Both the 53 Flybridge and 5800 Sport Yacht are now genuine 30-knot plus boats thanks to the triple 600 hp Cummins QSC engines coupled to Zeus pod drives.
During sea trials, the 5800 Sport Yacht showed it was capable of speeds of up to 35 knots while the heavier 53 Flybridge achieved an average top speed of 32.5 knots.
The electronic 8.3-litre Cummins QSC rated at 600 hp provides the highest power density in this engine class. Riviera’s sea trials showed the triple QSC installation to be quiet and incredibly clean throughout the rev range.
Both the 53 Flybridge and 5800 Sport Yacht were originally launched with a competitior pod drive system, but the need to widen the appeal of both boats and provide a genuine 30-knot top speed has driven the 1800 hp triple-Zeus installation.
The first Riviera to be offered with Zeus was the $1 million-plus 5000 Sport Yacht in 2009. This 1200 hp boat has a twin drive pod set-up coupled to Cummins QSC 600 engines.
The first production-built boat in Australia to be engineered with Zeus, the 5000SY has won wide acclaim for its exceptional performance and handling.
At the beginning of 2012, sales of the 5000SY had reached close to 50. “Everyone who has bought Zeus loves it,” says Peter Welch, Riviera’s distribution manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Welch can barely contain his enthusiasm for the 1800 hp triple-Zeus arrangement which he says will open up markets to the 53 Flybridge and 5800 Sport Yacht in the US and Europe.
“Zeus makes for a perfectly balanced boat, with excellent top-end speed and manoeuvrability,” he says.
Riviera’s director of brand and sales Stephen Milne says the triple-Zeus offering “opens up the attractiveness” of both the 53 Flybridge and 5800 Sport Yacht.
“A lot of our customers prefer the Zeus system of aft-facing propellers and the bullet-proof Cummins QSC engines,” he says.
The Zeus system features steerable pod drive units mounted under the hull with propellers that are aft-facing, behind the drive leg for protection.
Zeus users around the world report exceptional manoeuvrability as well as improved fuel economy and faster cruise and top speeds over conventional drive systems.
Zeus alleviates the fear that many people have about handling a boat with a joystick making berthing as logical and intuitive as using a DVD remote control.
Integrated features include automatic trim tabs that can be programmed to be on hard as the boat accelerates and reduce as the boat gets on the plane.
Another standard feature is the Skyhook function that allows the skipper to push a button and the drives will hold the boat position regardless of wind or tide conditions. This is a great benefit when waiting at a busy fuel dock, preparing lines and fenders for berthing or fishing over a reef.
The 53 Flybridge starts at $1.75 million and is dubbed the ‘spaceship’ because of her enormous internal volume, unprecedented living spaces, elegant amenities, unrivalled performance and a raft of space age technology.
The 5800 Sport Yacht starts at $1.8 million and is described by Riviera as a luxury boat “beyond anything previously developed” by the company.
Both boats will be displayed at The Riviera Festival which will be held at Riviera’s Gold Coast headquarters at Coomera to coincide with the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in May.
Almost 5000 Riviera owners from around the world have been invited to attend the inaugural four-day festival which will include educational seminars and hands-on workshops along with social activities.
For those new to boating or wishing to brush up on their skills and practical knowledge, Riviera will offer separate women’s and men’s skipper training programs that will include mooring, fenders, lines and anchoring techniques.
Other hands-on courses will include electronic navigation, engine, generator set and sanitation system in-field trouble shooting, fishing clinics, offshore seamanship, exterior maintenance ‘tricks of the trade’ and a full sea trial program.