At last year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Vicem, the Turkish builder of cold-molded mahogany boats, presented its new 52-foot Classic Express. (The cold-molding process purportedly produces parts that are stronger and lighter than conventional fiberglass ones and involves laminating layers of wooden veneers then saturating them with resin). The 52 has a modified V-hull and traditional Downeast lines for which Vicem is known. Senior Editor Capt. Bill Pike and I toured her, and as we climbed aboard, we both remarked on what a pretty boat she seemed to be.
The first thing I noticed was, of course, the woodwork: a teak swim platform and an all-teak cockpit that sports a mahogany dinette and L-shape settee at the stern. Here there are three hatches in the cockpit sole, one for access to the engine room on centerline, the other two for stowage lockers.
When I stepped through the sliding-glass doors into the saloon, I was surrounded by more mahogany. A settee and dinette lie to port, and there's a second L-shape settee to starboard. Both were covered in optional leather upholstery. The saloon is open and airy with an unobstructed 360-degree view. And with the touch of a button you can open the power sunroof so you can catch some rays without having to go outside.
The helm, forward and to starboard, has a benchseat and the same mahogany motif as the saloon, except for the six-spoke teak wheel, which provides a nice contrast in tone. The 52, which is the first Vicem Classic with a door to the side decks, comes standard with a Raymarine electronics package that includes an E-Series chartplotter, ST60001 autopilot, and ST60 depth and speed displays.
Below I found the galley to port, full of—you guessed it—mahogany cabinetry. It comes equipped with a Bosch microwave oven and stove, Indel refrigerator, and U-Line ice maker. The countertops are Policor, an acrylic-based material that is reportedly both lightweight and easy to clean.
Opposite is the sole guest stateroom, a snug space with two single berths and a 15-inch LCD TV. Farther forward along the centerline passageway, the master stateroom features a queen-size island berth and 20-inch LCD TV. Both staterooms have en suite heads with enclosed showers, mahogany soles, and more hand-crafted cabinetry that provides plenty of stowage.
In standard form the 52 is powered by twin 645-hp Cummins diesels, which Vicem says produce a top speed of 35 mph and a range of 300 statute miles at a cruising speed of 28 mph. Twin 800-hp MANs are available for an additional $52,000. With that kind of performance and her classic style, the Vicem 52 should turn heads whether she's navigating the Turkish Straits or Buzzards Bay.
For more information on Vicem Yachts, including contact information, click here.
This article originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.