A Bunch of Firsts
By Barry Tyler
If you ever doubted Maritimo founder Bill Barry-Cotter’s philosophy of always listening to his customers, all the proof you would ever need is succinctly wrapped up in the recently released Maritimo C47 Sports Cabriolet.
Our boating tastes and needs are changing quite significantly of late, and the cabriolet style of vessel is becoming more in demand from an audience who want an all-rounder that the whole family can enjoy. Creature comforts are now more important than ever and features such as flowthrough open plan saloons and two-cabin, two-bathroom accommodation areas are an absolute prerequisite. The single level cabriolet vessel gives us all this, and more!
As with any new boat though, innovation plays a big part and certainly this new C47 was notable for the number of firsts it boasts. Perhaps the most notable first, and this is where the ‘listening to your customers’ proclamation rings loud and true, is the mode of power. Long an outspoken opponent of pod-drives, Bill Barry-Cotter finally succumbed to customer pressure and has designed and built a model solely dedicated to the Volvo Penta IPS pod drive system. As his marketing manager Luke Durman so rightly points out, “The slow-speed manoeuvrability of pod systems clearly provides an added sense of security to many owners in the mid-range market.”
It is fair to say the project caused Barry-Cotter a certain amount of grief in that a sudden ‘revelation’ in the middle of the night saw him call an immediate halt to construction. “We realised review that with the weight of engines and drives under the cockpit, there was a possibility that a breach of the hull in the engine room could result in catastrophic sinking from the stern. Such an event could trap people forward. We worked with renowned naval architect Stuart Ballantyne to integrate positive buoyancy tanks on either side of the engine room to prevent such a disaster,” he explained.
According to Andrew Nicholson, national sales manager at Volvo Penta in Australia, the introduction of positive buoyancy was entirely driven by Maritimo. He said that, to the knowledge of Volvo Penta, this is the world’s first IPS boat in the leisure market that has watertight bulkheads combined with buoyancy compartments. “This boat is also the first in the Oceania region to achieve Volvo Penta ‘Certified Installation’ status,” said Mr Nicholson. “This is a rigorous set of standards ranging from the lamination schedule of the hull – particularly the rings through which the pods extend – to fuel return lines running to the bottom of the fuel tank. It requires a lot of paperwork as well as time and focus in construction to achieve certification. We have a number of ‘accredited’ installations in this region, but the Maritimo C47 is the first to gain the ultimate ‘certified’ status. It means, among other things, that in the event of an under-water collision, the pods will work as intended and, in an extreme event, shear off without damaging the integrity of the hull,” he added.
Maritimo marketing director Luke Durman said “The enhanced safety features are evidence of the engineering excellence that goes into every Maritimo. The IPS installation certification is proof that Maritimo’s engineering is world-class and a credit to the ingenuity of the engineering teams at Volvo Penta and Maritimo. It is a powerful demonstration of great minds from two organisations working toward a common goal. “Maritimo has always stood by the mantra that we don’t want to be the biggest boatbuilder in the world – just the best.”
Mr Nicholson said the C47 project was “one of the easiest our team has worked on in this region”. “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the project,” he said. “We know that Bill Barry-Cotter is passionate about hull design and performance, so we anticipated a few robust discussions, but he was happy to listen to us and implement all our recommendations so far as design of the hull around the pods was concerned,” he added. He said the C47 would sport a badge on the helm stating that it was a Certified Installation.
As mentioned, the C47 was all about single-level living, two cabins, saloon and cockpit all merging together as one, so the lifestyle theme began with a teak laid boarding feature complete with platform extension, which was huge by anyone’s reckoning.
Classy transom gates each side led you up onto the cockpit which again, was most generous in dimension. Virtually enveloped by the extra long overhang – it was simply a matter of adding a portable table and chair set and you had the perfect outdoor setting. Special features within the cockpit included a sink, eutectic freezer and optional BBQ recessed into the transom module, and recessed into the saloon bulkhead, a shore-power and icemaker module to starboard, and a fridge and fender locker module to port.
Innovation played a big part, with a cockpit floor and transom area which included the garage door. All as one, this assembly raised at the push of a switch to reveal a tender storage area plus underneath that again, access to the engines. Granted, the area for the tender was reasonably tight and would require a flat-bottomed inflatable type, but hey, at least you had a tender, and, it would be out of the way at all times – it’s what I always call my ‘trade-off’ situation!
Once down into the engine room, the space provision and access to engines, genset, the inverter/charger, batteries, the 200-litre water tanks each side, the black and grey water tanks – was more than acceptable. The typically Maritimo fuel tanks – in this instance a virtual full-width assembly separated down the middle into two 900-litre (each) GRP tanks – were positioned at the front of the engine bay. With all that, surprisingly there was still more room left for the likes of a desalinator, even a dive compressor, in what could be loosely described as a separate utility room, off this bay.
Often a bit of an afterthought and not taken seriously, in this instance an appropriate teak step led you up onto the sufficiently wide low-bulwark-style walkways that were made even safer by the inclusion of full-length grab rails on the cabin side. Up on the foredeck proper, I appreciated the very good job Maritimo had done of secreting both the Muir HR3500 Jaguar windlass, and the actual anchor itself!
Yet another first for Maritimo was the saloon entry. Just when we were getting used to sliding and secreted saloon doors, Maritimo has now given us a set of (G. James Glass) bi-fold doors that neatly fold back against the cabin-side extensions in the cockpit. What we now have is a completely open and therefore genuinely uninhibited flow-through from cockpit to saloon.
Aiding the lifestyle and convenience aspects, the dining side of the equation was all aft in the saloon – great for entertaining. To portside as you entered was the house-size refrigeration, a separate refrigerator and above it, the freezer. When you consider the freezer outside in the cockpit also, this amounts to a very generous refrigeration capacity, for a boat of this size. Still on the port side, the substantial U-shaped leather lounge surrounded a wooden dining table which would very comfortably seat five adults. And of course following dinner, the pop-up television in the wall module opposite, would provide the entertainment factor.
The galley to starboard as you entered the saloon was most capable and certainly appropriate for a crowd. The cook-top was four-burner rather than two and as well you had a Panasonic convection oven and a microwave to play with. Under the oven was a generous-sized pot drawer, generous in size because a drawer style pull-out dishwasher would fit nicely into this space.
Perhaps surprisingly though, there was no actual pantry of any description, (the massive space under the galley would fill this role) but then again there was plenty of drawer and cupboard storage. Other features included Corian bench-tops, a decentsized sink, an overhead electrically operated sun-roof for those sublime summer days or evenings, and Amtico flooring.
Stepping through from the galley to the living area, the Amtico flooring gave way to carpet, a nice complement to the (saloon) décor of leather upholstery, polished dining table, the blinds (on side windows and rear doors) and the plush vinyl padded wall and ceiling panels. For me it was the little things in this room though, which pleased me most. The full length wooden moulding below the windows, the air conditioning grills above the side windows, the overhead sunroof, the Bose sound system, the bold contrast of colours, the ‘softened’ contemporary look and the twin-purpose way the lounge interconnected with the helm station – all emphasised the extra effort that had gone into presentation.
The single helm station (there was however a remote joystick on the cockpit coaming), slightly off-centre and beside the steps down to the accommodation level, continued the subtle but purposeful design approach. A Volvo Penta dominated display of instrumentation and remote controls sat well alongside the Simrad electronics package of AP28 autopilot, RD60 VHF, BR24 broadband radar and two NSE 12-inch screens (complete with 3D Charts). It was what one would best describe as very comprehensive!
Sensible on a boat of this size and configuration, accommodation was for two couples. Down the steps and turning left you were confronted by a quite unusual L-shaped companionway, which neatly privatised the two living areas. Turn left and you enter the master stateroom, sort of the contemporary ‘square’ look softened somewhat, akin to what you would find in the most luxurious of vessels.
Less aggressive and undeniably more ambient then, features in here included a voluminous hanging wardrobe, a wall lounge, television, stereo, air conditioning, huge fixed hull-side windows, a linen cupboard, and naturally a queen-size berth. In this instance athwartships, it almost exaggerated the amount of usable space in this full-beam cabin. Off this room was the ensuite, of equally grandiose proportions, with its separate shower and head, vanity, woodwork, tiles on the floor and feature ceiling.
Turn right in the companionway and you pass by what in effect was the (two-way) virtually replicated (house) bathroom to starboard. If there were only two couples then you could lock this outside door and it would become the second private bathroom for the guest stateroom located in the bow of the C47. With its walk-around island berth (easy to make also), like décor, pigeon-hole lockers, port lights and overhead hatch, the only thing it lacked over the master stateroom, was for obvious reasons, the size.
While I had been impressed thus far with the décor and the attention to detail, it was downstairs here where another realisation manifested – the quality of the fittings. In the bathroom, the door latches, handles and hinges, the impressive satin-finish cherrywood – nothing was compromised!
Put the hammer down and it literally took off like a jet. Volvo Penta suggest around the 44-foot mark is about the maximum parameter for a pair of its IPS600s but Maritimo has proved it’s a little higher, with the twin inline 435hp, 6-cylinder, 5.5-litre turbocharged and intercooled IPS600’s pushing the solid GRP hull to a top speed of over 30 knots.
It is a new hull shape completely but it graphically confirms the master has lost none of his skills, for it was quite obviously efficient through the water. For so long a vocal cynic of the IPS concept I think even he has been surprised at the performance marry-up between his hull and these IPS systems. The ‘Duoprop’ configuration gives so much more bite and even directional control, that everything appears just so effortless.
That perhaps was the secret to the success of this package; you almost took for granted its handling abilities simply because there was no sensation of speed, noise or sudden change of direction. I was most surprised to find out in fact, that there was no acoustic insulation in the engine room, for it was just so quiet when underway. Despite that, Maritimo intends to add insulation as it was not quiet enough to satisfy Barry-Cotter’s demanding requirements. It was a dry boat, the hull rode with level attitude and it was obviously an accurate hull for even ‘down-hill’ and without a keel, it remained true – without hanging on to the helm wheel.
The final very big plus I felt, was the economy factor of this package. At a heavy weather cruising speed of 16.2 knots at 2250rpm the engines were burning a total of just 62lph. That equated to a range of 470nm. At a ‘slow’ cruise of 19.6 knots at 2900rpm it used 90L/h to provide a range of 392nm, and at the fast cruise speed of 25 knots at 3250rpm it used 118LPH to provide a range of 381nm. It wasn’t even that bad at the full speed of 30.2 knots at 3550rpm, for using 166lph it still offered a range of 327nm.
This boat very much follows Bill Barry-Cotters unashamed philosophy of keeping the price down on the standard model, then adding to it only what you think is appropriate. In saying that, this was how my C47 would look for it is entirely in keeping with this style of boat, but not over the top with things you really don’t need. Add to the $AUS940,000 base price the $AUS151,133 extras inventory which included electric BBQ, hydraulic swim platform, electric sunroof, teak laid flooring, cockpit bar fridge and icemaker, the Simrad electronics package, the linen and décor package and the Bose lifestyle entertainment package – and at $AUS1,091,133 I reckon you have a luxury boating package of extraordinary value for money.
- Design Name: Maritimo C47 Sports Cabriolet
- Year Launched: 2010
- Designer: Maritimo
- Interior Designer: Maritimo
- Builder: Maritimo
- LOA: 15.43 m
- Beam: 4.85 m
- Draft: 1.0 m
- Displacement: 16,500 kg
- Max Speed: 30.2 knots
- Cruise Speed: 25 knots
- Construction: Solid GRP with cored topsides.
- Fuel Cap: 1800 litres
- Water Cap: 400 litres
- Engines Make: 2 x Volvo Penta IPS 600
- Drive Train: Volvo Penta IPS
- Base price of boat: $AUS940,000
- Price as tested: $AUS1,091,133