Riviera 585 SUV Reviewed

Riviera's 585 SUV is a luxurious design with IPS diesels, 32-knot performance, stout construction and multifunctional spaces.
Riviera 585 SUV
Glass in the Riviera 585 SUV’s house and hullsides helps to bridge the outside-inside gap. Courtesy Riviera Yachts

The short and very sweet story of the Riviera 585 SUV is that it blends spirited 32-plus-knot performance with a luxurious alfresco lifestyle.

From the raised, enclosable “alfresco deck” overlooking the cockpit to the forward helm, everything is on a single level, yet headroom in the four staterooms belowdecks is more than 6 feet, 5 inches. That is an admirable engineering feat. Another one is the engine room. The twin 900 hp Volvo Penta IPS1200 D13 diesels with pod drives are so well-separated that two technicians could pass each other in the center aisle with 5-foot-11-inch headroom and still get to the outboard sides. And this is on a secure, rubbery nonslip surface. From the fuel strainers to the sea chests, 27.5 kW Onan genset and triple Dometic air-conditioning units, everything is easily accessible, with cleanly loomed color-coded wiring and tidy plumbing. The engine room alone will be a sell factor for owner-operators, at whom the 585 SUV is clearly aimed.

Riviera 585 SUV
Note the side-deck access abaft the helm. Courtesy Riviera Yachts

Guests will care more about boarding the 585 SUV via the hydraulic swim platform. Port and starboard transom doors open to the teak cockpit, making this a watersports zone. A console that’s partially shielded by the overhanging roof combines the outdoor grilling area with a bait-prep station that has tackle stowage, illustrating the vessel’s SUV moniker.

Overlooking the cockpit is what Riviera calls the alfresco deck, a salon-level mezzanine with a settee that converts to a daybed. It faces an L-shaped dinette with a pair of ottomans. Overhead, a pair of sunroofs adds light and even more fresh air.

Riviera 585 SUV
Add rails, and the swim platform is a casting platform. Courtesy Riviera Yachts

The bright, walnut-paneled salon is separated from the alfresco deck by a sliding door and an opening window. A U-shaped galley is immediately inside to port, for easy service to the cockpit or the L-shaped dinette opposite. Meal-prep amenities here are notable for the underlit Lucite splash rail forward and the deep gutters surrounding the Corian countertops, as well as tidy, partitioned drawers to nest the glassware and china.

Forward of the galley is a watertight pantograph door to the portside deck for access to the forward entertaining and sunning area. It has seating around a dining table for eight, and hidden lockers for deck gear.

Riviera 585 SUV
Open the door and retract the hardtop, and the salon gets fresh breezes for outdoor living even inside. Courtesy Riviera Yachts

At the helm are a pair of adjustable leather helm seats abaft a low-profile dash with triple Garmin displays. Riviera includes electronic controls for engines and steering, IPS joystick steering, Humphree Interceptor trim tabs, and a Side-Power bow thruster. Opposite the helm is a forward-facing L-shaped raised settee, so guests can enjoy the action underway. Both areas have the sunroof above, and the skipper can have single or dual cockpit control stations hidden out of sight.

Below, the full-beam owners’ stateroom is also about space, with an en suite head, a settee, a desk/vanity, and enough hanging lockers and bureau drawers for extended adventures. With sweeping views through the hullside windows, the queen-size berth has walk-around room on each side. Forward, along the passage, is the VIP stateroom, with another walk-around queen berth and an en suite head with a stall shower. Between the two spaces to port is a guest stateroom with twin berths that electrically slide together into a double. This area has access to the day head with a stall shower across the hall.

Riviera 585 SUV
The owners’ stateroom has a breakfast bar. Courtesy Riviera Yachts

For people who aren’t owner-operators or who want to add an occasional captain or mate (or even a teenager wanting privacy), a crew cabin spans the beam abaft the owners’ space. This cabin can be fitted out as a stateroom with a head, or as a utility room off the engine room. The 585 SUV that I got aboard had the head with a single berth and a full-size washer and dryer below.

While the 585 SUV that I put through its paces had IPS1200 Volvo Penta diesels, 1,000 hp IPS1350s are also available; this yacht is far livelier and more responsive than I expected for a 65-footer weighing 35 tons. Spin the wheel, and the 585 SUV acts like a 20-foot bowrider. From a standing stop, this yacht comes up flat, thanks partly to the pod drives and partly to the automatic trim tabs. Running through lumpy Florida seas, the 585 SUV was rock-solid. Riviera designed the V-hull shape to handle the consistently rough seas of Australia.

Riviera 585 SUV
A hydraulic swim platform helps launch water toys. Courtesy Riviera Yachts

At a comfortable 26 knots, the engines consumed just 69 gph, with the salon and helm quiet at 66 decibels (65 is the level of normal conversation). Top speed is a bit more than 32 knots. With the larger engines, expect the top speed to increase by about 3 knots.

SUV stands for sport utility vehicle in the automotive world. In the marine world, the Riviera 585 SUV succeeds as a vessel that is equally ready for families who want to catch dinner, entertain and do some extended cruising, all with a luxurious flair.  

Alfresco Deck

This area of the 585 SUV has removable and/or rollable side curtains, which means it can be buttoned up for protection from the elements or left open to the breeze. Air-conditioned or heated, it increases salon space by a third and creates another dining option with its settee and dinette.

Reliable Performance

“At a comfortable 26 knots, the engines consumed just 69 gph, with the salon and helm quiet at 66 decibels (65 decibels is the level of normal conversation). Top speed is a bit more than 32 knots.”

Tight as a Drum

As an island nation surrounded by rough seas, Australia calls for boats with robust construction. Riviera’s hulls are hand-laid fiberglass with solid bottoms and a hull-to-deck joint that is bolted, bonded, and fiberglassed.

Riviera Yachts

Founded in 1980 by yachtsman and offshore powerboat racer Bill Barry-Cotter, Riviera Yachts gained a reputation for sturdy bluewater boats. Shipments to the United States started two years later. The company—now owned by Rodney Longhurst—builds 22 models to 78 feet long, including sport yachts, motoryachts and flybridge yachts.

Take the next step: rivieraaustralia.com