By Kyle Barnes

by Holly Dukeson

Luxury adventure for all dress codes

South East Queensland’s Southport Yacht Club is a fabulous spot to start our journey of discovery of the Riviera 58 Sports Motor Yacht. A true gentleman’s club with a dining room that pushes out onto the Broadwater among the giants of gleaming gelcoat – it really gets the juices flowing. Riviera Marine’s Dealer Relationship Manager for Australasia Peter Welch, a 22-year veteran of the boat builder, meets me at the club to take me onboard.

It was an unusual day on the coast. Its usual sparkle had been dulled by a week’s worth of rain and moderate-to-fresh at times south easterlies had us wondering if we were going to get out through the seaway. The day was for ducks, adrenaline junkies and, as it turns out, mad fishermen in tiny boats chasing the birds. And it’s not that this maiden of the sea didn’t look like she could eat up a good sea thrashing before breakfast, but it wasn’t a factory boat and there was an abundance of respect for the proud new owner. 


The lines on this sports yacht are hard to make out dockside, she is bluff and sort of sinewy at the same time, with a bow that flares out and upwards. So, I was interested to see if we could put it to sea. Still, alongside the dock, we did a walkthrough starting with the stern with her optional 450-kilogram lift platform through to the same level cockpit. This struck me as a utility space, a sort of Swiss army knife-style thing. If out cruising, you could have a decent-sized tender floating in a matter of minutes to get into that picnic spot or dock that’s been taken up by undeserving boaters who have pipped you at the post for a lunch spot. With the removal of the tender and the stanchions neatly placed out of the way the platform becomes denuded and the rods come out and the action begins, converting the back deck into a game boat. 


The cockpit comes complete with all you need for the sport of game fishing. It is completely washdown and separated by a few steps up to the saloon level where your audience can watch the action. And if it’s this sort of fishing you are after, and you have never been game fishing before, you have to give it a go. Riviera have put a sort of a paired-down helm station on the starboard side and very aft of the flybridge, so the skipper can see what’s what. The cockpit is also completed with an ice maker and heaps of refrigeration, as well as kill and live bait tanks and a plethora of underfoot storage. Now don’t get me wrong, this rig is not designed as a blood and guts game boat, that is just one of its many metamorphoses. It is fundamentally a flybridge sports cruiser that is just as at home in a suit or overalls. Finishing off in the cockpit is the hidden BBQ, the port and starboard fixed joysticks and control units, which make a total of four steering positions talking to the twin Volvo IPS1350 D13 735kW/1000hp units in the engine room. 


Moving up the stairs, once again at saloon level, there is another alfresco area which seats around six and is linked to the saloon by popping up the large galley window and rolling open the doors. I would think this would be the place to break bread as it becomes indoor/ outdoor and is handily wedged between the port side BBQ and the starboard galley. 


The galley is also impressive. A Smeg convection microwave oven, a four-burner hotplate, a Fisher and Paykel dishwasher and Corian bench tops in your colour of choice. Two Vitrifrigo drawers can operate independently as a fridge or freezer and there’s also a 120-litre fridge with another fridge/freezer drawer. Did I mention the dedicated wine fridge? 


Further forward as we explore the main saloon there is another dining table arrangement complete with a popup flat screen television on the starboard side, again for a party of six if you prefer your dining climate-controlled. Because it is sans a helm down in the saloon, the area presents as a large volume space making this boat the perfect entertainer. On the port side and punctuated with plenty of leather-wrapped chrome handholds is the staircase to the flybridge, but I’ll get to that soon. The portside boasts a serious chrome, watertight door that takes you out and forward along the gunwale to another large lounge area. This looks as if it would house around a dozen or so sunbakers and for those with a more sensitive complexion a shade sail tent can be erected using uprights that slip into the deck and are stacked away in less time it takes to refill your glass.


This deck space has another trick up its sleeve in the form of a dock for the tender. A davit and tender cradle can be installed still leaving space for the lounge ensemble. It’s just a matter of taking out a middle cushion so the outboard has room to poke out the back. And the forward cabin skylight isn’t even affected as the clever buggers have made two smaller hatches rather than one large one, so the tender keel sits on the deck solidly. These forward deck tricks are just another couple of iterations of this motor vessel. 


My journey takes me forward into the first of the triple cabin layout on the waterline deck. Well, not actually waterline for the owner’s suite, sort of knee-deep at that end of things. Right up the bow is a decent-sized guest’s island bed complete with a head, and heaps of storage – as you might expect with this brand by now, every inch of space in these vessels has something that pops up or out. Back down the companionway on the portside is a couple of large single bunks that draw together by flicking a switch creating another couple’s bedding arrangement. This reveal of storage space, clever beds and a plethora of other intelligent ideas is replicated many times as you walk through the vessel. Like doors that don’t just sit against walls but back into housing specifically designed so you have maximum walkthrough space and discreetly backlit features including back on deck the fuel and water fillers which are located on both sides, balanced and with gauges next to the filler pipes so you know how much you are loading. These are obvious decisions and inventions made from hundreds of thousands of sea and boatbuilding experience – and owners’ wish lists. Across the hallway is the day-head, which also has a full-sized vanity and shower obviously catering to the occupants of the first cabin as well as the day trippers. I now head aft down a couple of steps into the owner’s cabin a super quiet and sound-deadened space with a deluxe scandi-style design, once again with its own full-sized bathroom with the shower with room to spare and easily accommodating this 187cm, 100+ kilogram writer. The master bed is an opulent king-size and walk around on the starboard side is a chaise lounge, a place to have a private coffee, easily prepared at your own incabin breakfast bar. 


Further aft is the walk-in robe and you’re through a door to the large utility/laundry room behind the owner’s headboard or a space sometimes referred to as a cofferdam. Which according to Google, is the space between two watertight bulkheads or decks within a ship. So, this space is more of a semi cofferdam having only one watertight bulkhead which takes you through to the engine room. But what the space (regardless of what you call it) does is to further insulate engine-room noise from the main suite. When you walk through the watertight door to the engine department you are met with a not so lofty space, but everything was well put together and in its place. I do stand over the six-foot mark and I certainly wasn’t crawling around, just a little hunched. Which isn’t a bad thing, after all I can’t imagine why anyone apart from engineers and people with diagnostic equipment would want to hang out in there. But if you do need to slip down to the space, you are presented with a very clean space and nicely mapped out for most boaters to understand. 


As we cast off from the yacht club, the wind has subsided a bit and the tide has started to come in, which meant the resulting seas through the seaway have started to smooth out. The flybridge is accessed by the comfortable internal stairway that runs from the saloon. And it’s not the sort of situation you feel like going backwards down, it’s a beautiful fit-for-purpose staircase with tonnes of those leather-bound, chrome handles everywhere. The flybridge itself has the starboard side command centre, consisting of two side-by-side sturdy helm chairs. There are plenty of things that go “ping” but nothing too hard to wrap your head around. Three heads-up 22-inch screens have all your information so you can customise the look and priority. And apart from a couple of communication devices, night vision and a bow thruster, there wasn’t too much to take your attention away from the job at hand. I must admit boats seem to have hit their peak in terms of bridge instruments and as long as you can access all the feeds to the one place there is no need to overdo things with huge ostentatious screens and too many of them. I am a great fan for the ‘less is more’ theory and this craft’s bridge has it in spades. 


So, without further adieu, we head down the Broadwater and out into the brine in what I can best describe as a sloppy day, with the sea not coming from anywhere in particular. But as we rode through the seaway humps, I started to put together what I had seen alongside in terms of this vessel’s bluff, and sort of sinewy at the same time, lines. With a bow that flares out and upwards the penny was starting to drop in terms of her ride. Even though we were coming down off some eight-foot plus rollers at around 14 knots the foredeck remained dry and so did the windshield in the flybridge. Apart from the fresh water being delivered from the heavens, she is an extremely dry boat, even when the speed was backed off and we were in the slop. Of course, the stabilisers must have been doing overtime below wiggling around in the brine trying to keep us upright, but throughout the whole sea trial, there was very little over the bow which absolutely knocked the socks off this seadog. 


After a pleasant stint at the helm, I went downstairs as Peter headed for home. There was a bit of rock and roll and I did notice that once you dismount the helm seat for a couple of steps due to the flybridge skylight as there is nowhere to hang on to until you reach the side of the stairwell. Once I headed downstairs, firstly to the saloon, the sounddeadening engineering stood out, we were clipping along at 17 knots in the rough and it was easy to talk to my companion using a quiet inside voice. This quietness is replicated throughout the rest of the interior, especially doubled down in the owner’s suite where I snuck in to get an idea of the ride – and what a view through the windows! The scene of the wash sensationally running halfway up and across the windows with the Gold Coast’s high rises in the background. 


The 58 Sports Motor Yacht combines design innovation and superior levels of luxury in its accommodation and many living and entertaining spaces. If you are after unlimited adventure, absolute luxury, engineering excellence and a smooth ride, this vessel has your name on it. 


  • Boat Design Name: Riviera 58 Sports Motor Yacht
  • Price: Available on Request
  • Style: Sports Flybridge
  • Builder: Riviera Australia
  • LOA: 19.71m
  • LOH: 17.90
  • Beam: 5.67m
  • Draft: 1.7m
  • Displacement (Dry): 36,500 kg
  • Fuel Cap: 4,500 litres
  • Water Cap: 800 litres
  • Standard Engine: Volvo Penta D13 IPS 1350 (x2)
Performance Data: 2 x VOLVO IPS1350 D13 735KW @ 1000HP
Range is based on 90% of available fuel

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