On a trip Down Under, I discovered just how enthusiastic Riviera Yachts owners are. At the Riviera Festival of Boating, thousands of past, current, and future buyers swarmed through the gates of the 100-acre factory complex to climb aboard new model then take a boating class, and explore brokerage boats. But the main reason they attended in droves was the family atmosphere—akin to a hometown carnival—that Riviera cultivates.
After climbing aboard the new Riviera 4800 Sport it became apparent to me; the Riviera family may be big, but as anyone belonging to a large family will tell you, it’s always exciting to have a new addition.
The 4800 takes aim at the more entry-level boater (compared to the company’s SUV and Flybridge lines) with day and weekend trips in mind.
A full-scale plywood mockup, resting on an immaculate shop floor, was the first step in the life of the 4800, and indeed, all Rivieras start out this way.
From there the builder invites prospective clients to walk through the plywood yacht. “Our clients spend more time on the water then we do,” says Riviera CEO Wes Moxey. “So, we need to get their feedback.”
This step was critically important in the building of the 4800 because, while she shares many styling and design characteristics with her larger siblings, the 5400 and 6000, she also sports an all-new hull to maximize the performance of her Volvo Penta IPS800s.
Step aboard the 4800 from the swim platform and you’ll find what would have to be one of my favorite spots aboard: the aft grilling station. Whether you’re at the dock or on the hook, the double Kenyon grill should keep everyone well fed.
Australians, and indeed most boaters, like to feel connected to the water when cruising; a large window in between the cockpit and saloon swings up and out of the way to provide an indoor/outdoor feeling.
While this boat will predominantly be used as a weekender, the galley provides the comfort of a long-range cruiser. There’s a large stainless steel fridge and freezer, plenty of countertop space; and fine handmade furniture (built in-house) dresses up the space.
The helm obviously belongs to nothing other than a sport yacht. The black helm seats, recessed 12-inch Garmin MFDs, and raked windshield give the impression, even when the boat is tied up, that she can really move.
When you step past the helm and down the companionway, you enter a space that most won’t expect, an L-shaped sitting area that’s located between the forward master and the aft VIP. Both staterooms, while comfortable and spacious in their own right, lack such a lounge area. If you’re in either stateroom, odds are that you’re heading to bed. I can’t help but think this sitting area would be a nice spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and flip through a favorite magazine before greeting the day and your nosy neighbors.
The Sport Yacht line is filled with boats designed for drivers. However, it’s not just the 4800’s speed that makes her so attractive (top end is 34 knots, says Riviera); she also offers great handling and comfort underfoot. She makes tight turns and can eat the notorious Australian chop, even when the driver doesn’t pull back on the throttles—an unbeatable duo.
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This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.