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Riviera Yachts?

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by Brooke's Buddy, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Brooke's Buddy

    Brooke's Buddy New Member

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    Greetings all,been lurking here about a year,working on yachts for 30. Anyone have any opinions on Riviera yachts from Australia ??
  2. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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  3. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    Bosses brother has one down in Southport. It's an average production boat, nothing more. There's no factory support for them either, but that doesn't really mean much once the warranty is up. They have all the typical cost cutting issues you get with with production boats, low quality hardware, fittings and wiring. Nearly everything it's built out of comes from China.
  4. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    Brooke's Buddy, welcome

    i would be buying a Bertram, Viking, Hatteras (if u want a production boat that is) any day of the week including sunday before i even think of a Riv...

    good luck

    far
  5. Brooke's Buddy

    Brooke's Buddy New Member

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    No I didn't search,should have. Thanks for the replies ! I've been debugging a 08 51' enclosed bridge for the last 4 months,nothing major- melted nav lights,dryer vent,installed co detectors in all sleeping quarters,software upgrade on the Northstars,loose wipers, etc. etc.
  6. Mark I

    Mark I Member

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    My friend has a 40 sold under the Wellcraft nameplate. Other than being a little faster than my Viking it (IMO) is not as well designed or built. And it is actually smaller.

    When you have a 40' boat and you would rather use the marina shower and you use a butane stove over the one installed on the boat, that says something to me.
  7. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Gold Coast Australia
    Rivieras

    I have owned a 36, 1995.
    3850, 1999 (sold as Wellcraft in the US)
    I live near the factory and know many owners and have spent a lot of time on different models.
    They are/were tough, well built boats capable of taking on our rough seas. Many are "wet boats" although I don't care for that expression much as most boats can be wet, goes with the point of being on a boat!
    Until Bill Barry-Cotter sold out a few years ago, there was reasonable quality control (for a big production builder), then he sold out to form Maritimo in direct and somtimes nasty competition with Riviera. After that the accountants and other bean counters built the boats and Riv went down quick. Company went into liquidation a short time ago and is trying to get back up. This year's turnover was about Au$60 million (I think) as compare to $450 mill in 2005. Says it all. Cost cutting!!!
    If you want to buy one, try to get the older tougher models. They are not refined but tough. The 48 was the best (I think).
    For what its worth, I am looking to buy an older boat in the US now, Hatteras, Ocean or Viking.. I find the Riv too expensive here for what they deliver.
  8. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    i also think the australian press was a little to bias to the Riv, and gave the builder credentials it really didnt deserve. so when it got to the States... well it was out classed in both production and customs.

    far
  9. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    sea trialed a 2008 4400 Sports Yacht and the 2009 3600 SU sII, plus an old late nineties 4000 Offshore
    IMO they are pretty well built for a production boat, and both of them are pretty engineered.
    The engine of the 4400 SY is a work of art IMO
    the ones I went on had pretty good hardware
    they are good for what you pay and cost much less to BerVikHattCab of similar age too...

    the old ones where more solid boats, though not as good looking and well finished as the new ones.
    They are also building fully vaccummed sandwich on some new models, I think the 4400 and 5800 SY are fully cored sandwich build.

    If you are inexperienced and not very hands down I suggest sticking with the newer boat
  10. craigsduc

    craigsduc New Member

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    I actually thought I wanted one until I looked really hard. I,d pass if quality and ruggedness are important. I agree that they are simply an average production boat. Almost think Sea ray would be a better choice due to support and materials used..........Looked at a 99 48ft boat in FLa and I finally figured out I dont want one. There was a 95 54 Hat next to it for not a lot more and it was 3 times the boat! Stepped aboard the Hat and never went on the Riv again! FWIW
  11. Tom H

    Tom H New Member

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    Magnetic Island, Queensland Australia
    very happy Riviera owner

    I can only speak in regards to the flybridge models where I've owned and run Rivieras since 98, first being a 39 and now a 2000 model 48,putting around 4-700 hours plus a year on them. Yes they are in some seas a wet boat but really you have two choices here-big spacious accomadation or dry and small and cramped. We inside the great barrier reef live without large swells but have very short sharp seas where you can quite offen fall off waves with no backs. Times like this you appreciate a heavy solid glass hull. The components are all good quality mostly American and european items which would all be easily sorced in the USA.
    One point I must make is that the gel-cote finish never deteriorates like alot of the finishes on some imported boats which seem to need painting within ten years. Great boat in a following sea. This is a very respected brand here in my opinion only scorned by those who haven't had the pleasure of owning one. By the way Riviera is now out of recievership and trading again under their own steam. Warranty back up here is impecable and the few teething problems I see new boat owners have are sorted out pronto and are insignificant in comparasion to the price difference of custom built models.
  12. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    Hi Tom H,

    Sorry, but i would take proper flare/entry/styling (better hydrodynamics) any day of the week over a Riv. I know of a chartering company up north that ditched its Riv because of it poor hull characteristics.
    Bill Barry-Cotter gave them a spray in one of his interviews, and how the place was run... :eek:

    Far
  13. ScrumpyVixen

    ScrumpyVixen Member

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    I am Australian, so my comments are based on the boats available in our market - not the US market. Riv's are good for their intended use - a boat for non boat people to float around protected waterways. The interiors look flash and they offer good sized room at the pointy end. In Aust dollar terms, they are keenly priced.

    The trade offs are:

    - the extra room at the pointy end makes them pound and wet;
    - Not good in a following sea;
    - some of the fittings are not what you would want on an offshore boat;
    - Small back deck space;

    Not my cup of tea, but I know people who have them, and love them for floating about on the harbor. They are not popular in amongst the game fishing set, irrespective of size. But as noted above, that is not their market.
  14. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    ScrumpyVixen, don't disagree with you at all there.... But, and a big BUT, when a company builds a Holden Monaro (Pontiac GTO), they shouldn'd claim Ferrari status. Riviera I feel have done this and have misled the public with at least half there range. Cheers

    Far
  15. dainisk

    dainisk Member

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    I have a 1984 vintage Riviera 34 and have had it since 1995. However, the only thing that is 1984 vintage is the hull and moulded bits. Virtually everything else has been upgraded, replaced, etc. New engines, drives, electrics, electronics, hardtop, furnishings, galley, etc., etc. I chose this route because the moulded bits were extremely well built - and heavy. So, it's been a good boat for me, mostly coastal cruising.

    Of course I go to all the boat shows and have looked at many new boats. Looking beyond the attraction of a new boat, I personally don't like the new Riviera's. The build quality is not there, and the designs are outdated. Even simple things like they still put ladders to the flybridge, not moulded stairs. I think there are many better designs out there that could be explored. My pesonal preference amongst Aussie boatbuilders is Maritimo. I have been on a few and they are fantastic boats for the size/money. the way Bill Barry-Cotter used to build Riviera's.

    Perhaps getting an older Riviera (pre 1996) and doing it up might be a good choice, but I wouldn't buy a new one today.
  16. ScrumpyVixen

    ScrumpyVixen Member

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    dainisk,

    One of my business partners has a 36 Riv that must be getting to 15 years old. Still goes well, Cummins are solid, no leaks, gelcoat is OK, etc. All in all looks good and goes well for its age.

    Newer Rivs seem to have gone the way of making them floating lounge rooms. Sells well to the city set, but you suffer trade offs at sea. My first two boats were 28 bertrams, the first 12 years old, the second 2 years old. Both boat cabins leaked, the build was best described as robust, but they could take a pounding and still get you home safely from the shelf.

    Next boat was a 36 Blackwatch, which had a good balance between fishing and family.

    Enjoy the boat.
  17. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    ScrumpyVixen, A 36 Blackwatch... now where cooking :D
    I believe they were a solid glass hull...? They had proper lines, some flare and a decent entry. They seem a little more setup for the fishing (less B/S on board), but great boat. The quality seems to be getting better in the interior... I guess that depends on who buys really. Cheers

    Far
  18. ScrumpyVixen

    ScrumpyVixen Member

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    It was a great boat. Got it new and had it for 5 years. Held up pretty well - a few cracks in some moldings - but its hard not to expect that with the punishment the ocean off Sydney can dish up. Nothing worse than going through a wave and seeing nothing but a hole, and feeling the crash as the stern hits. You just know you did damage.

    Good hull, deep V, heavy. Needed alot of power to run it.

    Had the open bulkhead (with covers) which meant the boat coud be opened up for family and entertaining. Seems strange that people buy boats to be on the water, but have enclosed cabins that take up most of the space.
  19. Chilli Bella

    Chilli Bella Guest

    Riviera

    Riviera are the premier boat builders in Australia. They have great lines , are well thought out for living aboard & a quality finish.

    A modern classic is the Riviera 47 Enclosed Series 2.

    At the recent Sydney boat show they have announced a new Riviera 53.

    With triple Volvo IPS 600 's & a full width master cabin with side windows amid ships & an enclosed hardtop with sunroof will prove that things can be done better down under.

    Stay tuned.
  20. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    Better than who.... Maritimo...?

    Do you work for Riv, sounds very brochure what you wrote...?

    Far

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