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Boats are getting bigger, faster and ever-more luxurious, but try finding a berth for them. Thankfully, that shouldn’t be an issue with the new Maritimo 56, a handy-size motoryacht that slots right into the yes-I-can-dock-it owner/driver class, writes DAVID LOCKWOOD

Maritimo 56 Motoryacht

At 60-feet overall, the latest Maritimo 56 Motoryacht is a nice owner- driver boat, not so big that it shouldn't be able to find a berth when you hop along the coast from marina to marina. Furthermore, with the latest docking aids, boats like this are a lot easier to manoeuvre for footloose husband-and-wife teams than they ever were.

The 56 MY we drove had bow and sternthrusters, a docking remote, a second set of controls on the aft bridgedeck, broad walkaround sidedecks, and nice big cleats sitting proud of the gunwales. Along with commanding views from the enclosed flybridge and aft bridgedeck, you really couldn't ask for more. That said, ZF Marine's new JMS (Joystick Manoeuvring System) is an option on the 56 MY.

But it doesn't end there. Your pre-passage engine checks are made easy by the fact the engineroom is a walk-in number, the engineering is generic in keeping with all the other Maritimos, and the whole kit and caboodle is based on the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle. Switch on the DC breakers, fire-up the 17.5kVa Caterpillar generator if you want aircon, turn the keys, and go.

As big as you need to go, the Maritimo 56 MY offers a terrific compromise between decent waterline length for a smooth ride at sea, efficient performance from modest Caterpillar 715hp C12 common rail diesel engines, and generous on-water real estate, and driver friendliness. And with modern design lines, it might just woo younger wayfarers to the Maritimo fold.




Step down into the engineroom and you'll find a nice moulded white liner designed to show oil leaks and checkerplate flooring running down the centreline between the Caterpillar C12 engines. The dipsticks are inboard, the sea strainers have inspection bowls, there are dripless shaft seals, and 2.07:1 ZF gearboxes with delightful electronic gearshifts with positive detent so you know when you are in and out of gear. All the key seacocks are labelled and so it goes.

The Racor fuel filters - one per engine - CAT coolant bottles, and oil for the hydraulic power steering are mounted on the forward bulkhead for at-a-glance inspection. Forward of here is the integral GRP fuel tank, while back aft are the water pumps, battery charger and inverter, plus the washable membranes for the engine venting. There is plenty of soundproofing above, but this is a smooth operator thanks also to the five-blade props on the end of the 2.25in duplex stainless steel shafts.

The AGM batteries are kept outboard of the engine and easy to reach, and it's here that I also spotted a high-pressure water blaster mounted in situ with fore and aft outlets for rinsing your boat post- passage. All very utilitarian and serviceable in an honest Australian way.

With the engines mounted a long way forward, relative to other boats, and the fuel positioned on the fulcrum, the boat has a high degree of inherent stability. The low nine-degree shaft angles helps it run naturally flat. The exhausts are the common Aqualift-type mufflers with wet boxes. Maritimo head, Bill Barry-Cotter, isn't keen on the underwater alternatives.

Hull construction is in keeping with the tried-and-tested family heritage: solid fibreglass for the running surface; cored or composite topsides, deck, wheelhouse, and flybridge; with freestanding fibreglass bulkheads, and a watertight collision bulkhead forward. Nothing radical, but why reinvent the wheel? And Barry-Cotter, founder of Riviera, has built literally thousands of boats in this time-honoured way.

The boat comes standard with four air-con units, two in the saloon to counter the effects of the abundant glass, but the demo model also had the optional (must-have in our view) air-con in the enclosed flying bridge. The electric sunroof to the bridge was another option that we recommend.

Wiring schematics are supplied for the boat's 24V-DC system and AC side of things. A 2000W inverter supplies power to outlets in each of the two bathrooms, the galley fridge and freezer, TVs, stereos and engineroom lighting. And note: a 2000W inverter will also run a cappuccino machine without needing to fire-up the generator.




Without the wings over the walkaround decks, the 56 heralds a new look for Maritimo's popular Motoryachts to that of a more rakish, clean and contemporary profile. The lines suggest go-fast performance, which there is, yet compared with previous motoryachts, this one doesn't run quite so flat. With more angle in the centre and a higher running attitude, it's a drier boat at sea than the old 60s.

On deck, Maritimo understands the Aussie way of boating life and now goes about introducing other countries to how it should be done. Foremost, there's a big cockpit for entertaining and hanging out, with a built-in lounge mid-transom for four people around the option of a dinette. The standard-issue deep swim-platform had an upgraded hydraulic lift so it's submersible. You will still need to fit a cockpit awning, however, and while you're at it, a Euro-style zip-on extension will give shade to the al fresco lunch setting.

Walkaround decks lead to the foredeck and the Muir Thor windlass with capstan and separate rope and chain lockers. The teak table will come in handy when the drinks are on the bow. The tender and davit still need to be mounted up here. Back aft, the boat had optional Aqualuma underwater transom lights and a boot fitted with optional barbecue and eutectic fridge-freezer. Lid open, it's a great place to sit by the water and contemplate how great life can be.

Under the cockpit floor, you'll find oodles of room for stowing water toys, and the polypropylene water and blackwater tanks. A fender locker exists in the lid to the lazarette and there are side lockers, under-lounge and sink storage, too. The boat had optional teak-laid decks, floodlights, and outdoor speakers for the upgraded Bose Lifestyle 131 system, with separate indoor and flybridge zones as well.




Trifold stainless steel doors lead inside, where the aft galley boasts a new optional island servery. There's a trick pullout pantry, domestic fridge-freezer, combo microwave oven, four-burner cooktop, deep sink with filtered drinking water, dishdrawer dishwasher, top-loading garbage bin, Amtico easy-clean flooring, and Corion counters with a new edgy finish and satin-finished teak joinery.

The hard-edged interior design will divide and conquer, but there is the option of traditional yachtlike rounded joinery and fiddles if you prefer. And these things have evolved over time for a reason, namely, to provide handholds and prevent bruising in a seaway, and provide containment in the event of a spill.

Opposite the galley, alongside the portside staircase to the flybridge, is the wet bar with fridge or optional icemaker, and Sony Bravia flatscreen television facing the leather lounges ahead. The big L-shaped lounge to port can double as a daybed, while the teak table and smaller lounge opposite will sit four for breakfast.

Opening side windows assist with natural ventilation, while the deep picture windows frame the views. Headroom is a high point, and the fit and finish and ceiling liners were well executed in keeping with the factory's ISO 9001 accreditation. Storage is also provided in the saloon.




Accommodation spans three cabins and two bathrooms, with an LG washer/dryer in the companionway alongside a teak linen press. The stateroom is to port, away from the main chine area, with an island double berth, and a terrific panorama window alongside. Opening hatches bring natural ventilation aboard. Lift the mattress and there's a huge walk-in storage area below. The en suite includes a stylish recessed sink in the vanity, Tecma head and big shower stall.

Opposite is the crew or kids cabin (aka dog box if you're a snorer) with single bed, the option of a second bunk, and a huge storage locker. There's a nice big portlight, too. The communal head mirrors the owner's en suite, but is forward with a second door to the VIP guests' cabin in the bow, thereby doubling as its en suite. The boat's raised foredeck has improved the sense of headroom in the heads and cabins, too.

The deck hatches incorporate insect and shade screens, as all deck hatches should, there are separate AV systems in the cabins, plus hanging lockers and mirrors. Nothing is too adventurous, but with some personal bedding you can stamp you own style. As seen here, the boat had optional décor and bathroom packages that offered a timeless look.




I spent plenty of time riding high in the enclosed flybridge, a penthouse in the sky with twin helm seats, transverse two-person passenger lounge to port, and L-shaped lounge and table behind that's big enough to double as dinette at a calm anchorage. There's room under the lounge for storing, say, fishing rods and length is such that it can double as a skipper's bed.

Outdoors is a moulded sink, fridge and teak-topped bridgedeck big enough to entertain. It also had the aforesaid optional docking control station. None of this is new, mind you, with Halvorsen offering enclosed bridge motoryacht designs many moons ago that are nice and practical. But the level of finish and sophistication has stepped up a notch these days.

The twin Maritimo helm chairs front a cool matt-black dash that was home to a Simrad electronics fitout including twin NX45 nav screens and an AP28 autopilot. There are electronic Cat engine panels, simple rocker switches, wipers with washers, and a sports wheel that offers direct and feather-light handling with just a turn or two lock-to-lock.

As I said at the outset, this is an easy boat to drive. That and efficiency are the drivers of its design. Delivery skipper Andrew Willaton, son of race driver and Maritimo delivery boss Ross, brought the boat from the Gold Coast to Sydney, where it debuted at the boat show. He apparently maintained a high-speed cruise of 26 to 27kts at 2180rpm for about 240lt/h.

Top speed on our test day was 30.6kts, with 1950rpm giving a cruise of 22.6kts for 183lt/h, and 1750rpm returning 19kts for 146lt/h, which is a great figure for a 28-tonne (dry) ship. Maritimo says the safe working range at 900rpm and 8.8kts is 809nm, at hull speed of 10kts at 1100rpm it's about 642nm, while at 1700rpm the boat sits in a low-speed cruise sweet spot, running at 17.6kts for a range of 462nm.

Thus, the variable deadrise hull with a flat run aft performs fast or slow, and in the mid ranges where other deep-vee hulls labour. I also like the fact that in displacement mode, when you have the time to go places slowly and conserve fuel, there's a good amount of freeboard and lift in the bow so you won't be scooping water in a headsea.

The 3850lt fuel and 800lt water supplies are commensurate with a serious cruising boat, and give the ability to stay away for about 10 days without a watermaker, though most owners will fit one. You'll also need to add satellite communications, dinghy and davit, dive and fishing gear. But you are well advised to leave the ETA open for your return home.




Specifications- Maritimo 56 Motoryacht




$1,983,597 w/ twin Caterpillar C12 715hp engines, and options




Air-conditioning to flybridge, second helm seat in flybridge, sternthrusters with controls to flybridge only, engine controls flybridge aft, portside windscreen wiper and washer fitted to centre flybridge window, flybridge rail covers, Strataglass windscreen cover, teak-laid deck to cockpit sidedecks (to step) and swim platform, teak-laid deck to flybridge aft balcony, flybridge carpet, flybridge aft rails fitted with mid rail, cockpit stainless steel barbecue, cockpit seating canvas cover, cockpit floodlights fitted to aft end of hardtop, high-pressure water blaster with outlets in cockpit and anchorwell, electric swim-platform, electric sunroof to hardtop, island bench in galley, flatscreen TV, Bose Lifestyle 38 Surround Sound System DVD/CD/AM/FM, flybridge and cockpit speakers, underwater LED lights, décor and bathroom packages, Simrad NX45 NavStation package, and more




Approx $1.82 million w/ Caterpillar C12 diesel engines




Material: GRP fibreglass w/ cored decks, superstructure and hull sides
Type: Hard chine variable-deadrise planing hull
Length overall: 18.5m
Beam: 5.2m
Draft: 1.35m (max.)
Deadrise: n/a
Weight: Approx 28,000kg (dry w/ standard engines)




Berths: 6+1
Fuel: 3850lt
Water: 800lt
Holding tank: 300lt




Make/model: Caterpillar C12
Type: Turbo-charged, fully electronic, turbo and common rail six- cylinder diesel engines
Rated HP: 715 at 2300rpm
Displacement: 12lt
Weight: Approx 1177kg plus gearbox
Gearboxes (Make): ZF
Props: Five-blade bronze




Maritimo Offshore,
Lot 6 John Lund Drive,
Hope Island, Qld, 4212
Phone: (07) 5530 1477

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