Gold Coast based professional captain Russell Fleming knows a thing or two about boats and he has just finished his 50th delivery trip between Australia and New Zealand in a vessel he says is one of the best.
Captain Fleming made his momentous 50th crossing in Maritimo’s sleek, new S70 sedan motor yacht and he said the vessel performed well above all expectations.
“We had 25 knots of wind on the bow and three and a half metres seas for about eight hours at one stage in the trip and she handled it beautifully,” said the veteran skipper.
“We then had big following seas and she reveled in those conditions.
“Because she is single level the centre of gravity is quite low and she performs brilliantly in any conditions.”
Captain Fleming, a New Zealander, was delivering the S70 to New Zealand for its owners Brian and Cath Carran who worked with Maritimo for a period of almost two years bringing the boat into fruition.
Their decision to motor the boat from the Gold Coast to their home country was based purely on economics having cost approximately half what it would have cost to ship the vessel across The Ditch.
Brian said they went with Captain Fleming because of his experience and his dogged attention to detail in preparing the boat for what can be a dangerous exercise.
“Russell leaves absolutely nothing to chance and we had great confidence in him delivering our vessel on time and in good shape.”
Captain Fleming said his 50th trip was quite a milestone in more ways than one – it was his fastest ever crossing taking just on 100 hours.
He covered 1178 nautical miles and burned 8500 litres of diesel fuel. Average speed was 12.4 knots. The boat left the Gold Coast at 7am on a Saturday morning and arrived in The Bay of Islands four days later.
Fleming prepared the vessel for the trip at Maritimo’s Hope Island marina and service centre, Boat Masters. Two fuel bladders carrying 1500 litres each were added to the port and starboard side of the vessel and the hydraulic swim platform was removed and put in a container to be shipped to NZ.
He said his two crew on the trip Colin Fraser and Matthew Birdsil operated on a three hours on/ six hours off watch rotation system.
“It was a great trip over and a really good test of the vessel,” he said. “She could not have handled better.”
Maritimo’s Gold Coast CEO, Garth Corbitt, said the Carran’s completed a worldwide search for their perfect retirement boat before settling on the Maritimo. ” They didn’t want a flybridge vessel, but after sea trialling our M70 off the Gold Coast they were won over by its performance and threw us the challenge to build them a single level version,” he said.
“The rest is history and after taking delivery of their vessel here on the Gold Coast, and then doing a six week Whitsunday’s cruise with friends and family, their pride and joy is now safely tied up in Auckland ready for them to have years of enjoyment.
“Brian and Cath were very hands on in the design process and they have customised their vessel to their own style and taste. “We knew it was a winner from the initial design stages and now that Russell has put her to the test over 100 hours and more than 1100 nautical miles our beliefs have been vindicated.”
Brian and Cath Carran plan to use the boat around New Zealand and will then consider venturing further afield to locations such as Fiji and Nouméa.
The vessel is powered by twin 900 horsepower Scania D16 engines.
Captions – Captain Russell Flemming (glasses) on board the S70 with Maritimo’s Graig Jones as fuel bladders were fitted and the vessel was made ready for the crossing at Maritimo’s Boatmasters facility, Hope Island.