Sportfishing Boats

By Michael Vatalaro

Some of the biggest names in sportfishing are going back to basics.

The trend toward super-sized sportfishers isn't over, but during the most recent boat show season, both Hatteras and Viking revealed new models with more modest LOAs. But don't mistake these for entry-level boats. Think of them as everything the builder has learned about building a bluewater fishing machine, bundled in a tighter package.

Viking 42

The short end of your fleet offerings might be considered entry level. But the newest Viking in the fleet, the 42 Open, which debuted in Miami, is every bit a Viking. Built with a pair of 600-hp Cummins-Mercruiser Zeus pod drives, the boat is bridging the gap between large outboard-powered fishing boats and the sportfish designs for which Viking is known. "The pods are helping people make the leap," says Peter Frederiksen of Viking Yachts. "You can drive it three ways, like a traditional inboard, with a single control, or with the joystick, increasing the comfort level at the helm." At around a million dollars, the yacht doesn't carry an entry-level price, but Frederiksen says that's because the boat is built the same way as the larger boats in the Viking fleet. "The water system is the same as the one on the 82-footer, as is the hand-finished woodwork for the interior."

Photo of a Viking 42

Photo of Viking 42 exterior and interiorLOA: 42'7" | Beam: 15'10" | Draft: 3'7" | Displacement: 32,699 lbs. | Fuel: 525 gal. | Water: 120 gal.

Hatteras GT54

Small might be a relative term when your fleet starts at 54 feet, but the new GT54 is the little sister of Hatteras's GT series, which includes 60- and 63-foot models. Fast and fishy were the goals that the design team set out with for the GT, and they've certainly accomplished that first aspect. Each of the boats in the series can reach 40 knots plus top end speeds. The GT54 is the lightest of the bunch, having shed weight compared with previous designs through an improved fiberglass lay-up schedule that results in more strength at less weight.

But the designers also set out to take the looks of the GT back to Hatteras's Carolina roots. The distinctive flare, graceful shear, and tumble-home aft, combine into a modern interpretation of the best of the sportfishers they've been building for 50 years.

Photo of a Hatteras GT54

Photo of Hatteras GT54 interiorLOA: 53'10" (57'2" w/ optional pulpit) | Beam: 17'3" | Draft: 4'2" | Displacement: 75,000 lbs. | Fuel: 1,200 gal. | Water: 180 gal.

Coastal Craft 30 Open

Filling the role of the "little tough guy" punching above his weight, the Coastal Craft 30 Open sports welded-aluminum construction, making it both durable and fuel efficient — traits that this Pacific Northwest builder has capitalized on. With a fully loaded displacement of just under 13,000 pounds, this nearly 35-foot-long boat will top out at 35 knots and cruise at 29. Add a 400-mile range with a 190-gallon tank and you can get to the fish and back without breaking the bank. While some aluminum builders opt for a rugged, commercial look, the 30 Open blends in with other express fish boats, the Awlgrip paint job shining every bit as bright as a glass boat. Coastal Craft builds on a semi-custom basis, so power options are flexible, though nearly all of their clients choose Volvo IPS drives. 

Photo of a Coastal Craft 30 Open

Photo of a Coastal Craft 30 Open interior and exteriorLOA: 34'6" | Beam: 10'8" | Draft: 1'10" | Displacement: 12,900 lbs. (fully loaded) | Fuel: 190 gal. | Water: 42 gal.

— Published: August/September 2011

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