Building on the outstanding success of the 445 SUV, Riviera has now added their second stablemate to the SUV family, with the addition of the larger 565 SUV.
The successful 445 SUV was based on the 43 flybridge model, and Riviera has used the same concept with the 565 SUV by utilising the existing 53 flybridge hull mould. Obviously from the chines up and internally everything is very different, but the proven hull, with its proven performance, has been retained.
When I reviewed the 445 SUV in Sydney last year I was impressed with the fresh approach that Riviera had given the boat and the styling departure from Riviera’s norm, to what many would consider very non-Riviera. The beachy look and warm colours created by interior designer Giorgia Drudi were refreshing and exciting. Being different and straying from the conventional can have its issues, but in the case of the 445 SUV it’s all been positive.
Riviera’s bold initiative has certainly worked and since the first boat was released around 12 months ago, 15 have been sold. I had to wait until the day after SCIBS to have a sea trial in the first 565 SUV and after a very informative and detailed walkthrough of the boat with Chris McCafferty, Riviera’s International Sales Director, I was able to experience the boat in some very confused and rather nasty seas off the coast of Surfers.
Firstly, the Riviera 565 SUV is a pod-drive-only boat, either twin Volvo Penta IPS or Cummins Zeus. Our test boat was powered by the standard pairing of IPS 900s @ 700hp each, through IPS2 pod drives. In the calmer waters of the Broadwater the 565 SUV topped out at around 32 knots @ 2420 rpm, which for a boat that displaces over 22 tonnes is very respectable. The sweet spot was around 24.5 knots @ 2000 rpm, which is also extremely fuel efficient with a burn of around 161L/h (both engines) for 6.6L/NM and a range of over 470NM.
If you are into towing lures then the twin IPS 900s turning at a leisurely 1000 rpm will give you around 8.5 knots and a fuel burn of 32L/h or 3.8L/NM and a range of over 850 NM.
There was a good sea running outside the entrance and it didn’t take long to get the 565 SUV into the right trim mode.
Heading into the breaking 2m swells, with about half tab, the boat felt comfortable at around the 17-knot mark. Turning and running with the swells and with no tab on I found I was gradually sneaking up the rpm and it wasn’t long before we were running almost flat out. Great ride, great handling and extremely soft and dry.
Back in the marina, the boat manoeuvered with ease, thanks to the IPS joystick controls. The boat had a set either side of the cockpit as well as at the helm, so they were readily at hand when required.
The idea of the SUV line is to give the family a sensible alternative to a flybridge boat, with single-level living. It is a perfect amalgamation of Riviera’s sport yacht and flybridge lines, that brings them together in one very exciting and well conceived package.
In brief, the 565 SUV offers a big fishing cockpit for the boys or alternatively a great outdoor entertaining area, a saloon that is exteremely spacious and inviting be it for a quiet dinner or entertaining guests and then an accommodation area that is outstanding. Check out the master cabin. You will be amazed at what Riviera has managed to pack into the space beneath the saloon sole.
“Soon after the 445 SUV came to market, people were asking when we were going to release a bigger version, so the 565 SUV was a natural progession”, says McCafferty.
He added that while the 565 SUV is probably about as big as the SUV line will get, expect to see something out next year inbetween the two existing models.
“The reaction to the 565 SUV at the Riviera Festival of Boating was extremely encouraging. We are very confident that the new 565 will follow the 445’s success. People who came aboard at the show loved the single-level living and the full-beam master was a great hit”, said McCafferty.
To really appreciate just how good the interior is of the 565 SUV, you need to step inside. You can see from the outside that Riviera designers have got the styling right, but it’s not till you walk aboard that you can really appreciate how good it really is.
Oversized windows and narrow forward mullions give the saloon a glasshouse effect, with natural light enhancing the fresh décor, a mix of high gloss varnished cherry timber (standard is oak) and exposed stitched macromarine upholstery. It reminded me of a conservatory, where you can soak up the warmth and not be exposed outside in the summer, or a place to be when the weather turns inclement.
There is only one floor plan for the saloon, with the forward area dominated by the port side helm. This is a carry over from the 445 SUV and interestingly it seemed rather natural to drive from the ‘left’ and is something that US and European clients can perfectly well relate to.
The helm is big enough to mount three 16” screens and there is plenty of space still available for all the rest of the controls and electronics. The raised helm station has two high quality chairs (your choice of Macromarine suede or leather) plus two more on the starboard side. Visibility for the skipper is exceptional all round.
McCafferty pointed out that other seating options are possible, such as a bench seat replacing the twin starboard side chairs and they are also looking at incorporating an L-shaped chaise lounge for a client. “Some customisation is possible, as long as it is within the parameters of the basic layout”, says McCafferty.
An electric hi-low TV is neatly hidden away until required and can be swivelled to suit your viewing position, be it around the dinette or on the starboard lounge. The L-shaped dinette, with hi-low table and the U shaped galley complete the layout on the port side. The dinette also doubles as an extra berth and another great storage space. Kiwis especially will find favour with the aft galley, something that has become a standard issue with Riviera these days. With the large hopper window and sliding glass door open, the interior and cockpit meld together as one massive area for entertaining.
The galley servery space is vast, so there’s no shortage of area to prepare a meal for those extra guests. Top quality appliances are used, with a four-burner ceramic cooktop, under-bench and above-bench cupboards and lockers, rubbish bin, dishwasher, sink with cutting board and convection microwave oven.
Opposite is a bar area with a pair of drawer fridges and freezers, plus an icemaker. In all, there are three freezers and three fridges inside, plus the option of more in the cockpit.
The Wow Factor
The 565 SUV is a three-stateroom two-head/bathroom boat with a VIP forward, starboard side guest and full-beam aft master. The two guest cabins share a generously sized ensuite with two-door access. The Corian bench top is topped with a raised bowl, glass faced medicine cabinets and extra storage below. Corian is also used on the sole and the base of the extra spacious shower stall, with the illuminated stone flash-back adding a classy touch.
The VIP can be configured with a walk-around queen size bed or, as an option, two extra wide singles. Both offer storage options below to go along with the two cedar-lined hanging lockers, shelves and drawer storage throughout the rest of the cabin. Overhead, a Bomar hatch lets in extra ventilation, with the fixed side ports providing extra light.
The starboard side bunk room has two over-width single berths, a deep hanging locker with drawer storage below and the lower berth lifts to expose another large storage space.
Take three steps down via the companionway to the full-beam master and you are hit with the wow factor.
This is the pièce de résistance of the 565 SUV and would, I feel, single-handedly ‘sell’ the boat to a lot of people. The interior volume of the 565 SUV is more than the name suggests and is probably more akin to a ‘60ft’ boat. Centre of the stateroom is the fore-and-aft king-size bed, with flat-screen TV on the forward bulkhead complete with a DVD and Fusion entertainment system.
To starboard is a corner vanity with make-up counter forward, flanked by copious drawer and locker storage. Add to this a full walk-in cedar-lined closet and there’s no shortage of places to stow away your clothes and shoes. Large hull windows have optional opening ports to provide natural ventilation and plenty of light. Air conditioning is standard throughout the boat, with all cabins featuring their own zoned temperature controls.
A 2-3 seater settee along the port side of the stateroom provides the owners with their own ‘quiet’ place away from the rest of the guests. Aft is the owners’ bathroom complete with another oversized shower stall, Corian surfaces and with a step down into the shower, there’s plenty of height.
Big Spacious Cockpit
A key design feature of the 565 SUV is the open and uncluttered cockpit, with both wet and dry storage areas in the coamings and under the optional teak sole. These include three large fish bins. The mezzanine seating to port has to be one of the best spots on the boat if you want to be outside when underway and it’s perfect to keep an eye on activities around the transom when at anchor. While it is well protected under the sleek cabin overhang, there is extended overhead protection available with an optional awning and side clears.
The standard 565 SUV has a transom moulding that incorporates a built-in barbeque, but in our boat we had a central island unit which was equipped with a large electric grill. While this could double as a bait station with the right cutting board, it would be right in the way if you wanted to mount a game chair.
Again, Riviera will try to make the changes necessary to customise the boat to suit your personal requirements.
The 565 SUV is available with a Davco positive lift rise and fall transom platform, which doubles as the tender stowage. This is a marvelous addition and in my opinion should be the first thing you tick on the option list.
With the 565 SUV, Riviera has again hit on a winner and like the smaller 445 SUV it is truly a boat for all reasons!