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Posts Tagged ‘Phi Phi’


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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The Boat is sold and delivered. That’s all good and all part of the plan, but a few irks !

After I bought the boat (ordered 2006, delivered 2007) I bought an apartment (2007) next to the Marina I kept the boat at. I always dreamed of living there and being able to look out the window to see how the boat was doing. Well I had to wait five years for the builder to complete all 1,100 apartments of the development, and in any case I’d decided to rent out the place, and well now the boat is Sold.

However now I see the new owner keeps her in the same Marina, in a berth just right in front of my apartment balcony !

Anyway no hard feelings, she is a great boat and she served me well for more than five years.

Why sell her then ? Well boating ideas change, and as boats get older they need more maintenance, and breakdowns will become more of a nuisance.

There is a phrase you often see on Yachtworld or anywhere with Used Boat ads, “Better than New”, that always means that the owner has “broken her in” and well ….fixed everything that crapped out for whatever reason after the boat was delivered.

I guess in the US or Australia, you just call the dealer and set a date for them to drop by to take a look. But when you buy direct from the Manufacturer, and they don’t have any servicing agent where you are based, well you deal with it yourself, and frankly that is the way I prefer it.

To their credit whenever I had a failure of an item under warranty (and even outside warranty), if they could, then Maritimo Australia would just send me a replacement by courier; No Questions.

But obviously there are times with things that you just have to deal with it yourself. I’ve done that for five years, and in the process always fixed or repaired/replaced anything that was broken or just wasn’t quite right. That might mean I fixed it or I got the guys whose work I trust to get onboard and work on it. (Well actually more of the latter)

I’ve always also determined that the boat should be kept clean and the Hull well polished. Gel coat is meant to shine so you can see your reflection ! That’s a lot of work, and mostly all done by hired help, but I think it’s worth it. Also she has been lifted out every year and antifouled regardless. Engines serviced with Lubes & all Filters changed annually regardless of the hours, and done by the Caterpillar agent.

Again that is a lot of work and expense, but when you go out in your boat, you want to be confident and relaxed that everything is in the best shape.

Is it all worth it ?

Obviously the guy who bought her thinks so, given he came up with a winning offer.

Good luck to him and I hope he has an enjoyable ownership of her. I believe she will be used by his family mostly for fishing around the region. He’s keeping the name AVA LON, which I like as there a strong reason behind the name, and that way I will always have a connection with her.

To the new owners, Fair Winds & Tight Lines !

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Spent a week onboard with my two boys cruising around Phuket & Krabi. Stopped at some very different anchorages including the drying sandy spit at Ko Yao Yai, which was a fun and interesting spot to explore at low tide. The place is covered in a variety of crabs with Ghost crabs being in the majority. Two local guys were out fishing for them with a rod and line when we first arrived at high tide, and it is only at low tide do you realise just how many of them there are and what a huge area of the waterway dries out.

The depths in the channel are different from the charts I had, (1.8m where there should be 8.2m !) but if you stay close to the north shore you should have 6m to 8m at most places apart from 3m to4m close to the entrance. Certainly sufficient to work your way into a nice spot to anchor. I anchored just to the north, off the main channel, and about 1100m to the East of the the light marking the rocks, and had around 6m even at low water.

We had an easy night at anchor there with negligible wind with the boat swinging gently with the tide.

In daylight you can watch speedboats and even some fairly big sized sport cruisers taking the channel as a short cut on the Krabi-Phuket route, but the Andaman Sea Pilot guide book warns against it unless you have someone with good local knowledge onboard.

We took a slow cruise over to Ao Nang and Rai Lei Beach. The weather when we started out was beautiful, sunny and clear. When we were in about 20m water depth, we cranked up the water maker and filled the tanks, with fresh clean and pure H2O (as opposed to what the Marina has to offer !)

On the way we took a quick looksie at Koh Hong – Krabi. Unfortunately it looked busy with a number of yachts there and a host of speedboats coming and going so we deferred stopping there for another day and kept on moving, dodging purse netters when we were out of the ‘deep’ waters and closer to Ao Nang. Pointing the Bow towards the “Phallic” rock we crept into 4-5m at Rai Le beach and dropped anchor in the sandy bottom.

It was a beautiful spot, but it is the equivalent to being anchored in the middle of the motorway or expressway with all manner of longtail boats, speedboats, ferry’s and anything on the water blasting past us at speed with sometimes just metres to spare from our Bow or Stern.

In any case we made it to shore and explored around the shallows and followed the kayak-ers on their paddle around the island. On the beach you could hear just about all 27 languages of the European Union. Seemed everyone was just interested in soaking up the sun’s rays and forgetting about the chilly Northern winter.

Some of the limestone rocks/cliffs there look ready to give way and go for a swim but thankfully none gave way during our snorkeling swims around there. Along the way a stingray got friendly with us but look don’t touch as always is the best policy.

Back on the boat, come the magic hour of around 5pm and the beaches get deserted and the boat traffic thins out to zero. Peace at last.

That is until some dirty black clouds started forming to the South, just around dusk. Why does the sea always pick up around the time I need to ‘cook’

It’s a story for another time but suffice to say we would see just a smidgen under 30knots of wind more than once that night. With wind and seas opposing it made for an ‘interesting’ night on the anchor. When daylight came around we still had occasional gusts over 20 knots, but I’m glad to say still with an anchor well buried in the sand !

We had no regrets picking up the anchor the next morning and heading south to visit the sheltered Ton Sai bay at Phi Phi Don Island.

We chose to drop the anchor at PhiPhi rather than try to pick up a mooring. Why not after the previous night, my Bruce anchor and all 80m of chain  has my absolute undivided trust !

That said it did make it interesting swinging at anchor inside the pattern of moorings. Mostly so after a 30ft boat was replaced by an 80 ft ferry during one of my snorkeling trips. It didn’t stay; just as well as it looked like I could have just about shook hands with it’s captain at one stage.

The water at PhiPhi is beautiful and clear, and it is great fun to take a swim off the stern if you can keep a watch out for the speed boats blasting through the anchorage ! It gets interesting when there are two or three that seem to be ‘racing’ to get to the beach first. Keeping a good lookout and caution is the order of the day.

We could have spent longer at PhiPhi; we never made it over to PhiPhi Lei, but we still enjoyed our time there and explored all we could of Ton Sai Bay and the snorkeling spots along the sheer rock face.

Going on land was a mind blowing experience to see the built up Hotels, Shops & Banks (?) there, if I compare it to my last visit some twenty years ago, with mostly just beach huts and ‘shacks’. Now I feel really old !

We saw the monkey that likes to smell your money, and then give you a hug, but gave that a miss. We went forth on a re-supply mission and found Two Seven Eleven Stores, and there must be more. We got all that we needed with the exception of butter ! Guess Thai people don’t like butter on their sani’s.

After a fun three days we lifted the anchor and took a slow cruise North back to AoPo Grand Marina, through some rain and snotty weather.

Back in the Marina it was time to head off to find a Fuji Japanese Restaurant, get some doughnuts and let the kids try to get their ‘land legs’ after having their sea legs tested with everything that mother nature could throw at us the past week. They both came through with flying colours !

Post Script; Only after being back in the Marina did I find out that our ‘eventful’ stormy night had also made it’s prescence felt across all of Phuket and in particular one Phuket Kings Cup competitor “IchiBan” (from Australia) had been blown onto the beach…. surprisingly for the second year running. Seems these southerly storms that “dont” happen this time of year are now Two for Two.

To IchiBan I can only say; Mate get a BIG Bruce anchor ! I can swear by it !

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