Going in style, when and how you want
Author: Capt. Tom Serio
You know the name Viking Yachts, and you probably know the builder’s lineup includes a plethora of sportfishing battlewagons, from 42 to 92 feet, that come in various flavors, including Convertibles, Opens and Sport Yachts. As well, Viking just introduced the 75 Motor Yacht, an innovative cruiser in its own right (we’ll save that for another story).
One of the more recent introductions to the line of sportfishing convertibles is the 62C. Sure, it follows the Viking fit and finish we have become accustomed to, but there’s more to the yacht and more to this sea trial.
I met with Peter Frederiksen — wearer of many hats at Viking, including marketing guy, editor in chief of the Viking Yachts magazine Valhalla, and photographer, to name a few — at the Viking VIP event in Palm Beach, Fla. He escorted me to the 62C and allowed me to do a quick walk-through prior to the sea trial. He also gave me a detailed tour when we returned, educated as he is in just about everything on this and other Viking yachts.
Steady as She Goes
The sea trial was no cruise on flat water with a couple of guys aboard. The day’s weather, although sunny with puffy clouds, included a stiff 20-knot wind and rolling, choppy seas. Add in 16 people on board, and you’ve got some extra weight as well as a higher center of gravity with a dozen of us up top.
Regardless, when Capt. Brian Komer pushed the throttles forward, the 62C charged through the seas, effortlessly throwing the ocean outward for a dry ride. Suddenly, a voice boomed excitedly, “We are going 40 knots!” Amazing, as we were in less-than-stellar seas and lesser boats would have had to slow down. Not the Viking 62C. It was full speed ahead.
Speed is one consideration for anglers. It gets you to the grounds faster and, perhaps more importantly, back home to weigh the catch. It also provides an edge when you need to outrun bad weather or changing seas. Fastened to steel engine beds that are bolted to transverse stringers in the hull, the twin 1,925 hp Caterpillar 32A engines, which spin five-bladed props, were able to put a little “giddy-up” in the response, getting the 94,025 pounds of yacht up and out of the hole.
Pleasing to those on board was the stabilizing system Viking utilizes to significantly reduce roll. When we stopped beam-to the seas, the 62C responded to the conditions with a typical snap-roll effect. I’ve been fishing in such conditions, and it is not fun for six hours or more. Well, with a flick of a switch, Capt. Komer engaged the Seakeeper gyroscope stabilization system, and it worked really well, to the delight of everyone aboard judging by the resounding chorus of “Oh!” Thanks to the laws of physics used in the gyro, the rocking and rolling essentially stopped, making the 62C feel more like it was on a flat lake than in 3- to 5-foot seas. Viking builds more than 50 feet of the necessary mounts into each yacht to either install a Seakeeper during the build or add it later on, a great option for second and third owners of a Viking. Reducing roll reduces the onset of mal de mar, or seasickness, as well as those white-knuckled rides. And we know that fighting the roll increases fatigue and unpleasantness. And who wants that? Boating should be fun, right?
Capt. Komer also made the 62C dance a bit, showing off the agility and backing capability of the hull. We were doing 7 knots in reverse, with room for more. Cool!
Take a Seat
Having 12 people on the bridgedeck may seem daunting, for the boat anyway, but there’s seating for all. Bench seats adorn the port and starboard sides thanks to the walk-around helm, and a forward bench provides unparalleled visibility. The captain’s helm chair is flanked by two more Release Marine chairs, giving commanding views over everyone’s head. There’s visibility down into the cockpit, to check out the action. Storage under the seats is ample for rods, gear and goodies, and a refrigerator and freezer keep the food and drink at the proper temperature.
Everything is at the captain’s fingertips. A custom wood Palm Beach–style helm pod has single-lever electronic controls with embedded thruster buttons, great for backing into a slip. In front is an enclosed cabinet with three display screens and engine monitoring displays. Recessed electronics boxes in the console house the radios, switches, chartplotter controls, etc., and overhead is a dropdown console with more displays.
By the way, the 62C comes in an enclosed bridge model, also. Whatever your preference, Viking can deliver.
Speaking of preference, the interior of the 62C is suitable for fishing trips and family cruising. High-gloss teak cabinetry carries from the salon into the galley, blending the areas smartly. An L-shaped settee is a great spot to watch the 46-inch HDTV that’s a part of the home theater package. Forward to port is the L-shaped dinette with a mappa burl wood table.
Forward to starboard is the L-shaped galley, designed with two points of entry for easy access. The design allows for a large, granite-topped galley island, with two fixed stools on the outer side and Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer drawers on the inside. Add in the rest of the galley — including a flush-mounted four-burner stovetop, a microwave oven, a stainless sink, a garbage disposal and an acre of countertop — and there’s no problem taking the catch from sea to plate.
It’s a comfortable interior, with Amtico flooring in the entryway and galley, and wall-to-wall carpet elsewhere. If you’re not into fishing, the 62C works well as a cruiser. There are owners who like the height of a flybridge, a large cockpit for chairs and loungers, and the confidence of a proven hull.
Even with the spacious cockpit and salon, there’s room for a four-stateroom configuration (a three-room layout is available). The port-side master has a king-size walk-around berth, a four-drawer credenza, maple-lined closets, end tables and an entertainment center with a 32-inch TV. A private en suite head has granite counters, a Headhunter System toilet and a fiberglass stall shower with glass doors. Impressive is the beefy satin nickel–finished hardware used for door handles and hinges.
In the peak is the VIP with a walk-around queen berth and an en suite head. Two additional staterooms have twin berths — one has bunks and the other side-to-side berths. Understand that Viking does not skimp on the staterooms, as they are finished as well as the rest of the yacht. Teak cabinetry, TVs, herringbone walnut flooring in the heads, moccasin chamois headliners and more maintain the elegant feeling throughout.
My guess is that if you’re into the 62C, then you are also into fishing, and you won’t be disappointed. First, there’s mezzanine seating one level up, which doubles as a bait freezer and tackle cabinet. It’s a great vantage point for watching the lines or keeping spectators out of the way of fish fighters. There’s an oversized in-deck fishbox, a refrigerated chill box, side lockers, a transom door, a transom fishbox/livewell, a fighting chair mount, fresh- and saltwater washdowns, LED lighting from the flybridge and under the coaming, rod holders and more. It really is a fisherman’s dream.
Equip the 62C with a generator, a bow thruster, an ice-maker, teak decking, salon crown molding, Ultraleather fabrics and other niceties to expand on the comfort and style quotients.
What’s in a Name?
Viking’s longevity is a testament not only to the valued yachts it constructs, but to the company’s operation. Family owned and operated since 1964, Viking’s stance as an industry leader has been maintained by brothers Bill and Bob Healey through keen cost management, constant improvement of product and being good stewards of the environment. Having weathered the economic downturn and subsequent luxury tax debacle of the early 1990s while other builders folded, the Healeys’ experience and knowledge as well as a strong customer base allowed them to survive the recession of the mid-2000s, coming out on the other end stronger and more determined.
At its 810,000-square-foot New Gretna, N.J., facility, Viking has reduced CO2 emissions through the installation of roof-mounted solar panels, which provide enough energy to power two of the assembly line buildings. Additionally, Viking built a tri-generation plant on site to produce its own electricity by utilizing six natural gas micro turbines, reducing expenses by 25 percent as well as reducing its carbon footprint. It’s that kind of thinking that is reflected in the mindset and decision-making that encapsulates Viking Yachts from not just the plant operation but in the creation of each yacht.
Viking does about 90 percent of the sourcing of goods internally, keeping the construction and quality control under its tutelage. Viking Marine Group, the umbrella entity, includes Viking’s own Palm Beach Towers, Atlantic Marine Electronics, Viking Yachting Center in New Jersey and Viking Yacht Service Center in Florida.
When you look at the Viking 62C, understand the many components that go into the creation of the yacht and what stands behind it.