New Gretna, New Jersey, sportfish builder Viking Yachts in September launched the 38 Open Billfish, which joins the 37 Billfish, 38 Billfish and 46 Billfish in the ever-expanding Billfish lineup. We were onsite at the launch event in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to get a closer look.
Plenty of anglers will no doubt enjoy the no-nonsense, hose-down, teak-free style of the 38 Open’s deck plan, which features a vast, 109-square-foot cockpit with twin aft-facing mezzanine seats and a comfy bridge deck sporting two L-shaped lounges and twin Release swiveling captain’s chairs behind an expansive wraparound windshield. Our review boat had a gorgeously crafted two-tier tuna tower with upper helm.
The belowdecks spaces are highlighted by Viking’s legendary teak joinery work. I always challenge myself to find a flaw in Viking’s cabinetry and interior woodwork and in 20 years of crawling around these boats have never found one. There’s a large port-side galley with twin pull-out refrigerator/freezers, two-burner electric stovetop, microwave, sink and plenty of stowage cabinetry.
Abaft of the galley to port is an enclosed head with separate shower stall that’s roomy for any boat under 40 feet. Adjacent to the head is a long, bench-style lounge seat, while farther forward in the bow are twin offset sleeping berths. Everything is thoughtfully placed. When you look for an electrical outlet, light switch, or drawer pull, those components are always seemingly right where your hand wants to go.
Romping around the choppy Atlantic Ocean, the 38 Open behaved like all Vikings do, showing off her soft landings and smooth wave transitions. She was maneuverable, too, utilizing a steering that turns each rudder independently from the other. In a port turn, the inboard turned as much as 20 degrees more than the outboard rudder, allowing us to turn as if we were in a much smaller vessel. The twin 550-hp Cummins diesels pushed us up to 37.4 knots at 99 percent load and cruised nicely around 30 knots at 75 percent load.
The 38 Open should appeal to a wide range of buyers, especially those looking for luxury and comfort below, and a simple, no-fuss fishing layout on deck. The fish won’t know what hit them.
LOA : 38'8"
Displacement: 30,953 lbs.
Fuel: 460 gals.
Water: 69 gals.
Power: (2) 550-hp Cummins diesels