By Tom Thompson
Viking V65 Express Yacht Review
Viking's new Sixty-five-footer boasts remarkable space.
The most prominent feature on the Viking V65 Express Yacht is space.
On the main deck, the salon and the cockpit are on a single level that extends nearly half the boat’s overall length. This creates a massive living area that is unimpeded except for the three-panel sliding glass door that separates the two. When they’re open, you get a combination of the indoors and outdoors that’s a lot like your very own island.
The forward half of the salon has a retractable sunroof overhead. It, along with the extensive array of glass on all four sides, allows natural light to fill the space. There are two U-shaped settees on the starboard side, one inside and one out, and each has a removable table.
Directly aft and outside the doorway is a country kitchen equipped with an electric stove, a sink and a refrigerator. A sunpad takes up the aft corner of the cockpit. The helm and another seating area — a U-shaped dinette — are all the way forward to starboard and port, respectively. The dinette’s table is also removable. Come party time, the V65 could take on a large group before the deck space would be overcrowded. One of the notable standard features aboard the V65 is a 32-inch LCD TV that rises from behind the portside salon settee. Another is a wine cooler you can have installed in place of the salon refrigerator.
The perimeter of the main deck is equally spacious. Strolling the teak-finished walkways of our test boat reminded me of strolling the deck of a cruise ship. The gigantic sunpad on the foredeck is wide enough for at least three adults to enjoy the rays. Aft, there’s a garage for a tender or water bike on the starboard side off the swim platform. An optional crew cabin goes on the port side, or the space can be used for storage. Viking offers an optional passarelle for stern-in boarding. The control buttons can be cleverly hidden inside a section of the stern railing when not being used.
There are three staterooms, each with its own head, plus a full galley on the lower deck of the V65. Even in the smallest of the staterooms, the space is generous. The galley is to starboard, immediately forward of the staircase from the main deck. There’s enough appliance and storage capacity to keep that hungry crowd who will likely gather on deck well fed; there are plenty of apartments on land with smaller kitchens. Standard appliances include an upright refrigerator/freezer, a microwave/convection oven, a four-burner stove, a double-basin sink and a dishwasher.
The full-beam master suite is amidships, keeping the rocking and rolling to a minimum, and it has a double pedestal berth at its center. There’s a settee to port and a dressing table to starboard, and each has a row of four vertical portlights above it to let in plenty of natural daylight. There’s a full-length hanging locker — though it would be more fitting if it were called a walk-in closet — at the forward port corner. The doorway to the head (I always hate to call it that on a boat like the V65) is forward and to starboard. The master bath (that’s better) has a very large stall shower, a VacuFlush toilet (MSD to you old salts) and an Avonite countertop with an attractive molded sink.
The second stateroom is in the bow and also features a pedestal double berth. Its private head is almost as large as the one in the master suite and is equipped with the same amenities. There’s also a floor-to-ceiling hanging locker and a dressing table with a mirror.
The third stateroom is on the port side, opposite the galley. It, too, has a stall shower and an Avonite countertop sink. Access is from both the stateroom and the companionway along the centerline of the lower deck. A cabinet under the stairway from the main deck holds a combination washer/dryer unit, also a standard feature.
Set a Course
Because the main deck of the V65 is so open, sight lines from the helm are superb. The two bucket seats here are on a platform, located one step up from the main deck. You have a nearly 360-degree view for driving; the support pillars at the aft corners of the salon are minimally obstructive. The entire stern is visible through the salon doorway when backing into a slip. A watertight door immediately behind the helm seats leads to the sidedeck. A full electronics package, including a VHF radio, a GPS chart plotter, a radar and an autopilot, is standard on the boat. Viking offers several upgrade options as well.
If space is the most impressive feature of the V65 while she’s standing still, smoothness is her prime characteristic while under way. In fact, you could think you’re standing still if you aren’t looking around. Once in open water, our captain accelerated to 25 knots before I knew it. The sound level at the helm was a very quiet 74 dB. Our test boat had the premium power package: a pair of MAN V12-1360 diesels rated at 1,360 hp each. They give her a top speed of 33 knots. Standard power is a pair of 1,100 hp MANs.
For a 65-foot boat, the V65 is very easy to steer. You get the feeling you’re in a big sports car. The helm responds quickly, and overall handling and performance are very well-mannered.
With an impressive list of standard features and options, you can make the Viking V65 your very own island in the sun. Invite a crowd of friends over to share the enjoyment — the more the merrier.
For More Information
Viking Sport Cruisers