By admin ~ June 30th, 2011. Filed under: New Boats.
Viking’s new 42 combines open fishability
By Chris Caswell
with a surprisingly spacious interior.
When Viking Yachts broke new ground by equipping its new 42 Convertible with Cummins MerCruiser Zeus pod drives, the question was: Would the yacht be accepted?
The answer has come back a resounding “Yes!” Sales of the 42C, which was the first model based on Viking’s new 42-foot hull to be introduced, exceeded expectations.
Now, the New Jersey boat builder has launched an open version of the boat, which is proving equally popular—and with good reason. I recently had the opportunity to climb aboard the new Viking 42 Open at the Viking Yacht Service Center in Riviera Beach, Florida. After running out into the Atlantic, we topped out at 36 knots (41-plus miles per hour), which is plenty quick enough to get out to the fishing grounds or to outrun a squall back to the marina. Cruising speed is 31 knots and that will eat up the miles without stressing either the engines or the credit card. Granted, our boat had the Cummins 600s, which are an upgrade over the standard 440s, but they are a worthwhile option.
Disp.: 32,699 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 525/120 gals.
Power: 2x Cummins QSB-600
Speed: Max/Cruise: 36/31 knots
Range: 350nm at 31-knot cruise
Base Price: $914,000.
New Gretna, NJ
Although we encountered square-edged three- and four-foot seas out in the Gulf Stream, the Viking 42 Open was soft-riding and dry, even with the hammers down. Its hull is not just an adaptation of an existing Viking hull, but rather an entirely new design with a deeper V (17 degrees at transom rather than the usual 15). The hullform was created in conjunction with the MerCruiser engineering team in order to utilize the Zeus pods to their full abilities. The result is a yacht and power package that is absolutely delightful to drive.
The joystick control for maneuvering allowed us to get in and out of a slip that would have been completely unusable if we were in a similarly sized boat with conventional drives. It was right up against a rock jetty, with shallow water on the other side and very expensive yachts close ahead. But the Zeus drives allowed us to move the boat forward and then literally slide it sideways until we were clear of danger. This power system takes all the white knuckles out of docking.
Although both models have their advantages, one reason an angler might choose the 42 Open rather than the Convertible version is the way the large cockpit flows into the bridge area. The cockpit features two huge fish boxes, as well as a transom fish box that can become a bait well or an icebox. One of the boat’s most striking features is the mezzanine deck, which has twin settees that face aft, allowing anglers to watch the baits from under the protection of the hardtop. But these seats barely crimp the size of the command bridge, which has centerline Palm Beach-style controls with shifter/throttles on either side of a faux-teak console that is, amazingly, fiberglass. Our test boat had the standard Murray helm seat, and two more Murray companion chairs were placed just aft on raised platforms so they could swivel to face aft.
A Pipewelders tower and fiberglass hardtop are options that I’d certainly choose. With Isinglass panels, they create a three-sided bridge enclosure. Add a rear panel, and you could air-condition (or heat) the bridge deck.
Judging by the size of the cockpit, you’d never guess the cabin was going to be so large and well-appointed. Take the offset companionway steps down from the bridge, and you’ll find yourself in a saloon that is wide, tall, and bright. Our 42 Open had the standard layout, with an L-shaped settee to port around a stunning teak table that easily could seat four.
Most “opens” give short shrift to the galley, but the entire starboard side of the saloon is dedicated to a galley clearly intended to feed a crew of hungry anglers. There’s a Corian counter that wraps around on three sides with a large sink, two-burner Kenyon cooktop, two Nova-Kool fridges under the counter, and an eye-level microwave.
Forward is the master stateroom, furnished with a raised queen-sized berth with drawers underneath, a big hanging locker, and shelves on each side. There is private access to the head, which has a full-sized shower stall rather than the usual wet head with shower pan—a thoughtful touch.
But wait—there’s another cabin! Tucked under the command bridge is a private stateroom with oversized twin berths. It’s perfect for kids but is large enough for adults to stand up and move around, and it has separately controlled air conditioning for comfort.
Another interior arrangement that’s available for the 42 Open adds a second head for the guest cabin at the expense of some dinette space, making this a good boat for two couples. A final arrangement, for serious anglers, replaces the dinette with a third cabin with two bunks that turns the 42-footer into a three-cabin six-sleeper.
Viking is well known for its quality construction. The new 42 features a blister-resistant epoxy hull with vacuum-bagged balsa coring. The inside of the hull is finished (even where you can’t see it!) in white Awlgrip for easy maintenance. During our run, we experienced many small pleasures, like the eye-level electrical panel for those of us tired of bending over to peer at the switches, along with the big ones, such as putting the 42 into a slip with the Zeus joystick controls. Anglers also will delight in backing the 42 down hard on a fish, because the pods pull the boat straight back without the burying effect of angled prop shafts. And it can spin in its own length if you have a fish that wants to circle.
Moving to new technology like a pod drives propulsion system is always a bit of a gamble in the beginning, but Viking has certainly rolled a winner with the new 42 Open.