Riviera 5400 SY

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Riviera 5400SY

With over 30 orders before the first boat was launched, the Riviera 5400SY ticks all the boxes. Barry Thompson says this is one of the best models the company has released in years.

The 5400SY is the latest model to be added to the expanding Riviera Sport Yacht range, which brings the current fleet to four models. However this is not simply just another addition to the Sport Yacht range, it comes with a raft of unique features and innovations, that sets it apart from its siblings. With the 5400SY, Riviera has set an exceptionally high standard when it comes to sport yacht design, layout and functionality. Quite simply, this is one of the best new boats the company has launched in recent years.

Testimony to that is the fact that they had 30 orders even before the first boat was launched in early 2016 at the Miami Boat Show. After the 5400SY had its first Australian appearance at the recent 2016 Riviera Festival of Boating, held in conjunction with the Gold Coast Marine Expo, that number increased even more. 

 “This is certainly unprecedented in all the years I have been with Riviera and it shows the commitment by our ever expanding family of owners, that they have total faith in our new designs and are prepared to commit to purchasing even before seeing the finished product”, says Stephen Milne, Director of Marketing and Sales at Riviera Marine.

Milne added that he can not remember when the company had sold 30 boats of the same model in such a short period and before the first one was even seen. 

The concept behind the Sport Yacht range has always been a one level living boat, with a fixed rear bulkhead, awning window with big sliding door, sliding sunroofs and a natural flow through between the interior and exterior spaces.

The Riviera Sport Yacht range started with the 3600SY in 2003 and was soon followed by more Sport Yacht models. Over time, Riviera added the 4400SY, the 4700SY (renamed the 5000SY, but now retired), and the 5800SY (recently renamed the 6000SY), which combined have generated over 600 sales for the company. The new addition 5400SY is certain to give that number a huge boost.

The 5400SY is a collaboration of feedback by customers to what they wanted in a sport yacht of this size and Riviera’s latest design and engineering principles. The result is a boat that oozes perfection in every area, from the exemplary layout and use of space to the ultra-efficient hull form and engineering.

“It features a lot of the styling of the larger 6000SY, but on a smaller scale. It also comes in at a very different price point, which also makes it attractive to a different group of buyers”, adds Milne.

Detail is a highly important facet of every Riviera built by the Coomera based factory and the 5400SY is no exception. From the double stitched leather to the design of the helm and simple overall aesthetics of the boat, it is world class. Quality, quality, quality, it’s that simple.

Smooth & Silent

Considerable design, engineering and appraisal were undertaken on the new Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht hull well before the commencement of any mould plug work. The 5400SY hull is a completely new hull design from the keel up and draws on the extensive knowledge and insights gained from the tank testing undertaken on previous hulls and running surfaces of models such as the Riviera 52 Enclosed Flybridge, Riviera 525 SUV and the Belize 54.

“On a Riviera IPS pod drive motor yacht we design the transom deadrise between 12 to 15 deg depending on the model and its size and purpose”, says Milne.

He adds, “Going forward the bottom shape is then developed into a very fine entry and like all new Riviera and Belize motor yachts has a solid keel to give the yacht a backbone and better sea keeping ability. The chines are slightly wider and turned down to keep the boats dryer and deliver precise handling. The running strakes follow the same principals of the chines and greatly enhance the ride and dryness forward”.

The 5400SY comes standard with the Czone system, which, with its Ipad integration has revolutionised the useability of boats like the Riviera 5400SY. From anywhere onboard you can monitor systems, turn them on and off and with pre-programming you can even have the entertainment systems of your choice, where and when you want them.

Running the boat on the calm water in the Broadwater and out off Surfers in a moderate swell, I was impressed with how stiff it felt and it’s responsive behaviour. It was whisper smooth, exceptionally quiet (less than 52 dB recorded at the helm) when we were running at over 30 knots. The transition onto the plane at around 15 knots is seamless with no vibration.

With the 5400SY fitted with Volvo Penta’s Interceptor System (IS), you don’t need to know anything about trimming, as it is all done for you.  The Interceptor System is integrated into the EVC platform which makes it extremely easy to handle; just push the trim assist button on the top-mount control and it takes over. I ran the 5400SY with the IS on and at high speed in hard turns the heel of the boat was minimal. Take it off and go manual and the heel is more pronounced. In the head or following sea, the IS takes over and trims the boat in the optimum position to ensure a quality ride. The Interceptor technology is an extremely efficient and fast, although not an inexpensive alternative to conventional trim tabs.

Riviera has built over 500 pod drive boats and the choice was made in the early design stages to stick with pods for the new 5400SY. Powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS 950s @ 725hp each, top speed is 34.5 knots.

Talking to our very experience Riviera skipper for the test, Mark Lawson, he reiterated the quietness and smoothness of the new IPS engines as well as the exceptional fuel efficiency. He added that on the delivery trip of 5400SY #1 to Sydney, he cruised most of the way at around 27 – 28 knots in a 3m following sea and the boat performed outstandingly. Gold Coast Seaway to Port Stephens in under 12 hours! Impressive.

There’s no doubt the Riviera 5400SY is an extremely efficient and slippery hull through the water, as the performance and fuel data prove. At the maximum 2570rpm the 5400SY has a range (based on 2700 litres or 90% of the maximum fuel load of 3000 litres) of 332 nm and interestingly when you drop back to 2300 rpm, the range only increases by 15 nm. Even at a suggested cruise of 2100 rpm, the range is 354 nm, just 22nm better than with the throttles had down. Seems the faster you go the better it gets….well almost.

Number of Firsts

Riviera has designed a centerline helm that makes you feel like you are driving a luxury car. This is a first for Riviera and it changes the whole complexion of the saloon. From the Recaro helm seat to the loungers, the visibility is excellent, with every seat in the house at a perfect height. Everything around the helm is ergonomically designed to come to hand when you need it. Instruments and displays are well placed for instant eye contact. Riviera Electronics chose a Garmin electronics package for our test boat, but this is one area that you have a choice of brands.

The L-shaped leather lounge alongside is very engaging when you have people aboard and you are running the boat. I found it the perfect place to sit when I wasn’t driving and you get that feeling of oneness with the skipper. Well, maybe not that close!

There is a second L-shape lounger with a fixed dining table to port with an entertainment centre complete with a 40” swing out LED TV, cocktail cabinet, wine cooler, and fridge/freezer.

The galley opposite has generous overhead and under bench storage and features all the usual high quality fit out that you can always expect from Riviera. The bench top is a solid surface Corian and incorporates an electric dual element cooktop and drop-in bin with cover.

Very much a signature statement of the Riviera Sport Yacht range is the awning window that opens to the cockpit. When you open the Webasto sliding sunroof, the sun radiates in and a cool breeze emanates through the saloon, giving you the feeling you are in a big open runabout. Sun shades and bug screens are also provided.

Full Beam Master

The accommodation area, accessed via a starboard side companionway alongside the helm is split into three very generous size cabins, including a full-beam master. The atrium over the companionway lets light spill down into the accommodation deck.

Being very much a production boat, there is not a lot of options to customise this area, but then why would you. Riviera has got it right and the use of the available space is perfect.

All cabins have individual air conditioning reverse cycle systems and entertainment controls. While the master has it’s own en-suite, the forward guest VIP and port side guest cabin share the second bathroom. Each is fitted with raised vanity bowls on composite surfaces, synthetic timber flooring and very generous size shower cubicles. Even if your 2m tall you’ll still find the shower space is substantial.

The master cabin features a king size bed perfectly positioned so you can lay in bed and look out through the side windows or watch TV. There is a chaise lounge to starboard and vanity unit to port, with cedar lined hanging lockers and copious drawer and storage spaces throughout.

The port side guest cabin has upper and lower single berths, which are of a generous size, plus there’s ample space so you don’t feel too cramped. The VIP forward guest cabin, like the master, comes with hanging lockers and generous storage spaces, plus there’s a central queen size walk around berth, and the ability to turn the shared bathroom into a private ensuite. The VIP guest cabin is as big as some boat’s master cabins.


It even comes with a Webasto sunroof and a special hood induced venting system at the back of the bbq, means all cooking odours and fumes are dispelled out over the side of the boat.

The 5400SY has phenomenal cockpit space, which comes with an outdoor kitchen unit, complete with a Kenyon double grill bbq, icemaker and fridge. There are dual loungers, an L shape forward lounger complete with hi-low table and a transom lounge between the twin boarding platform access.  The forward lounger converts to a sunlounger with the addition of an infill cushion.

Accessed from the boarding platform, the garage for the tender opens using electric actuators, with an electric winch making launching and retrieval of the centre console Brig 3.2 effortless. Our Riviera 5400SY was also fitted with an optional hi-low platform.

Boating Ambience

I was impressed with the overall volume of the boat, from the generous size cabins to the space of the cockpit and saloon areas. Even the foredeck has been utilised with a sun pad. Nothing is left unattended when it comes to usability and function.

All that is backed up by a  five-year limited warranty, for everything from the engineering and electronics to the engines, drives and structural aspects of the hull.

The final word comes from Milne: “Riviera is a quality player, not a volume player and we are not the cheapest boat on the market and we never want to be. Our criteria is to build high-quality blue water boats that retain both their value and our clients. With the 5400SY, we are simply carrying on that tradition at the highest level possible”.


  • Boat Design Name: Riviera 5400 SY
  • Year Launched: 2016   
  • Designer: Riviera Marine       
  • Interior Designer: Riviera Marine   
  • Builder: Riviera Marine       
  • LOA: 17.29m                        
  • Beam: 4.88m           
  • Draft: 1.28m           
  • Displacement (dry): 21,700 kg   
  • Max Speed: 34.5 knots       
  • Construction: GRP       
  • Fuel Capacity: 3000 litres       
  • Water Capacity: 800 litres   
  • Engines Make/HP: 2 x Volvo IPS 950 @725hp           
  • Drive Train: Volvo Penta IPS
  • Propellers: Volvo P4       
  • Generator: Onan EQD 50Hz        
  • Air Conditioning: ??
  • Watermaker:  ??
  • Anchor Winch: Muir                 
  • Sliding Roof: Webasto       
  • MFD: Garmin   
  • Base Price of Boat: $AU1.606k   
  • Price As Tested: $AU1.697k    


Engine             Speed     LPH                  Range (NM)

RPM                  (Knots)  (Both)              95% Capacity

900                   7.8           25.0                   854

1100                 8.8           44.0                   546

1300                 9.6           74.0                   350

1500                 11.0         113.0                263

1700                 16.2         132.0                333

1900                 20.1         160.0                338

2100                 24.4         186.0                354

2300                 28.7         224.0                347

2400                 31.0         244.0                343

2450                 32.2         251.0                346

2500                 33.2         265.0                338

2570                 34.5         280.0               332

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