The Vicem Classic 58 is, as her name would suggest, a traditional yacht built to reflect the Downeast style of cruiser, and she’s true to form with her conventional shaft and rudder propulsion system to her interior finished in fine mahogany by craftsmen at the builder’s yard in Turkey. However, this “classic” takes traditional to a new level, as Vicem has built her from mahogany, using cold-molded construction and encapsulating the entire hull in West System epoxy. The result is a hull with a solid feel that sets her apart from the rest of the competitive set of production yachts.
- Cold-molded construction of mahogany and WEST System epoxy
- Twin 725-hp Volvo Penta D11 diesels with conventional shaft-drive configuration
- Hand-built mahogany interior
- Galley-down, three-stateroom, two-head layout
- Extensive mechanical space and lazarette
- Aft-deck galley console with grill, sink, and refrigerator
- Available bow and stern thrusters
- Moveable folding table can serve aft deck or salon
|Length Overall||58′ 0'' / 17.68 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||13.1 sec.|
|0 to 30||N/A|
|Load||5 persons, 1/4 fuel, 1/4 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||83 deg., 78 humid; wind: 6-12 mph; seas: flat|
2 x 725-hp Volvo Penta D11
2 x 800-hp MAN R6 800 CRM
Contents of Report
If the Vicem Classic 58 has one mission, it is to deliver a yacht to boaters who yearn to get away from cookie-cutter fiberglass cruising yachts. With a Downeast-inspired design set apart by all-wood cold-molded construction, she has a three-stateroom, two-head layout highlighted by lavish use of finely crafted wood—virtually impossible to find these days in anything but fully custom yachts. The reason for all of this is that she is built in Turkey where old-world shipwrights still ply their trade. The result is a yacht with a strong, puncture-resistant, a solid feel, a fine interior finish, and a backstory that’s a little more interesting than some of the other production yachts out there.
• All-wood cold-molded construction using mahogany and WEST System epoxy
• Hand-built mahogany interior
• Varnished mahogany aft bulkhead with a pair of wood-framed sliding doors
• All-yacht entertainment system with Fusion stereo-control heads in each stateroom
• Conventional shaft drive propulsion with rudder steering
A Word About Cold-Molding
First, let’s talk about what sets this boat apart from most boats on the market: Cold-molded construction. She’s built on a jig, where her structural members of laminated mahogany are sealed together with epoxy, then covered with strips of mahogany laid down in layers.
The first layer of the hull’s mahogany strips goes on at a minus-45-degree angle, fitted with galvanized boat nails and more epoxy. The next layer goes on at 45-degrees, so it’s at a 90-degree bias from the first. This forms a structure that capitalizes on the lightweight strength of the wood, using its grain as a structural element. Two more layers are added, on the bias to the angle of the last layer, with epoxy and nails.
The Hull is Super Strong
The vulnerability of boats with fiberglass hulls is that they are easily punctured. That is why some builders have solid fiberglass below the waterline – they are more puncture resistant than boats with cored hulls. But the Vicem hull is far more puncture resistant than either one of them because of the multiple layers of cold-molded wood that is encased in the epoxy and fiberglass.
By putting fiberglass on the inside and the outside, Vicem attains the low maintenance advantage of fiberglass. The cold molding of wood in the hull allows the boat to be built without expensive molds being made, and gives remarkable strength to the hull.
Depending on the height of the dock, boarding is via the fixed swim platform or the side deck. The platform measures 4’2” by 15’10” (1.27 m by 4.83 m). The transom is 3’9” (1.14 m) above the platform.
A molded transom door is 24” (61 cm) wide and has a stainless latch, and it swings out on stainless steel hinges. Once open, access to the aft deck is up two steps. The two steps to the aft deck are differing heights with 11” (27.94 cm) and 10” (25.4 cm) risers, respectively. The Glendinning Cablemaster provides automated deployment and retraction of the shore power cable, sealing the cable behind a stainless cap positioned to starboard of the transom door.
The aft deck is finished in teak. Built-in steps to either side simplify access to and from the side decks. Along the transom, there’s a 9’ (2.74 m) long settee that bends around the port quarter with a 3’11 ½” (1.21 m) section along the port bulwarks. There’s an additional L-shaped seat forward to port, and a 25” (64 cm) wide single seat on the starboard side to round out this gathering space. Finely finished solid-wood trim pieces hold the cushions in place. Lockers beneath the cockpit seating across the transom as well as under the side seats to port and starboard keep gear handy yet out of the way.
An aft-deck table measures 29½” (74.93 cm) square and stands on a sturdy pedestal with a teak base. It unfolds to be 59½” (151.1 cm) long, and has a compass-rose-design inlay. Rather than have two fixed tables, one in the cockpit and one in the salon, Vicem created one table that can be moved to either location, or anywhere else.
An aft-deck galley console has a counter that measures 36” by 29” (91.44 cm by 71.12 cm), and flips up on gas-assist rams to reveal a sink with folding faucet and an electric grill.
To get to the foredeck, the side decks are 13” (33.02 cm) wide aft, where a robust stainless steel rail provides security and is 26” (66.04 cm) high. Moving forward, the side decks widen to 22” (55.88 cm) wide alongside the trunk cabin where the rail is nearly 33” (83.82 cm) high. There are wooden handrails along the house top and the trunk cabin.
On the foredeck, an Ultra anchor sits on a stainless pulpit, and is managed with a low-profile vertical windlass. Hatches to port and starboard open wide to offer access to the rode locker as well as stowage.
Entering the Salon
Back on the aft deck, we can enter the salon through double doors made of varnished mahogany and glass. They slide outboard to allow entry to the salon and open to be 5’2” (1.58 m) wide. They can latch open to create an indoor-outdoor feel on nice days. There’s a step with a 7” (17.78 cm) riser up into the salon from the cockpit.
In the salon, the first thing we noticed is, of course, the wood joinery. This is a trademark of Vicem as a yacht builder and they use mahogany veneer and solid wood to capitalize on the skill of its craftsmen in woodworking to make this interior special. The mahogany sole has holly inlay around the edge — something we only see in the best custom motoryachts — and the settees and cabinets are underlit with LEDs. The settees measure 7’ (2.13 m) long on both sides and have drawers beneath.
The salon headroom is the second thing we noticed – it’s 7’ (2.13 m) throughout. The salon is brightly lit from side windows and the windshield forward, in addition to the aft windows and glass doors.
The helm console is at the forward end of the salon to starboard, constructed of finely finished mahogany joinery and placed to starboard forward in the salon, and has a compass mounted atop the console in line with the wheel. The helm deck is a 6” (15.24 cm) step up from the main deck, to give better sightlines.
The helm dash has a pair of 12” (30.48 cm) Garmin GPSMap displays. The next panel down has switches to port that operate the electrical system, such as bilge pumps, wipers and windlass, plus a dedicated autopilot control head. To starboard are the engine throttle and shift levers, the trim tab controls, and the levers to control the bow and stern thrusters.
One of the best features of this helm is the door to the side deck. The door swings forward and latches open for ventilation, but also improves the view when docking, and simplifies the job of managing lines once in the slip.
Opposite the helm to port, is a bar console with stowage for bottles and glasses to facilitate onboard entertaining. The locker abaft the starboard settee houses the Fusion marine stereo and stows the remotes and other media electronics.
Down the companionway, consisting of five steps with 9 ½” (24.13 cm) risers equipped with LED courtesy lights, is the galley. The space has an atrium feel because it’s open to the windshield above for natural light.
The galley has finely finished lockers and high-end appliances, and is convenient to the helm for snacks. Refrigerator and freezer drawers keep food and drinks cold as well as in place in a seaway.
A microwave and locker above are both ready for snack duty, while a pair of drawers expand the stowage for kitchen utensils tools and flatware in between. A four-burner Bosch cooktop is served by an overhead vent fan, and there’s a dishwasher beneath. An underhung sink set in the marble-effect Corian countertop has a view out the hullside window, and below is a locker with a trash can that emerges and opens its lid when the door is opened. A pair of opening portlights add natural light and ventilation.
From the galley we head forward to the master in the bow. The passageway is enclosed in solid mahogany door frames and rounded bulkhead corners. The passageway is 25” (63 cm) wide, and has 7’3” (2.21 m) of headroom. The overhead is painted in gloss white to top off the classic feel.
The master stateroom has a berth that measures 78” head to foot and 66” wide (198.1 cm by 167.6 cm), so it’s wider than a queen-size mattress. The overhead is 7’2” (2.18 m) and there’s 4’7” (1.41 m) of headroom over the berth. The berth has reading lights to either side and sits 30 ½” (77.47 cm) off the deck. Again, the finish includes holly inlays and the rounded bulkhead treatments, something we rarely see on even the most expensive yachts these days.
The master stateroom is illuminated by hullside windows port and starboard and opening ports are placed high, in the sides of the trunk cabin. Lockers to starboard add stowage. A 27” (68.5 cm) flatscreen TV is mounted on the aft bulkhead.
A hatch in the sole provides access to the batteries and connection box for the bow thruster. There’s also a through-hull here with a strainer for the air-conditioning and a pump.
The master head on the Vicem Classic 58 is split, with the lavatory on the starboard side with a Corian counter with basin sink and lockers beneath, and a mirrored medicine cabinet above. Opposite is the standalone shower with an entry foyer for dressing, a bench finished in the same marble-effect Corian, plus a shelf for toiletries. The shower has a wand, an overhead rain head, and a teak grate over the sump for excellent drainage.
Abaft the master and to port is a guest stateroom with over-under berths. A locker has media electronics including a Fusion stereo. Beneath that is a 23” (58.42 cm) flatscreen TV, positioned to be visible from both berths, and a lighted hanging locker with split doors. A nightstand is next to the lower berth. Berths measure 77” (195.6 cm) head to foot by 34” (86.36 cm) wide and the lower has 27” (68.58 cm) of headroom above, while the upper has 28 ½” (72.39 cm). The overhead is 7’3” (2.21 m).
Opposite the port stateroom is the day head, which is shared with the starboard guest stateroom. The joinery is underlit with LED courtesy lights. The shower has an acrylic door and a teak grate, a wand showerhead and a shelf for toiletries. The opening port provides added ventilation. The Tecma marine sanitation device has a locker above with additional stowage.
Starboard Guest Stateroom
The starboard guest stateroom has a private entrance door to the guest head. This double has a pair of berths measuring 77” head to foot by 32” wide (195.6 cm by 81.28 cm), a hullside window, a pair of opening ports high on the ceiling and an overhead of 7’ 3” (2.21 m). There’s a hanging locker with an automatic light and a shelf for media electronics and a Fusion stereo. A pair of drawers round out the stowage. A filler cushion can convert the room to have a single large berth.
Let’s see how she performed in our test. The Vicem Classic 58 has a length overall of 60’ (18.28 m) and a beam of 16’7” (5.06 m). With an empty weight of 59,500 lbs. (9,879 kg), 204 gallons (772 L) of fuel, and five people on board, we had an estimated test weight of 62,139 lbs. (28,186 kg).
With the twin 725-hp Volvo Penta D11s powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 27.3 knots at 2450 rpm. Best economic cruise came in at 1750 rpm and 16.6 knots. It was at that speed that the 31.0 gph (117.3 lph) fuel burn translated into 0.5 nmpg (0.26 kpl) and a range of 352 nm (651 km).
Acceleration from a standing start to plane averaged 13.1 seconds. She exhibited a bit of bow rise with hard acceleration, but nothing unusual.
We brought the Vicem Classic 58 out of the inlet where gusty winds created a mild chop just to run her through some turns and see how she handled in the open water. As we saw in the channel, her sharp forefoot cuts through the waves, and at speed, spray formed amidships and was pushed down and away consistently.
Because there were no substantial seas on our test day, we can’t comment on how she would perform in rough conditions but her cold-molded hull felt solid. Her conventional-shaft Volvo Penta engines responded to the throttle, while her rudders provided good feel as they took commands from the wheel and laid her into some comfortable, inward-leaning turns.
Bow and stern thrusters make things easy around the dock. The helm side door proved invaluable for keeping an eye on the pilings.
Let’s check out what makes her tick. A 26” (.66 m) square hatch in the cockpit down a removable ladder to a lazarette, a roomy utility room beneath the aft deck with a 4’8¼” (1.43 m) overhead. Here we find unfettered access to the steering gear. Open access and labeling makes it easy to lay hands on the stern thruster along with its batteries in a tidy, vented box. Phase Three battery chargers for the starting and house batteries, the shore power cable, and air-conditioning system. Hoses and wiring are neatly run in concert with a fixed fire-suppression system.
The freshwater system is installed here as well with a pair of 115-gallon (435 L) tanks connected to balance the water load and an Isotemp water heater placed for easy inspection. Components such as the pressure pump and fittings are neatly labeled, though the temptation to stow gear in this space may put the plumbing at risk should heavy items shift in a seaway.
Primary access to the engine room is through a door in the forward bulkhead that measures 1’10” by 3’9” (0.56 m by 1.14 m). The engine room has a 5’2” (1.58 m) overhead and houses the two 725-hp Volvo Penta D11 diesels with ZF 305-3A-E transmissions with 2.037:1 gear ratio and conventional shafts as well as the 11-kilowatt Cummins Onan generator.
Access to engine filters and service points is easy, with 2’½” (0.62 m) between the engines, and 1’6½” (0.47 cm) over the mains. The through-hull and strainer for the generator are outboard of the port engine, where there’s 1’7” (0.48 m) of space outboard, compared to 10” (25.4 cm) to starboard.
The exhaust system for each engine doesn’t have a lot of twists and turns to negotiate. Substantial shafts run through Tides Marine Sure Seal shaft seals. The space is lined with sound-deadening perforated aluminum panels and, because so much equipment is installed in the lazarette, there’s not much room for clutter. The batteries are installed neatly in a built-in box.
Through-hull fittings are mounted beneath removable deck panels with inspection ports for viewing the strainers and slots for quick access to the seacock levers, though we’d rather see wingnuts rather than Phillips-head screws holding that panel in place.
Vicem has a good reputation in the marine industry, and it is a company that cares about boat building – it is very much old world in that respect. But the company is as modern as any when it comes to utilizing the latest equipment, building procedures, and installation procedures.
Vicem offers boat owners a pleasant and classy alternative to the every-present Clorox bottle.