Viking Yachts is one of the global leaders in building luxury sportfishing boats and cruising motor yachts.
The company was founded in the early 1960s by brothers Bob and Bill Healey. Since then, Viking has built a reputation as manufacturers of one of the finest motor-yacht brands in the world.
But are Viking Yachts reliable and good?
Here’s An Idea of how Good Viking Yachts Are:
Viking Yachts are known for using high-quality materials and for constantly updating their construction techniques. They are also unique as they guarantee that 90% of the build is done in-house. Viking Yachts are the leader in their niche or sportfishing and cruising boats.
A Brief History Of Viking Yachts
The history of Viking Yachts began in 1964 when the two brothers, Bob and Bill Healey, bought Peterson-Viking Builders, a small, struggling New Jersey boat-builder who made a 37-foot wooden, sportfishing boat.
By 1971, Viking Yachts transitioned to fiberglass and built its first all-fiberglass model, the Viking 33′ Convertible. This model grew to the Viking 40′ Convertible in the coming years, which became their flagship model and became their basic hull design of all future models.
In the early 1990s, Viking suffered major financial problems caused by a nationwide recession, plus the introduction of a federal ‘luxury’ tax which hit boat builders hard. The two brothers played a significant role in lobbying the government to remove this tax finally.
In the meantime, the Healeys had to borrow money and invest their own capital to keep the company afloat. During this time, the company went from 1,500 employees in two manufacturing outlets to just 80 employees in one workshop.
By 1993, the federal ‘luxury’ tax was abandoned. Because Viking Yachts had managed to stay open for business, they were well placed to become the dominant boat manufacturer in its class.
Nowadays, the company is still run by the two brothers, plus their sons, and Viking Yachts has grown to become a world leader in semi-custom fiberglass boat production with over 4,000 Viking Yachts delivered to their many delighted new owners.
How Reliable Are Viking Yachts?
Viking Yachts are known for using high-quality materials and for constantly updating their construction techniques.
They are also unique as they guarantee that 90% of the build is done in-house. This is known as the ‘Viking Difference.’
No other sportfish or motor-cruiser manufacturer can claim this commitment to building their boats. Viking manufactures everything within their production facility except for the engines, transmission systems, air conditioning units, and electronics.
In addition to the hull, Viking pays attention to every detail, whether it is a fiberglass fuel tank, a wiring harness, or a hull-to-deck through-bolted joint. With a Viking, you can be 100% sure that your boat will be of exceptional quality.
The fact that the company, and the family, maintain control of 90% of their manufacturing process ensures the quality in the production of all Viking Yachts.
How Durable Are Viking Yachts?
The Viking Yachts’ mission of ‘building a better boat’ every day is well-known throughout the boat building industry.
They pride themselves on the quality of their boats, so their durability is not in question.
If you are looking for a hardcore fishing vessel that can easily transform into a week-long holiday cruiser, then you can’t go wrong with a Viking Yacht. Viking Yachts has been a consistent leader in the boat building industry.
Their performance, innovative designs, engineering, luxury, and brand recognition are second to none.
In addition, Viking Yachts use a vacuum suction process with the resin infusion of the fiberglass sheets. This works by sucking out the air from the materials used inside the molding while pulling the resins in to replace this space.
This process allows for the composite materials to be evenly pulled into every section of the molds. This results in stronger built and more durable hulls than many of their competitors.
What About Older Viking Yachts?
Viking Yachts started with wooden boats in the 1960s and only converted to fiberglass in 1971.
Older fiberglass models from the 1970s are still available on the second-hand market.
While the company has evolved over the years, the older Viking Yachts have stood their test in time. The first Viking 40′ Convertible was in production from 1973 until 1982, and then the 41 was built from 1983 to 1989.
Between these two models, the company sold more than 600 boats. Some of them still pop up for sale on the market today.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Viking Yachts has a vast network of dealers which should be your first port of call when looking for spare parts.
However, Viking Yachts also has a dedicated customer service team that is fully staffed with experts trained in various Viking systems and models.
Whether you are looking for that ‘hard to find’ replacement part or have a question concerning components aboard your Viking Yacht, the Viking service staff can assist and help handle any of your boating needs.
What Are Typical Problems With Viking Yachts?
As we have mentioned before, Viking Yachts are known for their quality production.
However, just like any older boat, there are a couple of problems to look out for.
Some older models have issues with the wooden stringers rotting and loose engine mounts. These problems are not universal across the brand and may have been caused by someone drilling an inappropriate hole for a new fitting in the hull.
If you want to buy a second-hand Viking Yacht, the best advice is to have a boat survey carried out by a qualified marine surveyor.
How Long Do Viking Yachts Last When Compared To Similar Brands?
Viking Yachts are considered upper-tier boats, so they are not cheap.
Similar brands include Bertram, Hatteras Yachts, Tribute, and many more in this niche, but how long do Viking Yachts last when compared to similar brands is a difficult question to ask.
A good quality fiberglass hull should last 50 years or more. However, this will depend on how well the boat has been looked after.
There does seem to be a consensus that Viking Yachts are the leader in their niche or sportfishing and cruising boats, and the quality of their boats is used as a measure for other brands.
Do Viking Yachts Hold Their Value?
According to the reviews, Viking Yachts hold their value extremely well and perform even better!
For those who can afford one, owning a Viking Yacht is something to aspire to.
There are very few marine industry brands that are more closely identified with such success than Viking. And no other boat builder beats the Viking reputation for long-term owner satisfaction.
Viking Yachts tend to hold their value extremely well on the second-hand or pre-owned market.
If a model has low engine hours and has been well looked after, pre-owned Vikings can sell quickly and very close to the original purchase price.
Are Viking Yachts Still Being Made?
Viking Yachts is still owned by brothers Bill and Bob Healey, who founded the Viking Yacht Company in 1964.
It remains a family-owned and operated business, with Bill’s son, Patrick J. Healey, who is now the CEO and President of the Viking Yacht Company, and Bob’s son, Robert Healey Jr, who is the Executive Co-Chairman of the Viking Group.
The Viking Yachts factory is situated on the Bass River in the small town of New Gretna, New Jersey, which is about 30 minutes inland from the resort town of Atlantic City.
Today the company employs about 1,300 talented craftsmen who strive to fulfill the company’s mission statement of ‘building a better boat every day.’
The company presently offers a range of 36 yachts, including the following models:
- Open Bridge – from 44 to 92 feet;
- Billfish – from 38 to 46 feet;
- Motoryachts – from 75 to 93 feet;
- Sport Yachts – from 44 to 54 feet;
- Open Yachts – from 44 to 54 feet;
- Enclosed Bridge Yachts – from 62 – 92 feet.
Viking Yacht’s Subsidiaries
In addition to the company manufacturing 90% of their boats, Viking Yachts have partnered with 2 different companies to ensure the best quality components:
Palm Beach Towers
Palm Beach Towers is a leading manufacturer of aluminum tuna towers used aboard Viking Yachts and other top-quality boats.
They are known for their quality, design, and good engineering.
In addition, Palm Beach Towers also produces custom-made aluminum and fiberglass accessories such as electronic boxes, fiberglass hardtops, and rod lockers that you can order to customize your Viking Yacht.
Atlantic Marine Electronics
Atlantic Marine Electronics sets up and services all Viking Yachts’ navigation, communication, and entertainment systems.
If you are ordering a new Viking Yacht, you can discuss whether you need a single helm station package, a multiple station layout, or an entertainment system that can be carried throughout your yacht.
Viking Yacht’s hull design is one of the most advanced and proven hull designs in the world.
This hull design gives you fast and efficient performance and gives simple and precise handling, and gives a very stable ride.
The finishing is second to none, and owning a Viking Yacht means buying into a top-quality lifestyle product.