Source: John Wooldridge, Sea Magazine
Viking 60 Cockpit Sports Yacht is speedy and sumptuous
For some boaters, there’s nothing like the creature comforts that only a motoryacht can offer. But those same boat owners often envy the speed, performance and sporty styling of express cruisers.
Now, they can have the best of both worlds.
Motoryacht owners who want more performance and contemporary styling in their next step up will do well to consider the new Viking 60 Cockpit Sports Yacht. Derived from the successful 54 Sports Yacht introduced in 1993, the new Viking 60 adds the convenience of an aft cockpit down to the sophisticated, traditional lines of the firm’s newest three-cabin, three-head motoryacht.
At press time, the Viking 60 Cockpit Sports Yacht was about to make its West Coast debut at the Seattle Boat Show. However, before it arrived, New Jersey-based Viking Sport Cruisers allowed us to test one owned by Great Lakes boaters Bob and Linda Stafford.
The Staffords formerly owned a 46 foot, double-cabin motoryacht, a design with a convertible heritage that cruised between 15 to 20 knots and topped out around 24 knots. Because they wanted to cruise with six people in comfort, the Staffords chose a new Viking 60 Cockpit Sports Yacht. They needed increased tankage and range, convertible-style planing hull performance, plus seakeeping abilities proven on hundreds of previous convertibles, sportfishers and motoryachts.
“We’ve been building boats for a long time, and we put that experience to good use in all of our yachts,” said Bill Healy, Viking’s president, co-owner and head of its engineering and design teams.
“We’re building close to 100 yachts a year, but our notebook’s not full yet — and we’re always looking for ways to improve. We listen closely to our customers, and we also listen to our own people. This is really the key to Viking’s success.”
The Staffords know Viking’s willingness to listen firsthand. They requested changes in the master stateroom and the galley of their boat — and some of those alterations will be incorporated in future Viking Sport Cruisers.
In the master stateroom aft, Viking removed one of the hanging lockers and replaced it with a dedicated vanity, then replaced a five-drawer chest with a work desk. The Staffords also specified a new Corian countertop, added a four-burner stove and moved the dishwasher, for increased convenience.
Viking’s relationship with MAN provides the kind of drive that will satisfy a wide range of motoryacht owners. Equipped with a pair of 820 hp MAN 2840 LE401 10-cylinder diesels, our test boat reached a top speed of 33 mph — and it cruised at 28 mph.
Stepping up to a pair of optional 1,100 hp MAN 2842 LE402 12-cylinder diesels can push cruising and top end speeds up into the 35 to 40 mph range. And 1,200 hp MANs are available for those who want even more power.
Custom-designed, computer-numerically machined Super Thrust propellers and ZF Marine transmissions help translate all this horsepower into efficient drive.
Viking’s trademark hull design includes a sharp entry for fast wave parting, pronounced topsides flare to knock spray down and away from the bow, and pronounced chines that start well forward to help knock down spray and extend well aft to help with planing and side-to-side stability. Stepped chines for reduced drag also add stability, as do the flattened fairbody sections aft responsible for planing.
A partial keel increases tracking ability, as well as helping protect underwater gear from grounding damage. Viking engineers also positioned fuel, water and waste tanks for best running trim angles and as low as possible, for an optimal center of gravity.
“BoLinda (our 60 Cockpit Sports Yacht) handles beautifully around the docks, even in a blow with the help of our optional bow thruster,” Bob Stafford explained.
“We haven’t encountered any water conditions it couldn’t handle, and that includes a couple of storms with 8 to 10-footers. When you’ve got a boat under you that you feel comfortable with, then storms don’t seem so bad.”
Following American Bureau of Shipping and American Boat and Yacht Council standards, Viking builds the 60 Cockpit Sports Yacht using hand-laid biaxial and triaxial knitted fabrics for optimum strength-to-weight ratios, and modified epoxy resins behind the gelcoats for increased impermeability. For the best mechanical and chemical bond, Viking craftsmen sand each cured layer before applying the next fiberglass layer.
From bow to stern, an interlocking grid of stringers and bulkheads provide stiffness and structural integrity in the hull. All three major fiberglass components, the hull, the one-piece deck and superstructure, and a cockpit liner, are fastened mechanically and fiberglassed together to create a single high-strength structure.
And what a beautiful structure it is.
On the flying bridge, there’s a full 360 degree view of surrounding waters from the captain’s forward seat and flanking passenger pedestal seats, adjacent to built-in settees on both sides aft. In all, there’s room for 12 people on this spacious, 100 square foot bridge.
The console is full-width, with enough depth for flush-mount electronics ahead of the wheel and engine controls. A large aluminum-framed glass windshield with remotely operated vents protects the helmsman and crew. Removable plastic side and aft drop curtains are standard.
Down a few steps aft is the 14 by 12 foot aft deck, a “terrace” from which to dine overlooking your favorite harbor, and a entertainment area for mingling or dancing the night away. Hard or soft side enclosures are available, as is air conditioning and a built-in fiberglass bar with a sink, an ice-maker and a refrigerator. An entertainment center with full-size television and stereo is standard.
Dining, galley and entertainment functions are all together on a single level in the main saloon. With 163 square feet of living space, tinted opening windows and 6 feet, 7 inches of headroom, the main saloon offers views more common to great rooms in waterfront homes.
Neutral colors, direct and indirect lighting, and contemporary furniture create a luxurious at-home feeling for six to eight people in the main saloon. Custom decors to suit individual tastes, ranging from embossed leathers to imported brocades, are available, as are fine paintings and one-of-a-kind bronze sculptures.
The galley is a gourmet’s delight, with full-size appliances — including a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, a microwave/convection oven and a dishwasher. Instant hot water is available on the countertop, with a trash compactor and abundant locker and drawer storage below.
Wall-to-wall teak drawers and cabinets for an extended cruising wardrobe, his and hers walk-in cedar closets and an entertainment center with a television, VCR and stereo in the forward bulkhead are among the outstanding features in the 143 square foot master stateroom. The room is dominated by a king-size island berth, yet there’s no lack of room because the exhausts for the Viking 60 Cockpit Sports Yacht run along the outside of the hull aft.
A queen-size island berth in the forward guest suite rivals master suites on other yachts of this size. Even the second guest or crew’s stateroom has generous long single berths.
The forward stateroom has a built-in entertainment center, and another is available for the second cabin. A large en suite private head with shower is standard forward, while the third head compartment has a companionway door for use as a day facility.
Near the companionway entrance, a built-in washer/dryer adds versatility for long-distance cruisers.
Topsides, wide weather deck doors allow access to 18 inch wide sidedecks for those who must go forward to do anchor duty.
Mooring and ground tackle includes two pairs of spring cleats and one pair of bow cleats, all mounted on top of the toe rail for reduced chafe. The non-skid surface is very positive when wet, and the welded aluminum handrails provide a sturdy hold when the boat is under way.
A stout self-storing anchor pulpit is standard, with a chain-and-rope anchor windlass that can be controlled from the flying bridge or the foredeck. An optional davit is available for dinghy or personal watercraft storage on the foredeck.
The aft cockpit is accessible from the aft deck, with molded stairs and a sturdy handrail. There’s a nice crown to promote runoff through drains and scuppers, and more non-skid surfaces.
An opening transom door makes boarding or moving onto the swim platform much safer, and helps those who want to do a little sportfishing, diving or swimming. Large mooring cleats and flush-mounted hawse holes in the coaming let you cross or tie straight back when stern-to at the dock. Cockpit lockers provide excellent storage for lines and fenders.
A large, overboard-draining lazarette houses the aft fuel tank, for quick checking and service. It includes heavily chafe-protected Aeroquip fuel lines, a trim tab reservoir, an automatic bilge pump and an automatic fire extinguishing system. Besides line handling, you’ll also find an automatic shore power cord retrieval system, a 50 amp shore power connection, a dockside water connection and a hand-held shower nozzle handy to the aft cockpit.
Walk in to the brightly lit, well-ventilated engine compartment, and you will marvel at the standing headroom, as well as the amount of space that is available for servicing the drive motors and the sound-shielded auxiliary generator. The engines are mounted on I-beam beds, which are in turn mounted on low intermediate bulkheads for optimum center of gravity and better drive angles.
One of the reasons that the Viking 60 Cockpit Sports Yacht runs so quietly is that the engine room is acoustically isolated by a 3-inch-thick, vacuum-bagged foam composite ceiling, which is also the saloon floor. All noise-producing machinery is relocated to the engine room, not concealed in cabin furniture or behind cabin bulkheads.
In all, this 60 foot Sport Cruiser truly blends the best features of a luxurious motoryacht and a sporty express cruiser in one roomy, elegant and solid performing package.
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