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35 Convertible sportfish--Pros and Cons?

Discussion in 'Viking Yacht' started by Rip, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. Rip

    Rip New Member

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    Lake Ontario
    Considering moving up to a Viking. Fishing is a priority, with liveaboard ability for weekends also a consideration. Heard they have a reputation of being rock solid, even in older hulls. What is the sight lines like from lower station while cruising in inclement weather. Any and all comments would be appreciated. thanks in advance.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Viking has always built a well built boat. I'm not familiar with the 35' but it should be a good choice. Visibility from a lower helm is slightly reduced, but how much depends on how bad the inclement weather is, but better then standing in the rain or cold.

    You can also look into older Bertrams, 35' Cabo's etc.......
  3. CapLady

    CapLady Senior Member

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    I'm not an authority by any means. However, I knew a few Vikings before 1990. They had much thinner fiberglass and I remember some hull to deck problems. The 1991 and newer boats were really great, like different boats.

    As said before, the 35 Bertrams are great boats.

    I think the Cabos are one of the best but $$$$$$! If you can afford one go for it.

    I saw a 1996 35 Egg Harbor with diesels on the big yacht sales website for sale that seemed like a good deal. It looked to be in great shape. You might want to check it out.
  4. Mark I

    Mark I Member

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    The 35s are solid boats. A close friend had one before he went to a 41. Here are a few observations.

    Solid ride but a dog with gassers. Look for diesels. I think many had cats.

    As for cruising comforts, the V berths were a bit short and the toilet is in the shower. Neither are favorites of mine.

    I don't know about the older ones, but the ones that I have seen were glassed in below and only had a flybridge helm.

    My .02
  5. Rip

    Rip New Member

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    Thank you very much for the responses. Mark, I know they are dogs just by looking at the weight with just a pair of 454's in them. The original literature says 18knot cruise. Anyone know if its accurate? My thoughts would be to re-power in the near future with a pair of EFI 8.1's, and possibly re-prop. I know 3 owners of 18,000--20,000 lb boats that went to these in their Viking express, Egg harbor, and Tiara open. All of them had 454's and now they are seeing a 20-30% improvement in economy and cruise speeds. Anyone else have observations or comments. Just so much unknown up here on the greatlakes with diesel. Can't get it in every harbor, mechanics are not always available, and of course the slow trolling requires valves.
    Thank you in advance
  6. Mark I

    Mark I Member

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    Rip,

    I can't speak definitively but I know that he was not able to cruise at 18. I believe it was a kt or two below. At the time, I had a Trojan F36 with 454s and he could not keep up at my regular cruise and at his it seemed painfully slow to me.

    I think you are right about the improvements in an engine upgrade. Not sure about 30% but I'm told it is significant.

    There is a guy with the handle Viking76 on two other boating forums who has done the gas upgrade. He may be informative. I don't think I can mention those forums here so do a google search.

    Good luck.
  7. VntViking

    VntViking New Member

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    RIP,
    I have a 1980 35' Convertible that I fish and cruise. She's a comfortable overnightr and weekender, and we have spent 3 weeks on her cruising from NJ to Maryland/Chesapeake Bay and back very comfortably. The toilet is not in the shower on this year/model.
    I have the galley-up model, and there is not a lower station, although it was available. I find if the weather is too 'inclement' to operate from the enclosed flybridge, I'll just stay in the marina. Having said that, mine has glass windshield. After 1985 they were glassed in. Visibility is adequate from inside while cruising, but limited. As I said, I prefer topsides. The flybridge is setup tournament-style, with the helm station toward the aft of the flybridge, to afford good visibility of the cockpit wile fighting fish. But the visibility forward is excellent and unobstructed.

    Mine came with the original gas 454's. I opted not to change to the 8.1's, as this would have required different tranny, shaft and prop changes. My research for 8.1's didn't produce 20% increases in performance so I didnt see the benefit. I rebuilt the carburated 454's top to bottom and have no problem cruising @ 18kts. She'll top out at 27kts, but you won't pass many fuel docks at that rate. She's not built for speed, but she does ride nice for us.

    I opted not to diesel the boat. My wife gets very ill from diesel fumes, and just the sound of a diesel sets her off. Knowing that gas was the engine I needed, I chose the 35 as the largest boat of her size/weight that I felt would perform to my needs with gas engines. Plus she can still be handled solo. Keeping it gas/carbed means it is rather simple for me to run and maintain. Problem was most of the mechanics were younger than the carb technology. But once I got the carbs set up correctly, I got the above results. Yeah, the fuel use is higher than diesel, but I didn't feel the economics of the additional diesel costs would work for us. Boat went 29 years and 1100 hours on those 454's. I'll be happy to repeat that with the freshened engines.

    All in all, I find the 35 a great boat. A little on the heavy side, but I like that feeling underneath me. She suits our current needs, and I hope to take longer cruises with her. Let me know if you need any other information.
  8. Rip

    Rip New Member

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    Thank you very much for the responses, I really appreciate it. One of the comparables I was looking at was the F-36 Trojan. Yes, they are 4,000 lbs lighter, but in that era that just meant less glass. Seems they have more stringer/structural issues. Any additional info would be appreciated. Glad you enjoy your 1980 35c. And Mark, I really appreciate that lead on the other post regarding re-powering.
    Spring is here!
  9. Mark I

    Mark I Member

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    RIP,

    I had a 1984 F36. Great boat for what it is. Yes built much lighter than a Viking but the result is faster and more fuel efficient. I had the lower helm but can honestly say that in four years I only piloted from there once.

    Stringers are a concern but not as much as on the 32 where the issues were major. The stringers were glassed except for areas that are cut out to allow bilge water to move around. There were rot issues there. Pay specific attention to the areas under the motor mounts.

    The boats were pretty much built with off the shelf parts so you could pick up almost anything in a marine store or Home Depot.

    I did alot of upgrading on the boat while I had it and I have to say that I had no regrets. It is a good boat for what it is. As I said, in relatively calm water my friend's 35 could not keep up. In a sea however it was a completely different story. Then I would be running in his wake.

    Good luck.
  10. rudolph

    rudolph New Member

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    35 convertible

    RIP,

    Check out the 37 Bertram. I have one ( 1990) and they are great. I purchased mine in 1991 ( new left over) and still have it! Try for one with cat 3208s. No lower helm but with an enclosure you don't need one.
  11. Rip

    Rip New Member

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    Thanks everyone. Lots of knowledgeable people on this forum. I am very close on an older, Freshwater Viking. My new question is, does it vary from hauler to hauler how much Flying bridge has to be taken down? Certainly Top and sides, but does the helm itself HAVE to be removed? It is a 35c. Any tips on hauling, and suggestions on who to talk to in the Great Lakes states?

    Thanks in advance.
  12. Mark I

    Mark I Member

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    Rip,

    Congrats and good luck.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, some have lower trailers than others. Sometimes you can tilt the bow up, to get the helm lower in relation to the trailer......stuff like that......
  14. Rip

    Rip New Member

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    Thanks Mark. The adventure is just beginning. How did the vintage Viking club end up? Love to participate in that. Hoping to survey and sea-trial next week. Now I'm exploring all the hauling options.
  15. VntViking

    VntViking New Member

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    It depends on the hauler as well as the route he would take. I know when I purchased mine I looked into moving her over the road. Two haulers tld me the Helm had to come off, for insurance purposes, since it would be too close to the DOT requirements for height. I don't profess to know diddly about DOT requirements; but I did know that there's alot of work (and expense) in removing and reinstalling the flybridge
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It's actually not as bad as everyone seems to think. Removing it could be done in 2 days with 2 guys most likely. It depends on how much stuff was added (electronics) etc....... and if the boat has a hardtop instead of a Bimini, that adds even more work.
  17. Rip

    Rip New Member

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    Well, I own a '78 35Viking C. Really appreciate all the info here. I am fairly certain I will cruise it from Lake Michigan to Lake Ontario this June. The hauling quotes havent been that favorable, and quite frankly, tearing down and re-installing the bridge looks daunting.
    The boat will be added to my Salmon fishing charterboat fleet, and I have the luxury of not having to rush it into service.
    I am details oriented, and have learned a ton already that I would share with other owners. Looking forward to learning from all of you as well.
    Anyone who has made this voyage, "around the horn" in the Great Lakes? Any tips would be appreciated. Thank You in advance
  18. Cap10Pat

    Cap10Pat New Member

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    Congratulations! Nice boat.
    So, did you get a lower station? Could be on a 78.
    I too think a repower with the 8.1s would be great on this boat. The lower HP version (385?) would be good for most power ranges. You would need new trannys, shafts and props. There could be some helm gauge issues too.
    Great boat for the Lakes. Enjoy
  19. phildehazya

    phildehazya New Member

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    new EFI motors

    Hi there- just my 2 cents-although efficient, all those electronics can be troublesome. I have an 8.1 horizon MerCruiser motor installed brand new in 2002 by previous owner. I bought the boat with 80 hrs on the engine in late 2004. Ive put less than 250 hrs on it since then and Ive had 2 episodes of sensor failure (temp and water pressure) which puts the motor into a so-called safe mode (as defined by MerCruiser) . The motor will only run at approx 1000 rpm until the problem is fixed. Even though water flow and temp were normal, I was still incapacitated. Not fun on a windy day with a current running miles from the dock. To my (limited) knowledge, no way to override "safe" mode. Beware of aluminum exhaust manifolds as well- these both rotted out on my motor last season even though I flush my engine w/ fresh water after use. The water passages were clear as new-no salt acumulation at all. MerCruiser no longer supplies AL, but cast iron right after they realized the material was totally wrong for the application. When I asked them to cover the cost for new cast iron manifolds, they said take a hike. This is the last MC product I will own. BTW, it always starts.

    PD
  20. Viking76

    Viking76 New Member

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    I own a 35 convertable sport fish, repowered it 3 years ago with 8.1L Cursaders (385HP). I am very happy with the results. Performance went up appox 30% - fuel burn down & cruise speed up. Needed new trans (ZF/Hurth) and new props.

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