Posted by: Dave Mallach | May 9, 2011

Spring arrives!

I. Spring Arrives!

Spring has most definitely come to Newport! Last Tuesday about 11pm I sat on my porch on Nanaquaket Pond, listening to some big-ass striped bass feeding in the shallows. They were hungry!

With me that night was my good friend Paul Crean. I am pleased to report that Paul now works for Vicem, covering the New York territory. You will meet Paul at the fall shows, if not before.  I first met Paul back in ’02 when I sold him a Beneteau 47 sailboat.  It demonstrates one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job – that good clients so often become good friends.

II. At The Dock

My Vicem 72 is now ready and gleaming at our Newport dock:

411 Thames Street, Newport RI

She has all new varnish, and shines like a diamond.  You can see a fun and impressive virtual tour of the 72 at:

This is one of two 72’s we have in stock.  This one is a leftover 2008 Dealer Demo.  Hint, hint.

III. New Owners

The new owner of a brokerage Vicem 51 closed last week, and he brought her down himself from Maine to her CT berth.

Vicem 51 Classic

He reports: The trip from went great.  I love the way she runs!  We had six footers out of Portland for a couple of hours and she ate it up at 26 knots, without a problem.  We made the run from Newport to Riverside in 4 ¼ hours, dock-to-dock.  Pretty awesome!  The thing I love the most is that everywhere we docked, people were just drooling over how beautiful she is.  Definitely a winner all around. Also, I am happy to make her available if anyone would like to see an example of Vicem’s finest!

I have a virtually identical model for sale in Charlevoix, Michigan, in even better condition than the near-perfect Maine boat:

Vicem 51 Classic - Summer Nights

Details can be found at:

IV. Surveys

This 51 raises an issue I’ve wanted to speak about for a while – surveys.  At boat shows we are just about the most admired boats out there.  But I sometimes hear “They are just too beautiful.  I worry about maintenance, upkeep and depreciation.” Of course by now we all know that the epoxy-saturated cold molded mahogany process produces an essentially fiberglass hull, with identical maintenance schedules (i.e., wax!). I won’t argue that the the exterior varnish takes some commitment, but I’ve never met anyone who said it wasn’t worth it.

Anyway, this brokerage 51, which sold for roughly half a million dollars, surveyed wonderfully, as most of our boats do.  The grand total of survey adjustments was less than half a percent of her purchase price.  I believe this is great evidence of how well Vicem’s stay together.

Here’s a video for you that covers our construction process in detail:

V. “Ambush Alley”

And finally, some of you have asked about my novel-in-progress. Here’s how it came about –  In the last seven years with Vicem I have been lucky to come across a bunch of characters who just demand to be fictionalized. They include Russian Oligarchs, Lebanese Warlords, movie stars, rock stars, supermodels, and some wonderful Turkish and Haitian heroes. So who am I to stand in the way of a great story? Ambush Alley is about a yacht broker and ex-social worker (sound familiar?) on the run from some very bad people after a deal gone very bad. A chase ensues from Monaco to Bremen, Istanbul to Dubrovnik, and then across the Atlantic to the book’s conclusion in Haiti just as the Goudou-Goudou (the Port-au-Prince earthquake) hits. Quite dramatic, and I now have some Hollywood interest in the rights.

If you’d like a taste, here is Page One:

In Monaco he realized that death costs forty-nine cents. All it took was a disposable razor, a match, and a little jailhouse practice.

To smash the head of the razor with a boot takes just a second. Do it with just the right amount of force, and the blade drops right out.  The match softens the far end of the handle.  It does take some skill to know how far to push the blade back into the soft plastic, lengthwise this time. Push it in too deep, exposing too little of the blade, and it won’t reach an artery.  Not deep enough, and it will snap off prematurely.  Miscalculate by a millimeter or two either way, and the attacker is left with a useless bit of plastic in a shaking hand.  With time and practice, though, everything gets easier.

He did the math at the Monaco Boat Show. It was a hot, almost Saharan day.  He was very hungry, and chose the shortest service line he could find – gelato, at eight euros a scoop. In front of him were twenty people who didn’t care about the price.  Behind him were the ten dozen yachts for sale, at twenty million euros each. But all he could think about was the forty-nine cents.  It seemed to him to be the far more substantial sum.

When he got closer to the counter, he saw that the server was a fashion model, in a tight gold dress. Only in Monaco, Tommy McFadden thought. She was taller than most of the men on line, and seemed to enjoy picking out the yacht brokers. She said the same thing to each one, in English, French or Italian, as she guessed appropriate.

 “I hear your whale has arrived,” she said to Tommy in English.

Tommy sighed.  Every yacht broker in the show was here for the whale, the rich Russian, the oligarch who could buy any one of their yachts with nothing more than a rounding error.

“Ma cherie, in my experience, whales sink boats.”

She laughed, eventually.

IV. See ya

Thats all for now. But you know the drill – If you have any questions or comments, just launch a flare.

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