Viking 72C Review

North Carolina Family Going Full Throttle with New Viking 72C

Jun 24, 2024 | Magazine, Viking Yachts | 0 comments

Chris Worden grew up in Fort Lauderdale and fondly remembers his first fishing trips with friends as a teenager. After meeting his wife Wendy at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the couple enjoyed a beach house in Carolina Beach for most of the nineties while founding a successful stock market analysis and software business. He moved their residence and the growing company to Fort Lauderdale for much of the 2000s before deciding to return both full-time to the Wilmington area in 2008. While living in each of these two oceanfront communities, they made great use of the water and recreational boating opportunities while raising their family.
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Throughout the decades they owned a wide variety of boats, including sportfish and motoryachts, most notably a 55-foot trawler and 42’ power catamaran which their family of four enjoyed using to cruise The Bahamas when their children were young. Additionally, Chris rattled off an impressive list of other express and cuddy cabin style boats he’s owned for fishing the Gulf Stream in both Florida and North Carolina.

As a life-long Miami Dolphins fan and season ticket holder, Chris and family rarely miss a game, including many away trips. He explains his two most recent center consoles, a 39 and 32, were called Fins Up and Fins Up Jr., with their new Viking 72 Convertible replacing the 39’ Fins Up. If that sounds like a mighty leap up, it is­—but on the other hand, it has also been a long time coming.

Chris and Wendy have had their eyes on a Viking Yacht for years, dreaming of a boat that would allow them to pursue two goals in one package: perform the serious angling he’s enjoyed in his smaller boats, along with returning to the onboard cruising lifestyle they previously enjoyed as a family. The Wordens visited many years’ worth of boat shows where they’d run into former fellow Carolina Beach resident and Bluewater Sales Professional Clark Sneed and kick around ideas. They also attended multiple Viking VIP events in Florida, sea-trialing the Viking 55C several times, and taking the 62C and 42 pod demo boats for a spin.

After all that research and testing, Chris came to a conclusion: “Because we were going to use the boat as a family not just as a fishing boat, I really wanted something big enough to have both the day head and the space to use the boat for more than just fishing.” That meant focusing on even larger models than what they had previously sea-trailed in order to find their ideal Viking Yacht.

“We had been talking about it forever,” Chris relays. Then along came an unexpected health scare and the loss of a close family member. “That really put things into perspective—after ten to fifteen years of talking about it—we thought, ‘Let’s just put the order in!’”

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Options and Flexibility

Interestingly, Chris explains that when he initially put a deposit down at Viking, it was for a 68’ Convertible. “There was a 68 and a 72 next to each other on the production line and they told me I could choose between either one.” The more he thought about it, the more confident he became on going big and making the most of the opportunity, “Eventually I told Wyatt [Bluewater’s General Manager] and Clark, ‘Aw, just make it the 72 and put the big engines in and we’ll have the extra space in the master stateroom.’ I guess you could also contribute it to Clark and Wyatt being great salesmen!”

Once it was time to focus on the details, Chris was more than pleased with how it went, “Clark was fantastic throughout the process; he couldn’t be better.” Chris took the time to explain in more detail, “Clark probably talked through the entire boat with me about fifty times.

“He’s knowledgeable about a lot of Vikings and that made a big difference.”

These planning sessions led to a great number of decisions, tweaks and customizations to the final Fins Up. The Wordens received input from Clark on what he and other owners have learned and their preferences on which systems to install and why. “There wasn’t any detail he didn’t have a recommendation for,” Chris adds. This included insights such as moving the position of certain outlets and opting for different bedding sizes throughout. Collaborating with ideas from Clark, other 72C owners, as well as Viking Project Manager Joe Coyle, resulted in some very satisfied customers. “My wife selected one of the master closets and opted for a make-up counter that she helped custom design. She loves it,” Chris reports.
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Throughout the construction process Clark made many trips to the Viking plant on their behalf, with the Wordens visiting the factory twice. “We took the tour and once we stopped in the interior design office, I didn’t see Wendy again—she spent the rest of the day in there!” Chris recalls. While he and Clark focused on the myriad of mechanical, electrical, and outfitting decisions up through the boat’s completion, Wendy was given carte blanche on the interior appointments. “I hardly knew what it was going to look like until delivery,” he says. The result is an opulent but calming atmosphere of deep blues and satin walnut cabinetry punctuated by colorful ocean themed photography produced by their son Michael.

Making a Splash

After delivery in the Fall, Fins Up wintered in Wilmington for the first four months, taking some simple shake-down trips around home in the Southport and Cape Fear area. “I’ve been around a lot of new boats and airplanes; there are always bugs to shake out,” Chris says. Given the size and scope of all the systems aboard, getting them all working in harmony is just part of the process. In this span of time he hired a full-time Captain who went to work finishing out the punch-list and gearing up the boat for some serious traveling and adventure.

The hiring of Captain Todd Anderson, another long-time Wilmington area resident and former Bluewater team member, was another serendipitous recommendation made by Clark while at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

“Our first real trip was to Key West. We had thirteen people, friends and family, at the Viking Key West Challenge,” Chris reports. They fished the tournament but also took their large group of guests on sunset cruises in the evenings. “Eight of us, including Captain and mate, stayed on the boat.

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Viking 72C
LOA: 72′ 8″
Beam: 20′ 0″
Draft: 5′ 9″
Fuel Capacity: 2,594 gal.
Water Capacity: 372 gal.
Dry Weight: 126,696 lbs.
Power: Twin MTU @ 2,635 hp ea.
Genset: Twin Cummins Onan @ 29kW ea.
Stabilization: Seakeeper 26

“It was amazing, it handles thirteen people like nothing at all,”

Chris says approvingly. Regarding the boat’s performance with the top-tier MTU power package, owner and Captain alike are impressed by both its range and speed. Fins Up made the trip from Wilmington to Key West in just two days, thanks to a good weather window and the massive fuel capacity skillfully tucked in among all the other accommodations aboard the 72 Convertible.

Soaking It In

Next up, the Wordens rendezvoused with Capt. Todd and the boat in Nassau for a cruise through the Exumas island chain in The Bahamas, with their son’s young family joining them aboard. They fished and explored by day while staying out at anchor each night for most of the trip, making good use of that upgraded space in the 72. However, Chris points out they did make reservations at Highbourne Cay Marina to join in on the bonfire for a night. It was their two young granddaughters’ first trip to The Bahamas and the family was clearly excited about sharing these experiences and making new memories together.

“Wendy and I had a great week with some of our kids and grandkids aboard Fins Up. We did lots of snorkeling, hunting for sand dollars on the sandbars, and of course eating!” Chris reports. He realized another part of their trip plans by trolling off Highbourne and catching some mahi together—which was promptly grilled up that evening in the cockpit. They also note Captain Todd has been great and is quickly becoming part of the family.

After the Exumas trip, Fins Up made its way back to North Carolina with the intent of doing a lot of fishing out of Wilmington in May, leading up to participating in the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in June.

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That’s an action-packed itinerary for just three months’ time, and the 72 Convertible is the right rig to make it all happen. Deeper into the summer, their plans are less concrete, but the Wordens will be focused on getting as much fishing and cruising in as possible before their weekend attendance will be required again at the Dolphins’ NFL games in the Fall—Fins Up after all!