REVIEW: MARITIMO 73/88
Measure this Maritimo 73 and she stretches out beyond her official length appellation to near 88 feet. This mighty Australian boat is built to circumnavigate our island continent and waters beyond.
In Australia, the mighty flybridge motoryacht doesn’t get more grandiose than the Maritimo 73. At 24.8m overall it is the largest example of this class I have reviewed. However, Serendipity, the example pictured here, owes its non-standard label – M88 – to its proud owner, who upon running the measuring tape over his fully-optioned new baby discovered it to be 85.13 feet overall, considerably in excess of its given 73 moniker.
Access to the cockpit (which by my rough measurements paced out to around 48m²) proved simple via the hydraulic swimstep set to dockside height. The system allows the platform to be both raised and lowered through a wide range, facilitating easy boarding in most dockside and on-the-water situations.
A large hatch in the cockpit sole opens to present a spaciously outfitted engineroom. As expected on a vessel of this volume there is generous overhead clearance and plenty of working room around the twin C32 Caterpillars. While the space itself is home to a large number of accessories – air-conditioning units, twin generators, watermaker, a proper workbench and tools – it is sensibly laid-out and uncluttered.
A highly visual fuel bank and filtering system occupies the forward bulkhead. I like this setup for two reasons: firstly it allows instant and accurate fuel readings and filter servicing, and secondly the large tanks absorb much of the engine noise, which would otherwise be transmitted through to the master cabin.
Although it is not obvious in the images, Serendipity is a shaftdrive vessel. At this size that is not surprising but it does reflect the company’s philosophy of keeping the engineering as straightforward and low-maintenance as possible.
The boats Maritimo are producing claim fuel-efficiency figures at least the equivalent of any in this class, even those fitted with propulsion systems suggesting top honours in this field. The shaftdrive installations make it simple to ensure the balance of the boat is near perfect, with the engines and fuel tanks low and central to maintain the lowest possible centre of buoyancy. A relatively fine entry and a shallow shaft angle – just nine degrees – combine to deliver a great ride, which is claimed to be as lean as anything comparable on the market.
Even on a windy day with the tide working against us, the combination of power (more than 3000 horses), precision electronic controlling systems, hydraulic bow and stern thrusters, large, easy-to-manage cleats and generous fairleads allowed a stress-free and graceful departure handled by just two of us.
Joining our skipper on the bridge (one of three command centres onboard), I was impressed with the boat’s businesslike navigation station with contrasting social lounger and mezzanine deck behind.
Three top-quality leather helm seats complement the comprehensive dash. A three-screen Pro Simrad multifunction system surrounds Caterpillar displays, a sporty wheel and the digital controllers. Visibility is superb for the skipper and his mates and almost as good for those lounging behind taking in the views.
Cruising up a windy Sydney Harbour the decision had already been made not to push offshore for a coastal sea-trial. Our photography tender was not up to the conditions and time was against us. Trade-a-Boat has extensively sea-trialled three smaller versions of this hull with pleasing results, so I didn’t need to burn valuable time testing this 52-tonne, conventional shaftdrive beast to know it would be impressive.
When you have 25m and three levels to play with the usual design compromises – shoehorning in enough cabins and storage space to satisfy the modern boat owner without creating a catacomb-like maze – are much less of a factor. Even so, I was surprised not to see more cabin layout options offered on the Maritimo website.
While the M73’s internal offering is fairly standard – four cabins and three en suites below, a spacious saloon and aft galley on the mid-level, an equally generous bridge with lounging area and navigation centre up top – the presentation, as can be seen in the photographs hereabouts, deserves praise.
The talents of the company’s skilled local boatbuilders are on display. The timber joinery and upholstery are close to perfectly finished and the extensively-utilised stainless steel is polished to a mirror, with precisely-aligned screw heads.
Highlights of the lower accommodation deck include bountiful storage in all the double cabins, large, well-lit bathrooms and a magnificent interpretation of the classic full-beam master cabin. The pragmatisms of boating life, even on this flag-bearing giant, have been considered, as is alluded to by the fresh, easy-clean approach to the en suites. Yet in two steps you walk from the practical and appealing guest accommodation level down into the contemporary sumptuousness of the master’s abode. An inviting king-size bed is the centrepiece of this retreat. A vessel’s acoustics are a good indicator of the investment a builder has made in quality furnishings and down here there is little chine slap and no echoing to be detected. Rich fabrics complement the heavily-upholstered wall panels and wooden joinery.
Designed and built in Australia, we fully expect Maritimo boats to have the Australian lifestyle afloat front and centre of the creative process. The 73 doesn’t disappoint.
The long saloon makes the most of the natural light without scorching the inhabitants. Large windows provide great views, while the slight overhang of the top deck provides shade during the hottest parts of the day. I noted that it was possible to see down to the waterline while seated, which ensures the large selection of comfortable couched seating for’ard makes the most of the panorama outside.
In keeping with the principles of indoor/outdoor flow the large L-shaped galley occupies the rear half of the saloon, easily servicing the adjacent formal dining table and the aft deck. A household quality Miele oven and cooktop act as the hub situated on gleaming white bench tops. Other features including an island serving/breakfast bar, deep sink, a large-volume side-by-side domestic style fridge/freezer and a pull-out pantry are all easily accessed by the chef from this point..
Aft deck access is provided by a system of custom-built stainless steel sliding doors. Their obvious weight is testament to quality, although it is essential to ensure the catches are in place when underway.
As mentioned earlier the aft deck itself is enormous – around eight metres long and six metres wide. It is augmented by a two-and-a-half-metre hydraulic swimplatform, providing customisable access to the dock or the water as is needed.
A three-seat sunlounger complements a four-seat alfresco dining table. A massive barbecue and wetbar stand by at the ready and a chest-freezer ensures no trip is too ambitious for Serendipity’s food supply.
As things worked out I finished my tour of the Maritimo 73/88 on the front deck inspecting the impressively heavy gear on the bow. From this point Serendipity’s volume is obvious yet it's softened by generous curves and lines of designers who know a boat’s beauty is 50 per cent of its appeal.
She is certainly a pretty boat, particularly with the deep blue hull finish. She also offers the disarming blend of style and practicality Bill Barry-Cotter is famous for. I like that the company stays true to its beliefs – building the best boats they can for long-term ownership regardless of the whims of the market.
There is no doubt this is one of finest locally-built production boats I have reviewed in recent times.
- Very well-proportioned for a large flybridge cruiser
- Engineered for long-term ownership
- Relatively efficient hull performance
- First-rate workmanship on display
- Practical touches where necessary
- Huge aft deck and hydraulic swimplatform
- Locally built and serviced
- Quality sliding doors require vigilance with catches
MARITIMO 73 SPECIFICATIONS
TYPE Planing monohull
PEOPLE (NIGHT) 7
HOLDING TANK 600lt
MAKE/MODEL 2 x Caterpillar C32
TYPE V12 turbo-diesel
RATED HP 1572 (each)
WEIGHT 2631 to 2790kg (dry)
81 Parriwi Road,
The Spit, Mosman,
Sydney, NSW, 2088
Phone: (02) 9968 1222
FOR MORE INFORMATION
See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #449, February / March 2014. Why not subscribe today.
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