New Boats

Built with per­for­mance in mind, this 44-footer feels like a much larger con­vert­ible, with im­pec­ca­ble fit and fin­ish to boot.

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - —Michael Ver­don

We re­view the new­est mem­bers of two sport­fish­ing pow­er­houses: the Vik­ing 44C and Bertram 61.

Be­ing part of a large fam­ily has its ad­van­tages. That’s even more true in the boat­build­ing world where, un­like with real fam­i­lies, the idio­syn­cra­sies get smoothed out over time. Lessons trickle down through new pro­cesses, de­signs and materials, so that even the youngest mem­ber of a fam­ily of boats ben­e­fits from changes at the top.

That tech­nol­ogy trans­fer is par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent on Vik­ing’s new 44C. I had a chance to spend some time aboard Hull No. 1 at Galati Yacht Sales on Anna Maria Is­land, Florida. Be­yond the new in­te­rior de­sign and tra­di­tional straight-shaft Volvos, the 44-footer feels like a larger con­vert­ible.

“The boat has the largest beam in its class, which can be felt through­out the boat,” says David Wil­son, Vik­ing’s de­sign man­ager. “The wider vol­ume al­lowed us to cre­ate a large mid­ship mas­ter state­room. The beam also gave us more space for the fly­bridge. It has a large con­sole for more elec­tron­ics, and plenty of walk­ing space around the con­sole and seats.”

Galati specced the boat with lots of op­tions, in­clud­ing up­graded 1,000-hp Volvo en­gines (stan­dard diesels are twin 800-hp MAN i6-800CRMs), and a few dozen other niceties, rang­ing from the car­bon-fiber-fin­ished elec­tron­ics box above the helm to the up­graded sofa in the sa­lon. The boat, like most con­vert­ibles these days, is de­signed for both fish­ing and cruis­ing. The 44C comes stan­dard with a re­frig­er­ated cock­pit step box, large in-sole fish­box and tran­som livewell. Galati added Rupp out­rig­gers, pre-wiring for elec­tric teaser reels, a ther­mo­stat-con­trolled drink box, six rod hold­ers and en­gi­neer­ing space in the cen­ter of the cock­pit for the Sea­keeper 6.

Wil­son says the weight and bal­ance of the boat have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on ride qual­ity. “Cen­ter of grav­ity, shaft angle and stag­na­tion line are all fac­tors in per­for­mance,” he says. “The boat de­vel­ops its bot­tom very ef­fi­ciently.”

In­side, the gal­ley-down con­fig­u­ra­tion makes the in­te­rior feel like a larger yacht. Ditto hav­ing the main state­room amid­ships, rather than in the bow. Up front, wide bunks criss­cross each other in the bow state­room, max­i­miz­ing us­able space. Fit and fin­ish is yacht-grade, es­pe­cially the teak join­ery, which is built by the same Vik­ing crafts­men who do the 92. They do the in­te­ri­ors at Vik­ing’s New Gretna, New Jersey, fa­cil­i­ties, and in­stall them at the nearby Mul­lica plant, where the 44C and 44 Open are built.

“Many of the 44 C’s me­chan­i­cal sys­tems are sim­i­lar, if not iden­ti­cal, to those on the big­ger boats,” says Wil­son. “The Delta-T en­gine room ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem, the fire-sup­pres­sion sys­tem and the pres­sur­ized fresh­wa­ter sys­tem are iden­ti­cal to our larger boats. Plus, the shafts, struts and sea­cocks are all built to the same spec­i­fi­ca­tions and qual­ity.”

The fly­bridge is where the owner and guests will hang out while run­ning. Its for­ward walka­round area and ex­cel­lent sight­lines from the helm once again feel larger than a typ­i­cal 44. Garmin’s glass cock­pit was in­stalled by Vik­ing’s sis­ter com­pany At­lantic Ma­rine Elec­tron­ics, while the rail­ings and tower struc­ture were from another af­fil­i­ate, Palm Beach Tow­ers. One of the coolest op­tions is the drop-down elec­tron­ics box po­si­tioned on the hard­top; it opens with the push of a but­ton. The slen­der Palm Beach-style throt­tles are set in an is­land of var­nished teak and they have small but­tons along the tops to con­trol the Sidewinder thrusters. Vik­ing went for the min­i­mal­ist look to help de­fine the ex­te­rior of its new­est fam­ily mem­ber. vikingy­achts.com

LOA: 45'1" Beam: 16'4" Displ.: 50,132 lb. Fuel: 825 gal. Wa­ter: 120 gal. Power: 2/1,000-hp Volvo D13 diesels Cruise Speed: 33 knots Top Speed: 38 knots Base Price: $1,420,000 Price (w/op­tions): $1,798,084

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