The 54 proves that demand for Viking’s bread-and-butter model range persists despite strange times.
The 2020 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show was a show unlike any other. As with nearly everything this past year, COVID-19 cast an unmistakable shadow over the proceedings, with a handful of the industry’s major players (Ferretti, Horizon and Hatteras to name a few) opting outhow altogether.
Not that you could tell anything was amiss by cruising through the Viking display.
The New Jersey builder bustled right along with nary a hiccup, and had the largest display, bringing along nine Vikings and an additional three Valhalla center consoles—plus scads of company executives, salespeople and support staff. The eye-turning newcomer at this year’s affair was the 54 Convertible, which made its world debut and won best in show from the NBC Sports TV crew that was roaming the docks in search of the cream of the crop.
It’s no surprise that they found it in the 54. This fishing machine falls right into Viking’s wheelhouse. She fits nicely into the upper end of owner-operator models while being large enough to be considered a serious tournament contender. She’s also the tenth model in the 50- to 60-foot range that Viking has debuted in the last 20 years. Suffice to say, this builder is highly experienced in this range.
And the 54 is a Viking, so you know she’s fast. Standard 1,440-hp MAN V12s are well and good, but the optional 1,550-hp MAN V12s are where it’s at. Viking reports that top speed with the more powerful choice is 40-plus knots with a cruise speed hovering in the mid-30 knots with a range of about 400 nautical miles.
The Viking 54 is definitely able to get you out to the fishing grounds posthaste. And once you’re out there she is well equipped to help you land some trophies. A 154-square-foot cockpit offers enough space for your whole crew to work without bumping into one another, while 26 rod holders, a tuna door, in-sole fishboxes of varying sizes and a tuna tower by Palm Beach Towers further flesh out this yacht’s angling bona fides. There’s also comfortable mezzanine seating in the cockpit—equally useful for watching lines or as a plum spot for cocktails on a sunset cruise.
Up top on the flybridge there’s a gorgeous teak helm pod—a staple on Vikings these days—and a walkaround console with forward seating.
Down below, Viking offers a standard three-stateroom, two-head layout with walnut as the lone wood choice (satin or high-gloss finishes are available). The master is to port and features a walkaround queen-sized berth, while a forepeak VIP is offered with another queen-sized berth or scissoring berths—the latter a popular option with tournament fishermen.
In the salon, Viking took extra care with the passageway, which is uninterrupted from the starboard-side cockpit door to the stairs. The design choice makes for a wide-open floor plan that takes full advantage of the yacht’s 17-foot, 8-inch beam. The salon features a 49-inch TV and a burled table with expert joinery for a yacht in this class. The galley also has Sub-Zero appliances and a peninsula countertop with twin barstools—an excellent place for a pre-dawn breakfast while en route to a date with your game-fish destiny.
With so much to offer in such a sweet size range it’s not surprising that the 54s are flying off the dock. The builder says it sold three of them during the show alone. It’s nothing but good news for Viking, as we all look toward a light at the end of the tunnel.
Viking 54 Layout Diagrams:
Viking 54 Specifications:
Displ.: 75,026 lbs.
Fuel: 1,535 gal.
Water: 198 gal.
Power: 2/1,400-hp MAN V12s; 2/1,550-hp Man V12s
Cruise Speed: 36 knots
Top Speed: 40 knots