58 — By Richard Thiel
— April 2003
Thunder from Down Under
|Part 2: The entire engine room is painted gleaming white to reveal the smallest leak.|
Open that door to the engine room, and you find a space designed with real-world use in mind. Virtually everything important is right by the door so you don’t have to crawl inside the not-quite-standing-headroom space. That includes an electrical panel with battery selector switches, ignition keys, important switches and breakers, and gauge panels with digital tachs and meters for engine oil, gear oil, fuel pressure, jacket water temperature, gear oil temperature, and voltage. Duck inside and you can see both the engine coolant expansion tanks and Racors on the aft bulkhead. The two standard Onan gensets and their Racors are in each forward corner, a change from Hull No. 1, which had them abaft the engines. Riviera says that modification earned them more than a knot. Interesting. Conventional thinking is to put most of the weight aft for better planing performance, yet the 58 seems to do quite well with her two fiberglass fuel tanks and gensets nearly amidships.
Also on that electrical panel are manual overrides for each of the five bilge pumps. That’s worth mentioning because the 58’s hull has five “independent compartments,” one of which is for the bow thruster. There’s also a collision bulkhead forward and a manual bilge pump that can draw from any of the compartments.
The entire engine room is painted gleaming white to reveal the smallest leak. Faux “teak and holly” carpet covers the catwalk between the Cats; more aesthetically pleasing are the hand-fabricated, polished stainless steel seawater strainers forward of each engine. No, you can’t see into them, but they are works of art nonetheless.
Inside, the 58’s prime aesthetic feature has to be her beautiful cherry joinery (although I really like the sea rail overhead and in the flying bridge). It’s evident the moment you enter, especially on the lovely starboard credenza. Also here are a standard wine cooler, sink, and copious glass and bottle stowage. To port, a large L-shape leather lounge provides plenty of relaxation space, but for dining, everyone will no doubt congregate at the large U-shape dinette to starboard of the galley, over which is a Sony flat-screen TV, DVD, VCR, and Bose Lifestyle Surround Sound system. Everywhere there’s stowage under the seating.
The U-shape galley also has good stowage, but not beneath the faux wood sole. The hatch there opens to reveal valving for the fuel system, nothing if not convenient. Standard fitments above include Corian counters, two U-line undercounter refrigerators, a Nova Kool in-counter freezer, a Sharp convention/microwave oven, a four-burner ceramic cooktop, and a dishwasher.
Five steps down, the centerline companionway takes you to the accommodations level, which is divided among four staterooms and three heads. Because the hallway is offset to starboard, the master, with 6'4" headroom, is large enough to have its queen-size berth athwartships, freeing space aft for a ten-inch-deep vanity/desk. The forward en suite head is also large, with plenty of room for a separate shower. The VIP in the forepeak is only marginally smaller, as is its en suite head. Two starboard staterooms, each with bunks, flank a smaller head that, thanks to a second hallway door, is also a convenient day head. The bunks of the aftermost of this pair are at a right angle, which allows it to accommodate both a washer/dryer and the central vac. The smaller of the two, this guest stateroom would make a good captain’s quarters.
But for me what makes the accommodation level outstanding are its hatches. Each of the three bilge compartments is readily accessible, thanks to large hatches in the carpeting. Six overhead hatches ensure that every stateroom and head gets plenty of light and air. Both of these highly practical features are notably missing or minimized on most of the other convertibles you see today.
Also rare is a 58-footer that turns 45 mph out of the box, handles two- to four-footers with only the occasional thud, and carves turns like a 30-footer. Our 58 also garnered her share of appreciative looks as we transited the marina. She may not be as unusual here as she is Down Under, but by any person’s—or country’s—standards, this is one big and impressive boat.
Riviera Phone: (61) 7 5502 5555. www.riviera.com.au.
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.