332 N A U T I C A L M I L E S
M A XIMUM CRUISING RANGE AT 36 KNOTS
her at 30 knots and 1,800 rpm while burning a pleasingly modest 75 gph. My test boat was as nimble as I’ve come to expect of Vikings, particularly the smaller ones. I carved a whole bunch of hard S-turns through the whitecapped slop, and the Viking ’s hull, with its razor-sharp entry, clung to the water with a gorilla grip.
From the vessel’s helm, I couldn’t help but notice that the yacht’s command bridge is well-suited to socializing, with two separate dinettes with L-shaped settees, including the forward-facing seating that guests will crave in a seaway. (Mezzanine seating is also available in the cockpit.)
Below, the 48 has an en suite forepeak master with an island queen berth and maple-lined lockers. The starboard-side guest stateroom has twin bunks. The accommodations are everything a family might need for a three-day weekend getaway, say, to Martha’s Vineyard or perhaps the Abacos.
Viking insiders describe this boat as a convertible, but not in the way that we usually mean in reference to yachts. They mean it in the way we describe a car with the top down. This boat is designed for fun. The open layout means that if you’re fishing with your kids, you don’t have to scurry down off the bridge when one of them hooks a mahi. You’re right there in the middle of the action, showing them the ropes, from setting the hook to landing the thing.
The same rules apply when you’re cruising. Those dining settees are where your guests will be sitting, and you can easily chat along with them while you man the helm. The open layout has proved popular with young families as well. Think about it. Who wants to carry a baby up a ladder in a seaway? Nobody in their right mind, that’s who.
However, this boat also has a tower made by Viking subsidiary Palm Beach Towers, so if you want to keep in line with the 48’s gentlemanly pedigree, you may politely excuse yourself and man the boat from up top. That way, you can get a better eye on where the fish are — and with a full electronic setup at the helm, that tower can become a de facto flybridge.
And also, well, having a tower lets you get away from anybody not bold enough to climb that ladder. The builder is well aware of the subtle duality. Sometimes a guy just needs some room to breathe.
Another nice attribute of an open boat is that she’s easy to clean. Sans flybridge, the 48 is a different beast than some of her sister ships when it’s time to wash up. She’s simply a lot less boat than a big ol’ convertible. Take her out, cruise her, fish her, do whatever you want. Bring her in, rinse, chamois and that’s that.
Ease of operation and maintenance is a big reason why the Open line has been so successful for Viking. The company builds a 42, 46, 48 and 52, with a 44 set to debut this fall in Fort Lauderdale.
I may have tested the Viking 48 Open in a town not usually known for its gentlemen — though surely known for anglers, and a whole lot of other guys just playing the angles. But in a very real sense, this fun and versatile boat proved herself lucky enough to truly be called a lady.