One of the advantages that upmarket Aussie boatbuilder Maritimo has is founder Bill Barry-Cotter’s enthusiasm for that ultimate on-water test arena — offshore powerboat racing. From that, there’s a dedication throughout the organisation for attention to detail and system integrity.
It’s encouraging too, in a number of ways, that Maritimo employs apprentices and develops them through real-world on-the-job involvement into experienced craftspeople. They then have the right attitude and a pride in their work to deliver a top-quality product to gratified owners.
This 2013 C53 Sports Cabriolet was the last of this model to leave the Maritimo factory and has been maintained by a professional skipper for its second owner. An updated development of the slightly smaller and popular C50 Cabriolet, the C53 offers extra spaciousness and an improved layout for the cockpit with a lounge, fridge/freezer and barbecue setup that is most welcoming and practical.
Externally, the C53 has particularly svelte lines with a heavily raked stern and a superstructure that flows fluently up and back from the hull. The latter has a pleasing gun’l line that drifts in one long graceful curve from stem to stern. The hydraulically-lowered boarding platform extends neatly from the transom and adds to the smooth appearance of the C53’s profile. This Maritimo looks contemporary but will hold its appeal for far longer than many of its rivals.
Forward of the boarding platform is a central hatch that lifts to reveal garage storage for the tender. Steps either side lead up to a gloss-teak-soled cockpit with a centre aft lounge and further L-shaped lounges around a table to starboard alongside the port entry to the saloon. Immediately inside is the galley to starboard in a central and handy location. The chef’s domain is well equipped with a Fisher and Paykel four-burner electric cooktop, a full-size Liebherr fridge/freezer, a Panasonic convection microwave and a Fisher and Paykel dishwasher. An electric-lift window allows easy passing of food from galley to cockpit as well as within the saloon.
A little forward on the port side are huge U-shaped lounges around a multi-format dinette table whilst overhead is an electric sliding glass sunroof. The large window areas give outstanding vision for the skipper and guests, and venetian blinds drop down for privacy when required. Stereo systems and a large-screen TV provide entertainment.
The helm position is forward to starboard. The skipper is provided with a superb chair which offers comfort and support and offers a flip-up front bolster to give more room when standing. The throttle/shifts are handily alongside and set back from the wheel so there’s no need to reach. The wheel itself is curiously offset to the right, which is a trifle disconcerting at first but soon forgotten. Two large display screens provide navigation and ship’s systems data. The Simrad package includes twin NSO 15-inch displays, an RS 25 VHF GS15 GPS, a BSM-1 Broadband Sounder, a B258 Transducer, a 4G Broadband Radar and an AP28 Auto-pilot with OP40 Remote.
Beneath the shapely foredeck are two master cabins, one amidships and one up front, whilst a third cabin has a single berth. The owner’s cabin is amidships with an ensuite bathroom. A ‘window’ is positioned so that, in most sea conditions while underway, it’s in front of spray curling up from the chines and thus offering a delightful view of blue waters slipping smoothly astern. At all times, the cabin is light and bright. The other two cabins share a second bathroom, and laundry facilities are included in the single-berth cabin. All three cabins and elsewhere throughout the C53 are air conditioned. The interior is finished to a high standard and is designed for ease-of-use and relaxed comfort.
Power for the C53 is provided by a pair of Volvo Penta D11 in-line 6-cylinder diesels producing 670hp each. They feature high-pressure injectors, four valves per cylinder, a ‘twin entry’ wastegate turbo and an aftercooler plus an efficient electronic engine management system. The Volvos operate through shaft drives and five-blade Nibral propellers to deliver a 30 knot top speed while handling is facilitated by both bow and stern thrusters.
The hull utilises Maritimo’s ‘Advanced Variable Deadrise’ design with the engines a little further forward than usual to obtain a well-balanced centre of gravity. The shafts have a relatively low thrust angle of nine degrees which helps with both effective use of the available power and fuel efficiency. The C53 is ideal for both inshore and coastal cruising and has the space for pleasurable entertaining. There is a continuous flow of comforts all the way from the helm, through the saloon and into the cockpit — and even on down to the beautifully-finished teak boarding platform.
Maritimo C53 Sports Cabriolet
Location: Sanctuary Cove, Qld
Length Hull: 17m
Sleeping Capacity: 5
Generator: Onan 17.5kW
Engines: Twin Volvo Penta D11 670hp
Engine Hours: 680
Designer: Bill Barry-Cotter
BMS Gold Coast
P: (07) 5514 8268
44a The Promenade
Sanctuary Cove QLD 4212