The Australian builder Riviera has always occupied an interesting niche in the world of yachting. The company epitomizes the Australian ethos of building rugged, do-it-yourself vessels that can handle most any sea—yet it’s also a legitimate luxury brand, brandishing its bona fides in the fleet’s stitching, woodwork, and overall fit and finish.
Which is to say, Riviera doesn’t have many soft spots. That is why it’s exciting to see the builder challenge itself even further in creating the Platinum edition of its Sport Yachts series, including a 4800, a 5400 and the flagship of the line, the 6000.
I stepped aboard the hydraulic swim platform under blue-gray skies on a typically low-lit winter’s day on Sydney Harbour, and proceeded forward via the portside staircase leading to the cockpit (there’s a mirroring staircase to starboard that nicely aids with feng shui). The steps are on both sides of a tender garage with a Muir winch and LED lighting that can fit a RIB up to 10 feet, 5 inches.
The cockpit itself is wholly devoted to entertaining. A transom barbecue with twin griddles, refrigerated compartments and a stainless-steel backsplash handles the alfresco cooking duties and serves an L-shaped dining settee to port. That settee has an adjustable teak table that allows it to convert to a sun pad once lunch has been served. There’s also a lounge opposite the settee. An electric sunshade overhead protects guests from ultraviolet rays as well as from sun-showers on days when there’s just enough drizzle to be annoying. Joystick control stations on both sides of the cockpit are a boon when docking—a touch not often seen on yachts of this size and class.
A glass bulkhead separates the cockpit and salon, though “separates” is perhaps not exactly the right word because the two areas are melded by a sliding glass door and a flip-up window above the aft galley (all framed in mirror 316 stainless steel). The aft-galley setup makes the space more informal and open to conviviality, and can serve the salon and cockpit equally.
The salon has standard high-gloss walnut that really shines when it comes to joinery, pun not intended. Riviera builds its boats in Coomera, Queensland, where it runs an apprenticeship program for boatbuilders. The program helps ensure its employees have a high degree of construction knowledge and craftsmanship.
A formal dining settee to port is forward, across from the helm, and there is a sofa to starboard at amidships. All the seats in the salon are at a height that allows good sightlines out the windows, so everyone can enjoy the view no matter where they are sitting.
The twin Recaro helm seats also enjoy excellent sightlines, something that was extremely helpful as I wheeled the nimble boat through a busy Sydney Harbour and out to the rolling Pacific 3s and 4s. There, the Riviera’s hand-laid, vinylester-resin hull proved sturdy and quiet, not to mention soft-riding as she rose and fell with the well-spaced-out swells. With twin 725 hp Volvo Penta IPS950s churning below our feet, we saw a 28-knot top speed and cruised at 21 knots. Range at the latter speed is 370 nautical miles, or about the distance from Miami to Jacksonville, Florida.
If you did decide to cruise that far, you could overnight in one of three layouts belowdecks. The Classic setup has an amidships master and forepeak VIP, as well as mirroring guest staterooms between them. An optional Lounge version replaces the portside guest stateroom with a lounge and TV, which is great if you’re traveling with kids because it gives them their own area to hang. Last, the Presidential option converts the portside guest stateroom into an en suite head for the master, which opens up the stateroom’s main living space, making it full beam.
As I stepped off the 6000 and watched her pull away, I admired her sleek appearance, accentuated by the Platinum Edition signature black-and-silver color scheme. Her oh-so-recognizable Riviera lines were apparent at a glance, yet the hot new paint job really made her dance. It was just another detail that shows how much Riviera Yachts understands that offering safety and performance is good, but putting it together in style is great.
Riviera’s Platinum series has two other modes: the 4800 Sport Yacht Series II and the 5400 Sport Yacht. The 4800 has twin
600 hp Volvo Penta IPS800s that give it a reported top hop of 35 knots and a 28-knot cruise. The 5400 has 725 hp Volvo Penta IPS950s the builder says provide a 34.5-knot top speed and 28-knot cruise. Both boats have the black-and-silver Platinum-series styling.
Steady as She Goes
The 6000’s side decks allow plenty of room to maneuver; I could put my heels on the superstructure and still had space for my size 12s. There are also nearly 3-foot-high, stainless-steel handrails going to the foredeck’s twin sun pads. Also up front is a Muir stainless-steel anchoring
system. The attention to crew safety and comfort—and the less glamorous aspects of yachting, like docking—is evident throughout the yacht’s design.
Take the next step: rivieraaustralia.com
This story originally published in the February 2020 issue of Yachting Magazine