“This is really the boat of my dreams,” says Art Favre, the owner of “A Work of Art,” a Viking 92 that he has had since January. “I’ve had Vikings ever since 1993, when I started out with a 43-foot boat I purchased from the Viking broker in Clearwater, Florida. When I was looking for a home for that boat, I traveled all along the gulf coast, from Destin to Louisiana, and determined that Orange Beach had everything I wanted – the best access anywhere along the coast to deep blue water for fishing, great amenities on shore, and an easy drive from our home in Baton Rouge. It’s been a second home for my family ever since.”
Favre, who owns and operates Performance Contractors Inc., a general industrial contracting firm specializing in heavy industrial construction, is based in Baton Rouge and has offices in Houston, Lake Charles, and Mobile. In addition, a few years ago he purchased The Wharf in Orange Beach. “I just thought it was a great asset to the Orange Beach community and to the gulf coast in general,” he says, “and I’m happy with the way things are going there. We are trying to provide family fun, entertainment, and shopping for all age groups. And of course, the full service marina. The Wharf is getting great support from locals and tourists alike.”
Water and boating has always been in Favre’s blood. “My grandfather was in the shipbuilding business, so I guess I get it legitimately. It’s my passion. When I first visited the Viking factory, I knew I had found a real gem. The Viking Yacht Company has celebrated over five decades in business building luxury performance sportfishing and cruising yachts. What sets Viking apart is that it manufactures about 90 percent of the items that go aboard each yacht. Except for major components such as engines, propellers, air conditioning units and appliances, virtually everything is made on site.”
The 43-foot Viking soon led to larger and larger boats, but always Vikings. “This last time, I went from 76 feet all the way to 92 feet. I thought I wanted an 82-foot, but it was just in the design phase, and the 92 was coming out right then. I took a test ride with my long time captain, Ron Woodruff, from Orange Beach, and we both were sold. Captain Ron fell in love – he said it was the most awesome boat he’s ever seen – and that was enough to sell me on it too. Its features fit our style perfectly, both for tournament fishing and for long range cruising. “We just got back from the Caribbean Islands, and for six weeks I never spent a night off the boat – it was great! Our next cruise may be to Bermuda.” The Viking 92 features a Seakeeper stabilization system that provides great stability in heavy seas and makes for a smooth ride. The boat boasts six staterooms and 6 ½ heads. The full width salon opens onto an aft deck with outdoor dining. The galley is huge and has all the amenities of a home kitchen and then some, with two Subzero freezer drawers, four Subzero refrigerator drawers, a full size oven plus a microwave/convection oven, marble counters and a marble wraparound bar with ample seating.
Not just a pleasure yacht, “A Work of Art” is designed for serious bluewater fishing. Favre and his team are regulars on the sportfishing circuit, and fish tournaments from Louisiana all the way to the Florida Keys. “She’s well rigged for fishing,” says Favre, “and we have been lucky enough to catch some great fish – blue marlin, tuna and others – it’s a real thrill! I’m living a dream.”