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Bill Barry-Cotter goes beyond the call of duty with his first pod-driven boat, the chic C47 Sports Cabriolet. JOHN ZAMMIT reports, joystick in hand…

Maritimo C47 Sports Cabriolet

At the Sydney International Boat Show last year, I had a conversation with Maritimo founder, CEO and industry icon Bill Barry-Cotter. He told me then his company had no plans to incorporate IPS drives into any of its models in the foreseeable future. Fast forward to Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in May this year where Maritimo releases the all-new C47 Sports Cabriolet, the first of the marque to feature a pod-propulsion system - twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 turbo-diesel engines and drives.

So what prompted the change of heart? The answer is simple. Customers wanted it and so Maritimo delivered. But they didn't just deliver a Sports Cabriolet with IPS drives. The Gold Coast yard went well beyond that. What they created was a beautifully proportioned, two-cabin two-bathroom, sports cabriolet that handles impeccably, has a great layout both above and below decks, and features a couple of very special safety innovations including a world-first - a positive-buoyancy system fitted to the engineroom.

During the process of design and manufacture, Maritimo worked closely with Swedish engine maker and the C47 is the first in the Oceania region to qualify for the Volvo Penta Certified Installation badge. This is an important safety feature that requires manufacturers to conform to a strict set of guidelines encompassing the hull design, construction and the installation of the Volvo Penta IPS drives.

The boat also features another important safety breakthrough. During construction it was realised that, with all the weight of the engines and drives under the cockpit, there was the possibility of a breach in the hull at the engineroom resulting in a catastrophic sinking from the stern. Such an event had the potential to trap people forward. Working with a naval architect, Maritimo integrated positive-buoyancy tanks on either side of the engineroom to ensure the C47 stays afloat in the event of a hull breach. A world first for an IPS-equipped boat.




While the engineering and safety built into the C47 are all-important and impressive, this boat offers a lot more and it's evident from the moment you step aboard. As a single-level entertainer she works well, the saloon opening up completely to the cockpit thanks to the use of innovative, aluminium-framed, bi-fold glass doors.

The saloon is light and airy, with a huge four-panel windscreen and large side windows. The test boat was fitted with an optional electrically operated glass sunroof allowing guests and skipper to take full advantage of the fresh air and sunshine. It also incorporated a sunblind for those times that call for a bit of shade.  Adjacent to the central helm is U-shaped seating to port that will comfortably accommodate eight around a table. To starboard, a narrow bench top hides the pop-up TV, aft of which is a fully equipped galley to service guests both inside and out.

Cleverly, the cockpit sole and about 900mm of saloon flooring directly inside the doors are on the same level to add to the seamless indoor/outdoor decks. This also works well when using the aft galley, which features near domestic-sized fridge-freezer to port and the four-burner electric hotplate and under-bench microwave opposite.

The galley floor is hard-wearing timber-type finish, with a small step up to the main part of the saloon, which is carpeted. I thought this was really practical, especially if you were entertaining friends or family in the cockpit. Counters for food preparation and the fridge are close at hand. I can also imagine this being handy for when children or guests have been diving off the swimplatform, as wet feet won't cause a problem on the hard surface.

The helm is located on the centreline and is a great driving position, with good vision over the bow and astern. Being alongside the saloon's main seating area also means the skipper can converse with guests while underway. The comfortable helm seat has a hinged backrest that shifts forward doubling as an additional saloon chair facing back inside. I would have preferred this seat to swivel so that it could also be used at the nearby table. It would be a big deal to convert.




Underway, the C47 is a joy to drive. Extremely agile and easy to handle, with a nice, big timber sports wheel that feels good in your hands. The Volvo IPS 600 diesel engines rated at 435hp each get you up and going effortlessly. She handles really well, banking nicely, especially into sharp turns - I think that's the nature of the pods. Handling was so effortless that I found I had to constantly remind myself that she's actually a big boat with a length of more than 50ft.

The dash is nicely laid out, everything easy to get to, and large enough to accommodate a couple of  Simrad NSE 12in screens - incorporating GPS-chartplotter, radar and fishfinder - plus autopilot, Volvo controls and engine management screen, joystick and an array of rocker switches.

Such was the driving pleasure that heading out through Sydney Heads on a gentle 2m rolling swell, I could have just kept going… all the way home to Melbourne, which incidentally, is just one of the places this boat would be ideally suited.




The accommodation below decks is another highlight and Maritimo has executed it perfectly. They've taken advantage of the extra room afforded by the IPS drives and utilised it to the full by way of a full-beam master stateroom amidships. It's a real winner with wow factor, huge portlights, a queen-sized bed running athwartships and a large lounge opposite. There's storage under the bed and a large wardrobe, plus a full-length mirror.

The master en suite includes a separate shower, electric toilet with freshwater flush, vanity unit and mirrored cabinets. There is an opening hatch above as well as extractor fan.

The VIP guest cabin in the bow would pass as the master suite on many lesser boats and includes a queen-size walkaround bed, fixed portlights in the hull, as well as an overhead opening (escape) hatch. There is an en suite fitted out in similar style to the master with a separate door in the companionway so as to double as a dayhead.

With accommodation like this you could comfortably go away for an extended period and with all the comforts of home. That said, I think this boat really shines as an entertainer. The covered cockpit is fitted out with a built-in amenities centre incorporating a sink and eutectic freezer - the test boat including the optional built-in barbecue - and there's a bar fridge and icemaker, too. But I thought the placement of these a bit odd in that access to both was hindered when the bi-fold doors were left open. The test C47 is hull No.1 and while the cockpit size was fine, I'm told that all subsequent builds will have it extended by 500mm making it even better again.

The engineroom is easy to enter via a hatch in the cockpit floor and its surprisingly large with good access all round. The Caterpillar 11kW generator (Onan is the usual spec) is housed forward of the engines, with battery banks either side. Fuel filters are mounted to the bulkhead and are easy to get to and inspect, and there is an inverter-battery charger combo, fire-suppressant system and a fixed water blaster.

The buoyancy tanks are located outboard of the engines and under the floor. Forward of the engineroom, via hatch access in the galley floor, is a utility space that houses the blackwater and freshwater tanks, water pumps, air-conditioners, and room for additional storage.

The whole cockpit can be raised hydraulically with the flick of a switch to reveal a cavernous tender garage that can accommodate not only a RIB but also a host of water toys. Add the optional hydraulic swimplatform and there's not much more you could ask for.

To access the foredeck, take a couple of steps up from the cockpit to nice wide walkways, with enough handholds and raised bulwarks to get you there safely. On the bow, the anchor is set down into a well, which means that any mud coming up with the anchor chain washes easily overboard without finishing up on deck.

There's loads of room on the foredeck and I can imagine being anchored off a secluded beach, the party in full swing, friends and family sharing the sunshine and good times on the C47. Bound to be a crowd pleaser.








The twin Volvo Penta's max out at 3500rpm and at that rate we managed just under 30kts. At 3200rpm, we clocked 26kts and at revs of 2150 were travelling at a sedate 13kts. To me, the engines sounded just right at around 3000rpm, and with just a touch of tabs we were doing 23kts with a fuel burn of 105lt/h. That's more than respectable for a boat of this size thanks to the IPS drives, which claim to be around 20 per cent more fuel efficient than shafts when the boat is lightly laden.





Twin 435hp Volvo IPS 600, 90% fuel, full water


RPM          SPEED          CONSUMPTION         RANGE

600            4.1kts           2.5lt/h                      2657nm
1100          7.2kts           6.5lt/h                      1794nm
1500          9kts              22.5lt/h                      648nm
2100          12.3kts         54.5lt/h                       366nm
2900          23.2kts         92.5lt/h                       368nm
3300          28.8kts         135lt/h                        346nm
3585          31.8kts         167lt/h                        308nm

* Figures supplied by Maritimo Australia








Hydraulic swim platform, electric sunroof with shade slide, windscreen cover, teak deck to cockpit and swimplatform, additional IPS joystick to cockpit portside, stainless steel barbecue, cockpit entertainment unit, cockpit bar fridge, cockpit icemaker, water blaster pre-plumbed with outlets in cockpit and anchor well, teak timber floor varnished satin to galley, Maritimo Simrad technology pack (2 x NSE 12in screens with 3D charts, BR24 broadband radar, BSM-1 broadband sounder module, GS15 GPS high-speed, B258 1kW transducer and engine instruments digital display), saloon scatter cushions, fitted bedspreads, sheets, pillowcases, pillows, saloon 32in pop-up LCD TV, master stateroom 22in LCD TV with built-in DVD player, Bose Lifestyle 38 Surround Sound System DVD/CD/AM/FM, cockpit speakers, underwater LED lights and more




$965,000 w/ 2 x Volvo Penta IPS 600s




MATERIAL: Solid fibreglass bottom w/ cored topsides
TYPE: Variable deadrise deep-vee monohull
BEAM: 4.85m 
DRAFT: 1m 
WEIGHT: 16.5 tonnes (dry)




MAKE/MODEL: 2 x Volvo Penta IPS 600
TYPE: Six-cylinder common rail diesel
RATED HP: 435 (each)




FUEL: 1800lt 
WATER: 400lt 




Maritimo Offshore,
15 Waterway Drive,
Coomera, Qld, 4209
Phone: (07) 5588 6001




SBM Maritimo Sydney,
Suite 1, 81 Parriwi Road, The Spit,
Mosman, 2088, NSW
Phone, +61 2 9968 1222




Maritimo has done exceptionally well with their first foray into the world of pod drives, taking full advantage of all the benefits the system offers. They've made excellent use of the extra space and come up with a complete package that looks good, performs well, is fuel efficient, and a dream to handle at close quarters. Then, as if that wasn't enough, they've added Volvo Certification and positive buoyancy. A great example of Australian ingenuity.


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