Friday, February 8, 2013

"Simply Irresistible" - Viking's New 62

My first impression from the dock is – “Okay, here is another pretty face from Viking Yachts”. These guys have been introducing new models faster than a Milan fashion show runway. But this new girl is unlike the others. She is more shapely and curvaceous. Forget Paris Hilton, I’m talking real curves like those found on Raquel Welch or Jennifer Lopez. The Viking design team, led by Dave Wilson, set out to eliminate any straight lines with the 62 Convertible and succeeded in creating a sexy and seductive mistress of the high seas.  

But, does she run as good as she looks?

I’m here to tell you the Viking 62 is the real deal. She is a bona fide, certified, bad a** convertible. Perhaps more eloquent words could be used to describe her, but those are most fitting. Capt. Ryan Higgins, Viking’s tournament winning in-house captain took a group from Galati Yacht Sales out Palm Beach into 4 – 6 head seas. Before I knew it, we were smoothly advancing at a fast 38 knot cruising speed. Wow! With equal parts power and grace, she reminds me of the great thoroughbred Secretariat thundering down the stretch. More than fast enough to win, with even more to give if called upon.

This totally new design is packed full of innovations and thoughtful improvements. Besides good looks, she has a big salon with plenty of storage, a refined bridge with extra seating and ample elbow room, a cockpit longer than her siblings, and fuel efficient enough to travel more than 500 nautical miles at 30 knots in a single day. I am impressed!

Galley with Storage Galore

Yes, the salon is bigger but perhaps more importantly it feels bigger too. Let’s start with the island galley; it is aligned fore and aft instead of the usual peninsula design, which tends to divide the salon. There are 6 sub-zero under-counter drawers, and massive amounts of storage everywhere you look. There are no less than 15 storage shelves in the galley, 7 of which slide out on ball bearing sliders for super-easy access to all your goodies, and 8 drawers for cutlery and miscellaneous. Behind one of Viking’s high polished teak doors is a pull-out trash bin, and behind another is access to a cavernous storage space under the sink – perfect for those over-sized pots and pan. Also new on the 62 are 3 deep shelves cleverly hidden behind the mirrored back splash  and cabinets above the port side dinette.

The L-shape salon sofa extends from the dinette to the entryway with easy access storage underneath. Viking’s sofas are hinged at the top of the back rests “dewberry style” providing unfettered access to 40 sq. feet of storage – a perfect spot for rod storage and spare parts bins.

Presto Chango … the TV Appears

Press the power button on the universal remote supplied by Atlantic Marine Electronics and presto, up comes this super-sleek glass-panel Samsung LED TV behind the curved cabinetry on the starboard side. I’m starting to really like this boat!

The Layout

The 4 stateroom, 3 head configuration is perfect for the traveling family or sport fisherman on the tournament trail. The master is amidship and off to the starboard side, with an island queen forward in the VIP suite, the 3rd stateroom features over/under bunks forward, and the 4th stateroom is aft with side bunks – ideal for the crew with an en suite head.

The master stateroom is by far, the best I have ever seen on a Convertible under 70’. It features a large queen bed facing to port, with 2 huge hanging closets, each behind twin raised-panel teak doors. They give a rich, warm feeling to the place. Yes, that’s right a his and hers closet on a 62’ sports fisherman!

My only disappointment in the layout was no engine room access from inside the boat, and no in-salon day head like found in the 66. So call me spoiled!

Luxurious Accommodations

Bill Bales of William Bales and Company is responsible for the “WOW!” reaction most people have when they first step aboard the 62. He chose a sculpted carpet with a chevron pattern, to go along with parquet styled Amtico brand flooring in the galley and heads. The thing that really grabs your attention is the wood work on the cabin doors, which are done in raised panel teak, finished in high gloss, and feature an archway top. All the gloss teak throughout the boat is spectacular with varying degrees of contrast in the grain. It is ultra-rich looking. Also, the counter tops in the galley counter and the vanities are certainly unusual. They are granite richly textured “leather-finished” that has the look and feel of colored slate.

Other nice touches include teak trim headliners in the staterooms that serve as A/C diffusers,  ostrich wall coverings with 1” teak strips at the seams, and highly textured wall coverings in the heads.

Command Deck

The flybridge layout is simply perfect. Perhaps in 10 years someone will show me a better design and laugh how I gushed over this 62. Until then, this is it. The configuration centers around Viking’s now famous island-style center console command station, loaded with state-of-the-art glass panel navigation equipment. Capt. Kirk aboard the star ship Enterprise never had it so good. There are three  sumptuous Release Marine Trillion series helm chairs suitable for the Captain, the Admiral, and Thor himself. Along the sides are 2 long bench seats, each with an aft backrest, and a comfortable seat forward smartly integrated in the center console.  

If you ever get the chance to stand at this helm, take a good look around, tell your friends to give you a minute, and then close your eyes and dream of running down that giant marlin. Its okay, we’ll understand. Men dream these things.

Command Performance

Our test boat was outfitted with a pair of 1,925 hp Cat C32A’s. We saw a top speed of 42 knots, with 20 people aboard and 75% fuel load. These Cats can growl! But, when it is time to purr along, remarkably, she’ll run efficiently at 30 knots burning about 100 gallons per hour at only 1,700 RPMs. This gives you a comfortable 18 hour cruising range, over 500 nautical miles. To put that in perspective, you can travel non-stop in a single day from Destin, Florida to Isla Mujeres, Mexico or from Wilmington, North Carolina direct to Palm Beach, Florida or from Nassau direct to Dominican Republic. The Viking gods have blessed you!

Action Central Cockpit

Whatever type of boating you do, the cockpit is the place to be. Tournament fishing, family cruising, or socializing at the dock, the 62’s cockpit is ideally configured for all. It is noticeably larger than most – a foot longer than the 70, with a large transom box and a very comfortable aft facing mezzanine seat. Also large is the vacant area under the cockpit sole known as the lazarette. It is big enough to carry one of those $200,000 Seakeeper anti-roll gyros, should you opt for total comfort at sea. Carmine Galati of Galati Yacht Sales says “Absolutely, it is well worth it considering the fact that your wife and guests will enjoy the boat as much as you.” 

Beauty and the Beasts Within

The engine room is bigger than you will expect. Remember crawling into an older Viking jam packed with horsepower and wondering if anyone will ever work in there? Not any more. The 62 Convertible offers 6’ of headroom, and easy access outboard of the engines. Wow! I’m 6’3” so I need to duck a little, but it is truly an amazing amount of space for a low profile boat with big Cat engines. Viking creates this height by eliminating the sub floor between the engines. She is wide, and it shows in the engine room where substantially more space exists outboard the engines too.

Viking paints all the thru-hulls, strainers, and various mounting brackets white - even the Craftsman tool chest is painted white. The Cat C32 engines are shiny white, with chrome valve covers, and white cat filters. Ransome Cat dressed these engines to look as good as they run. Nicely done!

The engine room is smartly laid out. The two generators are mounted aft on top of the massive stringers and just below the overhead electrical boxes – tucked completely out of the way, yet fully serviceable. The pumps and centralized sea water plumbing are tucked inside compartments forward of the engines. I also like how they have cleverly put the main engine water intake under a hatch as well.

My only gripe is the oil change pump is located in the walkway between the engines, slightly in your way for something only used every couple hundred hours.

Innovations Sell Boats

Like every model that precedes her, Viking continues to innovate. Their mantra of “build a better boat every day” should also include “never stop innovating”. The 62 hull design benefits from many Viking speed tricks that now include a recessed engine water intake, to go along with the recessed and glassed over strut and rudder mounts. Her hull is perfectly smooth. Like any new baby, a clean bottom is preferred.


My final take on Viking’s new 62 is one of pride to see this amazing boat built in America by a company that continues to improve on what is already considered the best money can buy. This boat is a benchmark for Viking Yachts, a company who refuse to rest on its past successes. She is faster, bigger, more luxurious, more comfortable, and more efficient.  More of everything you want in a Convertible. I find her simply irresistible!

By Matt Condon
(850) 259-9900
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