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Posts Tagged ‘Maritimo 48’


For those who still dont get it.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX-D05A-9rA#t=25

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Read the original here at http://www.boatpoint.com.au/reviews/2013/maritimo-m50-cruising-motoryacht-36720

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First Australian test of revolutionary, best-ever Maritimo

LIKES
– Shaft-driven reliability and extra-long cruising legs
– Massive full-beam master stateroom with headroom
– Spacious enclosed flybridge with internal staircase
– Aft galley and bi-fold doors merge indoors with outdoors
– Improved fit and finish with more interior wow via designer Dave Stewart
– Local warranties and solid local dealer support/events
NOT SO MUCH
– Switch panels in forward saloon lockers aren’t that convenient
– Skin fittings high on hull sides might leave streaks
– Tighter engine room especially outboard side of engines
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OVERVIEW
– Groundbreaking motoryacht sets new standards
History shows that adversity breeds ingenuity. Not that boat-building doyen Bill Barry-Cotter is scratching to pay the rent. But, he will tell you, the new-boat market is as tough as he’s seen it in 50 years of boat building. It’s no different for plastic surgeons, jewellers and other purveyors or luxury discretionary items. But it’s also true time and tide wait for no man. Or Maritimo.
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Enter the new M50 Cruising Motoryacht, a long-range, shaft-driven, ocean-going conveyance that inspires. You get pod-like docking agility from big-bladed bow and stern thrusters, a full-beam/full-headroom master stateroom including dresser/office/en suite, and living spaces or stations from bow to stern that are befitting of a 60 footer.
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Supplanting the M48 that racked up 109 builds, the M50 has big shoes to fill. But somehow it totally overshadows its predecessor within a footprint that’s not that much bigger. Indeed, Barry-Cotter has pulled off a magic trick and, in so doing, redefined the 50-footer cruising class with renewed vigour, design smarts and real class.
Compared with the M48, the new M50 has a cockpit that’s four per cent larger, a saloon that’s 9.5 per cent longer, a flybridge balcony that gains 15 per cent in floor space, and a full-beam master cabin that is — get this —  230 per cent bigger!
With an enlarged fuel capacity of 4000 litres, 500 litres more than the M48, the M50 also has a bolstered cruising range of more than 500 nautical miles at 22 knots. Pack your bags. Saddle up. Read on…
PRICE AND EQUIPMENT 
– Price premium for a premium product
Thankfully, the M48 has retained much of its value on the second-hand market. At the time of writing, there were a good half-dozen M48s for sale at BoatPoint.com.au and boatales.com.au with asking prices for 2007-2008 models  from $745,000-$829,000.
As tested in 2006, the M48 had a $1.1 million asking price and later models are fetching upwards of $950,000. This intrinsic value bodes well for those who might consider upgrading to the M50. Although you might think the jump up wouldn’t warrant tipping in a half-million or so, we saw an M50 (#6 with bigger D13 800hp engines) all set-up with a boatload of options for serious cruising that was bought by an M48 owner. He was looking at the bigger M56 till the M50 came along and answered all his needs in an easily handled, frugal package.
The boat we drove, M50 #4, was heading for the 2013 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show before being shipped to the US West Coast. As part of the relaunch process that’s occurred at Maritimo, and designer Dave Stewart’s input, as well as a new in-build survey process, the fit and finish has been lifted.
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Rather than build down to a price, Barry-Cotter is building up to a standard to woo today’s discerning buyers. The M50 has a base price of $1.39 million, a premium over the previous M48 acknowledges Barry-Cotter, but the new boat has a lot more kit, a trim level befitting of the price, and a new level of design intellect and nous.
With some options including teak laid decking to swim platform, extra power points, Breezeway cover to inside of flybridge, Volvo controls to cockpit, teak laid decking to flybridge balcony, saloon stainless steel fridge, David Stewart soft furnishing package, twin Recaro helm chairs, 32” Samsung TV to saloon and master cabin, the M50 had a boat-show price of $1.445 million. Watermaker, tender and electronics were still needed.
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Meantime, M50 #8 was heading to Steve Batton Marine in Sydney, with optional Euro transom, and Dancing Lady Blue hull to create something different again and turn heads. The new best-seller is most certainly a better boat than its forerunner and the previous Maritimo crop.
LAYOUT OVERVIEW
– Connectivity and living space are the keys
Aussie-sized cockpit? Tick. Transom amenities centre? Tick. Walkaround decks? Tick. Aft galley? Tick. Enclosed flybridge? Tick. How about full-beam master stateroom? Well, yes, tick! Suffice to say there’s not a lot left wanting on the new M50.
“We design and build the boats for spending time aboard, for long-range cruising, to be practical,” explains Bill Barry-Cotter. He also makes the point that even the American market has changed focus and is chasing fuel efficiency, another strength of his boats, rather than all-out speed these days.
With three cabins and two bathrooms providing sleeping for up to six, plus two on the bridge and/or saloon lounges, the M50 will make a great floating holiday house. Add a watermaker and your autonomous. And with an easily accessible foredeck, an enclosed flying bridge, a big cockpit, and raised saloon, the boat has a bunch of terrific living areas for extended boating.
OUTDOOR LIVING
– Aussie cockpit, with optional layout, and walkaround decks
The M50 and its cockpit sole, saloon floor, ceiling and freeboard have been raised a few inches (5cm or so) over the M48. That means there’s a small step down to the boarding platform, which might result in a drier cockpit when the stern wake catches up as you come off the plane.
An optional hydraulic swim platform with 400kg lift capacity is available, although the standard swim platform is still a decent size. As touched on, you can get an optional Euro transom with aft-facing lounge. That’s breaking even more new ground in the flying bridge market, as this transom was previously the preserve of Sport Yachts aka Cabriolets.
Game fishing isn’t the M50s intent, but with the extended hydraulic platform, some drop-in rails, rod holders and cutting board, you can fish this boat. Otherwise, the central amenities centre will be the hook, with its moulded sink, 24V top-loading fridge/freezer, optional barbecue, hot/cold transom shower, and 240V GPO handy for firing-up the wok for chilli crab on deck.
Storage exists in the transom module, in side pockets — you can turn one of these into an outdoor waste bin, the other can take an optional water-blaster hose — and under the central lazarette lid, which has a compartment for fenders. There’s room between the rear-mounted polypropylene water and black-water tanks, to carry a small folding table and chairs, your crab traps and more.
Deck hardware is nice and chunky for taking wraps of large-diameter ropes. Extra breast cleats have been added to the M50, the Muir windlass in recessed with a saltwater wash at hand, while the recessed walkaround decks that have made Maritimo’s Motoryachts so popular are slightly shallower than the M48 but still perfectly safe for kids, grandmothers and dogs to negotiate.
Back in the cockpit, you might notice the solid flybridge balcony has been extended well aft. This means the cockpit gains greater shade and weather protection. It also makes it easier to run insect and/or shade cloth covers as needed heading north to the tropics.
Just standing at the dock, we couldn’t help but notice the flowing indoor/outdoor living arrangement on the M50 that’s just ideal for boating in this country. With side decks swooping forward, commercial-grade bifold saloon doors, and an internal staircase, the M50 is a wonderfully accessible boat.
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SALOON LIVING
– Aft opening galley and raised saloon
Barry-Cotter had a C50 Sport Yacht version of the M50 in the final stages of fitout during our post-test factory visit. The boat was intended for his own use, he said, so it sported an upgraded décor and Miele appliance package including range hood and widened island servery to accommodate a full-sized dishwasher. “Just fill it up, hit start and leave the boat on shore power,” Barry-Cotter said, in anticipation of onboard entertaining.
The aft galley, a design highlight of the M48, has more bench space, a decent splashback and servery. Appliances run from four-burner electric cooktop to convection microwave and domestic-style fridge and freezer, alongside a neat full-height pull-out pantry. A second optional fridge and standard issue icemaker were in a cabinet, opposite, under the staircase to the bridge.
Creating a wet bar, the cabinet top can be used as a mounting spot for a television. But that’s better forward on the flat surface behind the windscreen. With the addition of some soft-rubber matting, the wetbar will double as a neat charging centre, as there’s a 240V outlet nearby. Or plug in the blender at cocktail hour.
To create headroom in the master stateroom below decks, the forward saloon area has been raised two half steps from the galley, while the ceiling liner has been lifted and bridge storage reduced in volume. Along with vastly improved saloon lounges — finally they are long enough to double as daybeds – and a decent dinette, the saloon is now a great relaxation area.
You gain great views from the raised lounges, while side opening windows grant natural ventilation — there’s the option of an additional opening window and range hood near the galley — and the lounge bases lift to reveal valuable storage space. But the big, big improvement to my mind is that improved lounging that now doubles as day or sea berths. Mount a big flat-screen television to starboard, under the windscreen, and you’re set at movie time.
Another big change was the split AC and DC (mainly 24V) switch panels in the overhead cabinets in the raised saloon. The portside cabinet at the saloon entrance is now additional albeit narrow storage. While any addition to storage is welcome, the downside is that the new switch panel location is not as convenient as it was on the M48.
Meantime, the lifted finish includes joinery available in teak satin or high gloss, with square or round edges. We had square edge but high-gloss round edge is the timeless combination. Along with the improved soft furnishings, leather inserts on grab rails, the bigger dinette with bottle holder, ducted air-con, and positive-lock drawer and cupboard catches, plus a whole new expanded LED lighting plan, the M50 has been duly modernised.
ACCOMMODATION
– The best master stateroom in its class
The M50 is a three-cabin boat, but nothing like the old M48. In fact, it’s a class-leading accommodation layout. Even the island double bed in the VIP cabin in the bow has been lifted and widened, with various ledges and fiddles to help contain personal effects and even a  glass or two.
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Split-doors improve access to the vinyl-lined (no cheap front-runner) his and her hanging lockers, while two drawers pull out from under the bed. The new bedhead, lighting, and soft furnishings create a sense of suave. The escape hatch with insect and shade screen takes care of air and light. There’s scope for a separate AV system and a 240V GPO, too.
The third cabin to starboard is a twin-bunk arrangement and handy storage spot for your soft bags. That said, the twin bunks are said to be slightly wider than those on the 48, there’s air-con and a big hatch, plus a half-height storage locker.  Kids will love it.
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But the crowning jewel is the full-beam master stateroom. You arrive via a landing area come dresser/office with desk, pouf, and cedar-lined hanging locker. Forward on the same level is the owner’s en suite, one of two home-like bathrooms each with American-sized showers, solid counters, boosted storage, switchable freshwater to saltwater heads, air-con and hatches. All the plumbing is accessible throughout the boat.ge5347852176509518061
Step down from the landing and the stateroom opens up like an exclusive waterfront hotel suite. There’s a chaise lounge that doubles as full-blown adult-length single bed by the two opening portlights to starboard. Read a book in private or crack the ports and kick back at night.
Offset, the island double berth doesn’t hinder floor space, with a single portlight nearby to create cross-flow ventilation. Lift the mattress base and there’s abundant storage in addition to the low-boy with drawers and dedicated cupboard for your combi washer/dryer.
With dedicated mounting space for a decent flat-screen television facing the bed, the owner’s abode is complete. To recap, you get a single bed, the queen, a dresser and desk, plus en suite, all in your own private midships locale, away from chine slap, generator noise and, presumably, the buzz of the inverter. Such is the calmative effect you should enter with spouse at your own financial risk.
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ENCLOSED BRIDGE
– Climate-controlled penthouse
Meantime, the flybridge is accessed by an internal ladder (over which a gate can be added to contain the kids) and there’s been some remodelling due to the new raised saloon ceiling below. All you really miss out on, compared with the M48, is the dicky seat alongside the helm, which I never much liked at sea anyway, and some sub-dash storage space.
One big expanse of low-glare grey vinyl now runs across before the windscreen, concealing a sink, with a storage drawer below. The new raised dash brow has been designed to accommodate three 15in navigation screens, as is de rigueur on serious cruising boats these days.
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Our test boat had upgraded twin Recaro seats — pure luxury for passage-making — as well as a Garmin GRID remote on the armrest that puts you in complete and remote control of the GPSMAP 8000 glass screens (t/c) without needing to lean forward from the helm seat.
Also welcome are the standard bow and stern thrusters, chain counter and wipers with intermediate setting. The Volvo EVC electronic engine controls with single level and optional low-speed and cruise control add to the driving pleasure, while the Webasto sunroof above and side-opening windows provide natural ventilation. There’s access to the air-con units behind the dash and space under the guest lounge base for lifejackets.
The standard guest seating comprises a longitudinal lounge for up to three before a decent teak table. But we saw another M50 with a forward-facing aft return on this lounge that added to the seating — it should be standard on the M50 in our opinion.
We’d also add the optional convertible double bed in the bridge for sleeping the kids on the go, for the skipper during bad nights on the anchor, or for those who snore. The bridge comes with a fridge and you can add a small television, too. As the staircase leads down to the galley, you can waltz up and down with breakie or lunch in hand while cruising.
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But the best flybridge feature is surely the extended balcony that’s 15 per cent bigger than the M48’s. In fact, it’s so spacious you could mount twin sun lounges, plonk a bottle of fizz in an ice bucket on a stand, and kick back at anchor while taking in the superlative views. A coveted calm-weather station for sundowners.
HULL AND ENGINEERING
– Extended hull and new engine-room layout
The M50 uses an extended M48 hull that is said to give 5-10 per cent  better fuel-consumption, says Greg Haines, Sales and Marketing Manager at Maritimo, owner of an M48, after a delivery from the Gold Coast to Sydney. The extended hull and running surface also leads to greater aft buoyancy to compensate for the fuel shifting to wing tanks in the engine room.
Removing the previous transverse fuel tank and using wing tanks further aft, with an enlarged 4000-litre capacity, has freed up a lot of space in the master stateroom. The downside is the reduced servicing room outboard of the twin 670hp D11 Volvo (test boat), Cummins 715hp QSM11 or upgraded 800hp D13 engines (M50 #6).
Herein a compromise for the full-beam master stateroom. But what would you prefer? Besides, in this day and age of electronic engines, one tends to call the experts for servicing and repairs. As the owner, you deserve to enjoy the living gains instead of giving it over to engines and mechanics.
The M50 has new bigger Lenco trim tabs with oversized flaps that are said to provide a big effect without a lot of drag. We didn’t need the tabs much during our drive, where the boat’s raised freeboard didn’t have a noticeable effect on stability, either.
Although the engine room is busier than Maritimos of old, the engineering has stepped up a notch. Those wing fuel tanks are integral GRP numbers with sight gauges, big inspections/servicing ports and external shutoffs. Each engine had a twin/redundant Racor fuel filter set and the hydraulic oil for the power steering was mounted nearby on the forward bulkhead.
The batteries are kept neat and tidy in rear-mounted boxes, while the air intakes have washable membranes. All the sea strainers come with clear inspection lids, the fluorescent engine-room lighting works off the inverter, while the 17.5kVA Onan will run the entire ship including tropical-strength air-con.
The sizeable 4kW inverter powers the AV systems, 24V fridges, GPO 240V outlets in the galley and a GPO in each cabin for, say, overnight charging. This way, you can hunker down without needing the gennie and drawing ire from surrounding yachties (who will then start up their old smoky diesel engines for power anyway).
There’s increased clearance over the engines and their turbos to prevent the galley floor getting hot — something that happened on early M48s — and renewed focus on reducing engine noise in general.
Elsewhere, like behind the saloon lounges, is terrific and much-improved access to the water pumps, charcoal drinking water filters and air-con units, which drain directly overboard via skin fittings rather than weep into sump boxes.
Note also that the M50 has six bilge pumps, in other words a back-up pump, in the three watertight areas. After extensive testing, Maritimo went with Whale pumps.
Underfloor, in the accommodation area, there are floor hatches to massive storage areas, the hot-water service and valves to switch the toilets from fresh to salt water. These bilge areas are ideal for storing plonk and, with some customisation, game-fishing rods, provisions and more.
The improvements to the boat’s engineering and build in general stem from a new independent six-stage survey process that checks laminates, electrical, engineering, build list, fit and finish and more. Leaks are found and ultimately eliminated via a vacuum process where water is ‘forced’ into the saloon, hatches and engine room.
Meantime, the business end or running gear includes 2 1/4in shafts with a low eight-degree angle (we’re told) spinning 30 x 37.5in five-blade Teignbridge props through 2.037:1 ZF gearboxes. And the variable-deadrise, handlaid hull comes with five-year structural guarantee.
ON THE WATER
– Sweet performance, big range, across the rev range
We had one of those magical Gold Coast days, sparkling true to the place’s name, where the sea is barely heaving, there’s not even a zephyr, and once clear of the entrance you can’t help but look north, along South Stradbroke Island, and dream about what might be.
As with all Maritimos, the M50 hull delivers across the rev range. We had a bit of tide, give or take a knot or so, while noting an easy transition to plane without needing trim tabs. There was full water but just one-third fuel and not a lot of ancillary items, food, tender or suchlike.
At 1550rpm, heavy-weather cruise of 16 knots saw a respectable burn of 95 litres per hour, 1750rpm returned 20 knots for 123 litres per hour, while 2040rpm gave 25 knots cruise for 165 litres per hour. Top speed offshore was 30.5-31 knots, meaning the M50 should remain a genuine 30-knot boat with the standard 670hp D11 engines. Sea trials with half fuel point to a top speed of 29.5 knots.
According to the official supplied data, 1700-1900rpm is the sweet spot in respect of litres per nautical mile. The former gives 18.55 knots for 126 litres per hour and 6.79 litres per nautical mile, resulting in a safe range of 529 nautical miles. At 1900rpm, cruise increases to a lovely 22.15 knots for 154 litres per hour, 6.95 litres per nautical mile, and a safe range of 517 nautical miles. Trust me, that’s all you’ll ever need, unless you want to sit at 8.65 knots for a range of 1382 nautical miles!
VERDICT
– Innovative leader in the 50ft class
Suffice to say, it was all very comfortable in the climate-controlled flying bridge, lounging in the new saloon, with the aft galley ready to serve, a big adjoining cockpit for outdoor pursuits, and the wonderful accommodation headed by the full-beam master stateroom below decks. It’s the clincher that makes the M50 a one-of-a-kind in the 50-footer shaftdrive league.
In short, this is a much better boat than the M48, which has proven itself with voyages from Queensland across the top to WA, to South Aussie via Bass Strait, through the Newfoundland fjords, hey, we’re even informed of a M48 that was stolen off a ship in the Malacca Straits and used a pirate boat.
Given what it achieves within the footprint, the deeper level of design, the improved quality, we’ll go so far as to say this new M50 could just be the best Maritimo of all time. Your search ends here, but the journey has only just begun.
Specifications:
Price as tested: $1,445,000 with standard 670hp Volvo D11s and optional teak laid decking to swim platform, extra powerpoints, Breezeway cover to inside of flybridge, Volvo controls to cockpit, teak laid decking to flybridge balcony, saloon stainless steel fridge, David Stewart soft furnishing package, Recaro helm chairs x 2, 32” Samsung TV to saloon and master, and more. Watermaker, tender and electronics needed.
Priced from: $1.39 million with standard 670hp Volvo D11 engines and a boatload of standard inclusions include bow and stern thrusters, 17.5kVa Onan, 4kW inverter and more.
LOA: 16.15m
Hull length ISO: 16.15m
Beam: 5.20m
Draft: 1.30m (max)
Weight: Around 22,000kg dry with twin Volvo D11 engines
Sleeping: 6+2
Fuel capacity: 4000 litres
Water capacity: 800 litres (plus 200 litre/hour watermaker)
Holding tank: 300 litres
Engines: Twin 670hp Volvo D11 common-rail diesel inboard engines with shaft drives, 2.037:1 ZF gearboxes, with 30 x 37.5in five-blade Teignbridge props
Generator: Onan 17.5 kVa
Supplied by:
Maritimo Offshore,
15 Waterway Drive,
Coomera, Qld, 4209
Phone: (07) 5588 6000

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Read the original here at http://www.tradeaboat.com.au/reviews/boat/1310/maritimo-m50-motor-yacht-review/

The successful Maritimo 48 has been replaced by the new Maritimo M50 and there’s a lot more than just a little extra hull length in the new boat, discovers Allan Whiting.

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The Maritimo M50 continues to improve where the M48 left off.

The enclosed flybridge Maritimo 48 has been the company’s best-seller since it was introduced in 2006 and upgraded in 2011. With more than 100 boats sold worldwide the 48 obviously didn’t have too much that buyers disliked, so its replacement, the new M50, was designed with great care.

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The aim was to introduce a full-beam master stateroom, as fitted to the new, larger Maritimos, while retaining the popular layout of the 48. The result of clever juggling of internal volumes is a boat that’s only 600mm longer with 100mm more freeboard, yet boasts a master stateroom that’s more than double the size of the 48’s, along with a flybridge that has 15 per cent more area, a saloon with nearly 10 per cent more space and a larger cockpit. How is that possible?

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The master stateroom expansion trick lies in relocating the fuel stowage from transverse, forward of the engine position, to twin longitudinal tanks flanking the engineroom. The location is still in the desirable place, just aft of amidships, to reduce trim changes as the fuel load diminishes, but with the tanks paralleling the engines the M50’s engineroom is shorter. The fuel stowage space in the 48 becomes the M50’s increased master stateroom area, but there’s no fuel-capacity compromise with the M50 tanks totalling 4000lt – up 500lt on the 48’s.

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Saloon space has been increased by the additional boat length and by extending the port side of the saloon farther forward. This has also allowed fitment of two L-shaped settees in the M50’s saloon, in comparison with the 48’s one L and a short two-seater.

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Flybridge area increases are also down to increased overall length and an extension of the aft flybridge balcony. Because the hull length has been increased the longer flybridge looks fine, where a longer one on the 48 could make it look a tad stumpy.

However, there’s no doubt that the M50 is tall for its length. Our test boat had a light blue hull, which did much to break-up the expanse of the M50’s gelcoat when viewed in profile.

MARITIMO M50 CLOSE UP

Our test boat was fully loaded, including a lifting swimplatform, so the step height when boarding was ergonomically adjustable. The platform was fitted with rails making it a safe extension of the cockpit area and a possible easily-cleaned fishing zone – just add clamp-on rodholders and table. Maritimo’s aft pod housed an electric barbecue, sink and fridge/freezer, as well as aft-facing, cushion-topped seats and a garage door. Access to the watertoy bin was also via a hatch in the cockpit floor.

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A second hatch reveals the typical Maritimo engineroom, with meticulous finish and layout. Side fuel tanks restrict engine access compared with the 48’s forward tank location, but regular service items were easily reached. The optional watermaker was located well aft with access on three sides.

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Cockpit space in the M50 is larger than the 48’s and has teak decking, a 3/4-seat lounge, pedestal table and two lazarettes for rope storage or rubbish bins. The portside one on the test boat had a pressure cleaner outlet spigot. To port was a cupboard with duplicate engine and thruster controls. The deckhead was high-gloss gelcoat ‘planked’ moulding with inset LED lights.

Most modern boats strive for a seamless join between cockpit and saloon and the new M50 achieves this desirable feature with a large, three-piece, black-framed tri-fold door that opens and closes with little effort.

A trademark aft galley makes a buffer zone between the wet-area cockpit and the carpeted lounge. Galley flooring is practical wenge/holly and also practical is an island bench with serving-space top and large grabrails. The bench houses a full-sized dishwasher.

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The test boat had a Miele fitout option – Dynacool fridge with bottom freezer, four-zone induction cooktop, range hood and microwave – and all were home-sized appliances. Galley kit included a Zip Hydrotap to deliver chilled or boiling water at the press of a button. Fortunately, my better half couldn’t join me for this test, so she didn’t see the M50’s German pantry that’s simply outstanding.

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Opposite the L-shaped galley is a varnished high-gloss teak-stainless steel staircase leading to the flybridge. Beneath the stairs is a cocktail cabinet with a Vitrifridge cooler and icemaker, three soft-close drawers and partitioned wine storage bins.

High-gloss stairway cupboard doors open to reveal large electrical control panels; two ceiling cupboards hide more controls and the air-con plumbing, while water pumps and filters are easily reached behind the saloon lounge backs.

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The M50’s saloon is more inviting than the 48’s, thanks to lounges that wraparound the space and a larger flip-over table. This carpeted area is a step up from the galley level, making an obvious demarcation between work/play zones and the relaxation region. If you can’t make the long journey back to the wine cupboard opposite the galley there’s additional bottle space under the saloon dashboard and in the table pedestal.

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Access to the three cabins is via a carpeted, four-step companionway with LED lighting in the stair risers and a vinyl-faced, stainless steel handrail. The starboard twin-bunk kids’ cabin is similar to that in the 48, as is the forward VIP island-bed stateroom.

However, the master stateroom is a revelation that wouldn’t look out of place in an 80-footer. It’s full-beam in width with ports on both sides and spacious enough to boast two dressing tables, wall mirror, three-seat lounge and ample wardrobe, drawer and cupboard space. Additional storage volume is available under the island bed.

Entry is at the level of the other cabins, through a dressing area and a three-step stairway leads to the cabin proper. The space is divided, so there’s room for his-and-hers dressing spaces and the upper dressing table can be fitted with a full-size folding mirror.

A large-screen TV faces the bed and mounts to the upper dressing table kick panel, while a Miele washer/dryer hides behind a wardrobe door.

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The forward and bunk cabins share a large bathroom with separate shower recess and vacuum-flush toilets, but the master stateroom has its own. The bathrooms have ‘planked’ ceilings and ‘tiled’ floors in GRP for a homely feeling. There are LED lights, air-conditioning ducts and 240V outlets in all cabins.

Fit and finish in the three cabins is beautiful and we loved a neat trick the designers have done with the deck support posts that are integrated into the cabin dividing walls. Instead of a traditional metal finish the M50’s posts are printed in woodgrain finish and I defy anyone to pick the difference between real wood and the lookalike. Classy.

Above all this is an enclosed flybridge with easy stairway access, sliding sunroof and teak balcony with railing. The dashboard and instrument panel area was covered in leather-look vinyl with contrasting stitching. Our test boat had optional twin Recaro seats and a flip-over pedestal table, similar to the one fitted in the saloon.

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Walkaround decks with moulded bulwarks and fat rails make moving around the M50 quite safe and the foredeck space is ample for a large sunlounge or a tender and crane. There’s a crane pad integrated into the deck moulding.

Large foot switches control the Muir Cheetah windlass and there’s an anchor washer nozzle as well.

ON THE PLANE

Okay, so the M50 looks the goods but how does it go? It goes very well indeed, in the best Maritimo tradition we discovered. The test boat was powered by Cummins QSM engines driving five-blade props via ZF transmissions and shafts mounted at eight degrees. Trim tabs are electrically powered and steering is a one-turn, lock-to-lock power system.

Our test day was fine and calm but an old chop lingered and it was enough to get spray bursts on the screens at WOT. The M50 behaved like other Maritimo hulls in these conditions, feeling solid as a rock. The additional centre of gravity height wasn’t detectable, even when we laid it motionless across the swells to encourage some sway.

This solidity is designed in, with hull, interior moulding and deck bonded together into a monocoque structure and a separate bonded-in engineroom liner. Maritimo hulls are built utilising monolithic FRP below the spray chines with a layer of balsa sandwich from the chine to just under the hull-deck joint.

Despite its bulk the M50 could be thrown into tight turns without any drama: it turned neatly, didn’t lean-in excessively and wasn’t put offline when we deliberately ran through our own wake and that of the photo boat – a Maritimo 58.

At WOT there was engine noise in the saloon and cockpit but on the flybridge, all was serene with the diesels emitting a reassuring hum as the boat tore across the chop. The raised swimplatform deflected most of the stern spray, so the cockpit floor and lounge were only lightly spattered after our performance runs and turns.

Manoeuvring in and out of the tight berths at The Spit in Sydney’s Middle Harbour was a doddle, thanks to cockpit controls and instant engine and remote-control thruster response. Maritimo has never been tempted by pod drives, relying on proved shaftdrives, with bow and stern thrusters.

Like all the models that have gone before it the Maritimo M50 is designed to be seaworthy in the real sense, not a floating entertainment suite.

ENGINE CHOICES

The standard powerplants are two Volvo Penta D11s set at 670hp. Optional are Cummins QSM11s set at 715hp and powering the test boat. Using both engine makers’ sea-trial data there’s little to choose between these engines, with buyers’ preferences probably coming down to personal choice or service backup. In some areas of Australia, Volvo has the edge and in other regions Cummins’s support is better.

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WOT speed is just short of 30kts with Volvo or Cummins power, but we suspect the gruntier QSMs might get there a tad quicker. Claimed economy honours go Volvo’s way with a cruising range estimate of 460nm-plus at 26kts, compared with the Cummins estimate of 420nm-plus. Back at 18.6 to 19kts the range estimate extends to 520nm-plus for the Volvos and 490nm-plus for the Cummins pair.

[HIGHS]

› Space-clever interior design

› Performance and handling

› Equipment levels

› Fit and finish

[LOWS]

› All-white boat looks somewhat bulky

› Transom garage access is restricted

[TRADE-A-BOAT SAYS…]

Four years ago Maritimo achieved ISO9001 accreditation, the internationally recognised standard of manufacturing and management excellence. The company claims to be the only production boatbuilder in Australia to be thus accredited. Maritimo says ISO9001 ensures a commitment to total quality management (TQM) and allows the company to diagnose any deficiencies in the supply and manufacturing process and to rectify them immediately.

Maritimo also employs a quality control audit process that we think is unique. Independent surveyors inspect the boats at different production stages and are paid on the basis of reduced warranty claims: they’re actually encouraged to find faults before Maritimo customers do.

MARITIMO M50 MOTORYACHT SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$1,682,000

PRICED FROM

$1,390,000

GENERAL

MATERIAL Handlaid FRP, solid below waterline and laminate above

TYPE Planing monohull

LENGTH 16.15m

BEAM 5.2m

DRAFT 1.3m

WEIGHT 22,000kg

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE (NIGHT) 6

FUEL 4000lt

WATER 800lt

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Volvo Penta D11-670; 2 x 715hp Cummins QSM11

TYPE Electronically injected turbo-diesel

RATED HP 670hp (each)

PROPS Five-blade

SUPPLIED BY

Maritimo Offshore,

15 Waterway Drive,

Coomera, QLD, 4209

Phone: +61 7 5588 6000

Web: www.maritimo.com.au

Originally published in Trade-a-Boat #444, September/October 2013

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David Lockwood of Boatpoint has come along with his Best 13 boat picks for 2013.

His pick for Best Australia Flybridge is as expected the Maritimo 50. No doubt he picked the Maritimo over the Riviera 50 for all the same reasons that I have laid out in my own previous posts.

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This is what he had to say.

BEST AUSTRALIA FLYBRIDGE
Maritimo M50 Cruising Motoryacht
Replacing the M48 of which 108 were built, the new Maritimo M50 Cruising Motoryacht is a way better boat that achieves the amazing by fitting a full-beam master stateroom below decks while retaining shaft drives. It’s the clincher that makes the M50 a one-of-a-kind in the 50-footer flybridge league.
Given what it achieves within its footprint, the deeper level of design and the improved quality, we’ll go so far as to say this new M50 could be the best Maritimo of all time. Your search ends here, but the journey has only just begun.
At the time of testing, the M50 was priced from  $1.39 million with 670hp Volvo D11 engines and a boatload of standard inclusions include bow and stern thrusters, 17.5kVa Onan, 4kW inverter and more.
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Read the details on his full list of 2013 picks here.
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To read my take on these two competing boats and details from past Boatpoint tests take a look at the following previous posts.
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The following article was recently published over at Boatpoint.com.au

Read the original at http://www.boatpoint.com.au/news/2013/maritimo-2013-wrap-40493

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Full steam ahead with a new 65 in 2014 with quad-engine option and four shaftdrives!

Australian boat-building doyen Bill Barry-Cotter hasn’t re-invented the wheel but he has created a new lean Maritimo manufacturing model that is paying dividends.
The markets in America and, to a much lesser degree, Europe have rebounded; his revised Maritimo formula focussing on efficiency and quality is being well received; and the three key new models released in 2013 were runaways in at least relative terms.

At the annual end-of-year media press conference on the Gold Coast last Friday (December 6), Barry-Cotter looked relaxed with Maritimo’s achievements, direction and future. He will tell you, as indeed he did us, that this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was the “best ever for Maritimo, with multiple sales recorded.”

There’s a lot else to share, not least being an all-new 65-footer in a “custom line” with an interesting quad-engine option. Barry-Cotter says he has tried it before and, espousing its efficiency once up and running and switched to twin-engine-only operation, will now seek to create the ultimate long-range motorcruiser. Never a dull moment as long as he’s at the helm!

A NEW TEAM – Experience and enthusiasm led the way Launched 10 years ago, Maritimo has seen something of a changing of the guard of its management team of late. Barry-Cotter has brought in new blood, namely Greg Haines (a Maritimo owner) from the eponymous Haines Signature boat brand to handle marketing, CEO Garth Corbitt, and most recently Phil Candler, a new General Manager of Operations, who worked for Barry-Cotter at Riviera for 15 years.

Suffice to say, it’s a formidable team, with a great depth of experience, not only from unsung shipwrights in the background, but from Barry-Cotter (72), who might hint at slowing down, although there’s no sign of that yet. In fact, there seems to be a spring in the step from the boatbuilder and his new team.

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The big hits in 2013 have been the M58, which has been embraced in America especially, the M50 that replaced the M48 (108 sold), and the low-profile S50 Sedan variant sans flying bridge.

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The story goes that Barry-Cotter had the first S50 lined up for his own use, with a new upgraded Miele appliance package and more tweaks — the boat fits under the bridge downstream from his waterfront home — until the sales team found a buyer and off it went.

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THE WINNING FORMULA – The full-beam stateroom, walkaround decks and efficiency Maritimo says its success with these boats rests with the combination of walkaround decks, aft galley, enclosed flybridge with internal staircase — and the big one — a full-beam master stateroom. Achieving that in the M50 and S50 with traditional shaftdrives instead of pod drives has impressed the market and rightly so. The stateroom is said to be 230 per cent bigger than in the M48 it replaces.

Some time ago, as fuel prices started heading north, Barry-Cotter made the decision to work even harder on efficiency and economy. His slippery and easily-driven hulls with low shaft angles and large fuel capacities lay claim to “as much as 17 per cent better fuel efficiency than the competitors [in the 50-footer and 58-footer classes],” declares Haines. Maritimo has also run its fuel figures up against a Nordhavn of [presumably] a similar size and, at 9.8 knots, claims their M58 is 40 per cent more fuel efficient. So fast or slow, the Maritimo’s are aggressively pushing fuel efficiency.

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The other big thing for Maritimo has been the focus on fit and finish. The push to greater quality has been well received by the big-boat market especially. The growth in sales of these bigger 50-60 footers has been largely to pre-existing customers moving up to bigger and more luxurious Maritimos.

“Central to the whole review has been the design and performance of all our boats, greater fuel efficiency, sea-keeping capabilities and finally fitout and finishes,” Haines says.

NEW YEAR LAUNCHES – Exciting new 65 with quad-engine option coming! To the year ahead. Against the improving climate, CEO Corbitt says 2014 is looking promising for Maritimo, with a full order book and two new models planned for release.

“We have looked at everything that we do and we have developed systems that now see us doing it better and that ranges from the design of the boats to the layouts and right through to soft furnishings and the interior fitouts,” he said.

The first of the new boats will be the S58 Sedan, which shares the platform of the M58, but without the flying bridge. Not only is this welcome in some canal areas of the Gold Coast, but the single-level Sedans appear to be a hit with seasoned boaters who know how they use their boats — rafted up alongside like-minded company.

The single-level aft-galley layouts work very well for entertaining. Two pre-sold 58s are now in the making. The first one is headed to the Gold Coast, the second M58 to Canada.

But in Barry-Cotter’s inimitable style, the M65 (concept now in development) is truly unique. The deck is due in early 2014, with the boat launch expected to be in the third-quarter of 2014. The revolutionary four-cabin 65 will have oodles of accommodation: a VIP that is as big as a stateroom in a 50, the option of scissor berths in the bow, his and her heads behind the full-beam stateroom bedhead, and optional crew quarters.

What looks to be an enormous saloon on the renderings has three stools fronting the galley/bar, a three-metre long lounge, with an optional second island amenities centre on the flybridge balcony, plus possible internal engine-room access so owners can check on things from their stateroom.

We’re told engine options will include 900hp Volvos, 900hp (continuously rated) Scanias, 1150hp Cats or, get this, a quad engine set-up with smaller engines, costing a similar initial outlay to bigger twins, but offering greatly reduced running costs. Propped light, you will be able to run on two engines at a time at 18-20 knots and enjoy super-long range, says Barry-Cotter.

Barry-Cotter says he’s built boats with four (shaft-drive) engines before. The outboard engines go forward , the aft ones back, and there are two rudders. Effectively, by switching between engine pairs, you’ll be halving running hours and servicing intervals, he says.

Meantime, the new Maritimo raceboat has hit the water and is undergoing fine tuning. The boat will contest the European circuit next year. Its engines alone were three years in the making. Maritimo won the world championships in America last year. In 2014 or 2015, the new boat will compete internationally running UIM engines rated at 850hp.

The boat has been designed by Michael Peters and overseen by Bill Barry-Cotter and the fine tuning and adjustments that have been made to increase its performance have come from Bill and, until his passing this year, Phil Frazer.

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AMERICAN MARKETS – Big boat sales lead the way in USA Maritimo USA President, Dave Northtrop, shared his views on the rapidly improving American market, saying the Maritimos are coveted by experienced boaters who enjoy spending serious time aboard. He even set records this year, with more pre-sold Maritimos in the month of December than at any other time in the States before. Sales for the month were up 700 per cent year on year. He said Maritimo now has the enthusiasm and momentum on its side.

Indeed, the stats Northrop mentioned suggest the American market has certainly improved. He said sales of inboard 41-62 foot boats in October were up 60 per cent on the previous year, and up 50 per cent in the same period for 63-99 footers. They’re still talking hundreds not thousands of boats, but it’s the first big increase in several years.

Northrop said he wrote sales for three Maritimo 50s in one day at the 2013 Fort Lauderdale show. “We’ve gone from one of the smallest to the largest staterooms in our class… it’s been a godsend,” he said, adding that more and more American owners are taking delivery in Australia and cruising the Whitsundays before shipping their Maritimos home.

Why buy a boat built in Australia? Northrop answers the question asked of him many times. It’s not a financial decision, he says, as Maritimos are priced as a premium product in the US…

“There are two things: these are unique boats from Bill Barry-Cotter with ingenuity and functionality; and it’s the labour force. In Australia, boatbuilding is a profession not just a job. The result is the boater’s boat. ur average USA customer is clocking up 300-400 hours per year. And there are more than 150 of them in America now.”

Candler, the new operations manager, points to the depth of experience at Maritimo, hints at expansion and a reinvigoration of the apprentice-training program.

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BILL’S TAKE – Improving fortunes but steady as she goes in Oz Barry-Cotter says he’s going to keep the momentum going in 2014. The US is on the mend and Europe is coming out of it, he says. “We’re the last into recession and probably the last out of it. Property prices are improving so that will help,” he adds.

“We’re pushing efficiency and will keep working on that. We’ll definitely expand into the 60-footer-plus market for our existing customers. He forecasts doing three to four 65s a year. The market right now is all 50-footer and above. Mustang sales are slowing and I can see that coming to an end,” he says.

So bigger boats rather than lots of smaller ones appears to be the trend. Maritimo doesn’t talk numbers but did around 30 boats in 2012, a few more this year, and is looking at ways to expand a bit without compromising quality. Exports accounted for 60 per cent of sales in 2013, but 70 per cent of sales in the last few months of the year.

“I don’t see that changing and if the dollar pulls back it could be improving,” Barry Cotter wraps up before lunch is served.

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The following is an article published on Boatpoint containing an Interview with the Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst in which he shares some insight as to how Riviera design and build boats nowadays and compared to years before. The headline refers to the old days and nowadays they aim to get it right “first time”

It’s an “interesting” read especially for any owners of Riviera’s with a low Hull Number (i.e. less than Nine !!)

2013 Riviera Update — Exclusive Boatpoint    http://www.boatpoint.com.au/news/2013/2013-riviera-update—-exclusive-37700

Some 18 months down the track, Longhurst stamps his mark on Riv

Last year’s exclusive Riviera catch-up was sub-headed “Lunch with new owner Rodney Longhurst” (left in above pic). Since that nosh-up, a lot of water has past under the bridge and down the mighty, miry Coomera River, where the boat-building yard is located.

For starters, the Longhurst family has acquired the 14-hectare luxury boat-building facility, the largest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere, from the banks. You couldn’t ask for a more resounding vote of confidence in Riviera and Australia’s boat-building industry in general.

When we arrive, almost 18-months from his initial purchase in late-June, the difference is obvious. The gardens are neat and tidy, the hedges trimmed, there’s a spring in the step of those working on site… and boats are being built again.

We’re early, so I entertain the thought of calling this “brunch with Rodney Longhurst”. Only he doesn’t drink coffee. In fact, I’m unsure of his vices other than, perhaps, workaholism and an obsessive/compulsive eye for detail. This is what you want from a boat builder.

Over the past 18 months, Longhurst has been focused on Riviera’s future, restructured the business, reviewed internal processes and procedures, invested in new-model development, recruited new and better people for the job, and grown Riviera’s presence from that of a business in receivership to one that’s driven by his personal quest for perfection.

This differs from how boats, including Rivieras, were built in the distant past. When it was purely a numbers game, hulls were cut and shut, ‘new’ models were rushed down the production line to market, and then the bugs were ironed out.

The new Riviera 50 Enclosed, which is set to debut at the 2013 Sydney International Boat Show opening August 1, heralds a seismic shift in the way Rivieras are built.

The first all-new boat from Longhurst and returning CEO and good mate Wes Moxey has been more than a year in the making. To garner would-be owner input and get things right before pressing the ‘go’ button they created a full-sized walk-through mock-up of the interior.

Longhurst has been instrumental in the fine tune of the design and you can see his mark in respect of attention to detail. “It’s no longer acceptable to build a boat and wait till the 10th model to get it right. We have to get it right from the beginning,” he explains, echoing that Field of Dreams’ slogan that if you build it (right) they will come.

Indeed, it’s no longer a numbers game — it can’t be in this market — which ultimately means greater attention to detail. The upshot is less boats of greater quality. And that’s got to be good news for Riviera buyers.

NO LONGER A NUMBERS GAME In the 2012/13 financial year, Riviera delivered 50 boats, we’re told, including five Belize motor yachts. At the time of our visit, just over 20 boats were in build at the factory. They start at the ‘entry-level’ $900K-plus 445 SUV. We jump aboard the 43 Flybridge sistership (just over $1 million) to conduct our interview at the Riviera’s marina, as the rain pounds the tin roof above.

At the same time, boats are in build right up to a Riviera 63 Enclosed. Longhurst says Riviera is in discussion with some prospective buyers of their 75 flagship. Eventually, there is suggestion Riviera could go bigger.

While bigger boats are propping up the market, the new 445 SUV (launched 2012 Sydney boat show) has been a success. There have been 11 built in less than a year. South Australia has been a good market. But while Riviera still builds stock boats these days, mostly they are made to order.

The R Marine dealership model has changed. Riviera was finalising the sale of the last (Perth) dealership at the time of interview. This will see the boat builder withdraw entirely from the retail business. Riviera was working with GE Finance at the time of writing to create a product that will assist the new independent R Marine dealers to hold floor stock.

“But it’s not a numbers game any more. It’s not about building a whole bunch of boats and sticking them into the dealers hoping they’re going to sell,” says Stephen Milne (right in pic), Director of Brand and Communications. “Everyone enjoys the whole approach of customising their boats and doing different things to them. So we’re a little bit more of a bespoke boat builder these days.”

MORALE IS UP Meantime, 18 months down the track, Longhurst says his team has performed remarkably well. “The guys know there is an owner, the property has been purchased, there’s some real security and good morale. And that’s continuing day-by-day after these guys have been working under that fear of what’s going to happen through almost three years of receivership,” he says.

When asked if expectations and goals have been met after purchasing Riviera more than a year ago, Longhurst is philosophical. “If you were to ask me what the economy is going to be like in a year, I don’t really know. So I have to do the best I can with the team, week in and week out, and that’s the way we try and work. We focus on what we can control and do it the best we can,” he adds.

“I’ve come in here because I’m aware that Riviera is seen as a bit of an icon and seen as a premium brand. And the fact that it weathered those almost-three years [in receivership] is certainly a strong reason why I was willing to come in here. I also had total belief in the team. I knew Wesley [Moxey, returning CEO] well and believe that with the team — I’ve worked in construction, hospitality and tourism — we can do something special here. That hasn’t changed,” Longhurst says.

FINESSE AND EXPERIENCE “Rodney’s attention to detail is taking Riviera to another level. The ultimate expression of that will be the launch of the 50 at the Sydney International Boat Show. That’s an entirely new boat inside and out and in every respect,” Milne says in support of his boss.

Longhurst makes the point that Riviera is paying a lot of attention to experienced people these days — from dealers to owners and prospective buyers — to come up with practical solutions and continually finesse the boats. It’s on this basis that Longhurst forecasts business will improve this financial year because “we are going to give them [would-be buyers] reason… if we’re good enough the Riviera family and new customers will see that.”

“My view on all that is we are here to build Rivieras as the absolute premium brand and give fantastic support and we believe that will show in new-boat sales,” Longhurst says.

SECOND-HAND MARKET Longhurst doesn’t consider the thousands of Rivieras in the second-hand market as competition so much as a marketing opportunity. “We’re continuing to adopt new technology and to build better. We’re working on improving that great Riviera legacy. Every single new boat is a learning from the past,” he says.

As for resale values, Longhurst says that’s a supply/demand question and more boaters in the marketplace will drive up used-boat values and, ultimately, help make the trade up to a new Riviera more accessible. In respect of new boats and their intrinsic value, the best thing he can do is build the boats the very best he can.

“We’re the only manufacturer in this country that puts its hand up to fund educational programs like the Riviera Festival, with the Women on Water, Riv Kids and other things to teach people how great boating can be,” Longhurst says, adding that “Riviera is not an elitist brand, it’s a premium brand”.

MANUFACTURING PLANS As for manufacturing, the new Riviera 50 Enclosed had its moulds made in Taiwan. This is a first for Riviera and Longhurst says that remains an option going forward on a case-by-case basis. The reason for building the new 50 moulds in Taiwan was partly because of the scaled-back Riviera business and the difficulty in suddenly finding contractors here.

CEO Moxey, who has had prior dealings with the Taiwanese yard, fast-tracked the mould making. But Longhurst stresses that all the Rivieras are built in Coomera by a team of master craftsmen with decades of experience. That is what they have concentrated their effort at doing on the new 50.

As Riviera moves forward with renewed vigour, backing and resources, former employees who took flight are returning to the company. There’s a mix of young guys and grey hairs on the floor, with Riviera saying it’s getting more involved in [government-assisted] apprentice programs.

Less but more considered boats is the way forward. “You can’t have a situation where you build the first boat and get it right by the 10th. I’m not interested in that. If we can get it right on paper and through mock ups and that NPD (new-product development) process then the final finessing is much easier,” explains Longhurst, as his new 50 Enclosed approached launch day after more than a year in the design and planning.

FUTURE RIVIERAS Longhurst is playing his cards close to his chest, but says: “We are definitely working on new concepts.” At a Riviera press conference in May, CEO Moxey said Riviera was having internal discussions about smaller boats and where to set the point of ‘entry level’.

But there have also been strong suggestions about a new class of motor yacht or passage-maker branded Riviera. The drawings were published on the company’s website prior to it going into receivership. We understand some kind of announcement will be made at the 2013 Sydney International Boat Show.

Longhurst admits, conceptually, they are looking at other styles to potentially answer [ageing] customer demands. But in keeping with the new modus operandi, Riviera doesn’t want to rush anything. Longhurst says the design process is more protracted, considered and richer than before. This, he says, will lead Riviera to consolidating its position as the premium boat builder in Australia and establishing a sustainable manufacturing model.

But you also get the feeling it’s something of a personal quest or journey for Longhurst. “If I can build something that people take away and say: ‘I’m so happy with this’ then that’s the ultimate. I get to work with a team of people and show what Australians can do. That’s exciting. Because some people say: ‘you can’t do this and you can’t do that’… it’s all hogwash.

“We can build as well or better than anywhere else in the world. If we’re good enough in the way we manage our processes we can build cost effectively,” he says, just days after Ford announced it would be closing its auto factory in Melbourne in 2016.

As time proves, Longhurst is correct in forecasting the Australian dollar would retreat to more historic currency-exchange levels. Since our interview, conditions have improved for exporters. Riviera exported over half its boats in the 2012/13 financial year despite everything going against the yard.

Meantime, Riviera may expand the aftermarket side of the business, inhabit more space for apprentice programs or build bigger boats. But the intention and vision is to keep the 14-hectare site for marine use as, indeed, it is zoned. It might also sub-lease space to other marine-related industries if there’s demand.

Virtually next door at Coomera, the marine-service centre called The Boatworks belongs to Longhurst. It caters for marine servicing, fitout and aftermarket businesses. New additions and upgrades are expected there in coming years.

POD POWER Meantime, Riviera says since it first introduced the Volvo IPS pod drive system on the 43 Offshore Express and then the 4400 Sport Yacht in 2007, upon which your writer voyaged from the Gold Coast to Hervey Bay over the course of three days, the yard has experienced extremely good feedback.

Riviera still offers a mix of pod and shaft drives, the latter on its bigger boats, but it makes the point that IPS and Zeus pods have been instrumental in enticing new blood to boating. After building hundreds of boats with pod drives, it’s safe to say Riviera has been at the forefront of this revolution.

Longhurst adds that he’s been to Sweden, to the Volvo plant, and that they are pushing the technology hard and evolving it because they believe it’s the future. Additionally, Milne says: “You just don’t go to a boat show these days and find people asking: ‘do you have a shaft drive?'”

“The benefits that you get in terms of fuel economy, performance, quietness, internal space, handling and docking are significant. It’s powerful stuff when it comes to selling a boat,” adds Milne.

FAMILY BOATERS “We’re a united group here. It’s all about what we can achieve. The monetary side is important, but that’s the tool that sits behind everything we do. It’s exciting because every day we’re trying to improve. It’s not a matter of putting policy in place and sitting back. We’re actively striving and refining, finessing and improving every day,” Longhurst says enthusiastically.

The Longhurst family has long been keen boaters. From the Riviera stable, they have owned a 40 Aft Cabin, 51 Open Flybridge and Mariner/Riviera M430 sportscruiser. But decades before that, they had Bertrams. And father John, who built Dreamworld at Coomera after working 12-hour days with a digger for two years, made Pride boats in Sydney.

Longhurst recalls the test runs on those early Prides, hanging on around infamous Jibbon bombora just outside Port Hacking, where he grew-up at the family’s waterfront home. He remembers building boats in the basement with a handplane and towing them around the foreshore at Yowie Bay.

His brother Tony, a subsequent Australian water-ski champion and successful V8 touring-car driver, used to tow Rodney on the waterway. His uncle on his mother’s side used to race boats, too, and now has a Riviera 51 moored at a Sydney motorboat club.

His father John also started his own mower company assisted by then fledgling retailer Gerry Harvey. There’s a story in the family about making the first lawnmower from which Victa sprouted. Such are the entrepreneurial roots.

YOU JUST FIND A WAY But in terms of influence, his father John has had the greatest impression. “He always said: ‘Never give up. Always try, be better, and a bit different. You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it.’ And if you roll-up your sleeves and have a bloody good go, you can do it,'” he says.

“That has been relentless. I’d come home from swimming races and be asked: ‘How’d you go today?’ I’d say: second. ‘Well, why didn’t you win?'” recounts Longhurst of the exchanges with his dad. “‘Because the other guy was fast,’ I’d answer. And dad would say: ‘So?'”

“But it wasn’t a matter of being a hard task master, he always had a belief that you find a way. You just find a way. Persevere and find a way,” he says, taking inspiration from his dad, now 80 years of age, who told him that turning Riviera around will be difficult but that it can be done.

“I remember people used to say my dad is crazy and he’ll never succeed,” recalls Longhurst, adding that he’s hearing the same kind of whispers about his venture now. Then you notice the glint in his eye, the steely determination, that he’s out to prove them wrong. He’s passionate about boating and, with three young boys, there’s a big future ahead. Adversity, it seems, is just fuel to the fire.

Some 18 months after buying the iconic boat builder, Riviera has changed. For the better. Evidently, there’s plenty more to come. Check out the new 50 Enclosed Flybridge to see where Riviera is heading following its acquisition by Rodney Longhurst and the high-achieving family.

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