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Maritimo X50R: It's neither a letter nor a number…

by John Curnow, Global Editor, Powerboat-World.com 6 Aug 18:28 PDT
Charging away offshore with Maritimo's X50R © Maritimo

…and in a lot of ways it is not about both either. What it is all about is not the top speed of 35 knots; it’s the fact that it is 30 knots @ 300lph, all day every day, and this will provide you with a 270nm range for 9 hours of daylight steaming in summer time, all with ample reserve to make your next bowser (maximum bunkering 2900l). Think about where you can go? That’s huge!

But even all of that is not enough. It’s things like Yacht Controller as standard, the plush furnishings throughout that are just right Goldilocks, and thank you very much. Then there are immediately identifiable items like the extended swim platform that comes with moulded seating you can place in instead of rails, and thereby create your very own wet bar, or play Xbox on the massive LED screen on the bulkhead at the back of the quite unique and very popular Beach Club that forms such a special part of the X-Series offering.

So it’s no longer just the R paying homage to the reigning World Champions from Maritimo Racing, for it certainly represents a lot of things packed into an X50. Perhaps the best way to describe it then, is as a little bit of the much lauded and oft over-abused, X Factor…

Now we could end right there, arguing that we have just put forward the opening remarks, the main case, and also the close, but that it is certainly not going to be considered as cutting the mustard.

Maritimo One’s X50R is a thoroughly modern boat with sleek lines, plush furnishings, all the electronic gizmos you could want for, and that sharp, destroyer-esque grey paint job that is sooooooo right here, right now, that it could be a fashion blogger with 50M followers, all on its own.

Yet to my mind, one needs to go back to the early 80s in order to set up what is quite possibly the biggest differentiating aspect of this craft. At that time, you bought Jaguar’s XJ6 if it was all about ride for you, a Mercedes-Benz W126 SEL if Teutonic precision was your bent, even if that might be described as cold, and left you feeling like you had just handled a wet fish. Whereas if you wanted to enjoy your time behind the wheel, be invigorated, derive a certain pleasure from the activity, and also engaged and immersed in the whole process, then BMW’s E23 7 Series was what you craved. It was the driver’s car.

Yes. The X50R is the driver’s boat. It is all about those aspects mentioned in the preceding paragraph, and possibly summed up in the little aide-mémoire immediately adjacent to the clutch levers – ‘Ensure you have retracted the trim tabs before backing down or manoeuvring.’

Yes. Firstly they are tabs, not interceptors. Secondly, you can damage them, for they are quite sizeable. Thirdly, this is a boat that just loves its tabs, and you will tweak them a bit to get the right attitude to match the conditions and correct for cross wind etc. A bit like having the right tyre pressures to match your load and speed going back to our saloon car analogy above. These days it would be more like selecting the right damper and traction control settings.

Just like the steering (Maritimo’s own hydraulic system derived directly from the race boats), the tabs are super-precise, and only require delicate taps on the control panel, not hefty pushes and full deployment or retraction. They are there for you to command your craft, like when you need to just put the bow in a little to account for chop on top of the swells, just like we did when running back into the Gold Coast in the video that accompanies this review.

They are not there to help the boat dig its way out of its own hole. The placement of the 800hp D13 Scanias (at 1285kg each BTW) right atop the centre of buoyancy means they don’t have to. This is the primary benefit of inline and direct shaft drive, after all. Now whilst talking about all of that, the 12.7 litre, inline six cylinder Iron Ladies are utterly brutal, delivering a massive 3069Nm of torque at 1500RPM. No doubt it is this, in conjunction with the special CJR screws that launch the 21 metric tonne girl more like it is an F-35 Lightning, and far less C-5 Galaxy transport.

Actually, the trip from rest to cruise speed (80% throttle opening), which is nearly 31 knots/250lph in the X50R BTW, reminded me much more of her bigger sibling, the X60, and far less of ‘baby’ sister, the normal X50. During our test we were blessed to have both Rosco Willaton and Tom Barry-Cotter aboard, and when I commented that the running attitude we had reached so effortlessly and swiftly felt like about five degrees, Tom pulled his phone out from his pocket, opened an App, set it one the dining table and we discovered it was more like 5.8° (@26kts with no tab deployment), which felt delightful and gave spectacular vision all around, including out to the quarters through the standard vista (opening) coachhouse windows. It will probably go close to just four degrees as you close in on WOT.

The flat running surface out aft provides for all of that, and a shallow shaft angle, as well. Should you wish to see what that looks like please go to our video of the X50 mould, which was shot during its construction. 70% throttle will give 24-26 knots depending on conditions, and this equates to 200lph. The turbocharged, four valve per cylinder, individual head Scanias run a very, very high pressure common rail system that allows for not just the incredible torque, especially mid-range, but achieve EU Stage IIIA emissions from the high burn, and also the kinds of economy you see above. Remember, figures quoted here are combined, not per side…

Coming back to our car analogy once more, and you also get the ride quality of the Jag, along with the quietness of the Benz. Seeing as this is a boat of its time, there is mood lighting for the entire craft, which will make you even cooler than Buddy Love at the Purple Pit. You’ll be able to entertain those lucky enough to be invited with a 316 BBQ, fridges everywhere, and kickin’ tunes from the Krix speakers and woofers.

Best of all, the X50R gets a 9/10 for the wipe down factor with straight, easily accessible surfaces, and all that air flowing through it from transom tailgate to galley sunroof, and deck hatches to vista windows. Yep. She’s safe as well as functional, appealing, enjoyable, and fun.

If you are fortunate enough to get the same opportunity as I had, please do jump on it. There may only be the one Maritimo X50R for now, but I am sure that will change as soon as more people can tap into their inner driver.

For me, well now I just want to get hold of an X60R for a day. Tom Barry-Cotter said in his conversation video with Mark Jardine that there’s always the next project to get inspired by, so perhaps if I say please, and the staff at Maritmo One (Maritimo’s custom division) can slot it in amongst all the fishing boats they are making from M-Series Flybridge craft, then early next year I may be able to do just that… WoooHoooo!

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