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Maritimo 2021 - M600 - LEADERBOARD

Maritimo M55 - Backwards to go forwards

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat.World 27 Apr 23:12 PDT

This was absolutely the most prevalent thought I had whilst spending a joyous morning with Maritimo’s new M55. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the evolution of the species was clearly, distinctly, and completely evident. In some ways it was subtle, for it’s a lot like say BMW going to far out of its comfort zone with its 3-Series. It’s just not going to happen. They are not going to shock the faithful.

Yet lurking right there before you was evidence of some clever thinking, along with style and design cues to take Maritimo into their next era. Now after running it inshore and off, I can also tell you there is an ambience to die for, and capabilities irrefutably linked to her offshore pedigree.

If you’re so inclined, this collection of original works on Powerboat.World will give you a very comprehensive picture of this rationale, for developments like the vista windows from the X Series are a brilliant addition to the new M55 (NB their largest pane fitted across the entire range), and there is a real sense of the paradigm shifting from here forward for Maritimo’s hitherto most famous and popular product line.

Now not that you have to digest it all at once, for it is a bit like the best way to eat the elephant, but you have these to review chronologically (of course they run backwards given our theme), when the time suits:

• Maritimo X50R: It's neither a letter nor a number
• Maritimo X50 Trooping of the Colour
• Maritimo X60 Changing of the guard
• Maritimo - Summa Cum Lauda (no spelling mistake BTW, which you can see why here in Part I,
• And then the remainder of the article in Part II,

Secondly then, the new bridge wings are reminiscent of a very early craft from the stable, namely the original Maritimo 60 of 2003. Here in the M55 their form is very different, for they are not an adjunct, but part of the mould, and their function is much more than just shelter like they were then, for they’re a serious aspect to the overall design, and certainly also have massive ramifications with regards to space.

Now the latter is of course something the M55 does very well indeed, and in a way could well outperform the M59 (not that it matters too much for that craft has done exceptionally well).

We’ll come back to all of that, but for now let’s go back to those wings, which give you around 250mm each side into the space on the bridge deck, and all without making it look like a wedding cake, and the tiers help with that too. They also modernise the overall aesthetic, and quite possibly can define Maritimo, much like BMW’s famous kidney grille, or Audi’s ‘four rings of pain’, as their dedicated owners call them when they get the service bill.

Birth of fraternal twins and also a close first cousin, or is that sister from another mister?

Another super critical notion to keep top of mind, is that Maritimo have very much adopted the car building mentality. Think Golf platform, which you see with VW, Audi, Skoda, and Seat badges, in two-door coupe, two and four-door hatch, and wagon formats, with petrol and diesel power plant, also front or all wheel drive, and lastly in low (Golf R), medium (Audi A3) or high rider guise (Skoda Octavia Scout). That’s a lot of permutations, but equally it’s a whole bunch of componentry that can work to common architecture, super easily. That latter point is crucial to viability, models to market, and speed of delivery.

Now we could be seeing a lot of that in the reason Maritimo is able to deliver no less than eight new models this calendar year. Here today we have the M55, and soon the next one to be displayed will be her sister S55, then later on in say the fourth quarter you have the M600. OK. Here’s a Spoiler Alert! It’s a good guess to say there’ll also be an S600 by the end of the year.

So what’s there to look out for right here, right now?

Apart from the cleaner and fresher aesthetic externally, you would have to say that the primary offering from the M55 is space. She has carried the most percentage beam aft of any Maritimo to date, and it shows (See this editorial for detail on that). It would be easy to be cheesy and say something like the final frontier, except it isn’t. It’s what everyone is chasing, and what may seem like the minutiae, actually then becomes the focal point.

Flush floors, especially below decks remove trip hazards, and there is just the one step from galley to main salon, as there is from adventure deck to mezzanine, and then mezzanine into the galley. Speaking of galley, the internal staircase now runs aft, with the pantry underneath it. It defines the galley brilliantly, allows for the stairs to be integral and therefore super-strong, and also offer real comfort when ascending/descending whilst underway. Additionally, once on the bridge deck, by having the landing out aft, it means the entire deck is more spacious. Talk about win, win, win.

There are different configurations in the galley with the island bench, but they all have a full stand-up fridge, freezer, and that pantry. It is one of the places where you really do comprehend that you’re dealing with a 55 that feels like a 64.

At the for’ard end of the saloon there is now an atrium style opening to the cabins below, and the way it makes it feel less like becoming a cave diver is quite incredible. True, Maritimo are not the first to use it, but go straight from the M55 to an older member of the family, and you’ll see what I mean. The offset Queen bed in the VIP up for’ard has also become quite the Maritimo thing. Alas, what we’re really saying is that it really is just a case of clever thinking allowing better utilisation than ever before of that rarest commodity on board.

Toys

The standard mood lighting option is warm white, but you could opt to fit your choice of completely adjustable luminosity package. This means you can play with colour, density and lumens, so you can sit there with your iPad all day and pre- programme your own entertainment package. Speaking of that, there’s a 50-inch screen in the main saloon, but if you’re wanting to go gaming, send everybody upstairs and use 43 that you can see from the Juliet deck. There is also a 43 in the master, 43 in the VIP and then a 32 option in the twin/triple cabin.

COG and COB (and other cool things)

The centre of gravity and centre of buoyancy on a vessel are very crucial locations. Maritimo’s patented internal liners have had the wing fuel tanks always mounted right in these spots, so that as the fuel drains you do not have a significant change in attitude. The M55 goes one better, and puts a massive additional 2500l of Diesel right on top of the keel underneath the Master Stateroom.

The bonus here is that it keeps the weight low, which enhances the vessel’s stability. Equally, it means the two 1000l wing tanks can gravity feed into the main down below, and you can now perform bunkering off just the one side. That makes filling her total capacity of 4550l for long passagework so much easier.

Now by and large, your 2500l main tank will provide for ample range, as you’ll be burning something like 230lph at a healthy 24 knot cruise (D13-800s as tested), and only 300lph combined WOT. You just simply won’t have the huge mass of fuel running up the topsides or athwartships on the main bulkhead between the engine room and the Master Stateroom. Cool.

8.5 knots off 20lph for slow cruising is way better than 10 (39lph) when the exhaust pressure sets up a bit of a throbbing drone. If you’re doing things sedately in warm environments when the windows are open, well it is absolutely delightful.

By the time you’ve made 12 knots the bow’s already popped up and said I’ll have a look at that because of the grunt of these modern diesels, and the extra overall buoyancy these M55s have, but you’ve gone to 120lph combined from something like 1500RPM (60% load). So the turbos have certainly kicked in, but you’re sitting in the hole. It is far nicer than 10, however.

Better to punch on to the magical 80%, which equates to 2000RPM, let her settle a bit, and 24 knots will appear at say 230lph combined (flat water). No doubt the maximum torque of 2900nm is helping a lot here (BTW the 1000s deliver 3500nm). We were basically light ship with half fuel (which is still 2300l), and maybe 500 of her 700l of water on board. She remains sensitive to trim, so do not be afraid to use them. Deadrise at the bow is 58 degrees, so setting her up to run hard in the flat, or play in the waves is critical.

WOT achieved 2390 RPM from Volvo’s twin entry turbocharged and intercooled 12.8 litre sixes. We saw 29.5 knots and consumed some 305lph. Given you’ve got 4.5tonne of juice on board you can get anywhere in a hurry, as long as your credit card matches. If you want to guarantee the magic 30, just tick the thousands’ box, spend the dollars, and be done with it. Hull #2 has the Scania 925s and can achieve 32 knots, so you get the point.

An added bonus when underway the marlin platform is completely flush with the adventure deck in its fully raised position, which is especially impressive given its size. The extra buoyancy is once again key, as is raising it’s mounts ever so slightly on the transom, and just tucking the edges in a bit more. During turns the edge just does not drop in. It’s a bit like auto headlights. Really good stuff.

Just quickly, the 65dB noise level on the bridge (closed) whilst underway is quite sublime, but on an ideal day elect to open the hatches and vista windows of the M55 – they are a true delight. Best airflow yet on an enclosed bridge cruiser, and when we came back around onto our own wake we did not even get water on the windscreen, let alone in through all the openings. Closest thing to old school you can get without actually being there. Note here that the depth of all the glazing on the boat is significant, and adds to the sense of space.

The seating on the Juliet deck is quite possibly the go to location, with the wing seats also offering you the ability to put your feet up. I know where you’ll find me! For the helmer it means you won’t feel like they are having the fun and you’re missing out. They’ll be up there with you, and if fresh isn’t your thing, then full clears can allow you to set the climate control for both sections of the room with a view.

Hull form

Form stability often comes up swiftly when reviewing sailing boats. Here with the M55 it is important to remember that over 90% of her maximum beam at waterline beam is carried to the ‘transom’, or in the case of the M55, where it should be. In combination with the hard chine the hull has a wonderful seakeeping capability, and at rest this is very pronounced. I could not help but wonder just what more a gyro could do, given their effectiveness is greatly reduced at planing speed, and you have to run the genset to power it when you’re at anchor. You’ll also keep just over 100,000 of your hard earned readies in your own pocket.

So it is here that we come yet another of her defining characteristics. Between the 20m2 of space available, and the connection to the water afforded by her sprawling aft layout (reminiscent of the modern superyacht), she really is transcendent, inviting and very soothing.

Yes. The ambience is literally something else, and her ride when underway was as impressive as it was gentle. We had a rolling 2m swell from the Sou’east, with at least 30cm of chop from the ever-increasing Nor’wester on top of that. I found myself often turning back into it on several occasions to feel the ride again, so as better to describe it here. When a boat is effectively cantering, for want of a better word, it is easier on the gear, and loads easier on the POBs. It’s a rhythm that you can deal with.

Whilst we all want the brochure days to be eternal, and to run downhill forever, sometimes it is just not possible. At least here you won’t feel bad when you have to take it on the nose. Equally when you are running with it, you won’t feel like that square butt is trying to flip you around. I do think the partial wedge transom is helping a fair bit there, as too the wider stance of the screws, which you notice when you stand in the engine room.

Now to the corollary…

…of all that componentry, is an options list. You can delight yourself with a davit on the foredeck, or one in the lazarette to manipulate your 2.8m jet tender, take the third cabin as a double, twin, or triple, place a head on the bridge deck, put a fold out Queen bed up there too. It goes on, but chief amongst them is probably your choice of a pair of Volvo Penta 670, 800 and 1000hp sixes, or even Scania’s 925s. At any rate, you’re going to be in for something from low 2s through to the high 2s, depending on your propensity to tick boxes.

Not the only one.

The news is that the M55 has been Maritimo’s most successful launch vessel – ever. This is made even more impressive given that the majority would have been sold virtually. It would also appear that for certain craft the order book stretches into 2023.

The rest of the sentence after the, ‘but’…

If you’re looking for a vessel in the 52-64 foot range, then the M55, or one of its derivatives, just simply has to be on your review list. QED. (My tip, don’t be backwards in coming forwards, however…)


Specifications:
LOA 17.27m (56'8")
Hull Length (ISO) 17.12m (56'2")
Beam 5.23m (17'2")
Draft 1.4m (4'6")
Dry Weight 27,000kg (59,525LBS)
Bunkering 4,550l (1,200 US GAL)
Fresh 750l (198 US GAL)
Holding Tank 300l (79 US GAL)
Sleeping Cabins 3 Standard
Sleeping Capacity 6 Standard
Engines (STD) 2 X VOLVO D11 - 670 MHP
Generator Cummins-Onan 17.5KW 50HZ

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Maritimo 2021 - M600 - FOOTER