PRE-LOVED - Steel, A Steal

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Built by industry icon Bill Barry-Cotter — <I>Men of Steel</I> is an M550OC, the biggest Offshore Convertible to come from the Maritimo stable

PRE-LOVED - Steel, A Steal
PRE-LOVED — <I>Steel</I>, A Steal

Purchasing power is well in the hands of the buyer under current market conditions and a prime example is the four-year-old Maritimo 550 Offshore Convertible for sale at Maritimo Gold Coast. This black-hulled beauty has a replacement cost in excess of $2.1 million, we’re told, but for buyers you can start bartering for almost half that cost at $1.179 million.

It’s a sign of the times — tough for those in the business, but a veritable smorgasbord for buyers, the depressed market, particularly on second-hand boats, broadening the options on luxury craft that were once out of reach.

Originally designed to lure in a younger audience and the gamefishing fraternity, with sporty performance, far-reaching mileage and offshore-liveaboard systems, the Maritimo 550 Offshore Convertible even with a few years on the clock still packs a wallop.

Power for performance, the 550OC Men of Steel has a set of Caterpillar C18 diesels, with 1015hp per side, giving the boat a claimed top speed of around 35kts. Always handy to have pace like that available for those unforeseen circumstances, but more importantly that vivacity was confirmed during Trade-a-Boat’s test of the then new model five years ago, when a top speed of 36kts was logged.

Conditions, though, generally dictate the cruise, but when ideal the 550 is capable of reeling off 30kts.

Most though will prefer to cruise the coast at a more leisurely 20kts and at this speed she consumes some 8.5lt/nm that, supplemented by long-range fuel tanks, equates to a distance of 571 nautical miles, with 10 per cent fuel reserve. For the record, there is a 3500lt fuel tank forward of the engines and an additional 1800lt tank in the lazarette.

The spritely, relatively light-displacement Maritimo as mentioned has thoroughbred performance combined with wide-ranging capability — including limitless water supply — for liveaboard offshore fishing pursuits or lengthy coastal passages.

The blanked-out saloon windscreen is akin to America’s famous gamefishers, while game poles also hint at Men of Steel’s offshore fishing intent. And when Trade-a-Boat tested one of the first 550 Offshore Convertible sister ships, that was certainly the aspiration of the review boat’s owner. Following our run with that girl, she was dressed in a Black Watch game tower, a Release game chair taking pride-of-place in the cockpit.

Our tester at the time was David Lockwood and he had this to say about the Maritimo 550 Offshore Convertible: "…the boat has tickets on hooking the big-game fishing crew. Without the tower, as I tested, it has been well received by east and west coast skippers and Kiwis, I’m told. These latter two markets are especially keen on big flybridge cruisers with plenty of grunt.

"The boat’s flat run aft, curved and angled transom, and well-spaced engines also make it back-up really well. With bow and sternthrusters, plus an aft station on the flybridge, the sight lines are great for docking and fishing.

"And, as Maritimo knows, there’s no better place on the 550 Offshore Convertible for cruising the coast than inside that enclosed air-conditioned flybridge. Add big engines for bang and European appliances for wow, and you’re really coveting attention from the next generation," he wrote.

The boat has 800lt of water as standard, the supply of
aqua topped up via an Indromar 180lt/h stainless steel watermaker that delearship reckons looks like a piece of jewellery and ensures long days or weeks away from the dock plus lengthy showers. The watermaker is located in a moulded fibreglass engineroom that "you can literally eat your dinner from", we’re told.

Stepping onto the teak cockpit, Men of Steel provides shaded, aft-facing seating on the mezzanine deck. The M550 has a beam of 5.2m and a draft of 1.3m, which Maritimo Gold Coast says makes this a big-volume boat.

TVs are found in the master and forward cabins, the saloon and on the flybridge deck, while underwater lights set the tone at night. The master cabin is to port, an island double berth forward, and a twin-bunk cabin starboard. Air-conditioning runs throughout the boat, while the two en suites both have loos and shower stalls.

As per all Maritimo flybridge cruisers, an internal staircase leads to the enclosed helm station and upper lounge area. The dash features two Raymarine E120 displays, the electronics linked to Seatalk GPS antenna, DSM 300 sounder, 1kW transducer and 72nm open array radar. The flybridge aft deck, like the cockpit, is also teak-laid as is the swimplatform, while for al fresco barbecues there’s a 240V stainless steel barbecue in the transom.

Also included aboard Men of Steel are a bow-mounted 3.5m Thundercat inflatable with 50hp Tohatsu and cover, a 350kg Delux Davit to launch the tender, Karcher waterblaster, and a washer/dryer.

Maritimo Gold Coast says the Maritimo 550 Offshore Convertible has been reduced in price and is ready for sale. For more information, contact the team at Maritimo Gold Coast, Lot 7 John Lund Drive, Hope Island, phone: (07) 5509 3611, email: or log on

Aptly named, the Men of Steel is a big beast boasting amazing performance and seagoing capabilities. Maritimo Gold Coast says she has always been in service and includes a cockpit docking station with controls for the engines and bow and stern thrusters.


FOR SALE: $1,179,000
MATERIAL: Fibreglass
TYPE: Hard chine planing monohull
LOA: 17.8m
BEAM: 5.2m
DRAFT: 1.3m
WEIGHT: 23,000kg (dry)
FUEL: 5400lt
WATER: 800lt plus watermaker
ENGINE: 2 x Caterpillar C18 twin turbo-diesels (300 hours)
RATED HP: 1015 (each)

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 430, Aug-Sept 2012. Story: John Panozzo. Photos: Gold Coast Maritimo.


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