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The design and engineering that drives the Riviera Sports Motor Yacht collection

Design, Edition 5 - 2020

The design and engineering that drives the Riviera Sports Motor Yacht collection

A key Riviera design principal is utilising or creating the best and most appropriate propulsion system for each individual motor yacht, selecting the best engine and drive for each individual design. It is for this reason, that the introduction of the Inboard Propulsion System technology to selected models from the Riviera collection more than 14 years ago, lead an engineering evolution by Australia’s largest luxury motor yacht builder.

Since harnessing the significant advances offered by the Volvo Penta Integrated Propulsion System, Riviera has launched more than 1000 motor yachts in its Flybridge, SUV and Sport Yacht collections specifically designed and engineered to maximise the performance of this world-leading technology.

Owners of these yachts that are operating in all conditions around the world have been delighted by the immense benefits that this propulsion system offers. Quietness, efficiency, smoothness and the manoeuvrability of IPS power are impressive advantages. Equally, the fully integrated package of Volvo Penta/Garmin Glass Cockpit and a standard 5-year Volvo limited warranty are also key advantages. Finally, the greater internal accommodation volume of the new Riviera designs utilising IPS is compelling.

It is for these reasons that more than five years ago, Riviera’s engineering team began crafting the premium propulsion system for its new Sports Motor Yacht collection that required greater horsepower than IPS offered yet could deliver the many appreciable benefits of IPS, in a shaft-drive design.

International appeal

The highly successful launch of the Riviera 68 SMY in 2017 followed by the 72 SMY in 2018 has seen more than 20 yachts launched over the past two and a half years. These yachts are now actively venturing around the world with SMY’s cruising the Mediterranean Sea, Andaman Sea, Bay of Bengal, the Malacca Strait, Java Sea, the Caribbean, the Pacific and New Zealand and Australian waters. The adventures of crossing oceans and seas have been chronicled by Riviera owners and have clearly demonstrated the blue-water capabilities of this new breed of long-range motor yacht.

Riviera’s Design and Engineering Director Dan Henderson and his team using 3D CAD modelling, the team have created and delivered one of the most efficient and advanced hull designs and drive systems available for the 68 SMY and 72 SMY.

As all of the SMY owners and anyone who has been aboard one of these magnificent yachts will attest, the extensive engineering work undertaken to bring each model to fruition, is not fully revealed until you are able to experience an SMY running offshore.

New 64 Sports Motor Yacht

Now, as the new Riviera 64 Sports Motor Yacht nears completion and her world premiere in June, the same proven design and advanced technology that drives Riviera’s flagship 72 and 68 will drive the new 64 SMY.

Propelled by a twin shaft V-drive installation, the 64 SMY has been engineered to deliver a superior smooth and quiet ride through her full rev range up to a peak performance of over 30 knots.

This is achieved by transmitting the propeller thrust directly to the hull and eliminating driveline deflection and vibration, whilst the engine’s soft mounts effectively isolate the engines.

The three components of a straight shaft drive system are the shaft, the marine transmission (or gearbox) and the engine. Rather than having them all in one line, Riviera places the engine astern of the Twin Disc transmission.

More interior space, minimal vibration and noise

“This helps in several ways with the overall design of the SMY,” said Mr Henderson.

“Positioning the engines behind the gearboxes gives us far greater room for interior living spaces. Through this design we are also able to minimise noise and vibration, have the flexibility to optimise weight distribution and we can reduce the shaft angle for greater performance,” said Mr Henderson.

Twin Disc is a renowned US-based manufacturer of heavy-duty marine transmissions for the leisure, commercial and military markets. The technology it brings to the SMY includes the Twin Disc QuickShift system which offers a smooth, steep power curve and superb low-speed control.

When combined with the Express Joystick System, which instantly actuates the engine, transmission and propellers in proportion to the pressure you exert, the SMY is designed to be highly nimble when manoeuvring in close quarters.

Hull number one of the Riviera 64 SMY is powered by twin MAN V12 turbo diesels, each delivering 1550hp (1140kW) and come with a standard 5-year MAN Gold limited warranty. The MAN’s power is transferred by a purpose-built thrust bearing assembly where the shaft enters the hull to effectively remove vibration, even at wide open throttle.

The design employs the Seatorque shaft assembly developed by US-based Seatorque Control Systems, a company renowned for technical innovations in marine drive systems that are designed to eliminate noise and vibration, reduce maintenance and enhance fuel economy.

The Riviera SMY shaft and thrust bearing assembly is a complete unit from the transmission coupling to the propeller. An elastomeric mounting to the hull structure, with a flexible connection to the propulsion engine, ensures shaft-line noise and vibration are eliminated at the source.

Noise is further minimised by Riviera’s innovative underwater exhaust system which can only be fully appreciated when running at speed.

Noise suppression is enhanced by a 60mm high-performance, non-woven polyester acoustic insulation bulkhead separating the engine room and the aft crew cabin, which includes a special shielded lead lining. The insulation uses Sorberpoly to dampen high-frequency noise and Decidamp for low frequencies.

The engine room’s headliner is insulated with a foil-faced, fire-retardant foam of 32mm that is designed to cancel high-frequency noise, in addition to a floating decoupled lead barrier for low-frequency noise reduction.

Individual voids throughout the hull are foam filled for added strength and noise dampening.

Outstanding performance

Riviera’s experienced engineers first implemented this innovative drive design in the Riviera 68 and the 72 Sport Motor Yachts.

“It’s been a process of constant refinement and we’re very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve with these designs,” said Mr Henderson. “The smooth and quiet feeling inside the flybridge and throughout these motor yachts quite often surprises people when they look out and see that they may be travelling in excess of 30 knots”.

Among the number of quality-control tests that the 64 and each SMY will undergo is the vibration and sound monitoring. Riviera uses advanced vibration analysers at the research and development stage, and as quality assurance tools in production.

Svan testing undertaken by Riviera’s technicians on the 68 SMY and 72 SMY, which employ similar sound dampening systems as the 64 SMY, shows sound readings at fast cruise speed of 63dBA in the flybridge and 64dBA in the master stateroom. In comparison, a power lawn mower is about 107dBA.

Innovative hull and propeller design

Further design innovations in the SMY models include separate tunnels in the hull to accommodate the running gear. This allows a lower shaft angle and a reduced draft, that aids stability and enhances efficiently and performance. Each SMY is fitted with high-performance VEEM propellers to optimise pitch distribution. VEEM is at the forefront of marine propulsion systems, delivering higher speeds and optimising fuel economy. The VEEM Star-C fitted in the 64 SMY is designed specifically for speed with an exceptionally quiet and smooth ride.

“The specifications of the CNC-machined VEEM propellers are another key element of the overall performance and smoothness we expect of each Sports Motor Yacht,” said Mr Henderson.

Designed to accommodate a variable pitch, VEEM propellers offer patented Interceptor technology which allows the relative pitch of each blade to be altered to enhance performance.

“The design and engineering of the 72, 68 and now the new 64 SMY is among the best in the world with performance efficiencies that make it perfect for extended blue-water cruising or luxurious long weekend escapes,” said Mr Henderson.

“We’ve incorporated a superior level of refinement throughout, from the helm and the living areas all the way through to the engine room.”

World premiere June 2020

The Riviera 64 SMY will feature the signature sports looks with exceptional luxury appointments that the Sports Motor Yacht are now internationally renowned. Created to offer all of the luxury, accommodation, amenity and comforts of a motor yacht with the ability to offer sporting performance and a sporting cockpit, allows owners the best of both worlds without any compromise.

The new 64 SMY will have a choice of three or four staterooms, both with full-beam master staterooms and three designer bathrooms. Her world premiere is in June. To secure a private inspection, contact your nearest Riviera dealer representative.

Riviera Australia encourages all owners and skippers to observe their local authority guidelines regarding boating and boating restrictions at these times.