BOAT TEST: MARITIMO 73 CRUISING MOTORYACHT
When the doyen of Australian boatbuilders turns his hand to creating a new flagship, you better sit up and take notice. Not that you have any alternative with the almighty Maritimo 73 Motoryacht, writes DAVID LOCKWOOD
What towers almost seven metres above the waterline, displaces 55 tonnes fully loaded, has 3000hp in standard power rearing to go, carries almost 10,000 litres of diesel, is illuminated by 160 of the latest LED lights, and has a starting price of $4.25 million? No need to phone a friend, the stunning new Maritimo 73 Motoryacht will command your attention and pull a crowd wherever she pulls in.
The magnum opus or greatest work of Bill Barry-Cotter, who has built literally thousands of luxury cruisers over more than 40 years, the 73MY puts the well-respected boatbuilder back at the top of the tree - this is the biggest production cruiser ever built in Australia, measuring more than 24.80m (80 feet) from bow to swim platform, with a broad 6.70m (21-foot) beam that, in itself, is bigger than the average Australian (trailer) boat is long.
More than one-man's vision, however, the 73MY is a collaborative effort from Maritimo's A-team including everyone from Martin Lewis on the engineering and hull design fronts to professional driver Ross Willaton, who knew just how he wanted the dash. Hence details such as a rolled or bull-nosed soft leading edge, so you can kickback in the plush helm chair, feet on the upholstery, and cruise in comfort. Reeling in the sea miles is the 73MY forte.
With standard power of twin V12 Caterpillar C32 1550(b)hp engines with twin turbos, and a signature Maritimo variable-deadrise deep-vee hull with high efficiency derived from low shaft angles, the 73MY isn't hanging around. Spinning big Teignbridge five-blade propellers, the boat does 9kts at idle for 40lt/h and a range of about 3000nm.
Docking and decamping is made easy by a go-slow mode on the gearbox, a slip-diff of sorts that brings the idle back to 5kts. There were optional - though must-have in our book - hydraulic bow and sternthrusters that you can lean on all day long. Captain Willaton was taking this big girl in and out of the dock by himself. Twin aft bridge docking stations and a remote, plus a berth on a marina tee-bar, will make parking child's play.
Naturally, things take on a different complexion when you advance the throttles. In the blink of an eye, you are scooting along in the enclosed flybridge - without the wind in the hair - at 30kts. You're at this long-range cruise speed, where the engines are under 80 per cent load, in just 20 seconds after leaving the blocks. Top speed was 34kts, but if you want a real rocketship - as those hardcore Americans do - then there is the option of twin 1825hp C32s.
Barry-Cotter has worked a marvel with his 73MY in that big doesn't mean complicated. If you can command his baby 48MY, you can jump aboard this boat, flick a few switches on the control panel, check the engineroom, take the reins and have your crew cast the lines. Simply, he has expanded on a theme. And that really appealed to me, as it will to even more prospective buyers considering upgrading from their existing Maritimos.
The engineroom is a standing-height model, with a full liner and terrific insulation, plus a surfeit of serving space around all sides of the Caterpillar V12s. There are twin 24kVa generators (the second unit being optional) with water/gas splitters for silent operation and big battery banks located outboard, battery chargers and 4000W inverter (to run fridges and AV systems at night), a workbench with one-tonne vice and a fully loaded Kinchrome toolbox. The fuel is amidships with a sight gauge and an inspection hatch should you need to drain the tank. The Racor fuel filters and Cat' coolant bottles are mounted on the forward bulkhead for at-a-glance checks.
The boat has Aqualift wet exhausts, washable engineroom vent membranes and heavy-duty stainless steel sea strainers. The C32 engines also come with in-situ ignition panels and gauges so mechanics can complete routine servicing without needing to head to the helm.
Following this test of the 73MY, I drove the yard's new 56MY and then an Aegean 50 Enclosed and silently cheered that all of them had the same engineroom layout. What you will find that's different on the 73MY is more redundant systems, from the back-up generator to twin sets of Racor fuel filters for each engine and the twin battery chargers, dual air-conditioning pumps, and split sanitary system. Twin water pumps ensure there's plenty of back-massaging water pressure and a backup there, too.
For safety, the hydraulic thrusters run off the port engines, with the hydraulic steering off the starboard engines. So if one or other fails, you still have a means of steerage. The twin hydraulic Muir windlasses, with second capstan for deep-water anchoring with a chain and rope rode, were an upgrade, as was the water-blaster with forward and aft outlets for washing your boat, and the capstans for push-button stern-to mooring adjustment.
Rather than jump into CAN-bus switching, the yard has stuck with tried-and-tested switch panels for the 24V-DC and 240V electrical systems.
The boat has three-phase Shorepower so you can hook up to the marina and run a shipload of appliances and the tropical-strength air-con. In case you're wondering, air-con specs are: saloon 48,000BTU; master stateroom 16,000BTU; forward stateroom 12,000BTU; starboard cabin 10,000BTU; port stateroom 10,000BTU; and, skylounge 48,000BTU. One cool boat, indeed.
Maritimo's Milky Way, as I dubbed it, comprises 160 LED lights. Yet the star show only draws 6amp when ablaze. And there is plenty of reason to kick back on this boat at night. With a 130lt/h Italian-made Indromar watermaker, you are self-sufficient and go to town with the showering. The 1720lt water tanks are big enough for about two weeks, with 600lt of blackwater. A gulper pump has been fitted to the 73MY to keep the bilges doubly dry.
Construction, meanwhile, is solid GRP for the hull with cored topsides, deck and flybridge. Considerable effort has gone into keeping weight out of the boat, and putting it back in with the big fuel and water capacities. As such, this is your true long-range liveaboard reef explorer, a boat for cruising to the Top End on a tropical odyssey, crossing into the Pacific via New Caledonia, when not circumnavigating Tasmania in summer.
It's not a first per se, but the aft garage with room for a sizeable 4.5m jet tender is new for an Australian flybridge boat. Gone is the duckie on the foredeck, thereby allowing for a massive 17.75m² cockpit, which is another point of difference on this boat. With this kind of hull volume, the accommodation shifts from being mainly forward to more amidships as well.
Besides the garage with tender, which you launch with the aid of a davit, there's a massive swim platform that adds considerably to the waterfront real estate. You can stand with the boot open and cook on the 240V barbecue or teppanyaki plate. It's also a pretty neat seat to hang out. You might notice, as I did, the Euro-style wraparound hull sides, which add to the big silver boat's svelte looks.
Cockpit features include a eutectic fridge/freezer, aft lounge for eight, L-shaped lounge under the flybridge overhang around a dinette for eight to 10, built-in sink, and huge rope and fender lockers. Underfloor, I'm told, will be possible crew quarters in future. Evidently, Barry-Cotter is also working with the option of creating different transom modules to sate big gamefishermen. The cockpit is big enough for twin chairs.
As with all Maritimo Motoryachts, the 73 is a walkaround mini-ship with wide and safe bulwarks tucked under wings that offer some rain protection at anchor. There's a handy side-door to starboard for quick access back into the saloon and, I like this, a neat built-in lounge and teak table on the bow for doing sundowners when you're nose to the sunset or idling around on that champagne twilight cruise. Back aft is a set of underwater lights for that midnight skinny dip in the height of summer.
Measuring almost 12m or 38ft long, the flybridge is like a sportscruiser in the sky. At the Sydney International Boat Show, where the 73MY debuted, it was the place to be seen. A dozen or more key figures could be found here discussing business and boating matters. Post show, I found a lot more to embrace, not least being the optional overhead sunroof, using a trick European automotive mechanism, and large extended bridgedeck, with port and starboard docking stations, and enough floor space to assemble a table and lunch aboard.
With a fully enclosed WC or head, a wet bar and provision for a fridge, a pop-up television - the boat had satellite TV - separate Bose zone, and a big lounge with cubes around a drinks table, the bridge is a self-contained penthouse primed for a party. Spend long nights playing cards with a crowd, as family sleep way down below in their bunks. And sleep up top when conditions on the anchor warrant it.
Triple helm seats with pneumatic adjustment front the full-beam upholstered dash, home to three 19in Simrad GB40 glass screens with 1kW sounder, 72nm radar, remotes and CCTV to the engineroom. There are twin Caterpillar digital engine-monitoring panels, ZF SmartCommand gearshift that uses CAN-bus technology, and the hydraulic bow and sternthruster controls. Custom Maritimo trim tabs with auto shutdown and signature off-the-wheel steering, with a hint more inboard heel than previous Maritimos, together provide great response for such a big boat.
Take the rear-facing stairs back down from the bridge and you enter the saloon, a second living area with its own highlights, not least being the freestanding dining setting for six alongside the aft galley replete with Miele appliances, two-door fridge/freezer, F&P dishwasher, and pullout pantry. The island servery is a new feature that provides better access into the L-shaped workspace. You might also notice the new catches with metal dogs in place of the old plastic ones - these boats are evolving all the time.
With triple-opening doors, the galley serves the al fresco setting as easily as the internal dinette. Assisting with that are pop-up glass and crockery cupboards that, at the push of a button, emerge from the forward counter to be at your beck and call. Nice touch. As is the drop-in footboard that makes your step from the cockpit into the saloon, atop onto the saloon-door tracks, more foot-kindly.
The generous use of glass in the saloon is a continuing feature of Maritimos, thereby creating a great sense of connectivity, but the 73MY is the harbinger for the new optional edgy joinery that's in keeping with European trends. Similarly, the furniture is modular, using a home-sized Natuzzi L-shaped leather lounge to port alongside a matching tub chair opposite a pop-up flatscreen television with Bose surround sound.
The overall effect is one of a clean, uncluttered, contemporary boat but, upon pressing a few buttons and remotes, one that transforms from ocean voyager to home-away-from-home and great entertainer. Its sociality doesn't come at the expense of seaworthiness, though it would be good practice to lay the dining chairs on the carpet before your passage. The sofa should stay put.
I'm not sure how many you want to sleep aboard your 73MY, but in holiday mode you could easily pack an extended family in the four- cabin/three-head layout, not to mention lose a couple more kids or the captain and mate in the enclosed bridge with fourth head. Then there are possible aft crew quarters to come. With a big footprint and true big-boat inventory, you won't feel like you are camping, living in each other's laps, and overdue for a tub.
The piece de resistance is, of course, the full-beam owner's stateroom located aft in the accommodation plan, between the amidships fuel tank and the engineroom. Further sound insulation is gained by the location of a full-beam bathroom behind the bed head, which features a frameless glass shower screen between twin vanities and heads, plus cross-flow ventilation thanks to opening portlights.
You will struggle to stay awake on the king bed set low on the floor to maximise legroom in the full-beam cabin. Flanked by big picture windows, you can enjoy the views at dawn (should you leave the curtains up), while natural ventilation means there's no need to run the generator and air-con, which is ducted in a smart way. The high- backed lounge makes a nice perch for reading a book or discussing tomorrow's boating plans before lights out.
The walk-in wardrobe, vanity, and big AV system are impressive, while the sense of space and lofty headroom underscore the flagship title.
Headroom appears to have increased in the heads, too, which now have new edgy recessed sinks rather than the floating salad bowls of yesteryear. Real tiles rather than moulded GRP faux flooring would add another touch of class, but the styling is at once elegant and timeless thanks to the satin teak joinery.
Meanwhile, guests can choose from the remaining two double-bed cabins, either to port or the VIP model in the bow, where privacy is ensured.
Each cabin has an island berth, with a huge underbed storage recess in the case of the portside cabin, and abundant hanging space and lockers. The remaining starboard cabin has a single bunk, with the option of second bunk, plus plenty of well-executed teak cabinetry.
With loads of opening hatches, you don't feel like you're squirreled away below decks on this boat. I presume insect screens fit them all for tropical living. The boat was bundled with separate Miele washer/ dryer which, if you know your washing machines and dryers, are the ant's pants.
Due to ISO 9001 accreditation of the Maritimo factory, and the fact this boat is built to CE standards to satisfy the European market, the fit and finish was first rate, while the plumbing systems are beyond what you might otherwise find. Underfloor, there are some enormous storage voids, too, as well as air-con units and hot-water service.
For all the space and comforts, the sense of power is most intoxicating. Knowledge is also power, of course, and Maritimo has drawn on its fleet of boats that cruise the Australian coast, taken all the feedback on board, and created something special. I'm told the mood was so infectious during this boat's build that management was picking up tools.
Top speed is 34kts on the open ocean, says Captain Willaton. We saw a bit over 33 skipping across the harbour. At sea, a 30kts cruise sees both engines sitting in the sweet 80 per cent load spot and consuming about 500lt/h for a safe and speedy working range of some 513nm - easily Sydney to the Gold Coast (380nm) in one hit, even running against the current. And you travel in comfy helm seats, behind glass windscreens, with air-con running. The magic carpet ride saw little noise and vibration, no wind whistling through your hair, and no thumps during our calm-sea ocean test.
Deferring to Maritimo's supplied sea-trial figures, the 73MY has a safe working range of almost 3000nm at 700rpm (8.2kts for 2.9lt/nm), 695nm at 1500rpm (17.8kts for 12.3lt/nm), and 595nm at 1900rpm (25.2kts for 14.37lt/nm). These figures were taken with roughly half load, eight people aboard, and leaving 10 per cent of the 9500lt fuel supply in reserve. Eventually, the boat will probably carry 10,000lt for even greater range.
"A journalist from The Australian newspaper enquired why build a boat like this in the current market. I sat down and explained to the guy that right now, it [the 73MY] costs half-a-million (dollars) less to build and sell than two-years ago. There's no better time to buy, though people with trade-ins need to also recognise the reduced value in their boats," Barry-Cotter told Trade-a-Boat at the Sydney International Boat Show, amid gangways that teetered under the weight of boat voyeurs.
A saying comes to mind: "Life is a great big canvass and you should throw all the paint at it you can". Take the reins, cast off, and create some memories aboard Maritimo's work of art.
SPECIFICATIONS- MARITIMO 73 CRUISING MOTORYACHT
PRICE AS TESTED
$ 4,738,332 w/ twin Caterpillar C32 1550hp engines, and options
Second 24kW Caterpillar genset, second companion helm chair, third companion helm chair, large polished timber coffee table and four leather ottomans in flybridge, Muir chain counter readout for standard windlass, hydraulic anchor windlass and 100kg anchor with 60m chain, Muir chain counter readout for hydraulic windlass, hydraulic bowthrusters (including remote control) in place of standard electric thruster, hydraulic sternthrusters (including remote control), engine controls to flybridge starboard and port aft stations, rear cockpit lounge cover in Sunbrella, Sunbrella covers and upholstery, teak-laid decking, cockpit stainless steel barbecue, twin vertical rope capstans to cockpit, high-pressure water blaster, electric sunroof to flybridge hardtop, hydraulic tender crane, Brig 3.4m tender with Evinrude 30hp two-stroke, water gauge to galley, separate washer and dryer in lieu of combo, watermaker Idromar IDRO- MC2JV-130lt/h in stainless steel, camera to engine bay, décor package, upgraded Bose and satellite TV entertainment package, Simrad GB40 package and platinum charts, and more
Approx $4.25 million w/ Caterpillar C32 1550hp diesel engines
Material: GRP fibreglass w/ cored decks, superstructure and hull sides
Type: Hard chine variable-deadrise planing hull
Length overall: 24.8m
Hull length (ISO): 22.25m
Waterline length: 20.5m
Draft: 1.55m (max.)
Weight: Approx 52,000kg (dry w/ standard engines)
Berths: 7 + 2 (+ 2 more with crew cab)
Holding tank: 600lt
Make/model: Caterpillar C32
Type: Fully electronic V12 twin-turbo common rail diesels
Rated HP: 1550
Weight: Approx 2840kg plus gearbox
Gearboxes (Make): ZF
Props: Five-blade bronze
Lot 6 John Lund Drive,
Hope Island, Qld, 4212
Phone: (07) 5530 1477
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