NEWPORT, R.I. — Azimut Yachts entered a new segment of the boating market with the 40 Verve, which made its world debut at the Newport International Boat Show.
Viewing the 40 Verve for the first time in MarineMax’s massive 24-boat display, one could be (and at least one was) caught slightly off guard by the three Mercury 350 Verado outboards hanging off the back.
The company did a ton of research in developing this model, which is designed to compete with the ever-growing — in size and volume — center console sportfishing segment, Azimut-Benetti USA president Federico Ferrante told Trade Only Today while giving a tour of the boat’s features.
“All of the boats that participate in this market segment are built with a very strong fishing DNA,” Ferrante said. “What we found when we talked to people was that about 10 out of 100 are using these boats to fish.”
What customers do want in these boats is easy-to-care-for outboard power that can get them from point A to point B quickly — Azimut 40 Verve has a top speed of 45 knots and a cruising speed of 37 knots — and the seaworthiness and safety of those larger rugged center consoles, Ferrante said.
“Azimut will never be recognized as a fishing boat,” he said, adding that the boat can easily be equipped for fishing. “This boat has all the design structure for open seas, but without the expense and the space consumption” of things such as fighting chairs and live wells.
“This is an entertaining paradise,” Ferrante added.
Ferrante touted the boat’s many American-made components, such as the SureShade retractable shade over the boat’s massive aft entertainment area, which can be easily converted into multiple configurations; the Seakeeper gyro; the Kenyon grill; the Raymarine displays; and the Mercury engines and controls, among others.
The company held a well-attended press conference on Thursday, the first day of the 46th annual Newport show, to debut the boat to customers and the press. MarineMax Azimut-Benetti brand manager Andrew Schneider introduced it.
“Azimut is really creating a segment within a segment,” Schneider said. Because so many buyers in that segment, which is designed around fishing, don’t fish, Azimut’s idea was to take the boat and design it with large spaces built for socializing and entertaining, he said.
“One of the hottest segments in the country is the big outboard dayboat,” MarineMax executive vice president of sales, marketing and manufacturing Chuck Cashman said. “This is a definite departure in a segment that’s really hot.”