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OK I’m in the Maritimo camp on the 50, so somewhat critical of the New (yet to be built) Riviera 50, especially when I read their somewhat overzealous PR material. (IMHO).

Anyways it seems Riv is starting to “spread the word” with some marketing on the new boat. Here is the PR release on the boats Key Features, word for word from their web site with my take on that with views and comments at the foot of this post.

The original Riviera PR is here http://www.rivieraaustralia.com.au/modelOverview.cfm?type=flybridge&prdID=44&subType=Enclosed

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The stunning new 50 Enclosed Flybridge  is expected to prove equally enticing as her big sister, the 53 Enclosed Flybridge. The new model is currently under construction and will make her world debut in 2013. (Note 1)
The design of the new 50 Enclosed Flybridge, as always, is based on boat owner input, gleaned and distilled over the past two years at specifically held owner forums.
Powered by new generation fuel efficient twin Cummins QSC Zeus 600 pod drives, or alternatively twin Volvo Penta IPS 900s, Riviera’s new 50 Enclosed Flybridge is expected to top 32 knots, cruising between 25 and 28 knots and delivering a range of 400 nautical miles. (Note 2)
Created in-house on Unigraphics 3D software, Riviera’s team of talented and passionate designers and engineers have focused on absolute maximisation of design and space, so they can see the exact size, space and scale of the vessel in the computer long before a single piece of timber is cut for the plug work.
Riviera’s design team has retained that unique Riviera look while introducing some exciting new design aspects such as double side transom doors (Note 3) which allow better access from both the port and starboard sides, mezzanine seating with integrated table, enhanced cockpit storage with a self-draining moulded lazarette bin that has been integrated into the cockpit floor,(Note 4) tender storage on the boarding platform, increased side deck access, a large aft C-shaped lounge that runs the width of the flybridge, flexible accommodation plan, full head room in the two aft cabins,(Note 5) attractive enhancements to the exterior profile lines balancing the flybridge and saloon window, and huge hull windows with opening port holes on both sides giving the two aft cabins an abundance of natural light and fresh air.
An additional 1.7 metres more of overall living space between the bow and stern has been made available through the incorporation of pod drives as compared to a similar sized shaft-driven boat. (Note 6)
“All round this boat feels bigger and fuller than similar sized vessels,  which can be attributed to the openness and an abundance of natural  light,” says Riviera CEO Wes Moxey. “And we know from experience that it will perform well with its standard engine package.(Note 7)
“When you step aboard the new 50 Enclosed Flybridge, you instantly enter a world of the most modern technology encased in time honoured craftsmanship.
“Our design team has been very innovative with the internal plan providing exceptional accommodation without compromising the height or exterior lines of the boat.”(Note 8)
The new 50 Enclosed Flybridge features three luxuriously appointed staterooms and two bathrooms. Acoustic fabric panelling creates a sense of calm and combined with varnished cabinetry gives a feel of contemporary elegance. A washer and dryer are concealed behind varnished cabinetry in the companionway.

In a first for Riviera, there is the option to have the master stateroom forward or aft on the port side. The aft port side option offers a scenic outlook from the large hull window with opening porthole as well as being in a quieter and more stable part of the boat being closer to the centre of gravity, (Note 9) while the full-width master stateroom forward(Note 10)  boasts windows either side, ample under bed storage, an elegantly crafted cedar-lined wardrobe featuring book-ended panelling, built-in bedside tables and a timber vanity – the owners have the choice.
“With that in mind, this new vessel is also the perfect size for three couples or a large extended family,” says Mr Moxey. “At 50 feet, it fits into standard size marina berths without compromising on space and the hallmark qualities of Riviera.”(Note 11)

The new 50 Enclosed Flybridge features a huge cockpit with aft barbecue centre or optional bait tank or fish bins. The barbecue is located aft centre in the middle of the transom doors either side, thus giving easy access to the vessel, especially when rafted up with friends or at the marina. (Note 12)
The vision from the three-sided enclosed flybridge is second to none. (Note 13)

The mezzanine seating has been lowered to allow for a fridge and freezer to be positioned between the galley window and mezzanine seat. There is also a removable table opposite the mezzanine lounge which can be rearranged depending on entertaining requirements. It can be positioned in front of the mezzanine lounge when enjoying a lazy breakfast with the best view in the world or one leg can be lifted and repositioned by turning the table 180 degrees so that a group of people can sit around the table for a social afternoon on board.
Two steps up and you enter the saloon through the full-length sliding glass door. To port there is a huge U-shaped modern galley with polished Corian solid surface benchtops, high quality appliances and accoutrements and ‘timber’ Amtico flooring.

Forward of the galley is a U-Shaped dinette to port and plush L-shaped lounge to starboard with several ottomans allowing for extra seating around the dinette or can be pushed up against the settee to create a large chaise.
An internal staircase adjacent to the galley leads up to the impressive flybridge which features a helm station forward on the port side with an adjacent L-shaped lounge allowing guests to easily converse with the skipper.

A wet bar is located behind the helm chairs and aft in the flybridge is an enormous C-Shaped lounge that runs full beam of the flybridge, making it a great conversation and entertaining space not only when the boat is underway but also at anchor. (Note 14)

From a technological point of view, the new 50 Enclosed Flybridge will have the latest in LED lighting and C-Zone digital switching, which allows you to monitor all your entertainment, electronics and lighting with the touch of a button. (Note 15)
Every engineering detail in the design and construction of this new model has been considered from the engine room with standing head room and its gleaming white gel coat finish making it spotlessly clean, to the location of the cockpit switch panel at eye-level.

Riviera has already taken several orders ‘off the plan’ for the stunning new 50 Enclosed Flybridge which is scheduled for her world release in 2013. (Note 16)

End

  1. Yes, we have been hearing about it’s impending release since May 2012. Launch date was then said to be May 2013.
  2. This is when it gets really interesting. It’s a POD boat remember. At cruise speed you get 400nm on 3200 litres, ie 8 litre/nm. According to Boatpoint   http://www.boatpoint.com.au/reviews/2013/maritimo-m50-cruising-motoryacht-36720  the Maritimo goes 517nm at cruise speed with 4,000 litres that is 7.74 litre/nm. What about the much hyped POD’s 15%-30% fuel savings then ??
  3. What’s exciting about double transom doors for goodness sake. They have been around in Maritimo’s for years.
  4. That’s just trying to talk a negative into a positive. As it is a POD boat all the machinery goes into one large space, so no lazarette. In it’s place you get a “bin” No such thing in a shaft boat. Separate Engine room and Lazarette.
  5.  Again what’s new and exciting about “full head room” in the two aft cabins. Riv 47’s have had that for a long time.
  6. Just a big shame they did not use the extra space for a WOW accommodation layout.
  7. The Cummins QSC Zeus 600 pod are stated as 600Hp I believe. (8.3 litre displacement with WOT @ 3,000RPM). It will be interesting to see some actual test results on how she goes with two of those. The optional Volvo IPS 900 are stated as “700Hp, but equivalent” to a conventional 900Hp installation. (10.8 litre displacement with WOT @ 2,350RPM). What cruise range with those I wonder?
  8. What is so ground braking about Three Cabins with Two heads. Sorry I just don’t get it.
  9. They are basically condemning their own Fwd Master Layout. The central Master has the best COG position so is the best location for the Master, and ideally a Full Beam Master !
  10. Since when has a Fwd Cabin been described as “Full Width Master” It is BS PR on steroids.
  11. I don’t berth in Australia so I don’t know what a “standard size marina berth” is but I know from the Specs the boat is 56′ 6″ LOA and not 50′.
  12. Maritimo have been doing that as standard for Ten years.
  13. It does not look anything special. The Helm is Fwd so just like the Maritimo seeing the Transom when backing into the slip will be a challenge. Note The Maritimo is fully enclosed on four sides not just three.
  14. No Flybridge Aft Deck. Shame. Shame.
  15. C-Zone is nice but it’s complicated electronics. Does everyone need it and it is pricey. Switches work fine !
  16. It was launched in May 2012, so I’m sure those owners will be getting a bit toey  by now !!
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The next boat battle down under seems well on its way….well at least for one of the combatants. Maritimo announced the evolution of the M50 from the foundation of the Maritimo 48 earlier this year, and lo and behold they had one on display at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) held recently (May 23rd till May 26th).

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Maritimo 50

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Riviera 50

Riviera on the other hand announced their 50 last year around the time of the 2012 SCIBS, and it was then “officially announced” in September 2012 with a May 2013 Launch Date, but apparently all they had to show of the new boat at SCIBS this week is a “factory mock up”.

All this despite the fact that we are told it is computer designed with “Unigraphics 3D software”. If they coupled their computer files with a 5 Axis CNC milling device then they would be on the fast track to produce moulds and a prototype well ahead of the pack.

However we then learn through press statements that ” while much of the componentry, the plugs and moulds can be produced in Taiwan, Riviera will not consider manufacturing offshore……”  Mmmmm so are they making moulds offshore ? Seems they quietly snuck that one in ?

In any event whenever Riveria do launch their 50, there may likely be a battle royale between the Marques to get hold of the deposit from Mr Prospective Buyer looking for a Nifty Fifty.

So how do the two Fifty’s stack up against each other, well here’s my take on things.

First up, personal declaration, I’ve owned a Maritimo but never a Rivieria. That said over the last couple of years I believe that Riviera’s internal layout and finishes have taken them back into the lead over Maritimo, whereas Maritimo’s build, liveability features and engineering initially took them well out in front from Riviera in the ‘early years”.

OK onto the Builders published Outline Specs.

M50 Outline Specs

Maritimo 50

R50 Outline Specs

Riviera 50

Straight out of the Gate the main difference between the two boats are POD Drives vs. Traditional Shafts. Up front the POD builders will tell you of POD efficiency, through smaller engines and better fuel consumptions, for similar performance. They don’t tell you of the higher maintenance, corrosion issues and sinking dangers through catastrophic damage. I know of at least one POD boat that broke a POD off and the “safety seals” did not stop seawater to come flooding in.

That said POD’s make handling boats in tight spaces with currents and wind gusts easier and give some people more confidence to tackle these events, but everyone knows that boats with Shafts and Bow and Stern thrusters are also very well mannered in tight spaces. There are also now Joystick systems to work with conventional shaft boats. So why go with POD’s ?

Secondly, I have read several reviews on various Maritimo’s and Riviera’s models that come outfitted with POD’s or optionally Shafts, it seems that performance and economy are not so radically different between the two variants. For what it’s worth Maritimo claim their Hulls with shafts can outperform POD’s. So why go with POD’s.

Next looking at overall length, the Riv 50 is really a 56.5 ft boat, and it will cost you another three feet six inches over the Maritimo (53 ft) for berthing. The M50 also gives you more internal volume with an extra half a foot in beam, which costs you nothing for berthing.

Maritimo re jigged their fuel tank design from the 48 to 50 and you can now carry up to 4,000 litres versus only 3,200 litres for the Riv. The Maritimo also carries a tad more water at 800 litres versus 700. Either way you will still need a water maker for serious cruising.

Accommodation wise the Maritimo now has a ‘classic’ full width Master cabin located close to the COG, which should allow some gentle zzz’s on the water. Fwd cabin with Queen and bunks cabin makes for sleeping for six. At a pinch you could sleep two in the saloon and one child on the Master lounger. It’s said the over under bunks are now a better size. Good as the M48 bunks were definitely for the kids.

Maritimo 50 Full Beam Master

Maritimo 50 Master Lounger

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Maritimo 50 Layout

Riviera have not yet published an accommodation layout but it seems from initial sketches there will be no full beam master cabin. At the recent SCIBS they were offering the choice between a Fwd or Aft Master cabin, with Twin side by side bunks on the Stbd side. Given the extra space they get from POD’s (compare the layouts) I guess we might have expected something a bit more trend setting, more like the layout in the Riv 53. In any case it may all change by the time of the launch.

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Looking at living and lounging spaces, the Riv has a rear facing twin seat in the cockpit with an optional table. (As seen in the Layout above) It looks a nice feature but is way off the size and practical usefulness of the mezzanine seating and table off the larger boats (63 & 75) for obvious reasons.

Riviera 75 Mezanine Seating & Table

The Maritimo has in place full opening glass rear doors so that the cockpit and saloon can open as one for playing at anchor or perhaps entertaining.

Saloon Doors Cockpit

Maritimo 50 Saloon opens to Cockpit

Where the Maritimo scores big in my opinion is with the flybridge extended aft to give shade to the cockpit and yield an expansive open deck area for lounging, dining and just watching the world go by. That will be an great place to be whether at anchor, in the marina or underway. It’ll be up to each owner to install or arrange fixed or free seating, loungers and tables etc.

Maritimo 50 Aft Deck

Maritimo 50 Flybridge Aft Deck

The Riv designers have added a kid and pet friendly feature  for the swim platform where the two side gates to access the cockpit lock in place to provide a gated swim platform area. Opinions will vary on this, and for myself I would not see me using it and I think it is a bit of a gimmick. If you are serious about protecting kids and pets stay in the saloon or cockpit with the gates closed.

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The slide above shows the central entertainment module that Riv have developed for the 50. In truth Maritimo first started make boats this way ten years ago and have perfected the layout and equipment for this.

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One last point concerning POD’s vs Shafts and Engineering, take a look at the Profile of the Riv 50  below.

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Riviera 50 Profile

Being a POD boat, she has the POD’s as the lowest point on the boat, and that’s the part that will touch what’s below the boat first; be it Mud, Sand, Rock or whatever. Of course that would be very skinny water or bad luck with an uncharted or isolated obstruction, but as they say “Shit happens”

Maritimo 50 Profile

The Matitimo has a deeper keel that is the lowest point on the boat. Also for me her deeper forefoot Hull looks like a much better cruising boat Hull.

While looking at the layouts, take a look at the machinery spaces. The Maritimo has a separate engine room with fixed bulkheads. Immediately aft of the engine room is the separate Lazarette for storing all manner of stuff, in what is a separate compartment.

M50 Engine 1

Maritimo 50 Engine Room FWD

M50 Engine IV

Maritimo 50 Engine Room Aft

As the Riv has PODS, she will likely have one “large” machinery space for engines and POD’s and general storage. Remember if a POD breaks or leaks that is a big space to take water into.

One last word on Engineering, Riviera are specifying Twin Cummins 442 Hp engines for a total horsepower on-board of 884 Hp. Maritimo has twin Volvo D11 670 Hp engines as standard for a total of 1,340 Hp. That is a huge 456 Hp difference between the two. I’d really like to see what performance Riviera claim from that set up.

By comparison the 22 Tonne Riviera 53 was originally launched with Three Volvo IPS 600 with each engine rated at 435 Hp for a total of 1,305 Hp. That Riv 50 standard engine package looks seriously underpowered.

So that is a quick look at the two different offerings of comfortable Aussie Style Cruising for a family.

Price wise we know the Aussie List Price for the Martitimo is around AUD 1.4 million in standard specification. It’s to be noted that Maritimo now seem to build in a lot more “needed” items into their basic spec. A change to the launch days of the 48 when the Enclosed Flybridge Air Con was “optional”.

As for Riviera, they haven’t launched yet so no prices, although we can expect they may want to be tight with the Maritimo pricing.

Leaving sticker price out of it, for me personally if I was looking for a Fifty there could only be one choice, Maritimo.

The Full Beam Master alone is a clincher, but added with the overall flexibility of the Maritimo, her engineering, performance & economy, and the internal space and layout then for me in any case there is only one boat in it.

The top ten points that put the Maritimo ahead of the Riviera for me are as follows.

  1. Master Cabin – Would you really pass over the midships Full Beam Master for a Fwd Master. If yes then you must like chine slap !
  2. Saloon Layout – the new layout with Two L lounges and Dining looks great and practical,
  3. Enclosed Flybridge with aft Deck space – You can have a table & chairs, bean bags or even sun loungers up there. Cocktails anyone ?
  4. Overall Aesthetics – She just looks the business in my opinion and maximises available spaces.
  5. No Gimmicks, just solid features – No kiddies gates just, great layout and livability
  6. Shafts & Thrusters – Low shaft angle efficiency with good Hull design give speed and economy. Why do you need POD’s ?
  7. Storage – Separate Lazarette for toys and cruising gear, upgraded galley storage, great Master Cabin storage features.
  8. Cruising Range & Tankage – you carry 800 litres more fuel. Slow cruise range (10 knots) over 1,200nm (PMY test) Mid cruise range (~16 knots) around 600 nm. That’s serious cruising.
  9. Galley arrangement is traditional Maritimo updated with island worktop & storage make it very practical and elegant.
  10. Open Flow arrangement between Cockpit and Saloon looks great

Any how that is may take on things. I have certainly nailed my colours to the mast, even though we have not yet even seen a Riviera 50, despite the fact it was announced over a year ago. Who knows it may never even get built.

I think one thing is for sure, if anyone is undecided between the two boats then they will definitely get the full attention of both respective sales teams, and likely get a good deal. That said, based on a boat to boat comparison I defy anyone to come up with ten solid reasons why the Riviera is a better buy than the Maritimo.

Just my take on things.

I leave you with some shots of the 50 to show her good points.

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Maritimo 50 at speed – Great Flowing Lines

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Maritimo 50 Helm

Maritimo 50 Helm

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Maritimo 50 – Cockpit & Flybridge Aft Deck

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Maritimo 50 Master Comforts

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M50 Master Entrance

Maritimo 50 Master Entrance & Vanity

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M50 Galley Saloon Cockpit

Galley Island Worktop with good Saloon & Cockpit Access

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M50 Dining

Maritimo 50 Dining Table

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M50 Saloon Lounge

Maritimo 50 Lounge Seating

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Now I know why Maritimo has done so well over the last ten years.

They have cloned Bill Barry-Cotter………

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The real story that goes with this photo is on the Maritimo web site as follows  http://www.maritimo.com.au/news-events/news/2013/new-maritimomustang-dealers-for-victoria.aspx

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NEW MARITIMO/MUSTANG DEALERS FOR VICTORIA

02/05/2013

Two of Victoria’s longest established marine industry identities, Tim Pratt and Andrew Burns, have joined forces in a new venture called Victorian Boat Sales, which will be the official Maritimo and Mustang dealership in the State.

Maritimo sales and marketing manager Greg Haines said the company was delighted with the appointment and was confident that the duo would see a significant lift in the number of Maritimo and Mustang vessels sold in Victoria.

“Tim and Andrew have been around the marine industry for many years and their expertise, professionalism and network of contacts will be invaluable for us as we continue to expand our business,” he said.

“They pride themselves on honesty and customer service so they fit perfectly with our corporate philosophy.”

Victorian Boat Sales is located at the Patterson Lakes Marina and is a Boating Industry Association Member. The company has on site qualified marine engineers and antifouling, detailing and fibreglass capabilities.

Tim Pratt was 17 years with JV Marine where he was responsible for the Mustang brand.  He then started work with Mustang Victoria, a direct factory owned dealership and following a year there he owned and operated Patterson Lakes Boat Sales for the past three years.

Andrew Burns was with JV Marine for 23 years, also involved with Mustang and senior management and spent the last five years with R Marine Jacksons-Victoria Riviera dealership.

“We launched Victorian Boat Sales in late March and we are delighted to have been able to secure the dealership for Maritimo and Mustang in Victoria,” said Tim.

“We are very familiar with both brands and we know the quality and the integrity that they represent so for us it is a perfect fit.”

VBS is a Club Marine insurance agents and also offers competitive boat finance.

“We also include full tuition for buyers of all vessels sold and pride ourselves on honesty and ethical dealings with all customers or prospective customers,” said Tim.

VBS representation of the Maritimo and Mustang brands in Victoria is effective immediately

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To mark Maritimo’s first decade, Boatpoint   http://www.boatpoint.com.au/news/2013/maritimo%e2%80%99s-10th-anniversary-36631  conducted this exclusive interview with founding boat builder and doyen, Bill Barry-Cotter.

For anybody that doesn’t know, Barry-Cotter, is the granddaddy of Australian boat building, having started and sold marques such as Mariner & Riviera. He has been doing it for around 50 years so he really knows a thing or two about what buyers want and “the Business”

Here is the article from Boatpoint.

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Q. Looking back at the first Maritimo you launched, the 60 with or without walkthrough flying bridge, back in Sydney a decade ago — did you ever imagine then that you would be in the position you are today, building the kinds of boats you are now, so well established and with a strong following?

A. No. I really didn’t envisage we would grow as we have. I thought we’d build a few boats and built them properly. That got out of hand and we were making too many before the GFC came along.

The public received our boats really well. The early Maritimo was a practical cruising boat. Good performance. Reasonably fuel efficient. Well built. And well finished.

It was modelled to some degree on the Riviera 46. I had a couple of them myself and I always liked the boat. I also had the last 52 Hatteras we built [under licence]. The thing I missed with that Hatteras was the walkaround decks. So I included those and added features of the Hatteras to make the Maritimo 60.

There was also a restraint of trade with Riviera, after I sold the company, that meant I couldn’t build anything that they had or hadn’t built for seven years so I deliberately picked that kind of boat because they didn’t build one.

The name Maritimo known came about after [wife] Lesley and I were away, we were staying in the Maritim hotel in Germany and then we went to Portugal to the Maritim railway station. We chucked that name around, in Spanish and Italian it means “at sea” and is actually pronounced Ma-rit-imo.

Like most boat builders, the market was flying along till the GFC in say 2008. In the previous boom time, how many boats were you building a year, what percentage were exports, how many people did you have working for you?

The best we did was 78 boats a year. We had 480 people working for us (Riviera had 1200 at the same time). Then after the GFC hit 1600 people disappeared from the Coomera Marine Precinct. That’s direct employed people. Media and government weren’t interested in the problem. No-one cared.

But things are starting pick up again. We were exporting the same percentage then as now — about 55-65 per cent.

How many Maritimo boats have you built all told up until now? What is the current annual target and is Maritimo profitable operating on that basis?

All told, as a close guess, just under or just over 500. Current target now is to try and do 22-25 Maritimos a year. As it picks up I just want to keep it at that. I want to build boats the best we can build them. It’s just not worth the drama of cranking it all up again. Oh, and to that you can add another dozen or so Mustangs.

What’s the all-time best-seller?
The 48. We did 108 of them. And it arrived towards the end of the boom. The 48 has always been a best seller. It will become a classic Maritimo. I did a lot of work on that. I looked at second-hand prices and did a lot of work on trade-in price before our new M50 is released (this week). The 48 is holding its value well. We’ve sold a couple of late-model ones, the Sky Lounge ones, for up to $980K and another one went for same kind of money.

How has the new-boat buyer changed in the new market, ever since the GFC?

The interesting thing with that is there were two distinct markets for boats: old customer who I sold [Mariner] Pacers to 35-40 years ago who had a lot of boats. They know what they want, they are very conservative people and well informed. In boom days that was half our market.

Then you had the stock broker, the property developer who made a lot of money quickly. They would buy the Cabriolets and all the sporty stuff but really didn’t know anything about boating and were more interested in price than quality and boat.

The old customer that we’ve had forever represent 60 to 65 per cent of boats we now sell. I’m happy building for those old customers because you know the people and know what they want.

We just sold a 53 to a good old customer. This is his third Maritimo, he had two 60s before and bought a 53 Cabriolet because he lives beyond a [low] bridge. He came in every Friday afternoon to go through the boat.

He then came on a Saturday morning and he’d arrive at 8am and leave 30 minutes later than rest of the gang in the afternoon and was here for the whole build of his boat. He’s really happy and we’ll have less problem with him that anyone.

What is the single biggest change you’ve seen to the luxury motorcruiser or powerboat market in the last decade?
What has happened, and it is really now starting to help us, particularly with the US, is that buyers are no longer asking “can we get a bigger engine?”

Now they ask how much fuel does it use? All the focus and research is into fuel use. We’re very fuel efficient and that has helped us and got us going to make our boats more and more fuel efficient. It’s a work in progress.

In almost any boat we’re better than pod drives or IPS with our conventional shafts. Now what I’m doing, a lot of work with Volvo, is to drive that further to make our boats even more efficient.

If you can pick up two per cent there’s a huge gain… we’ve been picking that up each year and will keep driving that forward. I look forward to fiddling with some hulls to see if we can get a break through.
In the 50-odd years (apprentice shipwright in 1960, built first Mariner in 1966) or so that you’ve been building boats, is the current climate as tough as you’ve ever seen it?

It is actually. There was a period with Gough Whitlam in ’74. He destroyed the export market. It was tough but nowhere near as tough and as long as this time.

How do you think you can attract future boaters to the Maritimo brand?

The only way I think of doing this is to follow the old customers over those 50 years and see if I can sell them a Maritimo. I had lunch with a customer today who had bought two or three boats off me. I personally sold him his first boat, a Mariner 30, and he gave me a photo of me launching that old boat behind my Falcon GT.

He got out of boating for a few years and now he’s talking about buying a boat and using it for cruising up and down the coast… exactly what Maritimos are good for.

What are your boats’ most significant points of difference compared with your competitors?

To me, it’s the concept of the boat, the enclosed flybridge, the whole boat is designed around cruising and living aboard, it’s easier to get around, they’re walkaround boats with internal stairs that make it practical, and the engineering gear you can get to. I try and keep the simplicity, too. Then there is the fuel efficiency.

Clearly, some big European companies are able to build boats a lot cheaper than we can these days. But are they better? What would you say to local boat buyers shopping on price alone?

The best answer to that is that we sold a Maritimo 48 to a customer in the Seychelles and we flew over for the handover on the boat and the bloke doing the handover explained that the European boats in the Seychelles, the things just fall apart in 18 months. A bit of rough water and the humidity and they just rot away.

Riviera and Maritimo are good tough, long lasting boats.

My answer with anybody with that big, cheap, imported stuff is we can’t even trade it. We can’t get a wholesaler who will buy it.

But if it’s a Caribbean, a Riviera or a Maritimo we can get a price on it. In four to six weeks it’s gone.

So some of this stuff just isn’t cheap when you look at their resale or trade-in price if they can get it. Some owners are getting between half and one-third what they paid for almost-new boats.

And there’s the issue on noncompliance with engines and unsaleable boats that arrive here and can’t be sold back overseas.

Do you see demand for your boats and exports picking up in the near future given the currency correction? What percentage of your production do you hope to export in general in the coming years?

It’s tough on the export front but the US is still our best export market. Where we used to be cheap we’re now very expensive. But again we’re getting the buyer who wants to go cruising and he gets what he wants. We even change layouts, it’s difficult, but that’s what you have to do, and everyone’s happy.

How have you improved the quality of your boats in recent years?

We use independent surveyors. That has worked better than anything. We had internal QC people and a qualified engineer working on all the compliance. Because of the downturn we had to let go all of those people. So I got outside surveyors.

This cost me less money but it is the best thing I’ve ever done. The two surveyors we are working with now are doing a fantastic job. They are uncompromising and just don’t let boats go unless they are fixed properly before leaving the factory.

It really has saved us money, made a better product, and made even happier customers.

Do you see the new cruiser market ever getting back to where it was pre-GFC?

No. I think that was a once-in-a-lifetime period. Today you can’t give away a new game-fishing boat. We sold a 470 Convertible a few weeks ago but the whole game fishing thing is very slow and it’s more to cruising these days.

Even in the U.S. it’s that way. An American said to me in his broad accent the other day, he said, the customer would rather spend three weeks in the Bahamas cruising than have his friends turn his nose up at him for going fishing.

Although your bid for Riviera a year or so ago wasn’t accepted, do you think there’s still room for both boat builders and brands in Australia?

It’s probably good for the customer but from a business point of view…

But some say I should be glad I didn’t get it as the market turned down even more. I’ve even been congratulated for not getting it. Three months later I was glad I didn’t get it.

In the U.S., in the hey day, we [Riviera at the time] were building more fish boats than Ocean, Hatteras and Viking combined. That market has gone.

Do you foresee a time when you retire from boat building and, if so, what are the plans for Maritimo in the future.

I’ve had a few people falling off around me and you have to think about it. What I’ll do in the next three, four or five years is probably do a deal with some guys internally and probably give them a share and build the transition that way.

But for now I’m sticking with it. And our new M50 and S50 are great boats and part of the current evolution to build better and better boats.

Thanks for your time and all the very best for Maritimo in the next decade…

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Here is a photo below of the beautiful Maritimo 48 that I bought from him way back in 2006, Hull Number M48/16.

Great boat & Great times !

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Following on from the recent post I made on the changes to the Maritimo Boat Line Up and their new Web Site, they have now come out with this news update.

Iconic Australian luxury cruiser manufacturer Maritimo has undertaken a complete review of its model range and will be reducing and refining its offering to the boat buying public.

After extensive customer research and a review of the popularity of the various models Maritimo will concentrate its R&D efforts to ‘core business’ being the flybridge motoryacht series and a new series of coupes that share a common hull to their flybridge sisterships.

New models set to be released at upcoming boat shows include the new M45 and the M58. In the Mustang stable the new Mustang 43 sports cruiser is also about to be released. It fits neatly between the ‘Baby Maritimo’ Mustang 32 Sports Cruiser and the Mustang 50.

Maritimo Marketing Director Luke Durman said the combination of the remodeled Flybridge Motoryacht range (5 models), the new Coupe series to be announced at Sanctuary Cove Boat Show (2 models), select 470 and 500 convertibles, along with the Mustang sports cruisers the company had a vessel to appeal to most buyers.

“Over the past six months we have gone back to basics, we have researched what our buyers think and importantly what they want and we have been able to narrow down the field so that we hit those targets. Its not just about the boats themselves, we researched the whole offering as a brand – pre, during and post sale, and the feedback was highly regarded in developing our forward strategy,” he said.

“It is all about increasing the quality, making slight changes to increase usability and concentrating our efforts in the areas which provide the greatest opportunity for returns.”

Mr Durman said the release of the M58 at the Sanctuary Cover International Boat Show followed by the M45 at the Sydney International Boat Show would be milestones for Maritimo this year.

The M73 Motoryacht will continue to be Australia’s largest production vessel.

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That last sentance is just a “Mines bigger than yours” jibe regarding someone else’s 70 footer due to launch later this month.

More than that though you can draw your own conclusions when you read statements about getting back to “core business”.

Separately I believe they have made announcements about a New CEO, Mr Garth Corbitt,  who was previously the CFO, or the “bean counter/numbers man”, and a new head of sales and marketing, Mr Greg Haines,  the son of legendary Queensland boat builder, the late John Haines AM.

So what of Mr Maritimo himself, Mr Bill Barry-Cotter, and Mr Luke Durman, Managing Director?

In any event I wish them much success with the changes and refocus. They do make Great Boats !

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