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Viking moves ahead while Hatteras sinks

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by olderboater, Mar 9, 2022.

  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We've had a thread about Hatteras and no current MY offerings. We also have no signs of Cabo reemerging, even though there once were rumors of using the name for CC's. The sportfish line is down to four active models.

    Meanwhile, Viking claims (and these numbers are always very suspect) to have sold at their VIP show and the Miami show a total of 19 Vikings and 24 Valhalla center consoles. Just go to their website and you'll see 37 models offered by Viking and Valhalla now offers 5 models including their latest a 55' CC that is a luxury CC with the heart and soul of an SF and very interesting boat. Oh, and standard engines are quad 600 hp Mercury (although they show 450 on their site) with Quintuple 600 an option.

    In business, when one business struggled, I always look at their competition. Sears and Kmart have died but Walmart is going well. I remember growing up in NC and my first trip deep sea fishing and Hatteras everywhere. What a history of mismanagement and disinterest. Oh yes, White River is selling plenty of Mako built on the Hatteras lot.

    Will Hatteras ever be revived? I hope so. I doubt it.
    Fishtigua likes this.
  2. MBY

    MBY Senior Member

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    I personally think Hatteras is past the point of no return. We've had quite a few Hatteras dealers reach out to us to take on our line because they had zero support or really any solid information or communication from Hatteras these past few years. Viking is absolutely crushing it and with their capital they have the ability to continue to do so.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You mention information and communication. The owners, from Brunswick to Versa to White River (so far) haven't communicated with anyone, not with dealers or employees. Secrecy has been a full-on policy it seems. Ask a key employee today or anytime the past decade what the plan is and either they say "I don't know" or they make up something they wish it was. Information has had to come in bits and pieces from multiple sources, often from those outside the company or those in the company who weren't supposed to know but overheard or saw on a desk. So much double talk. White River has miles to go and so far not even on the road to reestablishing trust. Their broker/dealers, their employees, just don't trust the company.

    The simplest of all examples are Cabo and the MY's. You don't just remove them from your website and refuse orders and still make no announcements. I know a dealer who worked hard to sell two of an existing MY model. Submitted the order. All they got was "we can't take this right now." So, dealer asks for more information and only gets "I don't know."

    You've tried to deal with and communicate with the various owners as have I, through other parties, and it's just impossible.
  4. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Used to be Hatteras and Bertram were the two big dogs with Viking a distant third. Bertram self destructed and Hatteras has been sitting on their hands for more than a decade. Today Viking is a force like no other. They are at the top of the heap with no one else even in sight of them. Their continuous roll out of new models is mind blowing really. It’s always seemed to me like they offer models in one foot increments lol.
    Now their entry into the CC market looks like it has the same success in it’s DNA. I’ve heard they’ve got a bunch of orders for large CC’s and the sky is the limit on pricing. Good for them.
  5. CaptTom

    CaptTom Senior Member

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    Viking has figured out the balance, I believe, in making a great sportfishing yacht that appeals to the non-fishing persons, families and spouses. Several of the Vikings at Miami had semi-custom interiors, so you can get a fishing machine that appeals to the opposite, or same sex. I photograph fishing tourneys at times and if the big boys are there, they are mostly Vikings.
    To be fair, Hatteras also makes a great sportfish. I have sea trialed many of them over the years, crawled through bilges and adored engine rooms. I think their problem is with management, or the perceived constant state of flux in the company. Viking, family owned and operated for eons. Hatteras, held by oh, which company today? If I was to plunk down $2-4 million for a sportfish, my bet is on the Viking for a quality yacht, service, resell value, ability to raise fish, and that Viking will be around for a long time.
    wiredup likes this.
  6. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Viking could ''Crush it" even further if the came out with MY line. Not everyone wants a sportfish. I would think they could adapt their hulls to a full cabin top walk around design. It is an attractive sportfish.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    They already have a couple of MYs, pretty good looking too. If I m not mistaken it’s the first time viking build it’s own motoryachts after first having them build by Lazzara in Tampa and then Princess int the UK
    wiredup and cleanslate like this.
  8. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    Sad to see this with Hatteras. I had a fondness for them after building several in the late 90's when they were booming under the Genmar ownership. Big Sportfish, 130' motor yachts and a bunch of 112's.
    Having lived in New Bern for several years building boats was a great time, really enjoyed the area. It is a shame we have lost another US builder down the tubes!
    RIP- Bertam, Hatteras, Lazzara, Trinity etc.
    I think to have a successful boat building company it needs to be private ownership with a lot of family buy in like Viking.
  9. MBY

    MBY Senior Member

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    You're 1000% correct, communication has been horrible. When my dad and his partner owned Cabo, they had one meeting a week at the factory and we always gave updates to the dealers on the status of their boats. We never promised a delivery date because if the boat wasn't up to our standard it wasn't leaving the factory. There were always clear lines of communication. When Brunswick took over, it changed to 3-4 meetings a day and hard dates where boats had to ship regardless of condition. Communication went down the drain and it stayed that way.

    With our little company now, I try and send an email every month highlighting what's going on, what production is like, what's in the pipeline etc and our dealers can always call is for updates. We communicate directly with customers in many cases and overall we haven't had many complain about communication. My personal opinion is its important to relay exactly what's going on with no fluff of BS. If the boat is going to be late make the call and say hey its going to be late.

    To touch on Viking again, they have really excelled in providing a complete package. When you buy a Viking you're signing one check and the boat is delivered ready. They don't use subcontractors for their towers or electronics or major systems; they handle it all in house. The Viking Service Center in Florida is incredible and is huge for them as a company being able to service and dock their boats in a major hub like Palm Beach. The competition simply cannot offer that same level of service and amenities that Viking can. Kudos to Viking for doubling down when the economy took a turn and continually pushing out new models when the competition floundered.

    One last reason why Viking is really pushing hard is Pat Healey. He's hungry, he's ambitious and he wants to be better than his competition. He spends time on his boats fishing them with crews from around the world and he has his finger on the pulse with his business and the industry in general. That knowledge and feedback is what translates into building a better boat. I have no doubt his sons Justin and Sean will lead the company the same way when their time comes. Bertram and Hatteras don't have someone at the helm that can lead them, only investors looking at that bottom line.
    wiredup, Gotwex and cleanslate like this.
  10. Slimshady

    Slimshady Senior Member

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    In my opinion viking builds good sf but they are compromise boats. Alot of owners get them until their custom build is done. Why? Competitive sf owners want boats that compete at the highest level. Custom boats are built to run fast in rough water and handle very well. They don't sleep on the boat they fish it hard. Some owners want floating condos that have rod holders. Custom boats take more time, money and effort to get but they fill a large void viking still ignores. Ask any competitive fishing captain what boat he wants to run. None will say viking. Wouldn't be hard for viking to make if they choose to and margins would be very good. All the marketing and photo shoots won't change how the boats perform or fish.
  11. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    You should buy one and I'll Captain / run it for you when you are tired....lol.
    I did not know they made current MYs. I'm just down the road in Cape May, at a Marina where I can see darn near everything coming and going through Cape May harbor from my boat slip.
    I'll be on the look out.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2022
  12. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Interesting to read such comment from someone who obviously knows SFs much better than myself.
    Over the years, I had that very same impression in most if not all SFs I've seen - including Hatt, Bertram, Cabo, and also Viking.

    Then again, I've never been on any of the custom Carolina SFs.
    I guess there must be good reasons why some folks are willing to sign big checks and wait a lot to get one of them, rather than any other production boat.
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    All boats are compromises. Most SF owners are not professional tournament fisherpersons. Perhaps that's why Viking builds 30-40 per year and the custom builders build 1 or 2 per year. Also, your hypothetical competitive captain may answer with a custom SF but is often running a Viking. Sort of like asking a Chevy, Ford, Toyota, or Honda owner their dream car. It will be something far more exotic but doesn't mean they don't like the car they own.
    wiredup likes this.
  14. Slimshady

    Slimshady Senior Member

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    I drive a ford f250 but ford also makes an f40 supercar. Viking has superior engineering and manufacturing capabilities. I wish they would use it to build a true sportfish not a compromise boat.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are a lot of Viking owners who would argue that they do build true sportfish. Our retiring managing captains sure do love theirs. Ironically, they both grew up as Hatteras people in NC. Ran a lot of boats for Hatteras. Ran charters on Hatteras. Even owned older Hatteras SF's, but when they decided to buy a boat in FL to live and fish on if necessary, then went with a 66' Viking.
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  16. Slimshady

    Slimshady Senior Member

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    So to use a car analogy. An suv will never be a sports car. To heavy, high center of gravity, bad front to rear weight distribution. Even with lots of horsepower. Viking, and hatteras build their hulls with a full bow and very wide beam. Not slender and hydrodynamic in order to move water away from the hull. This gives lots of interior space for accommodations but doesn't ride well in rough conditions. Compromise boat. Bayliss and spencer and other good builders build hulls that have a sharp entry and more gradually develop beam. This splits the water better than a blunt viking hull. A small difference in hull shape has dramatic affects on the performance of the boat. Downside is the bow has less room for accommodations. Paul spencer has rules when building his boats. He has a ratio of length to width that can't be broken or boat won't ride right and he won't build it. If the client needs more accommodations, just go longer. Viking boats are to wide to allow proper time to move water away from hull. It's just that simple.
    I'm not saying stop building their current line up, just offer true tournament versions also.
    Having spent decades on the docks with captains and crew, never has a mate or captain ever said to me they would rather fish a viking over a top tier custom. These guys are very blunt when the boss is gone and tell it straight. Boss buys what he wants crew run it.
    wiredup likes this.
  17. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    yoube getting your super cars confused. F40 was a Ferrari… the Ford is the Ford GT
  18. Slimshady

    Slimshady Senior Member

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    Oops, you're right. Guess who doesn't own a fancy car?
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  19. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I laughed a little at the " blunt Bow" comment of a Viking.
    Not because it's not true but have you ever looked the the bow of a Carver ?
    Talk about building her from the inside out.......

    Bayliss, Spencer = Bugatti
    Viking = Caddy
    Carver = Chevy.

    Truth be known, I run a nice sporty........I have never even tried to fish on it.
    wiredup likes this.
  20. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    Viking is on a league on its own, as someone said before private ownership of a passionate boating family is key here.
    I see it as a model company, and if you want to be successful in building boats you just have to copy what they are doing.
    Cabo could have been a worthy competitor if they did not sell to Brunswick back in 2004.

    Private Ownerhsip and manage with passione was the success story in the early years of Bertram (sixties) and Hatteras (sixties and seventies).
    In Europe it was the same with Ferretti in the eighties and nineties before it became a Group, and Sunseeker with Braithwaithe also in the eighties until he caught the bug to build always bigger.
    Riva was something this way in the sixties before he sold to Whittaker in the seventies.
    Magnum had something similar with Theodoli in the seventies and eighties.
    Italcraft was on similar lines in the sixties till the end seventies.

    Viking took it to another level in the last couple of decades (from 2000 onward), and there service is second to none in the USA especially on the East Coast.
    They came out stronger from the luxury tax of 1992-84 with a purpose.
    As for Viking being second tier to a custom sportfish I do not entirely agree.
    Yes a custom is a custom but Viking does win a lot of tournaments and its semi-production finish will need a lot more $$$$ to beat in standard, especially in areas one does not see.
    Really few sportfish can beat the standard they have. Custom included.

    Viking is also very cautious in development, for example forward windshield have never been introduced, and the biggest breakthrough they ever made was the Mezzanine settee which was a turn-around for there success. I think its MY range they could do much better in doing a more Euro similar platform. Considering how much Euro yachts sell in USA nowadays it would not hurt.

    I think Bertram has found its niche since the Gavio ownership, Hatteras looked to have found it, especially with its motor yacht range not selling so bad, but something seems to have been lost when Covid hit the World in 2020.
    Bertram has the advantage that Gavio is a passionate boater, Hatteras has the disadvantage of being owned by a Private Equity. PEs always start well but they end up losing interest especially if profits are hard to come.

    Long Live Viking, they are the best production boat builder in the World.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2022
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