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Maritimo 2023 S600 LEADERBOARD

Maritimo M75 Review – My two bits worth

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat.World 28 Sep 2023 19:21 PDT

It all comes down to the magnificent bridge deck, as well the sophisticated and über-cool mtu donks.

There it is. Discussion over.

Only it isn’t, of course, because our job here is to have a thoroughly detailed review of the new Maritimo Flagship, M75. Unequivocally, it is made all the more crucial by the fact that this is the most ordered version of Maritimo’s Flagships. So this particular article is of critical importance in its own right.

However, you do need to take in our Maritimo S75 Review - A Queen is born - as if it is a satellite. Nee. It is more like the moon. It affects our tides and moods, and dare we say it, it is our yin to our yang. It is as critical as Old Testament to New Testament, Star Trek to Star Trek: Next Generation.

Bit #1

So why is the bridge deck so good? Well, as a room with a view, it has certainly got one of those, with absolutely minimal impediments to sight lines. It’s your choice of canned air, or the openness of all opens, with massive vista windows, and an electrically sliding sunroof just about taking you all the way back to a flying bridge of old.

The M75 does have a small brow over the glass, and after experiencing the browless version on the S75, I kind of missed it. It is not that it interferes with anything, for you’ll be able to see birds amassing over a school of fish no problem. It is just that the S75 made you feel more like you were in a convertible that just had a large frame over the windscreen, and the M75 feels more like fixed head coupé that relies on a targa or sunroof for that immersive experience. Super subtle, but distinguishable, none the less.

Of course, the new take by Maritimo with the rear facing stairs not only makes them easier and safer to negotiate in every condition once you have left the marina, they also free up inordinate amounts of usable space on the humungous bridge deck. It is that big that it really is an apartment in itself, and a versatile one at that. Primarily, this is because you can separate the two zones (indoors and out), or make them one massive entity, with plastics shielding the entire distance from grab rail to deckhead, all the way around the Juliet deck if you so choose.

In combination with the additional sleeping arrangements with Queen beds from couches, significant refrigeration for food and drinks, and TVs for entertainment, the only thing they’ll need to do is come down for a shower. Then again, they may just elect to jump off and subsequently rinse off once they have made it back on board at the stupendously sized Adventure Deck, which is the one that can have a basketball key laid on it if that’s your thing…

Opposing the helmer is the cruising lounge. I would only ask Maritimo to raise it a bit, so that you can see out when napping, and it would offer an even greater connection with the Officer of the Watch.

Then there’s outside, with the Juliet deck an absolute marvel. Is it a chic wine room, where tea candles in artsy lanterns set the ambience, with Winston Marsallis creating the slow-down tone, and plat du haute nibbles with a majestic Pinot Noir accompanying your journey into inner peace under the stars you can see, right through the opening sunroof?

Perhaps it is actually a sports bar? The fold down 43-inch TV behind the bar can have one game going, whilst the one just inside the bridge proper can show another match for you and the entire gang to get immersed in, with beers and grilled wagyu sliders providing for a genuine seven-star evening. Oh the choices. Just how does one cope?

Bit#2

Hhhhmmmm. The not so Iron Ladies from Rolls Royce Power Systems mtu engines. Zenith. Class leading. Apex. Best. King of. They do have a habit of being bandied around like a bowl of lollies or Twisties at a party, now don’t they. Thing is, these donks can have all of said words applied to them, and any others you may choose to find in your Thesaurus. Yes. That good!

The lightest touch of the ignition button fires them immediately into life to their virtually imperceptible, smooth and low idle of 550 RPM. No endless crank, no grumble and shuddering into life, just a snap to attention like a pair of guard dogs pointing to prey, after being asleep on the floor. A low, soft growl, and a tension akin to spring about to snap is all you’re going to get.

No cloud of partially burnt nasties wafting away, either. Awesome. Super high compression of fuel (2200psi), then multiple sprays from the Bosch injectors for total atomisation on the compression stroke, and whooshka. You’re away.

This sets the tone, too. For as good as all that is, the engagement of one or both of clutches is a thing to behold. Isn’t this how they all should be? Seriously.

It goes on, too, all the way to that 2450 RPM red line. The more you can spin the crank, the more power you will make… Ultimately, you don’t feel like they are actually reciprocating donks, but a pair of utterly brutal gas turbines. You can even lay into them all you want, and it is just like Douglas C Neidermeyer. You know, ‘Thank you sir. Can I have another!’ Continuous rating has a real world benefit, and is not just a line of spiel in the brochure.

Immediately in front of the clutch/throttle levers are firstly the bow and stern thruster toggles, and then the joystick with position and direction hold. Oddly enough, the joystick may not look like the full foie gras, especially when contrasted with the two controls immediately behind it, but it possesses a wonderful tactile nature that is in total synchronicity with the way it works.

When ‘manhandling’ 60 metric tonnes around you want to be both über-delicate for that finite, ‘I know what I am doing’ look, and then also be able to backhand it back into shape and arrest unwanted movement swiftly, so as to avoid calamity. In this way, the joystick is the tool for the job, par excellence.

For me, the item I loved the most were the thruster toggles. Right size, right grip, and so the right proportionality. For sure it helps that they are governing the Sleipner Group’s famous Side-Power hydraulic thrusters, but it makes you feel like it is a combination of VR, and robotic hands performing the most intricate of work being carried out by a brilliant surgeon.

Definitely the things to have when you’re operating close in. If required, you can easily do 180 or 360 degrees inside your own LOA, and with a breeze blowing and wavelets trying to unsettle you. If you know why that’s good, you’ll know why it is its own paragraph. If you don’t, then that joy is just waiting for you…

There is always a story to tell behind any great outcome, and in this case it is probably down to the fact the Side-Power units have five blades, not four, so don’t cavitate, and the mtu mains only have to spin at 625 RPM to drive the hydraulic pumps, not 750, which others do. Less noise is also a bonus when docking…

Now the Side-Power pumps actually run off PTOs on each of the ecstatically brilliant ZF2050A 2.5:1 gearboxes. Why such a wrap? Well, if the mains are continuously rated, then the boxes have to be too, and these are exactly what they need to be. Reliable. Anyway, for what it is worth, the additional PTO on the Port main runs the Maritimo race-derived steering, leaving the Starboard one for any other purpose you have.

It is also important to note at this time that the stern thruster actually has cowls to vector the thrust slightly down, and in this way it is not fighting itself as it hits all the architecture of that ginormous swim platform. Subtle as that may be, it means you won’t be looking to use the 36x49.5 inch, five-bladed Veem NiBrAl wheels downstairs, nor tap into any of the 5393nm of torque that the twenty girls with four hairdryers deliver, and that is handy, safe, and delightfully delicate. i.e. The swan… And me likey that.

For what it is worth, in talking with Maritimo’s Sorcerer of Screws (World Champion Ross ‘Rosco’ Willaton) those wheels have something like a 95% diameter to area ratio, so I think we can call that bite. Plain and simple. When you stack in that maximum horsepower is available for the last 200 RPM, and the torque curve is more inverted banana than parabola, it really is of little wonder that I have found so much to wax on about.

Without doubt, this engine package, for it is about the suite of products deployed, is totally commensurate with a vessel of the calibre of Maritimo’s M75.

It’s all about four inches

Why is this so big? Well, the raw water intake, or more accurately the sea strainer it serves, is four inches in diameter. Now it has to be remembered that the mtu 10V2000M96L is a technological tour de force. There is a lot going on to deliver such an economical and clean burn, as well as the class destroying stats at the flywheel. Stuck in a confined space and making heat nearly as well as you do horsepower means cooling is paramount.

All that raw water cools the block and put-your-hand-right-on-them exhaust manifolds via that brilliant titanium heat exchanger. Said item also provides ‘chilled’ fresh for the fuel to go past after it has been compressed to 2200psi, and the all-important mineral oil after it has been filtered, as well as the first time the charge packet gets cooled after the hairdryers have squished several atmospheres into an ultra-confined space.

Raw water also does a second cool on the charge packet up in the valley, which is a place about as busy as the Champs-Élysées, and even more raw water gets sent back to the heat exchangers that accompany the brilliant ZF gearboxes. Still not done, raw water also has to cool the exhaust stack before it heads overboard, because at about 500 degrees C it could kind of melt the very boat it is all propelling along if it did not get hosed down first. Talk about needing to take a cold shower…

So you see, four inches of raw is not just an important thing, it’s downright crucial. Accordingly, it is not to be played with lightly.

Back to the boat

So our test vessel, the first M75 off the line, had the ‘standard’ over and under bunk configuration for the Fourth Cabin. This is a nod to being able to have as many people on board accommodated in a suitable manner. Even the very much convertible-to-your-needs Utility Cabin was set up as another twin Pullman, and it also has an adjoining fourth head, with shower over. There is not a super amount of storage here, especially if you are using it for crew, but never fear, for stowage itself is something the M75 offers in abundance all around the place. You just have to find the one that suits your purpose.

This is a very big vessel, and I am just so glad I do not have to clean it. Out aft is clearly designed to be the main attraction, and I have become particularly fond of the mezzanine deck, which on the M75 is distinctly large, offers alternatives when it comes to seating, and ample views to watch over people in the water, or talk with those in the galley. Scale does indeed have many benefits, and one to note here are the walkaround decks.

If our test day with the S75 was all about the sun and gently rolling SE swells offshore, the kind where it is all about making 580nm days, or say 200nm if you’re doing daylight hours only, then our time with the M75 was well different.

Gloom, a fast-ebbing tide of some four plus knots, that was meeting and inbound 15-20 knots of SE breeze, as well as the East Australia Current roaring up Main Beach to flick out to the Nor’east at the Southport Bar, combined with a Trade Wind swell, and it was little wonder that you had a quite confused 2-3m out there.

You don’t go there unless you have to, and seeing as this was a boat test, we did. You settle in to do this sort of stuff. Invariably, 12 knots is the mark, and it really does help when you have significant flare in the bow, and that healthy reverse chine that runs about 70% of the LWL from the transom for’ard. As you get a bit older, it is not so much about preserving the craft, as it is about looking after the humans. After all, it is not always brochure conditions on offer.

Finding the right spot for the 180, we then accelerated out to 22 knots, and the hull form, along with the gyro did a great job both dead downhill and in a quartering sea. With a full keel, some 13 degrees of deadrise in the stern, and that race proven Maritimo steering guiding the big, slightly toe out spade rudders, it wasn’t so much about being in control, as it was fun. Indeed, the helm really did not have to move that much at all.

I was never worried about the swim platform, and you still had ample grunt in reserve to leap away from anything amazingly nasty. When coming off the plane, do so gently, so as not to place too much water over the teak.

We came back inside to get a sense of engine load and pace, and to give you an idea of it all, the boats on moorings were pointing into that tide running out, rather than the stiff breeze that was virtually 180 degrees counter. No matter which way we went, the 10s got us to 27 knots smartly, which is 2170 RPM or 80% and some 220lph per side, and before you knew it, 29 and then 30.7 popped up at say 315lph per side and WOT was achieved. Interestingly, you never felt like they were pinned, even though that’s exactly what they were.

The mtu V10s go from full boost off one turbo to combined off the two of them in between 1600 and 1800 RPM, and I think the second sequential begins to get spooled up at something just over 1500 RPM. I am honestly not even sure as a trainspotter you’re going to pick all of that. I think the raw water second cooling of the charge packet is involved in this outcome.

All of which means you really do get to pick a number from 8, to 10, to 12 knots and so on, and you have the best possible efficacy of burn you can at that time. It will also mean you will not have to clear the throats as often as you will have to with others.

It is impressive at any point, and when you add in something akin to 63 metric tonnes of lump, with over nine of that in Diesel alone, well you can only nod. Wow.

It was time to anchor for a bit and reflect. The Portofino hips make for a great styling statement, but as a point of entry they are just so easy and inviting. Out aft is all tiers (meant that way) of joy and lavishness. I made my way to the galley and pondered here how there are so many usable spaces on board to match your needs, and the formal dining in the main saloon was one I had almost looked over. With no helm station to worry about the space gives over solely to relaxation and engagement with the POB.

Ease is a word I used so often in my recordings whilst enjoying the Maritimo M75. No matter whether this was driving, anchoring, entering the engine room, or envisaging the flow of people from end of swim platform to their cabin, bowsprit to Juliet deck.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it really is the word for the boat. Ease may not sound as grand as you may think a vessel like this would demand.

However, if you have done some boating in your time, then you’ll know it is the one thing that separates good times from bad. If the M75 is to be your entrée to a yachting lifestyle, then your choice has been prudent, for you will not only look good with an M75, you’ll feel good too.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

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