Reception Desk – starting point (Bathroom check?) Viking Yacht Company is a world renowned leader of high performance luxury sportfishing yachts. The company began on April Fool’s Day, April 1, 1964; it has shaped its legacy and reputation over the past 48 years through ever improving and innovating designs, product dependability and superior construction. Building a better boat everyday is Viking Yacht Company owner and President Bill Healey’s passion and this goal is accomplished through what Viking likes to refer to as the 90% factor. On this tour you will see that virtually 90% of the parts and components that go into building our yachts are manufactured here in this plant by Viking craftsmen. Except for major components such as engines, propellers and appliances, almost everything is made on site. We are standing in Building One which amongst other departments houses the administrative offices. Down this hall you will find: Point down the hall to
In 2001 Viking undertook a huge change in its accountability with a new software program. We have one computer system that brings all the Viking companies together under a standardized process of collecting and distributing relevant data. Work orders are standardized and supervisors realize a 40% savings in chasing paper. Real time costs eliminated low profit margins and warranty costs have been reduced by 35%. Where Viking once relied on islands of information coming from individual departments, now all businesses merge as one collective entity. Viking was recognized for its efforts in obtaining significant operational improvements and overall business performance enhancements by finishing in the Top 10 of 25,000 entrants in the prestigious In Focus Awards. Not only is Viking known as a world class manufacturer but also as having a committed and talented workforce that truly understands its mission to deliver a superior yacht in a timely and cost effective fashion.
Viking’s Marketing Department is responsible for creating ad campaigns for targeted marine publications. As well as working with editors to feature Vikings on the covers and introduce new model stories in the edit, this group also coordinates photo shoots, brochures, our web site, social media campaigns, interviews, tours, and produces Valhalla, Viking’s own award winning magazine that comes out twice a year.
Engineering and Design
Thousands of hours go into the development of every new Viking Yacht and tens of thousands of hours go into the countless number of decisions that must be addressed before a new project gets underway. In today’s build process, engineers are working concurrently with designers to bring a project to fruition. The development of a new model typically takes nine to 12 months from initial discussions to production. Head down stairs
In 1995 the relationship between Viking and Princess Yachts, out of Plymouth, England, was formed to bring the luxury cruising yacht to the States with Viking standards.
As we continue on you will see the offices at the end of the hall. These offices belong to plant engineering. Our plant engineering department works on any new projects on the drawing board, along with projects needed for general plant maintenance. The addition of the waste treatment facility, our solar panel project and the construction of building 2N was steered by this group. As the Viking Yacht Company continues to grow and “build a better boat everyday,” plant engineering plays an important part in this goal.
Walking through the plant and facility you will often see bikes and racks. This quickens transportation throughout our 810,000 square feet of manufacturing space spread out over 52 acres. It is a green method of transportation as well as a time saver.
Plant Overview picture on wall
The original building is what we are now standing in, this is Building One. Building One was originally built in 1962 as a storage prior to Viking Yachts owning the facility. Today the upper floor houses the administrative side while the lower floor is home to the metal shop, machine shop, R&D, paint shops, and warehouse. In 1980 a second Building was erected parallel to where we are standing. Today this houses our hull molds and production lines. Building Three was added in 1984 and is our Wood Mill. Building Four was added in 1998 and shortly after there was an addition to it making Building 4A. Today all the small parts construction takes place there, housing and using over 1,000 active molds. We added onto Building 2 in 2002, creating Building 2A (the tall part up front), to accommodate finishing and rigging. Building 5 was established in 2004 and the Make-Ready and Service Departments do a lot of work in this lofty space especially in the winter time. With our latest addition to the building, an 80â€™x45â€™ fully enclosed spray booth, this area has become an extremely busy one. 2007 brought about 20,000 square feet in Building 5A, specifically designed as a weather protected area for boat finishing. 5A features 55 feet of vertical clearance which easily engulfs a Viking equipped with a tower and still room to spare. This makes for an ideal locale to not only service boats but our dock crew as well. In 2008 Building 2N was constructed by combining Buildings One and Two in order to make larger production lines since boats were getting bigger
and stressing the production lines in place. This immense addition is home to Production Lines One and Two and added 130,000 square feet of manufacturing space, increasing Vikingâ€™s total square footage to 810,000 square feet across the facility and improving the overall manufacturing efficiencies. With over 55 feet of clearance at the end of this building, it provides more than enough room to accommodate a massive 82 foot convertible. It also houses a 6,500 square-foot multi-purpose room, and added freight and passenger elevators for transporting parts and supplies between the various mezzanine levels. One of our most recent additions is the Waste Treatment Plant. This system was designed to provide full waste treatment service to the entire Viking facility as well as the Viking Yachting Center by utilizing a membrane bioreactor technology so that the waste can be recycled as gray water to allow for drastic reductions in operating costs. This treatment plant can process up to 25,000 gallons per day!
Viking Yacht Companyâ€™s medical department provides exceptional primary and preventative care to Viking employees as well as their families. Improving access to care enhances early detection of illness and leads to better outcomes and quality of life. Some of the numerous services offered are annual and sports physicals, illness visits, care of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and labs are drawn on-site. Adult vaccines including tetanus and flu shots are also offered.
The Human Resource department carries many responsibilities to both the company and its employees. HR recruits and builds the workforce with the best talent for the applicable trades or skills. They work daily on resolving issues for employees with an open door policy allowing for a positive work environment leading to each employee contributing to the success of the company. Walk towards machine shop Now we are out in the working plant. Please make sure your safety glasses are on as we strictly abide by occupational safety and health standards.
Thousands of parts go into the construction of a Viking Yacht and nearly 90% of those components are fabricated right here. And nowhere is the 90% factor more apparent than in our Machine and Metal Departments. These two shops annually transform over 100,000 pounds of aluminum and other metals into over 85,000 manufactured parts, which range from a radar mast to a generator shelf. Distribution Panel
The distribution panel is created in house. Viking uses all half inch copper in the construction of this panel to help ensure all connections are made properly. The more surface contact a wire can have, the better it will perform. Fadal Machine/3 Axis Milling Machine
This is one piece of equipment that has paid large dividends. The CNC self-enclosed, steel and aluminum milling machine has 30 separate tools and is capable of manufacturing dozens of components specifically designed to fit Viking Yachts. A good example is the aluminum steering manifold blocks used on hydraulic steering control systems; the Fadal takes a solid block of aluminum, bores in the appropriate holes where needed and then taps and threads each hole, all in a matter of minutes.
Building these components has several significant benefits, the most obvious being quality control. Other manufacturers rely on outside companies to build their components. Viking uses in-house unified QC measures for each part built on the premises. If irregularities are present they are discovered early and rectified. Another advantage is the companyâ€™s ability to better control costs by not having to rely on outside vendors. Being self-reliant allows us to build components that seamlessly match the design and contours of each boat. This also allows us to better keep our delivery schedule.
Every year, anodized piping is bent, welded and manipulated by skilled technicians into a wide range of items such as hardtop supports, bow rails, cockpit ladders, radar arches, fender racks, and numerous other components that make each Viking a work-of-art.
This is also where Vikingâ€™s famous powder-coated structural steel I-beam engines beds, which are specifically designed to harness the tremendous power of todayâ€™s diesel engines. These engine beds not only provide superior strength, but are designed to deaden vibrations and evenly distribute engine thrust and weight while still providing superb engine access. This is a nice example of Vikingâ€™s focus on functional design, quality and cost awareness. Bow Rails
Moving on we come to the bow rail area. Here we manufacture all of the aluminum bow rails for a new Viking. We have templates set for the different models so we can consistently fabricate the same bow rail for each model. Custom rails can also be fabricated here and different materials such as polished aluminum are also an option.
Hard Tops Now we can see the hardtop area. This is where all â€œVikingâ€? hardtop rings and legs are fabricated and assembled. Again much like the bow rails, we use templates that simulate the flybridge of a specific model of our boat. This allows the fabricators to build a consistent hardtop that fits each model. The fiberglass tops are constructed in our small parts area which we will see later.
(watch your head!) Different dips
The first thing you notice in our paint shop is our dip tanks. These tanks each hold different dips which our metal products need in order to become ready for paint and powder coating. These steps are necessary in order to create a usable surface for the paint/powder coating to stick to.
Powder Coat Booth
Now that the parts to be powder coated have been dipped and rinsed it is time for the powder coating process to begin. The parts are hung from a rail system and pushed into the powder coating booth. An electrical charge is applied to the parts. This charge is only enough to hold the proper amount of powder to the part, and any additional powder will fall from the part. Once the proper amount has been applied the parts are pushed into the oven where they will bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. (pause for laughter) Liquid Paint Booth The paint booth is where we spray the parts that can not be powder coated due to heat such as pumps and other accessories you may find in the engine room and throughout the boat. Head down long hallway â€“ leave Building One and continue to Building Three
When you board a Viking for the first time, one feature that instantly catches your eye is the exquisite woodwork found throughout the boat. The Viking Mill touches every piece of wood on every yacht that leaves this facility. Spray booth
Here is the wood finish spray booth area. All of our teak veneer wood products will be sent into these spray booths. They will go through several steps before they are ready to go into the boat. First they will be sprayed with the isolante or iso, which is used as a base material. This also helps keep the oils in the wood which allows their natural beauty to shine through. The parts are then removed, sanded, and prepped for the next coat. 850 is our second coat on these parts. The 850 is used as a filler coat and fills all of the grain in the wood making the parts smooth. Again sanding is required before the next step which is the top coat. This coat is either our satin or gloss finish and is sprayed in an entirely different booth from the iso and 850 in order to keep contamination to a minimum. If the top coat is satin, the part is complete after spraying. If it is a glossy finish, then a minor sanding and polishing is needed in order to remove any waves in the finish and bring about a high gloss shine.
Moving through the Mill we now come to sub-assembly area. Here is where all of the â€œunitsâ€? are constructed and assembled. These units include entire staterooms, heads, and pantry areas. All of the units are built outside the vessel and installed later on the line, item by item. This includes all of the door and drawer catches, drawer runners and boxes, and outlet and light switches cut in. All joints are both glued and attached with biscuits and wherever possible fiberglass tabs are installed for additional joint strength. All of the units are prepared for the installation into the vessel with tops, sides, and bottoms primed for the fiberglass tabbing which will adhere each unit not only to each other, but the hull and deck house as well as outlets, drawers and catches. Molding Machine/Profile Sander Next we walk by our molding area. Here is where we fabricate solid wood moldings from teak, mahogany and maple. Along with this, the profile sander, one machine can make any molding needed for the boats. This machine can sand any of our molding profiles to a fine smooth finish in a fraction of the time it used to take several men by hand.
Right behind it is the Wadkin Molder. This molding machine (aka "sticker") carves raw wood into a variety of detailed trim and molding pieces. It performs the work of three people working by hand while also eliminating human variation typically found from piece to piece.
Look out Home Depot! Notice behind the routers is our â€œlumber yardâ€?, but this is not just your average off the shelf wood, we have custom panels, veneers, and poly products. This is where all of our wood supplies come from. All of the wooden parts in our boats at some point came from this area, which is quite impressive.
Our computer numerically controlled router can process 5,000 sheets of plywood a month and are used in a variety of applications ranging from stringers to cabinets. This machine operates based on instruction from a CAD software package and once the machine is fed the information, it begins to make surgically precise cuts in all materials such as hardwoods, foams, plastics, veneers, composites, and fiberglass. The technology allows us to build more intricate designs with much better accuracy and with far less waste.
The Du-All makes trim pieces using 2mm teak strips instead of solid teak allowing us to create tighter radius moldings that would normally take a large block of wood. Utilizing this machine eliminates unnecessary waste and allows us to make longer seamless pieces, and also keep the coloring of the trim the same throughout.
Upstairs of sub assembly we have the joiner shop. This is where most of the cabinetry is assembled. All of the cocktail tables are also made in this area. The crew of fine craftsmen work on most of the items that will be seen and used constantly throughout the day, so attention to detail is imperative. The teak salon handrail on the spiral staircase of an enclosed bridge boat is a great example of this. Head over to Building 4/4A
ViGlass is a term coined in the mid 1960â€™s which refers to the department responsible for the development and construction of countless structural and cosmetic fiberglass and composite components used throughout each Viking Yacht. Hulls, flying bridges, hardtops, freezer boxes, and livewells are a few examples. If itâ€™s made from fiberglass, it came from Small Parts. We mold our own tanks so that they fit into the lowest reaches of the bilge to enhance stability and maximize capacity. Resin Infusion
In open mold construction of our tanks the ratio is 65% resin to 35% fiberglass. With resin infusion, the ration dramatically shifts to 35% resin and 65 % glass. The result is a lighter yet stiffer part. This infusion process allows us to build stronger parts that weigh less than components manufactured through conventional means. Plus, there is a considerable savings in time. A fuel tank that might require four days to build using conventional methods can now be produced in one day. All of our fuel, holding, and water tanks in the boats are constructed using this process. We have also moved into infusing other components such as bulkheads, air boxes, and now hulls are being infused as well.
Deckhouses are molded upside down. The reason for this is to make the work on the part easier and to let gravity help with the lamination process. As you could imagine it would be extremely difficult trying to apply fiberglass soaked in resin above your head. All of our non-skid areas are actually a part of the molds and not sprayed on once the boat is complete. This allows the non-skid to wear much better then if it was added after the fact. We use dams in the molds to hold places for things such as windows, engine room vents, and doorways. Once the fiberglass lamination has been completed and allowed time to cure, the dams can be easily removed from the mold so the part can be pulled. If not for these dams, you would not be able to have such detail as we do on our boats without a large amount of cutting, grinding, and patching. Once the part is removed from the mold by our overhead hoist system, we flip the part so it is now right side up. Here is where our patchers can begin finishing the part by installing the flybridge overhang, as well as polishing the part in preparation for its final destination.
Cleats and backing plates are also installed here. While the bow rail backing plates along with many others are installed in the laminate itself, the cleat backing plates are installed after. The cockpit cleats are thru bolted using solid aluminum plating backing plates covering a large amount of surface area for more support then you should ever need. These plates along with cleat bolts, are installed using 3M products such as 5200 to ensure a lasting bond between cleat and deckhouse. The spring and forward cleats are installed the same way.
Out the door to Building 2
The hulls which make up the base of the vessel, are molded behind the mechanical lines. Much like the deckhouse, these parts also have unique quality to the molds they are fabricated in. The same as with the deckhouses, this is the beginning of the production line, and they will move at a rate of 7-10 days depending on size and line. One of the most interesting facts is in only 6 months these boats will be in the water! To make life easier for the workers along with ensuring a quality product is built, these molds are built on a half circle frame. This frame allows our ViGlass department to rotate the mold 40 degrees from level, to make for an easier and safer fabrication process. Areas that demand extra strength, such as shaft logs, strut pads and rudder ports to name a few, are reinforced with extra layers of fiberglass and a sand resin mixture. Once removed from the mold, the hulls are placed on jack stands to allow the bottoms to be primed and painted before going into the cradles. Fiberglass thru hulls, scupper drains, and exhaust outlets are also measured for and installed here. The hull now moves into the egg crate stage and the beginning of the production line. Here the engine room and lazzarette area are painted and the stringer system and forepeak tanks installed. Now the boat is ready for its move into production.
Stage 1 Mechanical
Rough electrical/plumbing/aft main tank installation is all completed in this area. As the boat moves forward from the egg crate stage the progress of the boat really becomes noticeable. All of the boats wiring is lifted, again using the overhead hoists, into the boat and the wire runs are marked and measured for. The â€œroughâ€? electrical is started and the distribution panel and engineroom electrical components are installed into the engineroom. At the same time in the cockpit the aft main fuel tank is being pressure tested for the second time before being permanently installed into the cockpit. Being tested again allows us to be sure the tank has not been compromised in any way before final install. This has also allowed us to keep a perfect record of no failures on any of our fiberglass tanks even going back 20-30 years. Plumbing from engineroom and forepeak pumps are plumbed to their respective thru hulls and tanks. Engine and generator exhaust and pick up lines are run as well. Engine beds are prepped and installed to the stringers using 5200 and thru bolts. All other necessary components are installed before the engines and salon floor are lowered. Running gear is also installed here. Struts are thru bolted, shafts are aligned and rudders hoisted in preparation for the deckhouse installation.
Many people think the engineroom is the heart and soul of a boat. If this is true, then the electrical system should be considered the nervous system feeding life throughout the boat. It all starts in Engineering where every wire on the boat is CAD calculated. These specifications are then given to electrical where they are feed in the Schluniger Wire machines. The machines begin to cut wires to exact predetermined lengths while simultaneously stripping ends to accommodate connections later on the line. These machines also print on each wire, in intervals, where every wire is coming from and where it is heading, and provides both a text and numeric description detailing its function. This is equipment that can really be appreciated years down the road when an owner is looking to add an accessory and it is easy to identify specific wires in question.
Another process that has made life easier on the larger boats is the ability to wire specific units of a boat outside the actual vessel. With the vast number of individuals working in or around a boat at any given time, it is important to have the ability to wire certain individual units outside the hull and then have the units dropped into place when complete. This process helps keep us organized, frees up crowded work areas and helps to reduce the time needed to complete the boats.
Our peg board in the wire shop allows our electricians to make the correct length wire runs for each component and model. Knowing the salon Bose system requires a certain length wire run, the peg board helps them cut the correct length run, coil and run label as well. This whole process helps to reduce the wire waste coming from these vessels.
As the boat moves forward into rough carpentry it will begin to take on a whole new shape. This area is where all of the units and parts built by the mill are installed. The salon and forepeak floors are the first to go in with all of the interior â€œunitsâ€? next. These units include each stateroom and head plus all of the cabinetry in between. Units will be installed in their proper locations and secured in preparation for the deckhouse installation.
Once all of these units are in, the deckhouse comes out via our overhead hoist system. The deckhouse is lowered down onto the hull and any modifications to the installed units are made before the deckhouse is permanently fastened.
Finish Electrical / Trim
The trim section is where the boat begins to be closed up. Headliner and sealers are installed and rough wiring in the interior is concealed really moving the boat towards that finished look. At the same time our finish electricians are making all of the final wire connections for the outlets, lighting, and switches throughout the boat. The main panel in the salon is wired and electrical systems throughout the boat are being checked.
Trim now begins with the final installation of the flooring and furniture throughout the boat. Wallpaper is also installed and the boat now readies itself for a final production quality control before it leaves the building.
Propellers are arguably the most critical component in a yachtâ€™s drivetrain system because it is the prop that transfers the power from the engine to make the boat move. Every prop that arrives at Viking, even though already tested and certified, is checked again. Viking will do its own prop scan to make sure the prop was not damaged during shipping, and once the prop meets our requirements it can be released to production for installation. At Viking, prop research is a way of life that manifests itself daily in sea trials and long-term durability testing. Viking uses Veem propellers for many of its models. Veem is an Australian company with 50 years of experience designing and manufacturing propellers. You can point or continue to the docks.
Launch & Make Ready Dock
This is the last stop in the build process for a Viking Yacht. After production has completed a boat, Quality Control takes over. This is where a punch list is developed and the necessary departments make corrections. The entire boat is thoroughly inspected from the exterior of the hull to the interior of the engineroom and not an inch is missed. Once all punch list items are resolved, the systems of the boat will be tested with the owner and or captain. This is an opportunity to ensure all systems are working while also explaining the process to the new user. Next items are loaded onto the boat such as flare kits, life jackets and linen packages as well as the owner warranty kit box which includes all manuals and directions for engines, stereo systems and appliances. Orientation is the next step and entails a final walk through, paperwork and if necessary a sea trial to familiarize the new crew with the boat. Finally it is delivery day and the Viking heads to its new port.
Building 5a has one of our latest additionsâ€Ś. the paint booth. We have recently constructed a paint booth that allows us to paint boats in a controlled environment. This enables both customer requested paint jobs as well as complete paint jobs performed by our service department. Head through the Warehouse back to the front desk for a bathroom break or lunchroom stop.
The Viking warehouse is approximately 29,000 square foot and houses up to 40,000 different types of materials such as sandpaper, fasteners and paint brushes all the way to watermakers, generators and props. The primary duty of the warehouse is to receive, store and properly distribute the different materials to the various production departments throughout the build process. In an average week the warehouse may: • Handle over 500 UPS packages • Offload up to 100 freight trucks • Supply approximately 3,000 items to production Plus, the warehouse is at the same time supplying parts to Viking customers throughout the world such as a bilge to Cape May, an overnight shipment of props to South Florida or a sun shade to Dubai.
Viking is a family owned company started by brothers Bill and Bob Healey. Patrick Healey, Bill’s son, as well as daughter Kathy, began their careers at Viking early on. Patrick loved to fish and being around boats was a natural attractant. Patrick continues to thrive in the selling environment and took on a major executive role in 1996, during the development of the ground breaking Viking 55 Convertible. Today, while Bill is still a strong presence here at the New Gretna facility and Bob stops in for meetings frequently, Patrick is the Executive-Vice President. Following in his footsteps, Patrick’s son Sean works at the plant in the summer and is joined by his brother Justin at boat shows. International Viking Yacht Company is committed to building the best yachts, not just in the United States, but in the world. Our dealer network is represented on every continent and continues to grow. In order to bring our product to the world market, we have to be sensitive to the uniqueness of foreign clients’ requirements. Viking’s engineering department has displayed their willingness to step up to the challenge. When a Viking Yacht leaves our facility for export, each yacht is turnkey ready for delivery to its new owner. For example, to ensure that the ship’s electrical system meets the requirements of our European and Middle Eastern clients, we have installed into our production building at the appropriate locations a 220 volt, 50 amp electrical system. On occasion our international clients choose to take delivery of their new Viking from the factory and obtain a cruising permit which allows them to use their yacht in US waters for a short period of time before shipping it to its home port. Upon completing their cruise, we offer to have any service/warranty work done either in New Jersey at the Viking Yachting Center or in Florida at the Viking Yacht Service Center in Riviera Beach. This further ensures that when their boat arrives at the final destination it will be ready for use. We are making every possible attempt to meet the individual demands of our International clientele and are confident that we will stand alone as the top U.S. manufacturer of yachts in the foreign market place.
Atlantic Marine Electronics
Atlantic Marine Electronics, or AME, came to life after Patrick Healey had a dockside discussion with a longtime owner who was less than enthusiastic that he couldnâ€™t use his brand new Viking until the electronic technicians were done. The owner had hired an outside firm and was told the wait would be several long weeks. Understanding the nature of marine electronics from sales to installation to service, Patrick saw a need that was aching for a solution. The result came about in 2003 when AME was formed with a simple goal: provide the best equipment, installation and service and deliver it to the owner turnkey ready. Because AME is a sister company of Viking, much of the preliminary work like cutting holes and running wires and cables can be accomplished while the yacht is still being built. This saves time and provides for better installation. And since Viking demo boats are test beds, owners are given better access to sample new products as soon as they become available. Palm Beach Towers
A subsidiary of Viking Yacht Company, Palm Beach Towers was also formed to ease the delivery process. PBT is a source for state-of-the-art design in tuna towers, express towers, marine aluminum fabrication and fiberglass hardtops. Each component is custom designed and custom fitted to your boat. With attention to every detail, our tournament tested, proven designs are not only the industry benchmark, but a true work of art. As with AME, Palm Beach Towers has access to your Viking during the build process so will expedite your delivery date with turn key service.