From the stern, the Valhalla V46 doesn’t sit like your average center console. The smooth curve of the sheerline, from the point of the bow sloping down to the tumblehome aft, gives the boat a soft, strong persona. The bow flares out just a bit and is outlined by a faux-teak painted toe rail. Combined with the rounded bustles at the corners of the transom, the look of the V46 harkens to classic sportfishing boats more so than your run-of-the-mill center console.
With an LOA of 46 feet, 7 inches and a beam of 13-plus feet, the boat leaves a large footprint. Yes, technically speaking it is a center console, but it’s much more than that. The Valhalla 46 is as comfortable nosing up to a sandbar for a chill day with the family as it is running 70 miles offshore with the hardest of hardcore anglers. Viking has always built fast boats, but with a 60-plus knot top end the V46 can do laps around their fastest convertible thanks to quad 450-hp Mercury Racing outboards.
Viking introduced the Valhalla line in 2019 with three models, a 33, 37 and 41. The open boats immediately made an impact and orders flooded in, but some customers wanted more features: air-conditioning, sleeping quarters, a generator, a full head with shower, a galley and additional seating. But they didn’t want to give up anything either, so rather than cram all of this into the existing 41, the design team went bigger. Viking stuck with the Michael Peters two-step hull used on the other Valhallas for its solid performance and handling. I have to say, for a stepped hull, the 46 will carve a surprisingly tight turn. If the captain hadn’t told us to hang on when he cut the wheel, someone probably would’ve gone for a swim. The boat dug in and stayed tight.
One thing I’ve long admired about Viking is the company’s attention to detail. It makes nearly every component and part in house, and it does the little things well. Take the helm for example: Raised up 7 inches off the deck, it affords incredible visibility forward through a curved windshield. But for short guys like myself, seeing the transom over the second row of seating, which is raised up a couple more inches, is tough—and that was with no passengers. When I mentioned this to company captain Ryan Higgins, he opened a small hatch under the captain’s chair so the lid rested on the console forward. This gives the captain a step to stand on for another few inches of height and clear views of the outboards astern. Problem solved.
The helm offers three MFDs, a 22-inch in the center flanked by 17-inch screens on either side, and it’s super clean. The VHF mics are set under a lid so there are no dangling cords. Viking also installed a fuel management system that lets the captain control which of the three fuel tanks each engine is pulling from. This ensures you can use every last gallon should you need to. The hardtop looks like it came straight from a 70-footer. It houses recessed, electric teaser reels, LED lights and on this particular hull, an almost ridiculous amount of speakers. This boat will be used as a tender, and the owner must really like to rock the boat, because you can hardly look in any direction without seeing a speaker.
The V46 can carry enough people to field a baseball team. There are seven helm chairs with arm rests and bolsters, and they adjust electrically forward or aft. The large sunpad on the forward console has a sweeping ergonomic shape that I had to try; it hits you in all the right spots. Add in benches in the bow and mezzanine seating facing aft and this boat could double as the world’s fastest water taxi.
The cabin is accessed through an unassuming port-side door that opens easily and slides forward. Stepping inside, I was impressed with the 6-foot, 7-inch headroom in the galley. There’s a V-shaped dinette forward with a small but manageable hi-lo table that converts to a berth. The galley offers a cooktop, microwave and fridge. The cabin is not a space you’d want to entertain in, but it’s perfect for taking a nap on a hot day or heating up a few egg sandwiches for the crew.
The head has a door that opens up to a machinery space similar to an engine room. I will say that it’s a bit strange walking through the shower; I kind of felt like the door might open to Narnia. It didn’t, but the space behind it was equally as cool. In true Viking form, the space offers easy access to the genset, water heater, AC strainer and the helm electronics. There’s also a Delta T ventilation system to pull cool air in and flush hot air out.
The Seakeeper 6 is mounted under a hatch in the deck behind the console. And a large gelcoat-finished lazarette houses the Hooker Electric sea chest for the twin 50-gallon transom livewells and access to other systems, and it offers plenty of room to store fenders and the like. Fishing crews will appreciate the tackle tray storage behind the mezzanine backrest, and more tackle drawers under the second-row seating. There’s also a side rod locker under the gunwale and rod holders running up to the bow. I doubt tackle storage will be an issue on this boat. There are two big fish boxes in the cockpit that drain overboard, and a port side cockpit door for passengers, or trophy game fish.
With limited time to run the boat, I was eager to throw lines. The sound of the four 450R outboards firing up in sequential order never gets old. We idled out into the ICW and headed away from the no-wake zone. The quad 450s pushed the boat up on plane with little bowrise. At 5,000 rpm we were north of 44 knots, and the boat seemed quite happy there. At wide-open with 200 gallons of fuel and four passengers, we topped 60 knots, but we were closing in on some other boats rather quickly and had to back off. I think we could’ve gotten a bit more top end out of the boat with more room to adjust the trim.
We made a series of turns at various speeds, and the boat never skipped or slid. It stayed tight to the edge like a slalom skier. As we turned around and headed back toward Viking’s yard in Riviera Beach, I tried to cajole the captain into heading for the inlet, but there was no time. Viking was preparing for its annual VIP event, and we were riding on the belle of the ball. She had to get back and cleaned up for her big debut—suitors were already lining up at the dock. Using the bow thruster, the captain spun the boat and squeezed her into her prime spot on the dock. As we stepped off, I hoped for a second date, maybe in Ocean City or the Florida Keys so we could see her in her more natural habitat, doing what she was really designed for.
Displ.: 29,731 lbs. (full load)
Fuel: 694 gal.
Water: 70 gal.
Max Power: 1,800 hp
Price: $1.6 million