COOMERA, QUEENSLAND – Riviera’s Aftermarket team has fitted fishing towers to many motor yachts over the years, but none has presented a challenge quite like the latest project.
When the owner of Riviera Sports Motor Yacht 72/04 specified a tower, it was not going to be a simple task.
The 72 Sports Motor Yacht is one of the largest that Riviera has ever built. A powerful and luxurious yacht specifically designed for blue-water cruising, it is imposing, elegant and superbly crafted. The tower would have to reflect that level of quality and practicality.
The first challenge for the Aftermarket team was that the front legs of the tower would affix to the flybridge hard top rather than stretching down to the deck. So the hard top was reinforced during the build to take the additional load.
Next, the level of electronics specified for this tower were more comprehensive than ever before. The helmsman will face a stainless steel wheel, dual engine controls and Twin Disc EJS joystick control as well as a pair of Garmin navigation screens and radio. The wiring that communicates all of that information would need to be carefully fed through the port aft leg of the tower and, from there, linked into the main control system of the motor yacht.
The tower floor stands 2.23 metres above the flybridge hard top with another 2.05 metres to the GRP roof.
Finishing touches to the tower’s electronics were completed with the tower frame lying on its back in the Aftermarket centre.
A crane was brought in to gently lift the gleaming stainless steel structure into the air and out toward the 72 Sports Motor Yacht that had been moved out of its development centre into the sunshine.
A team of boat builders, Aftermarket specialists and electronics experts poured on to the motor yacht to manoeuvre the structure into place and feed the electronic loom into prepared channels.
The owner of the motor yacht had also specified GRP safety surrounds for the flybridge aft deck. These were specially crafted to include grooves to accept the aft legs of the tower. As the crane lowered the tower, the team manoeuvred the legs to slip into the grooves as they fed the wiring looms through the deck.
Finally the aft legs settled and the tower was manoeuvred by the crane to bring the forward legs down and into place. A craftsman waited on the hard top roof, safety harness around his torso, to position and then screw the legs down.
The tower on the 72 Sports Motor Yacht is unusual in another respect. The ladder that takes the helmsman to the heights is normally positioned at the outer rail of the flybridge. The ladder on this motor yacht runs up from the centre of the flybridge aft deck.
A full week of tests are now being undertaken to ensure that the entire system is faultless.