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Independent experts have their say on the 43 Open Flybridge and 395 SUV models from our Riviera Boat Show collection

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We’ve enlisted the views of independent boating experts to comment on the performance, design and finish of two new state-of-the-art Riviera motor yachts currently available in our boat show.

So, step aboard now and start planning your future boating escapes.

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

Riviera 43
Open Flybridge

Review by Warren Steptoe of
Blue Water magazine

Available for immediate enjoyment
Sidney, British Columbia

Riviera 395
SUV

Review by Kevin Green of
Boating New Zealand

Available for immediate enjoyment
Seattle, Washington
Stevensville, Maryland

Exterior:

“Upstairs, the so-called ‘open’ flybridge actually includes a moulded hardtop and a full set of the very necessary clears, which are standard. Our test boat has a wet bar with refrigeration along the portside beside a moulded, lockable hatch closing off the ladder. Forward of the helm. A lounge with stowage underneath occupies most of the space. A flash-looking barbecue is centrally located in the transom moulding, beside a generous transom door. My (and your) thoughts are obvious here; this is where a livewell should go. Sure enough, replacing the barbie with a livebait well big enough for me to bathe in is among Riviera’s options. A massive swim platform gracing the transom makes a wonderful place to swim and a real feature in a boat used for cruising, and family and social boating.”

Exterior:

“Aesthetics can make or break the deal for many prospective owners in this category, but for others – and this is where downsizing Riviera owners come in – it must still look like a Riviera. The 395 SUV accomplishes this by continuing the curved profile of its larger siblings and those undulating hull windows, which definitely make it look like Riviera, albeit in a fairly compact package. The newly-designed hull contains the requisite high volume for living below decks and enough flare in the bows to be seaworthy while giving the owner sufficient elbow room in his suite. Other key design points that differentiate a Riviera from, say, European competitors, are the wise use of bulkheads and overhangs to protect you from the harsh southern hemisphere sun.”

Interior:

“In the saloon, the décor is what you would expect from Riviera. Very classy! The saloon is very, very nice and the neat galley uses minimal space despite being equipped with a dual-element cooktop, a microwave convection oven and a twin-drawer fridge and freezer unit. Stowage in the galley area is one of those perennial premiums in any boat, but there’s plenty of that too. Saloon access from the cockpit is through a sliding glass door. To starboard in the cockpit, against the cabin bulkhead, there is a comfortable lounge, which would be a great place to watch lures from.”

Interior:

“Stepping into the vast cockpit reveals the corner seating and dining table with bar fridge nearby. Also nearby is the starboard side Volvo IPS joystick control for those tight marina berthing situations. Most of this area is snug under the fibreglass saloon extension and side windows give plenty of light and vision. Al fresco diners can easily reach in through the large opening window to their counterparts at the inside dinette, perhaps where the parents are enjoying a glass or two while the kids mess about in the cockpit area. The saloon is airy and open thanks to vertical bulkheads, large opening side windows and a stylish visor over the front to shade the instrumentation.”

Accommodation:

“Pod drives are rapidly achieving huge market acceptance and here we find another good reason why. IPS locates the engines much farther aft than conventional shaft drives do and it leaves a substantial space amidships, which Riviera cleverly utilises with a spacious aft cabin set largely below the saloon. Large windows in the hull sides and a big skylight above the entryway from the saloon supply plenty of daylight. In the bow there’s the usual stateroom with a queen-size bed. Like the bow, the aft stateroom has its own bathroom and a queen-size bed mounted on slides for convenience.”

Accommodation:

“A wide central corridor beside the helm leads down below where the single bathroom is starboard side behind the owner’s bow cabin and the midships guest one. The large bathroom has dual access, so the second door leads to the owner’s cabin. In here volume is high as the tall topsides create an airy space, accentuated by the man-sized opening skylight. The 395 shows good versatility in the guest cabin because it has three beds across its midships layout, ideal for a gaggle of teenagers, or two of the beds can become a double with an infill.”

Engineering:

“The cockpit’s entire deck raises itself on a ram to reveal the pair of Volvo IPS 600s in all their glory. Anyone who has ever crammed into a tiny engine room to do fluid checks or carry out routine maintenance has to love having everything so easy to access and open to inspection; dipsticks, filters, drive belts – there they are.”

Engineering:

“The business end of the Riviera 395 SUV is at first not apparent, as a smallish hatch in the aft cockpit lets you only peep at the twin Volvo IPS 500s. But that’s only until you press a button and the entire cockpit sole elevates to fully reveal the engines and pod transmissions. Hull integrity depends on the fit of this large hatch, so it has a deep, recessed lip with wide rubber seal and a hydraulic arm to seal it. The 43-foot LOA hull is built around these 440hp supercharged engines with their forward-facing propellers. Given the well proven nature of this engineering, with Riviera alone having installed over 1,000, there’s a lot to be said for them when it comes to manoeuvrability.”

Performance:

“On the water, the 435hp Volvo IPS 600s will move the boat along effortlessly to a top speed around 31 knots, depending on load and sea conditions. At speed, the IPS system’s electronic, variable-ratio power steering made running the 43 Open Flybridge easy. We headed out through the Gold Coast Seaway and far enough to see how she handled a mild, yet somewhat confused sea. She handled it as easily as if she were a boat a quarter the size. The boat’s motion at cruising speeds of around 25 knots was quite gentle and user friendly, too. At low speeds within the confines of a marina, the IPS system’s joystick made manoeuvring into marina pens and fuelling docks easier than playing a kid’s computer game.”

Performance:

“Sitting on the double leather seat I pushed the throttles down while tweaking the tab button to flatten the bow. Using the Interceptor tabs with their wide and deep vertical foils gave precise control to the trim on the 395 as I also could tweak each foil to control our heel as I banked into long slow turns. Standing at the bolster seat only a light touch was required on the wheel as I pushed the hull’s shoulder deeper to spin through some doughnuts without any sideways slide, then bolted upright again for a blast in the calm waterway with only a faint murmur coming from the Volvos as the Garmin GPS showed our speed topping out at a shade of over 30 knots.”

The verdict:

“Sure, it’s a fishing boat every bit as good as lots of other fishing boats. However, you’ll search long and hard among those boats to find one that will facilitate family and social boating or be as comfortable a cruiser as this one.”

The verdict:

“Using the car analogy, some of the key selling points include a big boot (aft cockpit), being quick at the traffic lights (to pull a skier out) and sharp handling for easy parking. Other niceties are plenty of usable deck space to be mothership for the water toys in sheltered bays while also pulling enough horsepower to blast offshore for the weekend.”


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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