About Viking Yachts
Co-Written By: Frank Bongiorno,
What is the history of the Viking Yacht Company?
The year was 1964 when brother Bill and Bob Healy first set their sights on the Peterson-Viking Boat Company, a struggling boat builder in New Jersey. The Healey brothers had great aspirations, but no one expected that the struggling company that built 37-foot wooden sport fishing boats would later become the iconic Viking Yacht Company that would lead the industry. Five decades later, boat building has changed having gone through the evolution of fiberglass hulls and a litany of other improvements, but the popularity of Viking has never wavered.
In 1971, the builder released its first fiberglass model called the 33 Convertible. While this was the beginning of the Viking story, it wasn’t until a year later when the Viking 40 Convertible made its debut, that the success of the Viking Yacht Company would really take off. Over the next fifteen years, Viking would go on to sell over 600 of the 40 to 41’ models. Continuing with their creed of “Building a better boat every day”, Viking continuously made improvements to the living areas on board as well as the engine performance and horsepower.
Today’s CEO and President of Viking Yachts is Patrick Healey, but Pat didn’t come in to the business starting at the top. In 1976, Patrick was hired on and would be groomed to be the second generation of Viking management which meant starting from the bottom and learning everything about how each boat is built. Pat Healey continues to lead the company and will for the foreseeable future, but sons Justin and Sean have also begun taking roles at Viking hoping to become the third generation of Healey’s to lead Viking to unrivaled success in boat building.
Perhaps one of the hardest times at Viking would come in the early 1990’s that would see both a nationwide recession as well as the federal luxury tax that would damage the entire boating industry for years to come. Decimated by the economic conditions, Viking lost the majority of its workforce but was able to barely stay afloat by the Healey’s investing their own money as well as borrowing extra capital. The Healey’s joined the fight against the luxury tax and were instrumental in getting it repealed. Boat buyers returned to the market in droves once the tax was lifted and Viking was poised to reap the rewards. By keeping its doors open during those hard years, Viking was able to improve its models during this time while other boat builders just stayed status quo, giving them an advantage once the market returned.
In 1996, the Healey’s decided to give back to the sport fishing industry that had made them so successful over the years by creating what is known as the RFA or Recreational Fishing Alliance. This not-for-profit organization aimed to protect and promote sustainable fisheries so that generations of families would be able to continue fishing and enjoying the ocean. Viking has contributed over $1 million over the years to the organization whose membership is now well over 75,000 people.
It’s also interesting to note that in this same year, a company was formed in a relationship with Princess Yachts in Great Britain. The company, known as Viking Sport Cruisers, would distribute the high-quality cruising yachts that ranged from 33 to 88 feet and were built to Viking’s specifications, through its strong dealer network in the U.S. Today, Princess is one of the top cruising yachts in North America and sits alongside Viking as one of the most prestigious brands in the industry.
Between 2002 and 2003, several very important changes in the history of Viking would occur that would improve Viking’s control over its quality and the way it serviced their customers. The migration from the Northeast to Florida and back began in the 1960’s and it wasn’t long before those “snowbirds” would began making the trek on their boat. Florida is also blessed with some of the best offshore fishing in the world thanks to its proximity to the Gulf Stream. Because so many of its owners were living either full or part time in Florida, Viking opened up a service center in Riviera Beach. The Viking Service Center has gone through many improvements over the years, as well as a recent expansion, and can now handle both in-water work and land storage for larger projects.
In an effort to improve the quality of the electronics, components, and towers that were put on their sport fishing boats, Viking opened two new companies called Atlantic Marine Electronics (AME) and Palm Beach Towers (PBT). By having the high-end electronics packages and towers installed at the factory, Viking could better control the quality as well as the costs for its owners.
Viking continuously looks to improve its facility and its equipment in an effort to lead the industry in design, technology, and the evolution of its sportfish and motor yachts. In 2004, Viking purchased a $1 million computer-operated five-axis profiler milling machine that is capable of cutting parts 60-feet by 20-feet by 10-feet and is the largest of its kind. The new milling machine helped Viking produce larger, newer models and would soon come out with the 74’ Convertible. Fast forward a decade and Viking celebrates its 50th anniversary with the unveiling of its largest sportfishing yacht to date, the 92 Convertible.
While the years have seen competitors come and go, Viking Yachts has been a mainstay in the marine industry and continues to lead the way in technology, quality, and customer satisfaction. There simply is no semi-custom sportfish and motor yacht builder that is able to produce the same volume at the highest possible quality than the Viking Yacht Company.
Where are Viking Yachts built?
Viking Yachts are built at one of two factories in the Northeast United States. The main Viking Yachts factory is located in New Gretna, New Jersey right along the Bass River. Access to this river gives Viking the ability to put boats in the water right from the factory and navigate out to the Atlantic Ocean. This factory is as impressive as it gets. Featuring solar power, its own water supply, an in-house hospital and medical facility for its workers, and over 810,000 square feet of factory floor, the Viking factory is one of the most state-of-the-art plants in the world.
In 2016, Viking acquired the assets to what used to be the Ocean Yachts factory located in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey along the Mullica River. Viking would name this factory “Viking Mullica”. It was here that Viking manufacturers its smaller boats and where the new Billfish series would begin. The 37 Billfish would go on to receive high praises for its traditional Viking quality, resemblance to the popular Ocean 37 Billfish, and for its maneuverability. Fast forward to 2019, and Viking is now producing multiple models at the Viking Mullica facility including the new 38 Billfish and 46 Billfish.
What is Staten Island Yacht Sales’ relationship with Viking Yachts?
SI Yachts is one of the oldest Viking dealers and has been representing the legendary brand for over 3 years. Our team of Viking specialists have been trained at the factory, fish Viking’s recreationally, and have helped many clients over the years find the perfect new Viking, used Viking Yacht for sale, or walk their client through the new Viking build process. SI Yachts continually stocks new Viking models in our inventory. SI Yachts territory for the brand includes New York, northern New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut.
Our proximity to the Viking Yachts factory means that we can offer unparalleled service when it comes to new Viking constructions. Your SI Yachts Viking sales professional will make frequent trips to the factory to give you peace of mind as your yacht is getting built. Additionally, our Staten Island Marina and Service Facility can do all warranty work, repairs, and routine maintenance needed throughout the life of your Viking ownership.
Our financial stability as a company also gives us the opportunity to be able to take your boat or yacht in trade towards the purchase of a new Viking. This makes it easy on our clients who want a new model, but don’t want to wait for their boat to sell on the brokerage market. Should you want to sell your current boat or yacht and not trade it in, SI Yachts offers one of the top marketing programs in the industry to sell your vessel quickly and efficiently. At SI Yachts, we have many resources available to help you with your new Viking purchase.
What makes a Viking Yacht so special?
While Viking Yachts may have an impressive facility with some of the most advanced technological equipment in the marine industry today, it’s undoubtedly the people inside the company that make it special. It takes a refined skill to build a boat and Viking has employed generations of families who pass down their talents to their sons and daughters. Whether its working in Viking’s in-house carpentry shop or helping to install the customized interiors, Viking’s craftsmen are dedicated and driven to build a better boat each day. Viking recognizes this passion for their product by rewarding its team with medical coverage at its in-house facility, retirement programs, and many other benefits that go above and beyond what is seen in today’s corporate world.
Viking’s ability to keep a skilled workforce allows it to build 90% of each model in its factory which allows for an unprecedented level of quality control. Only the engines and other components like HVAC units, transmissions, and electronics are build outside of the New Jersey factory.
Quality control isn’t all that sets Viking Yachts apart from the competition. Here are a few other factors:
• Viking is a family-owned business that employs families. There is a true passion and commitment when your intimately involved with the building of something great. Viking is owned by the people that put their own blood, sweat, tears, and money into the product, not by a corporation or investment firm.
• The Viking team don’t just design the product, they live it. The Viking team is no stranger among Billfish tournaments worldwide. Whether it’s in Costa Rica at the Los Suenos Marina Billfish Circuit, its own Viking Key West Invitational, Skip Smith’s Tournament Series, or the up-and-coming Montauk Canyon Challenge, you will often see Pat Healey and team fishing one of their boats. There is even a position at the company manned by Ryan Higgins that focuses on using the product in real customer-life situations.
• The Viking Factory is the X-Factor when it comes to building yachts. It’s hard to over look the advantages that multiple CNC routers and a $1 million five-axis profiler can give you. Being able to create foam plugs to build Viking’s complex molds for its models means more advanced capabilities and design opportunities.
• Viking Yachts has one of the best dealer and service networks in the industry. If you look around at the dealer network that Viking has assembled to represent its product, it is in the top of its class. Each Viking dealer in the U.S. has the financial stability to whether recessions and downturns, but also to continue to stock product and new models. The similarity among the dealers isn’t a coincidence as the Healey brothers looked for the same characteristics that made them successful in their dealer network. Additionally, Viking’s multiple service facilities in the Northeast and South Florida give Viking owners convenient factory-service options.
• Insurance carries prefer Viking Yachts. Thanks to the high-quality materials and construction techniques, the reliability of Viking’s over time, and the safety guidelines that the builder follows, insurance carriers often prefer Vikings over other brands.
How are Viking Yachts built?
The process by which Viking Yachts are built is quite complex and impressive. Today’s demands when to performance, space, amenities on board, and range make building an industry-leading boat quite a feat. It all begins with the five-axis profiler that is able to create the foam plugs needed to build the molds that are designed by the in-house team. The preciseness that computer-generated cutting of laminates and materials far exceeds the quality that any human could achieve. Each hull is built for maximum durability, rigidity, and performance. Like many builders today, the hull is vacuum-bagged and resin-infused to provide the extra strength, however Viking uses only the very best resin available which has greater impact-resistant qualities. The resin is pulled through the materials in the hull filling all possible voids. The final result is a hull that is lighter, but stronger and allows for greater fuel carrying capacity and higher speeds.
All of the Viking stringers and bulkheads are encapsulated in fiberglass and bonded to the interior of the hull which provides additional strength and internal structure.
Viking also has its very metal shop in its New Gretna factory. The metal shop is responsible for creating Viking engine beds, various hardware, and metal components are fabricated. For example, spiral staircases for enclosed bridge models are fabricated here using either a high-polished anodized surface or a powder-coated finish for both aesthetics and durability.
In the Viking fiberglass shops, custom made fuel, water, and waste tanks are crafted with the resin-infusion process. All tank bases mirror the shape of the bottom of the hull thereby maximizing space and capacity. Deck assemblies, salon floors, and flybridges demonstrate the talents of the skilled craftsmen on the fiberglass team.
Additionally, Viking even has it’s own wood shop for both structural components, interior cabinetry, furniture, and joinery. Hand finishing is also done here which results in the incredible high-gloss finish seen inside Viking’s salons and staterooms.
Once installation of the engines, wiring, interior components, and furniture are completed, the new Viking is transferred to the water for its initial testing. Quality control managers and the engineering department conduct exhaustive testing and record performance numbers to evaluate any adjustments needed. The result is a perfectly tuned package delivered to the customer turnkey and ready to fish or cruise.
What is the biggest Viking Yacht builds today?
The largest Viking Sportfish built today is a 92 Convertible or 92 Enclosed Bridge. The flagship model of the sportfishing side of Viking was first introduced in 2014 and has gone on to sell several hulls, including the Fa-La-Me which travels the world for big game. There is also a Viking 92 Sky Bridge version that was recently built which offers an unprecedented view from the elevated control station and all of the comfort that enclosed bridge models offer.
On the motor yacht side of the business, Viking recently debuted the 93 Motor Yacht which offers all of Viking’s construction and performance benefits in a luxury cruising yacht design. It wouldn’t be a Viking through without speed. Even the 93 Motor Yacht has twin MTU Series 2000 V12 1945HP engines which can hit 27 knots. The Viking 93 Motor Yacht has a base price of $9,900,000 when equipped with MAN 1800CRM engines.
Viking’s flagship sport fishing model, the 92 convertible, has a base price of $9,730,000 when equipped with the MTU 16V2000 M96L 2,635HP engines. As bigger engines and other options are added, the cost obviously increases and can potentially reach over $11 million.
What is the smallest Viking Yacht built today?
The smallest Viking Yacht built today is the 37 Billfish, although that model has recently been replaced with the 38 Billfish. The Viking 38 Billfish is exactly 38’ 8” and is a perfect boat for the owner who wants to operate the vessel without a captain and crew. Viking has also designed and is in the process of building a 38’ Open Express model. The next smallest models jumps up to a 44’ that comes in a Convertible, Open, or Sport Tower version.
Does Viking Yachts build center-consoles?
Viking Yachts recently announced a new line of high-end center-console boats named Valhalla Boatworks. Valhalla Boatworks will initially offer three models – the V-41, V-37, and V-33. The Valhalla center-consoles will be designed with a deep-V, stepped-hull design which will give owners fast and efficient performance. Each boat will have a dedicated space for a Seakeeper Stabilizing System, in-deck fish boxes, raised transom bait-wells, and even has a version of Viking’s signature mezzanine seating. The Valhalla center-console line will be configured with a variety of possible power options including twin, triple, or quad four-stroke outboards that will range from 300 to 425 horsepower. Power-assist hydraulic steering will come standard on each model and owners will have the option to add joystick helm controls. Viking’s subsidiary companies will continue to provide electronics from AME and marlin/tuna towers from Palm Beach Towers.
What different types of yachts does Viking build?
Viking Yachts has divided their model line into several categories that vary on how and where the owner will use their yacht. Each model line has specific characteristics that differentiate it from the others so Viking is able to tailor their offerings to the customer’s wishes.
• Billfish: The Viking Billfish model line began with the 37 Billfish after Viking acquired the old Ocean Yachts factory in Egg Harbor. The 37 Billfish was immediately popular and proved to be a great stepping stone for center-console owners who wanted the space and interior amenities of a sportfish. Today, Viking builds both a 38 Billfish and a 46 Billfish.
• Open Bridge Convertibles: Viking’s most popular model line is undoubtedly its open bridge convertible sportfishing yachts. Ranging from 44 to 92 feet, Viking offers 10 different open bridge models for almost offshore requirements. Two of Viking’s newest models in this range include the 58 Convertible (2nd generation model) and the new 68 Convertible, both of which exceed 40 knots top speed.
• Sport Yachts: Viking offers both a Sport Tower and Side Console sport yachts ranging from 44 to 52 feet. The Viking 44 Side Console is a new model from Viking that offers the quality and attributes of the brand in a cruising style layout.
• Open Express Yachts: Viking’s open express-style yachts offer owners and captains the exhilaration of being in an open cockpit. Viking has three models in the open express line including the new 44 Open as well as a 48-O and a 52-O.
• Enclosed Bridge Yachts: For colder weather captains or owners that simply want the extra interior space of an enclosed bridge, Viking offers five models ranging from 62 to 92-feet. Additionally, there is a new version of the flagship 92 called the Skybridge.
• Motor Yachts: In recent years, Viking re-launched their line of motor yachts starting with the 75MY and the 82 Cockpit Motor Yacht. The largest of the motor yacht line is the 93MY. Viking motor yachts offer Viking quality, power, and durability with the interior accommodations of a luxury cruising yacht.
What kind of engines does Viking use in its yachts?
The size and manufacturer of the engines inside each Viking vary depending on its size and the customer’s requirements for horsepower. The 38 Billfish, for example, is powered with a Cummins QSB6.7 550HP engine which allows it to reach a top speed of 35 knots. On some of the larger Viking convertibles like the 58C, owners have a choice of engine brands and options that range from MAN V12 1400HP to 1900HP engines as well as MTU Series 2000 V10 M96L 1600HP engines. The biggest Viking Convertible, the 92C is outfitted with either CAT C32-A 1925 engines or MTU Series 2000 V16 M96L 2,635HP engines.
What’s the best place to tour a Viking Yacht?
Viking Yachts offers numerous opportunities every year at multiple major boat shows as well as at two different VIP showcase events. Every year before the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and before the Miami Yacht Show, Viking hosts two events for customers and dealers to come sea trial different models. Held in either Atlantic City, NJ or at the Viking Service Center in South Florida, customers from all around the world come to the two-day event to meet with factory representatives, see the new models before the boat show crowds, and even arrange for a sea trials.
Aside from the VIP events, Viking also displays over 15 models at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and the Miami Yacht Show. These two boat shows are among the largest in the world and offer customers a great opportunity to climb on board almost every Viking Yacht offered in their line-up. If you are seriously considering purchasing a new Viking Yacht, your SI Yachts Sales Professional can arrange for a personal factory tour or make sure you are invited to one of the two VIP events held each year.
What benefits does buying a Viking Yacht offer over building a custom-built sport fishing boat from scratch?
Viking Yachts are often referred to as a production boat, which isn’t exactly true. Viking is considered a semi-custom yacht and does give owners numerous opportunities to customize their new boat. Whether it’s changing the layout from 3-staterooms to 4-staterooms, converting a cabin into extra rod storage, picking the engine manufacturer and horsepower, selecting what electronics you want installed, or simply altering what features you want in the cockpit, owners have a variety of options to make their Viking unique to their boating requirements.
Having multiple production lines also gives Viking an advantage over custom built boats since generally the time from the first deposit to the delivery of your new yacht is much, much shorter than the time it takes to build a custom boat. And again, it’s tough to beat the service network that Viking has created. Whether it’s warranty work, routine maintenance, service on your electronics, or installing a Seakeeper Gyro, Viking offers the ability to get your Viking or Princess Yacht (thanks to the Viking Sport Cruisers agreement) in front of factory-trained technicians no matter if you’re in Florida or up in the Northeast.
What is the most popular Viking model built right now?
Viking Yachts has a following of hardcore enthusiasts unlike any brand in the industry. These passionate boaters love the brand not just for the quality of the yachts it builds, but because of what it stands for. Most large boat builders today are located overseas whether it be Europe or Asia. Viking is located and built right here in the United States, employs locals at their factory, and represents a successful American business that gives back to its community and industry.
One of the most popular large sportfish models today is the Viking 72 Convertible. Making its debut in 2017, the Viking 72C has been reviewed as a fast, dependable, well-equipped sportfish for the hardcore angler. Designed to compete and win blue water billfish tournaments, she features a 209 square foot cockpit with a space for Seakeeper, all of the tackle storage and insulated fish boxes you could ask for, and a wonderful 4-stateroom, 4-head layout.
What kind of fishing options can I have on my Viking?
The only thing better for today’s billfish angler than a Viking would be to have multiple Vikings! Viking’s cockpits are larger than the competition meaning you have more room for a fight chair, extra rods, and room for the crew to move around in the heat of battle. From raised transom livewells to in-deck fish boxes that are insulated to the multiple bait and tackle storage spaces around the cockpit, Viking knows what anglers want because the Viking team loves to fish.
What kind of re-sale value will my Viking have on the pre-owned market?
Late-model, well-equipped Viking Yachts that have been professionally maintained often do quite well on the brokerage market. Some used Viking Yachts have even been sold prior to even making it online and for full asking price. While that outcome is not the usual, pre-owned Vikings do tend to hold their value very well and often sell in a 6-month timeframe.
Of course, listing your pre-owned Viking Yacht for sale with a reputable Viking dealer that offers outstanding marketing is imperative to getting it sold quickly and for the most money possible. Our network at SI Yachts for Viking’s is very deep having been a dealer for so long. Additionally, we invest substantially in marketing our clients’ yachts through Yachtworld, Google, Email Marketing, Social Media, and a variety of other techniques. If you are a Viking owner and wish to find out what your yacht might be worth, give us a call today at (718) 984-7676 or you can fill out our online boat evaluation form and we will get back to you quickly.
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