Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht
—Peter A. Robson
This lavish Australian offering could easily serve as a floating 5-star resort
Riviera is Australia’s largest luxury boat builder and Rodney Longhurst has upped the game even more when it comes to luxury since he took over and revitalized the company in 2012. Those familiar with the Riviera brand will know that the company was one of the first to offer the indoor/outdoor living concept through huge opening glass awning windows between the saloon and cockpit. Boat builders around he world have since embraced the concept of eliminating any hard transition between the saloon and the cockpit.
The 6000 Sport Yacht, with an overall length of 63 feet, four-inches, is the new flagship of Riviera’s Sport Yacht line. This sedan cruiser is a well-styled and luxurious yacht from stem to stern, but it’s also built tough with an impressive fit and finish. Designed to handle the open waters off Australia, it’s certainly a capable performer for our waters.
Design and Construction The 6000 replaces the 5800 Sport Yacht introduced in 2009. The 6000 has almost identical lines with the primary exterior difference being larger more contemporary hull windows. On deck, the cockpit has an improved layout with an outdoor kitchen while the interior design offers a portside galley instead of a starboard side galley. Both versions feature three or four staterooms and standard Volvo-Penta pod drives.
The hull bottom, keel and chines are constructed using solid hand-laid fibreglass while cored fibreglass is used for the deck, cabin and hull sides—pretty well standard across the industry.
On Deck The test boat was fitted with a teak planked hydraulic swim platform, but it was split; a smart twist. The starboard edge of the platform is fixed so that when lowering the rest of the platform, it stays in place, making it possible to board the dinghy without getting wet. The platform can store a dinghy of up to 350 kilograms on chocks or in a dedicated dinghy garage. The test boat had a 10-foot, six-inch Palm Beach inflatable RIB with a 30 horsepower Yamaha outboard.
Boarding is via twin transom gates cut into the elegantly-curved reverse transom. The expansive teak-soled cockpit is ideal for outdoor entertaining with settees to port and starboard and a huge outdoor kitchen/wet bar module molded into the transom. There’s plenty of storage for fenders and other gear under the linear starboard settee while an electric cooler and ice cooler are tucked under the portside settee. The L-shaped settee’s gloss teak table can also be dropped down to serve as a large daybed. Overhead is an extended cockpit hardtop with a sizeable, built-in Webasto electric sunroof with sunshade that provides the best of both worlds—sun when you want it and shade and shelter when you don’t. Pop-up port and starboard joystick controls will make docking stress-free from either side.
Wide side decks with raised bulwarks topped with handrails make it comfortable to move from the cockpit to the foredeck. The foredeck is dominated by a massive sunpad (adjacent to an insulated cool box). At the bow, the anchoring setup is more than adequate with a 100-pound Ultra anchor, 330 feet of chain and a matched windlass. There’s also good storage here for fenders and lines.
Saloon The line between the interior and exterior is blurred by a same-level-entry, wide stainless and glass sliding door and a huge awning window.
The interior of the test boat was finished in high-gloss walnut woodwork and beige real leather upholstery. The flooring was a synthetic Amtico rough-plank oak finish overlaid with durable, snap-in infinity woven vinyl mat. Unlike traditional carpets, these can simply be unsnapped, dragged outside and hosed down.
Big expanses of glass all around bring in plenty of light and combined with another Webasto electric sunroof and a panel of smaller fixed skylights with shades, it’s pretty well like being outside. Add to that two opening side windows and there’s plenty of ventilation. The saloon blinds are all electric roller type and are controlled by a remote.
The U-shaped galley serves both the interior and exterior equally well and the cook is sure to be the centre of the action. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the gourmet galley is large fridge/freezer with five—yes five—drawers. All appliances are top-of-the-line Miele and include an electric induction cooktop, range hood, combination oven/microwave with grill and a dishwasher. There’s good storage in overhead and under counter drawers and cupboards (all drawers have soft closers). A handy slide-out pantry is an excellent place for spices and jars. An in-counter storage hopper can serve as a trash receptacle or as additional storage. The countertops on the test boat were custom built from flecked white quartz.
Across from the galley is a walnut cabinet that houses three of the fridge/freezer units. There’s an icemaker here too and it’s handy for both the galley and cockpit. Mounted above the cabinet is a 40-inch flat screen TV with a hinged arm that allows it to be viewed from anywhere in the saloon.
Forward of the cabinet is an ingenious three-person settee. While it looks like a normal settee, one can pull out the ottoman that serves as the centre portion, lift the aft cushion and swing out a small hinged table that locks into position between the gap in the settees. The ottoman can now serve as a third seat. This is a great use of space.
Across from the settee is the main dinette area with a raised U-shaped leather settee and fixed high-gloss teak table with room to seat six.
To starboard is the helm area. The test boat was fitted with twin black Treben Italian leather electric helm seats—another luxurious touch. The black-leather upholstered helm console is centered around two 17-inch Garmin-Volvo “glass cockpit” touch screen multifunction displays. The joystick, throttle/shifter controls and autopilot are mounted ergonomically to the right of the console.
Accommodation An atrium-like opening provides ample light to the stairway and accommodation area companionway where once again there is an abundance of gloss walnut woodwork balanced with upholstered white wall treatments.
The test boat had the “presidential” layout, where the small fourth stateroom/office is replaced by an ensuite. This would normally be positioned further aft, taking up the port side of the full-beam master. It also allowed the stacked Bosch washer and dryer to be moved forward of the new en suite and this freed up space for a massive cedar-lined hanging locker across from the en suite.
The master features large hull windows that bring in outside light and two opening portholes to provide natural ventilation. Other features include a king size walkaround bed, side tables, a small dinette seating area that can serve as a place to have dinner for two in private, or a vanity and/or a computer table. Along the starboard side is a bank of drawers, while forward of the bed is another 40-inch TV and a home theatre system. The spacious en suite has ceramic flooring, Milli Glance and Grohe fixtures (including heated towel rack), bowl sink and a separate shower with teak seating that actually has enough space to have a comfortable shower. Aft and to starboard is what could be called an open dressing room or walk in closet with a rack for hanging clothes and additional drawers. There’s a door here that leads to a utility room and the engine room. The utility room has built in shelves and lockers suited for spare parts or food storage with a toolbox, bench and a wine cooler. A watertight door leads aft to the engine room and a ladder gives access from a hatch in the cockpit sole.
The VIP stateroom features a double berth with narrow hull windows, twin hanging lockers and an overhead hatch and its own en suite with a good size separate shower.
The guest stateroom is equipped with two fixed single berths and access to the third head, which doubles as the day head with separate shower.
Engine and Systems The Riviera 6000 is powered by twin Volvo-Penta IPS2 950, 725-horsepower pod drives. The test boat was also fitted with Volvo’s automatic, interceptor-type trim tab system. The engine room is neat, but the ability to move around is significantly reduced by the dinghy garage overhead. Auxilliary power is via an Onan 22.5 kilowatt generator. There’s also a hefty five kilowatt inverter. The test boat was fitted with a watermaker to supplement its 211-gallon freshwater tank. All lighting is LED with switches that dim the lights as they are turned on or off. There’s also blue underwater lights at the transom to show off the boat at night.
A key feature of the 6000 is its innovative C-Zone central monitoring and control system. Three control panels spaced throughout the vessel allow owners to control the air/heating, lighting, electronics and so on. It comes pre-programed with three custom settings: entertain, cruise and dock unattended, which allow many systems to be controlled with the push of a button. For example, the “dock unattended” shuts down all non-essential systems when leaving the boat for the day, while the “cruise” setting turns on all the components required when heading out on the water. The C-Zone system can also be operated remotely from an iPad.
Underway With joystick controls at the helm and on either side of the cockpit, approaching or leaving the dock with pod drives is never a problem. Getting out of the busy Roche Harbor Marina on San Juan Island with Emerald Pacific Yachts’ broker Rob Scott was easy. Once clear, the 6000 accelerated smoothly and quickly onto the plane.
Our speed topped out at 33 knots (2,550 rpm) though it felt as if we were going much slower due to the comfortable ride and minimal engine noise in the saloon. This is faster than the advertised full speed of 31 knots, but this was potentially due to having minimal fuel and water aboard. Visibility over the bow and all around was excellent. When we accelerated quickly there was no cavitation of the props. In sharp turns the 6000 cornered well with no slipping. The electronic steering provided impressive control and the automatic trim tabs worked well. The 6000 was also equipped with Volvo’s Dynamic Positioning System allowing the vessel to be kept exactly in position and orientation for preparing lines and fenders or waiting off a fuel dock.
For those who want to cruise along sedately at 11 knots (1,000 rpm) the 6000 sips 7.3 gallons per hour (1.5 miles per gallon). At easy planing speeds of between 25 and 29 knots, our fuel consumption averaged about 0.5 mpg (51 and 63 gph respectively). These numbers are not great, but reasonable considering the size, weight and horsepower. Overall, we were impressed with the performance and the quiet ride.
Concluding Remarks When it comes to luxury sport yachts, the Riviera 6000 is probably about as good as it gets. The fit and finish, and especially the interior decorating and leather furnishing are extremely well executed. The state-of-the art technology, the best equipment and performance from its cutting-edge IPS drives add to its appeal. Certainly the Riviera pedigree is known around the world. There are many, many touches that make the Riviera 6000 stand out—too many to mention in this review. The test boat’s price (as equipped with many options) is US$2,224,900.