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Blown about Tasmania, and loving it, on a Riviera 575 SUV

Adventures, Edition 3 - 2021

Blown about Tasmania, and loving it, on a Riviera 575 SUV


Boating’s greatest dictator, the weather, dealt Ray and Jenny Haddrell some tough conditions on their top-end tour of Tasmania last summer.

Yet having circumnavigated the island a year ago on their then-new Riviera 575 SUV Rayzaway, the Haddrells had the confidence to take on the toughest seas in comfort – plus they know of a few nooks and crannies to tuck into.

Leaving Queenscliff, Victoria, at 7am on February 2 with skipper David Prior and wife Rose, they headed across Bass Strait for Stanley on Tasmania’s northwest coast with three buddy boats including a Riviera 45 Flybridge.

Jenny and Ray Haddrell at Skull Rock just south of Wilsons Promontory

“The weather report can be good and accurate, but Bass Strait is so unpredictable that it’s a matter of having a boat that’s seaworthy,” says Ray.

“A Riviera is designed for this,” he says, denoting the structural strength of the SUV’s blue-water hull.

The Strait’s shallow bottom, strong currents and opposing winds produce wild waves that are jumbled further by secondary short-period swells. While ordinarily this makes for an uncomfortable ride, Rayzaway is no ordinary motor yacht.

Rayzaway in the port of Lady Barron on Flinders Island

“We have a gyro stabiliser which takes 80 per cent of the roll away and makes travelling a heck of a lot better, especially when we hit rough weather on the Strait, with 15-20 knots on the nose cruising at 18 knots.”

After resting at Stanley, they navigated east to the River Tamar and up to Beauty Point, where they were forced to weather a storm for five days. They also ran into a glitch with their batteries. Riviera’s renowned owner care and service came into play when Victorian Riviera dealer representative Stuart Jackson, from R Marine Jacksons, sourced new batteries from the mainland and delivered them personally.

“Although he did also manage to return to the mainland with an esky full of scallop pies for his trouble,” laughs Ray.


Converting to a cruising life with ease

Not having come from a boating background, for Jenny the comfort of a Riviera has seen her convert to cruising life with ease, no matter the weather.

“With capable Captain Ray and a boat complete with everything we need, it’s just terrific,” says Jenny. “The Riviera service is also great and it does make you feel secure. We’re safe and comfortable in all weather, whatever it brings. Even if we’re stuck somewhere for a few days, we rug up and get out there to experience our beautiful country.”

Riviera’s SUV range combines offshore performance with operational ease and luxurious living.

Jenny and Ray love the Riviera lifestyle

“In the master stateroom, there’s a must-have king-sized bed and a sofa to have some quiet time. And the storage is great. I came with half my wardrobe and the hanging space in the walk-in robe is ideal,” says Jenny. “One can’t help but feel pampered by the elegance of the finishes in the vessel. Another plus is the boat’s layout.”

The free-flowing single-level saloon is designed for convivial gatherings with a galley that ‘contains all the essentials and accessories to produce light snacks or three-course dinners with ample room for your finest wine bottles!’ At nearly nine square metres (97 square feet), the 575’s cockpit can also be a socialite’s pleasure or an angler’s dream.


The 575 SUV runs better at 30 knots than at 22 knots in terms of time and distance for fuel economy. It’s designed to be a fast boat and that’s what it is.

Ray Haddrell

“You can have paddleboards, or go fishing, or with binoculars see new things; it’s a different perspective from the water. In the cockpit, it can be hypnotic just to sit and watch the waves,” says Jenny.

Rayzaway continued east to Foster Inlet where they anchored overnight in 40-knot winds. The following day they delayed until 1.30pm before heading north across Banks Strait to Clarke Island.

“It was like a washing machine. It’s only about 18 miles but it was the roughest 18 miles I’ve been in. We waited for the slack tide and the current was like a rocket,” says Ray.


Designed to be a fast boat

After stopping to refuel at Lady Barron, conditions permitted a swift cruise up the west coast of Flinders Island to Killiecrankie.

“The 575 SUV runs better at 30 knots than at 22 knots in terms of time and distance for fuel economy. It’s designed to be a fast boat and that’s what it is.

“From there we travelled 30 miles to Deal Island where there’s shelter in between Deal and the islands immediately west, Erith and Dover Islands. We had drinks on the beach, which is always a great time to talk about how the boats have travelled during the day and discuss what’s next.”

Boating enjoyment with Riviera is a family affair for the Haddrells who have cruised as far north as Port Douglas and completed two trips to Tasmania.

They dropped anchor for the night and enjoyed a barbecue in the cockpit – devouring a ‘dirty big crayfish’ caught by skipper-cum-diver David Prior.

Finally, it was back to the mainland and homeward bound with a pit stop at Wilsons Promontory.

“Normally we’d head to Refuge Cove, but with an easterly wind we couldn’t get in, so we anchored on the west side at Oberon Bay. The wind picked up to 30-40 knots, so we moved to Tongue Point where the wind blew right over the top of us; it was fantastic.”


A new adventure ahead

After learning that Riviera was planning to introduce a new flagship to the SUV range, Ray spoke with Riviera CEO Wes Moxey about the  Riviera 645 SUV which was announced in the previous edition of our Experience magazine.

“I’m just off the phone with Wes discussing design. It’ll be like the 64 Sports Motor Yacht but without the flybridge.”

The Riviera cruising lifestyle has become a permanent fixture in Jenny and Ray’s lives. In fact, the temptation of travelling further in even greater luxury convinced them to place the first order for a new 645 SUV.

“So, an SUV again…exciting!” says Ray.


If you are considering any extended coastal or offshore cruising, it is strongly recommend that you first consult your insurance company as there will be restrictions and guidelines that they will impose in the interests of your safety and that of the vessel and your crew. It is also strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced Master 5 Captain or the equivalent international qualifications to seek their advice on vessel preparation, safety equipment, training, safety procedures and suitable crew experience to assist you in your voyage.

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