Maritimo M64 - Boat Review

Maritimo M64 boat review

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Maritimo M64 boat review

Dependable systems, traditional straight shaft propulsion, long range tanks and the application of physics allow this large live aboard to be a real contender for adventures offshore.

When you decide to take your adventures further, there are a few key considerations that go into determining the right boat for your style of boating. There’s no doubting the Maritimo M64’s offshore capabilities. It’s got the big fuel tanks to do the passages between Pacific Island groups. Plus its got the creature comforts that make adventures even enjoyable when you have your sanctuary waiting on anchor. For remote adventures, for it to be successful, there are other considerations, and the biggest one is dependability.

What good would the sumptuous lounges, elevated views and ample accommodations be if all systems do not go? Ask any seasoned ocean explorer, commercial operator or avid fisho for their opinion and more often than not they’ll say reliability is the key to success. Maritimo has built its brand around the idea that reliability is the direct result of dependable systems, and this is the bedrock for their boats to stand the test of time.

If you are considering the Maritimo M64, you’ve more than likely been around boats. The reason the M64 is on this list of contenders for the next adventure. It’s a classic blend of indoor and outdoor Australian living that can travel long distances.

As the mainland disappears behind and your bow points for the islands ahead, you’ll appreciate the thinking that has gone into this design. The thought is about reliability which is essential because blissful destinations can mean limited shore side services.

Shafts have struts, rudders and thrusters. Together they can be a formidable force while being versatile and unflagging workers they are hard to beat in the long haul. Even with one engine, this combination can get you safely tied up for servicing or repairs.

Does sticking with tradition hold Maritimo back from being competitive as boats improve their fuel-efficiency? The answer is no, and the reason is that they haven’t stuck their head in the sand and let change pass them. They have adapted, but they have done it in a way that applies the physics of hydrodynamics instead of complicated technology.

Onboard today we have the recently crowned world champions, Tom Barry-Cotter and Roscoe Willaton from Maritimo Racing. When not competing on the world stage, their day jobs are crucial ones at Maritimo’s Gold Coast headquarters. Tom is the head designer, and Roscoe applies his immense wealth of experience to new model testing and propping.

Tom explained why the straight shaft arrangement is so competitive on fuel consumption. Maritimo sticks with their mantra that simplicity reigns supreme for reliability. They focus on incremental improvements on hull design, to reduce not only wave-making forces but also reduce drag by way of less wetted surface area. They tackle it with two chines to optimise the boat at both low and high speeds. The outer chine assists with low speed and at-rest stability; it also allows for maximum accommodations volume. When the hull lifts off the lower speed chine and planes off the second inner and narrower chine, it reduces the wetted surface and in turn reduces the fuel consumption, simple physics.

As this model sits in the water and transitions to the plane, it has a lovely balanced feel about the transition. Tom explains that “…balance and centre of gravity are key components that affect both the racing and production boats.” The designs incorporate the positioning of the big machinery and the liquid loads according to the centre of buoyancy, combined with an optimised shaft angle and well-chosen props. The acceleration feels like a sprinter positioned in starting blocks, with explosive momentum forward, as opposed to the tail-heavy transfer of energy forward, with the centre of balance positioned further aft.

Smooth and notably quiet the Standard 900hp Volvo D13 engines propel the test model to speeds that require an adjustment to allow the drone to keep pace. Paired with ZF gearboxes and the optional Express Joystick System (EJS), this setup enables precise low-speed joystick control with a traditional straight shaft arrangement. Working in unison with the hydraulic bow and stern thrusters all the thinking is done on your behalf, enabling you to direct the boat with precision intuitively. Plus you have the redundancy of engine and thruster controls available if required.

On deck, whether it’s in the cockpit or moving forward, the raised bulwarks, deep, expansive side decks and sturdy high railings enhance the protected feel for bluewater safety and stability. The raised sheerline forward towards the bow, combined with the flare of the hull is excellent bluewater characteristics too.

Of all the places to be outside, the one that made the biggest impression on me was upstairs. Optioned on this model is elevated reclining, on the elevated flybridge aft deck. At anchor or underway in the right sea state, there’s nothing better than an ample flybridge aft deck, with dual Chaise Lounges. Watching the view pass through your toes like rolling credits is sublime. It’s a remarkably straightforward approach to enhancing the area, the continuation of the stainless railing design is light on view impediment and heavy on votes for the top spot award. Chaise lounging with airflow all around you takes out the title for most enjoyable location at all times of the day with the best-supporting feature being the extended awning.

Just inside this fully enclosed Flybridge is a decent sized enclosed lounge with the adaptability for additional sleeping quarters when passage making or accommodating the summer tribal get-togethers. On this model, the requests were for more indoor seating for the temperate climate of its home port. The layout has options to suit different uses. I like the option where the lounge is straight rather than the optioned L-Shape, for more flow from the indoors to the outside with the Bi-Fold door open. The enormous sunroof opens and floods natural light and pulls in the fresh air over the middle of the Flybridge benefiting both the lounge and helm.

The helm and driving position has a clean and modern layout, Pompenette Helm chairs face three touch screen Garmin MFD’s. On the outboard side are the engine controls, joystick and hydraulic bow and stern thrusters. In automobile fashion, the engine data display is directly in front of the sports car styled steering wheel.

Maritimo does a stylish job of their staircases. Smooth curves form a pod supporting each wooden step. Housed at the bottom of the stairs to the Flybridge, are the electrical panels for both AC and DC supply. Traditional circuit breaker distribution panels continue the companies ethos of uncomplicated reliability. The position is conveniently placed just inside the doors to the port side, opposite the galley. 

I have always liked the way that Maritimo tackles the aft galley arrangement. The island bench separates the galley from the traffic flow. When the entire bulkhead opens thanks to the bi-fold doors, the galley gains a second entrance, avoiding the bottleneck often experienced by aft galley arrangements.

The full-size upright refrigeration and freezer space accommodates chilled and frozen provisions practically and effectively. To port, below the stairs is a huge supplementary draw freezer about the right length for some sizable pelagic fillets or extended cruising provisions.

The saloon is a step up from the galley, giving better sightlines to the water. I would like to see them lower the sill heights a little further in future models to enhance viewing even more. Sturdy handholds enable you to move around this boat in rough seas. If you are in the rough stuff often, you can add more handholds to suit.

Both the lounge that surrounds two sides of the dining table to port and the L-Shaped seating to starboard offers ample storage below their soft leather cushions. The leather on the lounges is very sumptuous and comfortable, well suited to stretching out with a good book or an afternoon siesta.

Forward of the saloon and down the companionway are the accommodations, made up on the test model by three substantial cabins and three bathrooms — big pluses for extended cruising and extended time onboard. The big cabin to port serves well for a variety of needs. This spacious and well-lit cabin sleeps two in side by side twin beds. Set on runners, these beds unite to form a double bed with impressive workarounds on both sides. The icing on the cake is the Pullman bed positioned athwart ships above the head of the berths below, for a triple berth arrangement. The immense cabin height allows this additional berth plenty of head space. The private ensuite is a very welcome addition for guests or when there are kids on board.

To starboard, the dual entry bathroom serves as a significant day head or as a private ensuite with a private entrance from within the VIP cabin forward. The centreline VIP berth has suitable access for all ages either side and proper natural ventilation from the dual deck hatches. Like all the cabins it is well equipped with electrical outlets and the all-important USB ports for charging.

The master cabin has a private entrance with access to the bathroom possible near the door, allowing usage before you step down into the owner’s retreat. The shower cubicle floods with natural light from the overhead skylight; the overall length of the bathroom is very substantial, ample bench space and storage to satisfy long stayers. Amidships the master cabin is blessed with a king-sized berth and flanked by full cabin length windows. The view is good, although a little limited due to the high standard of certification that Maritimo strives to maintain bluewater ratings. In the works is a new glass that allows the vertical height of the window to increase substantially while still maintaining the offshore certification.

Back out on the deck, the cockpit is level with the galley. The fixed dining table slightly scallops back into the transom seating. It’s a nice touch for allowing the outside seats to converse without a big lunge to be part of the conversation. The standard island transom houses a BBQ on one side and freezer on the other, accessible from the large swim platform. In the centre is access to the enormous lazarette below the cockpit floor. There are options for this area, but I much prefer the ample storage, especially when you see how easy it is to access when the transom lifted. Particularly handy as a watersports storage cavern, it’s big enough for the paddleboards and dive gear for discoveries on and below the water.

The Maritimo 64 is a boat for adventures, but it’s also for people who love to share their lifestyle. Three cabins, three bathrooms and plenty of living space, supported by long-range tanks, loads of storage and essential simplicity to critical components are hallmarks of independence from shore side services. It’s easy to operate, rides well and has benefitted from the Maritimo Racing Divisions influence by way of calculated and tested, incremental improvements. Maritimo has backed themselves with a design philosophy supported by thorough testing and development in a format that looks set to stand the test of time. If its time to explore, adventure and share in luxury and style, then the M64 is well worth considering as your platform of discovery.

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