Ocean Magazine : 9 September October 2006
Up in the saloon itself, more changes are evident, because this model moves the galley aft from its standard forward port position, and what a difference that makes. An enormous steel-rimmed window lifts on gas struts to better connect galley and cockpit, and the whole set-up gives an open through-vessel ambience from the forward L-shaped lounge and dinette right back to the transom, emphasised by the fact that everything is now on one level. An internal staircase with wide teak-inlay non-slip steps curves up to the enclosed flybridge, and this too helps in making the upper deck an integral part of the boat's social structure, or alternatively if the children are getting too noisy watching the 32 inch flatscreen TV down in the saloon, the flybridge closes off at the flick of a switch and turns into a more private, sophisticated setting. Three sides are enclosed, with clear vinyl covers astern, and in the model reviewed, Thorsen took the option for an opening sunroof. Other options include having a pop-up barbeque fitted into the transom where a fish tank is normally supplied, a 3/4 bimini cover for the teak-decked cockpit -- 1/2 size is available too -- and a Gemini RIB on the foredeck. In fact dealer representative Hans Stolz, who was also aboard, remarked that an increasing number of vessels are being set up more for cruising, like this one, than for fishing, although of course wetting a line is possible whether or not the boat is outfitted for serious sport fishing. Norseman sports twin 1380 HP MTUs (1015 HP Caterpillar C18s are standard) producing a top speed of 30 + knots, said Riviera's director of New Product Development Phillip Candler, as we didn't have time between the vessel's boat show and other commitments for a full sea trial. When one considers that features discussed so far are different from earlier Riv models, plus a few options that push the base price up from about $2 million to $2.3 million, it can be more readily appreciated what a "next generation" vessel the Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge has become. Would-be owners get to choose from a range of possible finishes anyway, and in this case, the saloon carpet is 100 per cent wool, with cream New Zealand leather lounges and dinette seating, roman blinds and a light headliner, all offset by scatter cushions. Riviera calls this option Espresso. Cherrywood joinery is exquisite, and the wood varnishing is carried out using a new $2 million dust-free computer-controlled system that Left: Owner's stateroom with roman blinds concealing the new oval port. Shower and toilet are ensuite.
10 November December 2006
8 July August 2006