Topside, the open plan from helm to transom makes this 50-footer a fine platform for entertaining. Glass doors open the afterdeck to the salon. On the port side, a single swing door of conventional size lets folks pass to and from the salon. To create a wide-open inside/outside area, simply fold back the bifold door on the starboard side. Hanging out on the afterdeck gets a person a little windblown when the boat’s at planing speeds, but the noise isn’t objectionable. I could easily imagine dinner at the big table aft as the Maritimo creeps along at displacement speed in flat water.
In the salon, the L-shape settee is a perfect spot to lounge with a book, gather for conversation or watch a movie on the flatscreen TV. Pushing a button summons this device from its hiding place in the cabinetry on the starboard side.
Most important to the success of parties aboard is having the galley in the after starboard corner of the salon — in the middle of the fun. The Kenyon gas grill in the cockpit’s entertainment module may add to the menu’s variety. The module also contains a freezer and a sink. The little dishwasher beneath the microwave eases the pain of cleanup.
|TEST CONDITIONS: Sea-trial data was compiled by Volvo. Two-way average speeds were measured by GPS in the waters off Coomera, Queensland, Australia, in winds of 5 to 10 knots, with two people aboard, 100 percent fuel and 40 percent water. Sound levels were measured at the helm.|
Probably the most astonishing element of the 50SC’s arrangement plan is the dinghy garage. The company’s research showed that yachtsmen have begun to consider this amenity an essential in increasingly smaller yachts. At 50 feet, this Maritimo seems to have pushed the limit, but the execution is no less brilliant. The dinghy garage is above the engine room, accessible via an electrically powered hatch. To launch the tender, simply pull it from the garage onto the articulated swim platform and lower it into the water. As unique as the design is, it makes getting into the engine room a little difficult, proving that squeezing a quart of features into a pint of yacht has its compromises.
Fluid lines wrap the 50SC’s most appealing interior in a well-proportioned shell — one that combines automotive themes with traditional yachting elements. The plunging sheer line and shape of the windows in the house visually extend the yacht’s length, and the extended roofline elevates the profile a step or two above a typical express boat.
Like every IPS yacht I’ve driven, the Maritimo tracks as though she were on rails, making the autopilot seem unnecessary — at least in relatively smooth water. This yacht rides on a warped-plane, V-shape bottom of moderate deadrise at the transom. Although we didn’t have any seas to speak of, Krueger says that his experience aboard her in rougher waters proved that she’s a good sea boat. The parallel thrust of the IPS, as opposed to the down-angle thrust of shafts and props, caused the 50SC to run at about 6.5 degrees bow up with neutral tabs. This in no way limited my sight lines from the helm, nor did it affect the boat’s speed during my time aboard. She responded instantaneously to steering input, dipping her inside shoulder in tight turns and losing almost no speed — this behavior is also a result of IPS drives and a well-shaped bottom.
Is this the perfect midsize yacht? It may very well be for those folks who like high style, entertaining friends and cruising in comfort. And who doesn't?