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Puerto Rico dream life on a 505 SUV

by Riviera 30 Aug 21:25 PDT
Puerto Rico dream life on a 505 SUV © Riviera Australia

Ah, cruising Puerto Rico! Rum, palm trees and cerulean seas. While you'd expect calm conditions to complement the scene, in reality, the Atlantic Ocean buffets the island's north side, and it's often a rough ride to find a sheltered bay.

Situated in the Caribbean's Greater Antilles, boating in Puerto Rico (PR) demands a seaworthy vessel, which is why long-time Riviera representative Wally Castro's pick is the new 505 SUV.

Built for blue water

Happy Ending is Wally's sixth Riviera since he began dealing the luxury motor yachts 12 years ago in the capital of San Juan.

"The 505 is an open sea performer," says Wally. "East of PR towards the British Virgin Islands we have seven islands that are about 20 to 80 miles away in rough water. That's why Riviera motor yachts are popular here. It's their seaworthiness and the running angles of the blue-water hull - they're built to perform in open oceans. The 505 hull is new, it's more flared at the front and has a deep vee forward that makes it a dry and stable boat."

Since taking possession in March 2020, Wally, his wife Yarah and their two-year-old daughter Elena have spent as much time on Happy Ending as they have on land. They head out for 10 days at a time with their replica buddy boat, On the Rise, another 505 SUV owned by friend Sammy Ramos and his family.

Liveable spaces to enjoy

"I think the 505 offers the best of a sport yacht's single-level amenity and a flybridge boat's open cockpit. The arrangement is incredible. It has the perfect combination of living areas all there to enjoy - the cockpit, the alfresco area, the saloon and great-sized staterooms."

At nearly 6 square metres, the added mezzanine deck of the 505 SUV flows out from the saloon and features a dinette to port and an additional starboard lounge. It opens out to the cockpit like an amphitheatre, and yet it's protected from the weather and harsh Puerto Rican sun. Overhead, twin electric sunroofs offer extra airflow - every aspect optimised for cruising in any climate.

"The alfresco area is a real wow factor. And I love the full-beam master stateroom, it's amazing. It has a walk-in wardrobe, a designer bathroom with a separate shower and then this great-sized room has a beautiful view. It's unique for a boat of this size. The VIP forward for guests is also amazing. It's equivalent to the 4800 Sport Yacht's master stateroom."

Wally says the 505's wide and open cockpit is particularly well-appointed and lends itself to action.

"There are so many things you can do with a boat designed this way; it's excellent for fishing, and the hydraulic platform helps get the tender in the water quickly, or mostly my young daughter plays on it!

"And there is a cooking station with two electric grills and also a sink, plus an icemaker and an extra freezer. We cook a lot on the boat, and we've found that the refrigeration systems have a lot of space. The LED lighting around here is also really unique, really beautiful."

Blending performance with pleasure

Mixing pleasure with sport is the spirit of the SUV range and Wally opted for a pair of Volvo Penta D11 IPS 950 (725 horsepower).

"I can tell you this model has plenty of horsepower, and it doesn't matter if it's full of diesel or at half a tank, the boat performs well. With rough conditions, we sit at around 22 to 26 knots, and at full speed we hit 32 to 33 knots. And it has a 360-degree view, which is perfect from a captain's point of view.

"At nearly 56 feet (17 metres) the 505 is a good size for slips in PR and very comfortable to back into a dock; I can control the boat easily. The rear docking station and joystick makes it especially easy to park. Yarah can handle the ropes, and I can even lend a hand too in the back.

“We have the generator running all the time for the air-conditioning. And of course, everything runs through the CZone digital switching system, which Riviera employed to control all onboard systems for years. Now I have downloaded the app and control every aspect of the boat from my phone.

“We’ve spent a lot of time living on the 505 because of the pandemic. It’s been the best place to be. We know every inch of the boat.”

Discover more here

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