While for the last decade or two Viking Yachts has dominated the tournament sportfishing circuit in the Western Hemisphere, the fact is that these days about half of its customers use their Viking convertibles primarily for cruising. Little wonder, then, that the New Gretna, NJ boat builder is placing an emphasis on interior accommodations and the ability to do serious long range cruising.
Many convertible owners who use their boat exclusively for cruising obviously prefer this style boat to conventional flush deck motoryachts or large express cruisers. There are several reasons for this phenomenon: First, a convertible simply looks more like a seaman’s or a sportsman’s boat than do most conventional motoryachts. There are many powerboat owners who simply don’t want to be confused for the stereotypical owner of a floating gin palace who all-too-often needs his professional captain in order to start the engines. Second, convertibles generally have a lower center of gravity than most motoryachts, are built exceedingly tough because their owners are famous for being cowboys offshore, and as a result the best of this breed are able to ride out unpleasant seas with more grace than the average high-sided, high-windage motoryacht. Finally, because the offshore tournament buckaroos want to go fast, most convertibles built these days are light and fast.
The new Viking 76 is built for real business. Take a look at these specs:Standard power is twin Caterpillar C-32 ACERT, 1825 hp diesels. With these engines and standard equipment, the boat sells for MSRP: $4.594 million. If you want the optional MTU Series 2000 V16 M93, 2400 hp engines, add $550k to the invoice.As regular readers of Offshore Motoryacht know, we have the highest regard for Viking Yacht’s dedication to quality and building a boat right, no matter what the cost. As we look over Viking’s construction regimen and list of equipment a few things jump out at us as being noteworthy.
The whole interior of the hull molding has a gelcoat top coat with a polyurethane coating, including in the engine room and anchor locker. The fuel tanks and holding tank are fiberglass with baffles inside, have balsa core in the sides for stiffness and are sealed to the hull with resin foam. We prefer fiberglass fuel tanks because they can be placed lower in the boat, conform to the bottom shape, and thereby lower the center of gravity. Further they eliminate the worry of an aluminum tank rusting through or getting a pinhole leak.The saloon floor is molded fiberglass and not plywood, the keel is solid material, and the main bulkheads and the engine room bulkheads are vacuumed bagged. The engine beds are mounted not only to the longitudinal stringers but also to the transverse stringers in the engine room. For years Viking has cored its hull sides with balsa as many builders do, as well as to core its bottoms below the waterline, which many traditional, conservative builders do not do. Viking president Pat Healey swears that Viking has never had a problem with water osmosis in its balsa cored bottoms because of the vinylester resin it uses, and we’ll take him at his word.
The Viking 76 has a Delta-T thermostatically-controlled engine room ventilation system and demisting structure which is the best system money can buy. Further, this Delta-T system has been upgraded to automatically close off ventilation dampers when activated by the automatic fire suppression system.The Viking 76 has as standard automatic and manual fire suppression system tied into the main engines and generators, something that most responsible builders install on top-tier brands. On the new Viking 76 the builder has installed a centralized water intake sea chest which is an old idea that is highly practical, and we remain surprised that more builders do not adopt it. Good on ya’ Viking.There is a hydraulic dewatering pump with a manifold to the forward, engine room, and cockpit bilges. We’re sure that Viking would add a two-way valve on the engine cooling water pick-up for emergency dewatering if you asked them. Finally, there is the Viking’s patented VIPER steering system. It was first introduced on the 82 over a year ago, and it has been so well received it is being installed as standard equipment on the Viking 76. VIPER stands for Viking Independent Programmable Electro-hydraulic Rudder. This revolutionary steering system eliminates the tie bar between the two rudders allowing them to be individually controlled. As a result the Viking 76 can make high-speed turns on a dime with a turning radius far less than a conventional system.
As we look over the list of standard equipment we were happy to see that defoggers are standard in the command bridge and that the Moritz Octoplex touch screen control monitor system is installed. Again, this is not an inexpensive system and would be optional on virtually any boat at any price point. Essentially it consolidates all of the boat’s electronic monitoring and control systems into one screen in one place, and the skipper does not have to be running all over the boat to find out what is going on with his vessel.
Since tournament fishermen often do little else, Viking has basically set up the standard boat equipment list for them. However, if you plan to use the Viking 76 for cruising, there are about $148,000 worth of options we would add to this boat: Davit (1700 lb.) $40,700; Salon forward window mask, $13,960; Hydraulic Windlass, $12,210; Dual radar mast, $13,670; 2 spare 5-blade props with boxes and installation tool, $49,200; and a watermaker (1400 gpd) w/auto back flush, $18,920. Buy a tender with an outboard and you don’t need anything more except for 9 good friends.
The Viking 76 convertible comes with an open flying bridge or an enclosed bridge. Take your pick. Either way it will make you proud on the sportfishing trail or cruising anywhere in the world. Better yet, do both. For example, go for the extra 600 gallon fuel tank, fish off the Great Barrier Reef, then go north and cruise the Coral Sea. Or, take the boat to Cabo Blanca, Peru where the world record black marlin was caught in 1954 and tie into the big ones, then cruise down to Chile and enjoy its inside passage south to the Straits of Magellan. Already four of these boats have been sold and Viking is currently about halfway through with hull #1. Our guess is that when it debuts at the Ft. Lauderdale show the rest of the year’s production will be quickly called for. Our advice is – if you like what you see here – get some skin in this game before the Lauderdale show. Visit Viking Yachts' website.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
1 year limited warranty