Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
Don’t be put off by this convertible’s enclosed bridge comfort. She is all business when it comes to being a hard-core sportfishing boat, Viking style.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
The helicopter with photographer Shaw McCutcheon leaning out its open door was hovering just ahead of us as Capt. Ryan Higgins, the Southeast Sales Manager and demo skipper for Viking Yachts, and myself, along with Viking’s Director of Communications Peter Frederiksen, barreled our way south at about 38 knots in the down sea moderate chop along the Palm Beach coastline and past the fabled mansions of this storied haunt of the uber wealthy. As I glanced at the Spanish-tiled tower of Mar-A-Lago slipping by to starboard, and then around at the outstanding accommodations I was presently surrounded by, I thought, “Hey, this isn’t too shabby in the least.” That’s because we were aboard Viking’s latest battlewagon, the 62EB, a boat possessing all that this premier builder is noted for and a bit more.
Higgins, Frederiksen, and I were in the midst of a lively conversation when the chopper rose straight up as we passed underneath it. While a common maneuver on these combo sea trial/photo shoots, I noticed on this pass, as well as the half-dozen more to come, that I could barely hear the usual chest pounding sound made by the rotors followed by the helicopter’s ramped-up motor veering off to port and coming abreast of us, following along at about 20 feet above the water. But that was just the first of many outstanding features I discovered on my day aboard the 62EB.
One of the more important hallmarks of any boat builder is its ability to not only produce a quality, superior product but to also recognize that in its own designs, there is room for improvement. “We are always keeping a pulse on things; taking careful note of our own in-house input and most importantly, that from our customer base,” said Frederiksen. “Viking’s mantra is to build a better boat every day.”
Looking around the enclosed bridge layout, with its great 360-degree views, I could easily see the result of that statement. Pulling double duty as a lounge area and entertainment space, the roomy and well-appointed bridge offers comfort and luxury while not compromising any function of the skipper’s duties whether sitting back and enjoying the ride or getting in on the fish.
To the point, the leather-bound centerline helm has more than ample room on which to flush mount a vast array of electronics, navigational instruments, and virtually anything else one might desire. A comfortable single Stidd helm pedestal affords easy access to all controls and as I eased myself up and settled in, I glanced at the displays from port to starboard and back again, noticing how easy it was to view the all-important information from each screen or read out.
Aft and to starboard is an L-shape leather couch and directly to port is a double co-pilot’s seat, also covered in soft leather. Directly behind this seat is a built-in curvy wood console complete with a small refrigerator and a bulkhead-mounted flat screen TV above. There is carpeting underfoot—a teak or Amtico sole could easily be envisioned—and beautifully finished woodwork all around.
Outside the aft door, I found a complete port steering station which, expertly demonstrated by Higgins, showed off the nimbleness and finesse of the 62EB’s ability to back down on a big fish or any other situation where steering from this vantage point is warranted. There is even an additional seat to starboard affording a spectacular aft view of all the action. Other features out here include teaser reels in the overhead, a pair of cockpit-aimed LED lights, and a ladder to the hardtop in the event access to the mounted electronic units is necessary.
Viking provides two ways to and from the bridge deck; a circular stairway is located to starboard in the salon and for the cockpit crew, a beefy, no-nonsense ladder. And being a Viking, her 172 square foot cockpit is complete with the requisite mezzanine, entry to the engine room, and all the necessary fishing amenities one would find on a competitive tourney boat. In addition, the lazarette is all wired and ready for a vessel-matched Seakeeper gyro stabilization system. Throw on a tower and ‘riggers, sign up your anglers, and get ready for some spirited blue water action.
The aforementioned engine room on the 62EB is a well planned and carefully laid out area that will bring immediate confidence and peace of mind to any skipper or hands on owner. With all critical maintenance areas readily accessible and plenty of room for any kind of two-handed work on both inboard and outboard sides of the engines, this well-lit space also features a bright white Awlgrip finish, a very user-friendly centralized sea water system with redundant variable speed pumps, a 27.5kW Onan genset—with additional space provided for an optional 21.5kW Onan as well—and a 58,000 Btu air conditioning system. If you appreciate engine rooms, this one is as comfortable as the enclosed bridge
In distinctive Viking fashion, and providing for both angling and traveling comfort, the 62EB offers an inviting and practical layout. As with the bridge deck, the spacious main salon features large windows on either side and to aft, a curvy console to starboard, peninsula galley with under counter freezer and refrigerator units—an island layout is available should one opt out of the stairway—L-shape leather couch to port and forward, a dining area. Storage space, as found everywhere aboard the 62EB, abounds here with plenty of cabinets for all the necessary ships stores. And whether in the amidships master or forepeak VIP, each with en suite heads, or either of the port side guest quarters, sharing a head—a three stateroom layout is also available, all with en suite heads—I found excellent headroom space, ample closets, and the kind of sumptuous surroundings one has come to expect from the Viking interior design team.
Built tough to face sea conditions that can be downright unfriendly, the 62EB’s composite cored hull is resin infused for reduced weight while not giving up anything on the physical strength of the structure. Further weight reductions can also be found in Viking construction techniques involving coring stateroom and locker doors as well as cabinet fronts throughout the boat.
As you would expect, the 62EB is a spirited performer. Running on a straight V bottom to cut down on drag, a bit more chine beam below the waterline, and powered by a pair of 1,925-hp CAT 32A’s, she not only posted impressive speed averages—try 22.9 knots at 1500 rpm; 35.1 at 2000; and an exciting 42.5 at WOT—but accelerated from idle to 2100 rpm in just about 18 seconds. She cut tight turns, answered the helm quickly, and tracked straight and true
“We took a lot of what we were partial to on previous designs, like the 55C for example, and elevated them to the next level. With the 62EB, we went with softer lines and, as you noticed, lots of curves both inside and out,” remarked Higgins as we took a look around the exterior.
Noticeable is a lot more shape above the waterline with very little flat sections. The top deck has a more rounded shape to it and gone is the raised trunk cabin found, for example, on the 68C; a boat which was in the dock right next to ours and served as a dramatic example of the innovative exterior styling. Her proportions are pleasing to the eye, the unbroken sheer slopes gently from bow to transom, and together with the newly designed engine room vents—now longitudinal fiberglass fins instead of aluminum—adds to the exciting and dynamic profile of this boat.
The Viking 62EB has been designed, engineered, and built with both comfort and outstanding fishing capabilities. While my 62EB test boat wasn’t rigged for action, we did manage to spot a few cutting sailfish on the way back to her slip at the Viking service facility at Riviera Beach, Florida. Higgins, Frederiksen, and I looked at each other, kind of thinking, I imagined, along the same line: We’ll be back. Viking Yachts. (609) 296-6000. http://www.vikingyachts.com
DISPLACEMENT: 92,175 lbs.
FUEL: 1,800 gal. (2,155 optional)
WATER: 312 gal.
ENGINES: 2/1,925-hp CAT C32A
OPTIONAL ENGINES: 2/1,800-hp or 1,550-hp MAN V12; 2/1,825-hp CAT C32A; or 2/2,030-hp MTU Series 2000 V16 M91
Base Price: $3,298,000 w/2/1,925-hp CAT C32A
RPM SPEED (kn) GPH RANGE (nm)
1500 22.9 82 472.8
1600 25.5 99 436.1
1700 28.2 106 450.4
1800 30.7 123 422.5
2000 35.1 147 403.6
2050 36.3 154 399.0
2100 38.3 159 407.3
2200 39.7 172 391.9
2300 40.7 188 367.0
WOT 42.1 182 392.2
Fuel consumption is based on (2) engines at any given RPM. Speed and ranges, if any, are estimates based on engineering calculations. Range is based on 90% fuel capacity. Actual performance will vary and be affected by water and weather conditions, load and conditions of boat, engines, and propellers. Speed will increase as fuel is consumed. All data is illustrative and not warranted.