Rick takes delivery of his new Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht
First-time Riviera owner Rick Wiedemer says there are many good reasons for the growing popularity of Riviera luxury motor yachts in the United States – not least of which is a well-deserved reputation for quality.
The proud owner of the very first Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht, SeaWied, Rick knew she was the yacht of his dreams after spending time aboard a Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht at the 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
“I was shown photographs and plans for the new 5400 design and I took the opportunity to acquire hull #1,” said Rick, of Cleveland, Ohio.
“I first saw the 5400 at a sea trial at the Riviera headquarters in Stuart, Florida and I was pleased beyond my expectations.
“I really like the styling of the Sport Yacht, with its single-level deck offering combined inside/outside living.
“In addition, there is plenty of accommodation below, including the full-beam master stateroom.
“All of this seems exceptional for a 54ft yacht and the quality of Riviera has met or exceeded everything we compared it to.”
Premium owner experience
Of course, Rick is also very impressed with Riviera’s exceptional owner care.
“I have purchased a number of boats in my life but I have never created a relationship with the dealer like the one I have with Matt Felhofer of Bay Marine, Wisconsin.
“I first met him when considering a Riviera 58 in Cape Coral, Florida and he kept in touch appropriately, hosted me in Fort Lauderdale and coached me through the process like a friend.
“The entire experience has really endeared me to Riviera.”
The very impressive 5400 Sport Yacht – with three staterooms and two bathrooms – made her World Premiere at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2016, and received very high praise from boating enthusiasts and the international media.
Rick took delivery of his dream yacht shortly afterwards and commissioned a captain for the 1900 nautical mile first leg of the cruise home to Cleveland – from Stuart, Florida to Rochester, New York.
“We visited SeaWied for a weekend in Annapolis for my first nights aboard and some intense training from the crew – it was a fun and very worthwhile experience,” said Rick.
“Along with my two sons and two friends, we met Matt Felhofer in Rochester to bring the boat the rest of the way home to Cleveland– a distance of further 300nm.”
This inspiring journey involved traversing the series of locks that link the East Coast of the USA with the inland Great Lakes.
“We experienced about five hours of 5-6ft waves on the nose in Lake Ontario before arriving at the Welland Canal, and the 5400 handled it all magnificently,” said Rick.
“One of the most memorable experiences was our two-hour wait to start through the canal – we pulled alongside the wall where we were secure and enjoyed a feast from our new grill while we watched the sun set behind us.
“It was a great night before we started the eight-hour journey through the canal in solid rain – three of the ‘crew’ had never experienced the canal and I’m sure no one will forget it.
“The trip on the Riviera 5400 was very comfortable and enjoyable – and we arrived home in Cleveland to a very warm welcome.”
Living the Dream
Rick says he was aboard SeaWied every weekend throughout the summer, undertaking various trips to ports within a 50nm radius of Cleveland and one trip to the southern tip of Lake Huron.
Since purchasing the boat he has logged some 2800 nautical miles and 375 hours, which includes about 500 miles and 75 hours on the Great Lakes.
“We have found that, with the grill and layout of the living spaces, we venture off the yacht much less frequently – it really is a joy,” he said.
SeaWied is currently in storage for the Northern Hemisphere winter, but Rick is already planning their enjoyment for when the weather warms.
“We will enjoy summer on the Great Lakes next year and anticipate at least one 2-3 week voyage,” said Rick.
“There is also consideration to take her to Florida next Fall for the Winter of 2017-2018.”
How did you decide on the yacht’s name?
- The name has been in our family for years – this is our sixth SeaWied and I am often told to not even consider another name.
Favourite features of the 5400 Sport Yacht?
- Single-level living with no bridge to climb
- Cockpit arrangement with table and grill
- Tender garage
- Fresh interior design
- Full-beam master stateroom
- Solid performance from the Volvo engines with pod-drives
- The many amenities of larger yachts – washer/dyer, dishwasher, video cameras