The evolution of the Viking 90 is an excellent example of how Viking overcomes challenges to continue building a better boat every day. The Viking 92 was a tremendous success, proving that a sportfishing yacht of its size could win consistently on the tournament trail. Viking delivered 21 boats in less than seven years, with owners enjoying the luxury and style of a mega yacht and the sportfishing DNA that only Viking could deliver.
Viking would have continued production of the 92 but not for an international mandate requiring the installation in the 92 of a heavy, bulky and potentially dangerous exhaust-treatment technology called Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). The SCR systems in the 92 would have increased purchase and operating costs of the boat; added significant weight; reduced performance; hindered accessibility for service; compromised safety; and required additional ventilation and onboard tankage. The technology to scale down SCR to a level where it could be effectively engineered for installation in the 92 simply did not exist yet. Viking fought hard for an extension of an exemption that would give engine manufacturers more time to develop the appropriate SCR systems for this size and class of yacht.
But without enough international support for an extension of the exemption, the mandate went into effect. The U.S. Coast Guard, understanding that suitable engine and SCR technology was unavailable, announced in early 2021 a three-year suspension of the regulations in North America. “By that time, our design and engineering department was well underway with the development of the 90,” says President and CEO Pat Healey. “We were not going to be forced into installing SCR. With the new 90, we invested $20 million to develop a new flagship sportfishing yacht that does not require SCR. It was a costly decision but one that had to be made because it’s the best product for our owners.”
Adapt and Innovate
Viking focused on speed, performance and aesthetics. “To further understand the evolution of the 90 you have to go back to what we’ve done with the Viking 80 in our demo program,” says Pat.
Viking has put tremendous time, resources, engineering and effort into improving the performance of the 80. “Everything from lightweight interior woods to advanced propulsion systems have been developed in anticipation of the 90 – to prove out theories, systems and procedures,” says Pat. “With our last three 80 demos, we’ve gone from a 40.5-knot boat to a 43.5-knot boat, picking up three knots over the course of three different 80s. We’ve been able to make these tremendous strides because we have the best team in the business. The development of the 80 and the 90 are excellent examples of how we can rise to the occasion to adapt and innovate.”
Viking took what it learned from the 92 – and other recent new models – and applied that knowledge into the development of the 90.
“We built 21 of them, and through that process we had quite a few owners, captains and mates give us a lot of feedback,” adds Pat. “We took all that feedback and put it into the 90 to make it one incredible design – and that’s why we’re very excited to show everyone this boat. It’s going to be something special.”
The new flagship will have the latest lifting-strake design, a refined driveline and prop pockets along with the advanced propulsion systems. Performance was also optimized through Computational Fluid Dynamics, software that allows the team to analyze pressure distribution, study trim angle and trim tab effectiveness, and modify strakes and chines to increase running efficiency.
The 90 will hold 3,801 gallons of fuel (standard) in four tanks. She’ll certainly feature the latest technology from stem to stern, “but we’re focused on making these systems easier to operate and service,” says Pat.
Viking has taken all the advantages, refinements and improvements in materials and methods we’ve made in previous models and applied them to our new 90, everything from the use of lighter interior materials to the increased use of carbon fiber and Light Resin Transfer Molding.
The 90 also features a streamlined build process for the enclosed bridge and open bridge, saving on weight and improving building efficiency while lowering the overall profile for a sleek visual appeal. To that end, two large insert dams were created, one that gives the deck of the enclosed bridge a flat walking surface and the other that incorporates crown (needed for drainage) in the open bridge. Other notable developments include a one-piece wraparound enclosed bridge windshield that enhances visibility.
The cockpit measures 224 square feet, with a 203-gallon transom fishbox/live well and a pair of full-length 103-gallon insulated in-deck fishboxes (with refrigeration optional). A single hatch on centerline (with optional electric actuation) provides access to the Seakeeper 35, a watertight design introduced with recent Viking 80 demonstrator boats. The cockpit sole is built with reinforcement for a fighting chair, rocket launcher or table.
There will be three aft-facing seating areas between the lower and upper mezzanines. “What we learned from the 92 was that the majority of our owners wanted to be seated so they could look aft – that’s where all the action is on a Viking sportfishing boat,” says Viking Design Manager David Wilson. The cockpit and dual mezzanine bring a slew of features for comfort, visibility and fishability. The business end, which boasts the same fore/aft length of the 92’s cockpit, is also equipped with port and starboard storage lockers under the gunwales for gaffs and other accessories.
The lower observation mezzanine’s centerline lounge seat (with optional air conditioning in the backrest) has excellent visibility aft and direct access to the cockpit. This seating module also holds tackle cabinets on each side. A series of lower mezzanine insulated boxes provide freezer and refrigeration storage. On centerline, you have an engineroom access gate and lid. Outboard, you’ll find storage and cooler boxes in the lower mezzanine steps. Staircases on each side lead to the upper mezzanine. Outboard handrails – each with a pair of welded-on rod holders – help provide safe passage to the area, which is covered by the deckhouse overhang.
The upper mezzanine’s port side is home to an L-shaped aft-facing lounge with standard seat-back air conditioning and a teak table. On the starboard side, there’s a versatile cooking and refreshment hub (with an additional aft-facing seat) that can be personalized to the owner’s liking with a grill and icemaker or refrigerator. The bench seat holds a pull-out drawer for footwear or other types of storage. The armrests in the upper mezzanine seats will have integrated storage compartments with friction-hinge lids, and an optional fold-down 43-inch HD TV can be integrated into the aft overhang on centerline. A custom aluminum rail on the mezzanine backrest holds a row of welded-on rod holders, providing a sturdy grabrail for the area without interfering with the view aft.
Salon and Galley
The goal with the 90 was to provide the same high levels of style, luxury, living conveniences and accommodations as the 92 – as well as the same number of staterooms (six) and heads (seven). “Another priority was to continue what we were doing with the 92 and all of our boats – incorporating lighter interior components and finding ways to take weight out of existing materials,” says Interior Design Manager Steve Walker.
An electric-powered sliding door just off centerline to starboard leads to the salon, where you’ll immediately notice a massive U-shaped lounge on the portside that has ample space for several weary anglers to stretch out and sleep. This kind of lounge space in the salon was a must-have given the mission and purpose of this boat as a long-distance sportfishing yacht. The lounge area, which also features a walnut hi-lo cocktail table, faces a starboard-side home theater center with surround sound and a pop-up 65-inch HD TV, along with a wet bar with sink and ice maker.
The 90 will feature our new horizontal grain natural walnut interior, which brings a contemporary aesthetic appeal while also accentuating depth of space throughout the boat.
Interior doors featuring both horizontal and vertical grains as well as ebony inlays add to the visual appeal.
Forward on the starboard side is a large wrap-around galley with refrigeration and freezers, engineered stone countertops and five bar stools with an overhang. All the amenities, conveniences and appliances – including two Sub-Zero refrigerators and a freezer unit, a dishwasher, an electric range with four-burner cook top, garbage disposal, trash compactor and ample storage space – are provided in the galley. Across from the dinette is a very large, raised dinette with U-shaped seating and a walnut table. The elevated platform allows for excellent views outside while also providing a rod locker with pull-out drawer below.
“The 92, even with all its staterooms and heads and open areas, was still a very voluminous boat with ample space throughout the yacht,” adds David. “So we knew we had the ability to scale down areas and yet still bring people all the great accommodation characteristics of the 92. We did it through careful planning, teamwork and a commitment to our owners.”
Steve and his group analyzed all living spaces inch by inch, carefully refining the placement of interior furniture – end tables, credenzas and closets – and streamlining the layout. “It was a challenge, no doubt,” says Steve. “But we pushed through and came away with a beautiful, highly functional interior that I believe people are going to love.” Not only did Steve’s team, deliver six staterooms and seven heads, they were able maintain the size of the beds and the entryways to the staterooms and the heads as well as an enclosed laundry center with full-size stackable washer and dryer. “The end result is a functional free-flowing spacious layout that promotes comfortable movement throughout the yacht,” adds Steve.
The 90 features a full-beam master stateroom, a his and hers head with shared shower, a king-size bed, a large maple-lined walk-in closet, a credenza below a 65-inch HDTV, a vanity/desk area with swing-out stool on the starboard side, a port-side lounge seat and port and starboard credenzas with drawer storage. “We rearranged the layout of the forward port stateroom, but all of the staterooms – including the crew quarters – are very similar to the 92’s staterooms,” adds Steve. “You have five guest staterooms, each with its own private head and shower, crew quarters with immediate access to the engineroom, a pantry with an additional crew athwartship berth and a day head.”
On the Enclosed Bridge (EB) and Sky Bridge (SB) models, an aluminum ladder leads from the lower mezzanine to the enclosed bridge’s aft deck, which features a two-person seat near centerline (with standard air conditioning in the backrest) and a starboard-side aft control station – with full engine controls, radio box forward of the helm pod and a recessed area for multi-function electronics displays (MFDs). A sliding door leads to the enclosed bridge salon and its forward control station. The enclosed bridge is also accessible via a staircase inside the salon.
Inside the EB, a second salon awaits, boasting walnut cabinetry and furniture, premium carpeting and air conditioning and heating. The salon is highlighted by a port-side L-shaped lounge accompanied by a walnut hi-lo cocktail table; there’s also a Sub-Zero refrigerator forward of the lounge. The starboard side is the perfect place for the 43-inch pop-up HD TV; storage areas are provided under the lounge, aft of the starboard companion seat, and there’s also storage under both companion seats.
Forward, two Stidd double companion chairs side the centerline Stidd helm chair. The control station features a newly styled raised black Ultraleather wraparound electronics pod (with integrated visor) and that holds five standard MFDs. “This is the first Viking to have an electronics pod designed specifically for five MFDs,” says David. “We’ve also incorporated a series of vents in the forward section of the console. Plus, ergonomic refinements throughout make for just a really easy user experience.” The lower portion of the console is dedicated to recessed radio boxes outboard of the steering wheel that hold a variety of instruments and controls. The panel, which is black, is home to a half dozen cup holders.
Hull No. 1 will be a Kingston Grey Sky Bridge model. The sky bridge helm and companion chairs (with teak ladder backs) are positioned on a raised teak platform, maximizing visibility. The console is positioned on the starboard side, with a raised electronics pod housing three MFDs. The sky bridge helm pod is flanked by port and starboard radio boxes. Forward of the console, guests can relax in an L-shaped lounge (with storage underneath); a forward fiberglass module holds a sink to port and an undermount drink box to starboard.
The open bridge’s center console (with forward lounge and storage underneath) anchors this spacious area. Aft of the console, which holds four MFDs, there are three helm chairs with teak ladder backs. They sit on a raised teak platform, again for optimal visibility. Immediately to starboard of the helm – for easy accessibility – is a refrigerated drink box. To port, there’s a convenient storage box. And forward, lounges to port and starboard feature wraparound backrests with integrated storage. A large freezer on centerline forward of the lounge rounds out the amenities on the flybridge.
Caterpillar C32A diesels packing 1925MHP are standard. The optional twin 2635MHP MTU 16V 2000 M96Ls will power hull No. 1. (CAT C32B 2400: 2433MHP engines are also an option.) Preliminary speeds of all three models are still being calculated, but the design refinements, weight reductions and advanced propulsions systems will give the 90 impressive speed, range and excellent overall performance.
Bottom Line: With a dozen spoken for, the Viking 90 will soon become the new showpiece of innovation and ingenuity for the large world-traveling sportfishing yacht. Hull No. 1 – a Kingston Grey Sky Bridge model – will debut at the Viking Yachts and Valhalla Boatworks VIP Boat Show February 3-4, followed by the Miami International Boat Show February 15-19.