Vicem Yachts Cruiser 67
The smallest yacht in the Turkish builder’s cruiser line, the 67 sacrifices none of the builder’s handcrafted construction methods.
Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but like the sun setting on a remote anchorage, Vicem’s handcrafted mahogany interiors are objectively beautiful. Take a look. It’s hard not to stare. What you’re seeing is the new Cruiser 67, the first yacht in Vicem’s cruiser range with a hull length under 70 feet. But even though the 67 is closer in size to their entry-level offerings, the attention to detail is everywhere: in the mix of dark and light brightwork in the cabinetry, the book-matched vertical lines running along the bulkheads illuminated by LEDs and the robustness built into the base of the berths. This is real mahogany; Vicem assures me they don’t cut any corners.
“Because we build it by hand, we’re able to do it,” becomes a common refrain when speaking with Noelle Semmes, director of sales for Vicem Yachts. The Turkish builder is technically a semi-custom operation, but handcrafting every part gives owners a ton of advantages when customizing. All design is done in-house, and they routinely add modifications to overall height and headroom. They let their clients decide what each layout will ultimately become. “There’s nothing you can ask us that we’re going to say no to,” says Semmes for emphasis. Personalizing spaces is her favorite part of the job.
Gallery: Vicem Yachts Cruiser 67
Following the other models in the cruiser line, the 67 is a pilothouse motoryacht with an additional flybridge helm station. Hull number one can comfortably sleep six in three staterooms, all en suite: a midship full-beam master suite, a forward VIP (that could be the master suite if the owner so desires) and a guest cabin with twin berths. Though the 67 was built with a self-sufficient cruising couple in mind—say, for those interested in the Great Loop—it also comes with crew quarters. All the way aft, located next to the engine room is a crew cabin with bunk beds, a separate galley and head. However, this space could also be outfitted for children or grandchildren.
According to Semmes, there are two big misconceptions about Vicems: 1) these boats are constructed solely from wood, and 2) that yard visits in Turkey are dangerous. Together, they give detractors the ability to spew ignorant warnings like “You don’t want a wooden boat built in Turkey.” The first misconception has to do with Vicem’s cold-molded construction methods. Wooden boats may bring to mind rot and weaker structures. In fact, cold-molded—or in Vicem’s case, epoxy-infused mahogany bonded at 90 degree angles—allows for higher strength-to-weight ratios than building solely in fiberglass. And with an outer shell of fiberglass, their yachts are technically hybrid composite builds. “As far as the water sees, it’s a fiberglass boat,” says Semmes. “The Coast Guard considers it a fiberglass boat when they’re doing their documentation because the outer layer is fiberglass.”
So why doesn’t everybody (outside of Turkey and the Carolinas) build them this way? “It’s very, very expensive to do it well,” Semmes says. However, like the rest of Vicem’s range, the cost of the 67 is kept in check by low Turkish labor rates.
Going back to their emphasis on personalization, if someone wants one of their models built solely in fiberglass, Vicem will do it. “There are going to be some people that no matter what we tell them, they’re never going to change their mind. And that’s perfectly fine; we’ll build them a fiberglass boat,” says Semmes. “But I can say, when the owner of the shipyard builds his boats, he builds cold molded. And he can choose either way.”
The second misconception, that Turkey is dangerous to visit, is due in part to the constant barrage of news from the area. From the builder’s primary shipyard in Istanbul, in northern Turkey, it’s approximately 1,200 miles to the Syrian border. (Istanbul is located on the Bosphorus Strait that connects Europe and Asia; its closest neighbors are Bulgaria and Greece.) If that distance alone doesn’t assuage the fears of prospective owners, Semmes, who is based in Annapolis, is available to go to Turkey with any U.S. client. Vicem has drivers that pick them up from the airport, and they can stay near each other in the same hotel. After that, a driver will take them from the hotel to the yard and vice versa.
As an added incentive, Vicem offers every owner the opportunity for a shakedown cruise in the Med. (Who doesn’t have that on their bucket list?) Through Vicem, local captains are available that know the area and speak the language. “You have the opportunity to stay on your boat in Europe before you have it shipped,” says Semmes. Shipping the boat to the U.S. is also included in the price, so there are no hidden fees.
As for performance, the 67 is fitted with a pair of 1,000-hp Volvo Penta D13 diesel engines that, according to the builder, deliver a top speed of 22 knots and cruising speed of 14 knots. The vessel holds a CE Design Category “A” designation for seaworthiness, meaning it was designed to withstand winds over 40 knots and significant wave heights above 13 feet. Combined with an economical range of 2,200 nm at 8 knots and a range of 875 nm at cruising speed, the 67 can fulfill the most ambitious cruising goals. Being surrounded by sumptuous styling elements, like rich mahogany woodwork, certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Vicem 67 Specifications:
Displ. (full load): 123,238 lbs.
Fuel: 2,110 gal.
Water: 300 gal.
Power: 2/1,000-hp Volvo Penta D13
Base Price: $3.5 million