All the latest news about Viking Yachts
Just a month away! The Viking Key West Challenge (VKWC), presented by Christi Insurance and Travelers, is almost here. The 50+ boat fleet is ready for fishing, fun and family at this southern-most event. And the VKWC team is excited to welcome Spot Zero back as the Weigh Station sponsor. Download the Reel Time scoring app to follow all the Conch Republic fishing action. And if you haven’t sent in your registration, please do so at your earliest convenience. Email email@example.com with any questions.
The Viking Yacht Company and Marlin magazine, along with other industry leaders, created a team of female anglers to compete in the 2023 Quest for the Crest sailfish tournament series. The goal of Marlin’s Lady Angler team is to help create more awareness of female anglers in competitive fishing tournaments. This team consists of women spanning all skill levels. Although each is not only a passionate angler, but several are also prominent members of the marine industry as well, ranging from boatbuilding and sales to tournament directors and pro staff members. We are particularly proud of team member Shelby Callison. Shelby is the Sales Coordinator and Office Manager for Valhalla Boat Sales in the Riviera Beach, Florida headquarters – and knows her way around a cockpit. She was this year’s Top Lady Angler at the Buccaneer Cup Sailfish Tournament and was recently named The Billfish Foundation’s 2022 Top Tagging Lady Angler in South Florida.
“It’s an absolute blast to be a part of an all-female team,” says Shelby. “We all go out with the same goal – catch fish and have fun. And our sponsors have been amazing. Viking Yachts, Marlin magazine, Pelagic Gear and Bucked Up Energy have supported us with the best of everything.”
The first release of the prestigious 60th annual International Masters Angling Tournament was a precursor of things to come for our own Pat Healey as he released a sailfish with a fight time of just three minutes and 15 seconds. After three wild days of fishing, Pat was presented the 2023 Master Angler John Rybovich Award. Pat, Viking CEO and President, also scored the most fish on time. His 12 releases earned him a hat trick as he won The Masters back to back in 2011 and 2012. Pat now has his eyes set on Chase Offield (Valhalla 37 owner) who has won the event an incredible four times.
Karen Comstock, owner of the Viking 72 Drag ‘n Fish, was awarded Third High Angler honors, a Masters first for a lady angler. The Second High Boat went to the Viking 64 Team Galati captained by Tony Carrizosa and Third High Boat was the Viking 58 Dealers Choice with captain Scotty Jones. Dale Creamer, owner of the Viking 72 Ditch Digger, released what is thought to be the first black marlin of The Masters.
“This was my freshman year fishing The Masters,” said JC Gonzalez, owner of the Viking 55 Pura Vida. “The fishing was great and the boats and crews were amazing. The trophy was meeting some of the most professional, humble and amazing people my wife and I have ever met. I can’t explain how grateful I am to be invited to fish this wonderful tournament.”
The Masters, fished this year in Los Suenos, Costa Rica, is the ultimate test of an angler’s skills. Fought in dead boat conditions, the captain is only permitted to turn the boat to maintain the angler’s proper fishing position. Competitors are rewarded points for their fish if released in less than 10 minutes, while a broken line is penalized with deducted points. Each competitor fishes on a different boat with a new captain each day.
When the Fish Tank crew received an invitation to fish the exclusive Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament but had no boat since their Viking 64 is in production, Team Galati stepped in with their demo – a loaded Viking 64 built to raise fish.
Working together, Team Galati and Team Fish Tank came out on top with 42 sailfish to win the Billfish Release division and Champion Trophy. Carmine Galati and Thomas “Smalls” Garmany each released 11 sailfish, Laura Jessen released nine, Drew McDowell released five and Chris Jessen and Joe West each released three. The helm was manned by Tony Carrizosa and Ben Horning.
Wine Time, a Viking 58, claimed 2nd Place in the Tuna division with Mark Doyle and Brian Bueso each weighing a fish. Fishing on the Viking 55 Pura Vida, Mike Braccia and Evan Alonso each hooked up to win the Dorado division. Lisa McGlone was the 3rd Place Lady Angler with 12 releases on the Viking 62 Gringo Honeymoon.
The 7th annual Pelagic Rockstar Offshore Tournament made Costa Rican and Central American sportfishing history two years running. With a record setting 94 teams and 553 anglers releasing 1,131 billfish for more than $1.3 million in prize money, the Pelagic Rockstar solidified its place in tournament fishing history as the largest and richest fishing competition in Central America.
With strong attendance, brisk sales activity and the debut of our two new flagships – the Viking 90 and Valhalla 55 – the 2023 VIP Boat Show was a smashing success.
“It was incredible,” said Viking President and CEO Pat Healey. “On the first day, Friday, we had our highest-ever turnout in the history of the 27-year event. And we had a good showing on Saturday, too, even though the weather didn’t cooperate.” Seven Vikings and the same number of Valhallas were sold, with several other deals in the works. The fact that the Viking Yacht Company debuted not one but two flagships made the two-day event epic in itself. “These boats are bad-ass,” said Pat in his kick-off speech to dealers and vendors. “The Viking 90 and V-55 will not only become the leaders in their class, but they’re also going to dominate their classes. They’re that good.” Pat also took the opportunity to thank our dealers and vendors for helping make the VIP a truly unique marine exhibition. “We thank you for all your support,” said Pat. “You are the best."
The V-55 and Viking 90 stole the spotlight with non-stop sea trials and dockside walk-throughs. Hull No. 1 of the 90 is a striking Kingston Grey Sky Bridge model with six staterooms, seven heads and jaw-dropping faux teak mezzanine and upper aft deck.The V-55 features a Haze Grey gelcoat, a custom Palm Beach Towers gap tower with carbon fiber outriggers and quad Mercury V12 600s.
In addition to the flagships, a full fleet of Vikings and Valhallas were on display and available for sea trials. The lineup included Vikings from 46 to 90 feet and Valhallas from 33 to 55 feet. Our VIP allows dealers and owners to spend plenty of time together on the boats in a relaxed stress-free setting.In addition to the flagships, a full fleet of Vikings and Valhallas were on display and available for sea trials. The lineup included Vikings from 46 to 90 feet and Valhallas from 33 to 55 feet. Our VIP allows dealers and owners to spend plenty of time together on the boats in a relaxed stress-free setting.
Another unique aspect of our VIP is the vendor village, where more than 50 of our business partners display their products, answer questions and assist attendees with all their boating and fishing needs.
Valhalla Boatworks new V-55 is on the prowl in South Florida as the newest member of the esteemed Viking Demo Program. Started by Viking President and CEO Patrick Healey in 1984, the team is comprised of upper management and key players from the Design, Engineering and Sales Departments. Demo anglers spend real time on the boat in its intended environments. The crew learns from and improves the product, supports the customer base and strengthens Viking’s leading role in the sportfishing industry. Look for Captain Ryan Higgins and the V-55 on the docks.
The Viking Yacht Company and Valhalla Boatworks cordially invite you to our special VIP Boat Show Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4, at the Viking Yacht Service Center in Riviera Beach, Florida.
Our annual RSVP two-day event will showcase the Viking and Valhalla fleets – and our two new flagships, the Viking 90 and Valhalla 55, will make their much-anticipated debuts. Both of these boats have the industry buzzing, and we can’t wait to show them to you.
To RSVP to this exclusive event, please click here by Friday, January 13, 2023. To register for the VIP, contact your authorized Viking or Valhalla dealer. You must RSVP to attend the event as space is limited. Sea trials will be held for customers under contract.
Fox News reporter Douglas Kennedy visited the Viking manufacturing plant to interview Viking President and CEO Pat Healey about the 10-knot restriction being proposed by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Viking has been an integral part of the marine industry’s effort to raise awareness about the devastating impact the rule would have on the boating and fishing community. The North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule would broaden the current 10-knot (11.5 mph) speed limit to include boats 35 feet and larger (down from 65 feet); expand the zones from discrete areas to virtually the entire East Coast as far out as 100 miles; and extend the go-slow mandate for up to seven months a year. Boaters, anglers, maritime businesses and other stakeholders can help by urging Congress and other elected officials to demand that NOAA pause the rule until more reasonable alternatives can be found – solutions that involve tracking the whales, not instituting far-reaching maritime laws.
Citing flaws in the sweeping changes to the Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule, Viking and marine industry leaders demand that NOAA stop the proposal’s advancement and seek more reasonable alternatives.
With its world-class fishing and abundance of restaurants, shopping, events, outdoor attractions and amenities, Bermuda is fast becoming a top destination for more and more Viking owners. Take it from Viking President and CEO Pat Healey, “Bermuda is a wonderful place. I’ve enjoyed fishing there and recently took my family with me as well. There is plenty to do, the location is just beautiful and the people are incredibly friendly. I look forward to returning.”
Our Viking 80 demo spent July at The Waterfront Marina in Hamilton. “We made the 625-plus mile crossing in 27 non-stop hours easily,” said Viking Demo captain Sean Dooley. Mate West Rivers adds, “Fishing is always amazing here – marlin, tuna and wahoo are plentiful. I’ve done quite a few seasons in Bermuda and it’s one of my favorite places.” Being one of the world’s best spots to catch huge blues, Bermuda has recorded nine victories on the Blue Marlin World Cup board – which is second only to Kona, with 10.
While there, PW Marine is there to support you with their Waterfront Marina which includes a top-notch service center. They also offer stunning residential and island properties, award winning wellness options and multiple dining possibilities. “When it comes to Bermuda,” says Pat. “Our dealer PW Marine has everything boat owners could ever want. And as our friends at Marlin magazine say – It’s a port of all.
The 49th annual White Marlin Open (WMO) saw a slow week of fishing for the 408 battlewagons vying for a piece of the $8.6 million prize money. Tournament Director Andy Motsko said that 1,504 billfish were taken in 2019 compared to this year’s 59 blue marlin and 155 whites – which is 1,290 less fish! But the fifth and final day saw $6 million change hands. And Vikings rose to the occasion!
AT THE SCALES
Keeley Megarity, fishing on his Viking 66 C- Student, weighed one of only four white marlin brought to the scales - a 71.5-pound fish. The white was caught on Day 4, and by the end of five-day event claimed 2nd Place White Marlin. Captain Ken Blackman was at the helm.
Frank Sinito Jr. had a strong tournament while fishing on his Viking 62 Irene. Not only did Frank land the Top Dolphin (59.5 pounds) he also released three white marlin earning him 10th Place Angler, a stellar job considering the enormous field of anglers.
Third Place Wahoo went to Patrick Brown with a 51.5-pound fish. Patrick fished on the Viking 55 Irish Twin.
Over 1,000 pounds of fresh tuna, mahi and marlin were donated to the Maryland Foodbank. Not a fish was wasted!
TOP ANGLERS & BOATS
The Superbowl of Sportfishing always brings plenty of thrills to the dock - it also brings a heck of a lot of anglers! Given the 408 registered boats, we figure there were 2,448 anglers*. Normally we cover places 1st through 3rd but the top 20 finishes at the WMO are the upper echelon – we’re talking the top 5%! So, let’s take a look at crème de la crème of the WMO.
Fifth Place Top Boat (top 1.22%) and Fifth Place Release Boat was Michael Jordan’s Viking 80 Catch 23. Patrick Field released a blue marlin, Jimmy David and Trey McMillan released a white marlin, Nick Ewald and Anibal Moya released a sailfish and Trey also boated a 76-pound tuna. Captain Stetson Turney was at the wheel.
Sixth Place Angler (top 1.47%) was Chad Moss fishing on his family’s Viking 72 SandboB. Chad released a pair of blue marlin. Colton Richardson added a white release to boost SandboB to 9th Place Top Boat and 9th Place Release Boat.
Eleventh Place Angler was George Robinson on the just-delivered Viking 64 Polarizer. A blue and white marlin were released for the honors. Another white release was recorded by Greg Robinson clinching a 17th Place Release Boat finish and 18th Place Top Boat title. The boat was captained by Bill Davis.
Twelveth Place Top Boat and 12th Place Release Boat was the Viking 80 Krazy Salt’s. David Anderson – 17th Place Angler - released a blue and white marlin for the boat while Dan Pettit and Jeff Theil each released a white. Krazy Salt’s had WMO veteran Keith Greenberg at the helm.
Seventeenth Place Top Boat was Thomas Healy’s Viking 58 Elizabeth Ann. Thomas and Ted Rubberti each released a blue marlin. Jimmy Bunting was the captain and Chip Graves mated.
Nineteenth Place Angler was Andrew Confotini with a blue marlin release on Chip Caruso’s Viking 70 Pipe Dreamer.
Next year is the 50th edition of the White Marlin Open – and we can’t wait! Mark your calendar for August 7-11, 2023 for the world’s largest and richest billfish tournament.
*The WMO rules state an unlimited number of anglers are allowed per boat. From our experience, six is an average number of anglers at a tournament. So, six anglers on 408 boats comes out to 2,448 anglers. Disclaimer: We are not claiming to be statisticians.
Auspicious, Joe Rahman’s Viking 80, claimed 2nd Place in the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship. With captain Edward “Cookie” Murray at the helm and mate Carl Copeland in the ‘pit, the team logged a pair of blue and white marlin releases at the Bermuda Billfish Blast. They added three blues and a white during the second leg, the Bermuda Big Game Classic. At the final tournament of the series, the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament, Joe added four blue marlin to the tally while Carl released a blue and two white marlin. Auspicious’ final count of 10 blue marlin and four whites secured their 2nd Place finish in the series. A total of 43 teams fished at least one leg of the 2022 Bermuda Triple Crown. Thanks to our friends at the Bermuda Triple Crown and Out Your Front Door for the picture.
Seven boats are lined up on Viking’s Make Ready Dock and ready for summer. From a 46 Billfish to an 80 Convertible, Department #9 is prepping these beauties for their new owners and a season full of fishing, cruising and all things boating. Our subsidiaries Atlantic Marine Electronics and Palm Beach Towers are also adding the finishing touches so each yacht will move to their new homeport turnkey ready.
Started by Viking CEO and President Pat Healey in 1984, the Viking Yacht Company’s Demonstrator Program plays a huge role in our ability to continue building a better boat every day.
The demo’s crew has always been comprised of upper management and key players from the Design, Engineering and Sales teams. This enables the demo to function as a design and engineering tool as well as a sales and marketing tool. The crew learns from and improves the product while supporting the Viking customer base and showcasing the boat thriving in its intended environment. Like the two previous Viking 80 demonstrator boats, this 80 (hull No. 43) features a meticulously finished faux teak transom and bulkhead, a teak cockpit and a tournament-ready flybridge.
Five days after landing a 572.6-pound blue marlin, the Viking 72 Mercenaria could celebrate with their record-breaking win at the 64th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
It all started on Day One when Chad Ballard’s Mercenaria rolled up to the scales with the first fish of the tournament. When that blue marlin registered 572.6-pounds, the crowd erupted in cheers since it was a winning fish – capturing the Fabulous Fisherman award for the first blue marlin of the tournament weighing over 500 pounds. Matt Brown, who cranked in the fish, said, “It jumped quite a bit then went really deep. When it came to the side of the boat, we knew we were going to the scales.”
Even though the team knew they won the Fabulous Fisherman, the wait was on. Would their fish hang on through the next five days to win the Blue Marlin category? Captain Neil Sykes said, “I joked that there were 265 boats out there full of high hopes and we were the only ones terrified - it was a very long five days.”
Eight blues were brought to the scales throughout the week, but Mercenaria’s was the biggest – making the crew happy as a clam. This accomplishment earned the team an industry-record check for a single blue marlin. “They are a great group of people, and we were excited to see them at the top after a long week of waiting,” said Big Rock Executive Director Madison Struyk. Rounding out the Mercenaria team is mate Jake Keech, mate Kurt Ward, Ben Fox and Tim Rapine.
The fish was big enough to have won the last five of 10 Big Rock competitions. It’s also the 6th time in the last 10 Big Rock tournaments the winning fish was brought in on Day One.
Making a late push was Safari finishing first in the Top Release Boat Sonar category. Captain Rodney “Moon” Crossman put the 72 on three blue marlin and a sailfish on Thursday and a pair of blues and a sail on Friday. Robert McNeil and Brett Goulding were the anglers for the seven releases.
Frank Sinito’s Viking 62 Irene won the Top Release Non-Sonar. Captain James Ewing was behind the wheel for Frank’s three blue marlin.
The 3rd Heaviest Tuna went to Rob Kilroy with a 51.8-pound fish. Rob hooked the fish on the Viking 61 Overtime with captain Kevin Gaylord.
Mike Everly, captaining his Viking 92 Speculator, brought Rob Leerink’s winning wahoo to the dock. The fish hit the scale at 104.7-pounds – a whopper of a wahoo!
And let’s not forget the 25th annual Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament (KWLA) which kicked off the Big Rock. The momentum started with the ladies on the Viking 52 Can Do Too. Fishing on Sid Gold’s boat, Hunter Gentel and Meredith Hinton each released a blue marlin to win the Top Billfish Release Boat.
Captain Skip Lecain and angler Sarah Beth Overton, Emily Payne, Allison Terrill and Andrea Terrill completed Team Can Do Too.
Heather Morris, angling on the Viking 68 Dun-Rite, caught the 2nd Heaviest Dolphin with a 26.7-pound fish. The KWLA is named in honor of the late wife of Big Rock board member Casey Wagner, who lost her battle with cancer in 2008. It is one of the largest ladies-only fishing events in the world and saw a record 215 boats in the 2022 fleet.