The V-55 from Valhalla literally stretches the definition of an outboard-powered center-console fishing boat, merging the genre with what genuinely qualifies as a yacht. That’s not surprising given that Valhalla’s sister brand is Viking Yachts. Quad V-12 600 hp Mercury outboards provide the get-up- and-go for the Michael Peters-patented Stepped-V Ventilated Tunnel running surface. And oh, does it go, achieving a top speed of 62.8 mph, even while rigged with a tuna tower, a second control station and a molded fiberglass hardtop. An electrically operated fuel-management system enables each engine to draw from a designated fuel tank. The V-55 is also available with five 600-hp Mercury Verados for a top speed of 70-plus mph.
A large standard equipment list complements an exhaustive option sheet to build this 55-foot-7-inch fishing machine with total customization. Stepping aboard through the port or starboard dive doors, the 15 1/2-foot beam creates an immense cockpit ideal for offshore fishing. Dual 65-gallon pressurized livewells with glass fronts are built into the transom and flanked with fold-down seats. Overboard discharge drains in the transom corners accommodate additional on-deck livewells. Twin insulated 110-gallon fishwells with refrigeration were set up in the cockpit on my test boat, with an Eskimo ice-dump receptacle to starboard. Gunwale rod holders line the coaming, and 12-volt electric reel outlets are a popular option.
For service, a large lazarette hatch provides access to a seven-position manifold and twin Hooker sea chests, one for the air-conditioning system and one for the livewells. A second Hooker livewell pump in place serves as an instant standby. Raw-water intake and circulating lines are protected with an ElectroSea ClearLine system. The gelcoated lazarette is easy to maintain and delivers safe and swift access to fuel filters, water separators, two Rule 2000 bilge pumps with Ultimate float switches, and a Reverso auto outboard flush system. Wiring and plumbing are neat, secure and well-labeled.
Forward of the lazarette hatch is a second watertight hatch and home for the Seakeeper 9 gyrostabilizer. This hatch also supports a Release Marine eight-rod rocket launcher. Aft-facing mezzanine seating features molded armrests, tackle stowage, eight more rod holders and seven drink holders. Beneath the mezzanine cushions are more compartments that can be ordered as chill boxes. Forward of the mezzanine in the second-row seat module are stowage compartments. Aboard the test boat, these included an electric grill, a sink and a flat-screen TV. Below the mezzanine, reached from the second row, is still more stowage, and a place to carry a helium tank or two for kite-fishing.
Amidships are side lockers for stowing four outfits per side and the dive-door ladder. Anglers will enjoy the 24-inch-wide walkways, 41 inches of freeboard, a recessed bow rail and a 186-gallon fish box. Built into the center lounge is a 40-gallon livewell. Both the port and starboard forward lounges, each with stowage below, end before reaching the bow, so there are no cushions to step on. The 10-inch-tall teak step provides good footing while still retaining 30 inches of freeboard.
To make sure everyone is comfortable, the first row of seating at the air-conditioned helm features four 19-inch Release Marine teak helm chairs with armrests, electric slides and flip-up bolsters. But the comfort does not stop there; you can order a second row of seating in either a four- or five-chair arrangement. With the latter, you can seat a party of nine. A second version of the V-55 trades the second-row seating for a U-shaped lounge with a power-actuated teak table that converts to a two-person berth.
A ProCurve glass windshield with a custom one-piece wraparound fiberglass frame provides undistorted visibility. The raised black dash accommodates three 22-inch Garmin 8622 multifunction displays. A Mercury MFD monitors the engines directly in front of the wheel. Single-lever Mercury controls are to starboard, along with the Mercury joystick and a SidePower electric bow-thruster joystick. Two banks of Bocatech 12-volt switches operate accessories.
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A sliding door that disappears into a pocket starboard of the helm leads below to reveal posh overnight accommodations that include a private stateroom with a walk-around queen bed, a 24-inch flat-screen TV, a Bomar overhead hatch, side windows, an enclosed head, and a separate fiberglass shower stall. A full-featured galley, a dinette that converts to a single bunk, a 32-inch flat-screen TV, and a pair of bunks aft make excellent use of the space.
The aft machinery room contains a Fischer Panda 15 kW generator, a Kuuma water heater, batteries and a pair of ProNautic charging systems, a Parker Pro Mini watermaker, and a Spot Zero water purifier.
From design to construction to performance to accommodations and fishability, Viking broke new ground with its Valhalla V-55. Coupled with outfitting from Palm Beach Towers and Atlantic Marine Electronics, the V-55 sets a new standard for supersize center-console fishing machines.
|3’1″ (engines up)
|1,211 gal. (gas), 49 gal. (gen. diesel)
|38,904 lb. (dry w/ power)
Valhalla Boatworks – Egg Harbor City, New Jersey; valhallaboatworks.com