Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofThe Vicem 46 IPS represents the latest in the company’s line of IPS-powered boats. She’s also among the first made from fiberglass, rather than cold-molded mahogany. She has the traditional look of a classic Downeaster, and inside, her fit and finish is all yacht quality, but even we have to admit that it’s beyond what we’ve seen in most yachts we’ve reviewed. Her two-stateroom/two-head design makes her ideal for a coastal cruising owner/operator couple.
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Overview. One of the things that separates the Vicem (pronounced Vee-Chem) 46 IPS from other boats the company builds is that it’s a fiberglass and composite core hull, where the company normally builds using cold-molded mahogany. It’s also among the first they’ve built using IPS propulsion.
What separates the 46 IPS from others in class is the astounding level of fit and finish seen throughout the boat. The brand is practically synonymous with intricate woodworking and the 46 IPS showcases that to perfection.
Outwardly, she has the classic look of a Downeast design with a sharp entry and graceful tumblehome, a surprising feature coming from a boat manufactured in Turkey. Wide plank teak is used on all exterior decking. Inside the deck is mahogany and patterned inlay holly.
For entertaining, there are two main gathering areas on the main deck, both separated by intricately designed and well-executed sliding doors separating the interior and exterior.
Vicem 46 IPS features
Because of her Downeast design extending the coaming sides well aft, we board from the teak-covered swim platform that extends 3’6” (1.07 m) from the transom.
The aft deck is accessed from the port side transom door, and as if to flaunt the little details of the finish work we’re about to be impressed with, the stainless rubrail is custom etched. Storage is right alongside and this makes an ideal place for lines.
The aft deck represents the first of two main gathering areas, and it is roomy and comfortable, with seating consisting of an L-shaped sofa to starboard that surrounds a beautiful teak table with well-executed inlay work. As expected, it folds to better allow entry and exit from the seating and it’s mounted to a free-standing base, allowing it to be moved to various locations, as we’ll see shortly.
Storage is under all seats. The teak decking from the swim platform continues in to this deck. A cabinet with storage is to the forward end. To port, the cabinet houses an electric grill with a refrigerator beneath. A seat is alongside with storage underneath.
Overhead is a retractable awning that provides welcome shade to the aft deck.
We enter the salon through sliding glass doors that open double wide. It’d be easy to just use stock stainless-steel-framed doors as they came from the manufacturer and leave it at that, but as is typical of Vicem, this boat is loaded with quality fit and finish that starts here. Not only are these doors wood framed, they are also interconnected with belts, so they all open smoothly and evenly, instead of one hitting and dragging the next one along. There are several features that we noticed on this yacht that we don’t even see on mega yachts, and this setup is among them.
Inside the salon, headroom was measured at 6’11” (2.11 m), among the highest in class. To port is an L-shaped sofa wrapping around the same movable pedestal table from the aft deck. When folded, the table also includes integrated beverage holders. With it removed back to the aft deck, the space opens up for larger gatherings.
Fit and Finish
We simply can’t continue without giving a nod to the stunning woodwork. It’s clearly paramount at the Vicem yard and the dedication to the craft can be seen virtually everywhere. Overhead, the mahogany trim continues, and we noticed around the hatches how the trim is fabricated from single pieces of steam bent wood. Apparently, just fitting the Bomar hatches into place wouldn’t do. Additionally, the eyes are drawn to the intricate cuts where the side trim meets the woodwork of the hatches.
The cabinetry is equally well executed with patterned doors and perfect joinery. All of this veneer is all 1.7 mils thick, so if need be, it can be sanded down multiple times and refinished. Heat and air conditioning vents are concealed behind valances. Vicem thoughtfully included accessibility to the Sure Shade mechanical components. Decking is a combination of mahogany with holly trim.
To starboard is a credenza with, an included backgammon board with inlaid wood custom made by Vicem. Inside is an icemaker, AV components and storage. Behind is the TV on an electric lift. A watertight door is adjacent to the helm, and even that gets the quality treatment from the wood finishing department.
Before heading below, notice the framed companionway trimmed in a single piece of finished curved mahogany that makes a clean joint to the end pieces… and this dedication to the craft is just everywhere…
As we head down below, we’re first greeted by an open-air atrium with the galley over to the port side. Storage is under the stairs with water manifolds easily accessible behind a set of doors to the aft bulkhead. The galley includes plenty of storage behind cabinet doors with patterned grain woodwork… a microwave is at the aft bulkhead. Just below is a refrigerator. Corian counters include a two-burner cooktop and a single basin stainless steel sink.
There’s an opening portlight for ventilation above the stove. A hull side window adds more natural light.
One thing we did notice, however, is that everything closes with a push to click and opens the same way. This means that leaning against a cabinet meant opening it as well. Locking mechanisms would be a better solution here.
The master stateroom is forward, and claustrophobic it is NOT, as we measured a ceiling height of 6’10” (2.08 m). Ahead is a 6’8” x 5’4” (2.03 m x 1.63 m) island berth with access to both sides.
Storage is below and to the hull sides; Vicem did a nice job of combining embedded windows and storage solutions. LED reading lights are to both sides of the forward bulkheads.
Decking is a continuation of the mahogany and holly from the main deck, as is the patterned-grained doors to the cabinetry. And overhead, we’re seeing more of the same treatments from the Vicem wood finishing department. Inside the hanging locker we usually see cedar laminate tossed in, but here the careful dedication to the craft continues instead. Even the heat and air vents weren’t spared the quality woodwork that seems to now be the hallmark of the brand. Above the berth is a single piece of curved wood with mahogany trim work.
The inside of the door is a full-length mirror and alongside is the private entrance to the ensuite head. Inside, no surprises to see that yet another space wasn’t spared the attention to detail of the woodworking department with mirrored cabinetry, patterned doors… there’s a vessel sink atop a Corian counter, and look at the quality of this mahogany-framed shower door. Not even mega yachts take the time to build a custom door like this with curved top and stainless hardware. Inside, there’s teak grating over the shower deck.
The guest stateroom is located to starboard. It features a set of twin berths. Individually, they measure 6’8” (2.03 m) head to foot by 2’2” (0.66 m) wide and a filler cushion converts them to a single berth 5’4” (1.67 m) wide. The overhead geometry varies, with a height ranging from 6’10” (2.08 m) to 6’6" (1.98 m). The deck is a continuation of the mahogany and holly with a gloss finish.
Just ahead is a private entrance to the guest head. Small but functional, there’s storage behind a pair of mirrored doors… a vessel sink is below with storage beneath. A curtain partitions off the shower and toilet. This also serves as a day head, with a second entrance leading to the main companionway.
Vicem 46 IPS Test
We’ll begin by getting right underway. To start the 46 IPS, we first power up the ignition system, and then we can activate and start both engines.
The Vicem 46 IPS has an LOA of 46’ (14.02 m), a beam of 14’9” (4.5 m) and a draft of 2’4” (0.71 m). With an empty weight of 34,998 lbs. (15,875 kg), 40% fuel and five people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 37,523 lbs. (17,020 kg).
With the twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS 600s spooled up to 3400 rpm, our speed maxed out at a comfortable 24.6 knots/28.3 mph. Now, truth be told, we did notice that the tacks spilt as the rpm got over 3000. The port engine wasn’t producing full power, and we suspected a filter change might be in order. That notwithstanding, best economic cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 20.3 knots/23.4 mph. But just barely, as the 25 gph fuel burn translated into 0.8 nmpg and a range of just over 366 nm, while any setting on down to 2250 rpm maintained that 0.8 nmpg economy. So basically, set the speed for the prevailing conditions.
But as is typical of a coastal cruiser, slower is always better, and backed off to 15 knots/17.3 mph or so gave her a stately feel: the definite look of a downeast cruiser. As for her handling, it can only be described as sedate. No amount of heavy handedness will have guests scrambling for safety as she makes the wide sweeping turns characteristic of IPS drives. At full speed, she’ll come around 360 degrees in 1 min. 10 sec. and an estimated five boat lengths. She took our 1’ chop quite sedately with the best of her handling being on the beam or following seas. Head on, she had a marginal hull slap, but only at the upper end of the speed curve. We only took spray when making a concentrated effort to do so. And she steers with a light touch on the helm.
She does have a bit of a bow rise in her acceleration curve until about 20 knots/23 mph, and the design team is countering that by moving the water and fuel further ahead after this hull #1. We do like how the rails curve upward, so at all speeds, you’re looking through those high rails as opposed to having them block the vision from the helm. And clearly Vicem’s dedication to finish work is not limited to the interior.
Docking was also a non-event, as the joystick functionality of the pod drives makes short work of even our crosswind docking, with a fast moving current also trying to shake things up. Of course, the 46 IPS was having none of it, and we managed to execute a precision docking with no problem. It was made even easier with the full-length visibility afforded by the opening side door and its proximity to the joystick. It also makes it easy to tie the 46 IPS up single-handed, or here, as a single breast line is handed off to Capt. Steve for securing to the midship cleat. For a portside docking, we can also look out the hull side window at the galley.
The helm is stunning, with the glass dash concept focusing on twin multi-function displays at the top of the console. Wood trim surrounds the aluminum and silk-screened panels, with faux wood laminate giving a maintenance-free appeal to the good looks the console displays. The lower panel is dedicated to switching and controls.
To the left are rocker switches with indicator lights to show when they are active. Below is the spotlight remote. Moving to the right, at the top are breaker switches. The ignitions are below, and at the bottom are the trim tab rockers. At the center are three gauges giving readings at a glance of freshwater, fuel and blackwater levels. The rest of the gauges are embedded into the touch screens above. Additional breakers are to the right, and below those are the IPS joystick and Volvo Penta digital engine controls with their attendant options. Further below is the VHF. The steering wheel is mounted to a tilt base.
We’d like to see heat and A/C vents to the sides, but we do have opening hatches above, along with the opening side door that allows plenty of air through the entire deck. Visibility wise, the mullions are fairly wide, and we’d recommend sliding the curtains off and stowing them when operating. A raised platform is 5” (12.7 cm) off the deck and aids us vertically-challenged operators. A brow extends from the overhead to shade the windshield and reduce glare at the helm.
The seat is a 39” (99.1 cm) wide bench with a single cushion that we’d like to see wrap down around the front side. Individual flip-down footrests are a welcome addition. Beverage holders are made of wood. Storage is under the cushion and in two drawers to the side.
The engine room is accessed from a hatch in the aft deck. Steps lead directly between the two engines. Inside are the twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS 600s. We have easy access to all sides of the engines… pod drivers are connected directly to the engines, making them equally easy to access…everything is labeled well and there’s virtually zero clutter of components. The single fuel tank is forward with a sight gauge showing the level. Filters are mounted directly to the tank.
There are no real steps to the side decks, but we either remove the cushions or step right on them. A grab handle is conveniently located. At the stern, the width is 14” (35.56 cm) with a rail height of 18” (45.72 cm). A mahogany grab rail is fixed to the top of the cabin. We’d rather see one along the side for easier reach. At midships, the width of the deck opens up to 22” (55.88 cm) with the rail height increasing to 24” (61.96 cm). Midship cleats are blending in to a void section in the toe rails, and the formed mounts to the rails wrap around the mahogany tow rails as they meet the teak deck. Fully forward, the rail height increases to 32” (81.28 cm).
At the bow, two deck hatches are flanked by cleats with chocks integrated into the toe rails just ahead. The port hatch is where the windlass remote is located. The windlass itself is mounted atop the foredeck with the anchor roller just ahead, and it includes a chain stopper. Vicem went with a polished stainless plow-style anchor.
Lastly, there’s a convenient step between the windshields to access the overhead and the antennas for easy servicing.
The 46 IPS clearly represents coastal cruising as its finest. She’s a comfortable boat to handle, and inside, she’s got a fit and finish that rivals some of the best megayachts we’ve seen. It’s no wonder that everywhere they go, Vicem yachts definitely turn heads, and this new 46 IPS certainly follows in those footsteps.
Test Result Highlights
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Test Results - Change Measurement Unit
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.