The long-anticipated Viking 92 convertible sat at the dock in Atlantic City, New Jersey, when I arrived early one morning to see the sun reflecting off the shimmering blue hull, white house and enclosed bridge. The lines are unmistakably Viking, and the sleek appearance belies the sheer size of the boat until you look at the 62 in a nearby slip. Alongside the 92, it looks like a day boat!
With the 92, Viking has not just created a newer, bigger convertible, it has introduced the most technologically advanced boat in its class. Innovations include MTU’s new triple-turbo M96L series engines, the new NG35 series SeaKeeper, Viking’s proprietary Viper 2.0 independent rudder system and a performance-enhancing refined running surface. It is quite simply the new standard by which others will be judged. I was introduced to the 92C by Viking president Pat Healey, who was justifiably proud of the finished product and the team of engineers, architects and boatbuilders who contributed to the project.
“We’ve built a remarkable yacht, but it’s a Viking, so it has to fish — and it does,” Healey told me. “It’s a 92-foot hot rod!”
The bow rises over 10 feet above the waterline, and from there the hull descends to 3 feet, 4 inches of freeboard aft. A horizontal accent line that runs fore and aft of the master-stateroom window delineates the transition. The engine-room ventilators have been raised to the aft portion of the house, and the house and enclosed flybridge are swept back aggressively.
The Palm Beach Towers pipe work is a perfect example of the axiom “less is more.” The heavy-gauge main struts are accentuated by a minimal use of cross members. My climb to the perch 43 feet above the waterline was breathtaking, like the view from the Atlantic City Boardwalk Ferris wheel.
Viking designed the hull of the 92C for speed and enhanced handling. The entire running surface is flush with water pickups and transducers fitted into pockets to reduce drag to an absolute minimum. The boat features Baltek coring, and comes laminated with aramid and E-glass hybrid fiberglass, with extensive use of carbon fiber in the hull and decksouse. The forward deck and house, cockpit, and flybridge assemblies come molded from plugs created by a precision multihead milling machine process capable of tolerances unheard of in yacht building until recently, another example of Viking’s use of cutting-edge technologies. All major components get vacuum bagged and resin infused for strength and weight savings.
The 92C also comes with the advanced Asea Systems dockside power system, which gives the boat the ability to use various input power configurations, thus simplifying the boat’s ability to travel. You will be able to use single phase, three phase 60-hertz or 50-hertz inputs.
The 92 serves as both a fish boat and a world-class yacht. Enter the salon through the wide double doors, and you’re surrounded by a sumptuous living space and galley done in walnut. First-class joinery combines with flush and hidden hinges to create an elegant interior. To starboard, a stairway leads to the interior of the enclosed bridge that runs over a cabinet housing a wet bar. Forward of that, another cabinet conceals a large flat-screen TV, and a pair of cozy, free-standing chairs beckon you to sit down and enjoy a cocktail.
To port, two large, L-shaped settees come separated by an end table and fronted by two granite-topped coffee tables. Moving forward, a large galley stands to starboard surrounded by walnut cabinetry and granite countertops. Five modern leather-topped bar stools grace the perimeter, and the cooking area features a metallic-tile backdrop. The dining area seats six around a beautiful table, and the interior lighting blends indirect flush-mounted fixtures and custom wall sconces that can be mixed and matched for any mood or occasion. There’s also a walk-in pantry to starboard, which can double as a stateroom in a pinch, and a day head forward of the dining area, to port.
Walk down four steps, turn to port, then aft and down another three stairs, and you’re in the spacious master suite bathed in natural light from the large picture windows on either side of the centered king-size bed. A wall-filling flat-screen TV sits over the main dresser, with a walk-in closet to starboard, and elegant his-and-hers heads with a common shower aft. Four additional staterooms lie forward, three with double beds, one with twins and all with private heads.
The helm includes a glass bridge arrangement with three main monitors front and center, and two additional monitors to the sides that display video feeds from cameras located throughout the vessel. Viking subsidiary Atlantic Marine Electronics installed the vast array of navigational and communications electronics, along with a full complement of ship control and monitoring systems. Everything lies within easy reach of the Stidd helm chair, and the wraparound windows give the captain a 360-degree view.
There are two Stidd 1200W bench seats, one port, one starboard. Aft of the helm, a cozy seating area features a recliner, an L-shaped couch, and a coffee table that can have the surface raised for dining. Step out the aft door onto the bridge fantail, and you’ll find a wing helm station that overlooks the cockpit on the starboard side, the ladder accessing the tower in the center and stairs down to the upper -mezzanine to port. The deck comes air-conditioned, and a plush, L-shaped setee on the deck lets you watch the baits in total comfort.
You access the engine room from the -cockpit through a hatch and doorway located in the center of the lower mezzanine deck. A watertight door opens to reveal a machinery room, then the crew quarters with a bunk room to port, head and shower to starboard, and a central kitchenette. Pass through the next bulkhead door, and you’re in the heart of the boat: the engine room, where the first pair of 2,635 hp MTU 16V2000 M96L diesels live.
Each engine has three turbochargers that come into play sequentially. When trolling, the first stage maintains its operating temperature so at hookup, there is no lag time. The engines push all 208,000 pounds from idle to 2,100 rpm and 30-plus knots in 14 seconds, with a top end of 36 knots.
The power routes through ZF Smooth Shift 5050 transmissions, and you simply don’t feel them shift even when banging gears simulating the marlin dance that the boat performs upon hookup. The power gets delivered to the water by a pair of 48-inch diameter six-blade Veem propellers.
The huge transom livewell comes in a -number of configurations, including a West Coast version with mulitple tuna tubes. A second livewell located in the lower mezzanine sole lies alongside an icebox fed by a 1,000-pound per day Eskimo Ice unit. Center is the crew quarters/engine-room access door, and to port is a large freezer compartment. Large, square dunnage boxes lie in the cockpit sole on either side of the fighting chair, and the lazarette hatch opens to reveal the NG35 SeaKeeper.
With Capt. Ryan Higgins at the helm, we slipped the lines and pushed off the dock, a job made easier by the Side-Power hydraulic bow thruster. A 20-knot wind pushed hard out of the southeast, with confused seas and 6-foot waves running at about a five-second interval — just plain nasty. Higgins pointed the boat into the sea and throttled up to a 32-knot cruise, the hull making easy work of the seas and exhibiting a soft, smooth ride. Turning hard over, he showed us the boat’s tight turning radius, comparing it to boats two-thirds its size.
Higgins had me join him at the wing bridge, where he put the boat through the paces he might encounter fighting a marlin or sailfish. The engines, transmissions and rudder system made it dance with a grace you simply would not associate with a vessel this large. It was extremely responsive, backing down at speeds up to 8½ knots, spinning on its axis, coming around, reversing direction — all done with ease.
The big MTUs never let out so much as a puff of smoke, and at trolling speed, the wake was clean and begging for a pattern of rigged baits. We went back inside and did a speed run. Starting at idle, the boat rushed to 32-plus knots in a tad under 14 seconds, truly amazing. The boat felt stable and totally in control.
The Viking 92C excels in so many ways, it blurs the line between motoryacht and sport-fisherman. It carries an impeccable pedigree into the future as Viking’s biggest convertible to date, and the builder’s crowning achievement.