The latest addition to the Australian builder’s growing range is more than just an M55 without a flybridge.
After cruising at 40 knots down the Adriatic coast in an Italian rocket ship and punching out in 20 knots to Great Barrier Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf in an Australian-built sport cruiser, it’s no wonder I gravitate to sport sedans. With the S70, S51 and the soon-to-be-released S600, Maritimo has a penchant for sleek, fast sport sedans.
It only requires a glance at Maritimo’s lineup to see that they have both ends of the market covered. Their full range now consists of six flybridge and six sport cruisers, and apart from the X Series, they use identical hulls for both the M Series (flybridge) and S Series (sport).
The S55 was released at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in Australia and attracted a fair amount of attention, and sold a number of hulls, including boats bound for Australia, New Zealand and North America. According to the builder, this has been one of the most successful new model releases since the company was founded in 2003.
Director of Design Tom Barry-Cotter said that the S55 marks the first step in an evolutionary design shift focusing on exterior form and styling within the S-Series range. Barry-Cotter was quick to point out that the S55 is not simply an M55 without a flybridge. “Early on, we worked on developing a hull platform that would work for two distinct models in the mid-50-foot category, but that’s where the similarities end,” he said, adding that the final layout of the S55 was based on a considerable amount of market research to determine what clients were looking for in an offshore performance motoryacht.
The result is a boat that features large cockpit and deck space, distinct social areas that flow seamlessly and expansive coverage and protection aft. The amount of floor space offered in the upper cockpit rivals other yachts in the mid-50-foot category. There are three spacious staterooms and two en suites, including a full-beam master stateroom, offset forward stateroom and a starboard guestroom, with twin singles or a slide-together double. All cabins offer full-height hanging lockers, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and, like the rest of the S55, a proliferation of storage spaces.
Storage is always welcome on long-range cruises, but so are places to congregate, both inside and out. Maritimo has placed an emphasis in the cockpit and aft deck areas, as that’s where owners and their guests spend a lot of time, especially at anchor. Said Barry-Cotter, “We want to make this space as inviting and user friendly as possible, and with the all-new expanded cockpit hardtop coverage, we have not only extended the cockpit protection but also amplified the amount of area above with our new utility deck,” which can accommodate a davit and tender.
Cruising the S55 on the Australian Broadwater, the boat was slippery onto the plane with no appreciable hump when accelerating. Barry-Cotter said it has to do with the placement of the shaft-driven engines. To keep the center of gravity as low as possible, Maritimo installed a triangulated fuel system, a fancy way of saying fuel is distributed across three tanks: one under the master stateroom, plus two aft. Altogether the three tanks can hold 1,200 gallons. These are gravity-fed, so only one filler is required.
Maritimo’s design philosophy is best described as building boats that go the distance while cruising at a reasonably comfortable clip. At 23.8 knots, or around 2100 rpm, I recorded a fuel burn of 59.7 gph, resulting in a range of 431 nm. Dropping back to a more leisurely 20.5 knots, or 1900 rpm, the fuel burn was 45.4 gph, and the range jumped to 488 nm.
Standard engines are a pair of 670-hp Volvo Penta D11s, but the boat I tested had the upgraded Volvo 800-hp D13s, which flat out at 2380 rpm gave the S55 a genuine 30-knot top end.
Having recently tested the S51, the difference between the two is considerable. While the S55 holds true to the S Series’ core values—stable, functional, with tough ocean-going capabilities—it goes a lot further, with a contemporary makeover. But it is still unmistakably a Maritimo, and a fine example of a sports cruiser.
Maritimo S55 Specifications:
Displ.: 63,934 lbs.
Fuel: 1,200 gal.
Water: 198 gal.
Cruise Speed: 20.5 knots
Top Speed: 30 knots
Power: 2/670-hp Volvo Penta D11; 2/800-hp Volvo D13