Bad Company 60′ Viking built for West Coast Marlin fishing.
When it comes to west coast marlin fishing, the game is played a little differently than almost anywhere else in the world. Sight fishing for bills using live bait along with run and gun tactics complement trolling in this big game world. If you want to play with the best you better design a boat to outrun and outgun the best, and that’s what the Bad Company Edition Viking is made to do. It combines the incredible east coast tradition and performance of Viking Yachts with over 100 years of west coast tournament fishing experience and makes for one killer boat design.
Utilizing new tooling, including Viking’s million dollar 5 axis profiler along with almost 2000 hours of research, design and engineering, Team Bad Company and Viking Yachts created one of the best sportfishers to ever get wet. With direction from Team Bad Company owner Anthony Hsieh, Team Bad Company Captain Steve Lassley and the rest of both teams, designs were refined until the boat that they desired went from dream to reality. Captain Lassley told me that they could “never repay Viking for the opportunity and support in designing the new boats.”
At the 2008 Miami Boat Show, two of the instigators behind this sportfishing beast, Captains Steve Lassley and Peter Grossbeck took me around hull number 5, a 60-foot Bad Company Edition Viking and gave my camera and I full run of the boat from bilge to bridge and way above. Smooth lines and an attention to detail greeted me at every turn.
The heart of any serious fishing operation sits at the center of action and on the Bad Company edition, that center could double for the CIC on a battleship. The helm station that Captain Lassley designed is flanked by well situated master controls for the radar, electronics and power plant on the right and a Furuno CH-37 Phased Array 360-degree sonar monitoring all that happens below from the left. This sector scan sonar is one of the features designed into the Bad Company Edition and represents a new era in electronics. The controls on the right are carefully thought out allowing easy access to the most used tools while the compartment can be half closed to cover and protect the less often used items.
While leaving unexcelled visibility forward, three 17-inch full color Furuno displays offer traditional readouts from GPS, Radar, and fishfinders along with night vision and real-time camera feeds from throughout the boat. Communication between crew in the cockpit or tower is achieved through headsets to ensure that nothing is missed.
Maneuverability at the dock or on the ocean is well served from the Release Marine captain’s chair with all controls easy and comfortable to reach. To move in tight spaces the controls are aided by a bow thruster – the controls sitting at the captain’s thumb tips on either throttle. Engine readouts, autopilot controls and radios are housed in a drop down box above, leaving them easy to view and use from the captain’s position on the bridge.
The helm is flanked on the right by a second captain’s chair while built in seating and compartments ring the outside of the bridge. Cabinets are molded into every available space leaving plenty of room for dry storage while the seating remains comfortable for a number of guest or crew. Bridge teaser reels are tucked away in the fiberglass hard top in perfect position for the captain to control as a hungry billfish comes charging the spread
Several Steps Above
High above the bridge in the custom designed tower of the Bad Company Edition visibility is concern number one. You can see for miles in any direction, while at the same time comfort for long days of sight fishing and complete control of the boat are maintained as a top priority. Antennas, hardware, and tower structure itself is all moved to the back so that crew members can scan unobstructed to the sides, covering as wide a swath of water as is possible. Captain Lassley made the advantage clear, stating “I want my crew scanning the water to the sides, if the fish are in front of us we’ll run into them anyway.” With the miles of visibility, tools like the Fraser-Volpe stabilized binoculars offer and an unobstructed view, a crew can cover a track which is miles wide.
Long days of looking for surfaced fish and telltale fins through high-power stabilized binoculars can be tough on the guys spotting from up high. The Bad Company Team knew this all too well and designed innovative ergonomic features into the tower design. The crewmembers on either side of the three man tower have locking seats and bolster padding around the tower frame looking them into a comfortable position to scan miles of open water looking for thebite.
The custom tower offers most of the traditional advantages along with the great new features. The boat can be run from the tower which is furnished with full controls and an independent electronics interface and display. Visibility aft while trolling is also accommodated by a center position with an unobstructed view of everything happening in the spread and cockpit. A final detail sure to be a crew favorite is a freshwater washdown piped into the tower to make cleaning the high perch a breeze.
First Class Fishing
Live bait rules the world when you’re casting to striped marlin or slowtrolling for their larger cousins. To facilitate this style, the Bad Company Edition is set up with the live-well capacity of a west coast long range boat. A unique custom seawater valve system allows 3 built-in bait tanks and plumbing for more, to be tuned to the individual flows each different bait type’s needs. The valve system also helps convert the transom tank into a home for 11 trolling sized tuna.
The first stop is in that transom tank where a 120 gallon tank is plumbed from the custom designed valve system for a set off 11 removable tuna tubes. Two 8-inch and nine 6-inch tubes keep the valuable trolling baits lively for their turn in the spread but can be removed to accommodate other live baits in 120 gallons of open space.
Flanking the mezzanine in the forward corners of the cockpit along the bulkhead is a pair of 100 gallon bait tanks allowing crews to keep different baits in optimum condition. Since at times the run and gun style finds anglers taking advantage of the clean bow to cast baits, the Bad Company Edition is plumbed to allow placement of another portable tank up front to keep the crew in live baits.
When the time comes to switch from striped marlin to grander blacks, the cockpit is designed and ready to battle a tournament title fish. A fully rigged Release Marine fighting chair centers the cockpit to anchor a big fight. Triple spreader outriggers stretch wide to pull a wide pattern of plastics or to get those bullet tuna out of the tubes and in front of some fish. The detailed cockpit with retractable utilities, clean storage, and top level craftsmanship leave an easy to manage space perfect for times when multiple hook-ups have lines stretched in all directions. As yet another fine detail for this special edition, even the rod holders were custom, sporting the BCE initials.
A custom stainless steel bow rail allows angler easy and safe mobility to the bow where fishing functionality comes through with every detail. All cleats drop flush with the deck for easy mobility and to prevent anything from interfering with the fishing. The bow pulpit is covered and the rails are secure so that casters can fire from a secure perch designed for just that purpose. One other forward-thinking feature is the inclusion of plumbing for a bow bait tank and a freshwater line to facilitate easy cleaning up front, after a chaotic bite creates carnage
Life in Style
Outside in the sun, this boat is all about fishing hard, but the interior is nothing less than spectacular, as is the tradition from Viking. Well-finished hardwoods adorn most surfaces and are complimented by granite countertops. Four staterooms see the same attention to detail as one moves forward. Custom upholstery adds to the aesthetic appeal and detailed finishes. Air conditioning keeps the interior cool even when fishing in equatorial waters and flat screen televisions hug the walls for unobtrusive entertainment when the fishing day ends.
Upon entering the salon, a large L-shaped seating area to starboard invites people to take a well deserved rest. Forward on the port side is a fully functioning U-shaped galley with bar seating on the salon side. On the starboard side a dinette seats up to six for a quiet meal or night of tournament planning. Along the port side of the salon, cabinetry is in keeping with the first class design and workmanship of Viking and the Bad Company Team, clean and well thought out.<br><br>
Moving down the companionway and forward, the Master Stateroom sits nestled into the bow with flat screen TV’s and a private head. A pair of staterooms featuring plush bunks stand off the starboard side of the companionway while a second guest stateroom with private head is located on the port side just forward of the galley. A common head and shower is also located off the starboard side of the companionway and is appointed like the rest of the interior with granite tops, hardwood cabinetry and first class fixtures. One last touch was found hidden behind a closet door on the port side where a full washer and dryer were tucked in to help you keep the wardrobe clean when the boat is far from home.
The soul of this 60-foot Bad Company Edition is a pair of C32A Caterpillar diesels pushing out 1825 horsepower each. These monster engines push the 60-foot Viking at a 33-knot cruise with more power in reserve to push the boat easily over the 40-knot mark. In the engine room these powerplants have a home in style as attention to detail and clean building didn’t stop when going below. The first thing to notice was the sheer size of the space and the ease of maintenance that it offered. There will be no muttering or frustration when it comes time to change the oil filters on these monster engines as everything has easy access and the room is well lit at all angles
Along with the big diesels pushing this monster up to speed, the other mechanical systems were well located, easy to maintain and top of the line. A pair of Onan e-QD diesel generators provide for the power needs while out at sea and multiple Cruisair units keep the crew comfortable day and night. Everything from the on-board tool chest to the ever important power control system is easy to locate and service. Compared to the tight, cramped engine spaces where I’ve spent far too much time, this seemed like the Taj Mahal.
Fueling the generators and the C32A’s is 1620 gallons of onboard diesel. At the 33-knot cruise I was told that the boat burns about 100 gallons per hour meaning a comfortable range of well over 1000 nautical miles. Also in the onboard tanks resides 300 gallons of fresh water for the comfort of the crew and for cleaning up when a shore side hookup isn’t available. This of course supplements the output of the onboard Aqua Matic reverse osmosis desalinator
The Total Package
From top to bottom there is nary a detail that has been overlooked. The combination of a powerful and historic company like Viking Yachts and the experience of Team Bad Company and Crows Nest Yachts on the west coast has produced a gem in the sportfishing market. Thoughtfully designed and detailed to perfection, this is the boat to be in when you set your sights on big fish or big-money tournaments.
The Bad Company Edition is an option on any of the numerous Viking hulls of open bridge, express or enclosed bridge models. Different Bad Company Edition options are also available for those creating a custom Viking Yacht so you can use all of the custom features or select ones that suit your own needs
Article by Bryan Rose