Rio Yachts not only allows for customer input in their designs, they encourage it.
Rio 60 GTS

Rio 60 GTS

If you’re in the market for a cookie-cutter yacht that will blend in at the dock, the Rio 60 is likely not the boat for you. Hull No. 1, which debuted at Ft. Lauderdale, was commissioned by a world-famous restauranteur who learned to love the brand after extensively chartering a Rio 56.

The owner, I’m told, is a man who built his success by being hands-on with his businesses, so he was looking for a builder that would work with him to bring his vision to life. 

“He [the owner] has a series of high-end restaurants and his own interior designer,” says Rio Yachts USA CEO Marc-Udo Broich. “He picked everything, down to the millimeter of thickness of the marble to the accents in the teak in the ceiling.”

From an exceptionally dark color scheme to the extensive use of Argentinian leather, the owner and his designer had input on nearly every detail of the boat. “Sounds like a tough customer,” I said to Broich.

“That’s the type of customer we like,” he replied emphatically. “We want the owner involved in the entire process. We want to build their dream, which is why we mostly target experienced yachtspeople. We’re not looking to build a million boats, we want to build 30 to 40 a year for customers who know what they want.”

And the customization on Hull No. 1 doesn’t end with fabrics and color schemes. The owner is 6 feet 8 inches tall and his wife stands around 5 feet tall. For him they raised the overhead throughout the entire interior, elevated seating so he could sit at the proper angle, and even extended the berths in the staterooms, while making sure grabrails, countertops, and controls were at a comfortable height for his wife.

 The dark, masculine feel belowdecks in Hull No. 1 is contrasted by an exceptionally open and bright salon and cockpit, aided by one of the biggest sunroofs I’ve seen on a boat this size.

The exterior of the 60 enhances the boat’s masculine feel with lines that are both sleek and sporty. The hull color is a striking metallic gray that matches the owner’s private jet. Powered by twin 1,000-horsepower Caterpillar C12.9s the boat has a 36-knot top end. It’s worth noting that the boat would likely have a 40-knot top end if there weren’t so many custom additions.

With such a custom build comes features that, as expected, are not to everyone’s taste. Leather in the head, for example, was a feature that bothered me to my core. And the grabrails walking to the bow are so low they almost do more harm than good. I’m told that Hull No. 2 will be a more conventional model with the black and leather replaced by a white color scheme and more wood.

“I’ve been asking our new owners (there are two more 60s currently in build) to send me photos of homes and other stuff they like so we can build the boat of their dreams,” says Broich.

The desire to have customers intimately involved with the design of their boat—and the builder’s willingness to match their vision—combined with the performance pedigree for which Rio Yachts is known might just be a winning combination.

Rio 60 GTS dinette

Rio 60 GTS Specifications:

LOA: 63'4"
Beam: 16'7"
Draft: 4'4"
Displ.: 57,200 lb.
Fuel: 790 gal.
Water: 185 gal.
Standard Power: 2/1,000-hp Caterpillar C12.9
Cruise Speed: 22 knots
Top Speed: 36 knots
Price: Upon request

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This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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