Since the early 2000s, Outer Reef Yachts has earned a reputation for building boats that are born for off-the-grid travel. Every vessel they have built from 55 to 88 feet (plans to go larger are in the works) has earned CE Class A classification, which means they can handle up to 20-foot seas and 40-knot sustained winds. With sizable fuel capacities and their best-of-both-worlds semidisplacement hulls, they’re at home away from home. Still, President, CEO and founder Jeff Druek knew they could offer more. “We [needed] a more modern, contemporary interior to cater to a younger demographic,” he told me. The 640 Azure is the result.
Based on the same hull as their 630, the Azure incorporates a revised layout that looks to take advantage of the alfresco lifestyle. The amidships galley that would typically divide the salon from the helm area is now aft. To counter the heavier load, the Azure’s hull has been modified to give the vessel more lift at the stern.
The 640’s sizable aft galley is a first for Outer Reef, the ideal complement to alfresco entertaining on her aft deck that’s protected from the elements via the flybridge overhang. This layout has been a perennial favorite of mine and Outer Reef nailed it on the Azure—the full-height, patio-style door folds away and an electrically actuated glass window disappears to create a remarkable indoor/outdoor gathering space. We’d have both open for our duration on board and Druek reminded me that on those blazing hot Mediterranean afternoons, owners can simply close up the space and put on the air conditioning to keep cool.
Another first is found on the flybridge. Dubbed the Bridge Viewdeck by Outer Reef, it’s the ideal perch for two and as it’s down a step, it doesn’t impede the captain’s sightlines. In total, there’s seating for a dozen guests on the flybridge, its large overhang doubling as a sundeck or dinghy storage—a 2,650-pound-capacity Steelhead davit can place a 13-foot RIB athwartships or a 16-footer parallel. A barbecue and wet bar completed the space.
The 640 Azure hit the Outer Reef trifecta, a custom yacht with myriad well-crafted social spaces, comfortable and private belowdecks areas and a remarkable range. With 1,000 gallons of diesel on tap, she’ll see 1,000 nm at 10 knots. Back off the optional 500-hp John Deere 6090s to 8 knots (476-hp Cat C9.3s are standard) and she’ll run an estimated 1,687 nautical miles—from Gibraltar to the Greek Isles—between fill-ups.
She’s also equipped to handle all the Med can throw your way, with a pair of standard Seabobs for exploring azure anchorages to Trac ABT fin stabilizers to keep things steady in rough conditions. Custom touches like the Garmin MFD next to the king-size berth in the master stateroom spoke to me—I’d use it to overlay a weather routing app 24/7 or just to keep an eye on things while resting belowdecks.
“[It’s] the perfect boat for Europe,” Druek said as he took a place at the starboard countertop with the twinkling lights of the French Riviera at his back. He also mentioned that given the hype they’ve seen at the Cannes show, the Azure layout is now available on all Outer Reef raised pilothouse models up to 88 feet. —Jeff Moser
Displ.: 107,000 lbs.
Fuel: 1,000 gal.
Water: 300 gal.
Test Power: 2/500-hp John Deere 6090
Cruise Speed: 8 knots
Top Speed: 13 knots
Cruising Range: 1,687 miles