Sport Cruisers 50 Flybridge — By George L. Petrie
Nothing to Chance
|Part 2: Spinning the wheel over, we carved a hard turn to port, with barely a drop in rpm.|
Below decks, I saw yet another advantage that the raised helm offered. Beneath it is a roomy guest stateroom with nearly seven-foot headroom at its forward end and more-than-ample 5'2" headroom in way of the twin berths (beneath the raised helm). Some owners may prefer an optional double berth in lieu of the twins on our test boat, but either way they’re sure to appreciate the full-height closet, 27 inches wide but split down the middle into a hanging locker on one side and shelving on the other.
Stowage in the master stateroom is even more impressive, with a full-height locker to port, 21 inches wide, that offers six shelves varying from 18 to 21 inches in depth, plus a hanging locker of the same proportions on the starboard side. There’s also a pair of 20"x20"x8" deep drawers beneath the centerline berth as well as smaller nooks and crannies to either side.
In addition to the copious stowage spaces, I was pleased but not surprised to note the quality of the joinery. The solid-cherry door frames have nicely rounded tops, and the counters to either side of the berth have built-in, shallow bins with hinged covers that open like a dressing table.
Just when I thought I’d seen it all, on my way back up to the main deck I yanked open a cabinet by the companionway steps and found a combination washer/dryer, with three shelves above it at eye level. Each shelf measured 24"x30" deep, more than enough space in which to stash laundry products.
The interaction theme was also apparent on the flying bridge. For the owner and a companion, there’s a dual helm seat to port, while guests can relax in the big U-shape settee with dinette to starboard. For sun worshipers, there’s a large sunpad aft. Those preferring less exposure will appreciate the ample settee on the aft deck, sheltered by the flying bridge overhang.
One of the few areas of the yacht that is definitely not a gathering area is her engine room, accessed via a centerline hatch from the aft deck. Twin 675-hp Volvo Penta D12 diesels nearly fill the space. Oil fills and dipsticks are inboard on both powerplants, but engine-mounted filters are outboard on the starboard unit, making them accessible only by crawling across the top of the engine. Good thing we hadn’t fired them up yet. On the plus side, the genset and other mechanical systems are located in a huge lazarette aft, with easy access and plenty of room left for gear.
At last we started up the engines and headed out to test the yacht’s performance. Outside the inlet we were met with four- to six-foot swells out of the northeast. We spun up the diesels and headed south, with the V-bottom hull riding comfortably and tracking true even with the seas on our aft quarter. Okay, I thought, but how will she do on the way back, taking those swells on the bow? Spinning the wheel over, we carved a hard turn to port, with barely a drop in rpm. Mindful of the hull’s deep forefoot and fine entry, I was not surprised to find her equally well mannered in bow seas, and indeed at all headings.
As enjoyable as it was putting the 50 Flybridge through her paces offshore, we opted for an area of sheltered water a few miles up the Intracoastal for our performance tests. Along the way, I got to appreciate how well the 50 maneuvers at speed. Threading our way through the narrow, serpentine channel, she was as agile as a jack rabbit, taking hairpin turns easily at 30 knots or better. Throughout her full range of speeds, bow rise was negligible and sightlines were never compromised.
In calm seas or heavy swells, the Viking Sport Cruisers 50 Flybridge proved to be sure-footed. She just may be the one sure thing in Atlantic City, and a good bet anywhere.
Viking Sport Cruisers Phone: (609) 296-6000. www.vikingsportcruisers.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.