She is fully equipped, maintained and ready for the season.
The 46ft Azimut motoryacht that met me for breakfast is one of the most popular models in the range, as evidenced by it being the 422nd 46-footer produced by the company. Compared with other European luxury boat brands, it distinguishes itself by its innovation and design.
Like most upmarket craft, the finish and attention to detail are impressive. Every panel and internal liner seemed to fit perfectly with the next, the gloss cherrywood joinery is faultless and the range of fabrics from which to choose your bedspreads and lounge covers is truly first-class.
But it is the beautiful mouldings, with more shapeliness than most other craft I have set foot on, that are in a league of their own. Azimut prides itself on its boats' styling, which comes courtesy of Stefano Righini. However, the bumps, curves and rounded decks do not come at the expense of practicality.
On the 107sqft flybridge, where my morning's toil began, there are two rounded lounges fronting a drinks fridge set in a module, a curved dash panel and a curvaceous glass liner. Despite the high style, the flybridge really works and has been designed with some regard to ergonomics.
Legroom, lounging room, driver position, vision and crew comfort are features of the bridge. So, too, are a sink, electronic engine controls, a designer Azimut wheel and a rear sunpad big enough for four couples to sunbake.
Righini also waved the styling wand over the cabin superstructure, which features big elliptical windows glued to the fibreglass hull for leak-free operation. Because there is just one central support pillar on the forward window, the view through the windscreen from the lower helmstation is among the best I have come across on a motoryacht.
Indoors, the Azimut 46 has an open-plan layout, with lots of headroom, light-coloured headliners, cream berber carpet and natural light flooding through windows. These things contribute to this boat's sense of space and the feeling of freedom indoors.
Back on deck, the boarding platform has a concealed swim ladder and central passerelle, as well as twin transom gates either side of the moulded aft lounge. There is room to carry a duckie and the option of having the big under-lounge lazarette fitted out as crew quarters.
Deck gear includes beautiful stainless steel anti-chafe fairleads, moulded steps to the sidedecks, which have toerails and a stout but stylish stainless bowrail. The rubbing strip around the gunwales is stainless steel.
A two-person sunpad and plenty of flat fibreglass make the foredeck a private rest area. A nice touch, handed down from the superyacht models, was the automatic anchor washdown, while the bow and stern thrusters let you hold the boat side-on to the tide or current and turn just about any which way you choose.
An optional icemaker was fitted in the cockpit, which has room for a lunch setting in the shade under the bridge overhang. The boat keeps its three outdoor living areas - bridge, cockpit and foredeck - nicely in proportion.
Some European motoryachts make the mistake of remaining so low-profile that the saloon roof is the first thing you see when you step inside. Not the Azimut. While the boat looks sleek, its ceiling is Australian-height and the open-plan layout is accommodating.
Moving in and out of the lower helm does not demand that you duck you head. You do not feel compromised making the transition from cockpit to saloon, either. And in the light and airy interior there are some great examples of Italian design that really works.
Immediately to port is a cherrywood cabinet holding $25,000 worth of aftermarket Bose entertainment system, with the three sliding drawers boasting the standard-issue Azimut cutlery, crockery and glasses. A second cabinet nearby contains storage for the bootleg as well as crystal champagne flutes.
Built-in lounges - a two-person settle to port and a five-person circular settee opposite, set around a timber dining table - are perfectly comfortable and do not intrude on floor space. The dining table folds out to twice its apparent size, providing a dinner setting for up to six people.
Big picture windows and a sliding saloon door bring the outdoors inside, while simple crepe curtains and trick lighting create a retiring mood back at the marina. The flatscreen television linked to a DVD faces conveniently back to the main saloon lounge.
Due in part to this being the three cabin (not two cabin) version, the galley is small. It is, however, well-appointed and functional and will serve the interests of most Australian leisure boaters.
I liked the two-burner electric hob with pot holders, so you could cook at sea or at a rocky anchorage, plus the microwave, twin sinks, fridge and adequate benchtop space for assembling lunch.
There is storage for provisions and cooking utensils in an assortment of cherrywood cabinets and the owner intended to fit a dishwasher soon. The galley is set down on the portside of the saloon, near to guests' seating and the internal helmstation.
The wrap-around console at the lower helmstation was new and exciting. While audacious, it certainly puts everything within arm's reach. The two-person lounge, terrific vision and big array of Raymarine electronic gear makes for a nice drive. Either side are push-button electrical windows for fresh air.
With three cabins, the Azimut 46 is accommodating. Each cabin has luxury appointments such as Novasuede bedheads, soft-touch wall liners, trick reading lights and classy bedspreads.
Storage is not in short supply - in fact, the owners' cabin in the bow has a walk-in wardrobe!
The companionway leading from the saloon passes a guests' cabin to port with bunk beds. A VIP guests' cabin is a little farther along to starboard. It is close to the most stable part of the boat, equipped with an offset island double bed and lovely curved joinery.
But the piece de resistance is the master cabin in the bow. It has an island double bed facing a separate flatscreen television, a circular hatch and long windows inviting natural light inside, as well as headroom and floor space. Timber trim, suede and cherrywood, plus that wonderful walk-in wardrobe add to the luxury.
The Azimut 46 has two bathrooms, each with Vacuflush loos and adult-sized shower stalls with sliding circular doors. There is an ensuite for the master cabin and a second head shared by the VIP guests' cabin and companionway - in other words it doubles as the dayhead.
We could easily have stayed put, swinging on the anchor off Castle Rock, making a coffee and cooking up breakfast while the throngs made their weary way to work. But instead we upped anchor and made tracks for the Harbour sound.
Electronic shifts, a big white Azimut wheel and nice seats make the 46 a pleasant drive. From the bridge you can see through the hatch to the port corner, which will aid parking, while vision underway never falters because the boat rides in perfect trim with the trim tabs all the way up.
Twin 450hp 3126TA Caterpillar engines are not a lot of horsepower for a 46-footer, but the boat is obviously very efficient. It gets up to planing speed without much change in trim angle and is cruisy and comfortable at 21-22kt at 2200rpm.
With a clean hull, the Azimut 46 will do 30kt. I had it to 28.5kt but derived as much joy from doing 21kt in full view of the commuters in this contemporary cruiser. The boat seemed dry and while there are a lot of turns in the wheel, it at least responds to those turns.
A serious motoryacht equipped with a 11kW genset, Raymarine navigation gear, reverse-cycle air-conditioning and an amazing sound system, the Azimut 46 impressed me on all levels. And while it is priced as a luxury item, the 46 is a clever boat that blends Italian design flair with functionality.
My morning adventure came to an end after another show of masterful boat parking. I leapt aboard the pontoon, waved the dealer farewell and rode the inclinator back up top. I left the brochure, quite by chance I might add, face-up on the breakfast table. Yes, the Azimut 46 would make a nice accompaniment to a waterfront somewhere.