he design philosophy behind the Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht is simple, if a touch unorthodox for the Australian boatbuilder. The company wanted to produce a motoryacht that could compete on luxury with its perennially sexy European competitors while still retaining Riviera’s rugged DNA. The result, as I found out during a sojourn to Sydney, Australia, is an interesting and versatile build that spans genres with aplomb, and that should appeal to yachtsmen of many stripes. My favorite part about this yacht (and, to be totally honest, one of my favorite features on any yacht I’ve seen recently) is the 72’s cockpit. It extends 4 feet beyond the cockpit on Riviera’s 68 Sports Motor Yacht. The 72 cockpit’s total of 286 square feet makes it feel massive for a vessel this size. And it’s well-suited to sports-oriented and entertainment-minded crowds. For diving and fishing, there’s an in-transom livewell and a tuna door that doubles as a dive door. A grill forward is ready to cook up whatever fish might flop onto the teak sole. The cockpit is two-tiered and has a mezzanine that’s a foot longer than the one on the 68, and that has twin tables and an aft settee. There’s also a wet bar with two swing-out stools forward. A television descending from the overhead to port begs for College GameDay or perhaps Finding Nemo, depending on your crew. In contrast to the yacht’s relatively rugged and typically Australian cockpit, the foredeck has a sophisticated, European feel. Stowaway carbon-fiber poles support a sunshade that protects three bench seats configured in a U shape, with insulated compartments for ice and drinks. There’s also space for a davit and a RIB by Brig, which is Riviera’s go-to manufacturer for dinghies. A stainless-steel Muir 4500 windlass handles anchor duties, while a Fusion stereo system can play Frank Sinatra up front, Iggy Pop in the cockpit and Prince in the interior.