The Viking delivery process is the same whether delivering the boat to an owner or to the dealer. In the case of 66-303 this is a boat being taking into stock inventory for Galati Yacht Sales. Once Viking has completed the 6 month process of building the boat and doing all the tests to insure everything is 100% perfect they invite a dealer representative to come in and "punch the boat". We don't actually hit it with our fist; instead we do a final Quality Inspection and complete a punch list of items that could be better.
Normally, we'd have one of our most experienced captains come in and go through all the systems. But, in this case, I volunteered to do the inspection to gain some valuable sales knowledge about Vikings newest member of the fleet. I traveled to Atlantic City, NJ and then drove 30 minutes north to New Gretna.
My job is to inspect every each of the boat making sure the gel coat is perfect, the teak interior is blemish-free, and every option ordered is installed. Since the boat was winterized and on-deck I was only able to inspect systems that did not require water. As usual, the boat was practically flawless but it’s my job to make a list of imperfections. It was not easy to find them but I looked and looked until I put together a respectable list for the Viking finish up team. Next, they will go through each item on the list and make the necessary correction no matter what it takes. They will do all of this and keep to a very disciplined delivery schedule, which in this case was 5 days later.
The next step in the process, Viking delivers the boat to Atlantic City where they officially turn the boat over to the dealer/customer. At this point we conduct a sea trial with John Stephano, Viking's quality control manager, along with a rep from AME electronics, and a tech from Ramsom Caterpillar. We take the boat out into the Atlantic and run through various checks to insure all boat, engine, and electronic systems are working as designed. If there are any problems, we stay until they are resolved. But, usually we head out the same day.
I will be taking the boat south to Viking's southern location in West Palm Beach departing on Thursday January 19th if Mother Nature lets me. I should arrive about 5 days later. This 1,200 mile trip has been done in 2 days and of course, it could take much longer. I plan to run slow and steady conserving as much fuel as possible and keeping the boat running smooth and tight in rough waters.
Originally Published January 25, 2012