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The Complete Riviera Experience

by John Curnow 3 Jun 01:44 UTC
The place certainly was on fire during the tremendous Caribbean Club Gala! © John Curnow

First you take a trip up Queensland's Coomera Rivera from Sanctuary Cove. You disembark at the covered pens, which are out the front of the massive Riviera facility. It is here that a second display of seven boats brings the brand's total presentation of models for the combined Festival of Boating out to the mid teens.

Normally, this is the pre-delivery and sea trial area, as well as where those wishing to collect their new boat from the yard, actually step on board for the first time. During the Festival of Boating, there are driving classes, fishing and cooking demonstrations, and an array of supplier displays to familiarise yourself with, but alas we have a mini bus waiting.

For the next one and a half hours you drive and walk around the various departments and both look at, and yes, actually touch, many of the items that go into the making of a Riviera. You really do get a different perspective on the internal staircase you climb to get to the bridge on board one of the big craft, when you see the bare metal skeleton, that leaves the metal shop to go down the way to carpentry, and subsequently gets encased in timber. Building boats here is the business of creating art forms...

Next, you go back to your facility, and put your party attire on, for at 1800hrs there is to be a grand celebration. It is the seventh time that Riviera has turned it on for its family of owners, so it is no wonder that later on when you chat with Riviera Supremo, Rodney Longhurst, he's both excited and proud.

Milling around the hardstand you know something is about to happen, and so as the gates open, the Champagne flows, and the scrumptious canapés are delivered swiftly. Soon the whop, whop, whop of chopper blades lets you know that it is now show time! The radio chatter lets you know something is being guided in, and then out of the dark, the helicopter's nightsun reveals the Sports Motor Yacht 72. She does a dance for the assembled 600+ guests, and afterwards the 395 SUV escorts the crowd down to the 'shed', where the other magic takes over. Watch the video below to get an idea...

Caribbean Club

World Premiere of the Riviera Sports Motor Yacht 72

Part of Riviera's Festival of Boating, held concurrently with their display at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show was the launch of the stupendous Sports Motor Yacht 72. We drove Hull #1 of the 68/72 sisters last year, and here is our take on it all.

World Premiere of the Riviera 395 SUV

To be followed up soon enough by the 395 Sports Motor Yacht

Featuring a Euro-style, long flying bridge, with a for'ard helm position (lower station also remains), and a horizontal targa bar for the mounting of the electronics. The ladder is just outside the cabin door. This craft will debut at the Sydney International Boat Show at the beginning of August, 2018. Just like her larger sibling, the Belize 54 Daybridge, she will have a soft Bimini, as well as complete covers to shut the top deck down

To get an appreciation of just what the large upper deck will be like, relative to a traditional sportsfisherman, here is our review of the delightful 395's cousin, the magnificent Belize 54.

Now also making her debut later in 2018, is the Belize 66

Hull #1 is well underway to being fitted out, and soon her deck will be out of her mould. The first two hulls will be sedans, with the third the first of the Daybridge versions. She incorporates many good and intuitive aspects to allow for flexibility, as well as a massive tender garage, designed to accommodate a very large craft (3.3m). Her engines will be offset (fore/aft) to allow for this. The result is the port engine's turbocharger is now well out of the way.

The graceful looking Belize 66, with a delightful tumblehome, is already set up to take an gyro stabiliser, should the owner opt for this. It resides under the tender garage, with the hull’s framework already set up with an integrated structure in place, ready for easy installation at any stage of the craft's life, which is very much not the usual case when retro-fitting. It will also allow for easier, and therefore cheaper, servicing of said item.

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