Vik­ing 37 Billfish


Saltwater Sportsman - - Fishability / Viking 37 Billfish - BY GARY CAPUTI

WWith mod­els rang­ing from 42 to 92 feet, Vik­ing Yacht Com­pany has dom­i­nated the off­shore-fish­ing mar­ket. And cer­tain that blue­wa­ter an­glers will quickly rec­og­nize its fish-catch­ing prow­ess, the fa­mous builder now of­fers its new in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the clas­sic day boat, with the un­mis­tak­able look of mod­els orig­i­nated in the early 1960s, but more re­fined and with an ar­ray of mod­ern en­hance­ments.

As its name de­notes, the new 37-footer is a bill­fish­ing ma­chine. It is de­signed and built to make fast work of the speed­i­est white mar­lin or sail­fish, and ef­fec­tively troll the same mar­lin spread as its bat­tlewagon brethren while burn­ing a frac­tion of the fuel. The hull sports a beam just shy of 14 feet and a slippery 12.8-de­gree dead­rise at the tran­som, which fea­tures pock­ets to fun­nel clean wa­ter to the props and rud­ders, and re­duce the shaft an­gle, re­sult­ing in a top speed of nearly 35 knots. That’s cook­ing for a 30,000-pound boat, and it’s no slouch back­ing down ei­ther! DE­SIGN AND LAY­OUT Con­struc­tion is cut­ting-edge. Cus­tomblended polyester resins are used in struc­tural lam­i­nates, top­sides, and the bridge and hard­top, while blis­ter­re­sis­tant vinylester resins are used for the hull skin. For strength and weight re­duc­tion, the hull, stringer sys­tem and com­mand deck are vac­uum-bagged and cored with closed-cell foam in se­lected ar­eas. The decks are foam-cored to re­duce noise and heat trans­fer from the en­gine room.

The gen­tly slop­ing shear flows from bow to tran­som. The house is topped with a com­pact fly­bridge that fea­tures a cen­ter-con­sole helm sta­tion with seat­ing for up to five. From the Re­lease Marine teak helm chair, the skip­per has an un­ob­structed view of the wa­ter ahead and the cock­pit be­low. The con­sole holds two 12-inch mon­i­tors, an en­gine-mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, Sea­keeper con­trol panel, and sin­gle-lever con­trols with Glendin­ning syn­chro­nizer, along with a joy­stick con­trol for ma­neu­ver­ing in close quar­ters. An over­head panel holds a pair of VHF radios and other elec­tron­ics, and the door di­rectly over the helm chair is the nest­ing place for a pair of teaser reels.

In true day-boat style, the new Billfish has a deck-level helm sta­tion to star­board in­side the sa­lon area, the aft side of which is open to the cock­pit. The full-width wind­shield and large, tinted side win­dows of­fer a panoramic view. Ideal for run­ning the boat in nasty weather or fish­ing short-handed, the lower sta­tion is just a cou­ple of steps away from the cock­pit. On the port side are a U-shaped set­tee and din­ing ta­ble, with ad­di­tional seat­ing be­hind the helm chair. Both seat­ing ar­eas rise on elec­tric rams to ac­cess the en­gine room, which is neatly laid out and houses a long list of me­chan­i­cal, elec­tronic and safety sys­tems. A deck hatch pro­vides quick ac­cess to the 9 kw generator and op­tional Sea­keeper sta­bi­lizer. IN­TE­RIOR AMENI­TIES A heavy-duty door opens to the cabin, which is air-con­di­tioned and heated to keep the crew com­fort­able dur­ing pro­longed trips off­shore or overnighters. In­side, a nicely ap­pointed gal­ley ex­udes Vik­ing’s ex­quis­ite de­sign. It boasts high-gloss maple cab­i­netry, a large L-shaped Co­rian counter with stain­less-steel sink, hid­den range top, con­vec­tion/mi­crowave oven, twodrawer re­frig­er­a­tor/freezer, pantry and am­ple drawer space that make for a func­tional place to pre­pare meals. To

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