Stylish and efficient, this Australian midsize cruiser features solid performance and a signature hidden aft surprise.
Australian boat builder Maritimo introduced its X Series in 2018, and I was lucky enough to test the first model, the X60, last fall. After that experience, I looked forward to testing the second sport coupe in the line, the Maritimo X50, before it arrived in the U.S.
Like its larger sibling, the X50 features unique styling and a signature aft cabin with an opening transom that connects the cabin to the swim platform. An exciting addition to the enclosed flybridge motoryachts and sedans Maritimo has been building for years, X Series boats are designed by Tom Barry-Cotter, son of Maritimo’s founder, Bill Barry-Cotter. The younger Barry- Cotter’s modern touch can be seen throughout, from the sleek look of the curved cabin top to the Euro-style interior that pairs stainless steel and varnished wood with high-end fabrics and wall coverings.
The X Series is not only about aesthetics. Tom is not simply an accomplished designer; he is a top offshore powerboat racer and understands how to maximize performance in shaft-driven boats. He incorporates that knowledge into the X50, noting that the customizable aft accommodations increase the total living space and help balance the hull, allowing for reduced shaft angles that enhance performance, fuel economy and ride comfort. All of this creates an efficient, stylish cruiser that is fun to drive.
I caught up with Tom and the new Maritimo X50 at the Sydney International Boat Show. He explained that performance is imperative in all Maritimo yachts and the X50 needed to maintain the speed, handling and efficiency of its larger siblings. He also packed as much comfort and useable cabin space as possible into this midsized cruiser. Finally, he did it all without ruining the lines of the boat. X Series boats must have the contoured styling and soft lines that keep them sporty and modern looking.
After the show I was able to run the boat partway up the Australian coast, and the X50 performed admirably. Maritimo’s hydraulic steering tracked straight with no effort on the wheel, even in a swell, and was responsive during maneuvering. The boat leaned naturally into high-speed 33-knot hard turns, dropping only a few knots before regaining speed quickly once it was re-centered.
Between 1500 and 2500 rpm, the X50’s range dropped slightly, from 375 to 321 n.m., meaning the boat can run at any speed from 14 to 32 knots without paying much of a penalty for speed. Using no tabs while cruising offshore at 23 knots (77 percent load) in a slight rolling swell, the fuel burn was 43 gph. I felt like the boat could run all day at that speed. The speed, range and efficiency of the X50 make it a capable coastal cruiser, and its handling characteristics and Australian pedigree mean it is built to handle offshore conditions commonly found along the U.S. West Coast, south into Mexico or north to Canada and Alaska.
The profile of the X50 is sleek and inviting. The hull has substantial freeboard, and angular hull windows and raked-back abovedeck gunwales create a tapered bow. Stainless railings with angled stanchions that jut forward create a purposeful look and keep passengers on the sidedecks safe. The blackened windshield slants back and flows into the curved cabin top, which transitions to a wedge-shaped cockpit overhang with radar and satellite domes inked out in black above.
The swim platform can be equipped as a tender lift. Twin stairwells lead to the cockpit above and conceal fender and line storage. A blackened window and hatch at the transom look deceptively normal, but a button’s touch raises the entire transom on actuators and reveals a cabin below and connects it to the swim platform. This signature X Series feature provides buyers with usable space few other boats of this size contain, and it allows for some appealing options.
The aft cabin can be a tender garage, a twin-berth cabin, or a Beach Club. The most versatile option, the Beach Club, features access stairs from the transom adjacent to a counter that looks aft and faces the swim platform. The opposite bulkhead has a wet bar, storage and a widescreen TV. To port is a full-size head with a separate shower compartment. Beneath the aft counter, a double bed conveniently folds out and converts the area to a sleeping cabin.
Ideal when anchored, this cabin provides bathers a respite from the sun and access to a head and shower that doesn’t require them to track water through the cockpit and salon. On a temperate night with the transom open, the beach club offers a unique view of the water and stars, creating a romantic spot to stargaze while relaxing at the counter or lounging in bed.
The aft cabin connects to the salon via an internal staircase with an engine room access door. The Maritimo X50 has a simple, uncluttered engine room that features standing headroom and easy access to the engines and equipment. Shaft drives, which Maritimo specializes in, allow such a unique aft cabin and engine room setup, which would be difficult to accomplish with pod drives.
Entering the X50 from the swim platform is accomplished by going through the aft cabin or up to the cockpit on either side. The cockpit has aft seating with stainless drink holders and a wet bar with an electric barbecue forward to starboard. Black-paneled glass doors to the salon fold completely, which opens the galley directly to the cockpit.
All Maritimo models feature an island that connects the cockpit to the galley, which works well for entertaining. The entire area becomes one big space when the doors are open wide. Other Maritimo features are a full-height refrigerator/freezer, a tall pullout pantry with convenient foldout shelves and the signature center island, which in the X50 houses an ice-maker. Corian counters contrast with the satin-varnished walnut interior. A deep stainless sink, a four-burner Miele cooktop, a microwave/ convection oven and a dishwasher complete the galley. A large opening sunroof overhead provides light and fresh air and transitions from the galley to the salon. Salon seating is on both sides, with a larger U-shaped settee and flip-top dining table to port.
The helm, situated to starboard, has twin adjustable bucket seats and a compass, engine monitors, controls and twin MFDs within close proximity. Throttles adjacent the opening side window can be reached easily from the helm, as can an optional Yacht Controller joystick. The joystick controls the engines and the bow and stern thrusters, making for easy close-hand maneuvering, even with shafts.
Visibility aft from the helm is good, looking across the cockpit, but the Yacht Controller remote control gives operators a moveable wing station that provides control and delivers views of either side and the swim platform. Three window panels provide good visibility forward for a captain who is standing or seated; visibility is only impeded slightly by the wide corner mullions. The space between the seat and tilt wheel felt a bit tight when standing but was better when I was seated.
Belowdecks accommodations include a full-beam master suite with a centerline queen bed, 6 feet, 2 inches or more of headroom, and lots of storage. Amenities include a flat-screen TV, side windows with opening portholes, a vanity with a cushioned cube seat, a hanging locker with a mirror, and a lounge seat. The master head constricts to 13 inches between the wall and the toilet but opens up at the sink. The shower, with a bench and a basketball-player-friendly 7 feet, 8 inches of headroom under an opening hatch, is spacious.
Guest accommodations include a forward VIP whose queen-size berth is angled to provide walk-around access. Other features include an opening hatch and a hanging locker. The head opens into the VIP and the corridor.
With the Beach Club bed pulled out, the boat has three cabins and three heads — all on a 50-footer.
The new Maritimo X50 is a sporty cruiser that performs well and is packed with features. Maritimo delivers quality construction, ease of maintenance and performance in a stylish, fun-to-drive package.
Read Hammerman’s review of the X60 at seamagazine.com/maritimo-x60.