Aicon 64 — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
— April 2005
An Italian builder’s progressive take on looks and layout may redefine a genre.
What the heck is a “Euro-style” yacht? Oh, I’ve seen the term used in an endless array of boat tests and reviews (I’ve used it myself here and there). I think if a craft has some soft, sweeping lines, elliptical side windows, and shapely soft-leather furnishings, the boat automatically gets dubbed Euro. But is it fair to lump a builder’s vision of a particular vessel into a genre just for the sake of comparison? In the case of the Aicon 64, which comes to us via Sicily, the characterization is anything but what I described above. And she may indeed change all of our expert opinions on what constitutes Euro.
The first thing that struck me about the 64 was her interior. While I wouldn’t call it stark, it is minimalist. Upon entering through her stainless steel sliding cockpit door, which is constructed in-house at Aicon, I found a couple of small chairs flush to port and facing starboard, with a retractable TV between them. The look is attractively understated and contemporary. This area could definitely handle a settee, but I think the form-fitting chairs open up this side of the saloon and complement the starboard-side L-shape lounge. The lounge offers a great vantage point for watching the TV as well as enjoying views out the expansive side windows, which are curved, but not the elliptical shape that has become de rigueur. Aicon’s CEO, Marc-Udo Broich, explained that he wanted to create a bigger interior here and believed that too many contours in design and furnishings take away usable space. It’s this philosophy that led to the 64’s linear look inside. An oak-plank sole (it can be carpeted) offers another textural element that accents the standard high-gloss cherry interior, and together they create a loft-apartment look. (The sole, while just sanded and smoothed while I was aboard, was going to be sealed to prevent spills from turning into stains.) One person that was onboard during my visit referred to her as a “man’s boat,” perhaps due to her minimalist interior appearance. But I’d characterize her as pleasantly clean and uninterrupted. In fact, you can view straight from the 64’s shaded teak cockpit all the way through the saloon, dinette, galley, and lower port-side helm station.
Many builders see the saloon as the indoor party place, but Aicon takes a different approach. “Where do most people gather in a house?” Broich asked. “The kitchen,” I replied. And with that question answered, the 64’s galley-dinette layout was explained. The starboard side’s low-profile island separates the two areas but enables and encourages interaction during the meal-prep. I’ve been on several similar-size and -class craft that enable you to compartmentalize the dinette, galley, and lower helm with doors and screens, but Aicon wanted to open up this space. Broich says that he felt this layout was superior, as many owners at this size craft run the boat themselves and have neither a full-time captain nor chef. Our galley was well equipped, offering a Kenyon four-burner cooktop, Whirlpool dishwasher, Kitchen Aid (soon to be Gaggenau) microwave, and easy-to-clean stainless steel prep table. Despite the area’s minimalism, the glass-topped island and dinette table and the high-gloss joinery reflect the abundant sunlight that enters the side and front windows, creating a warm, upscale environment.
This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.