The towering game poles grabbed my attention as we walked toward the latest Riviera on the dock at Sydney Superyacht Centre.
The ultimate fishing addition seemed a little incongruous on a luxury motor yacht, but it had me thinking: “Here’s a boat I could like.”
The new 64 adds to Riviera’s extensive 21-model stable and joins the 68, 72 and newly released 50 in the Sports Motor Yacht range.
Featuring input from the in-house Riviera team, the design is all new, while retaining the distinctive, classic Riviera lines of a sharp entry and flowing sheerline.
New, big side hull windows speak to a savvy market where being holed up in a full-beam master stateroom with an all-encompassing view is a boating ideal.
From concept to launch was a two-and-a-half year program and this first 64 has been doing the rounds of demonstration tours on our east coast before being shipped to New Zealand and ultimately the Fort Lauderdale Boat show in October 2020.
The reaction from prospective owners has been so strong that at the time of writing, some dozen or so orders from Australia and five from New Zealand have been locked away already.
Proudly displayed like a peacocks’ train, this 64’s game poles are a sign that she could offer something for everyone as a versatile cruiser — happily slow towing a spread of lures during an extended voyage, or perhaps catering to the time-poor executive blasting to a weekend anchorage for some much-needed downtime.
Options, like the poles, enhance the sporting nature of the Sports Motor Yacht range beyond the level of extreme luxury and liveability that is obvious when you step aboard.
The 64 boasts an all new hull, but above the waterline, the familiar Riviera style remains.
At the bow we see the swept back sharp entry, plenty of wave-shedding flare and beautiful swooping lines to the transom.
The long flow of two blacked out windows is new and they help reduce the large white expense of glass for a sporty and up to date appearance.
Construction is solid hand-laid moulded fibreglass down low and a mix of solid and foam cored glass above for the best of strength and weight balance.
The gleaming white exterior is an isophthalic gelcoat over the outside layer of vinylester resin for optimal osmosis protection.
A full-beam fibreglass boarding platform with swim ladder ushers you aboard.
Once their covering boards are lifted, doors each side lead to the cockpit and then a central stairway to the external mezzanine deck, all of which is clad in thick teak.
Storage abounds within coaming lockers and an aftermarket fishing package includes dedicated gaff storage, rod holders, tackle lockers and rod storage below.
Plumbed holds under the cockpit sole will keep the catch fresh and a central livebait tank at the transom is a standard feature.
Forward of the cockpit and protected by an awning is an outdoor cooking space with fridge, electric BBQ and sink. Hatches open to lazarette storage and bilge access.
Another floor opening and ladder leads to the engine and utility rooms, but there is also access through the master stateroom ensuite.
BEST IN SHOW
My guess is the upper cockpit mezzanine deck will be the most utilised and popular feature of the 64.
This outdoors space can be closed in with a set of clears or breezeway and an optional tropical pack offers reverse cycle air conditioning for all-weather dining and relaxing.
But with the screens removed you have the best of boating — fresh air and wondrous scenery combined.
One-way vision quarter panel glass provides privacy and extends views to the sides.
A beautifully varnished teak table takes centre stage to an L-shaped lounge wherea moveable ottoman and additional folding chairs take the setting to ten.
A 32in TV folds down from the roof and the portside lounge converts to a generous daybed.
Along with a sliding door, a large awning window connects the informal mezzanine and the more luxurious saloon in an arrangement that creates a useful servery and a flow-through affect right to the front of the main deck.
Side decks lead to a second outdoor space at the bow where a dozen or so guests can settle down on a well-cushioned U-shaped lounge.
A sunshade can oversee the lounges when needed and folds out of the way for travelling.
LIVING IT UP
Step inside to a world of impeccable gloss walnut joinery, enticing lounges and a hit-list of the best appliances. Rich cream-coloured leather lounges either side create an ideal evening retreat and at the touch of a switch a 50in television lifts from the cabinetry for viewing from the satellite feed.
Generous windows give sweeping views from the lounges and a pantographic portside door opens to the side deck for quick access to the bow or to help with lines when docking.
Locating the U-shaped galley to the aft of the saloon places it centrally to either dining area.
There is enough storage in cupboards and holds for long distance travel and plenty of bench space for elaborate menus.
Appliances include a Miele convection oven, induction cooktop and microwave.
Keeping things fresh shouldn’t be a problem either. You get a full-height fridge with twin freezer drawers down low, as well as a wine fridge and a second unit under the bench to port.
THE HIGH LIFE
With lounges wrapping around the enclosed flybridge and an outdoor entertaining area with wet bar, the skipper is unlikely to be lonely at the helm.
The inside lounge converts to a double bed and like the one downstairs, the coffee table has a timber top that can be reversed for a well-padded seat.
Twin Opacmare helm chairs, clad in black leather, add a touch of Italian chic behind a wide dash full of top-specced electronics.
Forward of the lounges is the companionway to the lower deck with its four-cabin, three-head layout.
Options exist to turn the fourth starboard side cabin into an open lounge and multi-purpose area and it’s certainly big enough for that if accommodation isn’t a priority.
It’s also worth considering that the rear utility room can be set up as crew quarters so accommodation can be mixed and matched to suit family or guest requirements.
At the bow is the beautifully appointed VIP stateroom with ensuite. Central to the room is a queen island bed with easy access from raised platforms alongside.
Long windows afford views to each side amid a mix of walnut and padded vinyl roof and wall lining.
Storage is generous with side cupboards overhead and two cedar-lined wardrobes, as well as a large under-bed space.
Both cabin and ensuite are air conditioned and there are also two roof hatches with blockouts and screens if a fresh breeze at night is your preference.
The starboard bunk cabin and portside twin have cedar lined lockers, carpeted floor, and opening ports with alarms to the helm.
The twin cabin’s single bed slides at the push of a button to make a decent size double.
These smaller cabins share an ensuite, which also doubles as a day head.
The full beam stateroom on this latest Riviera is sure to please even the fussiest buyer.
All the craftsmanship of Riv’s Queensland artisans is on show and the result is impressive.
From the island king bed to the wall mounted television and sound system, this is a place to get away from things and unwind.
A chaise lounge has you right at the window with the tide lapping only feet away — it’s an excellent place to relax.
The starboard side ensuite, to the rear of the stateroom, opens to a utility room with seperate washer and dryer and from there you can access the engine room.
Two gleaming white MAN V12 1550hp diesels sit among a sea of white and chrome in the engine room, where there is ample headroom for all the regular checks and maintenance.
Power runs through V-drives and back to Twin Disc gearboxes where Sea Torque shafts and hull mounted thrust bearings keep vibrations to a minimum.
And as we saw during our sea trials, they work very effectively.
An impressive equipment level includes a 22.5kVA Onan generator and an 11kVA backup, a Seakeeper 16 Gyroscope, Sea Recovery 284L/h watermaker and a 5kW inverter.
Two 1800L side tanks and a 1900L central long-range tank take fuel capacity to 6500L
Front and rear thrusters link to the helm and a remote cockpit station to ensure manoeuvring at the dock is simple and safe, while vision is superb all round.
Even at idle, the big MANs pushed us along at over 6kt, but easing the throttles forward soon had us up to a 15kt planing speed at a lazy 1500rpm.
As we pushed outside Sydney Heads into a long 1.5m swell, the ride at 22kt was smooth and with no vibration or sound from the hull.
At rest, the Seakeeper proved its worth by virtually eliminating the roll when we stopped beam-on to test its mettle.
Back in the harbour, the 43-tonne Riv hit its straps just shy of 34kt, and while it felt like we could run all day at this speed, fuel consumption was 605L/h.
At a more sedate 11kt, fuel usage is 130L/h for a range of 513nm with 10 per cent in reserve.
Long range travel can be extended at lower speeds of course.
At 800rpm we saw eight knots and a range of 1300nm and at sailing boat progress of 6.5kt you could stretch that out to around 4000nm putting large parts of the Pacific in reach.
But most owners will revel in the power on tap and superb ride that goes in hand with this.
For average coastal passages at low-20kt cruising speeds, you’ll see the range to be fairly linear in the mid-300nm space.
So for example, fast runs between ports on a northerly passage to the Whitsundays is very achievable and no doubt fun.
With 15 or so boats already sold, customers are clearly seeing the value in the 64 at $3.9M as tested with the 1550hp engine option and a comprehensive electronics package.
The new Riviera 64 has the best of both worlds as an entertainer for an extended family or a well-credentialed boat that two can still handle.
For couples that like the idea of coastal or more adventurous cruising, the 64 is very capable of finding those isolated anchorages in supreme comfort.
It’s a new world we are sailing into, and these sales figures reflect the new imperative of making your own fun right here, rather than travelling overseas via commercial flights.
FACTS & FIGURES
$3.5m (with 1300hp engines)
Engine upgrade, electronics package, more
PRICE AS TESTED
TYPE Flybridge Cruiser
LENGTH OVERALL 21.23m (69ft 8in)
HULL LENGTH 19.41m (63ft 8in)
BEAM 5.8m (19ft 1in)
DRAFT 1.68M (5ft 6in)
PEOPLE 8+2 (NIGHT) 20 (DAY)
FUEL 6500L (total)
MAKE/MODEL MAN V12-1550
TYPE Common rail turbocharged EFI four-stroke V12 diesel.
RATED HP 2 x 1550hp
GEAR RATIO Twin Disc MGX 1.96:1
PROPELLER Veem 35”x38”x 5”
MANUFACTURED BY/SUPPLIED BY
Riviera Australia Pty Ltd
50 Waterway Drive
Coomera QLD 4209
P 07 5502 5555