That tuna tower serves a dual purpose: It gives the captain a bird’s-eye view of the fish, and it lets him get some well-deserved peace and quiet. that ’s not particularly wellknown for its gentlemen. (I’m from New Jersey, so I’m allowed to say that.) But that’s why it was more than a little ironic that I met the Viking 48 Open there, because the 48 is the near apotheosis of what a gentlema n’s spor t-f isher shou ld b e. T h i s i s a b oat that can fish hard and cruise easy. She has plenty of design features, onboard amenities and tantalizing options that make her as well suited for a sailfish tournament as she is for a n evening cock t a i l cruise — and for just about every thing else in between.
The f irst thing to k now about the 48 Open is that she’s a Viking and, thus, her fishing pedigree is enviable. She has a 124-square-foot cockpit with more than enough space for everyone on board to maneuver around safely, especially during the sometimes frenzied action after a fish has struck a bait. Next, a transom fish box doubles a s a livewel l. That box can also be drained and used as extra stowage, most likely for snorkeling equipment, it seems. Another double-duty feature is the transom tuna door, which lets you haul in prize catches and makes getting in and out of the water easy, even when wearing that snorkeling equipment on, say, a free-diving adventure (see page 44). A laminated aluminum plate in the sole serves as a base for a fighting chair, and if you happen to go drifting, you’ll be thankful for the f lattened a f ter section of the hull. Viking reduced the transom deadrise from 15 degrees on previous models to 12 degrees on more recent builds. That design choice, coupled w ith a Sea keeper 9 g y rostabilizer that I bet will prove a popular option, should keep everybody comfortable (or at least functional) at slow speeds in sloppy seas.
The flattened after section has other benefits too: For one, it helps get this vessel up and out of the hole quickly. My test boat fired onto plane when I dropped the hammer, and the twin 1,200 hp MAN V-8s roared to life. We registered an even 40-knot peak velocity as the 48 sliced cleanly through a moderate 2- to 3-foot-high North Atlantic chop. Backing off the throttle just a wee bit to 2,100 rpm produced a fast cruise speed of 36 knots while burning 103 gph. If you’re feeling more economical, cruise