What is the driving force at Viking?
To build a better boat every day, a mantra my father came up with a long time ago. We strive to out-design, out-build and out-service everyone. In 1995, I was the vice president of sales overseeing marketing, sales and service. My father and I were butting heads on design. I wanted to incorporate the ideas of the younger members of our team. We were hardcore fishermen. So in 1996, my father gave us a shot with Bruce Wilson and his son David, Drew McDowell, Lonni Rutt and me. We reviewed the custom boatbuilding world and took those great features that were focused on chasing billfish around the world and incorporated those into the Viking 55 Convertible. In the fall of 1997, we launched our first 55. By the time the boat appeared at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, we had sold the first 20 hulls. It became one of the most successful boats in our history and accomplished an equally important mission of delivering the boats on time, which to this day remains a company benchmark.