Every afternoon at just before sunset in Tuzla, Turkey, a small town approximately 15 miles outside of Istanbul, loudspeakers summon Muslims to Magrib, or sunset prayer. If you were just offshore in the Sea of Marmara at this time, the prayers coming from the loudspeakers would certainly float over the onion-shape minarets of the city’s numerous mosques to reach your ears. Looking towards the shore, with the sun setting over the ancient boatbuilding city, would surely be an awesome sight.
It would also be a stunning setting in which new customers could sea trial a new Vicem. Indeed, says Dave Mallach of Down East Yachts, Vicem’s U.S. distributor, “We [often] take owners on their maiden voyage at this time of day.” Mallach explains that when the owners of Hull No. 1 of the 67 Flybridge visited Vicem’s Tuzla factory, they were ecstatic with their boat and mesmerized by the local color that Turkey offered. They were equally enthralled with the spirit of Salah—an Arabic word that describes spiritual relationships and interactions and how they are communicated—and the way in which it makes the jump from religion to first-rate boatbuilding at Vicem.
The setting for my sea trial, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was not quite as exotic as the waters off Asia Minor, though I doubt I’d have noticed the scenery no matter where I was after stepping aboard into the 67’s saloon via a mahogany and glass sliding door. Salah is said to use intense concentration to obtain harmony and accord, and those characteristics are reflected in the 67’s saloon: Occupying the entire 18'5" beam, its mahogany interior is simply astonishing. Honey-colored mahogany soles with sapele pommelle inlays play beautifully off the high-gloss Epifanes varnish of the dark, solid-mahogany cabinetry. In fact, most of the mahogany aboard is solid, with the exception of some of the larger bulkheads, which utilize veneers. Light from three big, forward-facing windows and four side windows, two of which slide open, and more than seven feet of headroom make the saloon open and airy.
While the mahogany is gorgeous, the artisanship applied to it places the Vicem’s saloon in elite territory. A credenza that graces the saloon’s port side features curved mahogany doors that open to reveal two sliding drawers stocked with wine glasses. To fill those glasses, another cabinet here houses a glass-front, 26-bottle wine cooler. And like nearly all the custom cabinetry aboard the 67, each cabinet door is louvered. This not only looks great, it allows for air circulation in spaces that are prone to mold. An optional 42-inch LCD TV (a 20-inch is standard) rises from the aft portion of the credenza and is easily viewable from the upholstered settee to starboard.
In addition to Vicem’s meticulous craftsmanship, the ability to work with a semicustom builder was a big selling point for the owners, says Mallach. This is revealed in two ways: in the 67’s interior decor and the design of her well-equipped galley.
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