Viko S35 – A sexy, affordable racer-cruiser

By Katherine Stone

I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats on champagne fall days when many boats are either being hauled for the winter, or are already under shrink-wrap. Not only are there great winds – usually offshore, but welcome sunshine and open waters with few boats out enjoying the last days of September. Joining me for the test sail of the Viko S35 was the former publisher of Canadian Yachting, Greg Nicoll, and the Canadian Viko Yachts representative, Eric Beauregard, who had driven down from Montreal.

As one of the most acclaimed yacht developers and producers, Viko, established in 1987, has over 30-years of experience in the field and has earned their place in the international market. Their new technologies and craftsmanship are combined to produce leading-edge solutions with style from Italian designers engineered with German ideas.

Founded in 1987, Viko Yachts is located in 9 countries and has over 30 dealers throughout the world. The boats are built in Poland, a country with a long history of yacht building and craftsmanship. Over 200 units leave their factories every year in sizes ranging from 22 to 35-feet. The Italian studio SLYD di Sergio Lupoli has designed very good looking, minimalist, sexy boats that are the envy of the industry.

Our test boat was located next to a Viko S26, and both boats are in the SailTime program at the Port Credit Harbour Marina in Mississauga, Ontario. The Viko S35 is owned by Eric and he put it in the SailTime program to help promote this unique, entry-level boat.

Toronto and viko s35 400SAIL PERFORMANCE

Motoring out into the harbour in the Viko S35.

I have to say that what impressed me most about this boat was her performance. Easy to steer and stable, the boat cuts through the water with ease and nicely rides on her chine on a heel. Our test sail had winds averaging around 10-15 knots with a following sea. Regardless of the point of sail we were on, the boat averaged 7-8 knots of speed. The Viko S35 tacks and jibes quickly and this can easily be done with one extra person in the cockpit, as the jib lines do not come back to the helm. The main traveller is on the cockpit floor in front of the two helm stations with a 4:1 purchase that I could manage with two hands. The traveller jams do need some adjustment, as they cannot be secured by pulling up on the traveller car line. Four self-tailing two-gear Lewmar 30 winches come with the “sail-away” boat, two on the cabin top and two on either side of the cockpit. Two groups of four halyard stoppers, one on either side of the coachroof, lead into the cabin-top winches. The twin wheels are leather-covered and steer a spade rudder. Instruments and engine controls are located on the starboard helm.

roomy cockpit 400TOPSIDES

A nice roomy cockpit leaves room for many family and friends

The boat comes standard with a 15-hp Yanmar diesel engine, which many owners will upgrade to the 20 and 30-hp options. The test model housed a 30-hp engine which easily moved the boat. There is also room for two batteries, although only one comes with the sail-away package.

The cockpit is extremely roomy and covered with a synthetic teak flooring that is continued on the cockpit seats and the deck up to the bow. The benches are ample with good back support. Below the two helm stations are cockpit lockers that are quite deep and could be used to store fenders, extra lines or swimming paraphernalia. From the back of the boat to the front there is a level deck with no step-up required. The swim platform operates manually, again keeping the overall cost down. Handrails on the coach house roof along with shrouds mounted onto the outside of the deck make for smooth transitions fore to aft. Another unique safety feature is the outside combing on both sides of the boat; not only a great safety feature, but this also provides another barrier for items, children and pets not going overboard! The furling jib, anchor locker, permanent bowsprit and room for the windlass, make up the foredeck.

L shaped galley 400BELOW DECK

Keeping cost in mind, there are only two layouts with either two or three cabins to sleep six or eight. Our test model had three cabins and could work very well with a family or guests for weekend cruising. The interior is light and airy with American oak veneer. The 1.92m headroom is substantial in the main salon. The design is pleasing with well-integrated LED lighting. It is tasteful and minimalist with clean lamination and not a tremendous amount of storage, as the boat is billed as a racer/cruiser. The L-shaped galley is located at the foot of the stairs on the port side. Here you will find a sink with cover and a unique flexible faucet tap, a small ice chest, oven, two-burner stove and adequate storage – just enough for short cruises. The salon easily seats six people, three on either side of the fold-down dining table that has a storage compartment.

The L shaped galley is efficient and highlights a flexible faucet tap

The forward V-berth is a good size with 1.7m headroom at the double door entry that, with both doors opened, really gives the impression of a much larger boat. The twin aft cabins are on the small size with low height (a consequence of the deep wide cockpit) but are suitable for one person or children. There are two lockers in the forward cabin and each aft twin cabin has a locker. There is good ventilation in the salon and cabins with an adequate number of hatches.

The sole washroom 400The 2021 sail-away price was $210,000 which includes the Dacron sails and sail cover made in Poland. The possibility of buying an inexpensive boat that is under-equipped is interesting. Probably changing the engine size and having jib roller furling should be done at the factory. Having a Bimini, dodger and cockpit cushions made locally, supports our economy and keeps the cost down. Buying your electronics here in Canada allows you to choose the type you prefer. For a 35-foot boat to do Coastal/weekend cruising and club racing, you can’t do any better. This is especially true as delivery is under a year, as opposed to wait-times that can be well over two years to get some other new boats. I guarantee that you will be impressed, not only with the sleek-looking boat, but also its performance on the water.

the sole washroom has a pull-put flexible shower hose in the washbasin and highlights a flexible faucet tap.

If you are still uncertain, why not try it out by joining the SailTime group for a summer? Presently the Viko S26 and S35 are at their Port Credit Harbour Marina site, however, there may be more locations this summer as the group is planning on expanding their operations.

Steve McPherson, President of Navy Point Yacht Sails and owner of SailTime Ontario points out that, “SailTime is a fractional boating membership. The member selects a particular boat to operate, based on size, price, and availability. The member uses the same boat every time as if it were their own. In fact, many members refer to their assigned boat as “my boat,” which means they are familiar with it and take better care of it than they might in a typical bareboat charter arrangement.”

Sound interesting? Check out the websites below for more information or call the Viko representative or SailTime personnel for a look-see. ; 514-991-6805;,  905-271-2222,

salon 400Boat Specs

Hull Type                             Fin with bulb and spade rudder

Rigging Type                      Fractional Sloop

LOA                                        39.37ft /12 m

LWL                                        35.7 ft/10.88 m

Beam                                    12.27 ft/3.74 m

Draft                                      6.4 ft/1.95 m

Displacement                    13,448 lb/6,100 kg

Ballast                                   4,189 lb/1,900 kg

Sail area                               66.8 m2

Construction                      FG vacuum

Builder                                  Viko Yachts – Poland

Designer                              Sergio Lupoli

Engine                                  Yanmar Diesel 15 hp (optional 20 or 30 hp)

Berths                                   4/6

Right: the salon is bright with light wood and great headroom

Below: Foreward V-berth has double doors to open up the space

Foreward V berth 400

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