Viking Yachts’ annual dealer meeting, which took place last week at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., introduced the new 80 Convertible to dealers to sea-trial.
“Product starts with us, and this allows the distribution so our Viking brand grows globally,” Viking president Pat Healey told about 100 dealers at the event. “As our fiscal year ended on July 31st, Viking had delivered 65 yachts from 42 to 92 feet. This was five more than last year, and moving forward our goal is to build 72.”
Ninety-one customers were invited to the event and they took part in 22 sea trials aboard nine boats on display.
“The 80 Convertible represents the evolution of our product line, which is nothing like it was just five years ago,” Healey said. “This boat has a fresh look with smart, exciting style and luxurious accommodations, and a 41-plus-knot top end. We have made capital improvements throughout our 862,000-square-foot plant, and especially in our R&D building, to produce a new series of New Gretna-built motoryachts from 80 to 90 feet, set to join our 75 Motor Yacht, which was introduced last year.”
The Viking 80 Convertible will have its world premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November. This will be followed by the launch of the 80 Enclosed Bridge Convertible at the company’s VIP Preview at the Viking Yacht Service Center in Riviera Beach, Fla., in January, followed by the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach in February.
Commenting on a large backlog of ordered boats, Healey focused on dealers and their sales associates building and maintaining a strong relationship with customers.
“Buyers embrace the boatbuilding process,” he said. “Bring them to our factory, and with the information that flows back and forth between the buyer, the dealer and Viking, we can ensure our ability to exceed their expectations by delivering that better boat every day.”