A floating resort or a family cruiser? How about both.
Riviera yachts have always been built tough and rugged — like tanks but with way better maneuverability and comfort. They had to be, since their home waters are the open oceans around Australia. They developed a worldwide reputation as first-class offshore fishing vessels that can take a pounding, and the builder has spent the last several years taking that tough-as-nails philosophy and transitioning it to family cruising boats of the flybridge, express and sport yacht variety.
If there was a downside to being as tough as a tank, it was that Riviera interiors — cleverly laid out and very well fit and finished — had a rather “plain” look about them. The new Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht shatters that convention, continuing the builder’s evolution toward luxury and cruising.
Riviera’s newest offering, with an overall length of 63 feet, 4 inches, is the flagship of the builder’s Sport Yacht line. Its interior fit and finish is striking and of such a high level it could serve as a floating private club. A very experienced colleague of mine was on board during this test and commented the ship could easily serve as a floating five-star resort.
Design & Construction Features
The 6000 Sport Yacht was designed by a nine-member team with a combined 130 years in the boat design and building business. The 6000 is built on the success of the Riviera 5800, which was introduced seven years ago and has been a best seller for the builder.
The hull below the waterline, including the keel and chines, is solid, hand-laid fiberglass, while cored glass is used for the deck, cabins and hull sides. Such construction is pretty standard for almost all new vessels of this size and speed and has the effect of keeping the center of gravity as low as possible.
For the 6000 hull, Riviera returned to a hull keel — it had been eliminated on the 5800 — running from the bow to six feet forward of the pod drives. The keel improves tracking underway, helps stabilization at anchor, and adds stiffness and strength to the hull — something important in a 30-knot boat.
- This new Sport Yacht will turn out to be another Riviera best seller, and that means it will hold its value over time.
Access to the deck is over the swim grid and up twin stairways through port or starboard transom gates. The swim step is almost exactly the same height off the water as most dock heights, which makes boarding quick, safe and easy. The swim grid has another interesting feature: The starboard side of the platform is fixed, so that when the rest of the platform is hydraulically lowered into the water, boaters can easily step into the dinghy.
The Riviera 6000 comes complete with a dinghy garage, which is a boon to owners who want security for their expensive dinghy. Our test boat had a 10-foot, 6-inch Palm Beach inflatable RIB complete with a 30 hp Yamaha outboard. That is an expensive package, but the dinghy garage accommodated it nicely — and out of sight! The vessel can be ordered without the dinghy garage, providing more space to the engine room.
The teak-soled cockpit is large and an ideal outdoor entertaining area. With settees to port and starboard and a substantial outdoor galley/wet bar, the cockpit is the place for full meals to be comfortably prepared and served in the open air. Under the portside settee, the builder tucked an electric cooler and ice-maker. Under the starboard settee is plenty of room for fenders and lines. An extended cockpit hardtop provides shade from the sun or protection from the rain, as required — protection that has been a feature of Riviera yachts for some time and is a boon to boaters who spend a lot of time at sea.
With the sliding aft door open and the bulkhead window swung up, the main cabin and cockpit become an indoor-outdoor space, something that Riviera pioneered and has become a feature of most new vessels, regardless of the builder. A set of port and starboard popup joystick controls help take the stress out of docking, even in tight, crowded marinas.
Wide sidedecks, complete with solid raised bulwarks and stainless handrails, make getting to the foredeck quick, safe and easy. The foredeck has one of the largest sunpads available on a boat of this size and also features an insulated cooler, so sun-soakers can grab a cool one when they get too warm.
The interior of our test vessel featured same-level access from the cockpit. The high-gloss walnut woodwork fit and finish was excellent. Walnut is not a wood usually associated with the marine industry, but in the case of the 6000 SY, it worked incredibly well, particularly when combined with real leather upholstery. The synthetic Amtico plank-finished flooring was covered with a snap-in woven vinyl carpeting. Both the flooring and the carpeting were selected to reduce maintenance requirements. The flooring is much tougher and more damage resistant than real oak, and the carpeting can be unsnapped, taken outside and hosed down. Once again, the Riviera design team has shown it actually goes boating!
With a deckhouse that was more window glass than fiberglass, our test vessel’s interior was bathed in natural light. Interior ventilation, even at rest, will be excellent, thanks to an electrically operated sunroof and two opening side windows. When all the deckhouse windows and doors are open, even the slightest breeze outside will move through the vessel, keeping it smelling fresh and clean and free of mold and mildew.
Dine & Drive
A U-shaped gourmet galley is placed so that it is handy to both the interior and the cockpit, meaning the cook is not isolated during food prep. All appliances are top-of-the-line Miele and include an electric induction cooktop, a range hood, a combination microwave/oven with a grill, and a dishwasher. There’s plenty of overhead cupboard and under-counter drawer storage. The galley also boasts a five-drawer refrigerator/freezer, an ice-maker and a slide-out pantry.
The main interior dinette area is set on a raised platform, so a guest who is lounging, reading a book, working on a computer or playing cards with another guest can easily see out. Riviera takes every opportunity to bring the outside in.
The helm station is forward to starboard, and visibility from the pair of electrically operated leather-covered helm chairs is excellent all around. The joystick and all other controls fall easily to hand.
All permanent inside accommodations are belowdecks, but plenty of natural light keeps the stairwell access bright and cheery. The high-gloss woodwork continued in all three cabins on our test boat. A different layout, allowing a small fourth cabin, is also available. All cabins feature en suite heads with separate shower stalls, comfortable beds, a vanity and plenty of storage. Our test boat had a full-size stacked Bosch washer and dryer in the accommodation area. A large cedar-lined locker is also located below. The master suite is full beam, and the VIP suite is fitted nicely into the forepeak. The third cabin can have either twin berths or the twins can slide together to form a large double. Hull windows and opening ports in the heads ensure good natural light and ventilation. Overall, the accommodation area is very comfortable.
The twin Volvos fired up easily and quickly and settled into their running mode without smoke, rattle or hunting. With Emerald Pacific’s Rob Scott on the cockpit joystick controls, the 6000 eased away from the dock and threaded its way through the crowded marina. Scott is clearly a skilled operator. His skill and experience made it possible to put the boat quickly and efficiently through its paces.
Once in the fairway, we took the boat up to speed. It accelerated quickly with almost no bowrise, so visibility forward was not compromised. The vessel was quiet; our noisemeter read about 70 decibels, roughly the same volume as a normal conversation. In fact, during our entire test we were able to communicate with other people on board without having to raise our voice, even with doors and windows open. Wide-open throttle was 2550 rpm, at which point the 6000 made 33 knots. Speeds were checked on an independent GPS and fuel consumption information came from the engines’ onboard computers.
At 1000 revs, we poked along at 11 knots and got 1.5 mpg. At a comfortable plane of about 25 knots, fuel consumption fell to about 0.5 mpg, normal for a vessel of this size, weight and power. At all speeds during our test, the vessel responded promptly and precisely to all helm inputs. While sea conditions were calm, there was a lot of boating activity coming and going from the marina, and our test boat handled all wakes easily and quietly.
The new Riviera 6000 is one of the best designed and built vessels in its size range. It is incredibly well fitted out and finished. The interior quality will make passengers think they are on a much larger yacht. It is quiet underway and is equally at home poking along at nine or 10 knots as it is running flat out at 33 knots. And even at more than 60 feet long, it can easily be handled by an experienced couple. All equipment is top of the line, and the extended cockpit cover means entertaining on board is comfortable regardless of the weather. This new Sport Yacht will turn out to be another Riviera best seller, and that means it will hold its value over time.