BOAT TEST: MARITIMO M48 SERIES II
After 99 builds, the best-selling Maritimo, the M48, gets a new lease on life as a Series II, with a remodelled flying bridge and a bigger galley among other improvements on boat number 100. JOHN ZAMMIT reports
It's interesting to look back at how the market for flybridge motoryachts has evolved over the last few years. We've gone from flybridge hardtop and clears to fully enclosed; from outside ladders to internal stairs; from galley forward to galley aft; and these days there's much more emphasis on the indoor-outdoor lifestyle aspect.
Maritimo is one marque that's been at the forefront of this evolution and its the Maritimo M48, in particular, has hit a real chord with the market. As Maritimo's most-popular motoryacht ever, the M48, originally launched in 2006, has been just been given an update. The launch of hull number 100 marks the release of the Series II.
BUILDING ON SUCCESS
What's been so special about this boat? "This boat exemplifies everything that we aimed for when we set out to build traditional cruising motoryachts. The M48 brings together all of our ideas at the perfect price point and represents the best value for money," explains Maritimo founder and marine industry legend Bill Barry-Cotter.
The market obviously agrees. Which prompts another question: how do you go about improving a model that has been such a hit for the last four-and-a-bit years? Well, if you're Maritimo, it seems the first thing you do is make sure that any changes you do make are proven winners.
Following on from the winning design concepts first introduced on the M56 and then the M53 last year, the M48 Series II has dispensed with the 'wings' protruding out from the bridge over the sidedecks. There's a new enclosed flybridge with a roofline that extends aft to partly cover the flybridge balcony, while the bowrail has been extended and now finishes much farther aft.
At first glance, these are the most obvious changes, resulting in a much sleeker profile, yet these are only the beginning of the evolution. There's also a new internal layout and it's more than just a facelift. The starboard door out from the saloon to the sidedecks has been deleted and the bulkhead, which previously accommodated the optional lower station, has been moved forward. The net result is a larger and more livable saloon.
But that's not all. The aft galley has been completely revamped: it's larger with the galley sole raised to the same level as the saloon; and an island bench has been added to improve access; and there's a new full-height fridge-freezer with icemaker, and a full-height slide-out pantry. Add an array of name-brand appliances and the result is a truly functional and contemporary galley that reminds of a swanky townhouse or apartment.
But wait, there's more! Maritimo's new bi-fold doors, first introduced on the C47 Cabriolet and since fitted to the M56 and M53, have been incorporated in place of the sliding door out to the cockpit. With the doors folded back, there's a huge seamless single-level indoor-outdoor lifestyle area bringing together the cockpit, galley and saloon.
With an inbuilt entertainment module in the transom, incorporating an electric barbecue, sink and eutectic fridge and an aft hydraulic swimplatform, most of the boat becomes living area. People enter the galley dripping wet, get drinks out of the fridge, move between the barbecue and the galley and back in for a swim. It's simply a matter of inviting guests and just adding water!
Step inside the saloon from the cockpit and, to port at the foot of the internal stairs, is another improvement - the old AC/DC distribution panel has been changed from horizontal to vertical to take up far less space. This has made room for a new hanging locker, a really handy spot for storing wet-weather gear, jackets, coats and the like.
The internal stairs leading to the flybridge are a feature on all Maritimo motoryachts and, for me, have always been a winner. Nice wide treads and a handrail mean they're easily negotiated, even by children. The flybridge itself, often marketed as a sky lounge these days, is more than just the main driving station - it's another comfortable living space.
The sky lounge is roomy and light filled courtesy of the large windscreen, opening side windows, electric slide-tilt sunroof and the new-look sliding glass door that leads out to the spacious aft balcony. ED: It can get pretty hot up top all the same so make sure you tick the air-con option for your bridge.
Such is the floor space that the sky lounge might be used while moored and at anchor as often as underway. It's a great place to have breakfast, lunch or just some quiet time out on the balcony. With the roofline now extending aft, there's protection from the elements, too.
Underway the sky lounge is sociable and comfortable, with the helm forward on the starboard side and bench seating for guests adjacent. There's also seating around a table aft of the skipper. From the helm, there's a commanding view forward across the bow and the large dash that accommodates a couple of Simrad NSE 12in screens, engine management screen, autopilot, VHF radio, Fusion stereo system and a row of rocker switches. It's certainly not overcrowded.
I loved the fully adjustable timber steering wheel, which looks stylish and feels good, too. The engine controls fall nicely to hand, while bow and stern thruster controls are conveniently located just forward of the throttles. When you add the optional sternthruster, you also get a handheld remote. I used it to dock the boat from the cockpit and it's very handy, especially if you're shorthanded.
There are a couple of minor criticisms here, though. I've made mention before about Maritimo's dash panel, which still looks a bit agricultural. No doubt it's a subjective thing, but in my eye it's not befitting a boat of this calibre and could so easily be changed. Secondly, and this doesn't just apply to Maritimo, I can't understand why intermittent wipers aren't standard on a lot of big boats. There's nothing worse than having to constantly turn wipers on and off when underway.
Of course, neither of those issues affect performance and this boat really does perform. She's nice to drive, very responsive and able to handle the rough stuff. She took the conditions - a couple of metres of swell with around half to a metre of chop on top - comfortably in her stride on test day. But I guess that's not all that surprising on this is a tried-and-proven hull.
Which brings me to the engineering department. As far as enginerooms go, it's hard to think of anyone who does it better than Barry-Cotter. The raceboat heritage is evident wherever you look, there's a moulded liner rather than just flowcoat, and the engines are well forward resulting in a low shaft angle.
The Racor fuel filters for engines and 17.5kW Onan generator are housed on the forward bulkhead, as is a fuel sight gauge that's clearly marked and visible from the entry hatch. Checkerplate panels over the shaft wells, moulded battery boxes outboard of each engine, fire retardant soundproofing overhead and plenty of room to get around are key features. It's roomy enough, too, for the optional washer/dryer.
Forward of the engineroom is the 3500lt fuel tank, which equates to a great cruising range and one of the things you would expect in a serious cruising motoryacht. It's located amidships between the engines and the master stateroom, meaning that the boat remains well balanced irrespective of how much fuel is onboard. It also adds to soundproofing.
Storage for incidentals like picnic tables, occasional chairs, water toys and so on is taken care of thanks to a large lazarette accessed via a separate hatch in the cockpit sole. This is also where the 800lt freshwater tanks and the 300lt holding tank are located.
Coincidently, on the day of our test there was a M48 Series I in the berth next to our test boat. This gave me the opportunity to directly compare the old and the new. The new boat looks and feels much larger and roomier with a fresher, more contemporary look and, as impressive as the changes are above decks, the changes to the accommodation below are stunning.
Fully air-conditioned, the master stateroom to port now features a new panoramic hull window. There's a guest cabin to starboard and a VIP stateroom forward, twin bathrooms with a new, stylish, cutting-edge look and, with opening hatches and portholes seemingly everywhere. Think abundant fresh air and natural light.
Although the M48 is the smallest of Maritimo's motoryachts, it's big winner, tried and tested, and has come up trumps with the only critics that count - customers!
M48 Series II upgrades
* New layout to saloon, including larger aft galley level
* New upright Liebherr fridge-freezer with inbuilt icemaker
* Slide-out pantry with great storage
* Galley island bench
* Large portside hanging locker at saloon entry
* Optional LED lighting throughout (no cost and lowers power consumption by around 20 per cent)
* Starboard captain's door deleted
* Sidedeck overhang wings deleted; superstructure adopts new clean line as per M53 and M56
* Kill tanks under the swim platform deleted (previously slapped with wake at rest)
* New side hull windows in master and starboard cabin for lots of natural light
* New enclosed flybridge hardtop with roof extension over flybridge balcony
* Electric slide-tilt Sunroof as standard
* Bi-fold saloon doors open rear bulkhead, joining saloon/galley and cockpit. Perfect for entertaining
* Extended bowrail update makes for a safer passage along the sidedecks
Features retained from Series I
* Aft Galley
* Opening side saloon windows
* Opening flybridge windows
* Internal staircase with large treads and handrail
* Top-opening cockpit coaming lockers
* Transom pod with inbuilt in barbecue and large eutectic fridge/freezer
* Large enclosed walkaround sidedecks
* Standard stainless steel anchor
* One of the best enginerooms in her class
(Facts & figures)
MARITIMO M48 Series II
What did surprise in the trying conditions on the test day was taking the M48's twin 670hp Volvo Penta D11s up to WOT (2350rpm) for 32kts. That's not bad for a cruiser with a dry weight of 22 tonnes! Of course, you wouldn't normally cruise at that rate but it's nice to know she can get you home in a hurry if needed. Around 1600rpm, the M48 was cruising sedately at 18kts and using 125lt/h for a range of about 500 nautical miles.
Price as tested
Twin 670hp Volvo Penta D11, 1500lt fuel, 400lt water and three people onboard.
RPM SPEED FUEL BURN RANGE
600 7kts 10lt/h 1890nm
900 8.9kts 27lt/h 890nm
1100 10.1kts 51lt/h 535nm
1300 13.2kts 75lt/h 475nm
1500 18.1kts 99lt/h 494nm
1700 22.1kts 127lt/h 470nm
1900 25.9kts 157lt/h 445nm
2100 29.4kts 201lt/h 395nm
2300 32.8kts 252lt/h 351nm
* Official sea-trial data supplied by Maritimo Australia. Range figures are calculated on 2700lt fuel or 90 per cent of the 3000lt.
Volvo Penta D11 engines, Muir chain counter, sternthruster and remote, aft flybridge engine controls, saloon windscreen cover, teak-laid decks (cockpit, sidedecks to steps, swimplatform and flybridge balcony), windscreen centre-pane wiper and washer, flybridge balcony rail and covers, tackle locker in cockpit barbecue unit, cockpit stainless steel 240V barbecue, two cockpit floodlights, high-pressure water blaster with pre-plumbed outlets in cockpit and anchor well, Amtico teak and holly saloon floor, two Simrad NSE 12in screens (w/ colour sounder, plotter and 24nm broadband radar), 32in saloon LCD TV, Bose entertainment system w/ DVD/CD/AM/FM and hard drive, cockpit and flybridge speakers, underwater LED Lights, hydraulic swimplatform, cockpit Euro awning, flybridge icemaker, and rear parking CCTV camera
$1,167,000 w/ standard 2 x 600hp Cummins MerCruiser QSC8.3 diesels
MATERIAL: Solid fibreglass hull bottom with cored topsides
TYPE: Variable deadrise deep V hull with moulded spray rails
LENGTH OVERALL: 15.7m
WEIGHT: 22 tonnes (dry)
HOLDING TANK: 300lt
PEOPLE (NIGHT): 6
MAKE/MODEL: 2 x Volvo Penta D11
TYPE: Six-cylinder turbo-diesel with aftercooling
RATED HP: 670 (each)
DISPLACEMENT: 10.84lt (each)
DRY WEIGHT: 1130kg (each)
SBM Maritimo Sydney,
Suite 1, Smiths Boat Shed,
The Spit, 91 Parriwi Road,
Mosman, NSW, 2088
Phone: (02) 9968 1222
All the good stuff that has made this model so popular is still there: a proven hull, full walkaround decks and a list of standard features that mean she's well set-up for comfortable long-distance cruising. Now, with the changes that have been incorporated in the Series II, the bar has just been raised to another level. Cleaner lines, a better equipped interior, and more living room than before. An ideal family holiday home with, it should be noted, very good resale value.
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