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BOAT TESTS

Viking Sport Cruisers 67 Motoryacht

My time aboard the Viking Sport Cruisers 67 Motor Yacht took place on the same long weekend I also boarded and tested the Viking V70 Express Yacht, which turned out to be our July cover boat. The occasion was a trip from Miami to Marathon to Key Largo during which I not only tested both boats but also enjoyed plenty of time aboard them.

The whole weekend reminded me of a high school dance I attended long ago during which I met and became enamored with two girls. One was the class queen, who had stunning good looks and a brash, outgoing personality—a little wild and the life of the party. The other, also attractive, was saner—thoughtful, studious, and a bit subdued. I ended up with the calmer one for the simple reason that being with her was just a lot more comfortable. In fact, she and I ended up dating all though high school and into college.

To me the V70 is the class queen who will always attract a following wherever she goes, while the 67 is the girl you want to take home. I loved driving the V70—almost as much as I loved being seen driving her—but the minute I stepped aboard the 67 I felt comfortable, relaxed, and at home. She’s not as fast as the 70 (a top of 35.7 versus 44.7 mph), doesn’t accelerate as quickly (see spec chart), and can’t match her sibling’s sports car handling, but she’s no slouch in any of those categories either. And she happens to be quieter and, in my opinion, more comfortable and more enjoyable on an extended passage. That’s why at the end of my long weekend, the 67 was the lady I wanted to take home.

No, she won’t turn heads like the 70, but she’s still a beauty. In profile she looks like a V70 with a flying bridge, maintaining that boat’s fine proportions and having not a hint of top-heaviness despite the fact that she’s 2’5” taller (16’11” versus 14’6”). Standard teak decks, gracefully shaped side windows, and four vertical hull-side ports give her a profile that marks her as part of the Viking Sport Cruisers family. Her flying bridge is slightly aft of amidships, where a centerline helm provides much better sightlines than the one on the V70, clear on all points, even to the aft corners. She offers plenty of entertainment space in a large L-shape lounge to starboard and U-shape dinette, plus a ‘fridge/drink chiller, two-burner ceramic cooktop that can convert to a grill, and small sink. Stowage is available in both the helm console and under the dinette. There’s even four feet of deck aft for the tender and standard 900-pound-capacity Marquipt davit.

You have two ways to go below from here: through a translucent hatch forward and down a circular staircase into the saloon or down eight molded-in stairs aft to the teak-sole cockpit.

Partially shaded by the bridge overhang, the cockpit is a great alfresco dining space and offers ready access to both the five-foot-deep swim platform (with wet stowage inside) via port and starboard boarding gates and the expansive foredeck cum sunpad via foot-wide side decks. Note that the swim platform is part of the hull, and its running surface enhances efficiency and provides added leverage for the standard stern thruster mounted on its underside.

As with the V70, the space beneath the cockpit is well utilized. Aft is a 6’3”-long crew’s quarters with hanging locker, single berth, head with stall shower, two ports, and separate air conditioning that could function as an additional stateroom. There’s also a 2’3”-long, full-beam lazarette/machinery space that contains the standard 27.5-kW Onan genset, isolation transformer, and shore-power cable. Two notable things here: the separate Sea Fire fire-suppression system and blower and the way each battery container is vented overboard via its own hose.

Forward of this and beneath a cockpit hatch is the engine room, with 5’10” headroom. The diesels are inclined (i.e., no down-angle gears), but there’s good access to them all around, and raw-water strainers and Separ fuel-water separators are clustered for easy checking. The single 960-gallon fuel tank is forward, insulating this space from the amidships master.

That master is one of three staterooms on the lower deck, all accessed via a centerline stairway forward on the main deck. The other two include a forepeak VIP and starboard amidships twin cabin, the same basic configuration as the V70. All have hanging lockers, en suite heads and separate showers, and opening ports. Additionally, the master has the three distinctive ports on each side that bring extra light into what would normally be a dark space.

The real difference between the 67 and 70 is the main deck. The 67 offers a lower helm with two seats and a starboard door that offers passage to the side deck. (The helmsman can’t really get out without the passenger vacating.) The three-panel windshield has fairly wide mullions, yet visibility is still good forward and to both sides. Visibility aft is as well, thanks to a nifty clear-glass bulkhead that can be turned translucent electrically to provide privacy for the helmsman--or for everyone in the U-shape galley immediately aft and in the saloon aft of that. Those who’d rather watch the world go by can do so from the port-side dinette, which offers occupants good views on all points and has the added plus of being close to the galley for easy food service.

It’s luxury and amenities like these that will make a lot of buyers be willing to give up the performance of the 70, but they may be surprised to learn that they don’t have to give up much. With a top speed of 35.7 mph and a cruising speed of 24.1 mph, the 67 offers a fine turn of speed. Moreover, after having driven both in three- to four-foot seas, I can say that the 67 exhibits nearly equal seakeeping, cruising speed for cruising speed. She can’t match the 70’s tight turning radius, but despite her additional stature, she feels just as stable.

No, the 67’s not the dancing queen the V70 is, but she’s no sweatin’-with-the-oldies matron, either. She’s a lady who can cut a mean rug and make you feel at home, too.

Viking Sport Cruisers
609) 296-6000

This article originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.