Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The All New 2015 Viking 52' Sport Tower

Like a Porsche, this sporty boat is Quick, Capable, and Timeless

By Matt Condon, Viking Specialist, Galati Yacht Sales 

Viking Yachts unveiled three new models last month, two of which were displayed at the VIP event held last month at Farley State Marina in Atlantic City – an awe inspiring 92’ Enclosed Bridge and a sporty new 52’ Sport Coupe with Tower. The 75’ Motoryacht was shown to dealers while still under construction at the Bass River factory located just up the road.  Undoubtedly, you will read many articles on the incredible new 92’ and 75’ MY as they are indeed milestones for the Viking Yacht Company now celebrating its 50th year of building yachts. But, it was the smallest of these yachts that caught my eye. After a rigorous sea test with customers, I found the 52’ Sport Coupe to be a truly amazing machine.

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First, let’s look at the stats. She’ll cruise efficiently at 34.5 knots and top out at 42 knots with the MAN V12 1,400hp ultra-smooth and smoke-free next generation engines. She carries 1,450 gallons of fuel with all tankage resulting in a range of over 400 nautical miles at cruise!!! Her massive 17’ 6” beam gives you an extremely roomy and stable fishing platform. And, here is a number you will not see on any other express boat:  6’ 3” engine room.  Yes, over 6 feet of standing heading room in the engine room! Simply amazing and kudos to the designer David Wilson and team of Viking engineers – these guys really know what fishermen want.

We tested hull No.1 featuring an innovative 3 / 2 layout down below. This format gives you 2 private bunk rooms for your fishing buddies, and a nice queen size island birth forward with private head as the master’s domain. An optional open floor plan 2 stateroom layout is offered as well.

The whole idea behind an express boat is it keeps everybody in the action on main helm deck. You can’t fight a fish from the flybridge, right? The express design is perfect for owner-operators as well as hands-on captains wanting to be in the heart of the action. The innovative new 52 Sport Coupe (referred to as the 52 Sport Tower when so equipped) features a stylized hardtop with frameless hard glass enclosure. This is critically important because it eliminates plastic enclosures which leak and wear out over time. At speeds in excess of 40 knots, the wind and salt water come at you ferociously. But everyone stays bone dry and relaxed with the new 52 Sport Coupe because the glass enclosed helm keeps you and your crew feeling refreshed and ready to battle the fish.

My sea trial story... It was a memorable sea test. On board with me are my customers and Viking lead engineer Bill Gibbons at the helm. He had the boat running a quick 37 knots down sea in a blustery 4’ – 6’ Atlantic Ocean chop on an overcast day. She ran like a finely tuned Porsche on a circuit; sure footed, forgiving, and under total command. But, I was worried. I knew we would have to turn back into these seas. I am thinking - at some point we will need to turn around into this stuff. This is not going to be good! Just then Bill announces that not only is he planning to maneuver the boat into the nasty sea but that he wants to do a complete 360 degree turn in the slop so we can feel how the sea effects the hull. Now, I am getting really worried.  I’m thinking; oh, heck (but I was using another four letter word in my head). This may be a 52 Viking, but that is the angry Atlantic. Am going to lose this sale for sure when we crash into these waves? Bill announces – “everyone ready, here we go”. To my shock, he holds the boat at a blistering speed as we begin to turn into the head sea. Wait…, wait…, wait… holding my breath…I am thinking the big bang is coming. Then, nothing. Still, nothing. No pounding. No shuttering. No slapping. As we complete the turn I finally take a breath of relief. I realize that we just experienced something special. Bill already knew this boat could eat up a head sea at speeds. He was like a proud parent showing off what he created. In a very calm and assuring voice he says; “She does ride nice, doesn’t she”. Nice? All I could think was OMG! We just did a full turn in 4’ – 6’ seas at 30+ knots without flinching! I would not have believed it had I not been aboard firsthand to experience it myself.  We then proceeded to blaze home into the big seas without any fuss whatsoever. All I can think is - Wow!

On the way back, the customers’ captain pulled me aside and said “Matt, I’ve been running boats my whole life all over the world and it has been a long, long time since I’ve been surprised or impressed on a boat. I’ve got to tell you, I am impressed”. I was impressed too. 

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