A surreal, teal-tone sea painted by a phytoplankton bloom off Atlantic City, New Jersey, was calm and serene. That is, until 72 feet and 132,158 pounds of sport-fishing machine powered by twin 2,635 hp MTU diesels got a hold of it.
Viking Yachts’ 72 Convertible flew across the water at an average 37.4-knot, 2,000 rpm cruise speed. The engines were running at just 78 percent load and burning 198 gph. At wide-open throttle, my test vessel made 45.5 knots while her engines burned 258 gph. This fishing machine’s fast cruise was 40 knots at 2,120 rpm and 80 percent engine load. Wow.
The builder’s second-generation Viking Independent Programmable Electro-hydraulic Rudder (VIPER) steering enabled our 72C to carve two boat-length turns with catlike agility. The VIPER system is fly-by-wire, and you can adjust the amount of toe for each rudder, resulting in a responsive wheel.
In addition to being fast and nimble on the run, the 72C has handling that means fish should be afraid. Our test vessel backed down smoke-free at 7 knots and spun on a dime.
Anglers will also appreciate the 209-square-foot cockpit. In-deck fish boxes will hold the biggest bigeye tuna, or they can be used as livewells to hold all the day’s goggle-eyes.
Need more live-bait space? Two quick-connects in the cockpit scuppers can be used to add on-deck livewells. Dead-bait freezer space in the mezzanine will hold enough ballyhoo, mullet and mackerel for several tournaments.
Viking owners use their vessels. As a regular tournament fisherman, I’ve seen these yachts in large numbers from New Jersey to Costa Rica. To handle the rigors of regular runs to distant canyons where the seas can be as challenging as the fish being chased, Viking builds the 72C with a vacuum-infused fiberglass hull. Baltek end-grain balsa core and Airex foam core add strength without weight. Her fine entry and planing hull form make her seakindly too.
The 72 Convertible follows the Viking 70 Convertible — a model that saw 36 hulls built and sold to date. Could the 72C equal that success?
We’ll see. Nineteen of them had been sold by the time we tested Hull No. 1.
Whether you want your fishing machine larger or smaller, open or enclosed, Viking offers big-game enthusiasts options.
The newest in Viking’s express sport-fisherman line running from 42 to 52 feet, this yacht has two mirrored bridge-deck tables with bench seats and three helm seats to keep the captain and crew within earshot when on the hunt. Two staterooms are belowdecks.
For the owner-operator who wants to do the tournament trail with crew, the three-stateroom 55 Convertible could be a solid fit. When we ran the 55, we saw a 42-knot top end powered with 1,550 hp MAN diesels.
92 Enclosed Bridge
Adventure awaits. This 205,000-pound vessel can hold 4,015 gallons of diesel, which makes her a true go-anywhere sport-fishing yacht. She also has six staterooms for owners, guests and crew.