Breaking new ground is a Viking trademark and at the companys 810,000 square-foot facility on the Bass River in New Gretna, New Jersey, a short hop from Atlantic City, another emerging chapter is underway with the construction of the Viking 76 Convertible, slated to premiere at the 2009 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show.
To be sure, the new 76 Convertible has some big shoes to fill considering 45 Viking 74 Convertibles have been delivered since its introduction in 2004.
With even a cursory glance, the Viking 76 Convertibles profile is reason to pause. The raked stem is aggressive and its mission becomes instantly obvious. Similarities to the 82 Convertible, like its dramatic sheer line, the flush foredeck and a pair of fixed port lights which match lines of the hull are sweeping design statements that merge form and function. The wrap around black metallic mask provides a distinctive and distinguished look, which accents the flowing lines of the flying bridge.
Beneath the waterline, a different sense of masterpiece emerges. The convex deadrise shape with sharpened waterline sections showcases stability and sea keeping ability. The convex deadrise adds curvature and form to the hull bottom and the wide beam, which carries well aft, increases buoyancy and lift. Even at flank speeds re-entry is soft to enhance ride comfort and dryness.
Viking has long been active in using its tank testing experience of scale models in the development of new product, and the 76 hull form clearly benefits from such testing. Our design and engineering teams, for instance, compiled hundreds of hours tank testing multiple 82 Convertible scale hull models to study powering and sea keeping characteristics. The data was then expanded to full scale and later validated with actual sea trials conducted by our engineering group. All of the this documented information has been incorporated in the design of the 76 Convertible hull assuring us it will meet or exceed our expectations, based on available power, as well as future propulsion systems.
To enhance performance and achieve better engine and propulsion efficiencies, the design, engineering and production teams explored various avenues to shave off unnecessary poundage and were successful in bringing the deckhouse and hull weights to fruition well within the desired parameters. Viking has been using end grain balsa as a coring material for better than 22 years without a single construction failure. Our confidence in this material led us to explore other areas where we could take advantage of the products various attributes for stiffness, strength, lighter weight and durability in the development of the 76 Convertible. Some examples of these weight saving achievements include using vacuum bagged high-strength Baltek anti-fungal coring in the highly loaded bottom panels of the running surface. It should be noted that end grain balsa has tremendous shear strength and absorbs the trauma of impact. Our experience has been that in the event of an accidental grounding any damage is confined to the local area and does not compromise the surrounding core and laminates. This provides a superior measure of safety and easy reparability. Similarly, low density Baltek balsa used in the hull sides, deck and superstructure, provides the requisite stiffness and strength with the benefit of reduced weight. Structural sandwich panels of lightweight Baltek foam were used for bulkheads in lieu of heavier plywood, and to produce the longitudinal and transverse frames employed in internal grid sections. By selecting these specific construction core materials, the lamination schedules were optimized with higher strength bi- and triaxial knitted fabrics which absorb less resin, producing a core laminate of unequalled physical properties.
Through-hull areas including struts, shaft logs and water intake penetrate solid fiberglass only. To eliminate corrosion potential, overboard discharge through-hull fittings are manufactured of fiberglass.
Mechanically, the Viking 76 shares a commonality of features found aboard the flagship 82 Convertible. Chilled water air conditioning is built around an eight-ton system comprised of two four-ton units. The system allows individual thermostats for the staterooms and salon for climate management throughout the yacht. A reverse-cycle function provides heat as well. A hydraulic bow thruster is standard with convenient control buttons built into the stainless-steel single lever clutch and throttle handles. A Delta-T engineroom ventilation system delivers maximum air for engine operation and also provides water intrusion suppression. Dampers are integrated into the hull side vents as part of the fire suppression system which automatically close to seal the engine compartment from outside air if activated. Vikings proprietary VIPER (Viking Independent Programmable Electro-Hydraulic Rudder) steering system eliminates the tie-bar for independent rudder operation and it optimizes response and reduces drag at low, mid and high speeds for extraordinary maneuverability in all sea conditions. Vikings industry famous web-frame structural steel engine beds mounted to transverse intermediate bulkheads ensure drive-train alignment and minimize vibrations for smooth trolling and comfortable high-speed performance. Veem Interceptor S class propellers are quiet and a perfect match for speed and efficient operation. Caterpillar and MTU diesels are offered as power choices and depending upon engine selection, the 76 Convertible will cruise in the mid 30-knot range with a top end approaching 40 knots, based on ambient factors, including sea state, load, bottom condition and other variables. Two 32 kW Onan generators are standard. The 76 Convertible also features a master electrical control system, the Moritz OctoPlex, which utilizes touch screen operation and monitors in the salon and on the flying bridge, as well as manual back-up.
The Art of Luxury
Entered through an electrically powered sliding fiberglass door, the salon is a surround environment of lush teak joinery in a choice of satin or high gloss finish. For offshore convenience, a day head is immediately to port. Hand built furniture abounds port and starboard with an L-shaped lounge and rod stowage below, teak cabinetry, upholstery and window treatments, a teak cocktail table, wall-to-wall carpeting with lead-lined padding for acoustical insulation, a home theater center with a 50-inch flat screen television on a lift and a Bose Lifestyle 48 audio system.
Forward, a dinette to starboard faces the island style galley to port. Featuring custom granite countertops, the galley with its 360-degree access is professionally designed with three bar stools, under counter refrigeration and appliances, Amtico premium vinyl flooring and ample stowage. Additionally, two walk-in pantries forward of the dinette and galley provide bountiful stowage for supplies and cruising gear to stay at sea for months on end.
Below, two plans are currently in process, the basic difference found in the selection of the master suite. One layout offers the full beam master suite, while the alternate arrangement moves the master suite forward, to provide a crew stateroom aft with private access. Either arrangement provides five staterooms and four heads, and in both instances Vikings attention to detail with regards to opulence, privacy, comfort and stowage is obvious.
The flying bridge is the result of thousands of hours of tournament fishing, so it makes sense that the visibility at the helm is superb to all 32 points of the compass. A center console helm is the focal point with three Murray Products teak ladder back seats on 4-inch stainless-steel pedestals. A recessed electronics box with clear acrylic fronts accommodates a complement of navigation equipment that is installed for all-weather operation, while protecting the vital components from spray. Additional equipment nests safely yet always accessible in fiberglass compartments flanking the custom stainless-steel steering wheel in the helm control pod. A dedicated battery system with a built-in battery charger feeds the electronics clean, uninterrupted power. Power assisted hydraulic steering and electronic engine controls are silky smooth.
Lounge seating is located port, starboard and forward of the center console with ample stowage below each compartment. In addition, a freezer, a freshwater outlet, a top-loading chill box for drinks, and a sink with a powerful spray head can be found forward. Dozens of practical features are apparent on the flying bridge, although one item missing that again demonstrates Vikings commitment to detail is the absence of exposed fasteners in the bridge interior flange attaching it to the deck. As in the salon, a Moritz OctoPlex touch screen panel accesses all electrical needs at the prompt of a finger.
An enclosed flying bridge also is available with a raised control station forward and a second pod style station on the aft deck for docking. A Stidd helm seat at the forward interior station is flanked with companion seats port and starboard. Creating what is essentially a second salon, the expansive area abaft the helm includes an L-shaped lounge with a cocktail table on a raised platform for enhanced visibility, a 32-inch flat screen television, which rises out of the teak cabinetry, an audio system, a refrigerator with built-in icemaker, plush carpeting and a baby ostrich headliner. A weatherproof lockable door leads to the aft deck with additional seating, quartz lighting molded into the aft overhang and powder coated aluminum railing on the aft deck and flying bridge ladder from the cockpit mezzanine. A teak stairway from the salon provides all-weather access to the enclosed helm area.
Where Business Mixes with Pleasure
The 206 square-foot cockpit features Vikings signature observation mezzanine with aft facing custom Sunbrella cushions. A hinged seat lid lifts to expose substantial stowage for gear. A bait freezer, a refrigerated chill box, a tackle center, an insulated stowage compartment and engineroom access are also built into mezzanine area. In the lower cockpit, there is a large drop in fishbox and a pair of drop in stowage compartments that can be configured as baitwells, icewells, or customized as desired. A transom mounted fishbox also is standard. Port and starboard Glendinning Cablemasters, sea and freshwater outlets, a dockside freshwater inlet, tag stick and gaff stowage also are provided. Quite frankly, every feature deemed necessary to earn a spotlight in the Winners Circle is here. And you dont have to take our word for it, either. For the past five years in a row at the Miami International Boat Show, Viking Yachts earned the Presidents Cup from the World Billfish Series for winning more tournaments on the leagues 60 event schedule conducted around the world than any other builder. To maintain this pace on the highly competitive tournament circuit speaks volumes about Vikings quality, performance and value in every boat we build.
When visitors come to Viking, they often are overwhelmed by the abundance of modern machines on our plant floor like our pair of five-axis profilers that cost over $2 million, which manufacture fiberglass plugs that create the various molds used to build the boats. Viking willingly invests more capital in equipment because when matched to the dedication of our skilled workforce, the results are extraordinary. In fact, the only thing more extraordinary is our vision to keep challenging ourselves to deliver the finest yacht money can buy.
So it is with great pride and anticipation that we announce the new Viking 76 Convertible. Like all Vikings, it will be manufactured to order and provide its owner a one-of-a-kind sportfishing yacht built to our exacting design to fish and cruise in comfort, luxury and safety.
Draft: 5 ft. 6 in.
Beam: 20 ft. 3 in.
Fuel tank capacity: 2547
Water tank capacity: 425