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Maritimo 2023 S600 LEADERBOARD

Maritimo S75 Review - A Queen is born

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat.World 12 Jul 2023 11:15 UTC
Running away at fast cruise with the S75 © Maritimo

All hail the Queen. Yes. Australia has a new Queen, so take a knee in deference. It is that good, and it's all about multiple zone living, efficiency, style and space. However, before we get into explaining all of that during the course of this discourse, we do need to tackle off one thing.

This is the long-held belief that a planing hull can't do a displacement job. Simply put, it’s time to think again…

Alas, I have been fortunate enough to have been granted unparalled access to the 75 from seeing drawings, to witnessing design alterations take place before my eyes in the studio, and then walking through the plugs. Seeing the first hulls out of the mould and then now as completed vessels, the whole experience feels more like the birth of a daughter than anything else.

If the paradigm shifting Maritimo 55 derivations set the tone, then the new 75 has taken off with the notion exactly like a dog who snuck in and grabbed a string of sausages whilst the butcher wasn’t looking! Whoosh.

And there are more captivating elements, too. Now if you can shoot hoops from the free throw line of a basketball key on the aft deck, then the capacious Utility Deck is big enough for backyard cricket (26.6m2). It is ginormous. 1.5 metric tonnes of stuff can be evenly distributed up there, so with tracks you can stow multiple jet skis, a large tender, and many other things for the 500kg crane to lift off.

Now I have often heard boat owners say that the most crucial part of any boat is the last two feet. It is in reference to dangling your toes in the water whilst you sip a wine. Two feet. Like wow, that can make for some very expensive real estate! Thing is with the S75, the way it has all been designed makes you feel more like it is 12 feet, so six times the value. Now you’re talking! It is very much akin to having your own personal villa at an über-swank resort.

Lock that in, too, for this is the overarching feeling of even just a few hours with Maritimo’s S75.

Get off. (And stay off!)

Our test vessel had been fitted with two gyro stabilisers. One in the engine room, and the other in the stupendously sized lazarette. We were fortunate enough to be able to turn both off, the position holding too, and also the Humphree interceptors. The hull would have to do all the work, and there’d be no place to hide. If we did not use the hydraulic thrusters, and the actuation for clutch and throttle had been performed by cable, then it would have been about as old school as you can get.

There seems to be more than a mild infatuation with gyros these days. In a beam sea at trolling speeds they are very impressive. Thing is, if you’re in a planning hull, their efficacy comes down a little with the increase in speed, irrespective of direction. Add in that they are costly, heavy, expensive to service, and have a massive power drain, and your pro/con list starts to get stacked somewhat decidedly.

Equally, if you’re hanging off the pick and need a gyro, then it might be time to consider finding a new anchorage. Me? I’d rather turn the gyro and the genset required to run it off, and get a good, quiet night’s sleep.

Mind you, Maritimo do install super quiet gensets to counter this, and at the end of the day the whole thing does come down to the number of cupholders and airbags. You know the deal. Makes it easier to sell to your other parties involved in the decision.

Arguably, and just as an aside, interceptors with roll and list control can do a portion of the trim job, but not stabilisation, whilst underway in certain conditions.

In the case of the S75, the massive 6m beam, with well over 90% of it carried right back to the quarters, along with those significant and effective reverse chines that run about 70% of the way for’ard at or near waterline, are more than enough for the kinds of boating most people are going to do.

Command and Control

The continuous radius three-panel windscreen is a delight aesthetically. Super slim mullions add to it all, and I like the no brow effect too.

The Maritimo proprietary helm seats are utterly tremendous, but I would also place the wheel stock higher in the binnacle. This is a personal taste and easy to accommodate, so no biggy there.

The electric seats offer 100+mm of travel to slide forward until legs can be firmly against the forward footrest. The aft footrests are then well away from your feet when standing, as they are under the seat. The aft footrests are used when you have the seat in lowest and furthest aft position setting. The seat also raises 70+mm.

All of this is important to note, as the backrest for the external lounge out for’ard is not removable, but you do see over it in the seat up and forward position. This is so even for a 5’9” driver.

Finally, I would send the joystick controller out aft for docking, and move the clutches/throttles forward, along with the interceptor controls, to right behind the thruster toggles. It would be of far more use out there, and having the three primary controls at your immediate beckoning in the main helm station would be advantageous.

Now it might seem that this is a noticeable list of issues, but it is not so much insurmountable, as it is completely tweakable to achieve an even greater result, and one certainly far more commensurate with the rest of the vessel. Dash armrest control layout is set to owner’s requests on all Maritimo builds. You’re buying it, after all...

I was definitely keen to try the pair of standard specification Scania Di16s that our test vessel was equipped with. The 1150mhp iron ladies are bit of a hero in the power to weight title fight, and for their size and punch, not that thirsty, either. They’re mated to the brilliant Twin Disc 2.52:1 boxes, and the control of these is still class leading.

Whilst manoeuvring it was interesting to note just how much more abrupt the change of gear was in Cruise versus Express. Personally, I prefer the distinct jolt, for it is always good to know what the boat is doing. The other was certainly sublime, but when you’re moving this much boat, it is nice to have some Aide-mémoires to keep you lucid.

The bow thruster is hydraulic, not only to account for the size of craft, but in order to be able to perform position control. It is dynamite, so be prudent with its application. The stern thruster is the same, but as it has all the architecture of the huge and so brilliantly conceived swim platform, as well as that 500mm deep keel running at least 30 feet forward as it tapers out, to heft around, its performance is more subdued. Effective for sure, but not in the same measure, shall we say.

Personally, I’d use the 36-inch (by 48.3) NiBrAl five bladed wheels by Veem to kick a tin along, but do remember that there are a pair of hairdryers atop each of the bent eights, and the vessel has same mass as a fully laden tipper truck. So, this is an equation you’ll want to master in private before attempting it in confined spaces. Gently, gently as the modus operandi could be a post-it note on the helm for the first few times.

In all, you can be incredibly delicate with it, which almost flies in the face of exactly what you’re trying to do, and it is also an enormous amount of fun.

Downstairs is a fairly typical Maritimo set up, with the rudders set with a little bit of toe out. They’re just slightly offset from shaft line to, so you can obviously get the shafts out without having to drop the rudders. It's very controllable, as I once again discovered when I was headed dead downhill and had not moved the wheel at all. The distinct keel is clearly a part of this ‘tracking’ outcome, as too the 13 degrees of deadrise in the stern, which is not as flat as other Maritimo models.

As we have indicated, the hull form with notable flare up for’ard is quite amazing and it's all about a beautiful ride, and I suspect one that is dry, too. At 12 knots the bow wave was effectively at my shoulder, and moved froward as we surfed up to 13 knots and was just about in line with the screen in front of me. What it says is that the reverse chines that run about 70% of the way for’ard from the transom are doing a wonderful job of not letting the nose go down the mine.

A crazily impressive aspect of my time aboard was the ability to come back over your own wake. Sure, we lost about three knots of boat speed, but it is the way you just dial in the turn and the vessel remains pretty flat. The stability of this hull is quite exemplary, and remember too, we had the gyros and interceptors in the OFF positions. I think there'll be some very, very happy owners moving forward. Currently one pops out about every two months, but soon they should get to one finished item each month, so the wait at the back of the long queue might be still lengthy, but it is shortening at least.

Two Speeds

A discussion about range is never too far from the table. Especially in places like here in Australia, where bowsers are nowhere near as common as palms, reefs or grains of sand when you start venturing off to less populated zones. 10,000 litres is a grand statement for a special vessel.

So, during sea trialling the S75 made 28.1 knots (very much lightship), consuming 215lph a side. This is commendable, especially given her proportions, and also when you consider that a Maritimo M60 at 22 knots will be say 270lph combined and they are perhaps 15 tonnes lighter, and clearly much shorter. That all speaks to efficiency through the water.

Ordinarily, a pair of 1150s in a 75 would be way underdone. I cannot help thinking that with provisioning and so on, the 26 knots plus change at WOT that I enjoyed would become a little more sedated. However, as I have said, I really understood the whole reasoning for the owner going down this path, as they don’t really ever want to do much more that 20 knots. The owners also have a sublimely quiet vessel to enjoy, BTW.

Point is this hull has a sweet spot at 24. To that end, I wondered if anyone else wanting the lower pace of life option might be better served with the 1250MHP mtu V8s. Two reasons. The extra 100hp each may help provide the faster cruise potential irrespective of load, and as they are continuously rated, you can achieve whatever number inside your gamut all day, every day, anyway.

Whilst talking power, the upgrade is to the 1625 V10s by mtu. It is likely they’ll spin no more than a 38-inch (by maybe 52”) wheel downstairs and offer something like 33 knots WOT. There are markets where outright pace matters, and if you smeared them liberally in lard, and used really big shoehorns, the brilliant 2000hp V12 Barracudas by mtu might get in, but they are not on offer. So don’t ask. Neither too are the 2600hp V16s from the 2000 engine series, and I am not sure Maritimo would even entertain moving the bulkhead from the bathroom wall to that separating the stateroom itself in order to accommodate their significant length. In short, if 40 knots is your thing, then this is not the craft for you.


We were already doing eight knots climbing to nine in idle alone. All from a measly 30 litres combined. So there's your there's your ridiculous range (like 2700nm). You would need to open up the Iron Ladies every now and then just to keep the clag off them, but this is testament to what you can achieve with LWL, and the S75 has 75 feet of it to use.

10 knots is basically 50% load and a wonderful cruising speed, with 22lph a side being recorded. Note here that many a traditional long-range cruiser cannot even make 10, and until you experience what the S75 can do at the typical displacement speed, you will just have to take my word on how good it is.

Also, and soooooooo notably, you have the single level nature of this vessel which is far safer and easier to work with than many a traditional cruiser, where you will have gone up and down ten times, and that is just getting from the swim platform to the aft deck! Yes, the S75 has an open stern and really massive swim platform, so route planning is critical, but you also have pace on your side, and if you are nearby to something you can duck in for cover. For a planning hull this outcome is past interesting and on towards necessary. The behaviour at displacement speed is more akin to brands who pride themselves on that, and you are not milling the wheel around at all. Better layout and same sort of price. Ponder that one…

Cruising at 12 is actually really achievable – probably 70% load and 44lph a side. It is little wonder I recorded that, “Yeah, I like 12”. The S75 is already sort of popping out by about 14 and we can even cruise at 16. Quite comfortably and pretty efficiently too, as this is 100lph a side.

It's funny, you're on a sort of sporting type boat talking about slower speed, but then that's the way this one's been built. And as I've indicated, I originally probably wasn't thinking that that was the right idea, but I think I can get it now. It doesn't mean it's to my thinking, but I think I can get the thinking behind this after being on board.


With the impressive 1150MHP Scanias the famed 80% load equates to a 22-knot cruise speed for 150lph a side. Thing is with these donks that you can load the boat up a fair old amount and still attain these figures, as the torque curve is brutally flat, and they are phenomenally quiet in the process.

75% load yields 20 knots at 135lph a side, and for many an operator, this is all they want. Initially I am not sure I saw it, but after operating the vessel for some time at this pace I think I can certainly now say I comprehend this plan.

We achieved 26.5 knots, real world, offshore into a rolling 0.8 to 1m roller with not a lot of breeze about to speak of. With some three tonnes of juice on board we eventually made 27 at 100% load on each, and remember, we had no interceptors actuated. This was all hull form delivered. Nice work. Very nice…

I had sort of forgotten we switched it all off at this point, but once remembered I can say that the lift we expected from the reverse chines is there working away just like the feet under swan, and the stability is probably best described as elegantly distinguished, too.

Well, what about that space then?

Maritimo’s S75 is big. When the bow was coming towards me as I waited on the quay to be collected, I had a Caddyshack moment. The one where Rodney Dangerfield’s massive boat comes into the dock, stops just in time, and then drops the anchor right through the little yacht tied up there. As the S75s presence approached me, I felt myself leaning back on my heels somewhat, so as to avoid being consumed by the bright shiny craft all set to engulf me.

Was it the final frontier, or more about sending the Jackaroos out to begin the muster in the back paddocks? Either is huge, so I’m not sure it really matters. Thing is, from the moment you step on just beside the slender Portofino hips you’re met with a calming sensation that only grandeur can deliver upon.

So, we have certainly established that it is big, but it also hilarious. You're standing in the saloon, you look around and it's super evident, but it's like two big boats. There's the outside big boat, and then the inside big boat.

Clearly the design team knew that out aft is where it all matters. You have the Adventure Deck, the upper cockpit, galley and main saloon all so cleverly interconnected, and the wide walkaround deck makes accessing the for’ard lounges blindingly easy should you want your own ‘me’ time.

Accessed off the Adventure Deck is the workshop/skipper’s cabin, or additional teenage retreat. On the test vessel it was like another servery, with a fridge and a stone top, which all just served to highlight that this space’s versatility is only limited by your imagination.

I was also very keen to see and absorb the less frequently selected option where the fourth Pullman cabin is removed in lieu of a day lounge for reading or gaming (aka naughty boy corner). This really won me over, not just for the mini me nature tying it directly to the brilliant layout immediately above, but for the way it made the accommodation deck that much more appealing and welcoming. You can call it ambience or feng shui, but it is your eyes that will speak to you. It just works. Some additional mood lighting and you may find it hard to get people off there, as it is ultra-inviting.

The three remaining cabins all work well, with the full beam master a highlight, as too its bathroom. There is no end to storage anywhere on this boat, so it might be good to put a set of scales out aft to measure all that comes on board. A wine fridge can live under the stairs with the washer and dryer, the space under the VIP Queen bed is like a secret cave, and there are cupboards and drawers in every sight line.

Maritimo pioneered the aft galley 20 years ago, and they certainly know how to own this layout. It speaks to the swim platform out past the cockpit lounging and dining options, and also the helmer, all with equal aplomb. For me, however, the clamshell nature of the main saloon seating is both clever and effective. More formal dining can also take place here, but I am not sure why you’d want it, as outside is wonderfully protected.

The step and interconnection to the cruising lounge opposing the twin helm seats is even better than when I first saw it as part of the plug. Expansive glass, those wonderful browless front screens, and the optional sunroof can really make this an oasis. For the life of me I cannot ascertain why you want to close it all up and draw blinds or something, but I do think it would still remain airy even then.

Space or air is arguably the hardest thing to engineer into a boat. Clearly, vast amounts of the S75’s footprint have been given over to the aft sections, so the result in the main saloon is even more praiseworthy. It is homely and has that considered, long-time-at-sea conviviality for which Maritimo are so well regarded. Happy days, indeed. Happy weeks or months even, should you and the Queen be so fortunate…

Ding, ding… Ding, ding!

The much-maligned John Denver once wrote;

‘To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean’

Indeed, indeed. That is certainly always the imagery in the brochure, and I had those very conditions whilst testing off the Gold Coast. The annual migration of Humpback whales was there to really add emphasis. (And like that was needed…. Not.)

‘Aye, Calypso, the places you've been to’

‘The things that you've shown us’

‘The stories you tell’

You may be too young to remember Jacques and company, or it may never have been your thing. Here’s the thing now, however. There is no way I am trying to say that materially a converted WWII Royal Navy Minesweeper has anything at all to do with a 2023 GRP single level gem. No. It’s ALL in the spirit;

‘To be part of the movement and part of the growing’

Time on board the S75 is about an emotional connection. It’s soul enriching.

As I elected to spend more and more time at displacement speed, and then even surfed all 55 metric tonnes from 12 to 13 knots on the front of the 1.5m swells rolling in just to the Nor’east of Wonder Reef, these lines just found their way to my lips -

‘To be true as the tide’

‘And free as the wind-swell’

‘Joyful and loving in letting it be’

Off we go, and let’s do our own adventuring, which is exactly what a super long range offshore vessel is for. All you owners and fortunate guests please enjoy your time with the Queen. It won’t take much.

Shall we say one for one thirty? Champagne and canapé on arrival.

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