We cruised toward our lunch stop—we were all about the next meal—navigating the twists and turns that make up the Pittwater. The line of sight was good. The only blind spot was from the dayhead, in the aft starboard quarter, but with an extra strain of the neck, the problem was solved. The helm is equipped with Simrad's Glass Bridge, providing a clean, clutter-free presentation. I would add two wipers for the outboard panels of the windshield.
Maritimo designs their boats with a concentration on cruising functionality and then on styling. The simple systems, redundancy, and ease of handling of the 73 mean that a knowledgeable cruising couple could easily handle her. For example, there are two Muir windlasses—one is hydraulic and the other is electric. If one system fails, the other should be available. Waste and plumbing manifolds are designed to bypass an area if there is a problem without shutting down the system.
I've tested a few Maritimos and the attention to detail in the engineroom is always superb. Everything is easily serviced, easy to understand, and simple. A single fuel tank runs across the centerline at the forward end, keeping the weight at the center of buoyancy. A 3.6-meter tender is stowed under the cockpit, and can be deployed with a davit. If you prefer, the space could be finished off as crew quarters.
While cruising up the coast from Sydney to the Pittwater in a large ocean swell, the 73 revealed her superb running characteristics. At 50-percent load, the 1,500-horsepower Caterpillar C32 diesels settled in at a comfortable 21.5 knots. We pushed the throttles forward to 2050 rpm, or 70-percent load, and hit a speed of 27.3 knots. She can cruise all day long at this speed. At 2300 rpm we found a top speed of 32.0 knots. "That's about a knot slower than we've had before," commented Luke. I don't think he needed to apologize. At 80-percent load, we were still seeing 30 knots over ground, with no tab applied. She settled into a nice, easy motion over the swells, and the power assist steering was tight and responsive.
At this writing, the 73's base price with Caterpillar C32s is approximately $4 million. In today's market, this represents a heck of a value considering the interior volume, equipment, and quality of the 73. It's an even better value when you consider she has a LOA of almost 82 feet.
We spent our last evening aboard at the dock in Newport, north of Sydney, enjoying steak night at a local pub. Walking down to the dock with a belly full of red meat, I gazed at the stylish profile of the 73 as she tugged at her lines. I could tell she was anxious, and not happy with the constraint of docklines. It's not part of her DNA. Like her countrymen, the 73 is designed to cruise—in any hemisphere.
Maritimo USA, (425) 614-2628; www.maritimo.com.au