Maxim 55 — By Capt. Bill Pike — December 2001
Fast and Sassy
|Part 2: Sarnico Maxim 55 continued|
After a whole morning of zooming up and down the Gulf Stream, the last hour of which was dedicated to pure, unabashed joy-riding, we returned to our slip in Fort Lauderdale and a rather revelatory afternoon. Because I'd been so busy recording numbers and graphs generated by PMY's test gear, as well as driving the Maxim, I hadn't had a chance to check out the interior. My surprise was immediate. Italian dayboats are known for their style, fit, and finish, but Sarnico pushes the envelope on this score, if ever so slightly. The joinery's exquisite, of course, but what's more, wooden surfaces that appear to be coated with fine lacquer simply are not. Instead, Sarnico uses several layers of more environmentally friendly polyurethane paint, with sandings and buffings in between. Moreover, the bright finish on some of the panels and trim is just as wonderfully illusory--it's all poly as well.
The layout's pretty standard. While the second stateroom or VIP (with right-angled bunks and an en suite head) crowds the saloon a bit, the master forward is large and stylishly appointed with painted cabinets and hanging lockers accessed through meticulously crafted louvered doors. The small, third stateroom/crew's quarters aft is accessed via a hatch on the forward edge of the cockpit sunpad and has its own en suite head. One interior feature I liked was the ducting of ventilators for the heads and galley into the chain locker on the bow, a smart move that nixes exposed, on-deck vents. One interior feature I didn't like was the hiding of galley components behind cabinet doors and folding lids, a characteristically European practice that makes food preparation cumbersome.
I also checked out construction details while inside the Maxim, thanks to numerous hatches in the sole. The theme is both contemporary and solidly mainstream. The bottom's solid glass, hull sides and decks are cored with Airex foam, and there's a polyurethane-foam-filled fiberglass grid of floors and longitudinals strengthening the hull. Stitched multidirectional fabrics and General-Purpose polyester resins are employed in the conventional laminates, although the gelcoat is high-grade isophthalic. The hull-to-deck joint is provisionally accomplished with rivets, then fiberglassed from inside, and the firewalls on either end of the engine room, as well as the collision bulkhead forward, offer watertight integrity.
I found the engine room to be a bit cramped, incidentally, although the Maxim is little different than most performance cruisers in this area. While access to the machinery spaces is easy enough, via an on-deck hatch in way of the U-shape cockpit lounge as well as a stainless steel ladder, the close juxtaposition of the engines, a muscleboat practice that boosts high-speed efficiency with props that crowd the centerline, leaves little more than shoulder room between the engines. The electrical system, on the other hand, was impressive, with color-coded and numbered wires in loomed runs laid out with geometric precision.
I concluded my test with a tour of the Maxim's topsides, noting good stuff like the lofty radar arch, which is elevated to keep electromagnetic radiation well above the head of the helmsman, and some not-so-good stuff, like the optional Besenzoni electro-hydraulic passerelle that zooms straight back from an enclosure at the stern. Passerelles stateside are pretty useless in my opinion, except perhaps as cranes. Such minor complaints, however, are no match for the kind of speed and handling performance the Italians are getting from the Maxim 55 and the driving experiences the boat engenders. Indeed, if you want to go fast in a big, muscular way, Sarnico has a deal for you.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.