Sport Cruisers V65 Express Yacht — By Capt. Bill Pike — May 2000
|Part 2: Fit and finish second to none|
There are two major factors responsible for this kind of handling and performance. The first is Bernard Olesinski's classic deep-V hull form. Comparatively narrow, it has a sea-splitting transom deadrise of 21 degrees, a sharp forefoot, three running strakes per side, cambered spray rails at the bow, chines that are reversed by about 10 degrees, and a set of shaft-angle-reducing propeller tunnels. The blend of elements is enhanced by a set of near-perfectly balanced Teignbridge five-blade S-class props (one identifying characteristic of an S-class prop is its blade-to-blade consistency) and a set of after-raked, axe-head rudders. Positioning the boat's 1,300-hp MANs well forward produces an optimized longitudinal center of gravity as well, and, in league with the tunnels, a repertoire of running angles that don't exceed three degrees.
The second factor is construction. While the materials used in the V65 are conventional--mat, roving, and isophthalic resins--the methodology is not. Unlike many big express boats created in America, Marine Projects, which builds the 65 for Viking Sport Cruisers in England, uses no coring in its hull sides--the V65 is solid glass from gunwale to keel. Her stringers and transversals, of relatively reduced size, are more numerous and arrayed in a tight lattice of high-density-foam-cored members that covers not only the bottom but the hull sides as well. The lightweight strength of this approach is enhanced by the fact that all internal strengtheners are primarily bonded into the hull and deck laminates while they're still in their respective molds. This is a lot stronger than secondarily bonding stringers and transversals into a hull that has already cured.
The detailing and finish of the V65's three-stateroom, three-head natural cherry interior compares favorably to anything I've seen. Because the hull and deck are each stand-alone structures, computer-controlled, router-cut interior furnishings can be assembled and finished outside of the hull. The happy result is no muss and less fuss.
Other impressive details abound. Although the boat is built in Great Britain, where America's passion for ice is unshared, there's still one heck of a refrigeration system onboard, both in the galley and in the utility room at the stern, where there's space for a big, optional Marvel freezer. Accessed through a door in this same utility room, the commodious machinery spaces have 6'7" headroom, a SeaFire FM 200 fire extinguishing system, duplex Separ 2000/18 UKD fuel/water separators, and dripless shaft logs that are cross-connected to maintain shaft lubrication even with one engine down. Our test boat also had two Charles Marine IsoBoost 50 transformers, the latest in marine electrical safety. Topside were features like acres of teak decking, Lewmar warping winches, a cockpit wetbar with Vitrifrigo refrigerator, sink, and De Dietrich cooktop, plus two handheld-remote-activated garages, one for a PWC and the other for either another PWC or a dinghy.
The wind was still wailing when I finished my test, fittingly enough. For sure, this boat is expertly engineered and gorgeously drawn, with fit and finish second to none. But her real essence is rapid transit, especially when seas are big.
Viking Sport Cruisers Phone: (609) 296-6000. Fax: (609) 296-7139.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.