By Pete Frederiksen, Director of Communications, Viking Yacht Company
The state of the modern sportfishing boat can be best described like this: they’re the go-to tool for today’s ultimate angler. But it was not always like this. When you think of Hemingway’s protagonist, Santiago, in The Old Man and the Sea fighting a huge fish in his old decrepit boat you can appreciate how the pioneers in the marine industry devoted themselves to the evolution of what’s commonly called a “sportfisherman.” Even the term has matured from such monikers as a “day boat,” which meant meager accommodations, to the “convertible,” which was a compromise between a cruising and fishing boat. Today’s “sportfisherman” is a pure and sleek thoroughbred that is continuously reinvented by astute builders obsessed with making good things better. This obsession has opened so many doors for fishermen who longed to explore untested waters while setting their personal bar higher and higher for new experiences.
Today’s sportfisherman is a virtual self-contained floating nation with a budget to match. Beyond its comfortable accommodations that rival luxe shoreside amenities, the boat also is an engineering masterpiece designed to live large at the 1,000-fathom curve and beyond, where its wily prey thrives, always ready for a fight and where a single mistake changes the whole story.
With ample fuel and speed to bring the distant horizon closer, the modern sportfisherman is a stable platform in rolling swells and well equipped to duke it out with violent seas, storms, and wind. A professionally appointed helm sports enough electronics to launch a missile, while the skipper stays in touch with satellites orbiting 12,000 miles above to pinpoint his position. In a sense, the fish have no place left to hide anymore. Sonar tracks them below while massive tuna towers that might intimidate an experienced Nepal Sherpa provide an unobstructed view from above. Watching the build process underway for the Viking 92 Convertible I can’t help but think if Columbus had come across the ocean in this instead of the Santa Maria, he probably would have arrived in 1491.