Viking yacht Valhalla V-55

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Release the beast: testing the super-fast Viking Yacht Valhalla V-55 off Palm Beach

12 February 2024 • Written by Peter Frederiksen

Peter Frederiksen goes full throttle for the super-fast Viking Yacht Valhalla V-55 off Palm Beach...

The phrase “drive it like you stole it” is made for the Valhalla V-55. Let all the ponies out of the stable and you will get where you are going in no time. That’s my experience at the helm off Palm Beach. I read 60mph on the GPS and the four Mercury Verado V-12 600 outboards never miss a beat during turns and maneuvers. The energy travelling from my hands at the wheel to my feet on the teak offers a feeling of total mastery. The only thing missing is the noise from the engines, which the sound of the water ripping by the hull readily absorbs.

Speed merges seamlessly with comfort and inviting accommodations aboard what Viking president and CEO Pat Healey calls a “statement boat” and “the beast.” Built to cruise in lush ambience and challenge any big-game fish in the ocean, the V-55 is the new flagship of the Valhalla Boatworks line, a subsidiary of the New Jersey-based Viking Yacht Company.

”We set a new standard by bringing together the qualities of a large centre console and a luxury sport fishing yacht,” Healey says. “The performance on this boat is outstanding. With the quads [Mercury 600s], we are 63, 64 miles an hour top end, cruising right around 50 miles an hour – it’s phenomenal.”

The 15ft (4.5-metre) beam allows for more cockpit space, on-deck seating and interior accommodation than other centre consoles in its class.

And because of the V-55’s construction and size, the speed can take you by surprise. Ryan Higgins, Viking’s southeast sales manager, performs endless sea trials with new Valhalla owners. “It may feel like you are going 35mph, but you are actually running well over 50mph. They don’t believe it until they look at the GPS,” he says.

But you are not always going fast, and the V-55 is not designed for a lone angler. “We are providing all of the strengths of our Valhalla design from the style and aesthetics to the ride quality and fishability,” Viking’s design manager David Wilson says. “We wanted to give our owners the ability to spend more time on board with family and friends to go farther, stay longer and bring along more guests.”

The hull design of the V-55 is a collaboration between Michael Peters Yacht Design and Viking Yachts. With MPYD’s patented double Stepped-V Ventilated Tunnel running surface, the control is readily apparent. The Viking team fine-tuned the chine and running strakes for optimum performance, stability and handling.

“It drops your bow much quicker [than other hull types], it gives you a much flatter ride, it gives you an outstanding ride, it gives you speed,” Healey says. “We are 10 miles an hour faster than other boats in this class. The great thing about Michael Peters’ bottom is that it has a ventilated tunnel in the back end and that allows this boat to turn at full speed and not catch.”

“It may feel like you are going 35mph, but you’re actually running well over 50mph”

The interior is Viking Yachts standard in horizontal grain walnut, with a walk-around queen bed, starboard galley and dinette that converts into an extra bunk.

This hull is the foundation for all Valhallas: the V-33, V-37, V-41 and the V-46. With a Zipwake trim control system, the V-55 accelerates effortlessly while providing excellent visibility at the helm through the fibreglass frame windshield fitted with a single-piece wraparound ProCurve glass enclosure.

Tournament sportfishers will enjoy the benefits of the open cockpit and unlimited fishing space at the bow. For safety, access and comfort, the 2ft-wide walkaround has a molded non-slip sole, and the deep side gutters include 41in of freeboard with a pleated bolster on top for ample seating. Rod and drink holders are available anywhere a serious angler needs them. Years of experience in building sportfishers is evident here.

Sailfish enthusiasts who relish flying release flags will appreciate the 40-gallon livewell in the bow lounge, which complements two 65-gallon livewells in the transom along with additional plumbing for more. Our test boat included a Release Marine rocket launcher and two 110-gallon fishboxes, one refrigerated and the other a receptacle for the Eskimo ice dump. A large lazarette hatch allows access to fuel and water separators, the fuel management system, sea chests and other plumbing items. Fittings are labeled, wiring is neat and chafe gear is well used.

For comfort on board, the boat is fitted with a Seakeeper 9 gyro stabilizer. An aft-facing mezzanine allows anglers to watch their baits in the wake and provides built-in stowage and chill boxes. Port and starboard dive doors are standard.

The air-conditioned helm deck features four Release Marine chairs with electric slides and bolsters. A second row of seats or a U-shape table and lounge are optional. The helm with three Garmin MFDs, Bocatech accessory switches, Mercury controls and joystick, plus a SidePower control for the bow thruster, is slightly to the side to make room for a sliding door starboard to access the accommodation space below.

Viking Yacht Valhalla V-55
Beam: 14.7m
Draft (engines down): 1.2m
Weight (full load): 49,873lb
Engines: 4 x 600hp V12 Mercury
Fuel capacity: 1,200 gallons
Fresh water: 125 gallons
Top speed: up to 64 knots
Sleeps: up to 6

On the inside, horizontal grain walnut in a high-gloss finish highlights Viking’s trademark interior joinery. A private stateroom with a queen bed is forward. The head has a separate fibreglass shower stall. A compact galley, dinette and bunk beds aft complete the setup. Behind the bunk beds is access to a technical space containing a 15kW diesel genset,  a watermaker, batteries, battery chargers, a water heater, a Spot Zero unit and electronics.

The version of the V-55 we trialled comes complete with a Palm Beach Towers (PBT) five-gap tuna tower with a second control station, and banks of navigation and entertainment electronics installed by Atlantic Marine Electronics (AME). PBT and AME are Viking Yacht Company subsidiaries, which allow the Valhalla V-55 and other models to be delivered turnkey.

With all this to offer, it’s understandable that despite the hefty price tag (the V-55 will set you back around $3.5 million) the Valhallas are flying off the molds in fitting super-fast style.

First published in the January 2024 issue of BOAT International US Edition. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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