VIDEO: Maritimo 73/88

By: Jeff Strang, Photography by: Jack Murphy


Run a tape measure along the Maritimo 73 Serendipity and she stretches out beyond her official length appellation to near 88 feet.

The mighty flybridge motoryacht doesn't get more grandiose than the Maritimo 73. At 24.8m overall it is the largest example of this class I have reviewed. Serendipity, owes its non-standard label – M88 – to its proud owner, who upon running the measuring tape over his fully-optioned new baby discovered it to be 85.13 feet overall, considerably in excess of its given 73 moniker.

The deep navy sides of Serendipity add sleekness to what in white often causes boats to carry their girth too apparently. It also allows the big boat to maintain a reasonably low visual profile, even though as I walk up the length of the dock every aspect of the vessel towers over me. Big flybridge boats often struggle with their proportions, not so Serendipity.

Maritimo 73

Access to the cockpit proved simple via the hydraulic swimstep set to dockside height. The system allows the platform to be both raised and lowered through a wide range, facilitating easy boarding in most dockside and on-the-water situations.

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Engine

A large hatch in the cockpit sole opens to present a spaciously outfitted engineroom. As expected on a vessel of this volume there is generous overhead clearance and plenty of working room around the twin C32 Caterpillars. While the space itself is home to a large number of accessories – air-conditioning units, twin generators, watermaker, a proper workbench and tools – it is sensibly laid-out and uncluttered.

The shaftdrive installations make it simple to ensure the balance of the boat is near perfect, with the engines and fuel tanks low and central to maintain the lowest possible centre of buoyancy. A relatively fine entry and a shallow shaft angle – just nine degrees – combine to deliver a great ride, which is claimed to be as lean as anything comparable on the market.

Three top-quality leather helm seats complement the comprehensive dash. A three-screen Pro Simrad multifunction system surrounds Caterpillar displays, a sporty wheel and the digital controllers. Visibility is superb for the skipper and his mates and almost as good for those lounging behind taking in the views.

Interior

Maritimo -73-2While the M73's internal offering is fairly standard – four cabins and three en suites below, a spacious saloon and aft galley on the mid-level, an equally generous bridge with lounging area and navigation centre up top – the presentation, as can be seen in the photographs hereabouts, deserves praise.

The timber joinery and upholstery are close to perfectly finished and the extensively-utilised stainless steel is polished to a mirror, with precisely-aligned screw heads. It is difficult to spot flaws in any of the work, even when you start looking behind bulkheads and under hatches.

Highlights of the lower accommodation deck include bountiful storage in all the double cabins, large, well-lit bathrooms and a magnificent interpretation of the classic full-beam master cabin. An inviting king-size bed is the centrepiece of this retreat. Rich fabrics complement the heavily-upholstered wall panels and wooden joinery.

A semi walk-in wardrobe offers ample storage and allows the rest of the space to be utilised by quality accessories like the two-seat couch under the starboard porthole and the desk/vanity on the portside. LED lit handrails (a Maritimo speciality for a few years now) add gentle illumination and extra style.Maritimo -73-3

The full width of the vessel's beam behind the rear cabin wall houses a spacious en suite, featuring individual Techma heads and twin vanities adjoined by an oversized shower compartment. Further practicalities included fixed soap dispensers and proper holders for other bathroom potions and lotions.

Exterior

The long saloon makes the most of the natural light without scorching the inhabitants. Large windows provide great views, while the slight overhang of the top deck provides shade during the hottest parts of the day.

In keeping with the principles of indoor/outdoor flow the large L-shaped galley occupies the rear half of the saloon, easily servicing the adjacent formal dining table and the aft deck. A household quality Miele oven and cooktop act as the hub situated on gleaming white bench tops. Other features including an island serving/breakfast bar, deep sink, a large-volume side-by-side domestic style fridge/freezer and a pull-out pantry are all easily accessed by the chef from this point..

Aft deck access is provided by a system of custom-built stainless steel sliding doors. Their obvious weight is testament to quality, although it is essential to ensure the catches are in place when underway.

A three-seat sunlounger complements a four-seat alfresco dining table. A massive barbecue and wetbar stand by at the ready and a chest-freezer ensures no trip is too ambitious for Serendipity's food supply.

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Verdict

She is certainly a pretty boat, particularly with the deep blue hull finish. She also offers the disarming blend of style and practicality Bill Barry-Cotter is famous for. I like that the company stays true to its beliefs – building the best boats they can for long-term ownership regardless of the whims of the market.

There is no doubt this is one of finest locally-built production boats I have reviewed in recent times.

Positives

  • Very well-proportioned for a large flybridge cruiser
  • Engineered for long-term ownership
  • Relatively efficient hull performance
  • First-rate workmanship on display
  • Practical touches where necessary
  • Huge aft deck and hydraulic swimplatform
  • Locally built and serviced

Negatives

  • Quality sliding doors require vigilance with catches

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