R Marine Jones gives a touch of Southern Comfort and confidence to their owners at the inaugural Open Weekend
Riviera owner Chris Buchanan has always wanted to take his 45 Open Flybridge, Southern Comfort, to Fraser Island, but the thought of navigating the notorious Wide Bay Bar was daunting for this boating enthusiast – at least it was, until he attended the inaugural R Marine Jones Open Weekend held on April 26 and 27.
This was the first time Chris and his wife Vicki had attended an R Marine Jones Experience, and it has inspired them to embark on more experiences further afield, including the Great Sandy Straits Experience in September.
The R Marine Jones Open Weekend began on Friday, April 26, when 30 vessels ranging in size from 28 to 60 feet arrived at Riviera’s Coomera River marina for an afternoon of education and entertainment followed by an evening cocktail party held at the newly opened Riviera Yacht Club waterfront restaurant and bar.
The R Marine Jones Open Weekend included a new boat display and R Electronics presentation, which gave Riviera owners and their guests the opportunity to see what was new in the world of electronics and navigation equipment and view Riviera’s latest models, which will be on display at the upcoming Riviera Festival of Boating held from May 23 to 26.
Chris said he felt a little nervous about berthing his 45 when he arrived at the marina, so it was a relief when Sharm Brown from R Marine Jones climbed aboard and manoeuvred it into the berth.
“R Marine Jones really does go the extra mile for their customers. When we arrived, Melinda was standing there with a bucket of fresh prawns and a bottle of wine on ice,” Chris said.
“The Friday night cocktail party was fantastic. We met people who have similar interests and who we can go boating with in the future.”
R Marine Jones entertained some 80 guests at the Riviera Yacht Club on the Friday night, which was followed by breakfast at the Yacht Club the next day before the fleet headed north to Jumpinpin.
Randall and Melinda led the fleet aboard their Riviera 51 Enclosed Flybridge, Riv 1 and cruised a leisurely 15 knots to Jumpinpin where they anchored for the night, some 13.6 nautical miles from the marina.
Randall said the weather and boating conditions were absolutely perfect.
“The afternoon was one of the rare days with very light breezes providing a perfect temperature and a sunset that most would describe as one of the best,” he said.
For Chris and Vicki, the whole experience was also one of the best.
“The water was crystal clear on a run in tide and the conditions were perfect, so it was a brilliant weekend with everybody relaxing and enjoying plenty of good company” Chris said.
“Just after we left the marina we saw a large pod of dolphins in the Coomera River, and it was truly a marvelous site.
“I can’t wait for the next R Marine Jones Experience. We are keen to attend their Winter Experience in June and the Great Sandy Straits (Fraser Island) Experience in September.
“I have always wanted to take my boat up to Fraser Island but I have not had the confidence to go alone, but with Randall and his team leading the way with their knowledge and experience, I feel a lot more confident about crossing the Wide Bay Bar because I know I will be in safe hands.”
For Chris and Vicki, this was their first experience cruising in convoy with the R Marine Jones team and they say it definitely won’t be the last.
Chris said once they had anchored at Jumpinpin, everyone went ashore for an afternoon of socialising and drinks on the beach.
On Sunday morning, Randall and Melinda led those who were keen for a walk over to the ocean side.
“It was so beautiful, we decided to have a swim and body surf. The waves were rolling in perfect sets, the water temperature was just right, and the turquoise water was almost transparent,” Randall said.
R Marine Jones is a Riviera and Belize Motoryacht dealership based at the Riviera factory in Coomera. R Marine Jones offers maintenance and brokerage services, as well as new boat sales. They also host Riviera and Belize Owner Experiences and open events throughout the year