I’ve seen some memorable shows on Atlantic City’s stages, and this last one was a real humdinger; however, the stage was a rumpled Absecon Bay and the entertainer was the Viking 58 Convertible.
I took it all from the comfort of the neat, commodious flybridge. There were four of us, and the gleaming white space could’ve fit a half-dozen more on lounge seating that flanks the walkaround, center-console-style helm station on three sides. I was awaiting my turn at her teak helm pod as Scott Adams, Viking’s demo captain, leaned against the bolster on the Release Marine helm chair and put the 58 through its paces.
Adams deftly handled the single-lever controls and the 58 spun on her own axis. “We outperform, out service and out engineer the competition,” he told me when I asked about his time at Viking. He’s slated to fish the 58 all winter out of Palm Beach as a demo boat. Like all of its new convertibles, she’ll chase gamefish with a crew comprised of Viking employees, earning them some well-deserved R&R and a chance to get on board their creation.
The level of fit and finish aboard the 58 is first-rate, a clear reason why Viking is the alpha in its class. Its 165-square foot cockpit is like a master study in pelagic battle, the ideal mélange of comfort and fishy features: Four fishboxes (one that converts to a livewell), refrigerated bait boxes, drink coolers and freezers built into the mezzanine stairs are just a few of its attributes.
I saw more of Viking’s attention to detail after I pushed the button next to the mezzanine seating and the pocket door slid away offering access to the salon. I had a clear view on centerline to the companionway that would take me to her three staterooms below decks; this arrangement—and 7 feet of headroom—worked to give the salon a more open feel. I also took in the exquisite, high-gloss walnut interior. The salon was equipped to serve crew in fine comfort—with high-end appliances from Sub-Zero and Miele, a 50-inch recessed TV matched to KVH TracVision and DirecTV and enough stowage for a week’s worth of sundries for a half-dozen hungry anglers.
Back to my time runnning her. The ease with which she reached her optimum cruise of 33 knots (Hull No. 1 had the optional 1,600-hp MTU 10V2000 M96 diesels; there are engine options from MAN up to 1,900-hp apiece) on her way to a top speed of 42 knots was impressive. When it came my turn at the well-organized helm, I noted that sightlines were unimpeded all around, the bridge ideally located to run the boat safely and easily communicate with the action in the cockpit. Hard turns were met instantaneously, as she came around fast and clean. A lithe performer, she behaved and responded like a smaller boat and a seasoned thoroughbred.
Viking has earned their place in the industry by continually setting the trend with their design applications. After time spent aboard the 58, I look forward to what’s next. —Jeff Moser
Viking Yachts, 609-296-6000; vikingyachts.com
Displ.: 80,379 lbs.
Fuel: 1,502 gal.
Water: 207 gal.
Cruise Speed: 33 knots
Top Speed: 42 knots
Std. Power: 2/1,400-hp MAN V12 1400CRM
Power: 2/1,600-hp MTU V10 Series 2000 M96L; 2/1,900-hp MAN V12 1900CRM
Base Price: $2,935,000