A front came through the night before we were to fish the new Viking, and a northeasterly wind raised the seas up to 4 to 6 feet. Yet at full speed, a little adjustment to the trim tabs dropped the Viking's sharp entry, and the ride resembled that of a newly paved highway. And the only way to tell that we were running down-sea was by watching the bow rise and fall. No performance clues, such as lugging engines, lurching or swerving gave it away.
Evidence of Viking's quantum leap in technology can be found throughout the boat, including in fuel consumption. Wide-open throttle provides a top speed of 37.8 knots at 2,400 rpm burning 116 gph. Cruising speed of about 31 knots uses 70 gph - better than many comparably sized boats. That equates to about a 460-nautical-mile range.
If cleanliness is next to godliness, then the 55's flybridge is heaven-inspired. The venturi windscreen is gone, and the Strataglas enclosure comes straight down to the flybridge coaming. Additionally, a small insert of clear Lucite has been added to the centerline section of the coaming, allowing the helmsman to see the entire foredeck rather than just the tip of the bow.
The molded fiberglass helm, which contains no pulls or handles to mar the surface, hides all the fuel gauges, emergency shutdowns, fire systems and so on. One long hatch opens to disclose all the radios, breaker switches and other small electronics, while the larger units get flush-mounted behind clear Lucite hatches. There's even a press-latch hatch in the overhead that hides the recessed teaser reels. The result is as clean a helm as you'll find in the industry.