Called “Princess” all over the world except in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, the new Viking Sport Cruiser 78 has an 18’9” (5.76 m) beam, displaces 129,000 lbs. (58,550 kgs), draws 5’6” (1.70 m) and can carry 1,500 gal. (5,680 L) of fuel. Her dead rise at the transom is 19-degrees, which is pretty deep for this size and weight boat.
While we haven’t tested this boat, Viking tells us that they expect her to have a WOT with the C-32A Cats north of 34 knots and a best cruise of 30 to 32 knots turning 2100 rpms. At that speed she should burn about 120 gph. Figuring a 10% reserve on her fuel capacity, at 30 knots she should have a range slightly in excess of 337 nautical miles. That is a very long day’s run, particularly at that speed.
Americans Like Big Cats
Why the big engines? James Nobel, marketing director for Viking Sport Cruisers, tells us that larger engines give a broader range of operating speeds, allowing customers to find their optimum cruise speed given conditions. “She will ride very comfortably at 30 knots,” Nobel said. Indeed, the Caterpillar C-32As are the engines of choice from the 70’ range up to 100’. They have proved to be reliable and builders of motoryachts all over the world have pretty much standardized on them.
The big news concerning the new 78-footer is that it represents one of the first models where Princess is using resin infusion for the hull and virtually all of the smaller fiberglass components. This optimizes the resin to glass ratio for a lighter, stronger part. All future models will employ resin infusion as well. Further, Princess conserves weight in the build by removing non-structural materials where they can. Just as is done in all aircraft, Princess creates lightening holes in material to reduce weight and make the new 78 easier to push. We are told that despite the fact that she is larger and has a bigger engine than the discontinued 75, she has the same displacement.
Speed and Ride
Both Americans and Europeans still want to go fast and both the Princess and Viking Sport Cruisers organization pride themselves on having a boat that is comfortable at speed in a chop that would rattle the glassware in many other motoryachts this size. It is no secret to how it is done: simply create a fine entry forward, then warp the hull no less than about 18-degrees at the transom. In this case the dead rise is 19-degrees at the transom. A flatter dead rise, say, 11 to 14-degrees at the transom is faster with the same power, but not as comfortable in choppy conditions. On the other hand, deep-Vs can be more rolly at rest. The 78 strikes a balance by keeping a very low center of gravity to provide a more stable platform at rest. All boats are a compromise, as someone once said.That is a semi-deep-V hull and it takes lots of power to lift up 129,000 lbs. (58,550 kgs.) of boat and keep it on plane. “Our owners like to go fast,” Nobel said, “and they like to go long distances. The big engines get the job done.”
One advantage of buying a Viking Sport Cruiser, Nobel points out, is that buyers can take delivery in England or in the Med and cruise there before bringing the boat back to the States. “One of our customers spent two years in the Med cruising before bringing the boat back this year,” he said.In looking over the boat we don’t see anything that is earth-shakingly different – and that, we suspect, was the desired reaction from Princess and Viking. The big issues are nicely covered: speed (check), four staterooms with en suite heads to facilitate chartering (check), ample crew quarters (check), galley that can be closed off for European tastes and Americans when they are throwing a dinner party check), large flying bridge (check), ample aft deck for al fresco dining (check), attractive, world-class motoryacht lines (check).
Details Make the Motoryacht
There are a few details we would like to point out, not because they are unusual, but rather because we like the utility they provide and no matter what brand or size motoryacht you look at you should consider them. There is an impressive array of standard navigation equipment on the flying bridge helm and it is housed in a clever hydraulic raise-and-lower helm panel. Italian builders have been doing this for years; it keeps the sun and rain off the instruments and makes them harder to steal.The boat has a centerline helm seat on the flying bridge, which we like. It is complemented by additional seating to port and starboard for forward-facing eyeballs. This is how all boats should be designed in our opinion.
There is a hydraulic swim platform that makes launching a PWC easy, or a tender. We prefer to keep the tender on the top deck as has been done in the pictures. The fiberglass hardtop with integrated retractable center section and optional three or four sided isinglass enclosure ensures comfort in a variety of weather conditions. As noted, most Americans go for this, and hopefully Europeans will, too, in the future, as they learn to use their boats in months other than August.
Please note that the galley has been constructed in such a way that it can be opened up or closed off. The adjacent galley has an open feel, but can be closed off from the dining area for more private functions. The lower helm also has a comprehensive navigation package and features fully adjustable helm and companion seats. This is somewhat unusual and very important. Visibility from inside helms on large motoryachts is nearly always severely restricted so maxing visibility with the right height seat is key.
Finally, the crew cabin is somewhat large for a European-built boat in this size range. The folks at Viking consider that the 70’ range is where yachts evolve from owner/operator to captain operated. Moreover, Viking says that insurance companies are increasingly demanding that there be a captain on the boat full time or face higher premiums. For that reason, the crew cabin in the Viking Sport Cruiser 78 was not an afterthought.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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