With even a cursory glance, the Viking 76 Convertible’s profile is reason to pause. The raked stem is aggressive and its mission becomes instantly obvious. Similarities to the 82 Convertible, like its dramatic sheer line, the flush foredeck and a pair of fixed port lights which match lines of the hull are sweeping design statements that merge form and function. The wrap around black metallic mask provides a distinctive and distinguished look, which accents the flowing lines of the flying bridge.
Beneath the waterline, a different sense of masterpiece emerges. The convex deadrise shape with sharpened waterline sections showcases stability and sea keeping ability. The convex deadrise adds curvature and form to the hull bottom and the wide beam, which carries well aft, increases buoyancy and lift. Even at flank speeds re-entry is soft to enhance ride comfort and dryness.
Viking has long been active in using its tank testing experience of scale models in the development of new product, and the 76 hull form clearly benefits from such testing. Our design and engineering teams, for instance, compiled hundreds of hours tank testing multiple 82 Convertible scale hull models to study powering and sea keeping characteristics. The data was then expanded to full scale and later validated with actual sea trials conducted by our engineering group. All of the this documented information has been incorporated in the design of the 76 Convertible hull assuring us it will meet or exceed our expectations, based on available power, as well as future propulsion systems.
To enhance performance and achieve better engine and propulsion efficiencies, the design, engineering and production teams explored various avenues to shave off unnecessary poundage and were successful in bringing the deckhouse and hull weights to fruition well within the desired parameters. Viking has been using end grain balsa as a coring material for better than 25 years without a single construction failure. Our confidence in this material led us to explore other areas where we could take advantage of the product’s various attributes for stiffness, strength, lighter weight and durability in the development of the 76 Convertible. Some examples of these weight saving achievements include using vacuum bagged high-strength Baltek anti-fungal coring in the highly loaded bottom panels of the running surface. It should be noted that end grain balsa has tremendous shear strength and absorbs the trauma of impact. Our experience has been that in the event of an accidental grounding any damage is confined to the local area and does not compromise the surrounding core and laminates. This provides a superior measure of safety and easy reparability. Similarly, low density Baltek balsa used in the hull sides, deck and superstructure, provides the requisite stiffness and strength with the benefit of reduced weight. Structural sandwich panels of lightweight Baltek foam were used for bulkheads in lieu of heavier plywood, and to produce the longitudinal and transverse frames employed in internal grid sections. By selecting these specific construction core materials, the lamination schedules were optimized with higher strength bi- and triaxial knitted fabrics which absorb less resin, producing a core laminate of unequalled physical properties.
Mechanically, the Viking 76 shares a commonality of features found aboard the 82 Convertible. Chilled water air conditioning is built around an eight-ton system comprised of two four-ton units. The system allows individual thermostats for the staterooms and salon for climate management throughout the yacht. A reverse-cycle function provides heat as well. A hydraulic bow thruster is standard with convenient control buttons built into the stainless-steel single lever clutch and throttle handles. A Delta-T engineroom ventilation system delivers maximum air for engine operation and also provides water intrusion suppression. Dampers are integrated into the hull side vents as part of the fire suppression system which automatically close to seal the engine compartment from outside air if activated. Viking’s proprietary VIPER (Viking Independent Programmable Electro-hydraulic Rudder) steering system eliminates the tie-bar for independent rudder operation and it optimizes response and reduces drag at low, mid and high speeds for extraordinary maneuverability in all sea conditions. Viking’s industry famous web-frame structural steel engine beds mounted to transverse intermediate bulkheads ensure drive-train alignment and minimize vibrations for smooth trolling and comfortable high-speed performance. Veem Interceptor S class propellers are quiet and a perfect match for speed and efficient operation. Caterpillar and MTU diesels are offered as power choices and depending upon engine selection, the 76 Convertible will cruise in the mid 30-knot range with a top end approaching 40 knots, based on ambient factors, including sea state, load, bottom condition and other variables. Two 32 kW Onan generators are standard. The 76 Convertible also features a master electrical control system, the Moritz OctoPlex, which utilizes touch screen operation and monitors in the salon and on the flying bridge, as well as manual back-up.