Issue: December 2005
Wet & Wild. She’s big, bold and beautiful and handles like a dream
The huge success generated by the release of the Riviera 51 last year forced Australia’s biggest boat builder to rethink its model range. Why would anyone pay all the extra money for the 58-footer when they could get almost as much room and all of the luxuries in the 51 for a lot less ?
The Flybridge Convertible range now consists of the 33, 37, 40, 42, the new 47, the 51 and the 60, which now replaces the 58.
Riviera deemed the new 60-footer would offer its customers better value for money and more versatility than the old 58. The jump from 51 to 60 feet was more of a natural progression.
So, using the 58 hull as a base, Riviera called on famed Dutch naval architect Frank Mulder (whose company also designed the new 33 and 47-foot models) to work his magic on the hull and come up with the ultimate 60-foot hull shape. His mission was to create a fast, soft riding and sea kindly hull.
Mulder said there had to be a balance between comfort and speed. “The more comfort and sea kindness we put in the more the speed is lost,” he said. “The trick is to find the right path for comfort and speed”.
But the 60 is not just a scaled-up version of the 58, it is a completely new design.
Mulder said there was much discussion about what they needed to improve – ride, handling, better use of available space and headroom, plus, they wanted engines that could approach speeds of 40 knots. The resulting design is a sure winner.
Mulder’s hull consists of a heavily flared bow that throws water down and away from the hull, coupled with an extremely sharp bow-entry to slice though chop and swells cleanly. A small keel extends two thirds of the way towards the stern to the point where the mini tunnels for the props begin.
The keel and mini tunnels ensure the hull tracks straight, even in a following sea and the propellers maintain a good ‘bite’ on the water. And now she turns more like a sports boat than a big flybridge cruiser.
The new hull also features underwater exhaust, which not only reduces noise and diesel fumes, but aerates the water beneath the hull, which breaks the water’s surface tension and allows the hull to plane more freely. Also helping the hull plane cleanly is a prominent delta flat between the mini tunnels at the transom.
Lateral stability is controlled by the trim tabs, which are integrated into the hull.
Also helping the stability of this new boat is the placement of the 5700lt of fuel she carries. The main tank is amidships and the secondary tank is aft but central. This means better weight distribution, because not all of the weight is at the boat’s stern.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
Standard power for the Riv 60 is the new, cleaner, high-performance 1015hp Caterpillar diesels. These engines had more than enough grunt to propel this fully-loaded (5700lt of fuel, 1000lt of water making her displacement around 37 tonnes) vessel to a top-speed 30.3 knots. This reading was achieved against a strong tidal flow and straight into the teeth of an honest 40-knot headwind. There’s little doubt this big Riv has a few more knots up her sleeve under ideal conditions.
Other speed-to-rpm readings were: 9 knots at 800rpm; 10.5 knots at 1000rpm; 12 knots at 1200rpm; 13.2 knots at 1400rpm; 16.4 knots at 1600rpm; 21 knot at 1800rpm; and 30.3 knots at 2340rpm.
Fuel burn was 120lt per hour at 15 knots, 240lt per hour at 21.5 knots and 255lt per hour at 22.5 knots. Using these figures, this equates to a cruising range of around 700 nautical miles at 15 knots.
But under normal conditions most people cruise at 22 to 24 knots. At this speed she burns on average 250lt per hour giving her a range of approximately 500 nautical miles. That’s not bad.
Driving from the comfort of the airconditioned flybridge this was one of the quietest boats I’ve been on in a while.
The introduction of mini tunnels into the hull has also improved the boat’s overall handling, especially in turns. Her turning circle is now tighter than the original 58s.
Like all Riviera Flybridge Convertibles, there’s no lower helm station, which means no matter what the weather’s like, all driving is done from the flybridge. This enclosed area is quite large and there’s enough room on the starboard lounge to ensure the skipper isn’t left alone at the helm. There’s also a wet bar and sink unit to port, so the crew can serve the drinks.
The driving position is well forward, making all-round vision good, but there is also a second helm station on the aft deck behind the flybridge’s rear bulkhead. This allows the skipper to orchestrate the fishing action down on the rear deck. A ladder in the cockpit leads to the flybridge.
The aft cockpit is huge, uncluttered, has all the right gear and is definitely fishy, but entering the saloon is like walking into the lobby of a five-star hotel. It’s opulent, lavish and makes excellent use of available space. There’s an entertainment centre, bar, mood lighting, a huge U-shaped galley with all the right appliances, fine leather and beautiful wood panelling and joinery – this boat’s got the lot. The owner’s stateroom is amidships to port. It’s open plan, luxurious and features its own en-suite. The main guest stateroom is forward in the bow and while it’s not as large, it is equally opulent and also has an en-suite.
Nothing has been left to chance on this boat. She has all the features and levels of luxury any new owner could wish for. She’s big, bold and beautiful and handles like a dream. Although her interior layout is not optional, the Riviera design team’s use of available space is first class. You may need a big chequebook to buy one, because she costs $2,323,372, but that’s good value for money considering what you get.
NEW PERFORMANCE HULL
After deciding to replace the Riviera 58 Flybridge Convertible with a new 60-footer, Riviera called on famed Dutch naval architect Frank Mulder (whose company also designed the new 33 and 47-foot models) to work his magic on the old 58-hull and come up with the ultimate 60-footer hull shape.
His mission was to create a fast, soft riding and sea kindly hull.
Mulder said there had to be a balance between comfort and speed.
“The more comfort and sea kindness we put in the more the speed is lost,” he said.
“The trick is to find the right path for comfort and speed”.
But the Riviera 60’s hull is not just a scaled-up version of the 58, it is a completely new design. It features a flare bow with a sharp entry, a small keel extending to where the mini tunnels for the props begin, underwater exhausts and trim tabs integrated into the hull.
The engine room of the Riviera 60 is enormous, so there’s plenty of space around each engine to carry out daily servicing and routine maintenance.
On the day of this wet and wild test there was an 45-knot headwind blowing and these performance figures were recorded against a strong incoming tidal flow.
KNOTS – RPM
9 – 800
10.5 – 1000
12 – 1200
13.2 – 1400
21 – 1800
30.3 – 2340
HULL LENGTH: 61′
BEAM: 17′ 9″
DRAFT: 5′ 2″
DRY WEIGHT: 30,500kg
Words Ian McRae
+ Quiet boat; Performance hull
– Windscreen wiper position