West Australian Riviera owner Ray Constantine is no stranger to challenging offshore conditions.
A life-long boater, Ray recalls traversing the Mandurah sandbar as a child with his Dad in ‘a 14ft ski boat with two inches of freeboard’.
It was here that his love of boating, and fishing, was born.
Now the proud owner of the Riviera 515 SUV One & Only, Ray prefers safety and stability over speed … and so too does his wife, Chris.
“I’ve had a few sailing yachts and a few smaller power boats but when I retired I really wanted a yacht that would make everyone comfortable – even in rough weather,” he said.
“The way One & Only behaves at sea is impressive – she has a great hull that is flat down aft for planing and has a sharp forward entry.
“Not long after we took delivery in January 2015 we cruised from Perth to Mandurah and then out toward Geographe Bay and found ourselves heading into a howling storm.
“She behaved impeccably – we were cruising at 21 knots with 35 knots of wind across the bow and I was having an absolute ball.
“The pod-drives just make it so easy to control the boat.”
Ray says Chris loves their ‘luxury apartment on water’ almost as much as he does.
“She really became a fan of boating when we bought One & Only,” he said.
“She likes the convenience of everything working as soon as you turn they key – it makes a big difference.
“We often take her out on our own.”
Ray says being able to spend time with the couple’s now adult children and granddaughter at Rottnest Island has provided a special memory.
“Just knowing everyone had a comfortable night, starting the generator to make breakfast … really enjoying ourselves – that was pretty special.”
Another favourite memory is when, in front of 50,000 people, One & Only became the first vessel to officially enter Perth’s magnificent new Elizabeth Quay at the project’s opening on 29 January this year.
His Riviera was featured across television news channels right around the world.
Ray, of course, still loves his fishing, and finds the 515 to be a very stable platform from which to pit his skills.
“One day a big school of tailor came past us at Rottnest chasing big herring and we had a ball catching them,” says Ray.
“We have rails around the swim platform with rings welded to them for mid-rails which makes you feel very confident in blue water – you can brace yourself against the rails in larger swells.
“And, on a calm day, I sit out there on a deck chair without a worry in the world.
“It’s always fun.”