Sport Cruisers 50 Flybridge — By George L. Petrie
Nothing to Chance
|Why gamble when it comes to quality and performance?|
I find it ironic that Viking Sport Cruisers owners typically take delivery of their yachts in Atlantic City rather than at Viking’s headquarters located a few miles north in New Gretna, New Jersey. The reason, of course, is convenience. The irony lies in the fact that amidst the gambling mecca of the East Coast, the only sure bet is that yacht owners will like the new Viking Sport Cruisers 50 Flybridge.
Throughout its entire product line, the builder continues to distinguish itself with a commitment to an exceptional level of quality fit and finish, and the 50 is equally true to form. I knew that for sure the moment I stepped aboard and glanced about at the flawlessly varnished cherry joinery that adorns her interior, not to mention the buttery-soft Ultraleather upholstery that makes the saloon’s opposing settees feel as inviting as they look.
The interior layout of the main deck includes the traditional galley, dinette, and seating area, but designed in a way for people to interact. A large U-shape settee to starboard surrounds a handsome dinette, offering seating for four or more to dine, have cocktails, or just relax and enjoy the entertainment center, concealed in beautiful cabinetry built into the opposite bulkhead. To port, there’s a smaller settee, perfect for more intimate conversations, with a cabinet for cordials, aperitifs, and glassware located conveniently alongside.
Forward of the port settee is another interacting area, the fully equipped galley that boasts a three-burner cooktop, undercounter refrigerator/freezer, and 18"x14" stainless steel sink. As on most yachts, the sink is concealed beneath a removable panel of Avonite countertop. But I was surprised to find a nifty built-in cutting board on the underside of the panel, so instead of becoming just another thing to stow, it performs double duty. Not that there’s any shortage of stowage space, with deep cabinets under the sink and a stove for stashing pots, pans, bowls, and the like. What’s more, there are purpose-built cabinets to keep plates, mugs, and glassware close at hand. For smaller, frequently used items, there’s a tall, narrow, vertical pull-out drawer alongside the microwave. Beneath a panel in the teak sole, I found a 12"x24"x18" stowage bin, just the ticket for those extra provisions you need on a long-weekend jaunt. I was pleased to note that the galley sole is on the same level as the rest of the saloon, so there are no steps to negotiate along the way to the dinette.
There are a couple of steps up to the main helm station. But those steps are good, because the raised helm position offers an excellent field of vision even when the skipper is seated in the fully adjustable helm seat or guests are in the companion seat. Wide windows, narrow mullions, a sloping foredeck, and big glass doors aft all conspire to offer unobstructed visibility from the helm.The seats themselves are not only comfortable, but with an open barrel-back design and matching Ultraleather upholstery, they’re about the prettiest I can recall.
This article originally appeared in the July 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.