Barry Stubbs searched for 12 months for the right Riviera when his wife, Julie, decided she was no longer interested in boating after less than ideal experiences with other brands.
“My first plan was a Riviera 48 Enclosed Flybridge,” said Barry. “I also looked at a 47. Then I found our 51 Open Flybridge, Winedown.
Riviera built 156 Riviera 51 open flybridge motor yachts over five years between 2004 and 2008.
“She was in fantastic condition and seemed to have everything I needed,” said Barry. “She is a beautifully balanced motor yacht, powered by a pair of 825 horsepower MTU turbo diesels and has a 17.5kVA generator. She’s also equipped with a desalinator and a long-range fuel tank.”
Barry is a keen fisherman. When we spoke with him, he was on his way to a week-long expedition with friends to fish on the Great Barrier Reef. Julie will not allow him to fish on board Winedown.
“I love her,” she says now. “I would happily live on board – if there was enough wardrobe space for all my clothes.
“I am happy for Barry to fish with his friends, but we’re not catching them aboard Winedown. She is our second home.
“At first I was concerned about being able to handle a 51-foot motor yacht. But the two of us can handle her with ease. The bow thruster makes a difference.”
Barry, too, is delighted with their Riviera.
“I am perfectly happy simply spending weekends on the waterways of Port Hacking near our home in southern Sydney or cruising north to Port Stephens. She is everything we could hope for. I am hoping to take her north to the Great Barrier Reef next year. It’s a voyage on my bucket list.”
Julie loves the galley and the accommodation.
“The galley has the facilities I need and a great amount of storage and refrigeration. There are even enough fridges to store Barry’s drinks!
“The walk-around double bed in the master stateroom is wonderful and the two bathrooms are large. We have 11 grandchildren so we need good bathrooms – and the two guest cabins.”
Barry and Julie are particularly impressed with the flybridge.
“There is enough space for entertaining a group of friends,” says Julie.
“I love sharing Winedown with our family and they all enjoy coming on board. But I particularly love it with just the two of us. She is our getaway.”