Express-style boats have always been a popular choice for fishing, as the helm station is on the same level as the cockpit. Viking’s newest boat, the stunning 44 Open, follows that design, placing the captain within steps of the cockpit. This is a great boat for a family to own and operate without the necessity of a full-time professional captain.
Among the boat’s notable features are the centerline helm station that’s loaded with electronics and situated behind a wraparound windshield for protection from wind, spray and seas. There’s room for three 17-inch MFDs along with engine instrumentation, giving the 44 Open the feel of a much larger boat. The Palm Beach Tower tuna tower provides a complete second station with electronics, buggy top and Rupp outriggers, while the 119-square foot cockpit is tournament ready with fresh and saltwater washdowns, a transom live well, and a transom door with a lift gate. Below, the layout features two staterooms with the queen-sized master in the forepeak, as well as one head and well-appointed galley with additional lounge seating below.
The Viking 44 we tested was equipped with a pair of MAN I6 800 hp CRM diesels, which produced a cruising speed of 30 knots and a top end of 34.5 to 35 knots. The boat was also equipped with a 13.5-kW Cummins Onan generator.