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Riv Kid Josh Toohey set with skipper’s ticket

Edition 3 - 2021, Owners

Riv Kid Josh Toohey set with skipper’s ticket


Fresh air, adventure and fun on a Riviera. Josh Toohey hasn’t known any different since day dot. He’s practically grown up living the Riviera dream, first on his parents’ 37 Open Flybridge, followed by their current 41 Flybridge Waterholic and his grandfather’s 52 Enclosed Flybridge, all purchased through R Marine Perth.

“I’ve definitely developed a passion for it. It’s a really good feeling to know that we’re going out on the Riviera,” says Josh.

The Perth-based family of five spend nearly every weekend boating either up the Swan River or at Rottnest Island.

Josh at the helm of his granddad’s Riviera 52

“When we’re at Rottnest we go to the beach three or four times a day to see our friends and explore the island,” says Josh.

“We also go crayfishing, fishing, kayaking, on the tender, sometimes snorkelling, we jump off the rocks at the channel marker, basically we do everything that’s available to us.”

“It’s always exciting to go away for a weekend and often depressing when we come home!”

Last summer at Rottnest, Josh and his two sisters earned $423 by offering nearby boats a rubbish collection service raising funds that were donated to east coasters impacted by recent bushfires. 


Saltwater in his veins

With saltwater in his veins, it’s no surprise Josh applied for his skipper’s ticket as soon as he was legally able after his 14th birthday in May last year.

“Before my ticket I was allowed to drive both boats in the family,” he says. “So I’d been practising for my recreational skipper’s ticket and discovering a lot on the 52 Flybridge – taking it to the fuel jetty, mooring, and some of the harder stuff. Skippering up the Swan River is good practice too with the tides and navigating under bridges.”


I’ve definitely developed a passion for it. It’s a really good feeling to know that we’re going out on the Riviera.

Josh Toohey

“We’ve had one small incident so far. I was doing the ropes and got a bit mixed up when we came in and we scratched the side of the boat on the jetty. I’d like to have a little more practice at taking it out and parking in high winds; I’m not super confident with that yet.”

Meteorology is his complementary passion. “Whenever we go to Rottnest I make sure it’s going to be a nice trip there and back. The weather is the biggest factor in boating. I check three major forecast models. One of them is European, the other is from the US and the other is Japanese. We also have two live weather stations set up in the back yard”.

A regular Toohey family Christmas at Rottnest Island off the Western Australian coast



Fun and amusement aboard

In a previous Christmas letter to Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst and his team, Josh wrote he’d spent between 50 and 75 days aboard Waterholic filled with ‘fun and amusement’. At the time, the 10-year-old vessel had clocked over 700 engine hours.

“That means almost 800 trips to Rottnest Island and back! Still cruising at 22 knots and with no faults, Waterholic is something that I’m really proud of,” he wrote.

In his letter, Josh expressed a sense of gratitude and curiosity for the Riviera business and boat design. He’s questioned the time it takes to build a Riviera, how many remain in Australia and which overseas market is the most popular. A few years ago he even presented the Riviera team with an 82-foot design suggestion. Today, with more than 50 hours at the helm, Josh has some different ideas.

Josh is proud of Waterholic, ‘faultless’ after years of regular use.

“Something ideal for families – maybe a hybrid. Between 50 and 60 feet and with pod drives so there’s a lot more cabin space and it’s fun to drive, quiet and with easy-to-clean engines. Maybe a master stateroom and two secondary guestrooms, a decent galley, lounge area and a flybridge where you can eat dinner or travel comfortably long-distance, a water maker, a large fuel tank…something suitable for 10 people to overnight in so you can bring friends and enjoy company other than your family’s.”

But for now, Josh dreams of a 54 Flybridge, a later model similar to his grandad’s.

“The 54 is an amazing boat. I can’t see myself driving anything much bigger than that. I like the joystick control, the pod drive is the best part. It’s a really easy boat to park and manoeuvre in tight spaces.”


Step aboard the Riviera 54 Enclosed Flybridge now – Take a virtual tour