I ONCE saw Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins climb out of a new Range Rover Evoque, and my first thought was, "phwoah, nice car".
Maritimo's M600 flybridge motor yacht evokes a similar response, especially when viewed from a fishing perspective.
It's an exceptionally attractive vessel that heralds a new-generation Offshore series defined by bluewater performance, long-range efficiency and fishing functionality.
Remarkably, the M600 is one of eight new models launched or announced by Maritimo in the past year, sharing DNA with two sisterships (a 55 and 60) that were developed simultaneously. There were also big shoes to fill, and nostalgia to overcome, in the form of the original 60 . . . the boat that launched the marque in 2004.
First and foremost, there's a huge, encapsulated cockpit that turns back the clock to when outdoor space and fishing were front of mind. A game chair, for instance, can be installed with space behind and in front.
Boarding the 600, it feels like a much larger boat. Maritimo owners place precedence on outdoor living, from the aft platform to the saloon doors. It makes sense, as this real estate is far more useable than the foredeck, being protected and connected.
The hull comes standard without a boarding platform, however the test boat's owners had ticked the option box to carry a jetski. They also specified a mounting plate for a chair, transom livewell, tuna tubes, extra rod holders, gaff lockers, and a massive underfloor kill tank.
Cleverly, the cockpit floor lifts on electric actuators to uncover a garage that can house tackle, dive gear or every water toy imaginable.
Moving forward, a large wetbar incorporates a barbecue plate, sink, and top-loading fridge, along with storage. While the lower cockpit is for reels, the next tier is for relaxation - it's equipped with a forward-facing lounge, L-shaped settee to starboard and another bench to port.
Entering the saloon, lounge and galley proportions are about 60:40, as Maritimo believes there's little point having long-range capabilities if the galley can't cater for the occupants at sea.
The central island is handy for prepping and serving, while also housing a dishwasher. There's an upright Miele fridge/freezer, appliance tower, hob and sink, while to port are a pull-out pantry, additional refrigeration and icemaker. An open atrium lets natural light down to the lower accommodation deck. Here there is a three-stateroom, two-bathroom layout that maximises the 5.2-metre beam.
A king master stateroom is amidships, with panoramic hull windows bringing the outside environment in. It is tastefully and timelessly appointed, cosseting occupants with real luxury. The VIP cabin has an angled queen-sized berth, which you'll appreciate when climbing in or making the bed. You also get en-suite access to the day head.
Underway, the temptation to push for outright speed has been resisted, recognising that mid-range performance and economy is what matters to cruising- and fishing-oriented owners. The M600 saw 32 knots in early testing but the engines were only at 93 per cent load. New props will get that to 34 knots.
Volvo Penta D13 800hp diesels are the standard power, swinging five-blade Nibral propellers. The test boat, however, was optioned up with D16 Scania V8 1200hp diesels and had a 2.5:1 gear reduction.
Evolution is obviously a staple of Maritimo's culture. Few manufacturers in the world were as active, indeed hyperactive, as its in-house team during the height of COVID. Even with the production line at full steam, the office Xerox was working just as hard to keep up with the blueprints.
It's great to see that the M600 keeps the pedal to the metal as the new Offshore series gives sports fishing enthusiasts and bluewater adventurers another beautiful sight to behold . . . a super model in its own right.
CANOES COMING TO LAKE
LAKE Macquarie is in for a triple treat next summer, with three major regattas to be held for the International Canoe class from November to January. We're talking sail-powered, not paddled.
First up is the Teralba Annual Regatta from 26-27 November, followed by a national title to be held at Lake Macquarie Yacht Club (LMYC) from 3-4 December. Then comes the biggie - the XXI IC World Championship from 31 December 2022 to 7 January 2023, again at LMYC.
The International Canoe is the world's oldest sailing dinghy, with origins dating back to the 1860s. The New York Canoe Club Challenge Trophy, established in 1885, is believed to be the oldest international sailing trophy after the America's Cup.
The iconic class maintains a strong following throughout Northern Europe (especially Germany, France and Norway), the UK and US. The fleet also continues to grow domestically, with more than 40 hull numbers having been issued.
Active sailors are based in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Inverell, Jervis Bay, Wodonga, Inverloch and Lake Macquarie.
Sailed solo, today's canoes are exceptionally powerful, fast and exciting to sail and watch in all wind strengths.
At a time when Lake Macquarie City Council is exploring the feasibility of developing a national centre of excellence for high-performance sailing, the IC world championships will showcase the region on the international stage and serve as a catalyst for further elite sailing events.
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