel. There are several factory décor options available, all of them stylish and smart, as you’d expect from an Italian manufacturer.


The vessel’s day head is just off the companionway steps. Equipped with a separate shower compartment, it also services the guest cabin amidships, a full-beam affair (in this configuration) with three single berths. The two athwartships single berths slide together to create a double if desired; the third berth under the window on the port side is oriented fore and aft.
Taking advantage of the extra volume created by the hull’s plumb bow, the master cabin is situated forward with an island berth, stylish ensuite bathroom and ample storage, including under the bed and forward of the bowthruster. Both cabins have good-sized hanging lockers and the master has its own TV.
All in all, the accommodation is fairly spacious for a boat of this length; an extra double berth can be created by dropping the table on the main deck and adding the infill cushions. With the aft deck wholly enclosed by drop covers and the aircon running, it should be comfortable enough in any weather.


Azimut’s Atlantis 45 is a handsome vessel from any angle, as the accompanying running shots illustrate. And it goes as well as it looks. This boat achieved better than 34 knots on its maiden voyage in light trim, but Azimut reckon owners can expect a top speed of 33 knots in normal operation. 32 knots shows 2000rpm on the Glass Bridge tachometers and 28 knots is a practical cruise speed.
Engineered specifically for IPS, the variable deadrise (15 degrees at the transom), hard chine planing hull’s underwater profile is optimised for pod drives. Structural GRP components are vacuum infused, while vinylester resin is used for the hull’s exterior skin coat. Complex joints are structurally bonded rather than hand laid, with carbon and various composites and cores used strategically for strength and weight saving.
Although the Atlantis 45 is open to the rear, it’s a quiet runner, thanks in large part to the factory’s diligent application of engine room sound insulation and the way the exhausts exit through the pod drives well forward of the transom. There’s no hint of fumes or spray sucking back onto the main deck, either.


On our run with the Atlantis 45, we made easy work of a brisk sou’westerly wind and its attendant wind against tide chop, the boat treating us to a fast, comfortable ride to Motuihe Island and back.
The ride was generally dry, with only a small amount of spray finding the Atlantis 45’s large, curved windscreen and then only in the roughest section of Motuihe Channel with the wind pumping on the beam. Two large wipers with integrated freshwater washers maintain good visibility.
The vessel is highly responsive to throttle inputs – sporty, in fact – and also answers the helm with alacrity, gracefully carving turns. The Garmin automatic trim tabs control heel and power steering gives fingertip control.
Fingertip control is also the reality at docking time, the IPS joystick control supplemented by a Side Power bowthruster taking any stress out of berthing the boat. Visibility from the helm is excellent, which is always appreciated at docking time.

Power and style
Azimut’s Atlantis combines stylistic flair with sporting performance. Easily handled and finished to a good standard, the boat offers plenty for its length, including a dinghy garage and large hydraulic transom platform.
While its sports car looks are clearly Italian, as is the chic modern interior styling, the Atlantis 45 backs up sharp performance with a spacious, practical interior spread over two decks. The layout combines an ‘outdoorsy’ living and entertaining area on the upper deck with a stylish, well appointed ‘indoors’ on the lower deck, making optimum use of the boat’s considerable volume.
It’s a recipe that works, which probably explains why this model has sold so well in such a short time.

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