Viking 44 Sport Coupe

Iconic wave slayer.

By Chuck Warren
There are iconic brands in every industry.

Specifications

  • LOA: 45'1"
  • Beam: 16'4"
  • Draft: 3'10"
  • Weight: 49,500 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 817 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 120 gals.
  • Power: 2 x Man I6 800 Hp
  • Price: Contact dealer

vikingyachts.com

Some are known for style, some for quality, while others are best known for innovation. Viking Yachts, built in the southern New Jersey town of New Gretna since 1964, is well-known as an industry leader in all three categories. 

Ask any Viking owner what sets the brand apart and the answer will likely be “quality.” For more than 50 years, Viking Yachts has worked to build the best sportfishing boats on the water. However, instead of relying on its reputation alone for continued success, Viking also created new and innovative models regularly to maintain their position out in front of the fleet. 

The newest addition to the ranks, the 2019 Viking 44 Sport Coupe (44SC), perfectly represents the innovative approach and quality construction Viking owners expect. The Sport Coupe designation also creates a new opportunity for boaters looking for fishing capabilities and cruiser performance in a semi-customizable package. 

Stop and stare 

When I arrived at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club on Michigan’s east coast to test drive the new 44SC, which had just been delivered to Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales (the oldest Viking dealer worldwide), I already had an idea of what I’d find. As a South Jersey native, I was well aware of the Viking Yachts name and reputation. In fact, many of my friends worked at the Viking plant at some point, and the boats were a common sight on my home “turf” of Barnegat Bay and the Jersey Shore. 

However, the 2019 Viking 44SC made me stop and stare. While many other manufacturers have gone with coupe designs in the 40- to 50-foot space, Viking stayed true to its roots and created a fast, sporty, versatile and beautiful boat that still puts fishing first.

The result is 44 feet of traditional sportfishing lines matched with a clean, crisp appearance that would look equally appropriate filled with a no-nonsense fishing crew or a group of friends dressed for dinner and an evening cruise.

With its semi-customizable approach to options and features, Viking provides a partially painted canvas, which the buyer can complete to match their unique tastes and needs. From stainless steel towers to electronics and other components, many of the 44SC’s features can be customized.
With that in mind, I was not surprised to find the vessel waiting for me was slightly stripped down to allow a new owner to build it out. However, “stripped-down” is a relative term and the boat was more than ready to go as it stood.

Stepping aboard, the first word that came to mind is “clean.” The 44SC appears simply appointed at first, with little clutter aside from even the most basic fittings. The swim platform is primarily made for boarding and not entertaining, which means sportfishing functions are again maintained and there is room for fighting fish. 

A built-in baitwell and fishboxes blend in beautifully when the boat is not “at work.” Built-in tackle storage is hidden behind a door on the port side. The cockpit provides plenty of space for guests, a custom dining table, or for a fighting chair when those guests need to tackle big fish. 

Staying with tradition

At the command deck, Viking’s centerline mounted helm gives the captain maximum visibility and control. Two additional captain’s chairs can swivel aft to join in on the conversation with passengers seated on the comfortable L-shaped bench along the back of the command deck. 

The helm itself is beautifully designed, with the simple, uncluttered feel that is repeated throughout the boat. Even the Garmin touchscreen electronics seem to disappear into the dash when powered off, and any other switches, breakers, or controls are hidden behind access panels. 

The helm provides impressive visibility, and single-lever ZF electronic controls with bow thruster buttons in the handles make maneuvering easy. The sleek levers and ship’s wheel are mounted in a beautiful teak pod, adding a subtle but stunning accent to the dash. 

At the helm, Viking’s traditional sportfishing roots are visible again. Instead of jumping on the joystick bandwagon, Viking stayed with traditional, two-lever controls that add to the clean appearance and simplify the helm. 

Viking also maintains traditional driveshaft designs instead of installing pods. Their reason is simple — reliability and performance. Although pod systems provide new boaters with some control advantages, Viking is more interested in giving experienced boaters bulletproof vessels that will beat back the heaviest seas with class and style, and effortlessly return the captain and crew to port. 

Built for comfort 

Simple things make the Viking’s big water focus stand out wherever you look. Flat-panel TVs are mounted to the wall, but there is no obvious bracket to flap around while underway. Instead, the TVs sit in boxes, which keep them from banging around while pushing through heavy seas.

The 44SC is also built for comfort. Below, an L-shaped seating area with a dining table on the port side of the salon gives guests a place to enjoy the day’s catch after it’s been prepared on the spacious starboard galley’s countertops. Four cold storage drawers below the counter give the chef plenty of space to stash leftover filets. 

Forward, the main cabin with queen-size bed provides lots of storage. The space is bright and well-lit, as is the attached head with separate shower. The head is also accessible to guests while still providing privacy to the main cabin. 

Aft of the galley, guest quarters are accessible through a private entrance. Although smaller in size than some vessels in the 44-foot space, the VIP stateroom is comfortable with room to stand. It also has its own zoned HVAC and audio controls.

From end to end, the 44SC appears to be a dream to clean and maintain. An afternoon with a boat brush and bucket of water can easily banish spilled spirits or remnants from a bluewater battle. Surfaces are made for above-average wear-and-tear, and there are minimal obstructions to slow a good scrubbing.

S, for Sport 

Underway, the Viking 44SC showed us what the S (for Sport) stands for. Throttle up and the twin MAN 800-hp diesels come to life, prepared to take on any conditions. The transition from idle to cruise is smooth, even when the turbos kick in and lead the charge. 

The engines are quiet with little noise evident on the command deck or below while cruising at a respectable 30 knots. Push the handles forward and the Viking 44SC will reward you with 35-plus knots at wide-open throttle. 

The Great Lakes provide unique challenges to boaters, with unpredictable weather and a shorter, sharper chop than ocean-going captains are used to. Conditions for our test ride were pretty fair, but the boat just feels solid and safe. I never heard a single rattle, tick or slam. Even in running across a fairly calm Lake St. Clair, I kept thinking while underway, “This is the boat I want under me in 6-foot seas.”  

Viking’s semi-customizable approach to production allows buyers to build a vessel that perfectly fits their needs and desires. And with nearly every aspect of the production process controlled by the company in-house, Viking’s legendary status as an industry leader will guarantee impeccable fit, finish and function. 

There’s no denying, every Viking 44SC will be a head-turning beauty with thick skin. 


DEALER

Jefferson Beach Yachts Sales
St. Clair Shores, MI; Holland, MI; Grand Haven, MI; Charlevoix, MI; Spring Lake, MI; Chicago, IL; Catawba Island, OH; Ontario, Canada
jbys.com 
866-490-5297
Sales@jbys.com



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