Best in Show

A Perfect 10 for Viking’s Newest Convertible

Jun 1, 2021 | Boat Profiles, Magazine, News, Viking Yachts | 0 comments

Since the early days, Viking has been a leader in the mid-size yacht market. From their 40’ Convertible in the 1970s to their first generation 58 in the 1990s, Viking has been ahead of the curve in design, construction, equipment and amenities. The all-new 54 Convertible is their next big winner in the mid-size sportfish category. In fact, this new model landed a sweet win during its debut at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), by earning the coveted “Best of Show” award.

On hand to accept the award was Viking Yachts President and CEO, Pat Healey, along with his sons and third generation Viking family team members Sean and Justin. “The Viking 54 Convertible is a one-of-a-kind boat and an accomplishment of all of our previous mid-size sportfishing boats. No other manufacturer has built more of these boats in the past 20 years,” Healey explains.

No joke. The new 54 Convertible is the tenth model to be debuted by Viking in the 50 to 60-foot range in the last two decades. Healey continues, “Having the facility and the team we have is what makes this boat different. FLIBS is the king of all boat shows taking place in the Yachting Capital, and to debut the 54 Convertible here during such a special year was only right.

”The evolution in design, engineering, fit and finish and amenities has improved by leaps and bounds over the past 20 years, but the greatest assets to improvements for Viking are their customers and their tournament teams. Invaluable feedback is provided on a continuing basis from the owners, captains and anglers who experience the boats first-hand, in varying conditions and locales, for hundreds of hours each year.

Viking operates one of the most impressive in-house tournament programs of any yacht builder, featuring one or oftentimes two new boats fully outfitted with a captain, mates, anglers, bait and tackle. These demo boats hit the tournament circuit, racking up hundreds of hours of experience and a fair share of wins and accolades along the way.

So much goes into each new Viking model beyond just the usual R&D, and the “Best of Show” recognition awarded at FLIBS was well-earned by the new 54 Convertible. The boat’s well-rounded attributes were appreciated by everyone who experienced her, including Bluewater partner Earle Hall, “The 54C really covers the gamut. It’s a great size for family operators, and the performance is stellar. The boat’s fishability along with great interior comfort makes it an ideal sportfish for the Mid-Atlantic market.”

Delight in the Details

While all the Viking pedigree and expertise from 38 to 92 feet is apparent in each new model they build, subtle design changes in the 54 set it apart from the rest. Just like her big sibling, the 58, this 54-footer features a peninsula galley instead of the island galley that had become popular on many Vikings. Even in a mid-size yacht, the peninsula layout offers a tremendous amount of storage space and a spot for two barstools at the end of the bar counter. Undercounter Sub-Zero refrigeration and freezers are easily accessible, and the galley still boasts a full appliance package and plenty of space for provisions on long trips.

A subtle yet profound design change includes moving the salon door to the same side (starboard) as the companionway entrance to facilitate smooth traffic flow. It is all about perception: entering the boat from the cockpit and staring straight ahead all the way to the forward stateroom helps show off her volume.

Another enhancement that provides that large yacht feel and is only found on the new 54 Convertible, is a full glass wall in the standup shower of each head. This makes the space feel more open, no matter the task at hand while in the head. Bluewater Sales Professional Scott James explains, “There is a lot of space in the shower—a really nice departure from your standard boat shower.”

This new mid-size Viking comes standard with twin MAN V-12 CRM engines rated at 1,400 horsepower each. Opting for the higher-output MAN V-12 models nets another 300-horsepower total and ups the torque curve considerably. With the optional engines pinned at 2,300 rpm, the 54 Convertible is capable of 42 knots. When not in such a hurry, these engines can settle into an efficient cruise at 32 knots, turning roughly 1,850 rpm.

The engine room offers plenty of headroom and gaps around all sides of both engines along with easy access to each system and all supporting equipment. James points out, “there’s a lot of space in the engine room of the Viking 54…” It is truly impressive how the Viking engineers and design team have been able to extract so much space in crucial areas from very modest changes in overall dimensions and volume.

As with any Viking, the options list is long, and the design and engineering team are always ready to take on special requests and customizations to go above and beyond for each customer and their new yacht.

Viking’s mantra is, “to build a better boat every day,” and the 54 C proves they are doing it and is a testimony to the company’s exceptional engineering. 2021 marks fifty years since Viking built their first all-fiberglass sportfish convertible, and thousands of hulls later, their boats are still show-stoppers, tournament winners and highly sought-after machines.