Aprea mare 10 meter
JUNE 2001
Length overall  31'
Beam 11'
Draft  2'6"
Bridge Clearance  3'8"
Displacement  8 tons
Fuel Capacity  185 gals
Water Capacity  63 gals
EnginesTwin 300hp Yanmar Diesel

A large hatch in the teak cockpit sole (above) lifts to provide access to the twin Yanmar diesels. Chris Patterson (below), who does prep work, maintenance and deliveries for the Annapolis-based dealer, has been trained at the Apreamare factory in Italy.

Appreamare's galley station looks great with its cherry cabinetry and Corian counter, and it's functional, too, with an electric stovetop, microwave, deep sink and fridge, plus plenty of storage

Just when you thought all Italian-built boats have that sleek, modern, Mediterranean styling, along comes this eye-popping canoe-stern pocket yacht with traditional teak decks and mahogany trim everywhere.

While that rounded stern might seem like a mere eccentricity, it's really a modern adaptation of a traditional design called a 'Gozzi,' used by fishing boat builders on the Bay of Naples, dating back at least two thousand years. Hulls with similar shapes have been excavated from the volcanic ash of Mt. Vesuvius.

Not far from those archaeological digs, in the seaside town of Sorrento, the Aprea family has been building upon these traditions. The 31-foot long 10-Meter is the latest in a line of eight models ranging from a 23-foot center-console launch to a 40-foot cruiser. All come with that distinctive rounded stern, twin diesels, solid fiberglass hulls and cherry-wood interiors. They're certified by European Community (CE) standards to operate 100 miles offshore, which is impressive, given that the next and highest rating is Transoceanic.

Taking the 10-Meter for a spin out of Annapolis one recent blustery day in April gave me a good chance to feel the boat in action. The wind was honking 20 knots out of the southwest, and even the heftily-keeled Rainbow sloops from Annapolis Sailing School were heeling off of Horn Point. My host was Chris Patterson, a veteran America's Cup crewman and skipper of numerous privately owned yachts. Chris does prep, maintenance and deliveries for Apreamare's Chesapeake dealer, Noelle Semmes of Hal Jones & Co., based in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis.

Taking the wheel, I headed out past the 6-knot markers and put the throttles down. The twin 300 HP Yanmar diesels pushed the modified V-hull up onto plane in surprisingly quick time,surprising because that's not something you'd expect in a double-ended hull designed 2000 years ago. The mystery is solved when you look under the swim platform. The hull actually extends aft just below the waterline and squares off underneath the rounded transom. The effect is the traditional styling above the boot stripe and a modern modified V-bottom below. Old appearance, new performance.

The hydraulic steering was dead-on, with no lag time or wavering. Even in that wind and crossing wakes, the hull tracked straight and true. There was no sideways slippage, even on the tight turns. While there was no GPS yet installed to check the speed on this fresh-out-of-the-box model, the factory specs say it can do a maximum of 30 knots, with a comfortable cruising speed of 26 knots. Judging by its performance that one afternoon, I have no reason to doubt that.

The high, stainless-framed windshield kept us dry of all but the smack-on-the-quarter spray. There's a slight flare to the bow that deflects waves hitting right on the nose. On a nicer day, it would have been delightful to lounge on the curved settees gracing the transom. As it was, we were quite comfortable on the high bench helm seat in the lee of that big windshield as we headed out the mouth of the Severn and into the Bay, then turned back into the wind and dodged the big gray Yard Patrol boats pulling away from the Naval Academy.

Access to the engine room is through a large hatch in the teak cockpit sole just aft of the helm station. It's a bit of a squeeze reaching the outboard side of each engine, but there's enough room to get the job done. Good insulation and sturdy engine mounts keep the noise down to where you can carry on a conversation at the helm without a problem.

Slipping down below, the decor carries on the traditional look, with solid cherry joiner work and paneling. The salon features an L-shaped settee with a fold-down table. There's room on the foreward bulkhead for an optional 15" flat-screen TV, which would be appropriate for watching 'Horatio Hornblower' reruns. The galley opposite is fully functional, with a nice big sink, Corian countertop, two-burner electric range, microwave and fridge.

There's a roomy head in the corner with a separate shower stall. The stateroom in the bow has a nice layout, though it is unique. The full-sized berth has a slight parallelogram shape, sidled up against the port side, with the foot toward the bow. That's a more comfortable plan than a V-berth, and takes less room than the now-popular island berth layout. A hanging locker, storage and a small bench seat fill up the starboard side of the cabin. All told, it's a cozy arrangement on a splendid little yacht.

Available options include a selection of hard or canvas tops with enclosures, air conditioning, generator and a choice of Yanmar or Detroit diesels.