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Fortune favours the brave and bold – An owner’s journey from the M52 to M55

This personal Maritimo journey starts way back in 2009 on the East Coast of the USA. Back then the world was still suffering from the after effects of the Global Financial Crisis. It had hit hard two years earlier, and was described as the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

At the same time, Maritimo was in the early days of its global expansion plans, and had recognised that the USA was a massive opportunity for their young and somewhat unknown brand in that market. A strong belief in their product offering led to a relationship with a dealership in Charleston South Carolina. This resulted in the delivery of one of their brand-spanking new M52s to them in 2008.

As luck would have it for both vessel and ‘soon to be owner’ they crossed paths by chance, and the attraction was immediate. Bill, like most astute boat owners, had done his homework thoroughly. He had owned boats before, and he had also frequented many a boat show. He knew what he wanted and had gone to the dealership to trade up his current boat, a local brand in a thirty-six, to the same brand in a thirty-nine. As Mike Tyson said, ‘Well everyone has a plan until they get smacked in the face!’, and Bill was smacked hard by what he saw in the M52 from ‘down under’.

Bill recalled, “Well, then the economic crunch hit in 2008, and the dealer was having a hard time selling the boat. Nobody had ever heard of a ‘Maritimo’. So, I saw the Maritimo for the first time. I fell in love with the boat and the brand, and the rest is history. We were a little concerned because I went from a thirty-six-foot boat to a fifty-two-foot boat, and my wife and I had long discussions prior to finalising the purchase as to whether we could handle it. My wife Pam had picked out all the finishes and colours for the other boat and then I had returned from the dealership with the news that I hadn’t bought it!”

“It was a hard sell to Pam for a couple of months following, until we did a sea trial,” Bill added.

“Yes, we actually went to Charleston and did a sea trial. The whole time the dealer let Bill drive the boat. He was like a little kid in a candy store. You know, he had a big grin on his face – it never left his face. And, and they let him dock it, and we didn’t destroy anything. So, we figured, well, I guess we can handle this boat!” Pam added.

Bill Barry-Cotter’s design vision and clever execution of the enclosed flybridge on the M52 was about to hit a sweet spot in the American market and this new owner instantly recognised the advantages to become an early adopter.

“From my perspective, the greatest thing about the Maritimos is the enclosed flybridge. To me, that one thing is probably the largest single attribute I like because you’ve got great visibility. You’re in a controlled atmosphere. You’ve got air conditioning and you’ve got heating, and this is the main thing that sold me on that boat.”

Bill and Pam are now onto their fourth Maritimo. The M52 made way for an M50 in 2013, then a M54 in 2017 followed by their most recent model, a M55 delivered in March of 2023. This was after Bill’s visit to the Coomera manufacturing facility in the preceding December.

“We thought the last boat was perfect, but Maritimo keeps tweaking in different ways and improving. However, we know our latest the M55 is really perfect. The enclosed flybridge is even better and it offers us the ability to really use our boat all year round. We feel very comfortable on board and in handling this boat,” commented Bill.

“We’ve been to Savannah and Charleston. We have a lot of great places that can go nearby, you know, for just a weekend, and also three days or so. The kitchen space and location is superb, and you have also the larger pantry space too. The refrigerator is a great size and then outside you’ve got this huge cooler that can be either refrigerator or a freezer,” said Bill.

“We’ve created so many great memories for us, and for others, on our M55. We even hosted a wedding for friends last October at Hilton Head. It was an absolutely picture-perfect, fall day. We had 12 people on board and it was so beautiful and memorable,” Pam added.

“We know the Maritimo brand and what it stands for. You get in a Maritimo and you can see and feel the quality. I’ve been to many, many boat shows and in my opinion, the quality of Maritimo and of our M55 is better than any other brand. I’ve been lucky to visit the factory three times now to see the process and how they are built. It gives you the ultimate confidence to go where you want to go with your boat,” stated Bill.

As far as power plants go the M55 has plenty in reserve as Bill opted for the Scania DI13 900hp V8s on this latest acquisition. Although perhaps not as well as recognised a brand in the States, Bill again did his homework. “I did my research and saw that Scania have a very good reputation and support, and this has definitely been my experience with them,” he said.

“We’ve got a trip coming up in a few weeks to the Bahamas and we’ll be away for about three weeks on board. We’ll head down the east coast to Fort Lauderdale and then straight out to Chub Cay. I’ll have the Scanias at 75-80% and we’ll cruise at 24 knots with good economy and a ton of range. We’re travelling with friends who’ll be on their Maritimo M60. It will be like our own little Maritimo Migration, and we are so looking forward to it,” he added.

Discover more about the M55 here