When two Pacific Northwest-based marine industry veterans, Vic Parcells and Howard Apollonio, linked up on a new boat design, their mission was to fill a void in the 50-foot-range cruising market left by the departures of brand names such as Meridian, Navigator and Carver.
Parcells, a yacht broker and partner at Crow’s Nest Yachts Seattle, was dealing with a lack of inventory that meant his clients looking for a 50-foot cruising boat had to settle for 15-year-old models. Apollonio, a naval architect known for owner-friendly vessels, had recently completed drawings for a raised pilothouse concept.
The Apollonian 52 was their answer to the need for an affordably priced, high-quality, practical, well-equipped boat for owner-operators.
Parcells’ pride in the delivery of the first 52 was tangible when I met him aboard Hull No. 5201 (Hull No. 1) at the Crow’s Nest Yachts Seattle office on Lake Union. We locked onto four key features that Parcells says he and his clients had always wanted to see in a raised pilothouse vessel.
“First of all, we wanted to provide a third stateroom that’s actually usable, not just a storage cabin,” Parcells said. “With her 16-foot, 8-inch beam, the 52’s third stateroom has plenty of room to accommodate two people comfortably.”
The second must-have was wide walkaround side decks, Parcells said, “so owners don’t have to climb around the side of a boat. You lose a little bit in interior volume, but not much, and the ease of being able to walk around the boat is well worth it.”
Third was a day head in the pilothouse that the captain can access from the helm, and that gives guests an option other than going belowdecks if the owners are entertaining.
Fourth is the engine room. “She’s got a massive engine room and lazarette space that make it easy to do maintenance on your boat,” he said. “On our delivery down from Vancouver, at one point in the trip we had four guys in the engine room at the same time and no one was in anyone’s way. It was unbelievable.”
Built in Shanghai, the boat has a deck and hull that are vacuum bagged with infused fiberglass and vinylester resin. This construction method minimizes deck and hull weight by 35 percent while increasing strength and decreasing cost, according to the builder.
The raised pilothouse design includes large living spaces and has traffic-flow areas for entertaining. Inside is American cherry wood, including book-matched burled cabinet tops. The galley has household-size stainless-steel appliances and stowage. A day head is adjacent to the pilothouse and galley.
Below are three staterooms and three heads. A full-size washer and dryer are in the foyer. The amidships full-beam master stateroom has a queen-size berth. The VIP is forward, also with a queen-size berth. The third stateroom has bunks.
“With two doubles, it’s a good two-couples boat, but with a twin-berth cabin that would be good for kids,” Apollonio says.
The 52’s flybridge is open and accessed by an internal floating stairway. The flybridge has a second helm station, an alfresco dining table, a wet bar and an electric grill. There’s room to lounge or to stow a RIB aft. A sun pad is up here, too.
At 52 feet length overall, the Apollonian 52 can fit in most 50-foot slips. Its design is based on a hull Apollonio says is efficient at a range of speeds.
“It has a split chine with minimal wave-making resistance, but it makes an easy transition to planing,” he says. “It’s powered to work very nicely in the teens.”
Hull No. 1 has twin 425-hp Cummins QSB6.7 engines. During my time aboard, Parcells navigated us off the dock with ease and through the typical Lake Union bustle into open water, where we could put her through the compulsory gamut of zigs, zags and S-curves. I found the 52 to be a manageable vessel, on one hand feeling like a solid beast of a boat while on the other hand allowing ease of use. She tracked well, and the ride was notably smooth. At 80 percent load, we managed a shade over 17 knots. (The company reports a top end of 21 knots.) At cruise, we burned just a hair under a half nautical mile per gallon. According to Parcells, throttling back to more trawlerly speeds yields around a 447-nautical-mile range with a 10 percent fuel reserve. A 660-hp Cummins option is available for a bit more speed.
“We have three areas between here and Alaska that are 30 to 60 miles of open water away,” Parcells said. “In this boat, that’s fine. You get up early in the morning, make that run in three or four hours when it’s not rough, and you’re done.” In an 8-knot boat, that run would take all day.
Air draft with the arch collapsed is 17 feet, 9 inches, which allows transit under the Chicago railroad bridge on the Great Loop. Price for a well-equipped Apollonian 52, including tariff and freight, is $1.295 million at time of press. Vessel purchase includes a one-year new boat warranty and worldwide Cummins factory warranty on the engines.
The Apollonian 52 is a sturdy, owner-operator-friendly raised pilothouse model that’s priced to compete. She has arrived in North American waters as she was intended to be: a versatile family cruiser with a little something for everybody.
Beam: 16ft. 8in.
Draft: 4ft. 5in.
Displacement: 48,000 lbs.
Engines: 2x 425-hp Cummins QSB6.7
Fuel: 500 gal.
Water: 240 gal.