On the anniversary of Viking Yacht Co., president and CEO Pat Healey normally would be updating dealers, vendors, customers and staff about tournaments, the launch of a new model, an upcoming VIP event or the solid sales numbers from Valhalla Boatworks, the builder’s center console brand.
Instead, Healey released a statement to address Viking’s strategy during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our 56th anniversary serves as a fitting reminder of our resilience,” Healey said in the statement. “We have endured many hardships — recessions, storms and the luxury tax — since my father Bill and Uncle Bob founded the company in 1964. We build boats, and nothing is going to stop us from doing what we love to do. There is no question. We’ll get through this and come out stronger.”
Effective March 19, Viking suspended operations at its New Gretna and Mullica, N.J., facilities for 14 days. With stricter national social distancing guidelines now in place, the company said itwill reassess plans to resume production next week.
Day-to-day operations are continuing remotely for several departments, including customer service, design and engineering, and sales and marketing.
Viking Yacht Service Center in Riviera Beach, Fla., and Viking subsidiaries Atlantic Marine Electronics and Palm Beach Towers are operating, with strict social distancing measures.
Viking has donated 2,650 N95 respirator masks, as well as 100 Tyvek suits, boots and hoods, to the southern New Jersey medical community. In addition, the on-site medical center at the New Gretna facility remains open and “on call every day to attend to the needs of employees and their families in this unprecedented time.
“We’re all in this together,” Healey said. “We must do our part to flatten the curve so we can return to the boating and fishing lifestyle we all love.”