The running battle between pod and shaft propulsion has just taken an interesting turn, with Maritimo announcing that it would offer its 440 Offshore Convertible with either drive system.
When the 44-footer was launched last year, it was the first flybridge boat from Maritimo to utilise Volvo Penta IPS pods. Boat testers and customers alike were impressed by the performance and spacious layout.
It included a three-sided enclosed flybridge with internal staircase, and an aft galley with bi-fold doors to the cockpit.
Maritimo CEO Bill Barry-Cotter says the hull will perform equally well with pod or shaft without compromising accommodation or storage space.
Customers can select between Volvo Penta IPS 600 diesels rated to 435hp or Cummins QSB 5.9 diesels developing 480hp.
'When we designed the hull shape in consultation with Volvo Penta engineers, we had in mind the shaft option,' Barry-Cotter said.
Adaptable for sportfishing, family weekends away or long-distance cruising, the Maritimo 440 is a big boat writ small. One that can go anywhere or go nowhere, do everything you could possibly want or do absolutely nothing.
In these nervous post-GFC days the market is turning to affordable boats in the 40 to 50 foot range – and this one lies smack in the middle. The demographic is boaties who love both social cruising and fishing, and want something easily handled.
The 440 feels seamless, effortless, in its design but rest assured that wise heads have prevailed in piecing together the puzzle. Fitting an enclosed bridge with internal staircase is no easy task for a 44-footer, but then it wouldn’t be a Maritimo without them.
If there’s a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold then she’ll buy this stairway to heaven. Those with replacement knees and a rickety back will find the gently sloping steps a Godsend.
The flybridge is essentially a second lounge area with a timber table as its central theme. Being enclosed on three sides means it’s dry, being dry means it can have luxuries such as carpet.
Stairway to heaven - a popular feature of the 440 - Mark Rothfield
By locating the helm aft, the skipper has good visibility forward and over the cockpit, while guests can stand on the overhang behind the chairs to look down on the action.
When driving there’s a slight obstruction of vision to starboard when turning, meaning the driver has to lean either forward or back.
High and dry - fully enclosed helm station is a luxury on a 44-footer - Mark Rothfield
Preventing the hull from leaning has arguably been the greatest design achievement, given that the centre of gravity is elevated by the enclosed bridge. Indeed I must confess to having pre-conceived ideas about it being top-heavy before taking the helm.
Keeping the saloon floor and roof height as low as possible is the key, though it doesn’t feel cramped – quite the opposite, in fact. The big chines also apply stabilising pressure when underway.
When test driving the IPS boat there was perhaps more bow rise than I was expecting when running, which is compensated for by trim tabs, but hole shot is excellent and in a matter of seconds you’re doing 20 knots.
Twenty knots is the sweet spot for the Volvodiesels – they’re purring at around 2700rpm, lapping up around 100 litres/hr in total. She’s good for 30 knots but the real story is the low-speed efficiency, with 1000rpm bring seven knots for six litres of fuel.
Retirees take note.
The Volvo IPS engines fit neatly under the cockpit, allowing a mid-cabin layout - Mark Rothfield