Riviera 50 – Flybridge

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Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge

Riviera say that the new Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge is the dawn of an entirely new Riviera and while it still retains that unique Riviera look there are some interesting innovations that set it apart from its predecessors

If there was ever a boat that you could say radiated a feeling of openness and space in the saloon, it is the Riviera 50 Enclosed. There is almost an uninterupted 360 deg panoramic viewing experience from wherever you stand or sit. With the low windowlines, the views from the settees and dining area are perfectly situated so you can see everthing that’s going on outside the boat. Even the staircase through to the flybridge is ‘see through’ with four teak treads on a narrow timber frame.

This is so much different to the Riviera’s of yesteryear that had solid rear bulkheads and a single opening door and while the open style is something that the company has been doing for a long time now, they just seem to be getting better at it. The rear hopper window and sliding glass door are set in a stainless frame that is keep as unobtrusive as possible, even to the extent of having no central pillar to break the fresh open look.
The 50 Enclosed follows the success of the 53 Enclosed and is the result of a lot of discussions with customers to see what they liked and didn’t like in similar sized Rivieras such as the Riv 45, Riv 47 and Rev 51 and what they wanted to see in a new boat of this size.
One of the underlying requests was for a big open saloon with plenty of seating, aft galley with hopper window and a large useable multi purpose cockpit. All of which the 50 Enclosed has delivered on.

Loaded With Features

In terms of the general layout there are a lot of similarities to the Riviera 53, although the 50 Enclosed is not simply a compacted version of the 53 Enclosed, as it has a whole lot of features that are unique to the boat. For example on the starboard side there is a fold-out arrangement which can be a lounge seat or a two seater breakfast table area. Very slick and very neat.

The forward TV is now hidden away with an electric fold up system that brings the TV into view when you need it, but folds-out of the way when not required and doesn’t interrupt the great viewing from the saloon. 

The entertainment centre is also compacted away in an out of sight storage locker.
Opposite is a large U shape settee with a stainless steel rise and fall pedestal. You can have an optional infill to turn this into another large berth, plus there is plenty of storage under the squabs with soft close drawers.

While the first Riviera 50 Enclosed was finished in American Oak with Teak trim timber, there are other options, such as Cherry and you can decide between semi gloss or gloss finishes. While from the galley forward the saloon is complete with plush carpet, the galley sole is a hard wearing composite surface. Fabrics and leather covered furnishings are also owners choice.

The aft galley is certainly going to suit anyone who likes entertaining as there is no shortage of servery areas and storage lockers above and below. Under the U shape Corian bench top is plenty of dedicated drawers for all the necessary kitchen things, as well as a LG convection microwave oven, Vitrafrego fridge/freezer and F&P dishdrawer. There’s a liquor cabinet and glass drawer on the starboard side and a second fridge/freezer under the stairwell, which is a space that you can customise to some degree, with a different arrangement.
With the hopper window open there is great interaction between the saloon/galley area and the cockpit.

User Friendly Cockpit

Riviera have certainly listened to their customers and the cockpit is big spacious and user friendly, whether your interests are fishing, entertaining friends or relaxing as you cook a few prawns on the barbie.
Starboard side forward is cabinet complete with an ice-maker, small sink and fresh water, plus a storage locker beneath that is sometimes converted to a four drawer tackle locker. There is also the option of a joystick docking station on either the port or starboard side.

To port is a chill bin and combo freezer/fridge behind the mezzanine seating with an integrated table seat, ideal for those balmy evenings relaxing with a cocktail.

There’s plenty of coaming storage lockers either side, including a kill tank, with access to the extra large boarding platform either side of a central transom module. This incorporates both the electric bbq and a live bait tank all in one. Hatches in the teak cockpit sole give access to the pods as well as a huge self draining 1.8m long watertight lazarette between the pods. Great storage for either wet or dry gear. A new feature on the 50 Enclosed is the twin transom doors which when opened fold back and form an extension to the cockpit. A very intelligent use of space that certainly greatly expands the cockpit, while offering added security all round and a safe area for fishing.

Three Cabins

When you walk into the accommodation area you quickly realise just how spacious the forward space is. Being a pod drive boat there is more available room than a conventional shaft drive and interestingly, while full width master cabins are now almost standard on most pod boats of this size, Riviera has opted not to include one. Instead the layout has three cabins, with two aft and one forward.

You have the choice of making either the forward or port side cabins the master, which then changes the access to the en-suites. Our boat had a port side master with a large central berth with excellent access around to make the bed and plenty of storage in side cabinets, drawers, hanging lockers and under the bed. The large side window provides a neat view of outside as well as letting in plenty of natural light. An opening port light window also lets in extra ventilation.

The master head is a decent size with plenty of storage space in vanity cupboards and drawers, Corian solid surface vanity top and raised ceramic bowl. The walk in shower stall is closed off with a glass door and has an opening overhead hatch with black-out screen. The ladies will like the full size mirror behind the door.

The starboard guest cabin has two very good size bunks and an identical fixed window but no opening port. Storage is provided under the lower berth plus a hanging locker and Riviera have managed to also make this the laundry with a washer/drier combo unit neatly concealed behind timber cabinetry. Going forward I noticed the companionway was all finished in Amtico in this hard traffic area, with carpets confined to the cabins. As this area also doubles as access to the day head, that’s a very smart move.

The forward cabin in this configuration shares the head/shower with the the guest cabin and again it’s fitted out very much the same as the master en-suite. There is a two door access so some privacy can be maintained by the guests in either cabin.

The cabin has fixed glass windows on either side and twin overhead opening hatches. Deep lockers either side provide cavernous space and Riviera have also built-in removeable back panels which are designed to be removed when you need to get into to service or run wires. A central island berth commands the space and like the port side double cabin affords plenty of space around the sides for ease of access. Storage space under the berth is complemented four drawer storage and twin hanging lockers.


Exceptional Enclosure

I have been a convert of enclosed flybridge boats for years and in the new Riviera 50 Enclosed it couldn’t be better. From the new C-shaped lounge that runs the width of the flybridge to the double Pompanette Platinum helm seats, the flybridge is the epitomy of style and function. The overhead Webasto sliding sunroof is a great feature and gives the flybridge a whole new dimension, allowing you to choose just the right amount of natural light or fresh air with the flick of a switch.

An extra large Manship hatch drops down to conceal off the stairway and future proofs the flybridge for the open flybridge version which is currently under development. This will allow Riviera to use the same platform as the enclosed version for the hardtop with clears variant, with the waterproof hatch already designed in place.

The helm is huge and sports a couple fo 15” Raymarine MFD screens, plus extras such as C-Zone control panel, Clarion stereo, Raymarine VHF, Cummins Vessel View engine monitoring screens and chain counter, plus all the necessary controls and switches.

Forward of the helm is an L shape seating space which is a great area to sit and converse with the skipper. In the centre aft is an adjustable grp table surrounded by the C-shaped seating, a wet bar and small fridge. There’s also another set of docking controls conveniently placed with full view of the cockpit. Teak planked carpet and ultra leather portray a comfortable yet elegant feeling to the flybridge area.


This a pod boat only, with the standard package being a pair of Cummins Zeus QSC 8.3 @ 600hp, with either the Volvo Penta IPS 800 or IPS 900 as options. Top speed with the standard engines is 27 knots, with a comfortable cruise around 22 knots. Riviera’s calculations estimate that with the Volvo IPS800, top speed would be around 30 knots and with the IPS900, over 32 knots. Interestingly the Volvo Penta IPS has proven to be the favoured engine package with buyers, with 50 Enclosed #3 (November released date) being the first with Volvo IPS 800.

My test run took us onto the Broadwater for some high speed runs and then out passed The Spit to the open water off Surfers Paradise. As usual the seas were short, sharp and confused with a 15-20 knot breeze whipping the tops off the waves. No problem for the 50 Enclosed as it ate it up at around 24 knots. I was impressed with the the way I could ‘toss’ the boat around with ease and turn it in almost in its own length. It’s a slippery hull that will easily handle the extra horsepower of the IPS engines. 

The Cummins Zeus package is quiet, smooth and totally responsive to all throttle and steering actions and while marginally slower than the IPS options is more than capable both in performance and efficiency.

???????????? who skippered the boat on its maiden voyage from the factory, 400nm to the Sydney International Boat Show said of the trip; “ We had rough conditions for the first two days and the boat handle like a dream at around 20-22 knots, was very responsive and really effortless despite the conditions”.

This is a completely new hull and shares some of the design attributes of the Belize which also runs the Cummins QSC/Zeus engine package. The joystick controls certainly make docking back at the marina an effortless task, despite any adverse wind or tide movement.

Destined For Success

There’s no doubt that under the new Longhurst ownership, Riviera has taken a giant leap forward and shaken off the stigma of receivership very quickly. This is a company that is going places and responding well to market influences, which has had the desired results in sales.

The success of the Riviera 50 Enclosed has been immediate with more than ten sold since the Sydney Show in August. Sales have been throughout Australia in almost each state, plus three for the US and sales pending in New Zealand. A smaller sister to the 53 Enclosed this is certainly a model that is destined for success.

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