Riviera

Expert opinions on the 51 Series II Enclosed Flybridge with IPS

Riviera has received very positive reviews on its 51 Series II Enclosed Flybridge with IPS. Peter Scott of Go Boating Magazine, Anthony Twibill of Ocean Magazine, and John Zammit from Trade A Boat Magazine had this to say about Riviera’s 51 Enclosed Flybridge with IPS.

 

“Overall, a most impressive convertible cruiser in every aspect.  There is no doubt the Riviera 51 is a proven performer which just gets better with every new build…For any manufacturer to build more than 100 boats of any model is an achievement in itself.  When the hull numbers approach 200, the boat easily qualifies for legendary status.  We are aboard a Riviera 51 enclosed flybridge and our test boat is hull number 175.  That, in itself, is a remarkable achievement for this convertible flybridge cruiser,” - Peter Scott.


“Riviera Flybridge models have earned a popular following and virtual hero status in the Australian boating world.  The 51 has been one of the stars of the fleet as a versatile offshore performer – in either open or enclosed flybridge guises – and is equally capable of being use as a serious sports fishing machine or simply a most comfortable long-range cruiser,” - Anthony Twibill.


“Fitted out to a high standard, the Riviera 51 has a lot going for it.  For those wanting to cruise in comfort she is a great home-away-from-home.  But with IPS she’s more refined.  And with the sportfish mode, you can release her wild side.  A great example of technology extending a proven boat’s appeal,” - John Zammit.

 

PERFORMANCE:

“From an operational perspective, the IPS fitted 51 is a dream.  Excellent lift, impressive acceleration, finger touch steering and a speed range from 10 to 32 knots…As we left the marina and began to power up, the absence of engine noise is almost overpowering as we quickly achieve perfect balance and planing speed.  The forward facing IPS propulsion system propels the Riviera 51 with ease and at 20 knots, the combine fuel consumption of the triple Volvo 600s is just 133 litres per hour.  What is even more impressive is the running angle of the hull.  There is absolutely no evidence of hull drag as the 51 uses its entire hull length to achieve an almost perfect plane,” Peter Scott.

“The Volvo IPS powered Riviera 51 has noticeably greater acceleration, much lower noise levels, more direct turn performance (and the ease of effortless slow speed docking with the IPS joystick), together with fuel economy at least 30 per cent better than the shaft drive model preceding it,” Anthony Twibill.

“With this system (IPS) it’s truly a case of less is more – smaller engines, bigger performance…There was plenty of power on hand as we move the sticks forward.  The forward-facing props pulled us straight out of the hole, suprisigly fast, too, and more like a sportsboat rather than the big cruiser that she is…A wolf in sheep’s clothing – that’s the thought that came to mind as we threw the big Riv 51 into a full-lock turn travelling at just under 30kts.  At that speed, I was expecting this near-22-tonne luxury cruiser to dig in early into the turn, for the props to cavitate, and the boat to lose momentum.  Not so!  Not only did she maintain speed and momentum but she went into the tightest turn I could have imagined for a boat of this not inconsiderable size,” John Zammit.

 FLYBRIDGE:

“All round vision from the flybridge is excellent and three overhead hatches provide great flow through ventilation.  A roof mounted gab rail assures added safety while a large horizontal blue lounge set to port, complete with a stylish polished cherry table with stainless glass an bottle holders, add to the practicality of the bridge.  I very much appreciate internal stairways for flybridge access as it means that the elderly or those with less mobility don’t have to negotiate a flybridge ladder.,” Peter Scott.

“The flybridge is quite stunning and a marked improvement over the first series of this model.  It features an advanced helm with twin chairs set forward, and opening hatches in the ceiling to let in the breeze.  Guest seating on the fly is tremendous with a curve lounge along the port side and diamond-shaped folding drinks table, behind which is a wet bar and fridge on the aft portion of the bridge…furthest aft is another stainless helm whell with IPS throttle and gear controls, with joystick for ease of docking, an for a clear vies aft when either fishing or tying up at the marina,” Anthony Twibill.

“While performance was exceptional, driving from the enclosed flybridge wasn’t exactly a hardship either.  Accessed via an internal staircase, the flybridge surroundings are luxurious…I liked the layout because it means anyone seated on the lounge can still be a part of the conversation with the skipper and navigator.  There’s also a foldout table facing the lounge, which, while perfect for food and drinks, also serves as a chart table.  Aft in the flybridge, behind the lounge, is a wetbar with sink and fridge to port and another helm station to starboard.  This rear helm gives a clear view of the cockpit, over the transom and beyond, for backing into a berth or up to that big fish.  Speaking of which, there was an option on this station called Sportfish mode, which cuts out the middle engine so only the two outboard engines operate while facing outboard for maximum purchase.  Testing this option, we found the 51 to be highly manoeuvrable and responsive going astern, even when we got very aggressive and backed her up hard…I can imagine a gameboat skipper backing up on a big fish would find this option heaven sent and, well, even a newbie can chase down fish like a pro,” John Zammit.

 COCKPIT:

“The teak cockpit offers ample below deck storage and there are lockable storage cabinets for mooring lines an rods in the side coamings.  The cockpit deck is mounted on electro hydraulic rams to provide unfetted acces to the engine bay.  Traditional Riviera attention to detail means the cockpit has built-in spot lights, deck wash down, ice boxes in the transom and on the saloon bulkhead and plenty of tackle storage.  A remote IPS joystick for manoeuvring when dockside has been installed to starboard of the saloon entry.  A sink with hood is also provided in the cockpit,” Peter Scott.

“With more than 150 of these large and luxurious three-cabin cruisers already on the water, the Volvo Penta IPS option offers an additional storage space amidships on the main deck, where the shaft drive diesels normally reside.  As the three Volvo Penta engines sit side-by-side under the aft cockpit deck, directly above their triple IPS drive units, the new technology has freed up this additional area for cavernous storage space,” Anthony Twibill.

“It’s typical Riviera and I mean that in a good way.  The quality and attention to detail is so consistently good…I also like it when, as on this boat, the windscreen is left clear an not covered over with cabinetry, as it lets in light to the saloon and it’s pleasant to be able to look out forward, as well as through the large side windows.  This boat was also fitted with (what is now a common theme throughout the whole Riviera range these days) a large lift-up awning window and stainless steel door aft to the cockpit, merging interior and outdoors as one,” John Zammit.

 INTERIOR DESIGN:

“As on all Rivieras, the internal fitout is simply magnificent.  The configuration of our test boat allowed for an internal staircase to be positioned immediately to starboard of the saloon entry…An L-shaped lounge to port provides saloon seating while at the touch of a switch, the lounge converts to a double bed…Entertainment aboard leaves nothing to the imagination with a large flat screen plasma…The galley, always a work of art on any Riviera,” Peter Scott.

“These new “lifestyle features” aboard the 51 Series II are extensive, and they range from the hydraulic awning window linking saloon and aft cockpit, to new drawer fridges in the galley, bathrooms featuring stylish and practical Amtico flooring, and a new flybridge design with plentiful seating and a sophisticated new helm console,” Anthony Twibill.

“Practical and well thought out interior with clever use of space…The galley, down a step and separated from the saloon by a raised servery, is fitted out with a solid-surface bench top…Below decks are two staterooms, both with en suites, and a third two-bunk cabin,” John Zammit.

Please click here for further details of 51 Enclosed Flybridge SII 

Please click here for further details of 51 Open Flybridge SII

 

 

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Click to enlarge image: Boating journists say this is a most impressive cruiser

Boating journists say this is a most impressive cruiser


Cruising in comfort from the enclosedd flybridge

Cruising in comfort from the enclosedd flybridge


The 51 Flybridge is one of Riviera's most successful models

The 51 Flybridge is one of Riviera's most successful models


The L-shaped lounge is perfect for relaxing in the saloon

The L-shaped lounge is perfect for relaxing in the saloon


The galley has been described as a work of art

The galley has been described as a work of art


The dinette is simply stunning

The dinette is simply stunning


The master stateroom is well designed and luxuriously appointed

The master stateroom is well designed and luxuriously appointed


The 51 Open Flybridge

The 51 Open Flybridge


The 51 Open Flybridge is an ideal spot to relax

The 51 Open Flybridge is an ideal spot to relax


The 51 Open Flybridge is a great cruising boat

The 51 Open Flybridge is a great cruising boat


The 51 Open has an equisite saloon

The 51 Open has an equisite saloon


The 51 Open Flybridge guest cabin is pure luxury

The 51 Open Flybridge guest cabin is pure luxury


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