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Sea Trials

CapKenHighly Personalized

Viking’s 52 Sport Tower bridges a gap between a hard core fishing machine and whatever else you may have in mind.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Viking President Patrick Healey is a happy man these days. “We had to add some 65,000 square feet of production space to our existing New Gretna, NJ facility just to accommodate the design, development, and the floor space necessary to accommodate all our lines, including the 92 Convertible, our new Open series, 42 Sport Coupe, 46 Open Express, 52 Sport Tower, and our motor yachts. That building, by the way, was designed by our own production engineering group,” he said proudly.

Viking's New Gretna, NJ's facility includes its own marina for make-ready and sea trial use.

Viking’s New Gretna, NJ’s facility includes its own marina for make-ready and sea trial use. Photo: Viking Yachts

The 52 Sport Tower, one of the three Open models Healey mentioned, was first introduced at Viking’s last dealer meeting and was greeted with a lot of enthusiasm.

“In planning and designing these boats, we looked at the Open Series, one that we’ve been in for years since the mid-1980’s beginning with our 35, and saw an empty space we knew we could fill,” Healey commented.

Viking's 52ST shows off her dynamic profile during sea trials.

Viking’s 52ST shows off her dynamic profile during sea trials. Photo: Viking Yachts.

My charge was located at Viking’s Riviera Beach, Florida-based facility where I caught up with Capt. Ryan Higgins. Higgins, a consummate professional whether behind the controls of a Viking 92 footer or, as we were presently doing on both the Intracoastal and offshore waters, wheeling the 52 Sport Tower through her paces, has an expertise that not only covers skilled boat handling, but has a keen sense and insight of what went into a particular build as well.

“For this size, range, and power and accommodations, this boat is as good as it gets,” Higgins said as we began our time out on the water. “It more than takes care of any fishing needs an owner would want while also providing the kind of roominess for travel as well.”

ENGINE ROOM

With a pair of optional MAN V12 1,400-hp diesels— MAN V8 1,000-hp’s are standard—a 21.5kW Onan EQD genset, an optional Eskimo ice machine, and situated neatly behind the starboard engine, a Seakeeper NG9 gyro situated neatly behind the starboard engine, and along with all the other requisite equipment, I found the refrigerator-white Awlgripped engine room to provide plenty of space in which to service all the equipment. The battery compartment is easily accessed as are all critical maintenance areas including fluid checks, belts, hoses, and connections.

Viking decided to give the 52ST's engine compartment plenty of room in which to get any kind of work done.

Viking engineered the 52ST’s engine compartment with plenty of room in which to get any kind of maintenance work done. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

Also located here is Viking’s central water system that all but eliminates the need to have individual pumps to take care of all the freezers, air conditioning, heads, and any other such needs aboard.

COCKPIT

With an easy to navigate cockpit, the 52ST can easily be a formidable addition to any tournament circuit.

With an easy to navigate cockpit, the 52ST will be a formidable addition to any tournament circuit. Photo: Viking Yachts

Viking gave the 52 Sport Tower 142 square feet of space in which to get the job done—my test boat had a pedestal-designed rocket launcher set up in the middle—and I found moving around in the space to be not only effortless but noticed I would have no trouble reaching for anything I might need with a big fish astern. “As good as this boat is for whatever its owners have in mind, it’s DNA is all Viking from the bottom up and that means rigged and ready for action,” said Higgins.

The transom fish box has been maximized out for portable tuna tubes for those who need that kind of fishing equipment. And for an excellent view of all the action, there is a double-seated mezzanine as well.

COMMAND DECK

With its open design, the command deck as Viking calls this area, not only provides excellent visibility from the center line helm even during acceleration, including help from the glass corners in the windshield, something I noted when it was my turn to take the wheel, but has the kind of amenities that allows for a rather intimate experience for guests whether fishing or traveling.

Comfortable and practical, the command deck offers plenty of seating and excellent views into the seaway.

Comfortable and practical, the command deck offers plenty of seating and excellent views into the seaway. Photo: Capt. Ken Kreisler

To either side of the pedestal helm seat are additional seating areas while aft and to starboard is a comfortable dinette. Over to port, and wrapping all the way around, is a molded-in console housing yet another freezer compartment. And in the overhead, are two flush-mounted compartments for rod storage.

“We have three versions of our open models and while they are all great designs and will fit individual preference, I favor the 52ST for my all around needs,” Higgins added.

INTERIOR

Entering from a large sliding door just to port of the centerline helm, I took a few easy steps down into the accommodations space. Whether in the comfortable forepeak master or, as this 52ST was configured, the two staterooms to starboard, I found ample headroom giving the area a roomy feel and plenty of storage space for your time away from the dock. There are two heads here and the salon offers a dinette and full galley along with ample floor space in which to move around in.

Should someone want just two staterooms, the added space will applied to the salon area. “This is a personal area and its configuration is up to each individual owner’s needs,” said Higgins.

Wide open spaces present themselves aboard the Viking 52ST.

Wide open interior spaces present themselves aboard the Viking 52ST. Photo: Viking Yachts.

PERFORMANCE

We took the boat out into the Intracoastal first to do some speed runs before heading out into the ocean. With 800 gallons of fuel on board—this 52 Sport Tower was equipped with the optional 1,467-gallon tanks with standard tankage at 1,202 gallons—and full water at 186 gallons, Higgins and I posted an impressive fast cruise of 40.7 knots at 2250 rpm. She held her direction beautifully and gave us an exhilarating ride. When we knocked her down to 2000, she turned in a 36-knot turn of speed and an impressive 31.3 knots at 1750 rpm. And of course, there was our exhilarating 42.7 WOT speed.

Impressive handling and performance, the result of a well-engineered running bottom, are part of the 52ST's complete package. Photo: Viking Yachts

Impressive handling and exciting performance, the result of a well-engineered running bottom, are part of the 52ST’s complete package. Photo: Viking Yachts

Helping to get these kinds of results means tank testing and with Viking’s special relationship with the Stevens Institute in Hoboken, NJ, the time and refining process results in a superior design.

As far as her running bottom is concerned, one that was taken from the highly successful 55 Convertible, that is the domain of Viking designer David Wilson. “It’s all new and a result of our constant refining,” said Wilson as we spoke on the subject.

Getting the all-important balance between power and performance meant some important factors to consider. “We went with full beam to get more wetted surface, a modified V, eliminated the keel, provided a fine entry up forward transitioning to about 11.8° of deadrise at the transom, and revisited the lifting strakes we designed many years ago,” mentioned Wilson. The strakes help to deal to break any suction created by fast boats in the 40+knot range and prevents them from teetering from side to side while at speed. “As far as our draft is concerned, we were willing to give up a little there by designing pockets into her bottom.”

HEADING FOR THE BARN

“Our philosophy is to have everyone involved in the production,” said Healey adding that his company has gained their unique boat building perspective by Viking’s longevity since its founding in 1964 by his father and uncle. “We’ve been able to endure things through bad times and good times and always with a great team that produces exceptional boats and always strive to make our product better each and every day. We build these boats through the rigors of what we do.”

The only regret with my day aboard the Viking 52ST was that it ended with me leaving the dock. This is the kind of boat that makes it tough to get off of. Take one for your own sea trial and you’ll see what I mean.

Specifications

LOA: 53’2”
Beam: 17’6”
Draft: 4’11”
Displacement: 67,680 w/standard fuel
Fuel:1,202 gal (1,467 optional)
Water: 186 gal
Engines: MAN V8 1,000-hp
Optional Engines: Man V12 1,400-hp

RPM                  SPEED(kn)                  GPH
1000                  11.3                                    28
1250                  17.5                                    40
1500                  25.3                                    58
1750                  31.3                                    75
2000                  36.0                                    100
2250                  40.7                                    137
WOT (2330)      42.7                                    150

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Viking Yachts. www.vikingyachts.com (609) 296-6000.

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Sea Trials

 

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Sea Trials

dsc_1255The Viking 92 EB is the present culmination of the family owned company’s 50-year history.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Viking's 92 EB cuts am eye-catching profile as she powers across the water. With her proportions in perfect balance, she is as beautiful as she is a formidable tournament fishing yacht.

Viking’s 92 EB cuts an eye-catching profile as she powers across the water. With her proportions in perfect balance, she is as beautiful as she is a formidable tournament fishing yacht.

Where do you start when you start out to design and build a 92-foot sportfishing boat? If you’re Patrick Healey, President and CEO of Viking Yachts, it goes something like this:

“Back about four+ years ago, we were in Ocean City, Maryland, aboard a customer’s 115-foot motoryacht,” said Healey. “He owned one of our sportfishing boats as well and I really enjoyed the spaciousness of being on the kind of yacht that allowed a large group to hang in the country kitchen, entertain others in the main salon, and allow the owners to sit outside with more guests on the aft deck area.”

The expansive helm offers the captain all the room necessary for monitoring critical engine functions as well as any electronic displays and controls.

The expansive helm offers the captain all the room necessary for monitoring critical engine functions as well as any electronic displays and controls.

The concept impressed Healey so much so that he and Viking’s Design Manager Dave Wilson and Capt. Ryan Higgins, the company’s South East Sales Manager and demo skipper, also along on the visit, had a shared moment. “We’ve got to figure out a way to make this kind of set up happen on a big sportfish boat,” Healey said.

Taking cues from the highly successful Viking 82C, design and engineering set out to make the next big thing a reality. With a $7+ million a year investment in R&D, countless meetings and analyzing input from customers as well as internal departments and an extensive tank-testing regimen, the two and a half-year project culminated in a nine month build schedule that was the dockside crown jewel in Viking’s recent 50th Anniversary celebration and dealer meeting held in Atlantic City this past September.

The  view from up on high.

The view from up on high.

The first thing I noticed as I watched the 92EB come to a stop outside the long row of slips at the far end of the Farley Marina before spinning around and backing down along the face dock, and while still quite a distance away, was how well proportioned she looked. “It was one of the primary directives; to make her look as good and well-balanced whether dockside or out at sea,” said Wilson.

Fantastic is a more apt description. As she approached, it became apparent that Healey’s team had achieved something really special. Under the expert hand of Capt. Higgins, she came to a gentle portside-to rest, her deep-throated pair of 2,600-hp M96 MTU diesel power plants shut down as the first group of 23 people standing there, eager to board, waited.

The main salon is ready to take care of large gatherings.

The main salon is ready to take care of large gatherings.

“With the 92EB, we can attract some folks from the larger yachts, who also owned a smaller sportfishing boat, and want to scale down to one,” said Higgins. “Therefore,” he noted, with a smile and a nod in the boat’s direction, “As you can readily seen, she’ll be more than able to take such an owner to the next level.

Incorporating both the large yacht features while keeping the successful fish amenities found on all Viking open convertibles and enclosed bridge models intact, the 92 offers an impressive full service galley, a free-standing dining table space, a full beam master with his and her heads, walk in closets, separate crew quarters aft with lounge and galley, a bridge deck that is a good as it gets, the kind of storage spaces throughout that can accommodate long trips away from home, and a six stateroom layout.

As far as the accommodations are concerned, an owner has some leeway, for

The master suite combines elegance, roominess, and the kind of storage space found on larger yachts.

The master suite combines elegance, roominess, and the kind of storage space found on larger yachts.

example, converting the pantry on the main deck’s starboard side into another stateroom should that be necessary. Indeed, on Hull #2, the owner is eliminating the free-standing dining table and reworking the salon layout along with the his and her heads by making one side a walk in closet with the other a special locker design. And with Hull #3, that owner asked for some changes including a dinette area inside.

To say the least, the interior fit and finish, along with the décor package, is as tastefully and well done as I’ve seen on any vessel of her class and then some.

Offering a three-level cockpit, the 92 EB's business end features a mezzanine and above that, another seating area with a dining table.

Offering a three-level cockpit, the 92 EB’s business end features a mezzanine and above that, another seating area with a dining table.

The team paid special attention to the aft deck, wanting to keep that as an outdoor dining area. The variation on the theme incorporated the mezzanine area and created two levels—a yacht aft deck and a separate fishing mezzanine with seating, livewell, and refrigeration for the massive business end of the 92EB, the lower cockpit. Any fishing crew will be more than able to be highly competitive in this space and to seriously compete in any tournament event.

Aiding that ability is her amazing performance capabilities. On my particular test day, Capt. Higgins had her up and running along at a cruise speed of 30 knots with a fast cruise of 32. Her WOT hit an impressive 37.2 knots at 2450 rpm all in troubling four-to-six foot seas and into the wind and current. During backing down maneuvers she pirouetted like a prima ballerina and while running up and down sea, I had to look out at the conditions to remind me we were in this kind of water. Of course the Seakeeper M35 Gyro was of great help in keeping us rock steady.

“We’re 200,000+ pounds with full fuel and water,” explained Higgins in the noticeable quiet of the enclosed bridge. “But that all goes to our design and engineering teams with our resin infused hull and deck house reinforced with carbon fiber, Nomex honeycomb in many of the interior panels for weight saving, and along with the hull bottom featuring flush and recessed engine pickups, and to help further eliminate drag reduction, we eliminated the keel resulting in a straight V.”

The engine room space allows total access to every piece of equipment, pump,

As engine rooms go, this is as good as it gets...and then some.

As engine rooms go, this is as good as it gets…and then some.

valve, connection, switch, filter, and any other critical area that needs attention and maintenance. A lot of the components normally found in an engine room and which sometimes makes for a rather tight space, have been allocated to a dedicated space. Aboard the 92EB, it’s known as the mechanical room. Here one finds, again with complete access and serviceability, the ice chipper, ac power converter system, refrigeration units, compressors, cable masters, centralized water system, and generators. And of course, getting to the mains is everything one could want in being able to perform total critical engine maintenance with complete ease and accessibility. Another big yacht feature is that aforementioned ac power converter system. It gives the 92EB complete and worldwide dockside abilities with single-phase, three-phase, 50hz, 60 hz plug-in abilities.

“We’re a big team and along with our design and engineering folks, we left nothing to chance with this boat,” commented Higgins when we got back, tied up, and waited for the next group to board. “I get to see a lot of reactions when we introduce a new model and the response to this one has been nothing but spectacular. Once you take the wheel and realize how maneuverable she is, I notice a feeling of complete confidence quickly settles in over whoever is at the helm whether around the dock or heading out to sea.”

With all the advances Viking has incorporated in its past designs, and all the developments integrated into the 92EB, she will be sure to influence the next yacht, assuredly already on the drawing board, at the New Gretna, NJ facility.

“It’s been that way for 50 years,” said Healey. “And there is no reason to change that at all. It’s something my father and my uncle, the founders of the company, always held true: We’ll build a better boat every day.”

Specifications:

LOA: 93′ 3″

Beam: 24′ 1″

Draft: 5′ 1″

Weight: 205,000 lbs. (standard fuel load)

Fuel/Water: 3,410/485 U.S. gals.

Power: 2x 2,600-hp MTU 16V-2000-M96 diesels

Cruise/Top Speed: 30/36 knots

Range: 612nm @ cruise w/opt. power

Contact: Viking Yachts, Route 9 “On the Bass River” P.O. Box 308 New Gretna, N J 08224 Phone: (609) 296-6000 Fax: (609) 296- 3956. vikingyachts.com

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in Sea Trials

 

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Sea Trials

DSC_1255Velvet 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.

Her DNA is pure Viking but her enclosed bridge elevates the 62EB to new levels of comfort.

Her DNA is pure Viking but her enclosed bridge elevates the 62EB to new levels of comfort.

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.”

Comfort and luxury are part of having an enclosed bridge area.

Comfort and luxury are part of having an enclosed bridge area.

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.

The afthelm provides the skipper with the all-important visuals over the cockpit and out into the water.

The aft helm provides the skipper with the all-important visuals over the cockpit and out into the water.

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.

A true sign of a well-engineered boat is its engine room and all too true aboard the 62EB.

A true sign of a well-engineered boat is its engine room and all too true aboard the 62EB.

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.

While deep water, big fish excitement is what this boat is all about, there's plenty of the same on the interior.

While deep water, big fish excitement is what this boat is all about, there’s plenty of the same found in the interior.

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.

The master stateroom aboard a sportfishing boat as interpreted by Viking.

The master stateroom aboard a sportfishing boat as interpreted by Viking.

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

SPECFICATIONS

LOA: 63’1”
BEAM: 18’11”
DRAFT: 5’1”
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

PERFORMANCE

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.

vike62eb200

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Sea Trials

 

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Sea Trials

              DSC_1255Purpose-Built

The new Viking 52C fulfills all the requirements for a tournament-ready battlewagon…and then some.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Coming around from the following sea I had been running in, I put the bow of the new Viking 52C into the long, deep and slow ocean swell. The early morning sun, now red and leaning towards orange, cast a shimmering path out to the horizon.

The Viking 52C represents all one would expect from this well-known, quality builder.

The Viking 52C represents all one would expect from this well-known, quality builder.

The gaudy and colorful skyline of Atlantic City, New Jersey, now behind me and back-dropped by fair weather clouds in a blue sky, began to shrink as I headed offshore. I took a glance at the well-positioned, and quite beautiful, Release teak center console helm station, taking particular note, as is my habit when running any boat, of the engine and systems parameters including rpm, rate of speed, and gph. All was in order and the instruments told the rest of the story: 1750 rpm. 31.5 knots. 76 gph.

It was also, as I remarked to my four companions up on the flying bridge, quite comfortable in those relentless, mostly four-foot rollers. And while there would be many more outstanding observations to make by the time I got the new Viking 52C back to the dock, the real story about the latest convertible from the venerated New Jersey builder begins back at the 810,000 square-foot Bass River plant, way before the fully infused 52 hulls and all their myriad parts move down the production line and ultimately to the water and their new owners.

Design and Engineering
“When we sit down at what I like to refer to as the group lunch meetings,” said Viking designer Dave Wilson as he emphasized the importance of the collegial experience at Viking, “It includes sales, marketing, our executives and even our demo captains and mates as well. And while we’ll discuss everything about a new design, whether it be on a 42- or 92-footer, and anything from the running bottom, to the interior, to the flying bridge, in the end, we’re not going to do something unless it’s a positive improvement.”

Team planning meetings are a vital part of Viking's success with launching new boats such as the 52C.

Team planning meetings are a vital part of Viking’s success with launching new boats such as the 52C.

Obviously, some remarkable products have come out of those meetings and that last statement that Wilson mentioned is as important to Viking as any other concept in the company’s long and storied history, one dating back to 1964.

Joe Snodgrass, the company’s naval architect, gave some insight as well. “Among the many other factors that we paid attention to, there were two main focus points in the 52C’s design and engineering of particular importance. One was the actual shape of the hull, where it is wide or narrow, its chine distribution, and the ability to efficiently move it through the water along with everything that goes inside. The second was keeping things properly balanced so that the performance is right where it is supposed to be. That was the ultimate goal.”

To accomplish that purpose, the Viking design and production team took all they had learned from past builds, especially aboard the 62EB and 54C, boats I had already been on and reported about, and incorporated them on this one.

As with all Viking sportfish boats, the 52C has an extensive gene pool from which she has evolved.

As with all Viking sportfish boats, the 52C has an extensive gene pool from which she has evolved.

Both Wilson and Snodgrass agreed that the 52C is an almost identical sibling to the 62EB. “Everything we learned from the bigger boat, all the significant positive changes that made her such a successful build, we put into this boat,” said Wilson. Those changes included the 62 being the first Viking without a keel, no fair body flat on the bottom, the increase in warping deadrise, and the elimination of the offset knuckle fully aft thus adding more flat bottom at the transom.

The question of balance also came up as the conversation shifted to the deep pockets used on the 52C. “While pocket use results in taking away buoyancy, it nets out with the decrease in draft,” said Snodgrass. Indeed, even with the added weight of the bigger engines and optional fuel tanks, this boat lost some three inches over the previous 52C, one designed without pockets. “Pockets also tolerate less tip clearance for the props, here about 7.5% as compared to about 10 to 15% on a traditional hull, thus cutting down on impulse and vibration and permitting the use of a flatter shaft angle, larger diameter props, and deeper gear ratios.” Translation: Better and more efficient performance.

Construction
Viking’s commitment to positive improvements has also found its way into its construction techniques as well.

The home of all VIking sportfish boats is the modern 810,000 square foot manufacturing facility located in New Gretna, NJ, equipped with the latest technology and machinery.

The home of all VIking sportfish boats is the modern 810,000 square foot manufacturing facility located in New Gretna, NJ, equipped with the latest technology and machinery.

The hull of the 52C is now fully infused, as are many of the boat’s parts including the fuel tanks and air boxes among others. Those fuel tanks, along with both the freshwater and holding tanks, all have fiberglass baffles inside, balsa cored sides for added stiffness, and are sealed to the hull with resin foam.

For added strength, her hull also has the Kevlar/Carbon hybrid laminate in it as well; this to shed off weight while not sacrificing any muscle and the quality build Viking is known for. “We will be the last to show up at the dance and not follow in anyone else’s footsteps,” Wilson said with a great deal of pride. “We will never give up strength for weight.

The stringers are encapsulated and foam cored and the composite bulkheads, main and intermediate engine room, and forward, are vacuum bagged. The salon sole, that is the engine room overhead, is all AIREX cored for both sound and thermal insulation. In addition, and as used in the 42C, the entire forepeak area is a one-piece liner.

Performance
Striking just the right balance between construction and performance is what Viking strives to give to its owners and being out on the water, in other than flat calm conditions, showed me that the realization of that objective was achieved aboard the 52C.

A fine entry and a hull form that is balanced with just the right power requirements makes the 52C a spirited tourney-ready competitor.

A fine entry and a hull form that is balanced with just the right power requirements makes the 52C a spirited tourney-ready competitor.

With her sharp, fine entry coming in somewhere between 45 and 47 degrees and designed to take on varying sea conditions, and with the running bottom ‘warping’ back to the almost 12-degree deadrise at the transom for superior planning characteristics, I was able to get my 52C test boat, equipped with the optional MAN V12 1400 CRM diesel inboards, cruising at 36 knots at 2000 rpm with a 100 gph fuel burn. We had 800 gallons of fuel aboard—optional 1,467-gallon tankage on this boat—and topped-off water at 186 gallons. She answered the helm with authority on turns, pushed through those rollers with all the sureness of her pedigree, and landed softly after being presented by the occasional errant big one. Those MANs, by the way, were virtually smokeless upon start up, performing precise backing down maneuvers, which she accomplished akin to doing pirouettes, or during acceleration runs.

Bridge, Cockpit, and Engine Room

The helm is laid out with enough room for any configuration of electronics.

The helm is laid out with enough room for any configuration of electronics.

At her heart, she is a fishing machine and to that end, Viking equipped this boat, as they have all their other convertibles, to be a formidable top-of-the-food-chain predator; a high performing competitor on the tournament circuit should that be her owner’s vision.

As I performed several backing down maneuvers, I noted how easily I was able to glance back and forth from the helm into the seaway and then down at the 142 square foot cockpit, imagining the exciting action taking place on the deck and out on the water.

A vast array of Atlantic Marine Electronics is available as are a number of options including a 4-sided enclosure, air conditioning, hardtop, rocket launchers, and of course a custom Palm Beach Tower, Rupp ‘Riggers, and electric reels in the overhead. There is bench seating to either side, tons of storage areas, an optional refrigeration cabinet, and, in a very nice design touch, a pair of individual bucket seats forward of the helm.

The business end of the Viking 52C.

The business end of the Viking 52C.

The cockpit offers every kind of fishing cabinet and storage area one would need; an extended bridge overhang, in-deck fish boxes, optional Eskimo shaved ice maker and live well, rod holders galore, molded-in transom fish box, optional Release chair, and a mezzanine seating area with a freezer compartment, full tackle cabinet, insulated storage box, and access to the engine room. And the lazarette hatch here has exceptional access to steering, trim tabs, and drain pumps.

A unique shot of her engine room while this 52C was still under construction.

A unique shot of her engine room while this 52C was still under construction shows the machinery space layout.

The Awlgripped engine room is a hands-on skipper or owner’s dream. Even with the optional big MANs down here and the 21.5-kW E-QD Onan genset, I found it easy to get two hands on any piece of equipment one would have to work on without worrying about how, or where, to swing a wrench. All fluid checks are readily available as is the cabinet for Viking’s centralized sea water system.

Interior

Comfort and roominess are built into the boat's salon.

Comfort and roominess are built into the boat’s salon.

Her salon offers wide-open spaces and takes full advantage of the boat’s 17’6’ beam with the galley over to starboard offering under counter refrigerator and freezer compartments along with ample closets and storage cabinets. There is a dining area directly to port and the sizable couch is also located to starboard, just as one enters from the cockpit door.

Offering a choice of configurations in the bow—crossover berths or custom queen—the three stateroom, two head layout will supply you and your guests, whether fishing or not, with the kind of roominess and use of space associated with Viking’s careful attention to creature comforts.

While still a hard-core fishing machine, there's no reason her owners can't enjoy the luxurious surroundings in the master stateroom.

While still a hard-core fishing machine, there’s no reason her owners can’t enjoy the luxurious surroundings in the master stateroom.

The new Viking 52C will be sure to live up to all expectations and most likely exceeds some. Taking into consideration her excellent sea keeping abilities, careful balance of design and performance, and her strong genes passed down the production line by all her predecessors, this purpose-built boat will surely make a strong impression wherever she calls home. VIKING YACHTS. (609) 296-6000. http://www.vikingyachts.com

PERFORMANCE*
RPM                SPEED (KN)                   GPH
1000                         12                           22
1250                         16.3                        40
1500                         23.4                        60
1750                         31.2                        76
2000                         36.0                       100
2300                         42.2                       148

SPECIFICATIONS
LOA: 53’2”
BEAM: 17’6”
DRAFT: 5’0” (w/ MAN V12); 4’11” (w/MAN V8)
DISPL: 70,260 lbs. (w/ MAN V12); 67,680 lbs. (w/MAN V8)
FUEL: 1,202 gal. (opt. 1,467)
WATER 186 gal.
ENGINES: 2×1400 CRM V12 MAN
GENERATOR 21.5-kW E-QD Onan

*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.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Sea Trials

 

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Sea Trials

Hemingway at the wheelA Good Call

The all new VIKING 55C easily picks up where her much-admired predecessor left off.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

The Viking 55C runs proud to a heritage that is built on pride of craftsmanship and a name that is synonomous with the best that a fishing boat has to offer.

The Viking 55C runs on a heritage built on pride of craftsmanship and a name synonymous with the best a fishing boat has to offer.

As all freelance writers can readily attest to, the sound of one’s own phone ringing is a joyous noise and when mine sounded off one particular day, I was quite busy negotiating getting a 47-foot catamaran out of her dock in reverse. While I pride myself on being a competent and intelligent multi-tasker, when it comes to safety, as in this tricky maneuver given having to deal with both a rather insistent breeze and a rip-roaring incoming tide, I decided to wait before picking up the phone until I had comfortably cleared the close-quartered pier and put my current charge on course for the preferred channel.

After the last time I spoke with Marlin editor Dave Ferrell, I quickly found myself with billfish-tight lines for several days in the waters off Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico. And while New Gretna, NJ’s Bass River does not teem with any kind of significant game fish, it is home to a very specific top-of-the-line predator of another genus. For this is where Viking Yachts are designed and built and my quarry this outing is nothing less than the brand spanking new Viking 55C.

Before we jump aboard and have a go at her, there is a little background information on this latest offering from the highly-respected company that will shed some light on this particular vessel’s importance in the Viking line up.

The first 55C, drawn by Bruce Wilson—with Viking since 1968 by the way—was introduced at the 1996 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. It was so well-received that 153 hulls later, the boat had established itself as one of the premier sportfishing boats in its size and accordingly, occupied a strategic place in the Viking fleet. As equally impressive is the fact that Wilson’s son Dave is responsible for designing the new 55.

In describing the 55 from the bottom up, Wilson explained how the convex shape is softened up a bit in the midsections. “We’re always looking to refine it some with tank testing; maybe drop the deadrise two degrees and then another. This new 55 is at 12 degrees at the transom where my dad’s boat was at 15/15 ½. Among other things, we’ve been working at getting a sharper entry up front and a little flatter in the back for a more improved and efficient planning area aft,” remarked Wilson. “Nothing too exotic here and we weren’t looking for any buzz words to describe the design. It is what it is; and if you come out with a good product you can call it a Viking,” he says with pride.

One of the many sisterships to my 55C test boat waits to move up the line at the Viking plant.

One of the many sister ships to my 55C test boat waits to move up the line at the Viking plant.

Besides the several factory visits at those strategic times during a new build, it has always been my assertion that one should first look at the engine room space before anything else on board. For it is here that one can readily see if the kind of thought and planning for such an important area is up to the task. If it is, you can just about count on everything else to follow suit. And that is just what I did.

With Viking’s Peter Frederiksen as my guide, I easily lifted the upper cockpit’s centerline hatch and, after comfortably negotiating the stairs, entered the space. My first impression was that this is a roomy and hands-on friendly space with the kind of work room that would all but eliminate the elbow-busting, knuckle-scraping conditions that are often present in engine rooms of similar sized boats. There is a bright white Awlgripped finish on the overhead and bulkheads and the Viking engineering staff fit in the pair of new MAN V12 1,550hp CRM power plants so as to provide complete access on both inboard and outboard sides. Among many other outstanding features, the latest from MAN offers maintenance-free, gear-driven fresh-water pumps, starter motors that can be fitted to both sides, multi-stage injection for quiet operation; and as I would find out during my performance runs, powerful acceleration and excellent and lightning quick reaction to the throttle. With this kind of power and room to move, this space is a skipper’s dream.

“We try, all the time, to always improve on things on all our boats; to find either a better design or a simpler method,” said Frederiksen as, making his point, showed me the centralized water system on the engine room’s forward bulkhead. Driven by a single, high output, continuous duty pump—yes, there is a backup just in case—with access to all the shut off valves, this system eliminates the need for any other ones to drive the live well, for example, any refrigeration that needs water, the wash downs, shaved ice unit, or water maker. “And if you don’t need a specific system, you can shut it off. It’s all done from right here.”

Efficient use of resin infusion is a major part of the Viking approach to its boat building. Weight saving along with stronger hulls and parts, and a cleaner, more environmentally safe work space definitely makes the company’s A list. “We are using a lot more cored material; like foam and balsa coring in the bulkheads, bringing in new composites, and being careful to look for anywhere to save some weight,” said Wilson.

Along with many of the smaller parts, including up on the bridge and underneath the hardtop, fuel and holding tanks and shower compartments, the 55’s hull has also been infused. Other notable Viking construction techniques include vinyl and polyester resins used in structural laminates and topsides, fiberglass side thru-hulls, prop pockets for draft reduction, solid reinforced keel, encapsulated foam fiberglass stringer system, and vacuum bagged composite bulkheads including the engine room, intermediate engine room, and forward bulkhead.

Viking prides itself on the company’s ability to provide almost ninety percent of everything you find on its boats being supplied by its own design, engineering, and manufacturing entities. And that includes the interior as well. Entering from the cockpit, the sliding door opens up to a well-balanced and functional salon.

This salon layout is one of many interior options available on the 55C.

This salon layout is one of many interior options available on the 55C.

On this 55, there is a C-shape leather couch to port—the cushions are removable with storage areas beneath—and a dinette just forward. The galley is to starboard and is available in either an island or peninsula configuration; the latter allows for a bit more counter space and can include a trash compactor as well. There is ample cabinet storage above the three burner electric stove top and sink and in either arrangement, the four drawer, under counter Sub Zero units make this galley capable of quick eats for busy fishermen or an elegant sit down dinner once the day is done.

The master stateroom offers style and comfort.

The master stateroom offers style and comfort.

The 55C is equipped with a three stateroom, two head layout. The master, with an en suite head, is to starboard with the two-berth quarters directly to port. The forepeak, available in either island berth or angled over under configuration, shares the port side head with the stateroom on that side. All these well-appointed living spaces are quite roomy with excellent headroom and adequate storage. And no matter where I looked or examined, I found excellent fit and finish complementing the tasteful décor all around.

Driving the 55C is nothing short of exhilarating and reminiscent of taking the wheel of a well-tuned and performance-oriented sports car; the result being an exciting and impressively hot nautical ride. While my test day saw clear skies, marginal wind, and flat calm seas, there is no doubt in my mind that she is all Viking and would relish some challenging seas. When I called upon the twin MAN V12’s for a full throttle run, remarking how quickly she came up out of the hole and settled in to spooling up 41 knots, I noticed how responsive the steering was and how well she answered the helm. Whether carving long and looping S-curves, letting her dig in either on port or starboard sides during hard over maneuvers, playing backing down on a near-grander, or just sitting back and letting her run straight and true, near instantaneous control was mine. At 2050 rpm, she settled into a comfortable 34.7 knots and when I knocked her down to 1800, watched the instruments log a 29.8 knot speed with a 93gph total fuel burn. At this rate, this particular boat could expect a range of approximately 440 nautical miles. And throughout my entire performance testing, not once did I detect any kind of smoke or exhaust from the engines.

When I told him about the 55’s remarkable and quick response to the helm, Wilson offered some first-hand insight. “The change here is due to some subtle distances we added between the rudders and the propellers and the space from the rudder to the transom. And like most of the things we’ve learned, it comes from the success on the other boats we’ve built.”

Unfortunately for me, but quite fortunate for her new owner, this 55C was sold and therefore, unavailable for a day of offshore fishing. Really too bad as the late summer bite off the Jersey coast was doing very well and having fished on many Vikings in the past, this kind of outing would have been something I would have truly relished.

The 151 square foot, self-bailing cockpit is Viking-ready for action and packed with all the requisite equipment to make her both a formidable participant on the tournament circuit or hosting a day with some family and friends. The extended flying bridge overhang can provide shade during particularly sunny days while the now-indispensable port aft facing mezzanine not only provides a “fifty yard line” seat for all the action but holds freezer compartment, insulated storage spaces, and tackle drawers as well. Add an optional fighting chair, an additional live well in the sole, and a pair of Rupp ‘riggers to her live well/tuna tube at the transom, her side gaff lockers, rod holders, and in-sole fish boxes, and all you will need to provide is a crew.

Topsides, the flying bridge is available two ways; the first is the traditional set up with access to the forward area over on the starboard side or in a ‘center console’ style. Either way, there is comfortable seating, ample storage areas, and excellent sightlines for the skipper not only into the cockpit, but out into the seaway when performing backing down maneuvers as well. You can customize the helm station to your liking with a variety of options and electronics as well as selecting a full enclosure or hardtop.

Yours truly making the call that will hopefully, get me out on this boat looking for deep waters and tight lines.

Yours truly making the call that will hopefully, get me out on this boat again, this time looking for deep waters and tight lines.

As we backed her into the make-ready dock, where over the next week or two she would get her finishing touches for her impending delivery, I had two thoughts. Firstly, I applaud Viking’s decision to re-introduce the Dave Wilson-designed 55C to the convertible line up. Given its size, power, performance, amenities on both its fishing prowess—it is a Viking after all—and creature comforts, there is little wonder the plant is already eight hulls out. She is truly a boat for the times

My second thought came in an admittedly selfish moment. I hoped that sometime in the future, and sooner rather than later, my phone would ring with an invitation to spend some time fishing on a new 55C.    Now that would be a really good call.

Viking 55 Convertible  Specifications

Length Overall (LOA): 56′ 5″ (17.20 m)
Beam: 17′ 9 (5.41 m)
Draft: 5′ 1″ (1.55 m)
Gross Weight*: 77,700 lbs. (35,244 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 1,414 gals. (5,353 l)
Water Capacity: 225 gals. (852 l)
Cockpit Area: 151 sq.ft. (14.0 sq. m.)
* Standard Fuel Load

Power: 2x 1,550 mhp MAN V12 CRM diesels
Fuel: Full, 1,414 gallons, standard
Water: Full, 225 gallons
POB: 3

RPM             Knots    Total GPH   NM range @ 95%   DBA
1500             20.5        62                444                           82
1600             24.8        73                456                           83
1700             27.0        83                436                           85
1800             29.8        93                440                           86
2000             34.2        108              435                           87
2050             34.7        119              398                           87
2100             36.0        124              399                           88
2200             38.2        138              380                           89
2300             40.1        147              373                           90
2330             41.2        158              357                           91
(2050 is typical cruise speed.)

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Sea Trials

 

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Products

CUSTOM EXHAUST SYSTEM IMPRESSES VIKING YACHTS

Viking 42 Open

Viking Yachts is known for its meticulous attention to detail and high quality.  All equipment must perform flawlessly and look great.  In Marine Exhaust Systems, Viking found a like-minded partner.

Viking’s new 42 Open and 42 Convertible models combine maximum power and exceptional handling, with twin 600 hp Cummins QSC engines coupled to Zeus pod drives.  The Viking 42 Open cruises at 31 knots with a fuel consumption of 45 gph for a range of 344 nautical miles.  The 42 Convertible has a cruising speed of 30 knots and 333 nautical mile range with fuel consumption of 45 gph.
To optimize performance yet tame noise with this high-horsepower package, Marine Exhaust provided Viking with a complete, custom-engineered exhaust system.  Its turbo-to-transom solution includes a specially-designed bypass muffler, risers, surge tubes, hoses, clamps and all hardware.  Marine Exhaust’s package minimizes sound levels to just 85 dBA at the helm on the 42 Open and 83 dBA on the 42 Convertible. “The 42 is the smallest in our lineup, but we must still have the Viking ‘wow’ factor when the engine hatch opens,” said Peter Frederiksen, Viking Yachts director of communications.  “People can be intimidated and puzzled by an engine room.  No one feels that way with Viking, including the 42 Convertible and Open.  Everything is clean and organized.”
Viking was pleased with the easy turnkey installation.  “The Marine Exhaust Systems team delivered a seamless package well-suited to our rapid production requirements.  They are accessible and responsive every step of the way, particularly important on new model launches,” he said.
Viking 42C

Elegantly appointed like larger Vikings, the 42 Convertible’s salon features a plush, L-shaped lounge, spacious dinette and U-shaped galley with natural lighting.  The 112 sq. ft. cockpit is perfect for cruising and fishing.  For serious anglers, the tournament-style center console helm affords great visibility.  Recessed compartments house accessory switches and the pod system joystick control.

The 42 Open’s command bridge is just steps away from the cockpit.  The split observation mezzanine seating conceals insulated stowage  beneath the cushions.  Quick engine access is provided through a hatch on the command deck and via a command deck hydraulic lift for total accessibility from the cockpit. “Viking Yachts is a very demanding company, and Marine Exhaust Systems is a good fit with us,” said Frederiksen.  “They don’t view challenges as problems, they simply find a solution.  Neither of us is willing to throw in the towel and say it’s good enough.  We can always make it better─we know we can make it great.”  More information about Viking Yachts is available at www.vikingyachts.com
Established in 1973, Marine Exhaust Systems manufactures complete diesel exhaust system packages, from turbo to transom.  It offers superior exhaust risers, elbows, fiberglass mufflers, custom fiberglass products, silicone hoses, clamps and other high-quality hardware.

Contact Marine Exhaust Systems, 3640 Fiscal Ct., Riviera Beach, FL  33404.  561-848-1238
Fax 561-848-1298.  info@marine-exhaust.com; www.marine-exhaust.com
 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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