Aicon 72 Page 3
Aicon 72 — By Capt. Bill Pike
— November 2005
I spent several hours touring Aicon’s manufacturing facility in Sicily and came away seriously impressed with how the company builds the 72. Quite frankly, I’ve never seen a big performance cruiser that was more robustly and beefily put together. More to the point, the 72 is Rina Class-A certified, according to Aicon, and consists of three essential parts: a massive, solid-glass hull (reportedly, the bottom’s approximately 112 inches thick) reinforced with a grid of PVC-foam-cored stringers and transversals; a deck of sandwiched glass and PVC coring that measures almost two inches through; and an intricately tooled, one-piece, PVC-cored superstructure created in a complex, multipart mold. During many plant tours both stateside and abroad I’ve been able to see daylight through the hull sides and cabin sides of the boats I’ve examined—not the Aicon 72!
While thickness alone plays a major role in the weighty strength of the 72, another important factor is integration. The hull-to-deck joint is the best example. It’s sealed first with polyurethane adhesive, then with stainless steel bolts that run through a wide, thick stainless steel band that’s secured inside with big fender washers and locknuts. Finally, wide swaths of secondarily bonded fiberglass are added.
A couple of other aspects that got my attention were: 1.) Aicon itself fabricates most of the polished stainless steel parts for its several models—I examined much of the 72’s inventory and found it to be as stout as the rest of the vessel as well as good looking. 2.) Aicon has a furniture-making heritage, an attribute that became obvious during my look around. So while I’m not able to vouch for the fit-and-finish of our not-quite-complete 72 based on the time I spent onboard, I can certainly vouch for the artisan-grade woodworking that characterizes the company’s facilities, as well as its usage of premium materials, like deck planks carefully milled on-site from whip-sawn teak logs.
My joy ride on the 72 the day she was formally intro’d was both fun and affirming. Every time she charged off a roller at top speed I felt a solid, all-is-one thunk—big-time impressive, sure, but hardly surprising, given what I’d already seen at the plant. —B.P.
This article originally appeared in the November 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.