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5 Viking Express Yachts that Crushed the Competition

While Viking may not entirely “own” the market for express sportfishing boats — Tiara always has a presence in this category and Hatteras and Cabo used to — no one disputes Viking’s current market leadership. Beginning with the introduction of the 43 Open in 1994 and continuing with today’s 440, 480 and 520 Open models, Viking has consistently led the way in building top-tier express fishermen that veteran anglers rely upon.

The five out-of-production Viking models profiled below offer an up-close look at how Viking achieved this overwhelming market dominance.

LENGTH: 52'10"   |    BEAM: 17'3"    |     DRAFT: 5'0"    |     FUEL: 1,200 gals.    |     HULL: Modified-V

Viking 52 Open


Overview:  Twenty years ago the idea of an express fishing boat over 50 feet in length seemed a distant possibility. Flash forward to 2006 when the Cabo 52 Express appeared and what once seemed improbable became reality. A year later came the Viking 52 Open, an equally broad-beamed sportfishing heavyweight whose luxury accommodations belied her fishboat pedigree. Built to Viking's rigid specifications, the 52's roomy command deck came standard with triple Stidd helm chairs, L-shaped settee, refrigerator and tackle center. Below, the cabin is lined with high gloss cabinetry with a teak and holly sole, full galley, and a comfortable salon with flat screen TV. Forward, the master stateroom has a queen island style berth and en suite head access. The guest stateroom is to port, immediately forward of the salon and features single berth bunks and access to a large storage room. Engine room entry is via the mezzanine which has a freezer and storage boxes under. Cockpit amenities include an in-deck livewell, refrigerated step box, transom fish box and transom door with lift gate.  A fiberglass hardtop was optional.

Performance:  A fast ride, MAN 1,360hp V12 diesels cruise at 32–33 knots (high 30s top).

Price Range: Expect to see 2007 models priced from the mid $700s. Newer models will exceed $1 million.

LENGTH: 50'7"   |    BEAM: 16'4"    |     DRAFT: 4'9"    |     FUEL: 805 gals.    |     HULL: Modified-V

Viking 50 Open


Overview:  A fast, no nonsense fishing machine, the Viking 50 Open was one of the largest  express boats of her time. She's built on the same hull as the Viking 50 Convertible with a wide 16'4" beam and a solid fiberglass bottom. The 50 Open sports a huge cockpit and a raised command deck with a center helm, L-shaped lounge seating, air conditioning and triple helm seats. Below deck, the Viking's interior — available in single or twin stateroom configurations — is an appealing blend of high-gloss teak woodwork, Corian countertops, and quality hardware and appliances. Aft in salon to port is L-shaped galley with sink, double refrigerator and generous stowage. Forward of the galley is an L-shaped sofa with storage below. An electric hi-lo table offers both dining and entertaining comfort. Opposite the galley to starboard is the day head with separate access by the guest stateroom. Fishing features include two in-deck fish boxes, livewell, tackle center with sink and freezer, washdowns and a transom door. MAN 1,050hp engines cruise at 30 knots (mid 30s top).

Performance:  MAN 1,050hp engines cruise at 30 knots (mid 30s top). Optional 1,300hp MANs cruise at 35 knots and reach a top speed of 40 knots.

Price Range: From the low $300s. (Used models are hard to find.)

Single Stateroom Above; Twin Stateroom Layout Below

LENGTH: 45'10"   |    BEAM: 16'4"    |     DRAFT: 4'6"    |     FUEL: 848 gals.    |     HULL: Modified-V

Viking 45 Open


Overview:  The Viking 45 Open is a cruise-ready express bred to deliver exceptional performance in the harsh environment regularly experienced by offshore anglers. A proven tournament winner, the bridge deck features three helm seats and an L-shaped lounge to port with rod stowage below. (The 45 Open is one of the few express fishing boats this size with enough room for three helm chairs.) To starboard, a molded fiberglass console houses a refrigerator and icemaker, stowage locker and jump seat. The 119 square-foot cockpit features an insulated livewell flanked by a pair of deep stowage compartments, one of which can be made into a livewell. The molded console against the aft bulkhead contains a bait freezer, a rigging station, ample tackle stowage and provides engine room access. A transom door and fresh and saltwater washdowns are standard in the cockpit. The step leading to the bridge deck conceals an insulated drink box. Below, the Viking 45 was available with one or two staterooms, both with an island berth in the forward cabin.

Performance:  Early models with 800hp MAN engines cruise at 28–30 knots. Optional 1,100hp MAN V10 diesels cruise at 32 knots (high 30s top).

Price Range: From the low $400s.

Single Stateroom Above; Twin Stateroom Layout Below

LENGTH: 43'0"   |    BEAM: 15'3"    |     DRAFT: 4'3"    |     FUEL: 600 gals.    |     HULL: Modified-V

Viking 43 Open


Overview:  The Viking 43 Open was the best-selling express fisherman in her class during most of the 1990s. Considering that this is a hardcore fishing machine, the 43's large bridgedeck and comfortable cabin accommodations are perfect for entertaining and cruising. To the veteran angler, the uncluttered 113 sq. ft. cockpit is testimony to Viking's long experience building tournament winning sportfishing boats. The long equipment list includes a top-loading freezer, tackle cabinet with bait prep center, removable fish box, baitwell and walk-in engine room access. Notably, the 43 Open was one of the first big express boats to feature a centerline helm position. Below deck, a one- or two-stateroom layout was available. The salon's huge wraparound settee (with rod storage below) converts to a double bed and the galley includes a garbage disposal and microwave. With the two-stateroom layout the galley is to port forward of the lounge and a twin-berth guest cabin takes the galley's place to starboard. Over 70 vere built.

Performance:  MAN 660hp or 680hp engines cruise at 26–27 knots (30+ top).

Price Range: From the low $100s.

Standard Layout Above; Day Lounge (2 SR) Layout Below

LENGTH: 43'0"   |    BEAM: 15'3"    |     DRAFT: 4'3"    |     FUEL: 600 gals.    |     HULL: Modified-V

Viking 42 Open


Overview:  The Viking 42 Open and her sistership, the Viking 42 Convertible, are the first Viking models to have Zeus drive propulsion. With her graceful profile, the 42 has the same stylish lines as Viking's larger convertible models. The split mezzanine overlooking the 120 sq. ft. cockpit conceals insulated storage compartments under the seats, and post/starboard fish boxes and a transom door with gate are standard in the cockpit. A bait freezer and transom livewell are optional. A center-console helm on the slightly raised bridge deck provides unobstructed 360-degree visibility. The companionway is offset to port and opens to a spacious salon area with the galley to starboard and an L-shaped settee and dinette to port. Finding a midcabin interior in a boat of this type comes as a surprise — it's only possible because of the reduced engine room dimensions that pod drives require. The standard layout has twin berths in the aft stateroom under the helm deck and an island berth in the forward stateroom. An alternate interior trades the dinette for a third cabin with over/under berths and a second head compartment, both to port.  

Performance: Cummins 600hp diesels with Zeus drives cruise the 42 Open at a respectable 25–26 knots (low 30s top).

Price Range: From the the mid $500s to the low $900s.

Standard 2 Stateroom Layout Above; 3 Staterooms Alternate Layout Below