The decor is by Sandy Mitchell Designs, and it is Mitchell, now Mrs. Brock, and her husband, former U.S. Senator Bill Brock, who are the owners of the 67 I am aboard. Because they reside in Annapolis, Maryland, the 67’s style is Chesapeake classical rather than trendy. Mrs. Brock smartly allowed the mahogany interior to take center stage, choosing subtle colors for the settee, bedspreads, and pillows, except in the four-berth starboard stateroom that’s reserved for the grandchildren, obviously fans of the vibrant hues and bold prints of Lilly Pulitzer.
The Brocks love to entertain and cook onboard their yacht, and nowhere was this more apparent than in the 67’s galley. Three steps down from the saloon and to port, it’s a distinct space that’s also within easy conversation range of the saloon. Its array of high-end appliances would make Wolfgang Puck envious: A Wolf steamer and two-burner cooktop are set in a cream-colored marble countertop and flanked by a stainless steel sink that’s deep enough to fit a tall colander of pasta. Stainless steel appliances—a Miele microwave/convection oven, a full-size Jenn-Air refrigerator/freezer, and a Fisher & Paykel drawer-style dishwasher—contrast nicely with the high-gloss mahogany of both the backsplash and cabinetry. There’s an abundance of stowage as well, and for those bleary-eyed mornings that often follow a lively evening of entertaining aboard, a slick Jura Capresso automatic coffee/espresso maker is recessed into a drawer near the oven.
Although the spirit of Salah was obvious in the 67’s layout and design, I wondered how it would translate during an offshore wring out. Unfortunately, an early-morning breeze that was blowing the flags stiffly at my hotel had waned, so while conditions offshore were gorgeous for cruising, they weren’t ideal for a sea trial. Still, as I put the 67 through the paces from the flying bridge, some attributes shone through.
The first of these is the location of the starboard-side helm. Sightlines are excellent on three sides although somewhat limited aft—I’d add a docking camera just above the aft deck for this purpose. I also found both the optional Northstar 6000i and Furuno NavNet chartplotters here easy to read at a glance under full sunlight, while still keeping my focus on the horizon.
Optional power for the 67 is twin 1,100- or 1,360-hp MANs. But with the standard 900-hp MAN V8s, our 67 performed admirably, with a top end just less than 30 mph at 2300 rpm and a cruise of 27 mph. I found the smooth and responsive single-lever ZF electronic controls a great match. While she took about five boat lengths to come around during high-speed, 180-degree turns, her helm response was nearly instantaneous. Additionally, from a dead stop to WOT, my test boat saw a running angle that never exceeded 4 degrees.
As I steered the 67 through the crowd of boats and ships in Port Everglades Inlet, I reflected on her unusual pedigree. In fact, for a moment, as I stood at the helm and looked to the south over the four red-and-white towers of a powerplant, I swore I heard chanting being carried in on the light breeze.
Of course, it was my imagination—or maybe it was the spirit of Salah infused into the Vicem’s cold-molded mahogany hull.
Down East Yachts (631) 418-2700. www.deyachts.com.
Gear on Board >> Electronics
The owners of the 67 decided to update the two helms with a wealth of optional electronics in lieu of the standard Raymarine E-series package. Each station includes: a Northstar 6000i radar/chartplotter; Furuno NavNet radar/chartplotter/fishfinder; Simrad AP25 autopilot; Icom M602 VHF; B&G h1000 tridata display; SidePower bow and stern thruster controls; and Jabsco searchlight controls. Why the redundancy of two chartplotters? Ask a captain who’s lost his electronics in bad weather; a backup is always welcome.
Spotlight on | Construction
A mere glance at the 67’s standard and optional features and her price, and you’ll see how building in Turkey works in Vicem’s favor. However, an attractive price does not mean that these Downeast-style boats are built on a budget.
Vicems are cold-molded and built jig-up, using four layers of 3/8-inch mahogany planks, each layer set at alternating angles for maximum strength and saturated with West System epoxy. This is followed by E-glass, fairing compound, and finally Awlgrip. Stringers are composed of up to 30 layers of mahogany strips, fiberglass encapsulated.
The upshot is a cold-molded mahogany hull that is purportedly stronger, stiffer, and lighter than fiberglass, with excellent sound-insulation qualities. I took a saloon reading of 61 dB-A at 1000 rpm (65 dB-A is the level of normal conversation), meaning those big diesels were just a whisper beneath my feet.
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