40 Flybridge Convertible — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca — January 2002
Season in the Sun
|Part 2: Riviera 40 continued|
Even in the washtub-like inlet, Office Ours ran at a comfortable 26.5 knots, passing up most of the boats. Her cruise speed here was a little less than the run down, due to the weight of additional fuel, bait, ice, and water. Still, in two hours we ran about 56 miles and picked our spot. The Riviera’s 80.5-square-foot cockpit allowed me to drift three rigs comfortably. Four rod holders are standard on the 40, but I’d add a couple more for trolling and rocket launchers on the flying bridge rail, too.
Inspecting the cockpit as our chum dispersed into the deep blue, I noticed that the in-deck fishbox and transom livewell could use some gasket seals. While running out I heard some chatter from the transom livewell cover, something the gasket seals should help. In addition, the transom door, wide enough to accommodate any fish we could get a leader on, made for an occasionally wet deck when drifting–the water from a swell would run up the platform and slide under the opening between the transom door and the deck. Stephen Milne, Riviera’s advertising consultant, told me you can outfit your 40 with a transom door (sans swim platform) that comes down a little lower, lessening the gap between the transom door and the deck. In turn, it should keep the deck dry in a drift. And as swim platforms can be fish busters, I would go without one if you’re going to do serious fishing. If you cruise more than fish, the platform is efficient for boarding, diving, or launching a dinghy.
Day one concluded with one mako tagged and released and another "money" mako that came by but was reluctant to take a bait. Day two proved better, with 22 sharks hooked up and released. Our good fortune continued with another 13 sharks caught and released at two more tournaments in the weeks that followed. The cockpit space and low transom made tagging and releasing a breeze for both angler and tagger. (No grabbing onto belts as someone stretched to tag a big one.) She also proved to be a fish raiser, as trolling home one day produced a dozen skipjack and one bluefin tuna in about 45 minutes.
Throughout my summer tournament trek, the 40 felt sturdy underfoot, due to her solid glass hull to the gunwale, deck, and flying bridge, with some coring used in her cabin tops. There is a watertight collision bulkhead forward and separate compartments throughout the hull to ensure hull integrity.
During my helm tenure, I experimented with the tabs and found that while the 40 rides smooth, she’s a bit wet unless trimmed just right. On one 70-mile run home in a four-foot head sea, I appreciated the optional four-side enclosure. She tracked well in following seas, but with the optional port-side forward tank full and a good-size following sea, her nose dips, so I used the fuel transfer switch at the helm to transfer weight aft.
I also found our 40’s helm station was loaded with an extremely user-friendly (I didn’t even need to use the manuals) Raymarine electronics package that included a RL85 10.4-inch color radar display, 220 VHF, RayNav 300 WAAS GPS, ST60 Tridata, ST6000 Type 2 Hydraulic Autopilot, and L760 Color 600-watt fishfinder/chartplotter. Whether I was sitting or standing, the Hynautic hydraulic steering was as comfortable to use as the Twin Disc electronic controls, and the electronics console was always in clear view. I also discovered the 40 is agile, thanks in part to 24x30 Teignbridge props that take big bites of the ocean. This, combined with those powerful diesels, resulted in easy docking in close quarters.
Sight lines at the helm are excellent, and since the Pompanette helm seat is set back, cockpit visibility was equally impressive. It was easy for my crew to join me on the flying bridge thanks to the L-shape seat for four just forward of the console. The port-side seat accommodates two more, and the optional 12-volt refrigerator abaft the seat saved a lot of trips to the galley.
As much time as I spent on Office Ours’ flying bridge and in her cockpit, I also spent quality time in her roomy saloon with 6'4" headroom. The port-side, L-shape, indigo leather settee was a great place to put my feet up and watch the starboard TV, just above the high-gloss teak dinette table. (Although teak is the only wood option, other leather shades include bone, taupe, bluestone, and desert.) The joinerwork was outstanding, and the finish reflected the recessed lighting and brightened the entire area. The step-down galley to port had a teak and holly sole, and the NovaKool refrigerator, two-burner cooktop, and Sharp microwave were fine for the little bit of cooking I could manage.
Just a step down to port from here, the head with enclosed shower conveniently opens to both the companionway and forward master. Across to starboard, the guest stateroom’s three bunks were great for sack time, as Jennings attested after his first night on one. The optional washer/dryer is also here. I found the master stateroom’s queen-size island berth a nice place for a date with the sandman, and it was here I spent my last night on the 40 dreaming of how to keep her just a little bit longer.
But as the tournaments came to an end, so, too, did my time on Office Ours, except for that test day with the 30-mph blow. My memories of a season in the sun fishing this rugged bluewater sport yacht will not fade as quickly as the summer did.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.