IVORY TOWER

Yachting - - TESTED VIKING 48 OPEN -

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

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