Independent experts have their say on Riviera 72 SMY and 39 Open Flybridge from our Riviera Boat Show collection


Your time has come to start living the Riviera dream, so we’ve sourced the views of independent boating experts to comment on the performance, design and finish of two new Riviera motor yachts currently available in our exclusive boat show.

To view all models currently available in our global Boat Show click here.

Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht

Review by Boattest.com

Available for immediate enjoyment
Stuart, Florida – USA

Riviera 39 Open Flybridge

Review by Barry Park of

Available for immediate enjoyment

Pompano, Florida
Yokosuka, Japan


“There are not many boats like the Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht on the market. And, while there are 72’ (22 m) convertibles and sportsfishermen, and 72’ motor yachts, none really combine all of the major design elements of the Riviera 72. She can be a no-compromise sportfisherman, but she can also be a dive boat, a world cruiser, or a luxurious entertainment platform.”

“She has as many, if not more, entertaining venues than a typical motor yacht: the cockpit, mezzanine/aft deck, bow lounge, salon, flying bridge salon, and flybridge outdoor settee. The mezzanine will probably be the most used outdoor space on the boat: it has a commanding view of the cockpit and any sportfishing action going on there, and 10 people can sit at the table. The cockpit console has a large, deep freezer to port, a sink, and a double electric grill to starboard – all under fiberglass lids with gas-assist struts. This arrangement turns the cockpit into an entertaining venue when not out sport fishing.”


“The Riviera 39 Open Flybridge’s teak-floored aft cockpit is a simple and clean open space as comfortable entertaining as it is casting a line or setting up for a dive. Movement around it is easy, with a fixed two-seater settee/icebox set against the tinted glass cockpit bulkhead. It has a teak table that drops down to create a daybed once an extra cushion is inserted and is shaded by an overhanging fixed awning. The open flybridge is accessed via a ladder on the starboard side of the cockpit. Once up there, it’s a big, open, airy entertainment space that will quickly become a social hub on a glorious day. The large bimini covering the entire flybridge can stow rearwards and out of the way, reducing air draft and turning the flybridge space into a sun deck.”


“The galley is placed aft as we often find on newer express cruisers, but almost never see on either motor yachts or convertibles or sportfishermen. This arrangement has several advantages, among them being that it is only a few steps to either the mezzanine dining table, or the one in the salon. The location also keeps the chef connected to the guests no matter where they are hanging out on the main deck, and the opening aft window brings in fresh air.”

“By placing the helm on the flying bridge, Riviera is able to create a larger saloon and give the captain better visibility. At the same time, a second saloon is achieved – one we call a sky lounge – as well as a second aft deck. This gives the 72 a lot more living space without a commensurate increase in price. Essentially, it gives the vessel the inside living space of a conventional 85-foot motor yacht.”


“Everywhere you look there are quality finishes and fittings. The impression is immediate – exterior of the saloon, with its swing-up awning window, is framed in highly polished stainless steel. To starboard, there is an L-shaped galley featuring a stainless-steel sink with mixer tap, single-element electric cooktop, dual-drawer fridge/freezer, a rubbish bin and a microwave. The 39 Open Flybridge helm’s high seating position provides a clear view out the two-panel windscreen, with deep side windows and the aft floor-to-ceiling glass bulkhead separating the saloon from the cockpit providing excellent all-around vision.”


“There are two layout plans available for the 72, the Classic with the head on the starboard side of the master stateroom, and the Presidential layout, which replaces the fourth guest stateroom on the starboard side with the master head. The master stateroom had the same walnut joinery work that we saw above. Bulkheads both here, in the passageways, and in the other guest cabins, had an attractive herringbone weave with padded backing on our test boat. Its texture and colour were tasteful (selected by the owner) and do not overpower or steal the show from the fine, high-gloss woodwork and polished stainless steel.”


“The Riviera 39 Open Flybridge will allow up to five people to live aboard in comfort via two staterooms accessed via a stylish four-step stairwell descending from the saloon. In the bow, the master stateroom is spacious and filled with natural light via a translucent overhead hatch fitted with a blind. A queen-size island berth, with individual reading lights and cupboards built in at one end, blends into the bow, with elevated, carpeted walkway space to either side. The bed base lifts up to reveal a huge storage space beneath.”


“The engine room is accessed from the cockpit under the centerline sink, or from the watertight door in the crew’s quarters. The headroom on the centerline is 6’5” to 6’8” (1.95 to 2.03 m) and there is 28” (71 cm) between the MAN 12V 1900-hp diesel engines.”

“Our test boat had three control stations: main helm on the centerline, port aft flybridge helm, and an optional starboard joystick helm in the cockpit. Docking is a non-issue, thanks to the Twin Disc joystick system that ties in both mains with the bow and stern thrusters together on this boat. Both thrusters are hydraulic and are powered by take offs on the marine gear. The bow thruster is standard, the stern one is optional. With them, and the joystick, the boat will turn in its own length, and do it mighty fast. The speed with which this boat was able to turn was truly astonishing.”

“WOT speed recorded was 33.7 knots (38.7 mph). At that speed from the enclosed flying bridge, there was, in fact, no sensation of going fast. The bridge was quiet. We could hardly hear the engines and virtually no crashing bow waves.”


“The Riviera 39 Open Flybridge has a solid fibreglass hull below the waterline optimised for strength. Cored topsides, decks and superstructure save weight and reduce the centre of gravity. Vinyl-ester resin is used on the hull’s outer layer to strengthen it and prevent osmosis. A feature of the Riviera 39 is a cockpit floor that lifts up at the push of a button to expose the entire engine bay, making on-water maintenance simple. A hatch also located on the cockpit floor is large enough to drop down into the space between the 435hp Volvo Penta D6 IPS 600s for a quick once-over. As well as the full Volvo Penta/Garmin Glass Cockpit instrumentation, she comes with helm-mounted joystick controllers at both stations for tricky low-speed manoeuvring. Our test boat also was fitted with an optional third joystick in the cockpit.”


“Acceleration tests clocked her at 20 mph in 13.8 seconds and hitting 30 mph in 21.4 seconds. These are noteworthy times for a vessel of this displacement. The MAN 1900s put out prodigious torque and the massive Twin Disc marine V-drive gears can handle it. There are times when this kind of acceleration could be important, and it’s good to know what the vessel is capable of.”

“Offshore, she turned easily. We did not experience any significant sea conditions, but our experience in boats far less capable than this one, indicates that she will be as comfortable as any boat in class because of her 19’8” (6 m) beam, robust displacement, and low CG.”

“For those who like to cruise at displacement speeds, at 1000 rpm, she travels at 11.1 knots and has a range of 1,421 nautical miles, and 127 hours of endurance. This is a comfortable speed, and is a good compromise between economy and speed for many owners.”


“The two Volvo Penta D6-IPS600 in-line six-cylinder turbodiesel engines provide the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge with plenty of pep from very low revs. Response is eager to any input from the twin fly-by-wire controls. The 600s deliver a comfortable plane at about 18 knots. Pushing the throttle further forward generated instant response as the Volvos dug deep and delivered with barely any change in pitch. The motor yacht will run out to a top speed of 33.6 knots (66.2km/h) at a moderate 3580rpm WOT. Heading offshore from the Gold Coast for our test, we nosed into about a metre of gentle swell. In these conditions and opening up to a high 20s cruising speed, the Riviera 39 was soft and supremely stable.”

The verdict:

“The Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht is designed for both long-distance cruising, world-class sportfishing, and entertaining close to home both during the day and at night. Her construction, fit-and-finish, standard equipment, and amenities leave very little to be desired for most missions. We happen to think that the Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht would make an excellent long-range cruising in which to explore the Pacific islands. She has the tankage and the range of most displacement long-range cruisers, plus many more amenities – and more possibilities.”

The verdict:

“Size doesn’t mean the Riviera 39 Open Flybridge misses out on any of the appointments of her bigger siblings. Owners get the same sleek styling and a spacious, versatile interior layout wrapped in a craft that looks as elegant as the rest of the range and built to exactly the same standards.”

Riviera Australia encourages all owners and skippers to observe their local authority guidelines regarding boating and boating restrictions at these times.

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