Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht Review and Video

Riviera 4800 Sport Yacht Running - World Premiere

Review by David Lockwood from Boat Sales

Riviera’s latest Sport Yacht finds a perfect match in Volvo Penta’s new quiet and powerful IPS800s

Premiering at the 2016 Sydney International Boat Show, the new 4800 SY is the first boat in the world with Volvo Penta’s impressive 600hp IPS800s. There are a host of other smarts to make pleasure boating easier, more intuitive and enjoyable in this boat. Along with ideal sizing, the 4800 SY has to be one of the best family boats in the new-age Riviera range.

– The perfect family Sport Yacht package
Sport Yachts have been go for Riviera. Rusted-on owners are moving down to the ladder to single-level entertainers; time-poor families embrace the flowing open-plan layout for weekending; while boatshare operators enjoy the dockability and the accessibility of a smart Sport Yacht with pod drives and joystick.

Given the success of the 5000 SY nee 4700 SY, which accounted for 156 sales between them, and the smaller 4400 SY which is still in production, this new 4800 SY has fortune paved its way. It’s also a nice slot to fill in respect of price.

Ahead of the official launch at the 2016 Sydney International Boat Show, we were told the 4800 SY had already accounted for more than 20 owners. We drove hull #1, with Alpha Romeo metallicGrigio Chiaro hull paintjob, and some bling from the option’s list to create a showboat.
As you see it, Riviera’s latest Sport Yacht is arguably the most beautiful in the fleet. The lines are balanced and contemporary, while the latest Volvo Penta IPS800s and Glass Screen integration create a user-friendly luxury cruiser in step with today’s market.

Due to the sizing and accessibility, we believe the 4800 SY is poised to take the mantle as Riviera’s ultimate family boat. With a couple of young children and a lot of boating hours behind me, this snazzy new boat presents as the ideal upmarket weekender perfect for a big city waterway like Sydney Harbour.

But far from this being a parochial boat. Riviera is exporting half its production overseas. Lined up with foreign marques, this stylish 4800 SY has poise and performance. And this may be all the boat that today’s global pleasure seeker needs.

– With Alpha Romeo ‘Grigio Chiaro’ hull colour and champagne flutes
The Riviera 4800 SY has found its perfect match in the all-new Volvo Penta 600hp IPS800s using the common rail D8 engine and the latest IPS15 pod drive. There are no engine options at the time of writing and, to be honest, none is needed.

Like all modern-day Rivieras, the 4800 SY is a loaded standard boat for  $1,095,960. As a showboat, the 4800 SY we tested —the first journalists in the world to do so — had some extra kit.

The special Alpha Romeo Grigio Chiaro hull colour added to the luxury look, while an extra cockpit joystick, Volvo Trim Assist (auto trim tabs), Digital Positioning System (GPS station hold function) and iPad connectivity on the C-Zone digital switching add to smarts.

There were upgraded AV systems in the cabins, special foredeck sunpad, high-pressure water cleaner plumbed in, and 2.7m RIB parked in the garage. A Miele washer/dryer, dishwasher and filtered drinking water add to the home-like amenities.

Outdoors, there were teak decks and stainless rails on the hydraulic non-skid swim platform. The optional extended cockpit awning creates an all-weather al fresco lunch setting, while upgraded electric saloon blinds let you gain privacy at the marina.

Custom options included full spectrum awning and underwater lights that scroll through the colours, extra night lighting, cameras in the cockpit, on the anchor and engine-room, upgraded electronics to twin 15in MFDs and a Garmin radar, and some soft furnishing tweaks.

Drive-away boat show pricing was $1,279,520 for a very 4800 SY right down to the 32-piece cutlery, champagne flutes, salad bowls, beach towels, and scatter cushions. That’s about $400k less than a loaded 5400 Sport Yacht, so you can see the sticker appeal.

– Comfortable living and clever convertible accommodation
While you will be hard pressed to fault the finish, you will also struggle to find a box left un-ticked in the design spec. Jason De Ruiter from Riviera, who has project managed the 4800 SY since inception, walked us through the well-considered details.

The hydraulic swim platform butts-up to the boat with no discernible gap, as the drop-in optional rails add to the safety, and the garage opens to reveal your water toys and the 2.7m tender (15hp to add) in situ. You will find dedicated storage for the aforesaid rails and fenders here, plus a new quiet oil-filled tender winch that won’t wake-up the neighbours.

There’s standing room under the garage lid, which might come in handy on a rainy day when fishing with the kids, while the inbuilt aft amenities centre is operable with the lid closed. The twin 240v hot-rock barbecues, with flat and grill plates for doing eggs and bacon or steaks, have a servery space, drinkholders, night cooking lights and implement/condiment storage.

Cockpit sizing is terrific and with the extended awning and clear quarter panels you get good weather protection. Seating exists for eight, split between the rear lounge and the L-shaped lounge and lunch table, which converted into a daybed for zeds on our demo boat. I’d sleep here on a hot summer’s night.

With the internal saloon dinette, you can seat two families at two different table settings and not feel detached. Meanwhile, all the sub-seat storage areas are lined and insulated, so you could create a serious party icebox in the cockpit. Summer boaters will also welcome the cockpit wetbar with icemaker, fridge and bin chute.

Wide walkaround decks, high moulded toe rails, big cleats, fender storage and the grab rails are features going forward, while the new dedicated shorepower locker is indicative of the level of thought in this boat.

The foredeck is another lifestyle station with separate upgraded sound system and a banana-chair-like backrest mechanism on the inbuilt sun lounges, which also get a pop-up shade canopy and drink holders. A great set-up for teenagers and doing sundowners.

The superyacht arches hint at the sporty drive to come, while the opening hopper windows and aft galley are a given back at the saloon entry. Opening side windows and a sunroof add to connectivity once you are inside. It’s all climate controlled, of course.

The premium-leather saloon lounge, a U-shaped number to starboard, was designed to seat a family and you can cater for five with a formal setting. The satin walnut joinery adds to the styling, as does the auto-inspired dash with super comfortable Recaro high-backed helm seats.

Always a selling point, the galley comes loaded with everything you’d expect in an apartment, including twin drawer-style fridges and a freezer. The wetbar is opposite. Personally, I’d add a stone servery-style counter, although owners will probably cut some of that non-skid rubber matting to save on wear.

If you want to switch into movie mode, a 40in TV rises like a phoenix from the dash, as the electric blinds descend. But looking forward, the lower lounge area solicits attention. I’m not a fan of below-deck living spaces, but this is functional.

The open atrium-like ceiling and side windows with lighting, while the L-shaped lounge has magnetic backrests for easy conversion into an impromptu berth, thereby boosting sleeping to six. The flush-mounted TV in surrounding joinery includes recessed storage for remotes, DVDs, tablets, phone charging and so on.

The Clipsal GPO power sockets throughout with USB ports, the cedar-lined storage spaces, the recessed cabin doors to maximise companionway access, and the abundance of light and space are other features.

Accommodation spans two cabins and two bathrooms, with the VIP with island berth in the bow enjoying its own upmarket ensuite with Grohe tapware, towel rails and more nice fittings. The walk-in aft cabin has boosted headroom and a real feeling of space, even back under the single bed area.

At first glance, there appears to be three single beds on offer. Press a concealed button and one of the twin athwartships mattresses moves on an electric actuator to create a double. Gazing out the portlight at the anchorage, I think sleep will be the least of your worries. The double bed is a great option for extended family at holiday time.

Access for servicing, storage space, light and fresh air have all been prioritised in the design. But it’s the sense of space that is impressive. The 4800 SY feels like a bigger boat inside, while remaining agile and easily driven underway.

– Volvo Penta drive and systems integration
The 4800 SY is built with a solid, handlaid GRP hull with cored decks and foam filling in the forward underfloor sections. There’s more modular and composite construction and the boat is said to be lighter and stiffer than previous Sport Yachts.

There’s a dry weight of 15,725kg and a dry ride thanks to slightly downturn chines and running strakes that follow their line. The beam in the hull is carried well aft to support the rear engine mounting and the hull jumps out of the hole and doesn’t labour.

A small solid keel reduces undue skating, the fine entry slices, but a large part of this boat’s performance appeal is the common-rail D8 engines and the IPS800 installation. Driving from the saloon, the 4800 SY is one of the quietest sport yachts we’ve driven.

The 2000lt of fuel is carried athwartships, while the 400lt of water was aft and the boat has a common plumbing line to reduce skin fittings. We would add a watermaker given that 400lt will last a weekend with our family aboard and this boat had a FW water blaster. That said, typical weekend boaters mightn’t tap their water capacity beyond a deck shower and rinse of the sushi platters. All the bilge pumps were nice and accessible. We checked.

Power comes from a quiet 11kW Onan with exhaust splitter, there is an 2.5kW inverter to the AV, TVs, icemaker and a galley outlet, and Riviera has stepped up the DC charging side of things in this 24V boat. The C-Zone digital switching had the latest slimline dash displays with reduced modules and wiring behind the scenes.

Volvo Penta steps things up in the electrical department with the latest EVC3 engine software, an electrical current neutralising system, greater battery management systems, even remote e-Key engine operation going forward. Then there is the five-year Volvo-backed warranty.

Prop nut to wheel nut warranties cover the engine, drive train, pods, jackshafts, twin joysticks, the new integrated Glass Cockpit navigation, engine monitoring system, the Dynamic Positioning System, Anti-Corrosion Protection, Autopilot, and the line-cutters fitted to both drives.

Owners will find the engine room maintenance items on the centreline: clear sea strainers, oil dipsticks, upgraded twin Racor filters nearby. Quiet 24V blowers and membranes keep the air up and salt away. The generator is mounted aft to help reduce noise, too.

Casting a critical eye around, you don’t see self-tapers, screw heads, plain square planks of vinyl-clad ply, or shoddy upholstery under seat bases. Plumbing and wiring is coded and neat and tidy and it all presents like a real luxury boat.

– Driving pleasure and crew friendly
This 4800 SY embraces Volvo Penta’s mantra of “easy boating”. Mums could take the boat out with their friends mid-week. There are joysticks and cockpit docking station, the Dynamic Positioning System to hold you in place, walkaround decks, and not to much windage above the waterline.

Additionally, with the new IPS 15 pods on the IPS800s, you get azimuth angles up to 34 degrees, the furthest of any pod drive in the range. The full articulating 34-degree steering range is available up to 1000rpm and low-speed steering is amazing from the wheel or joystick.

Underway, there’s a lot of sport in the yacht and the 4800 SY is hot performer like its 5400 SY sibling. Riviera quotes 34 knots top speed, which we well and truly surpassed on test. It’s an intoxicatingly quiet ride with sporty off-the-wheel steering when you want it.

With the low noise levels, you just barrel along unaware that you are cruising at 30.9 knots for a 300nm-plus range. With a range of around 300nm at 24.8 knots all the way up to a wide-open throttle of 34 knots, this is a sports rocket.

It’s all very well carrying huge fuel for more range and running interstate, but it’s a waste if you are going to Store Beach, The ‘Pin, Docklands or Rotto. The 4800 SY is all about driving pleasure and sophistication and it will make you rethink diesel engines of not diesel boating. No clatter at all.

– A Sport Yacht for today’s discerning pleasure boaters
In a nutshell, the 4800 Sport Yacht offers an Australian-sized cockpit, tender garage, inbuilt barbecue centre, indoor/outdoor flowing saloon, lots of glass and fresh air, popular two-cabin/two bathroom layout, sleeping for up to six with convertible lower lounge, the latest Volvo Penta D8 engines, the first set of IPS800s in the world, and sporty performance with ease of handling.

The new boat takes external design cues from the Riviera 6000 SY (which is up to number 67 since the 2009 launch off the back of the 5800 SY) and the new 5400 Sport Yacht reviewed here, for which there has been extremely strong worldwide demand and 35-plus sales since its launch in February 2016 in Miami.

“The 4800 has all the Riviera Sport Yacht hallmarks – sleek styling, leisurely single-level living and entertaining features, premium levels of luxury and superb sea-keeping capabilities – embedded deeply in her DNA,” Mr Moxey said at the mid-2016 press event.

Along with a helicopter and film crew just metres off our bow, there was a buzz in the air around this new Spot Yacht. For it’s a showcase of Volvo Penta’s latest IPS, its pod drives, marine diesel engines, and electronic integration.

Riviera shares the vision of making boating more auto-like and seamless and the very close working relationship benefits consumers. On the eve of its gala launch at the 2016 Sydney International Boat Show, Riviera had sold 20 of these new 4800 Sport Yachts. Luxury boaters have already voted. It might now be a case of joining the queue.


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