Meet The Beast
Tower of Power
Chilling In The Cockpit
Room For More
The Build: Technology Meets Know-How
Frank Rodriguez and I have both been salivating to see the new Viking 92 since the middle of 2013. I’ve been amped up since the day I saw the mammoth sport-fisherman just starting construction, stretching beyond my eye’s view with prop tunnels so big that, when one worker lay down inside one to take a break, there was room for at least one more. Rodriguez didn’t need the in-person awe that I experienced at the shipyard. He’s a longtime Viking owner who saw the rendering on a piece of paper and, based on that alone, knew he had to have her.
“When my yacht broker and friend Dave Berard sent me an email 1½ years ago with the artist rendering of the 92, I printed it, hung it on my bathroom mirror and told my wife, ‘That’s what we’re going to ride into the sunset with,’” Rodriguez explains.
Rodriguez, who currently owns a Viking 70 Enclosed Bridge that is well known for its success while tournament fishing — his Fa La Me fishing team has won, placed or shown in 29 tournaments during the past three years — will be the owner of Hull No. 4. To date, five of these $9 million-plus 92s have sold. He’s still waiting to take delivery and thinking about customization (more on that later), but I got a chance to see Viking’s vision in action recently in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where I spent some time aboard the just-launched Hull No. 1.
Looking around the 92’s cockpit on the morning of our sea trial, I counted 23 people in the 238-square-foot space with plenty of room to spare. Everyone had a spot on which to lean along the wide, teak covering boards or to place a hand on the grander-class fighting chair. Above, her thronelike mezzanine seating and expansive teak floor space offered unobstructed views of trolled baits, spectacular sunsets, the curvature of Earth and the like.
I worked my way into the salon and up the interior stairs (there are external ones too) to the enclosed flybridge, where 15 of us took in the view as the 92 made her way through a snotty Absecon Inlet. The incoming tide was strong, and 20- to 25-knot winds made swells that were 4 to 6 feet high with some attitude on them. An optional Seakeeper gyro placed under the teak cockpit and set aft helped enhance the already effortless ride of this planing-hull design.
Looking around the 92’s cockpit on the morning of our sea trial, I counted 23 people.
My test vessel took about 12 seconds to go from idle to 2,100 rpm on her twin, optional 2,600-horsepower MTU diesels (1,925-horsepower Caterpillars are standard). Her fine bow pierced the sea, demolishing waves into harmless white spray that flew past her cabin sides and into the ether.
I gazed forward to check speed data at the five 20-inch KEP displays that spanned the dash in what the builder called a “floating helm.” Each screen offered varied information from fuel burn and tank levels to depth and radar data to live camera feeds from the engine room, salon, galley, cockpit and more.
She cruised in these sea conditions at 31 knots at 2,100 rpm, and with a mere 78 percent engine load. If you dialed her diesels back to 1,950 rpm, she glided over the water at 28 knots at 70 percent load. A few wide-open-throttle runs saw this beast of a sport-fisherman sprinting along at about 37.2 knots, and she leaned moderately into turns with almost no drop in speed.
This behemoth is also incredibly agile. Featuring the proprietary Viking Independent Programmable Electrohydraulic Rudder (VIPER) steering system — a fly-by-wire setup that lets you control each rudder individually — she could spin like a boat half her size and back down with a vengeance.
Billfish beware. Speed, brawn and agility are winning ingredients in a yacht made for offshore anglers. Rodriguez is definitely one of them, planning to do that plus some family cruising aboard his 92. “My wife, Mary Ellen, and I both love to fish and cruise and really do enjoy the boating lifestyle,” he says, adding that while his wife is not big on competitive angling, “don’t get in her way when it’s a fun fishing day.” She has caught at least two 650- to 700-pound marlin and fought many more, Rodriguez says proudly.
Whether he plans on fun fishing or tournament angling, he’ll have help with this boat’s 55-foot Rupp outriggers, stowage large enough for a wolf pack of bigeye tuna, space for a season’s worth of baits, secured gaff stowage and enough tackle drawers to handle all the lures and terminal gear he could ever buy. (This Viking might actually be the boat that owners can’t fill up with stuff.)
If Rodriguez wants to trick out his boat more, Viking is happy to oblige. His 92 is a year from launch and features a comprehensive set of standards covering everything from air conditioning to Miele galley appliances, but he is thinking about how he’ll outfit his ninth vessel to date.
“We have not officially begun to lay out any of the custom features and amenities yet,” he explains. “We incorporated a great deal of redundancies for long-range and short-term cruising in the 70, and with the additional space and volume on the 92, I’m sure there’ll be a lot done to her before she’s out of the mold and many changes along the way as she’s being built.”
The owner commented that the great thing about working with Viking Yachts is that he has never heard the word no whenever he’s built a boat. “No matter what we asked, they tried to figure a way to make it work into the plans,” he says.
That’s an important ingredient for boatbuilding success, which is evident in this company’s 50-year history and in its largest convertible to date. Could a 100-footer be far behind? Viking never says never and has a list of dedicated anglers like Rodriguez supporting the brand, so anything is possible.
|Specifications||Builder Supplied Numbers|
|Length Overall||93 ft. 3 in.|
|Beam||24 ft. 1 in.|
|Draft||5 ft. 11 in.|
|Gross Weight||205,000 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity||4,015 gals.|
|Water Capactiy||485 gals.|
|Cockpit Area||238 sq. ft.|
Viking Yachts, 609-296-6000; vikingyachts.com