For over fifty years, Hatteras Yachts has been synonymous with the strength and durability to survive the treacherous waters of Cape Hatteras for which they were named. Viking Yachts comes with a rich marine pedigree as robust as their Scandinavian namesake’s. If there were ever two companies ready to go to battle, it’s these two!
Hatteras builds 60, 70, 80 and 100 foot motor yachts in addition to a wide range of sport-fishing boats. The 100 and 70 share the same design language. I believe the 80 and 60 are soon to be revamped to match the design language across the product line.
The new Hatteras 100 has been a success, with the third unit delivered this week, however the 80 has not sold in the quantities that I would have expected. I think a big reason for this is a layout that makes the boat feel cramped for a yacht of this size. The company, has returned in many areas to using more traditional smaller dealerships, and I suspect sales will pick
The Hatteras showroom is in Fort Lauderdale and their shipyard is in New Bern, North Carolina.
Also weighing in with a half century of proud family ownership, in the “other corner,” we have Viking. Viking’s reputation was built in the sports-fishing arena, but they have been getting stronger, and building bigger in the motor yacht category. They have just introduced the Viking 75,’ their largest motor yacht to date, which they have built to compete directly with the Hatteras 80. Viking’s new 75MY is a strategic collaboration between their yacht design team and Michael Peters Yacht Design of Sarasota, Florida, and according to the company. “reflects a number of innovations and refinements in this portion of the market.”
So how does this new-comer really stack-up against the more venerable Hatteras 80?
Head to Head
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When you look at the above chart, it really is amazing just how similar these two boats are “measure for measure”. The Viking is billed as a 75, but is nearly as long as the Hatteras 80. Granted, the Hatteras is the somewhat bigger boat in total footage, but it weighs an additional 60,000 pounds more. That is a significant weight penalty, which is reflected in speed, draft and fuel burn. The flip side of that is that the Hatteras is a rock solid boat that is very conservatively built.
The ability to have an open or enclosed bridge on the Hatteras for now is a great option, and a bit of an advantage, but I see Viking making this an option soon on its boats as well. There is a big fuel capacity difference, which will really come into effect on long trips when you are running at high speeds burning a lot of fuel, however the Viking will still be more fuel efficient, due to its lighter weight. The optional engines on the Viking may turn on some buyers, who are into speed and power, and the Viking is a fresh design, while the Hatteras 80 came out in 2007.
For the most part, this size segment of the market has now largely gone to the Taiwanese builders, with North American builders that used to dominate, such as: Bertram, Lazzara, Burger, Pacific Mariner, Westship, Trinity, Queenship, Rayburn, having all fallen by the wayside.
Hatteras and Viking remain the only two major American yacht builders in this market and they will be duking it out for the future of the “Made in America” market share.
The Viking 75MY
Viking is already a dominate player in the sport-fishing field, with more than 50% of the market share, and they are coming on strong after Hatteras, which has dominated 70 -140’ in year-to-date motor yacht sales.
I think it is going to be a battle of style vs performance, with Hatteras continuing to build more conservative, heavy boats, with solid (non-cored) hulls, while Viking will continue to appeal to the younger buyer, with lighter, higher performance boats.
The Hatteras 80
However it all plays out, it will be an interesting battle to watch, and you can trust 26 North Yachts to be in your corner, no matter which of these two heavyweight contenders you are rooting for!