The taxonomy of Vicem's yachts would challenge Linnaeus. The company builds two distinct model lines: The Vision line includes modern-styled yachts from 32 to 46 meters, while the Vintage line is further broken down into Classic (Downeast-style yachts), Bahama Bay (vaguely Downeast style, but powered with Volvo-Penta IPS drives) and Cruiser, home of the 78 and her big sister, the 92. Both boats evince the Golden Age of pleasure boating, the immediate post-World War II years when returning servicemen fueled the fast-growing boatbuilding industry. Boats from these years, painstakingly and expensively restored, turn heads at classic boat shows worldwide.
Apparently some of Vicem's 15-person design team decided to go back to the future when creating the 78 Cruiser, combining the looks of those great old classics with modern amenities. (Can you imagine Frank Huckins allowing a swim platform on one of his Fairform Flyers? Or a sun pad?) The extended flying bridge is big enough for both a tender and a PWC, and has a davit to handle them; there's also a Jacuzzi big enough for four people. The boat even comes with stabilizers to smooth out the ride (some classic hulls did have a tendency to roll a bit). We think Vicem has done a wonderful job of combining the elegance of days past with the advantages of today.
Vicem yachts are built in Turkey, using multiple layers of Khaya mahogany held together by epoxy resin. Each layer of planking is set at an angle to the one before, to maximize the structural properties of the wood. This is “cold-molded” construction, and it’s been around for decades. Before fiberglass laminates took center stage, cold-molding was the preferred method for building light, fast boats.There’s no bare wood in a Vicem's hull. Keel, chines, sheer clamps, frames, stringers, deck beams and so forth are all coated with epoxy to keep moisture out. Each layer of planking is coated with epoxy before the next layer is attached, then the finished hull is covered with a skin of E-glass cloth and resin; the bilge and engine room get the same treatment. Finally, the hull is faired with epoxy compound, primed and painted with linear polyurethane paint. The finished hull is as smooth and shiny as any fiberglass boat – maybe more so. Over 100 Vicem yachts have been built using this time-proven construction method.
The standard layout of the Vicem 78 includes four cabins – master, VIP, guest with queen and guest with twins. There are two separate cabins for three crew, which you will need to maintain this yacht as she should be kept. The galley, heads and other amenities are in keeping with a yacht of this size and quality.
Vicem uses top-quality fittings and hardware in the accommodations: Grohe faucets, Bisazza mosaics in the heads (there must be an Italian on the design team). Joinery is light mahogany, set off by neutral fabrics and leather highlights. The designers worked-in large hullside windows to admit light belowdecks, but did so without disturbing the retro styling of the yacht.
Standard power is twin 900-hp MAN V-8 diesels, with 1,100-hp V-10 MANs as an option. We haven't tested the Vicem 78, but the builder claims top speed of 17 knots with standard power, 25 with the bigger engines. That seems like a big jump to us, since the power upgrade is only 22%. The company claims cruising speeds of 14 and 21 knots, respectively, with ranges of 525 n.m. and 460 n.m. slowing to 10 knots bumps range way up. Assuming these numbers are accurate, we'd save our money and stick with standard power: This boat isn't meant to be a speed demon, and we'd probably run her around 12 knots no matter what engines were aboard. We like the longer range lower speed produce, since getting fuel in a boat this size can be a hassle – but then, that's why you hire a captain, so s/he can deal with it.
Pricing and Recommendation
Expect to spend at least $5,696,000 for a 2011 Vicem 78; that's the price Vicem is asking for a standard boat with standard power, with a very nice electronics package that includes an autopilot, radar, 5 Raymarine E120 displays, sat TV and even 6 cameras so you can keep an eye on what's happening all over the yacht. The boat includes both bow and stern thrusters (hydraulic), twin Onan 22-kW gensets – basically, all the bells and whistles you'd expect on a boat like this. We estimate by the time you pay for delivery, commissioning and add a few odds and ends (a tender, etc.), you'll be in for $5.75 million, give or take.
We love this boat, love the exterior styling, the cold-molded construction, the quality of workmanship, the modern interior design, the level of engineering and equipment. But for almost $6 million you can do a lot of shopping, and we recommend you do so. Even so, we think you'll keep the Vicem 78 on your wish list; it will stay on ours.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!