Vic Parcells, who has worked in the boating industry for 40 years as a boat broker and captain in the Pacific Northwest, was facing a dilemma: He had clients looking for raised pilothouse motoryachts, but there were few options on the market newer than 15 years old. Meanwhile, naval architect Howard Apollonio had recently completed the drawings for a raised pilothouse project. He approached Parcells at a boat show, the two decided to join forces, and the Apollonian 52 Motoryacht was born.
Pivotal to Parcells’ and Apollonio’s shared vision for the 52 was practicality. The boat needed to be easy for owners to operate themselves, equipped for cruising and affordable without sacrificing quality construction. Before the project could truly get underway, however, they needed to start from the foundation.
“I refuse to use old molds,” says Parcells. “We built all the tooling from scratch.” The tooling process took upwards of two years to complete, slowing the project down at the start, but the end result was a better product that they were both happy with.
The hull and deck on the 52, which is built in China, are foam-cored and vacuum-infused, constructed with vinylester resin. This makes for a stronger and lighter boat that requires approximately 30 percent less material, according to Parcells. The bulkheads and doors are all either foam-cored or honeycomb-cored for added weight savings, which also means they won’t warp like plywood. This construction, paired with a double-chined hull, reportedly makes the boat efficient with its one power option, twin 425-hp Cummins QSB 6.7s.
Apollonian 52 Motoryacht
“I just went out and sea trialed it with some folks the other day, and at 80 percent load, it’s a 17-knot boat, a little over that. At cruise, it was just a hair under a half nautical mile per gallon, which at those speeds is really good,” says Parcells. The company reports a top end of 21 knots, and if owners throttle back, they can see a 447-nm range at slower speeds with a 10 percent fuel reserve.
The ability to cruise with a bit of speed is especially practical for the Pacific Northwest market, where southeast Alaska is a popular destination. “We have three areas between here and Alaska that are 30 to 60 miles of open water away,” Parcells explains. “In this boat, that’s fine. You get up early in the morning, make that run in 3 or 4 hours when it’s not rough, and you’re done.” In an 8-knot boat, that run will take all day, and boaters will get caught in rough seas when the wind starts blowing in the afternoon.
Aside from the hull design, Parcells says there were four things he always wanted in a raised pilothouse that were incorporated into the boat. The first was a third stateroom that’s actually usable, not just a storage room. Because the 52 has a wide 16-foot, 8-inch beam, there is reportedly plenty of room for two people to sleep and move around comfortably in this space.
The second thing he wanted were wide walkaround side decks so owners don’t have to climb down the side of the boat. “You lose a little bit in interior volume, but not much, and the ease of being able to walk around the boat is well worth it,” Parcells says.
Third was a decent engine room and lazarette combination that makes it easy for owners to do maintenance on their boat. Parcells says you can fit four people in the spacious engine room on the 52, which is easy to enter with plenty of space around the outside of the engines.
Fourth was a day head in the pilothouse that the captain can access from the helm, and so guests don’t have to go downstairs if the owners are entertaining, another practical design detail that makes a big difference when you’re cruising all day.
Down in the accomodations area are a full-beam master stateroom, a VIP stateroom forward, a third stateroom with twin bunkbeds and two heads. The galley features condo-sized appliances, which are installed in the States, and an inverter is standard. The dryer (just outside the master stateroom) and microwave vent overboard and don’t recirculate hot air back into the boat, which mitigates the amount of moisture on board. The main salon is spacious with a 42-inch TV on a lift and Bose surround sound.
Their main focus when laying out the boat was the pilothouse. “You’ve got a decision when you design these boats of where you’re going to put your space,” says Parcells. “We put the volume inside the boat, especially in the pilothouse, because that’s your living space.” A U-shaped seating area and dinette are located directly adjacent to the captain’s chair, so owner/operators can enjoy company while manning the helm, which features a full Garmin electronics suite. The sacrifice is a smaller cockpit, but there is still plenty of outdoor space on the flybridge, which Parcells says can comfortably fit six people.
As affordability was pivotal to this project, I wondered aloud how they achieved cost savings while utilizing high-quality materials, appliances and technology. Parcells’ answer was simple. “By building it the same,” he said. “There are no options. Everything is standard on the boat. By building the boat consistently the same and not getting into custom boatbuilding, you’re able to keep the costs down.”
Building everything the same will also allow Apollonian to ramp up production in the future. While Parcells is only planning on building three or four boats in 2022, he says he could build as many as 15 per year with enough orders, and eventually increase that to two boats per month. In the future, they plan on expanding the Apollonian Yachts series to include 48-, 58- and 62-foot models.
Apollonian 52 Motoryacht Specifications:
Displ.: 48,000 lbs.
Fuel: 500 gal.
Water: 240 gal.
Power: 2/425-hp Cummins QSB 6.7