Gold Coast, Australia: Australia’s largest luxury motor yacht builder, Riviera, has just announced an innovative new yacht, the 645 SUV. Riviera pioneered the SUV concept in 2012 and has since continually refined this design that brings together a single-level sports yacht entertainer with the blue water pedigree and cockpit of a flybridge yacht.
The 645 will have her world premiere in April 2021 and will be the largest SUV built to date – surpassing the current 575 as the flagship of this six-model collection ranging from 39 to 64 feet. She offers longer-range offshore cruising, extensive accommodation, premium comfort and luxury, while enhancing the superb indoor/outdoor lifestyle features that make the SUV models so practical and popular.
The Riviera design team in collaboration with 4D Designs have created a yacht that offers the choice of three or four staterooms, three bathrooms and a utility, crew or additional accommodation aft. In addition, there is a superb alfresco deck dining and gourmet galley with island bench, a side saloon door leading to generous walk-around side decks, and a foredeck that is a separate, lavish entertainment hub.
Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst says the decision to introduce the 645 SUV came after requests from current Riviera owners and the global dealer network, resulting in a number of off-the-plan orders being received.
“Our SUV collection has been extremely popular, with people embracing the unique concept of a versatile large open cockpit space combined with a grand alfresco deck and single-level entertaining and living,” Mr Longhurst says.
“The tremendous versatility of the SUV design lends itself perfectly to a larger yacht, and the 645 will certainly take our SUV to a new level with even more space, performance, cruising range, accommodation and luxury.
“We’ve incorporated many innovative design features and already our latest SUV expression has been very well received.”
First and foremost
The honour of ordering hull number 1 of the 645 SUV went to Ray and Jenny Haddrell, proud 575 SUV owners from Melbourne, Australia. It will be the 7th consecutive Riviera the Haddrell’s have owned, and also their largest.
Ray first heard of plans for the 64 Sports Motor Yacht two years ago during a chance conversation with Riviera CEO Wes Moxey, at which point there were no guarantees that an SUV would evolve. Ray told Wes: “I’m really happy with my 575 but give me a call if you ever do an SUV version of the 64 SMY.”
“He remembered,” Ray laughs. “Funnily enough, Wes rang me just as Stuart Jackson (Riviera’s Victoria dealer representative) and I were tying up my boat after returning from a fantastic Riviera raft-up experience trip to Lakes Entrance (Victoria). I thought about it for a couple of days and decided we’d take one, even though I hadn’t seen the drawings.”
Ray is firmly committed to Riviera’s exceptional SUV models, having initially owned flybridge yachts.
“Once we get underway, people invariably gravitate to the saloon or cockpit. In the SUV you’re on the same level and you can all talk,” he explains. “That’s what it’s all about – and my wife Jenny prefers the SUV because she prefers all of our friends and family to be together.”
Ray owned a Riviera 565 SUV prior to his 575 SUV Rayzaway, and between them he has enjoyed more than 1100 hours of extensive cruising over seven years and countless thousands of nautical miles. He has cruised as far north as Port Douglas and completed two trips to Tasmania, including a circumnavigation.
Plans for their new 645 yacht, once launched in April this year, include exploring the Kimberley Region in Western Australia, via northern Australia. The 645’s fuel capacity (6500 litres) and exceptional efficiency at displacement speeds will ensure ample range.
A choice of Twin MAN V8 1300 (956 kW) or MAN V12 1550 (1,140 kW) diesels have been selected by the Riviera engineers for the 645 SUV power options that offer exceptional power-to-weight performance. With the 1550’s, cruise speed will be around 30 knots and wide-open throttle around 34 knots. All Riviera MAN powered yachts come with a 5-year engines limited warranty, further supported by Riviera’s 7-year structural and 2-year express limited warranties.
Ray has opted for the MAN V8 1300 package and has specified the EJS joystick system that seamlessly marries the hydraulic bow and stern thrusters with Twin Disc gearboxes.
“A 64-foot boat is incredibly manageable these days, thanks to the EJS,” Ray says. “To be honest it has taken the fun out of parking the boat, it’s just so easy, and the side saloon deck door will make getting to the docking lines really fast and effortless.”
The layout for the 645 SUV’s cockpit includes an optional three-seater transom lounge or live bait well and optional euro awning extending from the sleek hardtop aft. It is the perfect place to enjoy a drink, cook lunch on the dual-plate, premium-quality electric barbecue, with plenty of room to fish, dive or launch any number of water toys.
The foredeck zone is cleverly created, providing seating for 8 to 10 people with an insulated ice bin, stereo and locations for fenders and ropes.
Just up from the cockpit is the 645 SUV’s entertainment and living epicentre – a semi-enclosed alfresco deck, offering a plush lounge to port that converts to a double daybed. Alfresco living and dining are enjoyed in the L-shaped settee to starboard, which includes a generous drop-leaf teak table.
The 645 SUV’s interior can be personalised with an array of interior packages and two design styles, the more traditional Classic Edition or the avant-garde Newport Edition.
Working in harmony with the very impressive helm station, the saloon design has been created to optimise the flow and enjoyment of guests.
The SUV’s gourmet galley is longitudinal and positioned to port, complemented by a generous island bench. It allows two or more people to work side-by-side, prepping, serving or cooking.
Comprehensively appointed, the helm station places the helm on the centreline and offers the option of two or three forward-facing luxurious leather helm seats.
Ray has specified the latter: “I wanted the three chairs so someone can be beside me operating the screens and wipers if needed when we’re coming into an unfamiliar port. There’s also an optional lounge in the forward starboard corner, which will be a nice place to read a book or be used as a relaxed workstation. A second option for this space is a beautifully appointed cocktail wet bar.
“I’m really happy with the accommodation downstairs as well. It is very generous for both Jenny and I and our family or guests with the forward VIP guest stateroom having a full queen-sized berth and ensuite bathroom.”
The second guest stateroom to port has two single berths that slide together to form a double berth and has ensuite access to the day head. Directly opposite is a fourth stateroom with twin crossover berths – alternatively, this area can be optioned as an atrium lounge.
The full-beam master stateroom is brilliantly bathed in light and fresh air from large hull windows with integrated portholes. Headroom is a generous 1.95 metres. It features a central queen-sized bed, chaise lounge, large robe and an ensuite akin to a luxury apartment bathroom.
A remarkably versatile space aft of the master stateroom can be personalised to suit an owner’s specific needs from a walk-in laundry to a utility room, crew cabin or even additional accommodation.
Ray says the desire to have extra accommodation for family members and friends was pivotal in his decision to move to the new 645 SUV.
“The Riviera 575 is a fantastically seaworthy boat and I’ve faced all kinds of conditions in her,” he says. “But after spending a month travelling around Tasmania, with 22 days at anchor, we thought it would be nice to have another couple with us, or more family members aboard.
“My son says bigger is better, and I can’t wait to go further afield in the new 645 with our family.”
Riviera owner, Rodney Longhurst agrees, saying the new 645 SUV among its many attributes will be a grand tourer in every sense.
“She offers a soft-riding, dry and seaworthy hull, breathtaking performance and handling from the MAN diesels, and a free-flowing, easy-living saloon and wonderful alfresco deck.
“With the legendary structural strength and refined luxury that Riviera is acclaimed for, we can’t wait to share the new 645 SUV with the world in April.”
More information at RivieraAustralia.com