Johnson & Towers’ Partnership with Viking Strengthens Boating Industry

Photo of Viking 64 running in water

Relationships that are built and then last for over 50 years are hard to come by. Johnson & Towers, an Indel Power Group company, and Viking Yacht Company celebrate 58-years of a successful business relationship this April.

“Viking was started in 1964 by my father and uncle,” says Pat Healey, President and CEO, Viking Yacht Company. “It’s been a family affair on both sides. We’ve been working together since day one. It’s the greatest thing to know whom to call. Johnson & Towers gets it; they know what to do.”

Healey goes on to say that Johnson & Towers has a tremendous ability to do the right thing –from assisting with the development and recommendation of new marine engines to providing excellent service from mechanics who know what to do and how to handle anything.

“Our company was founded in 1927 by Walter F. Johnson. We’ve worked with all generations of Healeys,” says Bob Shomo Jr., Senior Vice President, Marine Division, Johnson & Towers. “We began working together as soon as Viking was established.”

The boating world started with gas-powered engines, but with the gas shortage of the 1970s, the marine industry turned to diesel-powered engines. Viking began an immediate relationship with Detroit Diesel, installing diesel engines in boats — marinized and supplied by Johnson & Towers — which provided reduced fuel costs and a performance boost for customers.

During that time, Johnson & Towers continued as the leader in marine engines sales, now distributing Detroit Diesel engines. Viking Yacht Company was fortunate to have Johnson & Towers just 30 minutes away. Together, they worked with Detroit Diesel to constantly improve the marine engine for sportfishing yachts through engineering and testing.

Over the years, as boats grew in size, new technology was needed for improved operation and performance. In the mid- to late-1980s, Detroit Diesel partnered with Germany’s mtu to bring a better engine for boating to North America. Today, Viking Yacht Company builds more than 80 yachts per year with Johnson & Towers as their partner and supplier.

“Johnson & Towers became the representative/distributor for mtu as Detroit Diesel engines were phased out and it’s been all mtu since the late-90s,” said Healey. “Without a doubt, we wouldn’t be where we are today without Johnson & Towers’ involvement in diesel engines for the boating and yachting industry.”

Johnson & Towers works closely with mtu and Viking to continue to develop marine engines for sportfishing. “When Viking designs a new boat, we all work together with mtu and Viking’s engineering team to design the best engine, improving the operating characteristics, including engine noise and acceleration, and working to exceed the performance expectations of today’s sportfishing customer. We have an engineering team that designs custom mounts and engine modifications to fit into each Viking vessel. With the collaboration of J&T, mtu, Pat, and his team, we end up with an outstanding finished product,” says Shomo Jr. “We’ve all improved by working together.”

When Johnson & Towers sells an engine, it doesn’t end there. The company offers worldwide service — just a phone call away. Technicians can provide local service or come to the customer, no matter the location.