Bay & Delta Yachtsman Review: Maritimo M51 Luxury Motoryacht
It is another typical summer morning in San Francisco Bay as we gather at Silver Seas Yachts dock at Clipper Yacht Harbor. At 1000 the finger fog is still pouring over the hills to the west, the wind is gusting to 15 knots in the harbor and the thermometer is still below 65 degrees. We manage to keep warm as the team prepares our test subject for today, the Maritimo M51 Luxury Motoryacht, and our loaner camera boat, a brand new 2019 Tiara 39 Coupe with just 2 hours on the clock. More on the 39 Coupe in a future article as today we are taking the M51 out for an extended sea trial in the choppiest water we can find. It is fortunate for us that the weather forecast for the Bay calls for southwest winds steady at 20 knots, gusting to 25, low overcast and temperatures in the low 60’s. With maximum ebb at the Golden Gate expected at noon, I suspect we will have plenty of choppy rolling seas to play with.
Our M51 Series II was formerly called the M48 and now has a slightly different layout with full beam master stateroom aft, a guest suite forward and the third stateroom, a bunk room, to starboard. Boarding from the optional five-foot hydraulic swim platform is via a few steps from either side of the vessel. These steps lead to the huge cockpit where you will find the engine room access hatch, a large bench seat just aft and concealed fender and line storage lockers to port and starboard.
From the swimstep we can access the cavernous lazarette storage compartment with an abundance of space for all the mooring gear if you choose to not use the cockpit lockers and with plenty of room left over for water toys. With the electrically operated hatch lift in the closed position we find the optional wet bar, electric grill and drink cooler hidden under a hatch. Our boat has the optional teak decking that covers the large cockpit and extends out to the swim platform adding a touch of elegance to the outdoor entertainment area.
Before going any further I have to stop and take a look in the engine room to see what we have in the working end of the boat. Through the cockpit hatch we have a real set of stairs, with matching teak treads of course, leading down between the Volvo D11’s. Down here we find a well laid-out machinery space with near stand up headroom and easy to access service points on the main engines. On the aft bulkhead are the fuel filters and hydraulic power assist steering reservoir tank, all well marked and easy to service. On the starboard aft bulkhead we find the 11 kilowatt Onan generator with sound shield. Many generator installations make simple tasks like checking the lubricating oil level almost impossible. Not on this vessel as access for daily check and for routine service could not be made any easier. Looking around the rest of the space I locate two features I really like, site tubes on both fuel tanks and large ventilation fans on both the port and starboard side. The attention to detail in the machinery space is top notch.
On the main deck at the same level there are two separate social areas that are brought together by opening the full width glass doors. While the exterior decking is teak, the interior decking is Rosewood Amtico with Ebony strips. Amtico is used by many luxury yacht builders due to its durability and ease of repair. Our boat has the Amtico decking option carried forward into the accommodation spaces as well and the look is quite stunning.
From the cockpit and moving forward through the Maritimo signature bi-fold glass and stainless steel doors we find the well-equipped galley to starboard with the island food preparation area carried over from the M48. The galley includes a two-door refrigerator freezer with ice maker, a four burner cook top, convection microwave oven, a pullout pantry, single stainless steel basin and solid surface countertops. Our boat has the optional dishwasher and trash disposal built into the island as well as the Miele appliance upgrade. To port is the saloon with a large L-shaped settee with room for five up front with the dining table and an additional lounge opposite that is comfortable for three. The Maritimo signature interior stairwell providing protected access to the flybridge is just aft of the dining area and is surrounded by cabinets, including the electrical panels. The saloon and galley areas feel light and airy with panoramic views and have all the latest entertainment systems and accessories. Those familiar with earlier versions of our compact motoryacht will feel right at home with the beautiful premium upholstery and appliances surrounded by the high gloss teak cabinetry. The contrasting colors of grey, beige and rosewood add to the luxurious feel of the interior and the design of the saloon and galley make entertaining easy. Open up the glass doors to the cockpit and the entire deck is opened up creating entertainment central.
The lower deck is accessed from a slightly offset companionway lined with high-gloss teak and stainless rails wrapped in leather. Our M51 has the three stateroom/two head layout with the full beam master located aft. As with her larger sisters, the master is on two levels, giving it a feeling of a loft apartment. Entering the master stateroom we find the private ensuite head and large hanging lockers on the upper level to port and the sleeping and sitting areas on the lower level. This design allows for more headroom in the aft portion of the stateroom. The three opening port lights provide natural light and ventilation. By setting the innerspring mattress diagonally Maritimo has managed to fit a king size bed in this luxurious master stateroom.
Forward is the guest VIP stateroom with a queen innerspring mattress set centerline surrounded by countertops and storage lockers. Our Rosewood Amtico flooring is carried all the way forward into the guest VIP. There is private access to the starboard day head complete with a large shower and an overhead hatch for ambient lighting and ventilation.
The third stateroom has twin size bunks with adequate storage lockers.
Access to the foredeck via wide side decks on both port and starboard with grab rails is safe and easy. No worries if you have pets and children wanting to go up front to the large clean foredeck. Up front is the chain locker with the optional 300-feet of chain and 66 pound stainless steel plow anchor. The locker is divided and has the horizontal windlass concealed and out of the way until needed. Not surprising that Maritimo has also included fresh and raw water wash down bibs as standard equipment.
The best part of any boat review is the sea trial and every sea trial starts with getting the boat underway, even with the wind blowing at 15 knots and keeping you pinned securely to the dock after pulling the lines off the heavy bollards. Just a few feet off the stern is another new and expensive plastic boat and five feet from the bow is a dock with concrete piles just waiting to grab the bow pulpit and leave a few marks. Thanks to the optional hydraulic bow and stern thrusters and ZF joystick control, sliding the boat five-feet to the right, bringing the bow around to clear the last piece of concrete and then powering into the wind was uneventful. Of course I had strategically placed lookouts calling out distances to hard objects, mostly in feet, occasionally in inches. The ZF joystick integrates thruster operation with the Volvo straight shaft main propulsion and, with a little practice, will help provide confidence in maneuvering around the dock in unfavorable conditions.
Departing Richardson Bay we decide to head to Ayala Cove for some stills and to see how she behaves around the docks and moorings in calmer conditions. On our way through the minimum wake area from Clipper Yacht Harbor to Richardson Bay buoy #2, I have the time look around the fully enclosed flybridge and play with the equipment. As typical with the Maritimo yachts, the flybridge is more like a second story than it is helm station. From up here we can cruise in comfort in any conditions with the reverse-cycle heating and cooling managing the environment and when we are secured for the night we can fold out the optional sofa bed to accommodate more family or friends.
Then there is the aft patio with a large seating area that actually overhangs the deck. All we needed was a couple of deck chairs and a table and we would have the perfect spot for a sunset port and cigar.
At the helm we have the familiar combination of Volvo engine monitoring integrated with the dual Garmin 16-inch glass bridge MFDs. The dash is clean with a single row of button switches to control the essential battery powered functions located under the Volvo seven inch display. The dual Pompanette helm chairs with folding arms and flip up bolsters makes it easy to get comfortable, either sitting or standing. The throttle controls, thruster controls, optional joystick, autopilot controls and windshield wiper controls are all along the starboard sill and within easy reach of the skipper’s right hand. At first glance, the windshield looks to be one piece but on closer inspection it is really three separate glass panes with very narrow mullions. Toss in the opening side windows and electric sunroof and the overall second story is well appointed, practical, and stylish.
Having maneuvered all through the empty moorings of the cove while the drone got videos and our photographers, Ty and Tom, taking enough still shots to fill a memory card, it was finally time to head outside the gate and get sloppy. Agreeing to go around the East side of Angel Island and make a brief stop at the cove south of Point Simpton for a few stills with some sun, we quickly find the water choppy as we scream past Point Blunt at 20 knots.
As we close in on the Golden Gate Bridge, the water continues to get bigger. The 20 knot westerly winds provide a nice wind chop with plenty of white caps in front of us and the max ebb is further churning the water. Passing under the bridge, even near the north tower, we find the west swell is providing four-foot deep holes and threatening to force us to slow. But this is where the Maritimo blue water heritage really shows. Combining the M51’s narrow entry and a wide bow flare with the nearly seven-feet of forward freeboard we barely get the windshield wet. This was the perfect time to engage the rain sensing triple pantograph wipers, but they never needed to wipe the glass of spray. Blasting through the rough stuff is a real confidence booster with our luxury motoryacht demonstrating her sea keeping ability. She is solid and quiet even when launching from the top of one swell and digging her bow into the next. As we enter the calm waters of Kirby Cove south of Point Diablo we take a look back to see how the camera boat is doing. Not so good. She is still a good mile from the bridge and going fairly slow. The lesson here, do not bring a 35 knot sport yacht to a blue water photo shoot and expect her to keep up.
After nearly an hour of running through the roughest water we can find at wide open throttle trying hard to spray the camera boat, the drone has all the footage we need. One last pass close by the photographers and it is time to head back to Sausalito and put her to bed.
With Full Fuel Tanks And Three Persons On Board
Time to plane – less than 10 seconds
Max speed – 24.3 kts burning 67 GPH total
and WOT of 2350 RPM
Best cruise speed – anywhere from 10.7 to 24 knots
Performance By The Numbers
Our well optioned boat had 2 persons on board,
fuel at 50%, and potable water at 100%.
600 RPM 5.5 knots 1.8 GPH 2.0 MPG – idle
1000 RPM 9.5 knots 8.1 GPH 1.2 MPG
1300 RPM 10.7 knots 17.3 GPH 0.5 MPG –
minimum planning speed
1600 RPM 12.5 knots 30.0 GPH 0.4 MPG
1900 RPM 16.1 knots 44.0 GPH 0.4 MPG
2100 RPM 18.3 knots 54.0 GPH 0.4 MPG
2350 RPM 24.3 knots 67 GPH 0.4 MPG – WOT
Based on my data, the fuel economy in nautical miles per gallon is nearly the same from her 11 knots minimum planning speed to wide open throttle speed of greater than 24 knots. Volvo guidelines for continuous maximum operating RPM is 10% below maximum achieved RPM. At 2100 RPM we can cruise all day north of 18 knots with a range of nearly 300 nautical miles and keep a 15% fuel reserve.
2019 Maritimo M51 Specifications:
LOA – 53’ 01” with standard swim platfor
Fuel – 818 gallons
Beam – 16’ 07” Potable water – 132 gallons
Draft – 4’ 03” Black water – 79 gallons
Air Clearance – 10’ 9” waterline to anchor light
Power – Twin Volvo D11 – 670HP
Displacement – approx. 46,000 lbs
Maximum measured speed – 24 kts
Manufacturing on Australia’s Gold Coast, Maritimo has been building yachts since 2003 and today offers 10 different models with 5 motoryachts from 51-feet to 70-feet, 4 sedans from 51-feet to 70-feet, and the new innovative 60-foot sport yacht, X60. Maritimo is a world class builder of luxury motoryachts and well known for their blue water sea keeping ability, technology and luxury.
For more information or to arrange for your own personal test ride contact Silver Seas Yachts in Sausalito. Anyone exploring top-caliber options in the luxury Motoryacht category should certainly include the Maritimo M51 among their comparisons. This boat will definitely impress and Maritimo has carried on the tradition of building high performance yachts.
In the past few years I have had the opportunity to sea trial or deliver a dozen compact Motoryachts in the 50-foot range. Maritimo is the hallmark of style, quality and performance. Her design and attention to detail have combined to create a sanctuary for enjoyment, relaxation and freedom. Give Silver Seas a call to schedule your tour of the new Maritimo M51.