I couldn’t have chosen a better day to cross Lake Michigan from Holland, Michigan, to Chicago aboard the Maritimo 50SC. Brian Dekkinga, Erik Krueger — both brokers at Galati Yacht Sales — and I slipped our lines at noon under a cloud-free sky, in calm winds and a temperature of about 70 degrees Farenheit. Our destination was the site of the Chicago In-Water Boat Show at the new 31st Street Harbor — about 100 miles of quiet, comfortable cruising away.
The 50SC’s Volvo Penta IPS power package and careful attention to sound attenuation are responsible for the quiet. I measured just 60 dB(A) at the helm as she idled away from the marina and into Lake Macatawa, the repository for the Macatawa River. Clearing the breakwater and no-wake zone, Dekkinga accelerated the 50SC to a 26-knot cruising speed. She remained quiet, even when we opened the doors to the afterdeck.
Krueger had topped off the fuel and freshwater tanks and loaded our steed with assorted boat-show paraphernalia, stores and personal gear — enough for three nights aboard and four days of the show. The yacht sat a bit low in the water at the dock, so in fairness to her, we decided to forego Yachting’s customary recording of speed and fuel consumption in favor of Volvo’s sea-trial data of this very same boat, while not so heavily loaded.
Sure enough, after we slowed to idle and then accelerated to record the level of sound, our heavy payload kept the engines 200 rpm shy of the
3,600 rpm maximum recorded and the top speed just below 30 knots, 2 knots short of the top speed recorded by Volvo in Australia.
Bill Barry-Cotter, the founder of Maritimo, is also the chief designer. He and his team packed an awful lot of volume into this relatively small package. Placing the engines very near the transom, which is one of the benefits of the Volvo IPS, may have aided the design, but the results exceeded this simple expediency. Regard the master stateroom: Located amidships, it spans the yacht’s full beam and seemed cavernous when I entered. Multiple levels and the queen-size berth at a jaunty angle from the port side contributed to the feeling, but the big portlights in the topsides were my favorite elements. I could have spent hours watching the water rush by. Natural light flooding the stateroom and highlighting the neutral tones of the carpet and upholstery nearly made going topside redundant.
Cozy may be a silly word to describe the ambience of the master, because it’s so large, but I easily pictured myself stretched out on the settee, opposite the berth and a step higher, sipping a single malt and reading The Riddle of the Sands. Up two steps and forward of the bulkhead on the port side is the master head and shower. At this location, the deadrise of the bottom intrudes on floor space but leaves enough for a normally spacious head. The forepeak guest stateroom seemed adequately large, though pinched a little by the hull’s converging forward sections, and it gets light from two portlights in the topsides and two round hatches in the overhead. The single stateroom on the starboard side is perfect for a paid skipper.