Posts Tagged ‘Nifty Fifty’

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).


Maritimo 50


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


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.



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.


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.



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


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.


Maritimo 50 at speed – Great Flowing Lines


Maritimo 50 Helm

Maritimo 50 Helm



Maritimo 50 – Cockpit & Flybridge Aft Deck



Maritimo 50 Master Comforts


M50 Master Entrance

Maritimo 50 Master Entrance & Vanity


M50 Galley Saloon Cockpit

Galley Island Worktop with good Saloon & Cockpit Access


M50 Dining

Maritimo 50 Dining Table



M50 Saloon Lounge

Maritimo 50 Lounge Seating


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