At the Miami Yacht show this past February, Viking debuted its 68 Convertible, a four-stateroom fishing machine with excellent interior fit and finish and angling bona fides that should make her a favorite on the tournament circuit.
“The 68 is another legendary boat in a long line of fishing boats for Viking in the 60-foot and 70-foot range,” says Viking President and CEO Patrick Healey. “No one is doing the job we are doing today in this size range.”
Those may sound like bold words from Healey, but it doesn’t necessarily make them untrue, as Viking has enjoyed great success in the sportfishing market for years now. In part, that’s because the New Jersey-based builder focuses both on the fishing and cruising market — turning out both tournament-ready battle wagons and elegant cruising yachts at once.
The 68’s cockpit encompasses a full 176-square feet and has mezzanine seating that is an excellent place to watch all the fishing action, or just to kick back as you run across the Gulf Stream.
Like most Vikings, the 68 C is a speedster. With optional twin 1,945 hp MTU 2000 V12 M96Ls, the yacht can cruise at 35 knots and max out at 40-plus. Mans and Caterpillar options are also available.
The 68 C has that classic, swept-back Viking sheerline and an intimidating black mask that can make it look like its going even faster at speed.
The 68’s interior has a high degree of luxury, with four heads to complement the aforementioned four staterooms. High-gloss walnut is a popular option for interior wood, while Ultraleather is the go to for upholstery. There’s a pop-up 49-inch television in the salon as well as frameless windows that let in a good amount of natural light. Air conditioning vents are well distributed so as not to concentrate the flow of air in any one spot.
The galley has an island countertop so you can quickly get outdoors should a fish strike while you’re grabbing a bite. Three barstools at that counter are sure to be a gathering spot after hours, while the drawers all have aircraft style locking mechanisms to keep them in place. Opposite the galley, a four-person settee with a high-gloss walnut table takes care of on board dining needs.
The 68 comes in either open or enclosed bridge versions. The open version is more popular with tournament fishermen while the enclosed is a favorite of cruisers. Whichever version you choose, you’ll be getting a well pedigreed yacht that’s fast, sturdily built and easy on the eyes. And that’s a tough combination to beat.