(May 2014, New Gretna, New Jersey) Back in April 1964, Brothers Bill and Bob Healey opened the doors to the Viking Yacht Company and focused on building wooden sportfishing and cruising boats in a modest 26,000 square foot building with dirt floors and no heat. The early years were tough but the brothers persevered egged on by a simple passion to build a better boat every day. The dedication and hard work paid off and 50 years later, the Viking Yacht Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of high-performance, luxurious sportfishing convertible yachts ranging from 42 to 92 feet.
The Viking Yacht Company is unique within the marine industry. In addition to being family-owned and operated with second generation Healey members running the day-to-day operations, the company is vertically integrated. Virtually 90 percent of what goes into a Viking yacht is designed and manufactured in our 810,000 square feet facility on the banks of the Bass River near Atlantic City, New Jersey. A pair of five-axis computer operated milling machines produces the plugs to make the various molds for each of the 17 models in the product line. The mill cuts various hardwoods and veneers for structural components, trim and interior furniture. In the metal shop, aluminum and steel is fabricated into bow and safety rails, engine beds, and intricate framework for hardtops, machinery brackets and various styles of backing plates and custom items. In the fiberglass shop, hulls are resin infused, and custom designed fuel, water and waste tanks are produced for every hull to maximize capacity and draw. Wiring harnesses are hand-made in the electrical shop and printed every eight inches with its function.
Subsidiaries, Atlantic Marine Electronics and Palm Beach Towers deliver accessory packages allowing the convenience of turnkey delivery. And with three fully staffed service yards in Florida and New Jersey no one even approaches Viking’s commitment to after sale service.
Commemorating a half-century of uninterrupted service, Viking has been celebrating throughout the year beginning with a cake cutting ceremony for over 100 shipwrights that have been at Viking for better than 20 years. Company-wide, Viking employs over 850, making it Burlington County’s second largest employer in New Jersey. This was followed by a family fishing tournament in Key West, Florida, which attracted 45 boats, and more than 300 owners, family members and guests from as far away as Massachusetts and Michigan.
Currently all eyes are now focused on the annual dealer meeting in September at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where Viking will unveil its largest boat ever, the 92 Enclosed Bridge Convertible along with a 52 Open/Sport Tower boat, to be followed with a magnificent new 75 Motor Yacht at the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October.
Since its inception more than 50 years ago, the Viking Yacht Company has built over 4,660 boats. As the company moves forward with second generation Healey family members at the helm and third generation Healeys learning boat building from the ground floor, the future of the Viking Yacht Company gleams brightly like a beacon broadcasting across the sea.
Originally published by Viking Yachts