Maritimo C60 Sports Cabriolet
Migrating whales turn up during a test of the Maritimo C60 Sports Cabriolet, a provide a great backdrop to an excellent cruising boat
In this job I am fortunate enough to get the opportunity to test boats all over the world and I’ve been boating in many magnificent locations. But as Dorothy said in the movie The Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home”. Especially, if your home is in Queensland and you get the chance to go boating off Australia’s Gold Coast in autumn. Not only is the weather fine and quite mild, but at that time of year, you’re almost assured of being blown away by the antics of hundreds of humpback whales on their annual migration north. And during this test of Maritimo’s magnificent new C60 Sports Cabriolet, the whales didn’t let us down. They were out in force and made it hard to concentrate on the task at hand. However, chasing whales all over a gently undulating sea definitely showed off this Maritimo’s excellent manoeuvrability.
The C60 Sports Cabriolet is quite a departure from the standard fare in Maritimo’s line up. Sports/Express Cruisers are gaining immense popularity in Australia, and the Maritimo C60 fits the bill to a tee. The C60 is the first in a new series of Sport Cruisers that Maritimo has in mind for its growing fleet, with a C50, C55 and a C70 to be added later on. According to Maritimo’s founder and CEO, Aussie boating legend Bill Barry-Cotter, the new range will constitute the “lion’s share” of Maritimo business.
Fill out the inside
The C60 Sports Cabriolet’s functional layout and ease of handling make her an ideal boat for a couple who like to go boating with family and friends, or entertain and have guests stay over for the night. She’ll accommodate eight: two in the master stateroom amidships; two in the guest forward stateroom; and another four in the smaller port and starboard twin-bunk cabins.
The master stateroom is extremely spacious and this is enhanced by its walk-in wardrobe, roomy en-suite and foyer. You just have to remember to watch your head when you enter, because there’s a step from the foyer to the cabin floor and you can hit your head on the cabin roof as you step down.
The other three cabins don’t have en-suites and share a large main bathroom. Guests also share the washer/dryer that’s mounted in the starboard cabin. But even though they are made to do a bit of sharing, the guest’s cabins also share the ambience of the owner’s stateroom.
This below deck area gets plenty of natural light through six hatches above the forward cabin and the two bunk-bed cabins, with an additional three portholes to port and two to starboard. The master cabin gets its natural light through three large, rectangular windows in the hull on the starboard side. Strangely, these aren’t replicated on the portside. The team at Maritimo has informed me that port and starboard windows to the main stateroom will be an option on future C60 models.
But if you’re anything like me, the only time you go below deck is to sleep, so what does it matter? Most of our waking hours would be spent in C60’s roomy main saloon, galley and helm area. Or we could go out on the aft deck for a bit of alfresco dining, or make our way along the wide walkways to the foredeck to work on our tans as we lay on the bow sun pad.
Plenty of thought has gone into the layout of the saloon, but the best part about this whole area is that it’s all on one level, except for a small step from the galley to the saloon proper, and the visibility is great. When seated on any of the lounges in the saloon, you get uninterrupted, 360-degree views through the windscreen, massive side windows and out through the sliding rear-bulkhead double doors. It was an ideal place to do some whale watching.
Two L-shaped lounges encircle the main saloon and there’s a dining table on the portside. This set-up allows the skipper to talk with the passengers while underway. Which is good because he or she won’t want to leave the comfy skipper’s chair once they see all the electronic wizardry mounted here, making the skipper’s job a whole lot easier.
The galley and bar area at the rear of the saloon is ideally sited for food preparation and makes a great servery to the saloon and aft cockpit. This layout is an entertainer’s delight, but if you don’t feel like cooking indoors, there’s a large barbecue with a sink and preparation bench across the transom. You can cook up the steaks on the barbeque, pass the salads out from the galley and sit at the circular cockpit table to enjoy your meal. Life onboard this boat is very civilised indeed. So is getting ashore, thanks to a garage that’s large enough to house a reasonable tender.
Going the distance
OK, from my description you’ve probably worked out that the C60 Sports Cabriolet is ideally set-up for cruising. But how far does she go? A “bloody” long way, I can assure you. Her 5600-litre fuel tank is mounted amidships in front of the twin Caterpillar C12 715-horsepower diesels, so it isolates the sleeping areas from any engine and generator noise. At full throttle (30 knots at 2348 RPM) she has a range of 578 nautical miles. Drop this back to a leisurely ten knots and she’ll get 1500 nautical miles out of a full tank – a distance that could theoretically get you from Singapore to Hong Kong. Under normal offshore conditions, a 22-knot cruising speed is about ideal and her range drops to around 700 nautical miles. At a fast cruise of 26 knots she can travel about 600 nautical miles.
Seated at the helm I found the C60 as easy to drive as the family car. The hull is the same as the one under the Maritimo 550 Convertible, or “fish boat” as Maritimo boss Bill Barry-Cotter calls it, so she has a true bluewater heritage. Apply the power steadily and there’s no apparent transition to the plane, no loss of visibility waiting for the bow to drop and no digging in at the rear. With the saloon doors shut, engine noise is almost non-existent, so there’s never a need to raise your voice during normal conversation. Unless of course, you’re yelling at the deckie to get his or her act together.
The helm is extremely light and responsive. Turn the steering just a little, and you’ll instantly see the bow turn in kind. Bill doesn’t see a need for mini tunnels in his hull designs, but still manages to achieve very slight shaft angles, and that reduces draft considerably. But what this boat does have is an extremely pronounced keel plank, which protects the running gear to some extent and gives this hull excellent straight tracking in a following sea. The only trade-off is an increase in the boat’s turning circle.
Coming out through the seaway, her sharp bow sliced through the small swells rolling in over the bar without banging and crashing, and her aggressive chines (carried well forward) keep any spray and water outside the boat. Once at sea in the calm conditions on the day, she was literally put into “set and forget mode”. However, playing around with her on the bar clearly showed it would take quite a sea to ruffle this lady’s feathers.
With a price tag of around A$1.5 million (HK$9.8 million) for a vessel with all of the creature comforts and a full suite of excellent Simrad electronics, the Maritimo C60 Sports Cabriolet is a well-priced 60-foot cruiser.
But this boat is also very much the “chameleon”. Why? Because she can change from being a luxury long-range cruiser capable of more than 1500 nautical miles at 10 knots, into a sports boat able to maintain a fast cruise speed of 26 knot in the most ambient surroundings. Yes, I can definitely see myself on the C60, hosting a group of friends at a Sunday barbecue, as we cruised effortlessly up the coast, while being entertained by the antics of the humpback whales.
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Technical Specifications - Maritimo C60 Sports Cabriolet
Weight: 27 tns
Engines: Twin Caterpillar C12 715hp
Top speed: 31.8 kns
Fast cruise: 26 kns
Slow cruise: 10 kns
Range at slow cruise: 1500nm