The most popular Viking Sport Cruiser these days is the 70-footer, which seems to be an ideal size for both people trading up and those trading down. Owners like the fact that it has 4 staterooms with 3 en suite heads, plus a 2-berth captain’s cabin in the stern. The folks at Viking tell us that many of their customers buy them for their retirement, and we couldn’t think of a better package. Nothing keeps one in better health than an active life cruising in ocean air. One 70’ Viking Sport Cruiser buyer took delivery in the U.K. and is currently in his second year of cruising the Med. -
The 70’ Viking Sport Cruiser was new in 2005. Since its
introduction, it has become the brand’s most popular seller. The company attributes
that to its size, configuration, styling, accommodations, performance, and operating
expense. In other words, this model hits the sweet spot of what many yachtsmen are
looking for.Just the Right Size
First, let’s take size. Seventy feet is about the largest boat that is easily manageable
by a husband and wife, owner/operator. With a bow thruster, or better yet both a
bow and stern thruster, a 70-footer can be maneuvered easily with a little practice
and a worked out plan between husband and wife (or significant other). When it comes
to washing down the boat, again a couple can do it in a couple of hours, or oversee
a couple kids from the dock.
There is a new downsizing trend these days in all size ranges. The 70 is large enough
so that people moving down from a 90 or 125-footer can feel at home on this boat.
Yes she is a lot smaller, but all of the basic amenities they are used to are here
– 4 staterooms, room for a crew of two, a large flying bridge, and a nice aft deck
for al fresco dining.
And operating costs are far less, it is easier to find dock space in the U.S., it
eliminates a lot of the crew, and since a husband and wife can handle the boat,
a cranky captain can be shown to the gangplank without hesitation.
Sexy Euro Styling
Many people moving up to a 70’ Viking Sport Cruiser are
coming from an express cruiser. They like the open bridge deck with unimpeded 360-degree
visibility from the helm and the wind in their hair. These move-up people get the
same great sight lines and fresh air on the open flying bridge of the 70. Virtually
all express cruisers these days have Euro-styled lines so the look of the 70 Sport
Cruiser is what their eye is used to, only a lot bigger. And, let’s face it, a jump
to this beautiful boat is a nice reward for a career well done.
There is a stately
elegance to this Viking Sport Cruiser. It has a design that most traditional yachtsmen
could feel comfortable aboard, yet is stylish enough for the trendy set who want
to be thought of as “with it” when they go to Porto Cervo, Costa Smeralda. Designers
from Northern Europe tend to be a little more conservative and you can trust in
the taste of Princess’ guiding light, David King, to keep it right.
Count ‘em—4 staterooms,
three heads for the owner and guests, and two bunks and a head for the crew. This
is an ideal layout for most people’s hospitality needs. Obviously, the compromise
here is in the engine room.
Accommodations Hard to Beat
The folks at Viking Sport Cruiser tell us that one of the biggest selling features
of the boat is the fact that it has four staterooms – two of which are VIP-class.
That is terribly important when having two other couples aboard for a cruise. With
two VIP staterooms the owner/host is not embarrassed by having to assign a cramped
stateroom to one of the couples. Everyone feels like a VIP!
Note the door in the background to the walk-in
closet. Four large portlights port and starboard make this full-beam master bright.
Most people feel
the ideal cruising number is three couples, and that is why in some custom-built
boats you will only find three staterooms. The fourth stateroom is really for kids,
in-laws, and to give you the option to put your boat up for charter – where four
staterooms are pretty much required these days.
Layout Details of Note
We would like to point out a few details that caught our
eye in the accommodations plan. We think that the master has been done exceedingly
well, with a chest of drawers to starboard and a love seat and more drawers to port.
Most important, the designer did not waste precious space on a full beam “his and
hers” head with a shower on the centerline as you see in a lot of yachts this size.
Women love and need the walk-in closet.
This is one of two VIP
staterooms. Note there is room on both sides of the bed for passage.
We like the forward VIP as the designer has not cramped the deck space at the foot
of the bed which is often done. The Washer and Dryer are located in the lower companionway
just forward of the entrance to the master stateroom.All Heads Well-Designed
Another important thing in our book: Please note that in every head – including
the crew quarters – two people can be in the head at the same time! This is an important
attribute as it relieves stress when a couple is getting ready for a party in the
evening, or has overslept in the morning and is rushing to breakfast. We have been
on 100-footers that don’t have this utility.
The large, open saloon
is comfortable for watching the flat screen with plenty of room for a cocktail party
which will spill out on the aft deck. Special Note: The glass at the forward and
aft end of the galley is electrically charged so it can be made either clear or
opaque as shown here to privatize the galley.
Main Deck Configuration
The Viking Sport Cruiser designer has expertly used space on the main deck configuration
and has done, in our opinion, almost everything well. The lower helm has a companion
seat, which is important. The settee can be used as a nav table while under way
and a third person can sit facing forward.
Chances are the lower helm will only be used during the day, as at night, light from
the galley and saloon would prevent good visibility, although the interior lights
could be turned off, or to red or blue. And there is always the flying bridge. Most
people will carry a fold-up table for al fresco dining on the aft deck.
The Need for Speed
People who buy this 70-footer are people used to going fast. This boat is not for
the trawler crowd. It comes with twin 1360-hp MAN diesels, and while we haven’t
tested it, the folks in New Gretna tell us that it has a WOT from 34 to 35 knots.
This engine has one of the best weight to horsepower ratios in its range.
At 2100 rpms they say she will cruise comfortably at 28
to 30 knots, burning about 100 gallons an hour. At 11 knots she has a 600 nm range,
according to the factory.
retractable instrument case and the teak decks. Both add to the functionality and
elegance of the flying bridge.
The Man engine is a V-12, has a common rail and is electronically
controlled. The engine carries a two year warranty with the option to extend full
coverage to five years from the initial two. We always recommend that owners buy
an extended service contract for the length of time they plan on owning the boat,
no matter which engine brand they buy.
The engine room space is maxed out with the 1360s so you
can’t put in larger engines, but you can go smaller. However, most owners go for
the 1360-MANs even if they don’t need all of that horsepower in order to help sell
the boat at resale time.
Virtually everyone is interested in operating costs these days, and one of the nice
things about a new boat is that they are very predictable the first year. There
is a one year warranty on the whole boat. The traditional rule of thumb is that
one should budget 10% of the cost of the boat for annual operating expenses if you
have a crewed yacht. Since the 70 Viking Sport Cruiser sells for about $4 million
(it fluctuates with the exchange rate), that means $400k. However, one of the advantages
of the 70 is that it can be owner/operated. That means a big savings, and our guess
is that the 70 can be operated for about half that amount.
Like any boat, the cost of operating this 70-footer will
depend on how far you take her, how fast you go, and how many nights you tie up
at expensive marinas. The average boater might put 100 hours a year on the engines
and that would run just $25k at $2.5 a gallon fuel – and that is going 30 knots
the whole time! Clearly fuel is not the big expense. We suspect that your largest
operating cost will be your entertainment bill!
The Summer of 2009
The summer is just six weeks away in northern climes, so there is not much time
left if you were to want to have a 70 Viking Sport Cruiser for the cruising up north.
Ordering a new 70 Viking Sport Cruiser will take eight to 12 months to get delivery
from the time the contract is inked. You’ll miss this season.
Happily, there are two new 70s available in the U.S. as
you read this, and both could be made ready for the summer.