GIPPSLAND LAKES, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA – Neil and Jill Mitchell appreciate the company of friends while enjoying the motor yachting lifestyle on the Gippsland lakes in eastern Victoria.
When they began a search for a motor yacht that would best match their lifestyle, the Riviera M400 Sports Cruiser loomed large.
“The more we searched, the more our hearts became set on the M400,” said Neil. “We finally found exactly the right one for us in Sydney. She was excellently presented.
“Everything about the layout was attractive. The fact that the helm is in a cockpit perfectly designed for entertaining was just the start. The cockpit table can easily seat six or seven – and more with occasional seating. We love rafting up with friends on the Gippsland Lakes and regularly entertain eight people on board for lunch!
“The layout means that, as skipper, I am always involved in the conversation and fun.
“She is an exceptionally social boat.”
The engineering design, utilising stern drives rather than shafts, means the two diesel engines are positioned well aft, making plenty of space for two staterooms on the accommodation deck.
“The design also means we can lift the legs and run her right to the beach,” said Neil. “At the end of a day out or an entire weekend, we lift her out of the water on a trailer. That saves having to worry about anti-foul. A hose-down of the hull and she is ready to be stored and await our next weekend.”
Riviera built 99 M400 Sports Cruisers over four years from 2005. In fact, since the business was founded in 1980, Riviera has launched more than 5,300 motor yachts.
The cockpit includes U-shape seating around a large hi-lo table – across the transom, the starboard side and opposite the helm. There is additional seating forward of the wet bar on the port side and beside the skipper. A hardtop covers the helm and most of the cockpit area.
The M400 has the a saloon forward of the cockpit and three steps down. An L-shape lounge is opposite the galley equipped with microwave oven, sink, refrigeration and plenty of storage.
The bathroom with its separate shower stall is immediately aft of the master stateroom forward. The stateroom includes a walk-around queen double bed, wardrobe and storage lockers.
The second stateroom, with athwartships double bed and a single on the starboard side, is immediately aft of the saloon.
The master stateroom aboard the Riviera M400.”We have hull number 90,” said Neil. “We have so much enjoyed our Riviera M400 and now have a friend who purchased hull number 91!”
Neil and Jill spend every second weekend on board, except during the cold Victorian months of July and August.
“We also spend three weeks on board over the Christmas break.
“We have owned Santorini for five years now and still love everything about her.”