45 Open — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
She’s All That
|Part 2: You can pack this boat for a week’s cruise or more with room to spare.|
The single-lever Glendinning electronic controls make maneuvering the 45 as easy as handling a boat half her size. She spins easily on her length and turns smoothly at speed thanks to Teleflex SeaStar power-assisted hydraulic steering. In addition, the 45 lifts her 48,048-pound displacement up on plane in a hurry, even though her construction details are relatively conservative. The 45’s hull (15-degree aft deadrise) is comprised mostly of solid fiberglass below the waterline (except for half-inch vacuum-bagged balsa core under the engines to stiffen the structure), a reinforced keel of silica sand and resin, and balsa-cored hull sides and is powered with nearly 6,000 pounds of diesels (twin 800-hp MAN 2848 LE403s). She tops 38 mph in about 20 seconds and maintains a comfortable cruise of 33.9 mph at 2000 rpm while burning 56 gph. With her range of 401 NM at cruise, canyon anglers in the north and Bahamas runners to the south should be pleased with her speed and efficiency. As for her test results at WOT, a faulty cable on the starboard control prevented my boat’s engines from reaching their rated rpm. Viking corrected the problem and supplied the reported top speed of 39.2 mph at 2324 rpm, which is in line with our results at lower rpm levels.
The 45 was living up to her initial appearance, and her engine room and below-decks areas helped reinforce that impression. With regards to the former, her Alwgripped engine room, with 5'2" headroom, was as smooth-looking as those molded cockpit hatches, and the steel web-frame engine beds just strengthened what I’d already learned about her heavy build. Those beds not only keep the big MANs aligned, Viking says they reduce vibration and noise, too. Viking also employs a Delta T ventilation system here, which, thanks to four high-speed but quiet axial fans, keeps the engine room cool (about 95°F underway) and salt spray out.
The 45’s cockpit, bridge deck, and engine room are well-arranged and very white, which make the boat’s below-deck area, with 6'5" headroom, an inviting retreat from the sun’s glare. The standard high-gloss and latch-free teak cabinetry (push to open) help give her starboard galley a clean, uniform appearance. To port, her optional Ultraleather L-shape lounge ($1,900) and Amtico teak-and-holly sole ($980) provided a warm ambiance. My test boat also had the optional two-stateroom layout. It’s a smart layout in a lot of ways. Take my buddy Tom, for example. His children are small enough to make this setup work. The lower bunk in the port-side guest stateroom is just under two feet wide, too tight for most grown-ups. Of course, the master forward with queen-size berth is the place I’d prefer to rest my head. Stowage space abounds down here; you can pack this boat for a week’s cruise or more with room to spare.
I concluded that the 45 was everything she’d appeared to be at first glance. But I did have one regret. I wished there’d been some weather so I could see how the 45 handled a big sea. But in spite of the blue sky, warm temperatures, and flat water, I could still see that Viking has built an express with all the angling amenities a tournament fisherman could want and all the accommodations a young cruising family could desire. And her cockpit offers not only a formidable fishing platform, but for the crowd that is more interested in cocktails, it can double nicely as a dance floor.
So, to my friend Tom, and all the other boaters out there like him that face that wonderful dilemma and are ready to step into that next boat, I say, take the 45 Open on a snotty-day sea trial, but don’t forget the checkbook. This may be the one you’ve been looking for.
Viking Yachts Phone: (609) 296-6000. www.vikingyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the February 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.