If there is something to be learned about the tenacity and longevity of Viking Yachts, one merely has to look at the ethic by which brothers Bill and Bob Healey began the company more than 50 years ago. “We’ll build a better boat each and every day.” It is the mantra with which Patrick Healey has been able to take the iconic company to new heights. Proof positive is the latest to join Viking’s lineup — the 80C.
The Engine Room
Accessed via the usual entry point through a wide hatch on the lower mezzanine, the engine room is well laid out, especially with the big MTU 16V 2000 M96Ls taking center stage. There’s plenty of headroom, total access to all maintenance areas and equipment, a white Awlgrip finish and places for all the redundant systems, including a pair of 29 kw Onan gensets.
Underway, she delivered pure Viking excitement and performance, all in perfect balance. As soon as we cleared the Palm Beach inlet jetties, we were off to the races.
Thanks to weight-saving techniques throughout the boat, including a hybrid carbon-fiber and E-glass laminate in the hull, carbon-fiber laminate in the deckhouse and hardtop, and a smoother-running bottom, we were moving along at 41-plus knots. Carving precise turns at 35 knots, tracking straight and true, backing down with incredible nimbleness, assurance and control, along with that feeling of hitting the throttles and feeling the raw power take over as she jumps right out of the hole, is nothing short of exhilarating. And once you get your hands on the wheel, it’s hard to let go.
To portend positive things to come, we sighted no less than three large baitballs breaking on top and a slew of cutting sailfish in the process of rounding up their next meal — a sure sign the 80C has arrived.