HydroStream Viking / V-King


  • Boat Type:
    • YT: Modified-Vee
    • V-Bottom: Pad-Vee
  • Length: 17' 9"
  • Beam: 89"
  • Transom Height:
    • YT: 24"
    • V-Bottom: 22-1/2"
  • Recommended HP:
    • YT: 150 - 175
    • V-Bottom: 85 - 175
  • Approximate Weight:
    • YT:  675 lbs
    • V-Bottom: 750 lbs
  • Seating: 2 Buckets & Rear Bench (1978 and older models had back to back front seats and no rear bench)
  • Fuel Capacity:
    • YT: 24 Gallons
    • V-Bottom: 16 Gallons


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, the Vector, the hull underneath the V-King 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.

This model was initially called the Viking (Minnesota/Viking connection) but not long after it came out, HydroStream got word from the Viking Boat Co. who owned the Viking trademark. They threatened to sue HydroStream unless they dropped the name. By dropping the "i" Mr. Pipkorn 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 Mr. 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 Mr. 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, like all pad boats, the driver must be very careful with the trim control at high speeds. The Viking is very forgiving when letting up suddenly on the gas, and a blowout 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.


 78 Viking - Powerboat Magazine