A sedan model proves that less — no flybridge — can be more.
Shortly after one of the most awarded Australian boat builders sold Riviera, a company he started and developed, Bill Barry-Cotter decided he wanted a personal boat. Barry-Cotter, who had been building boats in Australia for more than 40 years and had launched more than 4,500 vessels, created for himself an upscale, high-speed, open-ocean yacht. Many people who saw the vessel wanted one for themselves, and Maritimo was born.
Maritimo produces a number of luxurious 30-knot cruisers noted for their up-to-date designs and go-anywhere seakeeping ability. Most of these vessels have a fully enclosed flybridge, which houses the lone helm station.
Our test boat was the new Maritimo S58, a sedan version of the builder’s very popular M58, which has an enclosed flybridge. It belongs to a boating couple who have had four boats in the seven years they’ve been boating. The first three vessels the couple had owned — 40- and 47-foot Rivieras and a 52-foot Maritimo — were all flybridge vessels, and while the owners loved the boats, they didn’t much like the layout.
After years of climbing up and down between the main deck and the helm station in the flybridge simply to get a coffee, and having guests split up on two levels, they decided a single-level sedan would be more suited to their boating lifestyle. They like the fact one of them can be at the helm and the other in the galley and they can still converse.
It has turned out to be the ideal boat for their use.
Unlike on a lot of newer vessels, the S58’s teak-soled cockpit does not feature a built-in settee or tables. Instead, there is a moveable teak table and comfortable deck chairs that can be moved or stowed, to create room for socializing or fishing. With the furniture elsewhere, the cockpit has plenty of space for fishing gear, including downriggers and crab pots or prawn traps. The aft cockpit roof extends well aft and provides good shelter in a light rain. A port-side docking control station allows easy docking from the cockpit.
The 58-footer comes with a swim step that can, as a factory option, be operated hydraulically. The owners of our test boat decided instead to have a hydraulically operated dinghy lift/storage unit installed, which turned out to be a good call, because even with the dinghy up and stored in its lift, there is plenty of room to move across the swim step without the dinghy getting in the way.
A transom locker provides space for a freezer, a sink and a countertop for a portable propane grill that stows under the counter when not in use.
The owners have developed another interesting and incredibly useful feature: the “P” bracket. It’s a beefy, round-tubed bracket shaped like the letter “P” and capable of being moved along the swim step and slipped into custom deck fittings. If the stainless bracket is installed in its deck fitting with the top of the “P” facing the dock, it becomes a simple but effective handhold for boarding or leaving the vessel. If the dinghy is in the water and the top of the “P” is facing aft, it provides a great handhold for getting out of the dinghy. The bracket is a stroke of genius, and I’m sure it will start showing up on other vessels
Moving from the cockpit to the foredeck is quick, safe and easy along ample sidedecks port and starboard.
Our skipper fired up the Volvo D13 800 hp 13L (779.7 cubic inch) engines, and they started instantly and ran smoothly. The turbocharged, six-cylinder, computer-controlled, common-rail diesels are what Volvo sells into the commercial fleet, and they produce massive torque even at low revs.
We seldom do acceleration tests on vessels of this size, but because Volvo promotes this engine as having great torque at low revs, we had to give it a shot. Volvo is right about the massive torque available. The two engines slung the 32-ton boat from a full stop, with the engines idling and gears in neutral, to an 18-knot plane in just less than eight seconds.
At 1000 rpm, the boat moved at 9.3 knots and burned 8.5 gph. When we upped the rpm to 1500, the engines burned 26 gph and the S58 made 13 knots. With the engines spinning at 2000 revs, the boat traveled at 21 knots while burning 52 gph. Wide-open throttle, 2300 revs, gave us 25 knots and a 79 gph fuel burn. During our tests, speeds were noted on an independent GPS and fuel consumption figures were generated by the engines’ onboard computers. When moving along at 1000 revs, our decibel meter gave us a very quiet reading of 64. Clearly Maritimo spent some time making sure its vessel was on the quiet side.
The interior of the S58 is really quite upscale but in a modern way. The super high-gloss teak paneling is a bright contrast to the muted tones of luxurious off-white carpeting, real leather upholstery, off-white countertops and gray leather accents. The galley is aft and the door to the cockpit is a cleverly designed three-panel glass door that opens up the entire bulkhead, so the cockpit becomes an outdoor extension of the interior deckhouse space. At least a dozen guests could easily move about enjoying a social drink or a buffet without tripping over one another, and the galley can serve people in the cockpit or those in the salon.
The galley features a cleverly built-in, slide-out, full-height pantry, a full-size refrigerator and freezer, and a drawer-type refrigerator/freezer built into a well-finished teak cabinet that’s within easy reach across from the galley. At the forward end of the teak cabinet is a pop-up flat-screen TV that can be pivoted, when raised, so it can be seen from anywhere in the salon.
Visibility from the helm station, in fact from anywhere in the salon, is excellent. The windows are cut low enough so anyone sitting on one of the couches can see outside. An electrically operated sunroof allows for more natural light and good ventilation. A sliding-glass doorway at the helm station adds to the ventilation possibilities and allows the skipper to look along the hull side fore and aft when approaching a dock.
Our test vessel had three staterooms and two heads, all forward and belowdecks. The standard layout from the factory includes a third head that doubles as a day head, but our test-boat owners opted to have a full-size stacking washer and dryer in that space.
The full-width two-level master stateroom certainly brings a “wow” factor to the accommodation spaces. The raised entry area to the stateroom features a dressing space, complete with a teak desk, a wall of lockers and drawers, and the entry to the large master en suite head. Looking down, over the desk, to the rest of the suite, one sees a raised king-sized bed, set at a 45-degree angle off center. On the bed level is plenty of storage in hanging lockers and drawers. One of the lockers features a seldom seen but useful and well-designed shoe rack.
Three large hull widows allow plenty of natural light into the suite, and the head has tiled floors, a large, separate shower, plenty of storage and heated towel racks — a nice touch.
The VIP stateroom, located in the bow, features an island queen bed, plenty of storage and handy open shelving alongside the bed, for books and smaller items. It shares the second head with a well-appointed and comfortable third stateroom. Our test boat had a single berth in that cabin, but an optional twin-berth layout is available. There’s also storage room in drawers under the bed.
The mattresses on all the beds are very comfortable, and the fit and finish throughout the accommodation area is excellent.
The Maritimo S58 is a tough, well-finished vessel that’s capable of handling almost any sea condition, and it can be easily operated by an experienced couple. The fit and finish through the boat is excellent, as is the visibility all around. Its interior, flooded with natural light, is bright and cheery even on a dull day. It would be nice to see a few more handrails inside, but that’s not really a big item.
This 58-foot sedan cruiser, while not having the look of the pilothouse Maritimo models we’re used to seeing, is every bit as good of a boat as the more well-known models. For some boaters, a flybridge can be an inefficient design and be inconvenient to operate, constantly having to go up and down stairs, ladders or companionways, especially if a good sea is running. A sedan-style cruiser solves a lot of those problems, and our test S58 confirmed that.