In 1996, Viking Yachts introduced their first 55 Convertible at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. The new model gained immediate notoriety and over the next five years Viking splashed more than 150 of these incredibly capable sportfishing machines—one of which was my father’s.
Logging many miles throughout The Bahamas and Caribbean aboard Fine Lines, I can attest to the fishability and comfort of what is now considered a pocket battlewagon. A big boat back in the day, the 55 Convertible is now overshadowed by sportfishers surpassing 90 feet, yet this nimble game boat is still fully capable of ruling distant fisheries with class, comfort and poise, proving bigger isn’t always better.
With a recently revamped design, the newest 55-footer from Viking Yachts offers a host of performance features once only available through a custom build. The newest 55 has a sharper entry than previous models and also features prop pockets to reduce draft. A Baltek core hull that’s vacuum infused adds stiffness and strength for the ultimate in performance and durability.
Featuring tons of teak and 151 square feet of cockpit space, not including the elevated mezzanine seating with freezer, insulated storage and tackle drawers, the 55 is a traveling angler’s dream come true. Rupp outriggers and a well-equipped fly bridge featuring three Murray Products captain’s chairs, set behind a massive console with enough space for the most advanced glass helm bridge electronics suite, make this the ideal tournament contender no matter the ocean or target species.
For overnight adventures, open the salon door by way of an electric actuator and enter your own private floating paradise outfitted with a luxurious galley featuring an island or peninsula with under counter refrigeration. Below, the three stateroom, two head layout provides the maximum use of space for both comfort and privacy.
Along the six production lines of the 810,100 square foot facility in New Gretna, New Jersey, Viking is capable of producing upwards of 100 boats per year, but Florida owners will be happy to know there’s a full service complex on the ICW in Riviera Beach that handles warranty, fiberglass and running gear repair and maintenance. MSRP $2,455,000 (w/Twin MAN V12-1440 CRM), Viking Yachts | vikingyachts.com.
Fuel: Capacity 1,400 gal.
Water: Capacity 225 gal.
Weight: 77,000 lb.
MAN: V12-1550 CRM
MAN diesel engines are favored by both production and custom sportfish builders because they excel in power, efficiency and compactness. The V12 1550 CRM continues on this tradition while combining industry leading efficiency and emissions for optimal performance in all conditions. While the turbo-diesel common rail design provides an incredible power-to-weight ratio and flat torque curve, the engine is also at the forefront of trend-setting, eco-friendly operation. Since 2014, MAN has designed and produced diesel engines in compliance with EPA Tier 3 emission standards. Furthermore, the V12 1550 HP features gear-driven freshwater pumps, starter motors that can be fitted to both sides, and multistage injection for quiet operation.
Model: V 90°
Output: 1,550 HP
Displacement: 24.2 liters