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Viking 54 | Boat Review

A midsize option for maximum performance and fishability

January 11, 2021
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The Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boa on the water.
The 54 is a midsize standout. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company

All new Vikings benefit from previous models, due mostly in part to the company’s mantra to build a better boat every day, as well as a substantial workforce in its design, manufacturing and fishing teams. Owner and dealer feedback ­contribute the input necessary to ­accumulate all the knowledge that adds up, checking every box for the boat’s purpose. This commitment is easily explained by company president Pat Healey: “We are not smarter; we just work harder at getting the job done right.” From bow to stern, the fruits of collaborated effort are both clear and obvious.

The boat deck of the Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boat.
The boat’s cockpit, ready for a fighting chair or rocket launcher. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company

Cockpit

Textbook examples of smart design and function, the 54′s cockpit offers 154 square feet in place to fish: flush-mounted rod holders, a transom door with lift gate, and rounded coaming. A subtle crown in the transom easily pushes away the wash when backing up at 7 knots.

Hull No. 1 has been set up for South Florida’s winter sailfish season and serves as an HMY Yacht Sales’ demo boat, with captain and company sales associate Trey Claus at the helm. This boat is designed to carry hundreds of frisky live baits. Along with the pressurized transom livewell and a pair of integral ports for a dual GlassTech livewell system, additional plumbing supplies two more on-deck livewells that drain through threaded scuppers at the transom corners. As part of the boat’s custom touches, Claus added a few inches to the rocket launcher’s pedestal to accommodate the height of his anglers. Flanking the rocket launcher is a full-size fish box and storage compartments that double as a hopper for the Dometic ice chipper. A lazarette hatch lifts to access the Seakeeper 9 gyrostabilizer, plumbing, steering and other systems. And built into the mezzanine deck are bait freezers, three chiller boxes, a tackle locker and engine-room access.

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Engine Room

As with any Viking, ­attention to detail is a hallmark, affording 5 feet, 8 inches of headroom in the entryway and continues to the front of the MAN V-12 CRM 1,550 hp diesel engines. The absence of clutter is apparent, even with the air-conditioning and watermaker pumps that are located inboard of each engine. Outboard you’ll find the batteries ­enveloped in fiberglass boxes, climate-control ­systems, steering pump, ASEA power transformers, and a Bluewater Legend desalinator; Delta-T ventilation and fire-suppression units are located on the hullsides. The freshwater manifold system, forward bilge and fuel-transfer pumps are hatch-protected forward of the engines.

The engine room of the Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boat.
In the engine room, the generator sits aft of the port engine, with room to add a second behind the starboard main engine. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company

The optional three-­fuel-tank configuration was engineered to allow the ­installation of a Furuno ­full-circle scanning-sonar tube. The generator sits aft of the port engine, with room to add a second behind the starboard main engine. Snow White Awlgrip helps illuminate the bright engine room, and in true Viking fashion, chafing gear for hoses and electrical runs is provided, and labeled fittings and ­equipment are abundant.

The interior salon and galley of the Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boat.
The spacious salon with galley to port. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company

Interior

Four interior wood options are available—teak or walnut, in gloss or satin finishes—with this 54 being dressed in stunning ­high-gloss walnut. The forward stateroom arrangement can ­accommodate either a queen berth as standard, or with crossover berths. In the portside master, a queen bed with lift-up ­storage is flanked by nightstands and ­credenzas, as well as a maple-lined hanging locker. The en suite head offers engineered stone counters and a notably large fiberglass shower stall with a glass door.

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Upper and lower berths outfit the starboard stateroom, with the upper berth measuring a sizable 33 inches wide. The lower berth is narrower at 27 inches, but both extend to 6 feet, 3 inches. A second head separates the starboard stateroom from the forward stateroom—each with private access, in addition to a companionway entrance for day use.

Watch: Get to know Viking Yachts president Pat Healey in our interview.

Three distinct ­gathering areas in the salon are equally inviting, in part due to the boat’s nearly 18-foot beam. The L-shaped sofa to port is accented with a high-low Mappa burl cocktail table. The portside peninsula galley is topped with engineered stone, and an offset overhang accommodates a pair of upholstered bar stools.

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Amtico custom vinyl flooring, Sub-Zero undercounter refrigerator/freezer units, a cooktop, microwave/convection oven and plenty of storage meld convenience, comfort and practicality for offshore life.

The helm of the Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boat.
The redesigned helm has a centerline console with ample room for electronics. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company

Flybridge and Tower

This 54-footer sports a number of changes to its familiar center-console-style helm station. In lieu of being recessed behind lift-up acrylic panels, Atlantic Marine Electronics installed a pair of Garmin 8622 multifunction displays flush-mounted in a raised helm. Below the MFDs, a bank of stainless-steel Bocatech solid-state, resettable push-button waterproof switches activates the ship’s systems at the touch of a finger—from ignitions to bilge pumps to fuel transfer. On either side of the teak helm pod, fiberglass compartments with split lids house other assorted controls. A recess in the fiberglass hardtop accommodates the MAN instrumentation, autopilot and other navigation tools. A pair of teaser reels are also recessed in the hardtop, complete with remote ­controls for the tower.

Helm visibility is superb, with lounges on each side; a drink-box cooler, additional forward seating, and a pair of Release Marine helm chairs also adorn the bridge.

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The Palm Beach Towers 6-foot-gap tuna tower in brushed aluminum is outfitted with a 63-inch control box to house the electronics, steering and engine controls. An upgraded forward X-brace, side diagonals, and hardtop brace add the contour and style to complement the 54′s sleek profile.

The Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boat on the water.
With the optional MAN V-12 1550 CRMs, the 54 hit a top speed of 42 knots. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company

Performance and Construction

The Viking 54 is offered standard with two MAN V-12 1400 CRMs or, as in this test boat, optional MAN V-12 1550 CRMs. A strong torque curve is apparent; we saw 42 knots on a wide-open-throttle run at 2,330 rpm, with the MANs drinking 160 gph. At 1,830 rpm, the boat slides along at 31.5 knots, and an additional 50 turns pushes her to 32.6 knots.

The wake slices paths of clean water for good bait presentation, and the hull and running surface are designed using a series of computational fluid dynamic programs to run virtual sea trials that help determine the best performance and most effective use of power and trim. The hull structure is a composite of coring materials and fiberglass with vinylester resin infusion. Reinforced with structural composite bulkheads and integrated fiberglass fuel, water and waste tankage, the engineering consistencies deliver a tournament contender in true Viking style—which is hardly a surprise.

Viking Yachts 54 Specs

  • LOA: 54′6″
  • Beam: 17′8″
  • Draft: 4′11″
  • Displ: 75,026 lb.
  • Fuel: 1,535 gal. (opt.)
  • Water: 198 gal.
  • Power: Twin MAN V12 1550 CRM
  • Gear/Ratio: ZF/2.250:1
  • Propellers: VEEM 5-blade, Interceptor
  • Hull Color: Haze Gray Gelcoat
  • Climate Control: Dometic
The mezzanine of the Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boat.
The mezzanine offers a comfortable spot to watch the spread. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company
The seating in the interior salon of the Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boat.
The boat’s salon is amazingly spacious. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company
A stateroom of the Viking Yacht 54 sport-fishing boat.
Each of the staterooms is beautifully accommodating. Courtesy Viking Yacht Company
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