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Middleweight Champ

Riviera’s 40 entered the competitive convertible-class ring and punched above its weight.

February 5, 2016
Riviera's 40

Riviera’s 40

Riviera’s 40 Flybridge Convertible can cruise the islands or chase down granders. Courtesy Riviera Yachts

Australian Builder Riviera Yachts launched the 40 Flybridge Convertible in 2000. Designed for the American market with equal emphasis on cruising and fishing, this midsize offering was a sleek-looking vessel intended to stand apart in the convertible market.

And she did. For the buyer, it was just a matter of determining how to use the boat. She was ready for quiet weekend jaunts to secret gunkholes or rowdy mornings chasing pelagics offshore. Both cruisers and anglers liked the roomy, 80 ½-square-foot cockpit, and the in-deck fish box could stow several mahimahi or a plethora of fenders and lines.

Cruisers loved the nearly 6-foot-wide swim platform for diving, vessel boarding or dinghy stowage. Big-game anglers often removed the platform and equipped their 40 with an optional transom door, and they likely ordered other fish-friendly options: a transom livewell, cockpit coaming for stand-up aficionados, full cockpit controls and Rupp outriggers.

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Buyers also appreciated the flybridge with centerline helm, allowing excellent views fore and aft. Seating forward of the console could fit a few adults, with room for two more adjacent to the Pompanette helm chair. Air conditioning was standard here, and many buyers added the optional full Isinglass enclosure and fiberglass hardtop for all-season comfort. The salon took full advantage of the 40’s 14-foot-11-inch beam with a large, L-shaped settee to port and a smaller dinette forward to starboard. High-gloss teak was everywhere and nicely complemented the step-down galley’s teak-and-holly sole.

The manufacturer claims a top end of just under 30 knots with a fast cruise of 20 knots.

The 40’s standard belowdecks layout is able to accommodate five. There’s a forepeak master stateroom with an island queen berth and access to a shared head with enclosed shower. A starboard-side guest stateroom had over/under bunks and a third, rollout single berth. The salon’s settee converted to sleeping space for guests.

Whether fished or cruised, the 40 was ready to take on the seas. Her hull and topsides were solid fiberglass to the gunwales, with a cored superstructure and a watertight collision bulkhead forward.

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She could deliver impressive speed as well. Equipped with optional 535 hp Cummins diesels, the manufacturer claims a top end of just under 30 knots with a fast cruise of 26 knots. For long runs to the fishing grounds or island-hopping, an optional 160-gallon forward tank boosted her fuel capacity to 633 gallons.

From 2000 to 2007, Riviera Yachts built 288 hulls of the 40 convertible at an average retail price of $500,000-plus when well-equipped. There are now 16 on the market from $179,000 to $499,000, with an average price around $282,000.

Whether you’re a pelagic pugilist or a weekend cruiser, the 40 Flybridge Convertible can still deliver.

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