The Italian Solaris 47 is intended to meet both sides of the performance-cruiser equation – and reward the discerning sailor.
- Versatile aft cabin options
- Single level living
- Exceptional indoor-outdoor integration
- Luxurious master cabin
It might have been mid-winter, but Sydney turned on a cracker day
for our run down the coast in the new Maritimo X60 sport yacht.
Warm sunshine bathed the X60 at its temporary Pittwater marina berth, where I joined the vessel for the last leg of its journey down the coast to Sydney. The new boat had left the factory in Queensland for a multi-day promotional tour, stopping at ports along the south Queensland and New South Wales coasts on its way to the Sydney International Boat Show.
After Sydney, the X60 was scheduled to head over the ditch to her new owners in Auckland, where this same vessel would feature prominently at the Auckland On Water Boat Show in September.
The X60, released at Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in May, is an important model for Maritimo. The first in the X-Series range, it is the template for the new X50, which will debut next year. The X-Series is causing quite a stir on both sides of the Tasman, as well as in overseas markets: Maritimo reported record sales success at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, which it attributes to the introduction of this model.
The X60 is a sedan-style sport yacht. Sport yachts are a popular configuration in many markets, including New Zealand. On this trip, I couldn’t help but notice just how many sport yachts there are in Australian marinas, so the challenge for Maritimo was to come up with something that was different enough to make an impression in a relatively saturated, highly competitive market. The bluewater X-60 certainly does that.
Hanging at the club
What sets Maritimo’s X60 apart from the rest is the way the aft accommodation is organised. Accessed from the saloon and the swim platform deck, this space can be configured as a Beach Club, a queen stateroom or a 3.2m tender garage, all with ensuite bathroom.
The air-conditioned Beach Club works very well. A full-width electric clamshell door opens to the vessel’s extra-large submersible swim platform, which offers easy access to the ocean. The expansive teak platform is raised and lowered hydraulically.
The aft cabin’s interior is set up like a luxury beach bar with folding bar stools, a marble counter top, a fully-equipped bar with ice-maker, fridge and sink, teak stairs and accents, a huge Samsung flat panel TV above the bar and a high-quality sound system.
Sitting in a bar stool behind the marble bench looking out across the water with the sea almost at eye level, the space feels like a stylishly upmarket sunken lounge. There’s plenty of headroom too – my host, Maritimo’s Tom Barry-Cotter, is almost two metres tall and there was still daylight between his head and the ceiling.
Tucked away on the port side is a bathroom with a shower, toilet and panoramic hull windows. There’s access up to the saloon via companionway stairs on the starboard side. A door off the companionway lets in to the spacious engine room, home to a pair of 925hp Scanias and a whole range of ancillary machinery and equipment.
“We spent a lot of time and energy getting the balance right,” said Tom, “like our race boats, positioning of changeable load such as fuel, water, optional gyros and watermakers are all concentrated towards the hull’s centre of buoyancy to reduce changes in trim under different loads and options.”
Spoiled for choice
Of course, the Beach Club is only one of the X60’s indoor-outdoor entertaining areas. There’s the cockpit as well, shaded by the moulded cabin roof which extends all the way to the transom, and also the expansive foredeck with a sun lounger and forward-facing seats with adjustable backrests.
Stairs either side of the transom lead down to the swim platform and they can also be used with the Beach Club door open. The cockpit features an aft lounger and can include an L-shaped settee on the port side that addresses a removable cockpit table. Extra seating is furnished by folding deck chairs.
To starboard, there’s a fully-equipped outdoor galley with electric cooking surfaces and the second helm station, featuring Twin Disc Express joystick controls to assist with docking, is situated on the port side.
Walk through the X60’s tri-fold glass and aluminium doors into the light-filled saloon, its floor flush with the cockpit, and the impression of spaciousness and chic luxury continues. Aft on the port side, handy to the cockpit, is the large L-shaped galley – all lovely stone counter tops and timber cabinetry concealing a full-size refrigerator-freezer, dish-drawer, a pull-out pantry and an optional wine fridge. Cooking is electric.
A notable feature of the galley is the large island bench, which comes into its own when entertaining, with a handrail along the outside of the bench – great in a seaway.
Opposite the galley, a large cabinet conceals the pop-up 43-inch LED TV and houses the vessel’s entertainment system, drinks drawers and icemaker.
Light and air
A feature of the X-60 is the optional double sunroof – one forward and one aft – fitted to this boat. They flood the saloon with natural light, but shade and insect screens can be pulled across them at any time. Open, they let in air as well, complementing the X60’s sliding vista side windows and the wide-open rear doors. The transition between outside and inside is so seamless it is hard to pick.
The X60’s main helm station is in the saloon. Twin leather-clad helm seats are luxurious and very supportive, including fold-up bolsters, and the rest of the saloon is extremely sociable. A U-shaped, fabric-upholstered settee wraps around a drop-leaf saloon table with a second bench-style settee along the starboard side under the window. Seats afford uninterrupted views through the saloon’s large windows.
The helm console is stylish and thoroughly modern, with plenty of space for large multi-function displays, in this case twin 22-inch Garmins. It also accommodates a pair of Scania engine data displays, a Garmin autopilot, the SS Express panel and thruster controls.
The leather-stitched dash takes its cues from automotive styling, including the wheel. Gauges and displays are clustered into groups, with navigation above, engine data in its own binnacle and the thrusters, Bennett trim tab controls etc. in the middle. Throttle controls are on the armrest, which features a handy glovebox, and polished metal button switches are a feature.
This boat has Vetus stern and bow thrusters, which can be used independently, but also function in combination with the vessel’s propellers when SS Express joystick control is engaged. Mirrored in the cockpit, Twin Disc’s SS Express joystick system affords superb low-speed control for stress-free docking.
Down the wide companionway stairs there’s a light-filled atrium landing and three cabins. Several cabin options are available, but this one works very well.
To starboard, twin single berths, one fore and aft and the other athwartships, makes excellent use of cabin space and ensures generous storage. In the bow a large queen berth is oriented at an angle to make full use of the boat’s generous beam and allow the bed to be fully walk-around – no clambering required. These two cabins share a good-sized bathroom, which is semi-ensuite off the bow cabin, with a separate shower box. A combo washer-dryer is tucked away beside the stairs.
Off the landing down a second short flight of stairs is the loft apartment-style master cabin. Luxuriously appointed, it incorporates an executive leather-topped desk console/make-up vanity, a comfortable bench seat or day bed under the window, stylish bedside tables, a walk-in wardrobe and a sumptuous open-plan bathroom on the port side. The bathroom has the shower and toilet at either end, partitioned off with frosted glass doors and a flat screen TV is fixed to the cabin bulkhead.
The master cabin, in particular, has a lovely open feel, but all three enjoy the benefits of the X60’s distinctive hull windows. These not only look stylish, they furnish the cabins with light and views. Every cabin has windows and ventilation.
The X60 is no slouch when it comes to performance. We had benign conditions for our 30-nautical-mile run down the coast, so we could make good speed. In light-ish spec the X60 motored out of Pittwater at a serene 26.5 knots, burning 100lph per side.
Once out in the open, we dialled up an average speed of 32 knots; at 29 knots the engines were only at 80% load. I noticed the transition onto the plane was not only effortless, there was very little bow lift. The X60 runs level with a bow angle of only 9o and the swim platform lifts well clear of the water when the vessel is underway.
Like the entire Maritimo range, the X60 has a solid GRP hull that incorporates more than a little racing DNA, courtesy of the Barry-Cotter family powerboat racing legacy. Topsides, decks, and superstructure are balsa-cored composite to keep weight down, while structural liners are moulded GRP.
The end-result is a strong, stiff boat that can accept a range of engines, from 725hp Volvos (32 knots) through to optional 925hp Scanias (34 knots). The X60 is 30.5 tonnes dry and 34 tonnes heavy.
According to Tom, the X-Series, of which the X60 is the first, has enjoyed the longest and most extensive R&D programme of any product line in the Maritimo range. As one of its designers, Tom explained the team went for more aggressive styling and more innovative layout spaces to properly integrate the aft cabin.
Comfort, poise and style
Our run from the marina in Pittwater to the marina in Middle Harbour, Sydney took just one-and-a-quarter hours, including the restricted speed sections. Most of it was spent watching the spectacular cliff-girt coastline slip by from the comfort of the saloon, where we enjoyed great sightlines in every direction. The ride was smooth – and quiet too – and for my money the trip was over much too quickly. This is certainly a vessel in which you can cover ground quickly without ever knowing you are doing so.
This vessel is now in the hands of its Auckland owners – the first X60 in New Zealand, but not the last. We can also expect to see its smaller sibling, the X50, which will debut at next year’s Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, very soon. These stylish sport yachts will be hard to miss.