Liz and Lloyd Hillman, from Toowoomba in Queensland’s south east, credit boating with strengthening the family bonds between them and their four sons. They bought their first Riviera in 1985 and have now owned 12, including two 39 Flybridges, the first in 1995.
Their latest is a Riviera 4400 Sport Yacht with IPS propulsion, appropriately named Riviera Dreaming.??”We grew up as a family on the boats,“ said Lloyd, “fishing, swimming; we did everything you associate with families and boats. We did that right up until the boys were well into their twenties.” ??Lloyd and Liz are are both proud that the third generation now enjoys the boat, too.
Grandchildren love splashing about in the water off the swim platform on family days out. ??The family home and transport business are in Toowoomba but the Hillmans’ boats have generally lived at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast. ??“We have treated the boats like an apartment on the water and we used to go down every second weekend. We still do,” he added.
The family holidayed on board, cruising the Broadwater area north of the Gold Coast for two to three weeks at a time.” Did boating help get the boys through their teenage years which can be difficult? “Absolutely”, said Lloyd, “we’re firm believers in that. “In our busy lifestyles, it is hard to find time to have a meal with the family, but on the boat we always sat down together for meals, and we talked.
We talked as a family. That’s the philosophy we’ve always had. We think we’ve got a very stable family and we honestly believe it’s been brought about largely by boating. “We are still the greatest of mates with our boys, we ring each other every day and we still talk boats.“
They’re all married now but we still go boating, though it’s a different style of boating now.”??Lloyd is easing out of the family business and two of the Hillman boys have joined it. He reckons they are doing a very good job though he reserves the right to “come down and give them the look over every now and again.”??Lloyd and Liz now own a house on the Gold Coast so their boating needs have changed.
As a consequence their current Riviera is the 4400 Sports Yacht: “Lovely, absolutely beautiful”, says Lloyd.??“When we go down to the water we still do the same things, it’s just a different time in our lives now.”
Honouring Lloyd and Liz for their association with Riviera over more than 20 years, the company last year invited them to officially open the new Riviera Aftermarket | Service Centre. Today, a plaque commemorating the ceremony stands on a large rock outside the centre.