The freedom and confidence Riviera owners feel as they step aboard their luxury motor yacht have been the best remedy for 20 members of the Victorian Riviera Family out for a social – yet distant – getaway.
Organised by the exceptional crew at R Marine Jacksons before restrictions to boating were introduced, the mid-March raft-up at Metung was further buoyed by a dose of perfect autumn weather.
The local community felt the boost too, as the raft-up raised more than $2,000 to help them get back on their feet after bushfires ripped through the Gippsland Lakes in Johnsonville, Nicholson and Metung.
While some of the Riviera fleet journeyed from Port Phillip Bay, for one Paynesville-based couple it was a quick 20-minute skim across the water to ‘The Tung’ (Metung).
Karin and Peter Reed on their Riviera 445 SUV K’Oma made the most of the fine weather and even finer company.
“The day before we had 44-kilometre winds, but the Saturday morning turned out really calm, then the skies cleared and it was just beautiful,” says Peter.
The Reeds have taken part in every Metung raft-up. “We love social events anyway, and with the raft-ups we get to catch up with people and meet new Riviera owners,” says Karin.
While a two-piece band entertained the gathering of luxury motor yachts under bright skies, Karin hosted friends on K’Oma’s cockpit and Peter made the most of the large boarding platforms to socialise with plenty of room to move. A merry afternoon ensued.
“With all the boats lined up it’s like being on a Riviera footpath,” says Peter.
“It’s absolute boating heaven here. If it was 10 degrees warmer there’d be no one left in Queensland!”Peter Reed
“It’s a bit like a boat show and a good opportunity for everyone to have a look at each other’s boats.
“We had Karin’s friends aboard who recently sold their Riviera and they liked the look of the 4800 Sports Yacht that parked next to us and, I must admit, I agree!”
The 4800 Sports Yacht in question is Stormy, Mark and Tracy Cranny’s beloved Riviera.
“We take the boat wherever we go,” says Mark, a pleasure cruiser at heart who spends around eight months of the year in Melbourne and four in Metung.
Mark brought Stormy down from Riviera’s 16.8-hectare manufacturing facility on the Gold Coast in early 2019.
“It was an awesome trip down, and it showed me how good the 4800 series really is. It’s a different hull altogether from previous models; it sits flatter and higher in the water, has great vision and there’s especially good visibility from the helm.”
For Mark, raft-ups are all about being with like-minded people that love being on the water.
“Metung is a good spot for a raft-up as boats come from all over the area and you get to meet people you normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to meet. It was the first time I met Peter Reed and we had a great time.
“Stuart Jackson does an excellent job at organising these events and fellow boaties appreciate it.”
Stuart’s clear rafting-up instructions over the radio and his team help get the motor yachts into place and tie up.
“It went really, really well,” says Karin, although she admits it was a hasty departure at the end of the day for some.
“I think everyone was trying to get a park at the Metung pub; that’s where the party kicked on.”
As for their home boating grounds, the Reeds reckon the Gippsland Lakes are second to none.
“It’s absolute boating heaven here,” says Peter. “If it was 10 degrees warmer there’d be no one left in Queensland!”
The Metung raft-up was held before state and national restrictions to boating were formally introduced.
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