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At last, a Maritimo priced from under-$1 million that targets mainstream pleasureboaters. Backed by Bill Barry-Cotter’s credentials, the new 470 Offshore Convertible is a winner, says DAVID LOCKWOOD

Maritimo 470 Offshore Convertible

Forty-seven. It's the magic number. More Australians have bought 47-footers in recent years than any other cruiser. Little wonder, then, that Australian boatbuilding doyen Bill Barry-Cotter has brought his boats back down the range, back down to earth, as evidenced by this extremely enticing, very well-grounded, ready-to-rumble 47-footer.

The new 47 hull comes in Offshore Convertible and Cabriolet guises. We'll get to the latter in the fullness of time, if not after a long lunch at anchor. Meantime, there's a lot to love about the 47 Offshore Convertible. I know existing 47 owners will be clambering to get aboard, compare notes and just maybe say goodbye to their pesky 'clear' flybridge curtains once and for all.

With a starting price under $1 million, the 47 Offshore Convertible is Barry-Cotter's most affordable Maritimo - for now (watch this space). But let's be frank about this. By the time the boat is race or cruise ready, it's probably more like $1.1 million. I would add a watermaker - the standard 400lt won't get you too far but you can option it up with another 400lt tank at the expense of storage space - plus tender, davit, a full suite of electronics, outrigger poles, cockpit awning, and more powerpoints.

But a little over million isn't a lot these days? You might get a Gold Coast unit, a miner's cottage in Balmain, a bungalow in Melbourne, a townhome in Perth. Or you can drive away in this the three-bedroom apartment on water, move to the next best address at a moment's notice, and escape.

Designed expressly for the Australian way of boating, backed by the integrity and experience of Maritimo's principal, Bill Barry-Cotter, who has made more than 4500 boats, the 470 Offshore Convertible is smart craft with broad appeal. As Goldie Locks said: "This one's j-u-s-t right."




There's a palpable, exciting, infectious buzz at Maritimo these days. A marque on the march, the Australian yard has new boats coming out down to 40ft and, with the recent acquisition of Mustang, is offering sportscruisers from 28ft, too. There are new dealerships opening, new marine precinct developments put forward, and plenty of press releases announcing future plans.

But Barry-Cotter will tell you, as he did us, that looks count for a lot in today's discerning pleasureboating market. With its raked cabin or house, and go-fast sporty lines, the 470 Offshore Convertible might hook a younger generation than has previously jumped aboard the company's Cruising Motor Yachts. You might also notice the extra fixed portlights flanking the bow and portside stateroom, plus the extra deck hatch directing fresh air inside. This is an open, airy, fun boat.

As Maritimo marketing man Luke Durman told <I>Trade-a-Boat</I>, cruisers below 50ft are the ones that are currently selling. Hence Maritimo's new stylish Offshore Convertibles, which will go down to 40ft in the near future. Besides, as they have deep walkaround decks, you can go much smaller than 48 in the more traditional Cruising Motor Yacht line.

Of course, Maritimo doesn't defer to looks alone. As intimated, the 470 has signature engineering and economy derived from its variable deadrise hull, low shaft angles and five-blade in-house cast 30in x 39in diameter props. And with that, the boat has the range and room for spending serious time aboard. Yet it's an easy owner/driver boat and you could maintain it yourself. J-u-s-t right.

Barry-Cotter says the 470 is also a boat that you might take to Hamilton Island or on other long coastal hops. Hence the shaft-driven Volvo Penta D11 engines instead of IPS drives. The problem with IPS for long-haul cruising is that it won't handle a big load - its performance is based around keeping the boat light - but we cruising types tend to tote everything including the kitchen sink these days.

So the shaft-driven D11s are the preferred luggers. And with bowthruster and optional sternthrusters fitted, docking is a snap. The best of both worlds.




We did our thing and got down and dirty, devoting the best part of a day to ferreting through the 470 Offshore from the bilges to the aerials hanging off the flying bridge. There's a lot to like about this boat, not least being its simplicity of systems and the way Barry-Cotter prefers tried-and-trusted approaches rather than being a guinea pig for new technology. He has been burnt before.

Lay-up below the waterline is all solid glass, with the boat tipping the scales at 19t, which is 500kg less than its opposition. The boat's also a big 47, measuring 53ft overall (the same as the 500 sister ship), including the integral moulded boarding platform. With a hull to ISO 866 standards of 15.50m, or 50ft10in, most boat manufacturers in America or Europe would deem it a 51. Plenty of boat for your buck in the Barry-Cotter way and buyers will like that.

Internal engine intakes help keep spray away from the Volvo straight sixes fitted with traditional wet exhausts. Access to the engines is via a big hatch and short lift-out ladder, the watertight engineroom has a full liner, the generator is easily accessed back aft and, you might notice, there are dual bilge pumps (six in total) in each of the hull compartments. Just in case.

The 470 comes with a charger/inverter, labelled raw-water and freshwater pumps, with a spare water pump piggybacked alongside - good thinking - and charcoal filters for the drinking supply. The batteries are outboard, with the Volvo D11s well forward, thereby allowing shallow shaft angles that, with the hull's flat run, combine to provide the efficiency.

Fuel is forward in a transverse tank on the fulcrum so there's zero effect on trim. The tank has shutoffs, a sight gauge, with the heavy-duty fuel filters forward and outboard. Going forward, it is a tad tight between the engines but such is the beam of the boat that's there's almost as much room outboard of them. That's just as well, as, for whatever reason, the engines weren't handed and, thus, the oil dipstick for the port engine was outboard.

But by any measure, including that of the big-name offshore brands, the engineering, engineroom, and thought given to servicing and longevity is first-class. Take it from me, you won't be disappointed running the boat and maintaining its systems, replacing generator impellers, topping up the tanks, and suchlike.




With a false chine above the waterline, the boat steps out of its footprint to become wider and more voluminous than would otherwise be possible. The cockpit is a whopper - the boat is super stable - but there are no side storage pockets due to the angled interior mouldings. What you lose here you gain in a whopping great lazarette and, thanks to a matching oversized deck hatch, you can easily carry and retrieve tables, chairs, watertoys, and the like. Fender storage exists under the hatch lid and gas struts help as well. Above deck, there are two small in-transom lockers.

As touched on, the beautifully deep and destined-to-be-bathed-upon boarding platform is an integral part of the hull - gamefishers can delete it - while the central moulded barbecue and storage area, with 240V outlet, can be optioned as a livebait tank. I also found underwater lights, nice big (Lectro) tabs, and a hot-cold deck shower near the wide marlin door, plus hawsepipes and oversized cleats.

There's a trend away from teak-topped cockpits to save money and maintenance, but the 47) hull #1 had teak-covering boards and a teak cockpit sole. As the 470 has evolved from its 500 and 550 sister ships, which began life as serious fishboats, plenty of thought has gone into draining the cockpit of water. The scuppers are huge and, we're told, capable of shedding 700lt per minute.

The boat needs a cockpit awning for shade and shelter near the outward-opening saloon door, although the moulded overhang provides a degree of protection to the oversized eutectic fridge/freezer and sink modules hard up against the cabin bulkhead. As ever, these double as seats. Moulded steps direct you to the wide and safe sidedecks, with the signature moulded non-skid that demands a water blaster to keep clean. Hey, one was fitted.

Grabrails assist with your passage forward and the foredeck is accommodating of a 350kg davit and centre console tender. The anchor winch is a Muir model, recessed in such a way that mud will drain back overboard. Again, the cleats are oversized and the vibe is very much serious bluewater boat.




As you come inside, immediately to port, there's a rod locker that is perhaps best served as a pantry with the addition of some shelves. Indeed, the 470 could do with a bit more space for stowing the provisions and here's the obvious solution. Brilliantly, the internal staircase lets you trounce up top to the enclosed, in this case air-conditioned flybridge with safety if not abandon.

This is a bridge big enough to entertain at the right anchorage as well as cruise in comfort. The optional electric sunroof has a super quiet and swift mechanism. Left open, it adds considerably to the natural ventilation without directing a gale inside.

But while big, the flybridge is not unwieldy. The L-shaped lounge and teak table convert to a double bed during passages at sea, and opposite is a fridge. The dash accommodates a big spread of electronic screens, in this case Raymarine Widescreens thought to be most popular with local 47 owners. But electronics are your call.

The sight lines back down to the cockpit are unfettered for docking or chasing fish on the wide blue yonder, while the Pompanette helm chairs (one comes standard) are comfy. But the location of a tackle locker up here is curious. Use it for stowing personals, I suppose.




Headroom is a highpoint in the saloon, as is the seating, which is high backed and, while not as contemporary as the low-slung lounges in the Cabriolets, deliciously comfortable. There wasn't much by way of storage beneath the lounges, but there are big holds under the two beds, and storage in the third cabin for plonk and more.

The aft L-shaped one enjoys great views out the deep picture window, while the forward portside lounge fronts a small dinette opposite the galley. You can seat four people at either station, with the Panasonic TV mounted on the high-gloss teak joinery forward, which includes a number of storage recesses.

The boat hasn't views out the forward windscreen, as it's all sleek, white fibreglass swooping from foredeck to the flybridge. This is the traditional American convertible design and, on the upside, it affords a greater degree of onboard privacy.

The galley to port, meanwhile, is an L-shaped number with solid counters, recessed sink, convection all-in-one microwave oven, and decent four-burner cooktop sans range hood. In a domestic situation, there would at least be an in-counter recessed fan alongside the cooktop. Instead, you will need to run the air-con, crack the hatches and leave the saloon door open when cooking.

A dish-drawer dishwasher and upright fridge-freezer are provided, but I could find only one 240V outlet in the entire saloon/galley and the carpet needed finishing or edging. These are minor details sure to be ironed out by the busy yard running at breakneck speed to meet boat-show deadlines.

The three-cabin accommodation layout is roomy. The third cabin has just a single bunk and, sensibly, plenty of open recesses below it and about the place to stash soft bags. Owners will doubtless use it as a dressing and storage room. Below the companionway floor, meanwhile, is terrific access to the plumbing, sump pumps, and so on. In fact, you could probably store some gear down here, too.

The stateroom to port has wonderfully deep panorama windows that draws your attention to the anchorage outside, if not the fish swimming past and the birds on the wing. You can get around all sides of the island double berth, handy for making the bed - the striped bedding adding nautical style - while the en suite has a nice big shower and recessed sink instead of salad-bowl style number. It's all moulded and easy clean.

Guests should be pleased with their digs in the bow, where the island berth is flanked by fixed portlights for more light, and the communal head and big shower double as an en suite. With all that you can sleep five (plus one on a saloon lounge if you had to), though the 470 will work best with just another couple or siblings. Either way, the boat is just a perfect fit and, given the history of 47s in the country, we expect it to sidle into plenty of expectant berths around the country.




Maritimo is headed by Bill Barry-Cotter the founder of Mariner in 1966, Riviera in 1980, and now the owner of Mustang after its recent acquisition.

Barry-Cotter estimated he has built more than 4500 boats since he completed his apprenticeship with Cedric Williams, a one-off timber boatbuilder in Sydney.

The Maritimo 470 Offshore Convertible has a signature shaft-driven engine installation because "it's still a boat to take to Hamilton Island". Pod drives don't perform well when carrying a boatload of weight.

Maritimo says boats under-50ft are selling best and, traditionally, 47-footers are the best sellers of all time.

The 470 Offshore Convertible has a base price of mid-$900,000 but, realistically, it's a $1.1 million race or cruise-ready offshore machine.








Boats are like the opposite sex. Some you hit it off with, some you don't. The Maritimo 470 Offshore Convertible is bound to be a loving partner. You slip behind the wheel, enjoy clear views fore and aft, turn the keys and engage the throttles that fall to hand. The addition of (standard) bow and (optional) sternthrusters gives you the manoeuvrability of a pod drive. The D11s, meanwhile, are nice and smooth, with noise levels best described as par for the cruising course.

Add the race-bred power steering that let's you rip the boat around off the wheel and put it back up on an even keel with the flick of a wrist and you have a 47 that delivers driving pleasure. But more than that, the 470 Offshore Convertible is a boat with which you instinctively bond. It's also not overwhelming, big enough to bridge the troughs, and remarkably dry since Maritimo altered it's trim angles about a year ago.

With half fuel and full water, top speed was 32.8kts according to the official figures. But at 1500rpm and 18kts you get a near-500nm range using 5.47lt/nm or 99lt/h. That's frugal and underscores the broad efficiency of Barry-Cotter's variable-deadrise shaft-driven hulls. Unlike deep-vees, they perform across a wide rev range.




$1,083,235 w/ Volvo Penta D11 diesel engines, and options




Flybridge aft clears (Strataglass, inc. rail covers); windscreen wiper and washer to centre-fixed window; flybridge air-conditioning (inc. windscreen demist) 24,000 BTU; second helm seat (Pompanette); flybridge aft rail (second mid-rail and six rocket launchers); flybridge dinette converts to bunk; sunroof in flybridge - electric with shade slide; flybridge carpet and upholstery upgrade to Sunbrella Alfresco Marine; sternthrusters with controls to flybridge; cockpit engine controls; teak-laid decking to cockpit and sidesteps; teak-laid decking to swim platform; rodholders to cockpit coaming; cockpit covering boards (unvarnished teak with covers); high-pressure water blaster with outlets in cockpit and anchorwell; vinyl teak floor to saloon entry and galley; carpet cover in main saloon; stainless steel bar fridge in saloon entertainment unit; water gauge to galley; preparation for future watermaker installation (inc. skin fittings, shelf and power); décor and entertainment packages including Bose Lifestyle 38 Surround Sound System DVD/CD/AM/FM with hard drive for 200 hours music storage; underwater LED lights; Raymarine C120 package; and more




Approx $940,000 w/ Volvo Penta D11 diesel engines



MATERIAL: GRP fibreglass w/ cored decks, superstructure and hull sides
TYPE: Hard chine variable-deadrise planing hull
BEAM: 5.2m
DRAFT: 1.2m (max.)
WEIGHT: Approx 19t (dry w/ standard engines)



BERTHS: 5 + 1
FUEL: 3000lt
WATER: 400lt




MAKE/MODEL: Volvo Penta D11
TYPE: Fully electronic, common rail six-cylinder turbo-diesel
WEIGHT: Approx 1130kg bobtail (excl. gearbox)
PROPS: Five-blade 30 x 39in bronze
Maritimo Gold Coast,
Lot 7 John Lund Drive,
Hope Island, Qld, 4212
Phone: (07) 5509 3611



SEA TRIALS        

Twin 670hp Volvo Penta D11 turbo-diesel, with 90% fuel and full water onboard.

600        7kts          10lt/h                 1890nm
900        8.9kts       27lt/h                 890nm
1100      10.1kts      51lt/h                 535nm
1700      22.1kts      127lt/h               470nm
2100      29.4kts      201lt/h               395nm
2310      32.8kts      252lt/h               351nm




Maritimo's 470 Offshore Convertible presses the buttons. It's got signature engineering, a slippery hull, great efficiency, and it can be configured for cruising, fishing or a mix of both. At the same time, the price is right in a clever way. Rather than load up the boat with options and price it high, the yard has pared back the extras to deliver more.

Beyond all this, there's the wow factor. Prospective buyers will walk aboard and be impressed by the ease of access to the big enclosed flying bridge, the high backed and comfortable saloon lounges, and the stateroom with panorama window and en suite. Finally, there's the backing of Maritimo, a marque on the march investing heavily in pleasureboating's future. Plenty will jump aboard the wagon.


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