Azuree 46

New to the American market in 2015, the Turkish builder of the Azuree 46 packs a lot of comfort into a slippery Rob Humphreys hull.

Azuree 46
In the Rob Humphreys designed hull, the Azuree 46 is a perfect blend of comfort and performance.Courtesy of Berthon / Onne van der Wal

You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of an Azuree. Built in Turkey, the line of performance cruising sailboats is gaining traction in Europe, but made its North American debut just this past February at the Miami International Boat Show. At first glance, I liked the clean, modern look of the Azuree 46, and put it on my mental list of boats I’d like to sail someday. That someday happened on a gorgeous July day in Newport, Rhode Island, and it was worth the wait.

The Azuree 46 is built by Sirena Marine, which also produces the Euphoria line of yachts (another brand that I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about). The lineup includes the Azuree 33, launched in 2010, the 33C — which has the same hull as the 33, but with a redesigned deck and more customizable interior — and a new 41, to be launched in early 2016, which will replace the 40. Designed by Rob Humphreys, the 46 is the flagship of the line. The boat fits solidly in the performance cruiser category and has plenty of features that will satisfy both sides of the equation.

The Azuree 46 has a decidedly sporty look, with a plumb bow and curved, low-profile cabin house. The ample beam and hard chines are carried aft from amidships, making for generous cockpit and interior space. The dual helms have great sightlines on either tack. I found the sailhandling ergonomics to be quite good, and I especially liked that there is space to sit either behind the wheel or in front of it, which allows the person at the helm to easily trim the jib as well. On the boat I sailed, the optional electric Harken winches made raising the main and sheeting the jib a fingertip affair. The main is sheeted to a traveler across the cockpit sole and was easily accessible from either helm.

Conditions were light, less than 10 knots, when we took the 46 for a spin on Narragansett Bay, but we managed to turn some impressive speed — 7 knots SOG upwind and up-current. The Jefa Steering is butter-smooth, and the dual rudders provide very nimble handing. A code zero or an asymmetrical spinnaker would have been perfect for this day, and would have boosted our off-the-wind speed for sure.

Launched in 2009, the Azuree brand is Turkey’s first production sailboat. The modern factory in Orhangazi launched the Euphoria line in 2012 and also builds some models of the Italian Azimut powerboats. Most everything, from the stainless-steel work to all joinery and upholstery, is produced in-house, which eliminates many ­supply-chain issues, and build quality is evident throughout.

Azuree 46
The Azuree 46’s galley has both a top-loading fridge/freezer and a drawer-style fridge, good storage and plenty of ventilation.Courtesy of the manufacturer

As for amenities, there are many to keep the crew comfortable for long stretches. In the cockpit, there’s plenty of room around the centerline table, and the dual helms provide easy access to the transom, which lowers to a swim platform. There are two storage lockers underneath the helm seats, one being reserved for a small optional refrigerator. Lifting up a hatch in the cockpit sole, you’ll find a large garage space for stowing lines, fenders, water toys and more. The cockpit seats each extend to make a berth for sunbathing or sleeping under the stars.

Heading below, the first thing that I appreciated was how effortless the companionway steps were. It’s a simple thing, but when a builder gets the angle just right, it’s noticeable. To port is the galley, which features a double sink, a top-loading fridge and freezer as well as a fridge drawer, and a three-burner range. Although counter space seemed a little tight, there are covers for the stovetop and the sink to increase the available area.

Moving around the cabin, I was impressed with the placement of ­handholds, which include overhead handrails, a bulkhead-mounted rail, and table fiddles substantial enough to grab onto. Also, despite the boat’s nearly 14 feet of beam, the furniture placement makes good use of the space without leaving wide-open areas that could be dangerous in a seaway.

There are three double cabins and two heads, with the “master” of each being up forward. Each cabin has a decent amount of storage, though the aft cabins give up some of the width of the berths for outboard cabinetry. The forward head is spacious and has clever doors that separate the shower area from the sink and toilet.

In the main saloon, one of the most notable features is the nav desk, which owners can specify to be either in the middle of the starboard settee, where it can lower and become a full sea berth, with infill cushions, or at a fixed height at the aft end of the settee. The dinette to port can seat four comfortably, or you can unfold the table leaf and accommodate two more. After dinner, the table can be lowered to make a nicely sized berth for two extra guests. A 55-horsepower Volvo Penta with saildrive sits under the companionway stairs. Even at cruising speeds, I noticed that there was very little vibration. The 46 is fitted with a Flexofold propeller and bow thruster, making handling under power simple and responsive. In a compartment aft of the engine, there’s room for a genset and watermaker.

All in all, there’s a lot to like in the new Azuree 46. There is definitely something to be said for a boat that is fun to sail and live aboard in equal measures. Indeed, my afternoon aboard the 46 just left me wanting more.

Azuree 46
With the table lowered, the dinette serves as a guest berth.Courtesy of the manufacturer

Specifications:

LOA: 45' 11" (14.00 m)
LWL: 42' 7" (12.98 m)
Beam: 13' 10" (4.22 m)
Draft : 8' 6" (2.59 m)
Sail area: 1,300 sq. ft. (124 sq m)
Ballast: 8,730 lb. (3,960 kg)
Displacement: 23,038 lb. (10,450 kg)
Ballast/D: 0.38
D/L: 133
SA/D: 25.7
Water: 98 gal. (370 l)
Fuel: 56 gal. (215 l)
Holding: 16 gal. (61 l)
Mast height: 74' 1" (22.58 m)
Engine: 55 hp Volvo Penta with saildrive
Designer: Rob Humphreys
Price: $370,000

Azuree Yachts
401-846-8404
www.azuree.com.tr

Jen Brett is CW’s senior editor.