Exclusive: Apreamare 16m — By Capt. Bill Pike —
Part 2: I really don’t think there is anywhere in the accommodations area where even a well-fed owner could feel constrained.
Of course the distance to the horizon or the next port of call is not the only vital statistic of serious cruising. The distance between the sole and the deckhead—or from one side of the boat to the other—can be equally important. And the Apreamare 16m is huge. She’s a full foot or more wider than any comparatively-sized trawler yacht, and with her round-bilge form, the hull is extraordinarily voluminous. The layout makes sensible use of the available space: I really don’t think there is anywhere in the accommodations area where even a well-fed owner could feel constrained, except perhaps in the showers, and even those looked fine to me.
The builder offers three standard layouts below decks, and our test boat featured the one I regard as the most versatile: two twin cabins and day heads aft, a master en suite double in the bow, and a big U-shape dinette opposite the galley. The test boat was finished in good-quality, high-gloss cherry, with maple splines in the floor making the accommodation areas seem even bigger.
Headroom is generous, and so is the amount of stowage space. In fact there is so much of it that I had to sit down with my notebook and take stock of all the lockers. Including those under the saloon sole, I counted a total of 27 below, some of them big enough to hide a buffalo. And this doesn’t include the ones in the head compartments or any of the many fiddled shelves.
When you also consider that all the top-hinged locker doors are supported by gas struts, it becomes clear that Apreamare isn’t trying to build down to a price. In fact everywhere onboard you can see where money has been spent, and lots of it: the diameter of the stainless steel handrails, the big steering wheel and footrest at the helm, and the commercial-style waterproof switch gear on the instrument panel, for example. The hinged teak flap over the fuel-fill cap is another nice touch, and bomb-proof deck hardware like this doesn’t come cheap, either. I was also very taken with the varnished mahogany capping on the bulwarks.
On the main deck there is a comfortable L-shape sofa behind the helm station and a wet bar—with more lockers!—across on the port side. Closing the cockpit doors (which at $23,600 are a fairly pricey extra) would turn this area into a cool and bright deck saloon. It is also the main dining area; down below, the sofa seats four to five, but only three or four of them can get around the relatively small table. Up on deck, with the help of two stools, the table seats six in comfort. Out in the cockpit a long sofa follows the curve of the transom, inboard of a raised walkway, which is essentially a continuation of the side decks. You can walk all around this boat without having to step over anyone’s legs, an excellent safety feature. It’s also here that you find the access hatch to the small, single-berth crew cabin in the stern.
We had taken the boat out during the busy Cannes boat show, and all too soon it was time to get back alongside. There hadn’t been a lot of time to savor the moment, but I was left with many favorable impressions of the Apreamare 16m as a capable cruising boat, and it didn’t seem right to be heading back in so soon. C’est la vie.
As for resolving, all those months ago, to spend some quality time on that sofa on the foredeck—well, real life is often a disappointment. The business of boat testing is too beset with notebooks, decibel meters, and fuel-flow computers to allow much time for sitting around with a long, cool drink. And besides, although the French dealer and his crew were charming and cooperative, there wasn’t a pretty girl in sight.
MarineMax ( (800) 732-7297. www.marinemax.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.