Serial Sportfish Owner Lands A Viking & Regulator
“I’ve owned a lot of boats,” Mike Lewis recalls. “Really, too many to keep count.” He rattles off sportfish after sportfish, most residing in the 40 to 50-foot range… notable builders like Ocean and Bertram with a few Custom Carolina boats in the mix, including a Buddy Davis to round out the list. Center consoles make an appearance as well, including a triple outboard-powered Triton along with a Custom Carolina Express at 34-feet.
Buying the Big Boat
Lewis has been offshore fishing for years, both for fun and in tournaments throughout the Mid-Atlantic. When the time came for another upgrade, Lewis had in his mind what the ideal tournament battlewagon would be. He set his sights on a 2003 Viking 61, and enlisted the help of Bluewater Yacht Sales Professional Scott James. While the Viking 61 is arguably one of the most popular larger sportfishing convertibles of all time, with over 150 hulls built, what Lewis sought was a version considerably more unique.
“My 61 is one of maybe only five ever built with the more powerful MTU 16V-2000 engines,” Lewis explains. “There was a considerable premium to install those higher-horsepower engines, so the option was rarely chosen.” Rated at 2,030 horsepower, the 16-cylinder MTU diesels could push the Viking 61 to a top speed exceeding 42 knots with a cruise of 36 knots.
In fact, the big MTUs weren’t the only option the original owner splurged on. Lewis explains that his Viking 61 has nearly every option that was available for that production year. He landed a special gem with this used Viking, and Lewis followed suit by not holding back when it was time for upgrades and improvements.
“The boat has been setup strictly for tournament fishing,” Lewis explains. She boasts all-new Garmin electronics including three large touchscreens at the helm with a Furuno 25kW radar that’s good for 96 miles of range. Satellite TV, weather and radio round out the upgrades along with 24-volt teaser reels. This Viking 61, named Reel Naughty will make appearances at the Virginia Beach Tuna Tournament, Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament and Ocean City’s White Marlin Open in 2021.
Regulator for Versatility
When it came time for an upgraded center console, Lewis made another big move: he purchased his first-ever new boat. “I custom ordered my 26XO from the factory with every option that Regulator offers, including the Yamaha XTO 425,” Lewis explains. His new 26XO includes a Garmin electronics package at the helm, radar on the surfboard edge hardtop, Power Pole, and a Minn Kota iPilot trolling motor that includes Spot Lock, which interfaces with the GPS to accurately lock your boat onto fishing spots.
Since delivery, this Regulator 26XO is now registered with the name Reel Naughty II. Lewis intends to use his new 26XO for every purpose it was built for: fishing the back bays, inshore and offshore. “I’ll be taking the boat down to Florida for some snook, permit and tarpon fishing.” Lewis continues, “Sailfishing too. We’ll be getting in the winter sailfish tournaments down in Florida as well.”
For a man who has owned countless boats, it is no surprise that he knows exactly what he wants in his next one. However, Lewis was taken by surprise at how satisfactory his buying and selling transactions could be with Bluewater Yacht Sales.
Enjoying the Ride
“Scott is probably the best broker I’ve ever dealt with,” Lewis explains. Certainly, a high honor and complement from a seasoned owner who has so many boat transactions behind him. James assisted Lewis with the sale of his Buddy Davis convertible and with the purchase of his Viking 61 and Regulator 26XO.
“Scott is probably the best broker I’ve ever dealt with”
“I believe Bluewater Yacht Sales is by far the number one brokerage firm in the country.” Lewis adds, “Also, the number one yacht service yard in the country.” The extensive updates and routine maintenance on his Viking 61 were completed at the Bluewater Yacht Yard in Hampton, Virginia. Lewis also keeps that convertible tied up at the Bluewater Yachting Center, and speaks highly of the marina and staff. “The whole family, sales, the marina, the yacht yard,” Lewis concludes, “words can’t describe how good they are.”
“I believe Bluewater Yacht Sales is by far the number one brokerage firm in the country. Also, the number one yacht service yard in the country.”
Lewis has spent the bulk of his fishing career jumping from boat to boat, and although the Viking 61 may not be his forever tournament battlewagon, he may have found his forever yacht sales and service yard outfit.
Bluewater is grateful for Mike Lewis and every customer who becomes a member of our extended family and having the opportunity to boat alongside them for a lifetime.