Maritimo M50

Sportfishing performance meets luxury cruising yacht.

The Maritimo line of boats is the result of visionary industry veteran and legendary boatbuilder Bill Barry-Cotter, who, in 2000, sold Riviera to embark on a new quest. Four years later, the M60 slid down the ways. What made this launch a bit on the remarkable side is that Cotter, along with six others, made up the total work force that got this company going from the ground up.

“Bill took that boat to the 2004 Sydney show and won the ‘Boat of the Year’ award, and things just took off from there,” says John McCarthy of Maritimo USA. “By 2010, we had 16 models in the line, and it’s all because of his passion and wanting to be on the shop floor every day.”

It’s in the genes
“First it has to run” is the mantra at Maritimo. Proper engine and fuel tank placement, a sharp 27-degree entry that flattens out to 8 degrees at the transom, the shape of the rudders matching up to that of the hull design, no pockets with a slight shaft angle (7 to 9 degrees, depending on the particular boat), and spirited performance are the priorities. That’s because the DNA for the M50, as well as with all boats in the company’s lineup, can be traced back to its offshore raceboat engineering and technologies. And given this boat’s hybrid profile — she looks like a sportfisherman and is appointed and outfitted like a cruising yacht — she seems to have inherited the best of both, all nicely wrapped up in a safe and seaworthy package.

It’s a slow bell from HMY’s Riviera Beach, Florida facility where I met my M50 test boat to the ocean inlet, but once I cleared the no-wake zone, the twin 670-hp Volvo D11s roared to life and, sitting back in the comfortable Stidd pedestal seat up on the enclosed flybridge, I got my first taste of what this lively 50-footer can deliver.

If you’re the kind of cruiser who’s into the “trawl crawl,” try settling the throttles in at around 1250 rpm. You’ll be whispering along at about 13 knots with a stingy fuel burn somewhere in the 16 gph range. Even at 1750 rpm, I clocked her speed at just above 22 knots and still burning only 34 mpg. I also noted she was quick to get up on plane, thanks to the aforementioned precise distribution of weight.

When I put her up to 2000 rpm, she eased into a 28-knot turn of speed while hitting the tanks for 46 gph. Crunch the numbers here and, with a reserve percentage taken into consideration, an estimated 500-plus nautical mile range can be expected. I was able to top her out at approximately 34 knots WOT.

But at whatever speed I experienced during my day out on this particular M50, her proprietary steering system, featuring a 2 1/2 lock-to-lock design — again, right from Maritimo’s offshore raceboat expertise — made for an effortless hands-on-the-wheel experience, whether performing full throttle turns or, courtesy of her substantial keel design, maintaining straight and true tracking.

And with both bow and stern thrusters, getting her in and out of the dock, or in any conceivable tight quarters situation, is made that much easier.

The comfort zone
Showing off her interior accommodations and amenities comes naturally forthe M50, with an easy flow from level to level typified by wide open spaces and lots of natural light.

Entry to the main deck salon is via the teak-soled cockpit area, where the first of many practical and well-conceived features can be found. The bi-fold door, when deployed in the open position, folds back against the starboard bulkhead, making the galley-aft layout, salon, and outdoor cockpit one continuous space.

Step into the salon, with its fine wood and leather trim details, Amtico teak and holly sole, custom cabinetry, significant headroom, and wide windows all around, and you’ll experience how well Maritimo has addressed the needs of its cruising owners. There’s also a dining area to starboard and seating opposite.

Access to the bridge deck is via a floating staircase to starboard and is perfectly placed so as to allow both the salon and cockpit to maximize use of the allotted space. Topsides, the enclosed bridge layout features a helm station big enough to fit a trio of 15-inch screens for all your navigational and electronic needs. A pair of Stidd helmseats, extra wide windows all around, teak dining table and seating to starboard, aft refrigerator unit to port, and the aft balcony outside will be sure to make this space a popular gathering place while underway. And as found in the salon, fine wood and leather trim accents the area.

Below decks, in the accommodations area, the three-stateroom, two-head layout offers comfortable, well-appointed and roomy sleeping quarters in the amidships master, forepeak VIP, and starboard guest staterooms. All offer excellent headroom and more than ample storage space for some extended time away from the dock.

Maritimo did not forget the comfort of the hands-on skipper, either. The engine room, accessed via a large cockpit hatch, affords enough space to reach all critical maintenance areas,\ as well as being able to perform the necessary fluid checks.

Rough and ready
“We build them strong and we build them tough,” says Maritimo’s McCarthy. “That’s because Australian waters are known for having quite challenging sea conditions. By the time any Maritimo is ready for shipping, it’s ready to be out there.”

To McCarthy’s point, whether traversing the exterior walkway forward with the safety of substantial rails all the way to the bow (and noting the over-built cleats), to the interior decks, flybridge, or cockpit, there’s a feeling of sturdiness to the build and absolutely no flexing underfoot.

“Again, getting back to what we’ve learned from our race construction, when you’re hitting speeds near 160 mph across heavy seas, the boat needs to be built to stay together,” McCarthy explains.

The M50 uses a monocoque construction technique. The whole cabin liner, including all the spaces down below, together with the heads and bulkheads, is fit right into the deck. It’s then reinforced with resin-saturated foam beams every 4 inches, much like structural I-beams, then glassed in for a secure and strong end result.

Dave Northrop, president of Maritimo USA, gave me some additional information. “Our boats are all hand-laid, solid bottom boats utilizing vinylester resins and S-glass,” he says. “We use balsa coring above the waterline and above the molded-in spray rail with big areas of solid glass for hull penetrations.”

Other construction methods consist of a molded-in, all glass and foam stringer system, including the ones running up the hull sides; a muffler lift system molded into the stringer liner; and three watertight bulkheads with dual bilge pumps, one of which is mounted and alarmed 5 inches higher than the other.

“We meet Australia’s strict building code, as well as CE, and [we] are both NMMA and BIA certified,” Northrop says. “In the end, our approach at Maritimo is to build boats that are practical and elegant with a high degree of reliability and functionality.”

A final thought
From all indications, Maritimo has done its homework with the concept and development of this boat — and done it well. While the Aussie “Good on ya” seems to ring true here, I’d like to wrap up this discussion with something our own Benjamin Franklin mused that also sounds appropriate when discussing a Maritimo M50: “Well done is better than well said.”

Originally published by: May 2013

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