Viking 74 Convertible Page 3
Viking 74 Convertible — By Capt. Ken Kreisler —
When Bigger Is Better
Father & Son
How does a Viking like the 74 go from concept to reality? Through the efforts of the father-and-son team of Bruce and David Wilson. “They know what they want,” says father Bruce of Viking’s father-and-son management team, Bill and Pat Healey. “And as we draw it, it starts to grow.”
Bruce Wilson joined Viking in 1969 and spent his first years on the line installing engines, running gear, and interiors, as well as training under Bill Hall, Jr., then head of Viking’s design division. Wilson’s first design project, the 40 Convertible, popped out of the mold in 1973, and it was a success: Four hundred sold over the next ten years. He’s been designing Vikings ever since, and says one of his favorites is the 55 because of the challenges of matching her running surface to the higher-horsepower engines that were just emerging.
David came to Viking in 1989, spending his high school summers in the joinery shop. Later, he signed up with Viking’s co-op program, which allowed him to spend part of his school days in the R&D department. He began to hone his own skills and, like his father, worked on the line to gain knowledge about Viking’s construction techniques and systems. Soon after, he entered the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology in Connecticut.
Today, David, an expert in CAD, takes his father’s basic lines and performs the calculations that show how the hull will float, designs deck areas, and makes sure the proportions are correct and the aesthetics are pleasing. “With the 74 project,” David explains, “everybody was dialed in on a full-beam master and true crew quarters aft of that with access through the engine room. And to keep everything in proportion, it had to be a 74.” —K.K.
This article originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.