A MODERN TWIST
The Riviera 39 Sports Motor Yacht is the third in the Riviera Sports Motor Yacht Series and heralds the brand’s re-entry in a whole new sector of the cruiser market.
The 39SMY is in many ways a return to Riviera’s roots, when an open flybridge, internal helm, flybridge ladder and forward galley were the norm. What Riviera have done is taken that same concept and given it a modern twist.
The new 39SMY is very indicative of where the cruiser market is these days, with less emphasis on dedicated fishing boats and more a boat that has the traditional aspects of taking friends and family away, be it overnighting or day trips. This is the perfect boat for two couples or a family, with a layout that reflects practical family boating.
What is significant about the all-new Riviera 39SMY is that it is the first boat Riviera has built under 12m (40ft) in more than a decade. The company has put a tremendous amount of energy over the past six years, under the current ownership of Rodney Longhurst, into developing their bigger boat line. Essentially this was to cater for the current Riviera owners that were looking to upgrade and the company felt there was a need to bring new models online to provide for that demand. Something that has certainly proven the right move, with sales of the larger boats in the Riviera fleet extremely buoyant. Since the Riviera 68SMY was launched in late 2017 and the 72SMY last year, 21 have been sold!
“We felt the timing was right to energise the smaller sector of the cruiser market as people are wanting to move up to a new Riviera and also current owners looking to downsize, but still wanted to stay in the Riviera family”, says Stephen Milne, Brand & Communications Director for Riviera.
The Riviera Sports Motor Yacht Series takes a lot of the attributes of a larger motor yacht, such as wide walk-around side decks, generous accommodation, enclosed flybridge, aft galley, digital switching and side access but with the performance and attributes of a sports fisher.
The beauty of the 68SMY & 72SMY is that they offer all the cruising elements of a motor yacht, that are uniquely wrapped in Riviera’s design and present a sporting concept both in style and performance.
When Riviera decided to design the 39SMY they realised, due to space constraints, that it was too small to incorporate all of the features of the 68/72SMY. But what it did get was the extended flybridge, more extensive side decks with bulwarks, lower helm and great accommodation. Plus it was given the sports fishing cockpit and performance attributes, of the 68/72SMYs. It’s a boat that works exceptionally well in all climates, with the open flybridge when the weather’s hot and sunny and the downstairs helm where you can hunker down cosy and warm — indeed a boat for all seasons.
In keeping with the sports motor yacht image, there are three dedicated outdoor lounge areas; one in the cockpit, another on the flybridge and the third on the foredeck. Impressive for a boat this size.
It may be the smallest boat that Riviera offer in their 15 boat fleet (plus four Belize) and you might expect that the same attention to detail and quality fit and finish of the larger Rivs may not be there. After all, at this end of the market buyers can tend to be very price conscious and are more concerned about the best deal available. However, you would be wrong, as Riviera’s philosophy is the same for every boat, no matter what the size. What you see in the way of the build quality and the equipment list in the flagship 72SMY, is the same for the 39SMY.
“We don’t compromise no matter what size the boat is. We build our boats to last, to be run offshore and give our owners peace of mind knowing that the Riviera they have, is not only going to be reliable but also hold its value in the market”, says Milne.
GLOSS OR SATIN
Being a full production boat the layout is predetermined, but you do have the choice of fabric colours and the choice of two timbers, oak or walnut in either satin or gloss. I loved the high gloss walnut on our test boat, which reflected a rich interior.
The 39SMY shares the same hull as the 395SUV and the same internal layout. Accommodation is two cabins, a forward master with central island berth and an aft cabin under the saloon sole with three single berths. Two of the singles can be moved together to form a second double which makes this ideal as a two couple boat. Each cabin shares a single head/shower space, which is also used as the day head.
Stepping up from the forward area into the saloon it is easy to see why this boat has so much appeal, with a very serviceable arrangement. There’s nothing unique or tricky, just practical and functional that has everything in the right place.
Certainly, a departure from the ‘old school’ Riviera’s is the port side aft galley which features a Corian surface and excellent servery areas, storage cupboards above and below with soft close, a convection microwave, compartmentalised crockery storage, hot plate and fridge/freezer drawers. Very handy to the L shape settee and dining area opposite and the cockpit. Forward is a small settee opposite the internal helm.
One area that doesn’t lack on the 39SMY is storage. There is plenty and it’s in every available space from the hanging lockers in the cabins to under the cockpit sole. If you need to accommodate a couple of extra guests overnight the port side settee converts to another double berth. The rear awning window provides an unobstructed flow through to the saloon so whether your inside or in the cockpit there is a feeling of all being in the one space.
A real feature of the 39SMY is the prominent internal helm with a large double bolster helm seat and split level dash. A pair of Volvo Penta/Garmin glass screens is flanked by an array of instruments, electronics and switches, which are all easily to hand. The driving position is excellent with virtually unimpeded sightlines 360 deg.
Stepping out into the cockpit you find a central BBQ island, with a fold-out seat to starboard and a very cool el-fresco dining area to port. This is a cockpit to entertain, relax and also fish from.
OPEN & BREEZY
Access to the spacious flybridge is via a traditional stainless ladder and it’s not till you get up there that you realise just how well Riviera have transformed the space into a real entertainment and fun area. There are fore and aft lounges, a wet bar and a great helm. It’s a while since I drove an open flybridge boat with a soft top bimini and while the trend today is all for enclosed hardtops, the return of the open bridge is a refreshing change.
Cruising around The Broadwater and off Surfers Paradise, with a warm breeze in my face, but still with the shade of the Sunbrella bimini from the 30 deg temperature, felt very natural. Okay, that’s not something that you can do all year, but if the weather does pack up, then you move to the comfort of the saloon helm. Bringing back the open flybridge has been a stellar move by Riviera.
I found that both the steering stations provided great driving positions and coupled with the Volvo Penta Interceptors on auto, driving the boat at speed or in hard turns was effortless. Any quick manoeuvres on the helm were quickly addressed and the 39SMY stayed very level in turns and ran a low attitude in both the head and following seas. Push the throttles down and the boat is planning in a few seconds, with very little bow lift.
We got 33.6 knots @ 3580 rpm, for a fuel consumption of 168 lph and a range of 270nm. At 2800 rpm @ 22.4 knots, the fuel dropped to 112 lph, but the range stayed the same. Interestingly if we bumped that to 3000 rpm @ 25.8 knots, the fuel increased to 124 lph, but our range improved to 281nm.
Released at the 2018 Sydney International Boat Show in August, the third and smallest boat in the new Sports Motor Yacht Series has proven its popularity with eleven boats launched by the end of the year and more on order. Sales have been international with boats heading to Europe, USA, Asia and of course locally in Australia and New Zealand.
While some brands prefer to offer a base boat and let you add all the extras, in Riviera’s case most of what you need is already in the price, so it’s a genuine turn-key, drive away package. However, as you would expect owners tend to tick plenty more on the options list, but then that’s their choice. The level of detail in the 39 Sports Motor Yacht is incredible, so you need to add very little.
- Boat Design Name: Riviera 39 SMY
- Year Launched: 2018
- Builder: Riviera
- Designer: Riviera
- LOA: 13.27m
- LOH: 12.06m
- Beam: 4.26m
- Displ (Dry): 12800 kg.
- Engine Make: 2 x Volvo Penta D6-IPS600
- Max Speed: 33.6 knots
- Construction: GRP
- Fuel Cap: 1500 litres
- Water Cap: 390 litres
- Drive Train: IPS
- Generator: Onan
- Air Con: ??
- Anchor Winch: Muir
- Underwater Lights: Lumitec Seablaze
- Lighting: Hella
- MFD: Garmin
- Entertainment: Fusion
- Priced From: $AU921,100
- Price As Tested: $AU994,777