Maritimo 500 - Boat Review

The Maritimo 500 represents a very comfortable, seaworthy boat with everything most anyone would want, without unnecessary flash.

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Maritimo - an Australian builder - seems to have mastered the art of satisfying the American aesthetic better than many companies from that part of the world. This 50-footer successfully combines the European-style window and cabin lines with the handsome sheer line of a Palm Beach sport-fisherman.

Maritimo touts itself as a builder of long-range boats. Drop your speed to displacement-hull levels, and at 10 knots you can travel 835 nm. And you can do even better - 2,674 nm when traveling at just more than 7 knots. Interestingly, no matter what your speed or rpm, the fuel burn remains remarkably steady at about 0.5 gallons per minute. During our test ride in a wind-against-tide sea state, seas hit eight to 12 feet and came at us in short intervals. Though we could only run about 15 knots, the boat felt perfectly secure. However, in situations like this where you constantly adjust the throttles to meet sea conditions, I discovered I really didn't care for the location of the throttle/shift and the thruster controls: Both were mounted low and to the right by the helmsman's knee. It made for an awkward control situation.

Maritimo's enclosed bridge is different from others in that it's enclosed on three sides, allowing you to heat and cool the space and stay out of the weather. But the Isinglass enclosure across the back lets you open it up to the cockpit like other traditional sport-fish boats.

From the aft-situated helm, you can easily see the rear half of the cockpit, including both corners as well as two-thirds of the bow. But the best feature - and the one the owner in large part purchased the boat for - must be the wide, secure stairway that leads to the enclosed bridge from the salon below. Even older, less agile passengers can negotiate this "ladder" with ease and comfort.

The skill used in construction of the cabinetry - made from modern, light-colored woods in a glossy finish - shines through with your first glance. Throughout the Maritimo, you get satisfying, lovely basic treatments that are elegant but not flashy. The galley and salon both fit on one level, and the dinette actually seats an average family comfortably.

The centerline engine room boasts a ton of workspace, and Maritimo mounts all the noisiest equipment aft to keep the living space quieter. You'll find a single Seakeeper gyrostabilizer fastened against the aft bulkhead that does a great job while trolling at slow speeds, but performs less effectively at cruise. (I've run other comparably sized boats with twin Seakeepers that worked better at cruising speeds.) Nonetheless, slow-trolling for salmon at the mouth of the fjord in a hefty ocean swell was more comfortable with the Seakeeper than without it.

Overall, I give the Maritimo cockpit high marks with a couple of minor caveats. The sizeable fish box can be fitted with a cold plate or Eskimo ice maker if you desire, and the optional livewell on centerline can also be set up to handle tuna tubes.

The Maritimo 500 exhibits loads of graceful radius curves and a truly beautiful sheer line that breaks right at the forward end of the cockpit. It also comes with a hefty bow rail, making passage forward with a rod in hand safe and secure. Maritimo builds a solid fiberglass bottom with cored topsides and vinyl- ester resin for durability. It represents a very comfortable, seaworthy boat with everything most anyone would want, without unnecessary flash.

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA......54'1"
**BEAM......
17'1"
DRAFT......4'3"
WEIGHT......46,000 pounds
FUEL......924 gallons**
WATER......211 gallons
**MAX POWER......
T 670 hp Cummins QSM11 diesels**
PRICE......$1,216,193 (base boat)

Maritimo USA / Seattle, Washington / 425-614-2628 / www.maritimousa.com