Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour

Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
It's one thing to appreciate the beauty of a boat sitting at the dock or out on the fishing grounds. But when you actually see the boat in the building process, you get an entirely new appreciation for the craftsmanship, ingenuity and technology used to build a world-class sport-fishing yacht. After taking a tour of the Viking production facility in New Gretna, New Jersey, I have a newfound respect for the men and women who build Viking boats. These folks do it right. - Charlie Levine Photos by Charlie Levine and Peter Frederiksen
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The new 42 Convertible is Viking's first boat built to accommodate the Cummins Zeus pod-propulsion system.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking designed the hull specifically for the Zeus system, which uses pods as opposed to straight shafts.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
These pods will make the new 42 highly maneuverable.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The pod and built-in tab.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Crews work on the hull of the new Viking 42, the smallest boat built by Viking in a long time.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The inside layout begins to take form as the pieces come together.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The deck is lowered onto the hull.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The deck is glassed in place and reinforced with bolts.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The salon begins to look like a salon.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The salon begins to look like a salon.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The galley takes shape.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
This computer controls the five-axis machine that cuts out shapes for various molds.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The five-axis machine turns a piece of foam into the shape that will act as a mold for a bridge.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The machine works around the clock to create smooth molds.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Nearly every piece you see on a Viking, both big and small, is made in-house, including the electric panel.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking makes these locking washers for the props.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Employees use bikes to get around the 810,000-square-foot facility. It was great to see that Bill Healey, who started Viking in 1964 with his brother Bob, rides the same bike (his is even a bit more beat up) as his employees do.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking's signature engine vents.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The company labels each and every wire used in the boat, making any troubleshooting or upgrades much easier.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Boats move down the production line as they come together.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Each hull is placed on custom-fit racks that roll down a track as the boat progresses through production.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
This deck mold will be flipped over and mounted to a hull, so everything looks upside down from this angle.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Engine exhausts ready for power.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking makes its own fuel tanks out of fiberglass. Each model gets a tank built specifically to fit snuggly into the hull. No space is wasted. The tanks also give the hull stability.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
A sample of a foam-filled stringer and the keel, which is filled with sand and ground stone for extra strength.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
What will one day become a mezzanine.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The deck of a 54 awaiting a hull.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Side view of the deck.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The boys in the woodshop can build anything, literally.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Each cart goes with a specific hull. When ready, the cart will go out to the production line and the wood will be installed in the cabin.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
An enclosed-bridge 82-footer on the production line.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
The amount of wires needed to accommodate all of the electronics and audio-visual systems in today's high-tech vessel is staggering.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
When this protective paper is peeled away, you'll find a shiny gelcoat ready for the light of day.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Veem, an Australian company, makes the props used by Viking. The colored inserts can be changed out to adjust the pitch. So if you bring your boat from New Jersey to Florida, for example, and you start feeling some vibration because of the change in water temp or salinity, you can change the insert rather than get your wheels adjusted.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Viking's Atlantic Marine Electronics is located next door to the production facility and installs and services navigation, communication and entertainment systems.
Viking Yachts Boatyard Tour
Another close-up of a six-bladed Veem prop.