After months of anticipation, renderings, and sneak peeks, the new Valhalla Boatworks Center-Consoles have been thoroughly tested by Viking dealers and major industry magazine editors. Select customers were able to sea trial each model at the recent Viking VIP event in Atlantic City, but now will have to wait until the 2019 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show to tour them again as they make their international public debut. The Valhalla V-41, V-37, and V-33 will all be on display at the show.
Pat Healey, Viking's leader and CEO, addressed the reason behind why Viking had finally ventured into the center-console market by saying, "For many years, our owners and dealers have been asking for a Viking designed-and-built center-console." Viking didn't just dip their toe in either, but jumped in completely by doing it the only way they know how - full steam ahead.
In a crowded center-console market, what exactly makes Valhalla Boats differentiate itself from the competition? "It starts with the hull," said Jay Hendrix, VP of SI Yachts. "Michael Peters Yacht Design is among the best in the world at creating an exceptional performing boat. MPYD designed the Valhalla series with twin steps and a tunnel design which makes the boats faster, run more smoothly, and gives it the handling to turn on a dime while running hard. I was very impressed by how well it performed."
Even more impressive is Viking's understanding that every market is different and each Valhalla model will be customizable per fishing region. "Anglers in the Northeast are pretty demanding," said Rich Lucas, SI Yachts Brand Manager for Viking and co-director for the Montauk Canyon Challenge Tournament. "What's nice about Valhalla is the ability to customize the boat exactly how you plan to use it. You can opt for more of a day boat layout with extra seating or load it up with more fishing features for the serious angler."
One thing everyone can agree on that has test-driven a Valhalla is that Viking pedigree can be felt the moment you step on board. World-renowned for building some of the very best sportfishing yachts ever, Viking Yachts designers weren't about to let their stamp be put on a boat that was "just average". Sport Fishing Magazine editor Chris Woodward recently attended Viking's media day and spent considerable time aboard the Valhalla V-41, the brand's current flagship model.
Power & Motor Yacht magazine lead editor Dan Harding is no stranger to factory visits and testing boats. Stepping foot on easily over 100 boats a year, Dan visited the Viking Mullica facility near the Mullica River to get a first hand update on the progression of Valhalla. "I had the chance recently to visit the Valhalla Boatworks facility in Mullica, New Jersey. Walking through those doors, you would have thought Viking has been building center consoles for a decade," said Dan.
"Workers moved from task to task with confidence and purpose; the facility and workflow has already been optimized for an efficient build process. I always jump at the chance to go behind the scenes at a boatbuilding facility. Is the shop clean and safe? Do employees seem happy? How is the finish on the parts of the boat you can’t see at a boat show? Are any corners being cut? After my tour, I can say with confidence that the Viking team is building these boats the right way. Valhalla is a new brand but they have the experience and reputation to make an immediate impact on the center console market."
Fishtalk Mazgazine editor Lenny Rudow was also recently at the Annapolis Boat Show and was able to climb on board the V-41. As an avid angler and industry veteran in reviewing boats of all different types and ranges, Lenny has a keen eye for the attention to detail that Valhalla possesses. "I asked the guys that worked the display to get a big mop," he said. "Because the amount of drool hitting these docks over this Valhalla V-41 is pretty darn incredible." We think that says it all Lenny! Enjoy his short video walk-through. Every fisherman loves a good fishing story and Valhalla aims to help you create your own.
Viking is building each Valhalla boat in the Viking Mullica production facility where the Viking Billfish models and open models are also constructed. Justin Healey, Patrick's son and an integral part of the design of the Valhalla series, recently put together a time-lapse video of the Valhalla production line showing the team hard at work. Many of the first hulls have already been sold!
While the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show will be the next best place to spend time on each Valhalla model, the SI Yachts team is happy to answer any questions you might have about options, pricing, and availability. Being a short distance from the Viking factory also makes it easy for us to meet you there and give you a personal tour as the boat are being built. If you plan on coming to the show or just want more information about Valhalla in general, please give our main office a call at (718) 984-7676 or by email at Sales@SIYachts.com. We look forward to helping you into your next boat or yacht!