For a couple that was serious about cruising, the Azimut 68 Fly turned out to be the yacht of their dreams.
By Garner Trilsby
Mary and Chris Palmerton are seasoned boaters who know what they want in their yacht. So, when it was time to move up from their Sea Ray 650 Fly, they were very proactive in their search. The owner-operator couple wanted a boat that was solidly built, customizable, and able to be operated without a captain—and it had to be pretty, too.
The Palmertons had already worked with MarineMax buying both the Sea Ray and a 26-foot Boston Whaler that they towed behind it for use in their frequent scuba adventures. So when MarineMax broker Mike Doyle showed them a rendering of the Azimut 68 Fly, they already knew they were in good hands.
“We were drawn to the boat immediately,” says Chris, “but maybe for different reasons. I liked it because it was built like a ship. We got to go over to Italy and see the factory, and I was really impressed with the way they build the boats. Plus, they were able to do some customizations for us, no problem.”
Particularly, Mr. Palmerton was happy with what Azimut was able to do with the televisions on his boat. “We loved the idea of a two-TV scenario,” he says. “So, in Italy, we had them hook up a 50-inch TV in the salon and then another one in the galley seating area. We can seat six people at each location and sync the televisions so the larger groups we like to have onboard can all watch the same movie at the same time. It’s not a standard thing Azimut does, but they were happy to do it for us.”
The small crowds of family and friends the Palmertons like to have aboard are also well served by the 68 Fly’s bow area. “The bow is just fantastic,” says Chris, “we just christened this boat over the weekend and had 16 people on the front of it, no problem. And we love the carbon poles that come with the shade configuration. They are so light that I can hold two at a time. The setup could not be easier.”
For her part, Mary Palmerton is enamored with the semi-enclosed galley on the 68. “You don’t feel like you’re closed off from the party when you’re cooking,” she says, “but if it gets messy, you can close it off so people don’t need to see it. And the other thing I liked about the Azimut was that it was a really beautiful boat. The styling (by Italian design whiz Alberto Mancini) was so glamorous. I love the way this boat looks.”
The Azimut’s flybridge is another area that the Palmertons are in love with, in large part because they could customize it as well. “We were able to have them put a love seat with a couch and SureShade up there,” says Chris. “It’s not how it was originally set up, but they were all too happy to make the change for us. Working with MarineMax and Azimut on these little changes was so easy, and it has made such a positive impact on how we will use the boat.”
The Palmertons also appreciate the 68 Fly’s top-notch performance. The yacht has twin 1,000-horsepower Volvo Penta IPS 1350s that give it a maximum speed of 32 knots while it cruises at a brisk 28 knots. At the latter speed, it burns about 80 gallons per hour for a range in the neighborhood of 350 nautical miles per tank of fuel.
The Palmertons plan on making good use of that range. As avid divers, they are particularly fond of the Exumas, where they spent a good chunk of the beginning of the pandemic and hope to go back soon aboard their new Azimut. “Once we get the boat rigged up, we plan on cruising to the Exumas for three weeks and setting up at one of our favorite spots, like Compass Cay,” says Chris. “The water there is so beautiful it’s hard to beat for what we like to do.”
And with their new boat that’s designed exactly as they wanted, they can do more of what they like, exactly how they like to do it.
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