REVIEW: MARITIMO M50 MOTOR YACHT
The successful Maritimo 48 has been replaced by the new Maritimo M50 and there’s a lot more than just a little extra hull length in the new boat, discovers Allan Whiting.
The enclosed flybridge Maritimo 48 has been the company’s best-seller since it was introduced in 2006 and upgraded in 2011. With more than 100 boats sold worldwide the 48 obviously didn’t have too much that buyers disliked, so its replacement, the new M50, was designed with great care.
The aim was to introduce a full-beam master stateroom, as fitted to the new, larger Maritimos, while retaining the popular layout of the 48. The result of clever juggling of internal volumes is a boat that’s only 600mm longer with 100mm more freeboard, yet boasts a master stateroom that’s more than double the size of the 48’s, along with a flybridge that has 15 per cent more area, a saloon with nearly 10 per cent more space and a larger cockpit. How is that possible?
The master stateroom expansion trick lies in relocating the fuel stowage from transverse, forward of the engine position, to twin longitudinal tanks flanking the engineroom. The location is still in the desirable place, just aft of amidships, to reduce trim changes as the fuel load diminishes, but with the tanks paralleling the engines the M50’s engineroom is shorter. The fuel stowage space in the 48 becomes the M50’s increased master stateroom area, but there’s no fuel-capacity compromise with the M50 tanks totalling 4000lt – up 500lt on the 48’s.
Saloon space has been increased by the additional boat length and by extending the port side of the saloon farther forward. This has also allowed fitment of two L-shaped settees in the M50’s saloon, in comparison with the 48’s one L and a short two-seater.
Flybridge area increases are also down to increased overall length and an extension of the aft flybridge balcony. Because the hull length has been increased the longer flybridge looks fine, where a longer one on the 48 could make it look a tad stumpy.
However, there’s no doubt that the M50 is tall for its length. Our test boat had a light blue hull, which did much to break-up the expanse of the M50’s gelcoat when viewed in profile.
MARITIMO M50 CLOSE UP
Our test boat was fully loaded, including a lifting swimplatform, so the step height when boarding was ergonomically adjustable. The platform was fitted with rails making it a safe extension of the cockpit area and a possible easily-cleaned fishing zone – just add clamp-on rodholders and table. Maritimo’s aft pod housed an electric barbecue, sink and fridge/freezer, as well as aft-facing, cushion-topped seats and a garage door. Access to the watertoy bin was also via a hatch in the cockpit floor.
A second hatch reveals the typical Maritimo engineroom, with meticulous finish and layout. Side fuel tanks restrict engine access compared with the 48’s forward tank location, but regular service items were easily reached. The optional watermaker was located well aft with access on three sides.
Cockpit space in the M50 is larger than the 48’s and has teak decking, a 3/4-seat lounge, pedestal table and two lazarettes for rope storage or rubbish bins. The portside one on the test boat had a pressure cleaner outlet spigot. To port was a cupboard with duplicate engine and thruster controls. The deckhead was high-gloss gelcoat ‘planked’ moulding with inset LED lights.
Most modern boats strive for a seamless join between cockpit and saloon and the new M50 achieves this desirable feature with a large, three-piece, black-framed tri-fold door that opens and closes with little effort.
A trademark aft galley makes a buffer zone between the wet-area cockpit and the carpeted lounge. Galley flooring is practical wenge/holly and also practical is an island bench with serving-space top and large grabrails. The bench houses a full-sized dishwasher.
The test boat had a Miele fitout option – Dynacool fridge with bottom freezer, four-zone induction cooktop, range hood and microwave – and all were home-sized appliances. Galley kit included a Zip Hydrotap to deliver chilled or boiling water at the press of a button. Fortunately, my better half couldn’t join me for this test, so she didn’t see the M50’s German pantry that’s simply outstanding.
Opposite the L-shaped galley is a varnished high-gloss teak-stainless steel staircase leading to the flybridge. Beneath the stairs is a cocktail cabinet with a Vitrifridge cooler and icemaker, three soft-close drawers and partitioned wine storage bins.
High-gloss stairway cupboard doors open to reveal large electrical control panels; two ceiling cupboards hide more controls and the air-con plumbing, while water pumps and filters are easily reached behind the saloon lounge backs.
The M50’s saloon is more inviting than the 48’s, thanks to lounges that wraparound the space and a larger flip-over table. This carpeted area is a step up from the galley level, making an obvious demarcation between work/play zones and the relaxation region. If you can’t make the long journey back to the wine cupboard opposite the galley there’s additional bottle space under the saloon dashboard and in the table pedestal.
Access to the three cabins is via a carpeted, four-step companionway with LED lighting in the stair risers and a vinyl-faced, stainless steel handrail. The starboard twin-bunk kids’ cabin is similar to that in the 48, as is the forward VIP island-bed stateroom.
However, the master stateroom is a revelation that wouldn’t look out of place in an 80-footer. It’s full-beam in width with ports on both sides and spacious enough to boast two dressing tables, wall mirror, three-seat lounge and ample wardrobe, drawer and cupboard space. Additional storage volume is available under the island bed.
Entry is at the level of the other cabins, through a dressing area and a three-step stairway leads to the cabin proper. The space is divided, so there’s room for his-and-hers dressing spaces and the upper dressing table can be fitted with a full-size folding mirror.
A large-screen TV faces the bed and mounts to the upper dressing table kick panel, while a Miele washer/dryer hides behind a wardrobe door.
The forward and bunk cabins share a large bathroom with separate shower recess and vacuum-flush toilets, but the master stateroom has its own. The bathrooms have ‘planked’ ceilings and ‘tiled’ floors in GRP for a homely feeling. There are LED lights, air-conditioning ducts and 240V outlets in all cabins.
Fit and finish in the three cabins is beautiful and we loved a neat trick the designers have done with the deck support posts that are integrated into the cabin dividing walls. Instead of a traditional metal finish the M50’s posts are printed in woodgrain finish and I defy anyone to pick the difference between real wood and the lookalike. Classy.
Above all this is an enclosed flybridge with easy stairway access, sliding sunroof and teak balcony with railing. The dashboard and instrument panel area was covered in leather-look vinyl with contrasting stitching. Our test boat had optional twin Recaro seats and a flip-over pedestal table, similar to the one fitted in the saloon.
Walkaround decks with moulded bulwarks and fat rails make moving around the M50 quite safe and the foredeck space is ample for a large sunlounge or a tender and crane. There’s a crane pad integrated into the deck moulding.
Large foot switches control the Muir Cheetah windlass and there’s an anchor washer nozzle as well.
ON THE PLANE
Okay, so the M50 looks the goods but how does it go? It goes very well indeed, in the best Maritimo tradition we discovered. The test boat was powered by Cummins QSM engines driving five-blade props via ZF transmissions and shafts mounted at eight degrees. Trim tabs are electrically powered and steering is a one-turn, lock-to-lock power system.
Our test day was fine and calm but an old chop lingered and it was enough to get spray bursts on the screens at WOT. The M50 behaved like other Maritimo hulls in these conditions, feeling solid as a rock. The additional centre of gravity height wasn’t detectable, even when we laid it motionless across the swells to encourage some sway.
This solidity is designed in, with hull, interior moulding and deck bonded together into a monocoque structure and a separate bonded-in engineroom liner. Maritimo hulls are built utilising monolithic FRP below the spray chines with a layer of balsa sandwich from the chine to just under the hull-deck joint.
Despite its bulk the M50 could be thrown into tight turns without any drama: it turned neatly, didn’t lean-in excessively and wasn’t put offline when we deliberately ran through our own wake and that of the photo boat – a Maritimo 58.
At WOT there was engine noise in the saloon and cockpit but on the flybridge, all was serene with the diesels emitting a reassuring hum as the boat tore across the chop. The raised swimplatform deflected most of the stern spray, so the cockpit floor and lounge were only lightly spattered after our performance runs and turns.
Manoeuvring in and out of the tight berths at The Spit in Sydney’s Middle Harbour was a doddle, thanks to cockpit controls and instant engine and remote-control thruster response. Maritimo has never been tempted by pod drives, relying on proved shaftdrives, with bow and stern thrusters.
Like all the models that have gone before it the Maritimo M50 is designed to be seaworthy in the real sense, not a floating entertainment suite.
The standard powerplants are two Volvo Penta D11s set at 670hp. Optional are Cummins QSM11s set at 715hp and powering the test boat. Using both engine makers’ sea-trial data there’s little to choose between these engines, with buyers’ preferences probably coming down to personal choice or service backup. In some areas of Australia, Volvo has the edge and in other regions Cummins’s support is better.
WOT speed is just short of 30kts with Volvo or Cummins power, but we suspect the gruntier QSMs might get there a tad quicker. Claimed economy honours go Volvo’s way with a cruising range estimate of 460nm-plus at 26kts, compared with the Cummins estimate of 420nm-plus. Back at 18.6 to 19kts the range estimate extends to 520nm-plus for the Volvos and 490nm-plus for the Cummins pair.
› Space-clever interior design
› Performance and handling
› Equipment levels
› Fit and finish
› All-white boat looks somewhat bulky
› Transom garage access is restricted
Four years ago Maritimo achieved ISO9001 accreditation, the internationally recognised standard of manufacturing and management excellence. The company claims to be the only production boatbuilder in Australia to be thus accredited. Maritimo says ISO9001 ensures a commitment to total quality management (TQM) and allows the company to diagnose any deficiencies in the supply and manufacturing process and to rectify them immediately.
Maritimo also employs a quality control audit process that we think is unique. Independent surveyors inspect the boats at different production stages and are paid on the basis of reduced warranty claims: they’re actually encouraged to find faults before Maritimo customers do.
MARITIMO M50 MOTORYACHT SPECIFICATIONS
PRICE AS TESTED
MATERIAL Handlaid FRP, solid below waterline and laminate above
TYPE Planing monohull
PEOPLE (NIGHT) 6
MAKE/MODEL 2 x Volvo Penta D11-670; 2 x 715hp Cummins QSM11
TYPE Electronically injected turbo-diesel
RATED HP 670hp (each)
15 Waterway Drive,
Coomera, QLD, 4209
Phone: +61 7 5588 6000
Originally published in Trade-a-Boat #444, September/October 2013
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