|The Viking was introduced in 1978. It was
developed in response to the newly introduced V6 engines. Though the deck is similar in
design to its sister Vector, the hull underneath is completely different and can carry the
weight of the heavier V6's much better. The Vector is a slightly faster
hull, but the Viking is a better all-around lake boat. It is arguably the finest V-bottom
model HydroStream ever made for V6 power, and it is my personal favorite.
This model was initially called the Viking
(Minnesota/Viking connection) but not long after it came out, HydroStream
received a letter from the Viking Boat Co. This boat company had the Viking name
trademarked and threatened to sue HydroStream unless they dropped the
name. Pipkorn probably could have fought it, but by dropping the "i"
he came up with the V-King name which he actually preferred because
of the connotation "King of the V-bottoms".
Ron Baker Sr. was given the
assignment by Pipkorn to develop the Viking, a hull that would take the
Vector and improve on some of its less desirable characteristics. Ron took
the Vector and - similar to what he did to create the Vulture - cut the
boat in two right behind the windshield. From the windshield forward only
slight tweaking was done. It was from the windshield back that things
really happened. Ron took this section, flipped it over, and added a
plywood piece onto the pad (for the plug) that made it straight and flat.
He then reshaped the frontal hull area putting more of a V back into it, and
removed some of the strakes in the rear. Originally, the strakes were
going to be worked on (to eliminate the porpoising experienced with the
Vector) and left in, but Pipkorn wanted the boat to be more easily made,
so the one set was completely removed. This all resulted in a more
stable hull, less porpoising, and one that turned much better in the
corners (the sharper V in the front helped shed the water better). He also
narrowed the pad somewhat. The reason was to try to make the ride a little
softer as long as the pad could still carry the weight of the boat at the
higher speeds - which of course it did very successfully.
The Viking is a very stable boat;
however, the driver must be very careful with the trim control at high
speeds. Too much trim and the Viking will without warning suddenly lift straight up in the air, and often up-and-over. Be judicious with the trim
(it is not a "go" button!) and you will be fine. The Viking is
very forgiving when letting up suddenly on the gas, and blowout as well is
usually not disastrous as the boat will tend to just lay down.
Optimum motor height is usually with the propshaft about even with the
bottom of the pad. As with all rigs, this height will vary from boat
to boat depending on motor horsepower, gearcase, and prop being used.
Favorite props (again depending on HP, gearcase, and intended use) lean to
the Merc cleaver, inline chopper, Lightning ET, and OMC SRX.