Tearing across the ocean at 45 mph this past September, I surveyed New Jersey’s posh Atlantic City skyline like a lucky gambler on holiday. Aboard the newly launched Valhalla Boatworks V-41, I realized this must be what it feels like to beat the house and run away a winner, chips spilling from my pockets. How could it get any better?
Built by Valhalla Boatworks, a freshly minted extension of the renowned Viking Yacht Company, the V-41 ranks as the flagship of this new luxury lineup, which includes the V-33 and V-37. Some might argue that the mega-powered center-console market already overflows, but the V-41 is different, breaking new ground in design, accommodations and performance.
The V Series is the result of the cooperative effort of the Viking Design & Engineering team and Michael Peters Yacht Design, with Viking incorporating specific deadrise, bottom-rocker shape, strakes and chines into a bottom that utilizes MPYD’s patented Stepped-V Ventilated Tunnel. The running surface reduces drag while increasing speed, efficiency and stability. The Viking team also utilized its 55-year track record to incorporate topside style and function long revered by offshore anglers, who relish putting their own signatures on boats.
The V-41 can adapt to eight -different power choices, including a variety of options from Mercury and Yamaha. Each semi-custom build comes with an endless list of possible fishing features, colors, seating and upholstery choices, electronics, and other enhancements.
Underway, the running surface sweats the details and makes the boat a pleasure to steer. The double-stepped hull with the tunnel on centerline creates two vertical walls or strakes that act like keels. When changing course, the hull sticks to the water without sliding.
The auto Zipwake trim controls deliver a confident feel at the wheel and an urge to keep pushing the throttles. In the back bay my test boat, skippered by Viking’s Ryan Higgins and powered by a quad set of Mercury Verado 400s, ripped to a top speed of 73 mph, according to the Garmin GPS.
When I took the helm, I fell a step behind the beat, tagging 70 mph. With more time at the wheel, I believe I could improve on my number. The Mercury power-assisted hydraulic steering controls delivered a slick and seamless response, while the joystick steering eased the task of docking.
While the V-41 makes an excellent all‑around center-console, its true mission lies in bluewater fishing. It’s designed to take you offshore and serve as an unmitigated tournament contender with its countless top-line accessories and options. For instance, a Hooker sea chest/livewell system with a variable-speed pump pushes water to optional pressurized wells in the forward lounge or in the cockpit sole, and to a 90-gallon well in the transom.
Valhalla lined the fiberglass coaming with rod holders, and more rods stow in the custom fiberglass hardtop, the back of the observation mezzanine and in the forward lounge area. Gunwale height measures 28 inches aft, 30 inches amidships and 35 inches in the bow.
Hustling forward with a bent rod is a breeze with 24 inches between the console sides and the padded coaming bolsters, which completely line the interior. I found the absence of clutter in the bow quite welcome: The open space helps whether you’re dealing with a jumping sail or tarpon, working the anchor or simply grabbing a line to set on the recessed cleats. A low-profile bow rail enhances security.
Standard insulated fish boxes in the bow, stern and alongside the console come plumbed to sumps and are pumped overboard. Deep gutters drain water from the deck and divert it overboard. A Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer fits neatly beneath the cockpit sole in an engineered space, and forward I found an electric bow thruster.
If you desire bow seating, Valhalla offers optional molded-fiberglass lockers with cushions and removable backrests that fit nicely around the 182-gallon fish box in the sole. The seat units cleverly mount to the deck with hidden fasteners on internal flanges that help keep the contents dry.
The helm console on the test boat featured a ProCurve glass windshield that looks sharp and does an equally impressive job of diverting spray and breeze. My test boat came with optional Release Marine seats, comprising three teak helm chairs with four arm rests, electric slides and flip-up bolsters.
Between the heady speeds, the low hum of the big Mercs and the plush seats, this boat makes a short haul out of long rides to the deep. Special touches to the upgraded upholstery added to the experience as did the Release Marine teak helm pod and faux-teak-painted toe rail. A factory-installed electronics package facilitates turnkey delivery and looks sharp in the black acrylic helm panel along with a row of Bocatech 12-volt switches under the displays for accessories and other equipment.
Built into the forward portion of the console on the port side, a fiberglass door offers a 20-inch-wide entrance. Inside, an electrical panel door offers easy access to the back side of the helm, electronics, house and engine batteries. Interior headroom measures a gracious 6 feet, 5 inches, and I found a molded vanity, sink, electric head and a retractable shower wand as well as ample room for rod stowage.
Built for You
The V-41 sports molded fiberglass composite construction with closed-cell foam, a resin-infused structural stringer grid with: integrated wire chases; a molded fiberglass liner; three coal-tar, epoxy-coated aluminum fuel tanks; stainless-steel through-hull fittings above the waterline; and titanium fittings below. The high-performance gelcoat is available in seven colors to personalize your boat. A seemingly endless array of custom optional equipment ensures no two V-41s are likely to look the same.
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In a sea of familiarity among big center-consoles, the V-41 resides in a class by itself.
Power: Quad Mercury Verado 400s
Load: 350 gal. fuel; 49 gal. water; three crew
Top Speed: 73 mph @6,850 rpm
Time to 30 MPH: 7.0 seconds
Best MPG: .98 @ 45 mph (4,200 rpm)
LOA: 43 ft. 3 in.
Beam: 11 ft. 7 in.
Deadrise: 24 deg.
Weight: 18,533 lb. (w/ engines, full load)
Draft: 3 ft.
Fuel: 557 gal.
Max Power: 1,600 hp
MSRP: $792,810 (as tested)
New Gretna, New Jersey