Posted on November 10, 2014 by Chuck Mahnken, Images by Viking
Double debut: The new Viking yacht, powered by mtu's latest Series 2000 yacht engine.
In the world of sportfishing, there is one unmistakable trend: sportfishing yachts are getting bigger and bigger. This development is not unproblematic: the bigger a vessel, the more sluggishly it accelerates and the more unwieldy it is to manoeuvre. Yet acceleration and manoeuvrability are crucial characteristics when it comes to tracking and chasing marlin and other billfish. The new Viking 92 yacht provides the best of both worlds: it is indeed bigger than its predecessor, but thanks to mtu’s new Series 2000 yacht engine, it is just as nimble, and as swift as an arrow.
The menacing great white shark in Jaws prompted one of the most famous lines in movie history, “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” While the ramshackle fishing boat from Jaws was no match for the great white, the movie would’ve ended differently with a Viking 92 sportfishing yacht. In no time, the battle would be over. The passengers would be feasting on an elaborate sushi platter at a formal dining table, cruising back to shore in air-conditioned comfort.
The new super yacht was unveiled at this year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show by Viking, the American shipyard specializing in sportfishing vessels. The product of three years of intensive research, design and development, the vessel not only meets Viking’s high standards (and their customers’), it actually shares similar acceleration and manoeuvreability of smaller-sized sportfishing boats. To provide the necessary power and performance, the Viking 92 is equipped with the newest, most cutting-edge engine in the industry—the Series 2000 M96 engine from mtu, which is also celebrating its premiere this year at yacht shows around the world.
As the largest Viking afloat today, the Viking 92 is an unprecedented combination of impeccable style and thunderous performance. “We focused on the features a megayacht would have, while keeping all the tournament fishing features of our midrange convertible boats,” says Ryan Higgins, sales manager at Viking Yacht Company. “The Viking 92 is unlike anything out there. It’s a competitive 92-foot fishing boat that’s as luxurious as a 100-foot-plus yacht.”
Top of the food chain
A Viking 92 is the ultimate big-game fishing machine, built to accelerate, change directions and perform complex fishing manoeuvres. Ryan Higgins served as the yacht’s captain on its 36-hour maiden voyage from Viking headquarters in New Jersey to Florida. He says, “When you step on the boat, it feels like a 100-plus-foot boat. But when you're running it, it feels smaller since it has such good manoeuvreability. It accelerates like a boat in the 70-foot range. It’s really incredible that you can make a 92-footer spin 360 degrees on a fish, or go in reverse at 10 knots, doing the things you need to chase down marlin.”
Most of the time, marlin, tuna, swordfish and sailfish can be found far offshore, in rough waters off the continental shelves of North and South America. A Viking 92’s speed and range enables the vessel to get to these hotspots fast—with a smooth ride so anglers are comfortable when their fishing lines hit the water. After all, with the busy lives Viking owners lead, time is of the essence. The more time they spend at fishing grounds enjoying their passion, the better.
Newly redesigned powerhouses
In the gleaming white engine room, you’ll also find the major source of the Viking 92’s power and performance—twin mtu Series 2000 M96L engines. Continuing its long tradition of reliable and efficient high-performance yacht engines, the mtu Series 2000 next generation engine offers enhanced acceleration and low fuel consumption in 12-cylinder ratings from 1,700 bhp to 1,920 bhp and 16-cylinder ratings from 2,185 bhp to 2,600 bhp of power, making it particularly suitable for luxury and sportfishing yachts. It is also backed by mtu’s Premium Yacht Service, providing unparalleled support for the engine over its entire lifespan.
Producing 2,600 horsepower, the engine meets current Tier 3 recreational emissions requirements. In addition to enhanced performance, the engine’s new design provides reduced noise and less smoke, while maintaining the low fuel consumption rates its Tier 2 predecessor was known for.
As senior project engineer at Viking Yacht Company, Bill Gibbons put the engines to the test during several sea trials aboard the Viking 92 Enclosed Bridge Convertible. Each trial report details sea conditions and tabulates comprehensive engine data. During one voyage, Bill says, nine mtu mechanical and electrical engineers from Germany were on board, analyzing engine data on their laptop computers. Preliminary numbers from the sea trials are impressive. The Viking 92 cruises at 31.5 knots (36 mph) at 2,200 rpm, burning approximately 200 gallons/hour. At full load, the vessel can hit a speed of 35.7 knots (41 mph), burning 257 gallons per hour.
“The Series 2000 M96L engine was the perfect choice for this application. There are other engines that can produce the same or more horsepower, but they are twice the weight,” says Bill. “The result of the engine’s redesign is faster acceleration. That translates into more responsiveness and better manoeuvreability.”
The complete package
“The new 16V 2000 M96L engines paired with the Viking 92 Enclosed Bridge Convertible is a powerful combination and one that will surely make waves at sea,” said Andrew Boyer, senior sales manager, mtu America. "Because our customers demand high levels of performance and reliability, it was essential for the next generation of mtu yacht engines to create excitement and set a new standard for the pleasure craft industry.”
A full system provider, mtu has also outfitted the Viking 92 with its latest control and monitoring system, Blue Vision New Generation (BVNG), which features standard color displays, integrated start-stop control and standard shipyard interface. The system is complete with simple harnessing to enabling ease of installation. Through Remote Services, the captain can monitor mtu engine data and systems activity via smartphone, before he steps on board. This helps save valuable service time in the future and keeps routine maintenance checks on schedule.
Another innovation in the Viking 92’s bridge is a new Joystick System that is fully integrated to BVNG as an option. Designed for the pleasure craft market, this new Joystick System will be available in early 2015 and will offer intuitive manoeuvreability, thruster compatibility and
GPS-based station keeping.
Luxury at sea
While the Viking 92’s bridge is decked out with all the latest technology and the engine
room purrs with twin powerhouses at the ready, the Viking 92’s main salon and staterooms resemble a floating luxury penthouse, with all the features buyers have come to expect in their own homes. Curved doorways, exquisite custom woodwork and other designer touches are in abundance at every turn. The yacht is equipped with eight TVs, many of which rise from teak cabinetry at the touch of a button. All countertops feature custom selected granite. Eight guests can dine in pure style in an air-conditioned dining area. And the galley is appointed with top-of-the-line appliances and a pair of walk-in pantries.
Below deck, there are six spacious staterooms, each with its own private head and shower. The master suite features a king-size bed, walk-in closet, dressing table, his and her bathrooms, and a 65-inch TV. The master suite was designed to share similar dimensions and features with those commonly found in 130-plus-foot megayachts. Just like larger motor yachts, the Viking 92 accommodates a separate area for the crew quarters and galley. With the yacht’s spaciousness, comfort and 4,000-gallons of fuel capacity, the vessel is perfect for long-range travelling.
Making a big splash
Instead of simply building a bigger boat, Viking Yacht Company has built a bigger, better, more luxurious and more cutting-edge boat. After the Viking 92’s introduction at the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, it’s no wonder that buyers have taken the bait.