When you think about a fishing boat, the image that generally comes to your mind is a rather precise one: high superstructures, imposing bulkheads, a well-equipped fishing cockpit, perfect yet little “sacrificed” essential interiors.
Viking Yachts has, however, accustomed us to a more complex view, intended to combine offshore anglers’ needs with the desires of those looking for the same comfort standards as a pure cruiser’s ones. As every year, Viking Yachts has chosen the Miami International Yacht Show to unveil its latest creations, the Viking 44 C and the 68 C.
The smallest of the two new models has particularly drawn our attention. Because it’s just on smallest sizes that the ability of the shipyard in materializing innovative design criteria and creative building solutions becomes clearly manifest.
The Viking 44 C – where “C” stands for “Convertible” – has got all the key ingredients to be an excellent fishing boat. Built on the same hull as the 44 Open, the boat features an uncompromised profile: a slightly positive sheer; a flybridge tying in the aft-inclined deckhouse; streamlined forward lines; imposing three-meter-high bulkheads which cut through water efficiently while protecting the deck from water sprays; and an open deadrise angle which contributes to make the boat significantly more performing when sailing fast to a fishing spot or a harbour.
Twin 800-hp MAN diesel engines provide the standard power, while a pair of 1,000-hp Volvo Penta D13s are available as optional power. Powered by the latter engine option, the boat we tested touched a 38-knot top speed and a 33-knot cruising one.
The Viking 44 C is engineered and designed for the installation of a Seakeeper SK 6 gyro stabilizer, which brings great stability to the vessel and elevates the overall comfort level.
The cockpit – equipped with flush rod holders, a live well and a comfortable sofa intended to accomodate the owner’s guests who don’t share the same passion for fishing but don’t want to give up outdoor relax – leads to the flybridge through a well-protected port ladder.
Here, captains command from a center console with 360-degree visibility and a clear view of the cockpit. Crew and guests have a choice of port, starboard or forward seating . The flybridge’s fiberglass overhang blankets the cockpit below while an optional fiberglass hard top can be ordered in order to create an additional, essential shaded area on the fly.
A sliding door gives access to the deckhouse. Guests are welcomed by a huge sophisticated salon, whose exquisite décor is enhanced by an extensive use of high-gloss teak.
This is a living zone where Viking Yachts’ designers have successfully created three different yet interlinked environments. The port raised table enveloped by a comfortable sofa shapes the dinner zone. The starboard L-shaped sofa and a small table in the middle identifies the lounge, beyond which, a starboard countertop equipped with two bar stools separates the living zone from the galley while creating a small convivial corner where guests can have a cocktail and the chef can make his plates in total comfort.
More specifically, the galley is equipped with all the conveniences of a modern-day home: a freezer, a microwave oven, Corian countertops, a large-capacity bone-color Corian recessed sink and a two-burner providing enough space for two medium-sized pots.
If we wanted to split hairs, we could criticize the position of the master cabin, located just opposite the galley. But “criticism” stops here. The rest is something stunning and completely new for a 44-footer since the cabin features exquisite furniture, a queen-size walk-around bed and a beautiful en-suite bathroom.
The forward cabin has a double bed located at 45 degrees to the boat axis and a single berth where the child of the couple enjoying this cabin can sleeps. An external bathroom serves this cabin.
Plunged in this dimension of elegance, we can scarcely realize that we are on board a 44-footer designed for fishing.