First comes a trip from the Gold Coast to Auckland in New Zealand, as a shake-down and to see the folks. Then this latest flagship of the Maritimo fleet heads for Southeast Asia. Central and wing tanks carry over 10,000 litres of fuel which, combined with Rolls Royce MTU 1625 HP power plants and Maritimo’s renowned shallow shaft drives, allow the passage to New Zealand with suitable safety margins.
Next the M75 can island-hop to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Solomons or Papua New Guinea prior to entering Indonesian waters, which ark through the same distance as San Francisco to New York.
That’s the scenario foreseen by Maritimo CEO Tom Barry-Cotter, who likes to sea trial new models he builds personally, as though they were his own. It is a legacy instilled by dad Bill Barry-Cotter, who founded both of Australia’s two premier production yards, Riviera and Maritimo, the latter now into its third decade.
For this review, we edged out into The Broadwater from Runaway Bay Marina as light rain squalls swept across from the SE, with yard stalwart Ross ‘Rossco’ Willaton driving, and marketing executive Leanne St George also aboard, but the weather didn’t matter as a motor yacht this size is fairly snug in most conditions.
In fact, apart from cruising Asia’s exotic seas and straits, these new-breed semi-custom vessels can realistically look at inter-island trans-Pacific passages as well.
Showboats magazine in the States originally defined small superyachts in the 1990s as being 80+ feet. Capabilities have increased enormously in the interim, and 75 feet LOA is not much different to the superyachts of yesteryear, while current design, construction, power and technologies are all vastly superior.
First impressions are of a large, sturdy, flybridge model with three racy-looking hull windows providing light and conversely views from below deck. LOA is actually 75 feet 8 inches, and beam 19 feet 8 inches.
The variable deadrise hull with deep keel, sharp bow entry and flattened progression aft is focused on offshore cruising efficiency and range, as well as cruising comfort and stability, say her creators.
The sea state at the Gold Coast Seaway was messy, with wind-driven winter swells building up offshore, so I opted for a flatter water run north towards Jumpinin Bar, inside South Stradbroke Island. At the flybridge helm station, finger-tip controls soon had us humming along at an easy 27 knots. Noise and vibration were virtually imperceptible.
This owner chose Simrad instruments, and Rossco commented that Simrad and Garmin were mostly preferred, although Furuno and Raymarine get a look in.
Hull design and engineering are centred on straight shaft drive technology, with standard Scania Di16 1150 HPs transferring power to the water via an ultra-efficient, shallow straight shaft angle to the five-blade Nibral propellers. Options include MTU 1380 HPs, and MTU 1625 HPs were fitted on this vessel.
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Such configurations, a feature of the Maritimo philosophy, result in a relatively low draft, in this case 1.5m, allowing anchoring closer inshore or inside reefs which may otherwise be inaccessible, although it was still a little unnerving, running past the old Couran Cove echo resort and in a charted channel, to watch the depth sounder hovering not too far above 2m. Where was the instrument fitted, we politely asked?
It is always interesting to see what other boats owners have ordered. This particular owner had three earlier Maritimos, prior to this purchase, so his custom choices are obviously based on experience and intended practical use of the vessel.
Basic price, incidentally, is also subject to variables like inflation shipping if wanted, insurance and so on, but US$4.5-5m is a ballpark figure, and to get full value, one shouldn’t skimp on the fixtures and fittings.
Using specs and options for this semi-custom Maritimo are a good guideline. The next two M75 owners are also Kiwis, then an Australian, and Asian orders are open at an optimal time in the vessel’s development.
Stand-out standard features for me included the potentially multiuse adventure deck, one of the largest and best-outfitted galleys I’ve ever seen, the impressive full beam master stateroom and en-suite, interior stairway to the fully enclosed flybridge, and last but not least, the aft flybridge deck, which can also be weather-protected, replete with its bar, three barstools and lounge.
Pop a bottle of fine fizz and add a setting sun, and the archetypal image of a perfect lifestyle afloat wafts before one’s eyes.
Scrutinising the vessel in more detail, and returning to the adventure deck, refrigeration, a sink with drainage and food prep areas, plus an electric cooktop, are all provided in the aft cockpit module.
In addition are three flush-deck hatches with deep storage that, apart from the usual fenders and sun lounges, are big enough for say inflatables and a whole range of watersports toys. A couple of steps up either side lead to a nicely-outfitted aft lounge and dining table which, like its interior counterpart, seats eight guests.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the first Maritimo M75 flagship owner was going to treat this area – Rossco thought he may store jetskis here. I would have gone for sportfishing capability with discreet rod holders in the hull mold port and starboard, two lines streamed astern and two more on outriggers to establish a lure pattern, backed by a custom fighting chair locked into the deck but stored below when not in use.
Intending anglers could sit astern at lounge level, perhaps comfortably wining and dining while waiting for reels to roar into life. No problem boating gamefish like mahi mahi or wahoo or yellowfin tuna, and the fishing gear could be packed away completely when the M75 resumes full cruising mode.
The teak deck here extends into a wide swim platform that drops below sea level at the touch of a button, thus providing launch and retrieval facilities for jetskis and tenders, as well as for snorkelling, scuba diving and other assorted water sports.
Deep protected walkways to the foredeck sun lounges span both sides of the boat, and once there, the largest tender, with its own crane, is fitted into twin grooves that keep it clear of a central sunpad.
Deck hardware is by Muir of Tasmania, while Maxwell of New Zealand may also be an option. Both brands are well-known internationally. We anchored and picked up seamlessly using pushbutton controls at one stage, with a lone crew watching the process, but not required.
Tom Barry-Cotter and his marketing director Simon Stewart describe the M75 galley as “Maritimo’s largest and most bespoke to date”. I would go further and say it is unequivocally one of the best layouts and finishes I’ve encountered anywhere.
It focuses on an island benchtop, surrounded by galley fittings and fixtures in an across-beam U-shape from starboard, with more integral facilities ensconced beyond the central walkway to port.
The island benchtop will provide bracing support in a seaway or swell, although we are obviously not talking gimbals here, and it is highly utilitarian. For example, the very large dish washer is discreetly combined into its base.
High-quality Miele galley gear is installed, and searching for the refrigerator and freezer, I eventually found them behind wood-covered doors that one initially assumed was more cupboard space. A proper wine cabinet is similarly disguised, and solid Bianco stone tops used in the galley are repeated in the en-suites, providing yet another themed effect.
Across the corridor is a delightful custom pantry, and the overall impression, apart from ultimate practicality, is conveyed by the extensive wooden panelling, which softens more frequently-used
metallic aluminum-silver galley finishes. Full marks.
Forward again, the principal M75 salon and indoor dining area is like a first-class lounge, as one would expect, with pop-up wide entertainment screens both here and on the flybridge. Sliding vista windows are at a height that allows seated guests to indeed see the vista when under way, a perennial problem for some builders.
Carpets here and in the staterooms are 100 per cent New Zealand wool from Cavalier Bremworth, in a colour called Lisburn Venise, while leather-like vinyls used in strategic places include Taupe, Tusk, Ocean and Dark Pebbles, while upholstery fabrics are called Lopi Pumice, Interweave and Dumont Barley, offset by Ramie Mesh wallpaper.
Steps lead down again to the flagship’s accommodations on the slightly lower amidships and bow deck, consisting of four staterooms and three en-suites, in addition to an auxiliary crew berth and en-suite accessed from the adventure deck back aft.
Tom Barry-Cotter himself has a lot of input into the interiors, and Maritimo recently released four new colours and finishes packages, called Dune, Cove, Oyster and Haven. This owner chose Dune, described as “a homage to the sandy dunes that line our coastline. These colours blend well with the natural scenery of the sea and sky, evoking a sense of beauty, calm and peacefulness”.
Assisting Maritimo is the interior design company Textile and Design Studio, also known as TT l DS. Their products and brands include 3Beaches Textiles, Santa Barbara Umbrellas, Sunbrella, Maeve Oliver and Heirloom linens. In addition, they help select soft furnishings, and give Maritimo clients a broad choice of luxurious bed linens and accessories.
The full-beam king-bed master stateroom definitely feels like a superyacht set-up, with all the usual amenities, while the en-suite has two basins, toilet and shower, and ample wardrobe and dressing room space.
The queen bed VIP stateroom in the bow is also walk-around, making access and changing the bedding that much easier, and there are two further twin staterooms, one of whose ensuites doubles as a day head.
The enclosed flybridge, reached by an internal, easily negotiated stairway, is perhaps the pièce-de résistance of this vessel. Also known as the Sky Lounge, it exemplifies the M75’s theme elsewhere, and continues the Fusion sound system.
Two custom helm seats face a complete array of tried-and-tested Simrad instruments, and are the business end of the boat, although Rossco also pointed out recessed mini-controls for docking, and if backing down on a larger-than-expected fish, another set could be added aft.
The flybridge is a likely gathering place for family and friends, and it is arranged in two sections, one accompanying the helm for forward cruising, and the second larger lounge for various other pastimes, such as watching big screen TV, while still being in conversational range with the helm and forward lounge.
This whole deck can be closed-off by a glass partition at the stairway, for child safety or privacy if say the flybridge is temporarily being used for extra accommodation as well, and there are additional blinds. The flybridge hardtop shades and protects its occupants, or else electric sunroofs both here and over the aft flybridge lounge can be rolled back for fresh air and sunshine in fine weather.
The aft “extension” of flybridges has long been a quandary for designers, who have come up with assorted ideas as to how to best utilise this space. Maritimo’s solution on the M75 is more of a statement, with its separate lounge, full bar and bar stools. This area can also be enclosed, or left open in pleasant weather.
In summary, this vessel is capable of plying the exotic seas and straits of Southeast Asia and East Asia in a style which would be unimaginable for anything but superyachts only a decade or two ago.
Maritimo has recently appointed experienced dealer The Yacht Sales Co as its agent in the region. The latter has established offices in Phuket and Singapore, and more are opening shortly.
CEO Mark Elkington has a formidable track history on the China Coast, and is well-known in both Australasia and Europe, where he advises some major yards on practical, client-driven improvements to their builds, rather like the relationships that Bill Barry-Cotter pioneered.
An Asian buyer could realistically take delivery in Australia, and cruise Australian and New Zealand waters prior to returning home or exploring the Pacific, or both.
M75 sea trials were still taking place when this was written, and final performance data was not available at our deadline. Please see Maritimo’s website for updates.
All photos courtesy of Maritimo
This article was first published on yachtstyle.co
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