Caprio’s First impression: Quite a handsome and capable dual-purpose yacht from a well-respected builder. Although Riviera bills her as being the better of two worlds—bluewater cruising and sportfishing—serious anglers might find her wanting. My favorite feature is the joystick helm station in the cockpit.
If you buy a Cadillac Escalade to go mudding on the weekend, you’ll trade it in the next business day. The same applies to your choice of a Jeep Wrangler for a cross-country tour via the Interstate system. Each of these vehicles is an SUV, but each one’s compromises lean heavily to one side. Dual-purpose yachts often suffer the same fate, but Riviera’s new 515 SUV isn’t among them. The company appears to have selected all the right compromises for the market she’s meant to occupy.
More Escalade than Wrangler, the 515 SUV ought to be perfect for owners who love to cruise in high style and great comfort but still want to fish along the way. Riviera achieved its goal by basing the SUV on the 50 Enclosed Flybridge model—lopping off the flying bridge and moving the helm to the saloon. For cruisers, who often pick up a mooring or anchor out, the 515 SUV’s twin transom doors and big swim platform, with lift-out, stainless steel rails, ease the transition from tender to afterdeck.
Anglers will appreciate the swim platform for its optional custom rod holders and bait-prep station, and everyone ought to like the optional 880-pound hydraulic lift for handling the tender. On the afterdeck, which is at the same level as the swim platform, lifting the lid of the transom stowage center reveals a double barbecue grill with stainless steel backsplash and LED lighting. To port, the large self-draining box holds swimming and diving gear, but Riviera can convert it to a livewell, with a filter and glass front, or an additional grill.
The 515 SUV caters to the owner’s cruising needs by including comfortable seating, a table, refrigerated cooler, and a self-draining recycling bin on the afterdeck. In the saloon, her U-shaped galley features a hopper window that opens out to the cockpit area, opening the rear of the boat so the cook can be part of the fun. In the headliner above the galley there is a rod locker complete with clips for rods and reels, reinforcing the 515’s dual-purpose role.
Belowdecks, you’ll find three staterooms, two heads, and enough stowage to accommodate a full passenger manifest.
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- Builder: Riviera
- Model: Riviera 515 SUV
- Boat Type: Cruiser
- Year: 2014
- Base Price: Upon request
- LOA: 56'8"
- Draft: 3'10"
- Beam: 16'5"
- Displacement: 57,600 lb. (dry)
- Fuel Capacity: 793 gal.
- Water Capacity: 198 gal.
- Standard Power: 2/626-hp Volvo Penta IPS800s
- Optional Power: 2/600-hp Cummins QSC8.3 diesels w/Zeus pods; 2/725-hp Volvo Penta IPS950s
- Top Speed: 31 knots
- Cruising Speed: 24 knots
This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.