Freshly launched at the 2023 Miami International Boat Show, the Viking 90 is the company’s new flagship, replacing its popular 92-footer that was launched in the 2015 model year. Viking built and delivered 21 of the 92s, and was prepared to continue, but new International Maritime Organization emission regulations required the installation of heavy, large, and potentially dangerous Selective Catalytic Reduction systems. Because the required equipment to deal with these changes neither existed nor would be available to maintain the boat’s production schedule, Viking was forced to discontinue the production of the 92.
A bitter tale perhaps, but since 1964, when Bill and Bob Healey founded the Viking Yacht Company in New Gretna, New Jersey, the builder has dealt with all sorts of stumbling blocks, including the early 1990s federal luxury tax that crushed the marine industry, and several recessions. Recent challenges include COVID-related supply-chain issues and a proposed 10-knot East Coast speed restriction due to right whale conundrums. Yet, somehow, none of these obstacles stopped Viking from carrying out its mantra to “build a better boat every day.”
Some 5,000 boats later, Viking president and CEO Pat Healey charged his design, engineering, and production teams to renew that commitment again and build a new flagship. Investing $20 million in research and creating more than 240 new molds, including hull, topside, flybridge and interior, and pouring in reservoirs of sweat equity and tens of thousands of man-hours, the unveiling of the new Viking 90 as a flagship is no fish story. As with any Viking, a new model must be as good as or better than what it replaces, and the Viking 90 is all that and more.
Cockpit and Mezzanine
The 90’s cockpit is 224 square feet and includes a 203-gallon livewell built into the transom that can double as a fish box. A pair of 103-gallon insulated fish boxes line the cockpit sole, and each can be refrigerated or serve as a depository for the dual Eskimo ice chippers. A watertight centerline deck hatch opens to access the Seakeeper 35 gyrostabilizer for maintenance and routine inspections.
The cockpit work area resembles the 92, so there is undergunwale storage, and the lower-mezzanine seating provides air conditioning for relaxing, watching baits, and staying close to the cockpit action. Insulated boxes and other compartments stow gear, drinks and tackle, and the crew quarters are also accessed through this area. The upper mezzanine is reached by way of flanking steps from the cockpit sole and includes an L-shaped aft-facing lounge, a teak table, and an available 43-inch flat-screen television that drops down from the overhead. Another seating area to starboard provides an electric grill, a cocktail ice machine, and drawer storage. Artisan teak decking and a faux-teak bulkhead and cockpit trim work make for a custom feel.
Interior and Accommodations
Stepping into the salon through the electric sliding door, you can see that the interior matches what the 92 provided, starting with access to the enclosed bridge via a wide staircase to starboard. The 92’s interior was a hit with each owner, so the design group capitalized on those previous efforts, essentially fitting the interior accommodations of the 92 into the new 90 hull and deckhouse footprints.
A massive U-shaped lounge to port faces the starboard-side entertainment center with a 65-inch television that rises from the walnut cabinetry, which is available in either a satin or gloss finish, along with a wet bar, sink and icemaker. Slightly forward, the starboard galley with engineered-stone countertops offers tremendous space for several place settings, five bar stools, and commercial-grade appliances. Opposite the galley, there’s an immense U-shaped walnut table on a raised platform that provides a home for rod storage. There is a day head to port and a walk-in pantry to starboard that can also serve as a makeshift stateroom.
The 90-footer’s design group reworked the 92’s overnight accommodations and tweaked an inch here and there to refine the available space with the goal to streamline each stateroom while retaining the size of each bed and entryway. The master stateroom utilizes the full beam, providing a king-size walk-around bed, end tables, credenza, 65-inch television, walk-in closet, lounge seat, vanity and desk. His-and-her heads are separated by a walk-in glass-framed shower. Four other staterooms, each with a private head and fiberglass shower, provide comfort and privacy. The aft crew quarters also include a small galley and laundry center, enabling the 90 to easily spend a month at sea.
Hull No. 1 is built with a climate-controlled enclosed bridge with the skybridge option, with 9-plus feet of freeboard forward and 3-plus feet aft.
The unbroken sheerline melds these dimensions into a silky-smooth transition from bow to stern, and bridge to waterline. The enclosed bridge adds a number of features, including a second salon with an L-shaped lounge, a high-low walnut cocktail table, refrigeration, and a 43-inch pop-up television. The command helm is a home run, and especially noteworthy for its one-piece, wraparound forward windshield that maximizes the operator’s visibility without the typical distractions caused by vertical mullions. The added visibility also benefits passengers sitting in the flanking Stidd companion seats, whose view is equally unobstructed. Viking subsidiary Atlantic Marine Electronics equipped the helm with five 24-inch Seatronx MFDs, while the lower portion of the helm console is outfitted with radio boxes, instruments, SidePower bow-thruster controls, Optimus steering, and MTU engine controls.
Outside, AME complemented the aft-station layout with a pair of Seatronx 19-inch displays, which also include full engine controls and communication equipment. A sitting area is to port, separated by a ladder to the skybridge. The skybridge features the craftsmanship of Viking’s other subsidiary, Palm Beach Towers, which completed the fiberglass hardtop and added a host of accessories, including Rupp hydraulic outriggers, spreader lights, teaser reels, custom bridge railings, and a radar pod. Viking also offers the 90 convertible in an open-bridge style.
Engine Room and Performance
The gleaming Snow White Awlgrip-painted engine room has more than 7 feet of headroom on the centerline, with 40 inches between the main engines. Twin 2,600 hp MTUs provide walkaround accessibility to various systems, including the Furuno CSH8L sonar tube, Octoplex digital switching system, and the Optimus steering system. Components are neatly labeled, and composite seacocks help stem corrosion and reduce weight.
The centralized seawater system has been redesigned to reduce complexity and incorporates ElectroSea’s Clearline system with dual pumps to increase reliability and component longevity. A chilled-water air-conditioning system provides 18 tons of cooling with reverse-cycle heat and individual controls throughout the interior.
Twelve people were on board for our sea trial off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida. With a fuel load of 70 percent, the 90 hustled to an average top speed of 38 knots, where one pass read 39.3 knots on the GPS. At 2,100 rpm, the boat eases along at 32-plus knots to deliver a range of some 582 nautical miles.
The Viking Yacht Company hasn’t missed a beat in nearly 60 years of continuous production, and the passing of its 92 is just another milestone in the company’s history. So, it’s safe to say, with 16 90-footers already on order, the beat goes on.
Viking Yachts 90 Specs
- LOA: 90’0”
- Beam: 23’2”
- Draft: 5’11”
- Displ: 193,490 lb.
- Fuel: 3,801 gal.
- Water: 480 gal.
- Power: MTU 16V2000 M96L
- Gear/Ratio: ZF 5000A/2.962:1
- Propellers: Veem, 5-blade
- Gelcoat: Kingston Grey
- Climate Control: Dometic