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Outback or is that out back?

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat.World 21 Aug 2021 15:00 UTC
When they said real estate out back, they meant REAL estate. © Outback Yachts

I got sent a hyperlink that simply said, outbackyachts. Immediately, I thought of land yachting, the Henley on Todd 'boat' races, camel races, red dust, blinding sun, cold beer, and amazing vistas. As well as unbelievable fishing, history going back tens of thousands of years, clear skies and billions of stars, creatures the likes of which you may never have imagined, let alone seen before, along with cattle and wild buffalo being herded by chopper.

As it turns out it was actually the Outback 50, which is really centred around making the most of the real estate out back, which is something we have been talking a lot about, and certainly featured in The Rice Paddies of Bali.

So I checked out a few pictures, absorbed a couple of paragraphs, and I was right across what they are talking about. Recreational boating with huge open spaces, actually the Outback 50 has more deck space than any yacht in her class, and then a no fuss, but welcoming interior that flows effortlessly into your particular version of relaxation.

Add in a flat running and efficient hull form that can offer either a turn of speed or significant range, and it really started to look like the package. Running at 2 degrees always aids visibility, offers non-boaties a certain easy feel, and means the knuckle is being used as the entry, helping to slice through the seaway.

She has a shallow, three-foot draft, with a full keel to protect her running gear. Prop pockets also mean she can have a shallow shaft angle, and it all means you can go right into anchorages to have that step off and wade to shore kind of experience. Bring on the stern anchor...

Extracting 21 knots from a pair of 320hp Volvos says a lot, so too does obtaining 24 from the optional Cummins 425s, and you'll cruise at 18 and 20, respectively. Bunkering of 550 US gallons (1892.7 litres) puts 1000nm into the mix at a sedate trawler pace of say 8 knots, and offers 300nm at just over 20.

The Outback 50 tips the scales at 40,000 pounds or 18.1 metric tonnes, which is pretty handy. By way of comparison, Palm Beach's GT50 is say 13.5 and Composites Constructions' Cape50 is 12.5, which is why they can blast on to the mid 30s off the same kind of power as the up-specced Outback 50 (which is actually 56' LOA BTW).

Of course neither of them are pushing a flying bridge through the air, either, so it is not totally apples with apples.

Now that upper deck means you have an additional entertaining space, as well as that wonderful free-flowing main deck that can see you go from indoor lounging to swimming, with the only step being the one you take to jump off. Nice.

It is not going to be for everyone, but if you want the look of a Downeast with say the accoutrement of a Euro-style Sportfly, and the versatility of a large centre console, then you may just have to head Outback for yourself. Livestock mustering and the beers are up to you... After all, having that much outdoor living space means she is clearly intended for locales with warmer climates.

Did someone say design?

Just on that particular notion, you cannot argue that design can be subjective, but equally, it is funny how good design is usually universally praised. I am on record as being a paid-up member of the Bannenberg & Rowell fan club, but it was only recently that I got sent a link from Heesen's that contained internal images of Moskito that I had hitherto not seen.

Omega Architects penned her exterior form, Van Oossanen created her slippery hull form, and then Bannenberg and Rowell et al produced her interior spaces. Now at the time of her launching Bannenberg said, "It works equally well whether you're in shorts and a T-shirt, or dressed for dinner."

Having now seen the product of their toil all I can add is, "Well done! Brilliantly executed, understated elegance personified, virtually timeless, stylish and slick, relaxing and harmonious. Art Deco curves meet straight edge power, and it all just works..."

The Go-Fast-Boat lives on

The picture of Gianni Agnelli, and those sunglasses was quite the deal. Along with the hand on those four throttles, of course. Known as L'Avvocato, which was fair enough, he also had the nickname, The Godfather of Style. It's the latter that applies here, not because of his appearance, but because of just one of the many things that he built. And that would be G-Cinquanta.

The great Sonny Levi designed it, and Agnelli burned up and down the coast for something like seven years before gifting G-Cinquanta to a relative, who maintained her immaculately for 45 years, and only sold her last year.

It's a great tale of style and also preservation of an awesome boat, and it is certainly not over yet, as such. Levi Design and PMP Design have released more images of the new G-Fifty, and the Batmobile style fins with four dump pipes a side signal that the new one is not just paying homage to the original, but dead set on creating its very own legacy. Bring it on.

If Miami Vice ever gets another remake, then another Sonny might just have to use a G-Fifty as the waterborne weapon of choice.

Red Alien Reprise

To say that the outboard market has been turned on its head since we flew past the 300hp mark is tantamount to being asleep at the wheel. The quantum of the paradigm has been as huge the types of vessels they now push along in a real hurry. 50' LOA is not uncommon any more, and 70 happens with an amazing regularity, as well.

In Creating complete magic. Not spawning pure evil! we had a look at Nizpro Marine's 450S, which is based on the venerable Yamaha 4.2l V6. Driving a vessel with just one of the supercharged gems on made me write, "Brutal, quiet, fuel efficient, powerful, strong, and sturdy, I almost did not believe that a transplant like this could leave you with the most incredible confidence. Alas, once you have driven it, you will not be going back to something else, for they all pale into insignificance."

Since then, of course, we have had a load of new V8s, and a V12 from Mercury, and some brands have even left the market all together. I am not sure just how far up range from 600hp Mercury will go with their new 7.6l bent 12, but suffice to say, at 3.4 litres larger than the Nizpro Marine 290kg (dry) stunner, there would have to be a power to weight discussion to be had at some point, especially when considering multiple installations.

Another key one of the notes I penned at the time with the Nizpro was, "Think of it like having the torque of a diesel, and the responsiveness of a petrol donk, and also the accordant lower mass than an oil burner. On the latter point, it is like 100kg lighter than Yamaha's 425hp petrol V8." Now you're never going to be as smooth as a 12 with a bent 6, but one of the things to keep top of mind here revolves around temperature.

Ambient and water temperature play a massive role in the way your power is delivered. Yes, turbo and supercharged powerplants generate more heat, but with the Nizpro, the extra water-cooling that is part of the package and has its own ejection port on the port side of the upper leg, you always get the number on the side of the cowling, no matter whether you do your boating in one of the Arab States, or Washington State!

It burns less fuel, and is quieter than so many other rigs out there, and I am not just comparing it to two-strokers. Our 8m Brig could make 50 knots doing 130lph with four people and fuel on board. The Nizpro Marine 450s never had trouble spinning the big, four-blade, 15x22 inch wheel at the end of the leg, with its turn in and out not just impressive, but completely next level. Now offshore that translates into less throttle commands, as the brutal power does not dive under load. Counter rotators are available for when you need to have a trio or quartet playing to the aft deck.

I think it is well and truly time to check in once more with Nizpro to find out exactly where they are at in this ever-changing landscape called outboards. My first opportunity to test the Mercury bent 12s may come when we finally get to look at the Naiad Expedition Fifteen we looked at in Caped Crusaders.

Cox on display

Yes. Cox Marine will be exhibiting and demonstrating the CXO300 marine diesel outboard at the Cannes Yachting Festival in a twin installation on an Axopar 37.

25% improvement in fuel efficiency over petrol donks of the same horsepower, obviously the torque hike, up to three times longer service life, and EPA Tier 3, RCD II, IMO II and BSO-II approval. That's pretty handy fodder for any brochure or salesperson to have. And you're a twin-turbo V8 to boot...

So there it is. Could well be gloves off in the middle-to-high horsepower outboard bracket.

No, not the outback

...but from out the back of the Gold Coast all the way to the USA. Seems momentum is well and truly building For Maritimo's new model rollout in the United States, as described by Maritimo President - The Americas, Dave Northrop.

This year's global launch of the sensational new M55 and S55 luxury motor yachts by Australia's Maritimo has struck a chord with boat buyers in The Americas, with double digit sales recorded, all sight unseen.

"This sales surge was sure to increase in intensity with the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and a program of private VIP showings when the first M55 and S55's hit American shores," said Northrop.

"With Covid there have been some shipping challenges, but I am pleased to say that in the past two weeks four new Maritimo's have departed Australia for the USA, all pre-sold.

"We are eagerly awaiting the Fort Lauderdale launch of the new 55's and there are another four vessels scheduled to be shipped from Australia in the next 30 days."

"Our display at Fort Lauderdale will include the new M55 and S55's. Having achieved double digit sales on these two new models without one of them arriving in the US we anticipate a massive response at the show and after our program of private VIP showings."

Northrop also said the USA forward order book is at a record high, with American's embracing the advanced, design, engineering and styling that has emerged from Maritimo in the past year. "The demand for Maritimo motor yachts in this hemisphere is unprecedented."

Maritimo's lead designer, Tom Barry-Cotter, stated that Maritimo is on track for a total of eight new model reveals or launches this calendar year. No messing about there, and the design cues already seen on both the vessels launched and those to come are no doubt part of the reason for the queues to buy one. Boom. Boom.

OK. Today you will find that the website has an abundance of material from right across the globe, and if you cannot find something, just try the search button right up the top of the landing page, above our logo.

So as you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

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Finally. Please look after yourselves.

John Curnow
Global Editor, Powerboat.World

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