by Jeni Bone
A posse of media headed to the Coomera complex of Riviera for the great reveal of Riviera’s new 50 Enclosed Flybridge, which represents the first new model under the 14 month regime of owner Rodney Longhurst and CEO, Wes Moxey.
Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge
Along with presentations covering the Riviera Festival of Boating, with its 83 events over four days - May 23 to 26 – for owners and guests, the management team outlined growth plans, new models and reinforced their commitment to making Riviera not the biggest, but certainly the best in production boats here and internationally.
'We have undergone a year of restructuring so we’re set up for growth in the future,' explained Moxey. 'In the next financial year, we’ll be launching three new products. Feedback from our dealers around the world is they are all positive about the new models and that will generate growth – new product, a quality culture and more flexible workforce.'
There are currently 300 people at Riviera, where once there were 1,300. 'We have removed the HR department and all our heads of departments do their own sourcing and contracting as they require. This is a means of controlling costs and ensuring the core values of a family business.'
According to Moxey, the key to taking Riviera to the next level and bolstering growth will be 'mixing it up', producing semi-custom boats that owners feel they can contribute to the layouts and detail.
56% of Riviera’s production goes offshore, 'creating a natural hedge', as Longhurst explained. And while much of the componentry, the plugs and moulds can be produced in Taiwan, Riviera will not consider manufacturing offshore.
'Rolex won’t be leaving Switzerland, Ferrari won’t leave Italy and we won’t leave Australia,' said Rodney Longhurst.
Wes Moxey led the media through a full interior mock-up of the spacious new Euro inspired interior of the Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge, which prospective owners will be encouraged to critique and suggest their own input.
Wes seems comfortable in the galley of the new model
'This boat is truly the product of owner feedback,' said Moxey. 'This is R&D in action.'
Created in-house using industry-leading Unigraphics 3D software, Riviera’s team of Australian and international designers and engineers have focused on absolute maximisation of this brand new design in every minute detail. This sophisticated software allows Riviera designers to see the exact size, space and scale of every aspect of the boat in the computer long before a single piece of timber is cut for the plug work.
Created in-house using Unigraphics 3D software allows Riviera's designers to see exact size, space and scale of the new 50
Rodney Longhurst said the design team had retained elements of the distinctive Riviera look while introducing a raft of exciting new design aspects. 'From the moment you step onboard you will sense this is a new approach from Riviera. Double side transom doors in the cockpit allow better access from both the port and starboard sides, an island storage centre offers space for an optional barbecue or live bait tank, and mezzanine seating with integrated and interchangeable cockpit table provides a versatile alfresco entertaining area.'
The new 50 features three generous sized staterooms. The master stateroom can be forward or aft and has an ensuite bathroom in both layouts to allow customers to personalise their boat layout.
According to Moxey, the new 50 is 'a very social boat' in its layout and design. The flybridge and main deck both feature very extensive lounge seating on both levels.
Wes walks through the layout of the new 50
In the middle of the lounge on the starboard side of the saloon, there is an ottoman that slides out and across to the dinette to provide additional table seating. An optional table then can be folded out to create additional seated dining capacity for up to 10 people.
The large cockpit of the 50 features an island storage centre that can accommodate the optional BBQ and/or bait tank in the transom.
The two transom doors open out to lock into the aft rails to extend the cockpit area when at anchor or in the marina. This creates a huge and safe cockpit area, ideal for entertaining.
Moxey said an additional 1.7 metres of overall living space between the bow and stern had been made available through the incorporation of the compact and efficient pod drives as compared to a similar sized shaft-driven boat.
'All round this boat feels bigger and fuller than similar sized vessels, which can be attributed to the openness and an abundance of natural light. We know from experience that the new 50 will perform well with its standard engine package. This new vessel is also the perfect size for three couples or a large extended family. At 50 feet, it fits into standard size marina berths without compromising on space or the hallmark qualities of Riviera.'
The new 50 Enclosed Flybridge will make her world release in August at the Sydney International Boat Show and Riviera already holds a number of orders ‘off the plan’.
Cockpit of the new 50
Twin Cummins Pod Drives offer amazing joystick manoeuvrability. This innovative propulsion system delivers up to 30% improved fuel economy,15% faster cruise speed and 15% faster top speed than conventional drives.
Launching a new and unique Insurance product in collaboration with Club Marine, the Riviera team also announced plans to work with high schools to grow their apprenticeship program, and that the Longhurst family would buy the 14-hectare facility and land, further cementing their long-term commitment to taking the company in to an exciting future.
'The next five to 10 years will be very exciting. We are aiming to produce 50 boats in the next 12 months, and five Belize,' said Moxey, adding that a change of government in September would provide the burst of confidence consumers are looking for. 'There’s plenty of money around, just no confidence.'
More at www.rivieraaustralia.com