Upsize me, The Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht

06 Nov 2018

If you thought the Riviera 68 Sports Motor Yacht was an awesome boat, then you’re going to drool over the recently released and somewhat larger 72 Sports Motor Yacht.

Riviera explains that in designing the 72 Sports Motor Yacht, the criteria was for a vessel that offered the exhilaration of sports performance with the luxurious comforts of a motor yacht.

“During more than two years of development, Riviera’s in-house design team conducted extensive consultations with highly experienced Riviera owners from around the world to create a motor yacht of great beauty and purpose,” says Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst.

“When we spoke to owners seeking a new style of motor yacht, they said their dream was a blue-water yacht that combines speed and sport fishing and other water sports capabilities with the confidence of high bulwark side decks, a foredeck entertainment centre, fully enclosed flybridge with internal stairs, a covered mezzanine dining area and ultra luxurious interiors,” he said. Unquestionably, the new 72 Sports Motor Yacht comprehensively delivers on their brief.

See it on the water and you’d be hard-pressed to pick the difference between the 72 and 68, but while virtually the same boat, the 72 been upsized. And just like McDonalds, you get a lot more for your money and what you get extra is certainly worth having.

The extra length is evident in the twin level cockpit with more deck space, plus with the extended hull, the fuel tank capacity has been able to be increased from 8500 litres to 10,500 litres. The 72 Sports Motor Yacht has all the right attributes to be either a seriously comfortable, practical cruising boat or a dedicated sports fisher. The cockpit is clearly defined with two distinctive areas, each for a distinct purpose; aft deck for fishing and upper deck for entertaining.

While there are plenty of choices on how you configure the boat when you look at the options and build list, the 72 SMY has been so well resolved and considered, I can’t see why you would change anything. This multi-faceted approach covering a wide range of owner’s needs is what Riviera has been promoting with the sports motor yacht range which now comprises three models; 39, 68 & 72.

The Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht is one metre longer than the 68 SMY in both overall and hull length but shares the same beam. After all, both boats are from the same set of moulds, but due to the extra length, the 72 SMY comes in at 47,000kg dry displacement and the 68 is around 1000kgs lighter at 46,000kg. The 72 also carries more fuel and water and while a pair of 1550hp MAN V12 engines is the standard engine package in the 68, these are speced up to 1800hp MAN V12s for the 72 SMY. However, both boats are available with the MAN V12 1900hp engines, a pair of which were in the 72 SMY I had the pleasure to experience.

Power is transmitted through Twin Disc remote mounted Quickshift gearboxes that integrate with the Express Joystick System and Seatorque’s The Boss, bolt on shaft system. This is an enclosed, oil filled, self-contained, shaft and thrust bearing assembly, supplied as a complete unit from the transmission output coupling to propeller end. The 72 SMY was also fitted with Seakeeper 16 gyro stabiliser. The first impression when driving the 72 SMY was just how intuitive everything was and the effortless way in which the boat handled.

Running across a 1/2m chop with 10 knots of breeze, the 72 SMY was smooth, vibration free and extremely quiet. The hull runs true and straight and by pre-setting the Humphfree Interceptors, we maintained an optimum running angle of around 4.3 deg. At 18 knots @ 1600 rpm the I recorded a low 61dB in the flybridge and even at 1900 rpm @ 25 knots - an ideal cruise speed at 80% load - that only increased to 65dB. Maximum speed is close to 35 knots. Big boats can be a handful, but not so the 72 SMY, and while I appreciate some owners would choose to have a captain and maybe a deckie on the boat, to me it’s a boat that can be run by just two people…it’s that easy!

The hull was designed by Mulder Design in the Netherlands and tank tested at the Wolfson Institute at the University of Southampton in England. This all-new Riviera hull delivers in every aspect of performance and handling, offering a smooth dry ride at any speed.


The effect of opening the considerable hopper window and saloon door is one of complete openness and with the U shaped galley to port, it’s a convenient saloon layout. However, just as easily as you can expose yourself to the elements, you can also shut it all down and keep warm inside. The varnished walnut timber cabinetry encases a four-burner induction cooktop with pot-keepers, range hood, a large convection microwave oven and a dishwasher.

The galley also offers exceptional refrigeration capacity with four drawer fridges and two freezers. It’s a galley suitable for a Masterchef winner. There’s a large lounge to port and, to starboard, a leather dinette that seats up to eight people. A most relaxing setting complemented by a 55-inch TV, that is easily viewable from both the lounge and dinette. A watertight pantograph door on the port side leads to the side deck, and an internal timber staircase provides direct access to the flybridge.



I loved the layout of the saloon, the enlarged cockpit and even the master stateroom, but when I entered the flybridge, I was in a different world. I don’t like using the phrase state-of-art, but it is probably the best way to describe the helm station. Set into hand-stitched leather is a comprehensive engine and control system, complete with Twin Disc electronic joystick system (EJS) and three 22- inch navigation screens. You can have up to four. 

Helm seating comprises a central Norsap helm seat and port side companion seat. Guests can relax on lounges across the entire starboard side facing the helm, skipper and an entertainment unit. A distinctive feature of this space is a fold-out double bed secreted under the aft lounge, offering additional accommodation. Ideal if you do happen to have a captain or some additional guests. 

A stainless steel framed glass door and awning window connect the flybridge with a large aft deck complete with dedicated engine control station and alfresco dining area with an L-shape seating area, wet bar, as well as space for two stand-alone dining chairs.



There are two accommodation options available; the three cabin Presidential and the four cabin Classic, both with three bathrooms. The Classic accommodation layout offers a massive midships master stateroom with en-suite bathroom along the starboard side. The Presidential suite features a larger full-beam master stateroom with en-suite in the starboard forequarter.

A private sitting area on the starboard side can serve as an open workstation, make-up bureau or breakfast retreat. Both Classic and Presidential options feature a king-size bed, a feature headboard and bedside tables with leather in-lays and ample storage underneath. There are his/hers cedar-lined hanging wardrobes on either side of the stateroom.

The VIP guest stateroom forward includes a walkaround queen-size bed with storage beneath and wardrobe space either side, outboard cupboards and a private en-suite. The port cabin aft of the guest stateroom features twin single beds which can form a double as the inboard bed slides across.

The Classic layout includes an additional fourth guest cabin with full-sized pullman-style beds, cedar-lined hanging wardrobe and bedside table. The two cabins share a bathroom located on the port side, forward of the twin cabin. With the Presidential layout, you also get a dedicated crew cabin, complete with head/shower, while in the Classic this is turned into a storage and utility room. Access is via a staircase from the port side of the saloon, with a watertight bulkhead door providing entry to the engine room. The spacious full height engine room has eye-height engine systems monitors and remote controls. Everything that needs to be easily accessible is close at hand, so you don’t have to be a contortionist to check any of the system or components.



The extra length of the cockpit has allowed for an increase in storage options with the expansive cockpit, (16.32 m2) offering a very relaxing and entertaining space. A large barbecue unit is set forward of the cockpit in cabinetry located below an elevated mezzanine deck. The elevated alfresco mezzanine forward of the cockpit includes a sizeable under-cover dining area. A bar with two swivel stools under is set below the awning window, creating additional informal seating in the mezzanine.

The cockpit is not your only outdoor option as Riviera have also created a large rear deck with L-shape lounge and table of the Flybridge. They have incorporated a foredeck sunken lounge area on the 72 SMY. With seating for eight, the deck also includes a hydraulic crane and tender that are designed to ft atop the entertaining area. There is also a bimini option.

What was once a mostly unused area has been transformed into a functional workspace and separate relaxing zone.



The 72 SMY is truly a genuine sports motor yacht in every sense and combines all the great accommodation amenities, internal layout, enclosed flybridge, separate entertainment areas and raised mezzanine cockpit of a traditional motor yacht, but with the speed and performance of a sports cruiser.

Attention to detail, the level of finish and the engineering throughout the 72 SMY is exceptional. It’s a boat that looks modern and comes with all the integrity and support that people know Riviera deliver. It’s a boat for all generations.

This boat test review was conducted by Pacific Power Boating Magazine and appeared first in the Oct 2018 Edition. 

Request more more information on pricing and delivery of the Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht here