In the seventh of our series of articles looking back over 40 years of Riviera evolution, we explore the period from 2011 to 2015.
The Riviera team, along with the rest of the world, settled into a new reality after the wide-spread impact of the Global Financial Crisis and set their sights on building towards a new generation of luxury boats.
The first from the drawing board was the 53 Enclosed Flybridge, launched in 2011. Visually she drew on the raked hull windows introduced in the 43 Open Flybridge the previous year and added a new, and very different curve in the main saloon window. The propulsion system followed the success of 43 Open – Volvo Penta IPS first seen on a Riviera in the 4400 Sport Yacht.
In the same year a Series II version of the 61 Enclosed Flybridge was launched, featuring the new raked hull windows. Riviera also released a Series II of the popular 4400 Sport Yacht.
The dominating word in world events that year was Fukushima, one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded hit Japan’s main island.
The number one song in Australia that year was Party Rock Anthem by American dance music due Redfoo and Skyblu. It was pushed into second around the world by Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. Music had changed dramatically since Split Enz and Queen in 1980!
Then came 2012.
Riviera experienced a rebirth as Gold Coast businessman and long-term Riviera enthusiast Rodney Longhurst stepped forward to take control and persuaded retired CEO Wes Moxey to leave his farm and return to the leadership. Mr Moxey had also utilised his time after leaving Riviera in 2008 to develop a new motor yacht brand, Belize. The two men agreed that Belize should be integrated into the Riviera range. These included the Belize 54 Sedan and 54 Daybridge.
Longhurst and Moxey had an immediate impact. Back in private ownership, the Riviera team had a new spring in their step and introduced a new pioneering line of motor yachts – the SUV. This new design brought together two successful lines – the flybridge design and the sport yacht – to create one smart new package. Here were all the benefits of the flybridge on a single level so much loved in the Sport Yacht. The first was the 445 SUV, closely followed by the 565.
A new flagship was launched, the 75 Enclosed Flybridge, an expansion of the glamorous 70.
Perhaps the strongest indication of a new outlook and commitment to owners of Riviera motor yachts was the launch of the innovative and exclusive educational and social event – the Riviera Festival of Boating.
Beyond Riviera and Australia, the 30th Olympiad was held in London while, across the Commonwealth, people celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth.
As the new leadership settled in with the team, Riviera achieved an extraordinary landmark in 2013 with the 5,000th boat launched. Fittingly, it was part of the new breed, a 445 SUV.
The New Production team launched the 63 Enclosed Flybridge in that year.
Following on the success of the 53 Enclosed Flybridge in 2011, Riviera launched the 50 Enclosed Flybridge in 2014, another model that embraced the new Volvo Penta IPS system. The SUV line was also expanded with the launch of the 515.
In 2015 the team at Riviera continued to produce significantly refined motor yachts.
The crowning example of Riviera ingenuity and engineering in that year was the 6000 Sport Yacht that built on the mantle of the 5800 and took it to a new level of sophistication.
Another SUV was added to that line – the 525 – and the 52 and 77 Enclosed Flybridge models were introduced, the latter taking design concepts to a new level, including a foredeck entertaining area, ideas that would in a few short years blossom into a design to take the motor yachting world by storm.
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