It’s the mantra of the company, one that permeates every aspect of Viking Yachts: “Build a better boat every day.” From the executive staff to its visionary R&D department and right through to its craftspeople on the line, the company is relentless in its quest to fulfill the needs of its owners and their families.
“When we looked at how we could improve on our popular 46C, we discovered enough to bring out the one we’re on right now,” says Capt. Ryan Higgins, Viking’s Southeast sales manager, at the company’s service center in Riviera Beach, Florida, where the brand-new 48C sat amid her big-sister 80, 82, and 92C models.
She is one of four new models in this size range: the flybridge convertible; the Sport Coupe with a three-sided hard enclosure; the Sport Tower, a coupe with added tower; and the full express model.
Read the full review of Viking 48C HERE.
Access to the engine room is through the lift-up hatch on the mezzanine bench, and the space presents itself well given the obvious height restriction in a 48-footer. There is plenty of overhead space to do required maintenance, and all critical areas are within easy reach.
Expertly finished and faired off in bright, refrigerator-white Awlgrip, mechanically, there is little difference between the space and equipment aboard the 48C and her immediately larger sisterships. Along with the pair of optional 1,200 hp MAN V8 1200CRM mains, she is equipped with Viking’s centralized seawater system.
This system on the 48C is designed with a second in-line pump as a backup, which allows for air-conditioning and other systems to be left operating during servicing. Simply shut off the pump that you want to service, turn on the other pump and turn off the valve to the pump you are working with. Higgins comments: “With our centralized system, there’s a lot less maintenance. The smoother running bottom, with only two pickups and a pair of strainers, is also a plus. And it’s easy to add on something after the boat is delivered.”
Also present were an Eskimo ice machine, a 700-gallon-per-day Sea Recovery watermaker, Cummins Onan 21.5 kW genset and Dometic air conditioning, making the 48C’s engine room a place with a lot of nicely situated equipment.
Lucky for me, the wind was blowing hard, the skies were getting low and gray, and the sea was up. Once we cleared the inlet, we were greeted with almost constant 4- to 6-footers on the nose, with a series of occasional bigger ones thrown in to make things really interesting — just the right kind of conditions for the 48C to show off her stuff.
The first thing I noticed was how soft she landed while coming off the approaching seas, how quickly and easily she dealt with the next one — and the next, and the next. In fact, with the Seakeeper 9 spinning away, we could simulate several fishing situations, like backing down, spinning 360s and setting up to do some kite-fishing. And she was equally impressive whether running down or abeam sea. For those of us used to this kind of sea, the Viking 48C made things downright comfortable while offshore.
As far as the bottom shape is concerned, the 48C has 10 equally spaced stations along the chine length, going from 11.8 degrees at the transom to a sharp 36 degrees forward. Together with a properly placed center of gravity, the result is performance and efficiency.
On Viking’s larger boats, the focus is to make them feel as nimble and manageable as something smaller. With the smaller boats, the single-minded endgame is to provide the owner with everything the big boats have. Has that been achieved on the 48C? She’s all that and more.