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Maritimo X60 – Changing of the guard

by John Curnow, Editor, Powerboat-World.com 25 Jul 09:52 UTC
Uncompromising ride is what the Maritimo X60 is all about. © John Curnow

There were, and indeed very much still are, high hopes for Maritimo’s X60. Would it be the one to really take them onwards and upwards in the new age of boating? Personally, this was even more so after preparing Summa Cum Lauda Part One, and Summa Cum Lauda Part Two some time back, when the boat was effectively mere drawings. Later, I would make a video as I walked through the X60’s mould before the very first hull had even been laid up in it.

So then seeing the X60 at its World Premiere at Sanctuary Cove, and subsequently being on board it on Sydney Harbour were both very significant events. Sure it had all the Maritimo hallmarks like walk around decks and full, stand up fridge, but it also had significant freeboard, narrower beam than her siblings, and a raised foredeck that sloped in exquisitely towards the angle of the prow, and subsequently gave you the impression of a set of pincers. Then there was that space out aft that only an inline, shaft and screw drivetrain could afford you.

Recently, Tom Barry-Cotter has taken on an even more active role in the delivery of the whole Maritimo customer experience, and not just the design aspects he has been best known for. Just like his father, and founder of the company, Bill, Tom is a racing driver, and is still at the helm of one of the company’s race boats. All in all, Tom is ideally placed to talk about the new craft, given it has so much of his specific traits inherent in it, and that this is the craft that sets the new staging for future product development. This includes the soon to be revealed X50, and other developments in brand new M Class vessels, as the year unfolds. So talking with the man of the hour is exactly what I did.

You might say that it is better late than never for Maritimo to enter this segment of the market, which is super-saturated. Barry-Cotter commented, “We knew we had to have a competitive edge when we first started addressing this opportunity. So the design team had the mission to create something new, and we had seen aft cabins and beach clubs on superyachts, so this is where the inspiration came from. In turn, it also opened up doors for us with performance and optional layouts, like the aft space (as your choice of aft cabin, Beach Club or tender garage) and the Regency Suite.”

“We also see that we have tremendous usage of the available space, for we are not confined to utilising only the for’ard sections for accommodation, and then jamming all the engineering well aft, which compromises ride and overall performance aspects in both flat water and offshore. Importantly, this also meant that the flat running area out aft could be maximised for that role (speed), without hindering the use of the space above it in any of our configurations.”

Also note here that the rudders, which are offset from the shaft lines (handy for maintenance later on), are just 150mm back in from the transom, and the props are spinning only 800mm from the stern. All in all it means that Maritimo have been able to get a terrific shallow angle of attack, and this improves efficiency. On that note, AUD2.23m (plus options), 30 metric tonne gem will cruise at 26 knots all day, and only drink 100 litres per hour, per side.

The tulip style hull form both for’ard and aft allowed for width inside, just as the freeboard provided height. In terms of running surfaces, her deadrise and rocker allowed for her to jump up onto the plane effortlessly, and quite possibly from just a bit over 12 knots. Interestingly, this is more than a tad eerie in a way. Whilst you would get used to it very quickly, for the first few times you would probably be a bit like a roo in the headlights. Impressively, we also did this without the aid of tabs, and once her five to six degrees of attitude was set, she simply got higher out of the water and applied speed as the Diesels delivered their grunt, which was done with sublime aplomb.

Her five bladed, skewed (swept back) Teignbridge screws, which move the boat forward 51 inches per revolution, are exceptional. By the way, Maritimo work closely with the manufacturer to achieve the results they are looking for. The current configuration will also provide a base for the higher output engines in subsequent craft of the line.

And so to what is arguably the boat’s strong suit. Ride. She runs atop her centre of gravity and also buoyancy, and then the experience of the design team places all her heavy mass, like the donks and optional stabiliser right there. They also used wing tanks exclusively, so that as they are drained, her balance is not compromised. Even the fresh water tank is nearby, just ahead of the bulkhead and under the Master Stateroom bed. The black tank is just aft in one of the lazarettes, which are under the transom stairs, and so all in all they are within 1.5m of the required spots, and the greater engine room accounts for the majority of the hard, critical mass.

“The helm position and sight lines have also been considered during this stage, and they too do not alter as speed and conditions change. Equally, she is dry as result of her freeboard, and more importantly, that her wake line is aft of the helmer, as the fine entry cuts her way through the water. In a single level boat, all of this is crucially important, for you really want to make sure the sporty nature of a boat like this can be thoroughly enjoyed, and remain effortless at the same time”, said Barry Cotter. Please note that the headrest for the sunbed up for’ard has been modified to have the ability to fold away moving forward, which I think is terrific, as it can be inconvenient removing the backrest squab in its current setup.

For my part, this craft turns in so well, and is incredibly responsive. It combines the enjoyment of running a small speedboat, with the air and grace of something like a W hotel. If you had to pick and automotive brand to liken it to, then you are probably going to be looking at say a bit of Ferrari, with a healthy serve of Aston Martin.

“Also, we were able to look at the entire configuration with such a blank sheet of paper. Light from the windscreen fills the atrium below. There are no corridors per se, with everything opening up off of this space. Up for’ard the VIP has the angled Queen bed off to starboard, and the volume afforded this, and the headroom meant you could get around the leading side, so access was not hindered in anyway, and quite possibly significantly improved, especially if you take into account even making the bed in the first place.”

“In the twin bunk cabin, the upper bunk runs athwartships, and is still large enough for an adult, yet allows for a greater sense of space, and the light from the large porthole permeates far better, as well. Of course, it also means the area underneath can be utilised as the wardrobe in the Master Stateroom, or head if you choose the Regency Suite, which 20% of customers have selected as their option.”

The X60 can be configured as a two, three or four cabin craft. “It is interesting to see of the 13 already sold in, just one has opted for the garage, with the remainder roughly spilt 50/50 between Beach Club and Aft Cabin. Both of which retain the day head configuration out aft and to Port. Equally, just about all have gone for the fully sliding side windows in the saloon, and two sunroofs above the dining and galley areas”, said Barry-Cotter.

The X60 also marks a change from super-high gloss timber and in place is satin Walnut, which provides for the grain to actually come through and adds to the tactile experience. “Yes it is a softer style to the treatment throughout. It is a more contemporary look, and continues the trend for motor yachts to reflect modern apartment style living. But as with the entire boat, there are optional aspects, so high gloss teak is appearing on a craft now, and there is also the option to remove the full bi-fold doors onto the cockpit and place an aft facing settee right there with sliding glass instead. All in all it is about offering a level of bespoke qualities around a production platform.”

In the video at the start you will have seen an early mock up of the dashboard that is in this craft and steadily being introduced across the entire range in one guise or another. It certainly dips its hat to the motoring world, but also learns from the racing pedigree of the design team. Specifically, it revolves around having quick access to pertinent information that is all clustered by category and in the same location. Ergonomics play a huge part and therefore, GPS, Engineering, Comms all sit together, and it means your eyes can come back up to viewing ahead quickly. “It also includes mood lighting under the armrest, a hand-stitched boot around the hub of the helm, and it is things like these that are taking us to the next level”, said Barry Cotter.

Now mechanics will love you for your X60’s engine room. So much so that they may even pay you for the pleasure! No awkward positions to contort yourself into. Here the two huge Scania 925hp straight sixes sit pride of place with walk around room, full height to the deckhead (please make sure you read deck, then head). This is all due to her volume, which you can see when you replay our video of the mould.

All of which is a great segue into what you can do with, or more accurately supplant into said space. The standard offering is a pair of Volvo Penta D13-800s. Like the Scanias, these are also an inline six, of 12.8 litres, with dual stage turbo and water-cooled exhaust manifold, along with twin-charge air coolers. This will see her comfortably make 30 knots.

The same block is used for the 1000s, which look to be the most common choice given Volvo’s worldwide market servicing and brand cache. The extra horsepower is derived from re-mapping and changing the twin-entry turbos, which is code for burning more fuel, of course. The expectation here is just over 35 knots WOT.

The 925hp Scanias see her make 34 knots, with 26 as her optimal cruising speed. One client is already investigating using a pair of Scania’s compact, 16-litre, 1200hp V8 engines, which will take the X60 into the low 40 knot arena, making her a true Express GT, and in the process catapult her into the next market segment. This is primarily going to suit some European, Middle Eastern and US deliveries.

Our test boat was fitted with the optional EJS or joystick controller for the mains and thrusters. At just a tad over an additional AUD100k for the EPS upgrade it is a sizable collection of silver, but when you consider the amenity on offer for operating short-handed, it effectively becomes essential. The bite form the mains and the upsized bow and stern thrusters will ensure you are guaranteed to stay in place, as if all the mooring lines are already secured.

Some have opted for the gyro stabiliser, the bed for which is already moulded in amidships and across the aft bulkhead of the engine room. Obviously underway its effect is diminished, but if you intend to anchor and have a stable platform for lunch, or require a dead flat vessel at night whilst sleeping, then it becomes more viable. Equally, if you go away a lot, or make long passages, then the watermaker will replenish the 800l in the tank pronto.

Now if you were heading offshore a bit, then my recommendation would be to go for the Humphrees Interceptors, with list control. These are all automated, the fastest acting variety going around, and with much less wetted surface area than standard tabs, so it is hard to go past them for efficiency and effect. Heading into a breeze and chop, having the bow down just a tad would ensure your tremendous ride remains.

Other options of note include the panoramic sunroofs. Barry-Cotter commented, “We challenged the conventional wisdom here too, just as we did with the whole boat. Adding light to areas that do not get it normally, especially aft in the saloon where the windows get smaller and the cockpit awning shade everything. All but three of the orders so far have gone for both, and the other ones chose to have only the aft one.” This would also be my preference too, by the way.

All the buyers to date have opted to have the Vista three-stage sliding glass, which is something totally unique to the X60 and not seen in any other Sport Yacht. “Other, more creative enquiries have included using the aft space for crew quarters, placing a huge Chef’s galley down there, and even a sauna and jacuzzi!”

Get the feeling you might want the Sport Yacht that is different to all the rest and offers a ride you will just love? Best of all, now that Maritimo has more space at the factory you only have to wait until 2019 to get into your new X60. As for getting behind the helm, well the Kiwis took the first two, so the Southern Hemisphere is winning in the representation stakes so far, but rest assured, Maritimo will find a way to satisfy your needs…

Now if you want to stand oceans apart from the others in this space, simply go to maritimo.com.au and start looking at how your X60 will be configured to meet your needs.

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