It’s no secret that offshore fishing boats are being used more and more as offshore cruising machines. And why not? They’re built to take on just about anything, and they look fantastic. But while it’s easy to maintain fishability in the cockpit, making an attractive cruiser is mostly an affair with the interior. This week we look at the Viking 45C which has been around awhile and is in the size “sweet spot” for boats of this type. Viking has made its reputation on building tough boats for mean anglers who like to blast their way out to the canyons, but how good is the Viking 45C for cruising? This is a class-act cruising battlewagon. Let’s take a look and see if she’s got the right stuff for both worlds.
|Length Overall||45' 10'' / 13.97 m|
4.99 m w/ hardtop
Currently no test numbers
MAN / V8 900CRM 900 MHP
A Functional Layout...
Sleeping four with the option of putting two more in the saloon is pretty much the hallmark of any 45 footer. Viking does this with a starboard side master and a forward guest cabin with upper and lower berths. Both have their own head and stall shower. The saloon is roomy and practical with an L-shaped settee that converts to additional sleeping for two. Rod storage is below. The galley is forward and to starboard with refrigerated drawers and plenty of storage. Opposite is a dinette.
While the interior is practical and comfortable, it’s not as luxurious as some of the dedicated cruisers we’ve seen. But by the same token, we wouldn’t dare touch a fish while onboard some of those boats either. This Viking 45C strikes a pleasurable balance of good looking, functional, and classy at the same time.
The Viking 45C galley has a nice balance of high-end cabinetry and uncluttered functionality. Storage drawers and upper cabinets will keep your stores handy and appliances are hidden behind the expertly finished teak doors. A small island with two stools makes for a great snack stop while still keeping close to the cockpit action.
The Business End...
Not forgetting that this is still a dual purpose yacht, the helm above is located at the aft end of the bridge deck, so the action in the cockpit is in clear view. All equipment is in weatherproof boxes and there are dual seats for a captain and observer. Forward is an L-shaped lounger.
It is nice that Viking has fitted clear plexy covers with rubber gaskets over the electronic screens, but what do you do when you want to push a button? Well, raise the lid. But then it’s in your field of vision…so, well, just lower it. But then you want to switch screens…no problem, just raise the lid…we’re not sure how practical this is, but it will certainly keep the electronics dry. Maybe the Italians have got it right – just put the screens in a console that closes when not in use.
A Whale of a Boat...
No one seems to have any misgivings about the strength and integrity of the Viking hulls. But for those non-believers that don’t trust anything until they see it, they need look no further than the a collision between a 40 ton Viking 60 and a 40 ton whale at 30+ knots in the Pacific. That boat encountered a breaching whale at a 90 degree angle with massive force.
While the Viking 60 sustained serious damage, it was still able to get home and get repaired. This is not a test we recommend with just any boat. (Read the article “Whale Attacks Viking 60” in this issue.)
It’s this kind of strength of construction that makes these boats so desirable as cruising yachts. If they can take a whale attack like this, and handle the square seas that fishing captains regularly put them through at 40 mph, then they can handle whatever the cruising captain will be out in, or more importantly, may inadvertently get caught in. Therein lies the appeal of the convertible and the Viking 45C is just the right size for a lot of people.