Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Robert Fawcett, Nov 30, 2017.
Need to hear from owners of these yachts as to their reliability.
Reliability how? I've run several Princess yachts. Their gelcoat has a VERY nice shine to it, they ride fairly well, build quality is average or above average BUT definitely a step below Sunseeker in ride, performance, and build quality. When comparing UK boats.
The sliding door from the helm to the Saloon is a PIA to work on when the rollers fail or screws start coming up into the tracks.
Managed a 58 for a while with V12 MANS.
Skinny room between them. A/C pump & strainer was down between them. Another PIA to service.
Some additional breakers hidden behind the breaker panel. ie; A/C pump breaker.
Nice trim and fit. Ran well, level & straight in a sloppy chop.
Oh, Strange shaft and prop nuts. Looked normal but the nuts kept jamming and gnawing on removal. Squared end, metric thread.
We feel the metal in the shaft was strange and distorting threads between the two prop nuts.
Boat went back north several years ago and owner moved up.
I do miss her, fun to drive and the interior was finely done.
Brands have different characteristics over the years. Most haven't even been under the same ownership. It would really help if the OP would indicate what time period he's talking about and then poster's indicate the same.
Isn’t saying the Viking Princesses indicate a time period?
I have a 50 ft Viking Princess flybridge that I bought 9 years ago, and the boat was 9 years old when we bought her. We have taken the boat from the Chesapeake to S. Fl and back several times and at least 15 trips throughout the Bahamas. We have covered about 25,000 miles and typically spend 80 nights or more a year on the boat.
By now I have replaced most of the electronics due to age, the ice maker, one refrigerator, canvas and other consumables. Items like the auto pilot pump and ram or a leaking line on the upper helm steering pump were replaced, but most of these were done at the first sign of a leak or wear and were replaced proactively and has been a key to having a reliable boat.
I would say the boat has been very reliable and only one trip was messed up due to a failed fuel injection pump, so not really a problem due to Viking Princess. Key reliability points have been the electrical system. I find the entire circuit breaker layout and wiring to have been well organized and never had a single electrical problem other than I replaced the original main contactor when I first got the boat as it had a slight buzz that turned out to be from a 50 Hz breaker in a 60 Hz application, and has been silent since.
The plumbing is all Hans Grohe and is all original and nothing leaks. The port holes are all Trend and none of them have ever leaked. Things like windlass, AC systems, bow thruster, vacuflush etc. are all quality products and have been very reliable. I did have to replace the holding tank a few years ago.
My model allows access to all simple engine checks, fuel filters, and fluid changes directly from the engine room hatch. For anything more involved I easily role up the salon carpet and in 10 minutes the floor comes up for complete standup access to the engines. This is well engineered on my model.
I have had my props on and off many times and never had a problem with the nuts. I did lap the nuts and props so they seat properly and on my model a standard hardened shaft material was used. I did replace the rollers on my salon sliding glass window which was easy and has been flawless since (Viking had the replacement parts in stock). I did have my entire set of front windows resealed, but I think that is normal as a boat gets 15 plus years old.
Viking Sport Cruiser parts in New Jersey is very helpful and one of the reasons I went with this manufacturer. They will contact Princess, get factory drawings, have access to the build sheets and have a nice stock of model specific parts.
Regarding ride, I find the 21 degree transom deadrise, with a sharp entry and an especially sharp forefoot to make the boat handle well in chop and following seas. We have hit rough weather many times and I find the boat to inspire confidence.
Guess it narrows it down, but that was a long period too.
Could it be British standard thread ? There is British pipe and standard ,they have 55 degree pitch compared to 60 degree pitch in American threads. And of course there are Metric threads also.
The machine shop commented on the thread pitch when they made the new nuts. Years later now, I can't remember what the final figure was. I'm sure it was just square end and metric.
Can't be pipe threads, as those are tapered, and wouldn't allow the nuts to seat the prop correctly onto the taper of the prop shaft.
I believe they are a special British thread. I did replace a shaft once and we had to cut the end off and send it off to ensure the correct threads were used. Mine has a castellated nut with a pin, not a lock nut. And clearly they are not a pipe type thread.
So, I am in the market for a new to me 48 - 50' Sedan Bridge style boat.... Is the Viking Princess on par in quality with 'VIKING'? Said differently, I was shying away from looking at those because of them being British - (no offense, of course). But based on this short conversation, perhaps I should reconsider? Most European electric is in 50Hz - Is this a concern? Thanks!
The Viking sport cruiser/Princesses were made for the American market. All Viking sport cruisers have 60 hz electrical systems and all of my appliances, AC, etc are 60 hz systems. I believe the Viking/Princess models to be well built and better than most all US made boats in this size range and type (flybridge sport cruiser) except for Hatteras but I am unsure if they made 50 ft boats in this time frame
I think the British built Sunseekers, Viking Princess and Fairlines are all well made. The best depends year to year. You really need to spend time on each brand in the years you are interested. Key things to look at are plumbing hardware, stainless steel quality, salon sliding door quality, window frames, port holes, interior door and drawer hardware, head and bow thruster quality, holding and fuel tank manufacture etc also look at bulk head design and stringer layout and strength.
As I said above our model has very well engineered engine room access but this undoubtedly varies by by model and year. In my personal opinion, I prefer the Viking/princess layout almost always over the other British manufacturers, but this is a matter of personal preference. Our current choice for a next boat is the 68 princess because we love the open large salon designs from princess/Viking
With regards to Viking quality, I've never owned one or spent much time on one. These are also very different regarding cruising versus a hardcore fishing machine. I have found the factory support in new Greta NJ to be excellent even for my now 18 year old boat
Thank you very much! Are you selling your 50?
Do you know if the Hull is all glass or Balsa cored?
I'm looking at Cruisers 5000, Sea Ray 48 Sedan Bridge, Silverton 45C. I like the Silverton because of the glass hull... I don't like coring in the hull. Both the Cruisers and Sea Ray are fulled cored. So, if the Princess is solid, it will be a contender....
BTW Silver Lining - where on the Chesapeake are you? I'm on Magothy River.
My history proves I'm not a big SeaRay fan. Lots here do luv them. However, I have managed a few.
I have punched a few holes in the bottom of a SR 58 Sedan Bridge, The hull bottom was not cored where we installed an extra water intake and transducer near the keel, for & after engine room areas.
I'm not sure where the coring begins but assume like U.S. Vikings, at the water line up.
I was impressed with one 58 Viking/Princes with mechanical V12 MANS. The saloon door and some other issues did prove to be a pain but the ship did preform well.
Nice saloon with a wonderful inlaid deck design.
Our 50 Viking sport cruiser is solid glass. No coring in the hull at all. Only in the decking. Bottom is solid glass with well done bulk head and stringer system and hull sides are solid glass with ribs and obviously thinner than hull bottom. No soft spots anywhere in decking. We did look at the sea ray 48 and removed it from our list because of the coring. Ours is not for sale for another few years.
I share your same concerns over coring. But having said that the Viking sport fishes are all cored as are the new larger Princesses. For me, this remains a potential deal breaker, but layup methods have improved over the years
We have our boat in Florida right now. The last couple of times we had our boat on the Chesapeake we stayed at the BMC Lighthouse point in the inner harbor
What age of boat are you looking into. Princess have existed since the late sixties, in the eighties and the partnering with Bernard Olesinski (the ride improved) as did the quality.
Bernard Olesinski is still with Princess and has in recent years (around 2012/13) signed an exclusive agreement with the company for medium to med-large sizes from 10 to 25 meters.
In 2011 the company was sold to LV group, they moved into fully Cored Diab method around 2014/15 transition starting in 2013.
My 2002 Princess Flybridge 45 was originally sold by Blue Water Yacht Sales.
They still seem to do a lot of Princess business in Maryland and Virginia.
I bought the boat in 2016 from Walczak Yacht Brokerage.
Originally known as Third Daughter, she later became Riverdance.
She was owner Bill Walczak's personal boat for 3 years.
His inside knowledge of the brand, would make him
an excellent choice as your buyer broker for a Princess.
Despite the endless maintenance that comes with all older boats,
I have no complaints about the quality, design or performance of my Princess.
After 16 years, this boat still has the p-zazz of a 5 year old.