The new Viking 52 Convertible is a serious contender, whether you want to fish hard or relax in luxury.
As we’ve seen in past Viking models like the Viking 66 Convertible, this manufacturer’s expertise is grounded in crafting premium bluewater fishing boats for the tournament crowd—a shrewd group that’s not so easy to please. Viking has been around for 50 years now, but it spent more than three decades constructing only convertibles. That type of moxie gets noticed by tournament crews who are themselves a dauntless bunch. Viking’s convertible lineup currently ranges from 42 to 92 feet, and the newest addition is this 52, a model that the builder says is a culmination of its many years of experience.
Imagine winds gusting off the Atlantic at 30 knots. Seas are five to six feet. Throw in some driving rain for interest. Messy. That’s the kind of stuff that’s just par for the course for a Viking. With a fine entry and high bow, this 52 is designed to shoulder through waves effortlessly. The convex hull form takes advantage of high-performance, turbo-charged diesels that deliver speed and efficiency. With a pair of 1,400-hp MAN engines, the 52 should cruise at 35 knots and top out at 40, which is fast enough for any crew to be competitive on the big-purse circuit.
Like all Vikings, the 52 is engineered to be highly fishable, and this model proved its mettle early on when the first hull won the Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational off the coast of New Jersey, shortly after the boat was splashed in the summer of 2013. The 145-square foot-cockpit is equipped with the features and systems that lure anglers as efficiently as a chum slick brings bait. The space can be equipped with a bait freezer, rigging station, tackle locker, a 4’7”-long fishbox, and 40-gallon live well. Flush rod holders, raw and freshwater washdowns, a Glendinning Cablemaster, and a transom door are standard, as is the excellent nonslip on the fiberglass sole. There’s also an extended flybridge deck that creates a comfortable piece of shade.
From the cockpit you step into the saloon, where one of the first things you notice is the gleam. It’s a result of light reflecting off the hand-finished teak joinery that’s a signature feature on all Vikings. This is the type of detail that distinguishes a Viking from other convertibles in the class; it’s a custom touch on a production powerboat that defines the brand as a true luxury build. Lighting is also high end. There’s a thoughtful combination of indirect and overhead lights that allows the owner to create any kind of mood he wants in the open space.
The 52 can sleep at least six passengers in three cabins on the accommodations level, where there’s also two heads, each with a stall shower. In these cabins, there’s more evidence of Viking’s expertise with woodworking. For proof, check out the built-in credenza along the side of the master stateroom to port. The guest cabin forward has a queen berth, but you can order it with bunks. The smaller stateroom to starboard has bunks, and in an alcove nearby, there’s space to install an optional washer/dryer. It’s thoughtful additions like this one that make Viking convertibles so popular. Sure, they’re battlewagons for the hardcore fishing set, but they’re at ease in the role of luxury cruising yacht, too.
For the captain, the helm station is up on a bridge that’s accessed by an anodized ladder in the cockpit. At hand are hydraulic controls and power-assisted hydraulic steering. Standard features include a Glendinning engine synchronizer, twin adjustable pedestal seats, three weather-proof consoles for electronics, a lounge forward of the helm, and a bench with aft-facing jump seat to starboard. An optional feature is a pod-style helm. With its lovely lines, buyers could find this curvy piece of fiberglass hard to resist. In fact, a lot of convertible fans—whether they’re luxury-lovers or tournament-level anglers—are going to find the 52 Convertible hard to resist from stem to stern.
Originally Published by Boats.com on January 8, 2014