Riviera 46 SMY boat test

By adding an open flybridge, Riviera has created a highly attractive, elegant, spacious and practical vessel offering a markedly different driving experience from its SUV sister.

Riviera’s new 15.9m (52ft 2in) 46 Sports Motor Yacht (SMY) combines modern design, sophisticated technologies and cutting-edge construction with subtle remnants of models from eras past by dint of the builder’s 43-year heritage.

The 46 bears an open flybridge, whereas its larger SMY siblings are fully or semi-enclosed.

The designers have rekindled concepts like the aft flybridge helm and utilised the flybridge-style hull platform, cockpit arrangement and three-stateroom accommodation layout from the 465 SUV that was launched mid-2022. Between the two offerings, Riviera now covers both bases in a sub-50ft marketplace that’s growing increasingly popular.

Features on the flybridge include a sociable settee and U-shaped dinette forward, the latter converting to a daybed. The floor is moulded non-skid GRP with optional clip-in carpet, and the Sunbrella fabric can be protected with canvas covers when not in use.

A wetbar with fridge and sink is aft. The helm is opposite to starboard, and Riviera has opted for a retro-looking stainless-steel wheel to better withstand the elements. Also at the helm are premium-quality helm chairs, a joystick, twin Garmin Glass Cockpit displays and a CZone repeater panel.

The aft helm position lets you view the rear platform and starboard coaming, as well as the bow rail. For portside docking, an IPS joystick is mounted on the cockpit coaming.

The fibreglass hardtop is held aloft by sturdy polished stainless-steel posts on all corners and can deploy a suite of Strataglass clears. Rarely will the clears option go unticked since there’s no lower driving station as standard and the front wind deflector affords only marginal protection.

Below, the accommodation plan places the master stateroom and en suite compartment (with walk-in shower) forward, while guest staterooms are amidships. Owners can opt for a double berth to port, or twin singles as per the starboard cabin. It feels luxurious and inviting, with a choice of gloss- or satin-finished oak, cherry or walnut trim.

The advantages of the upper helm resonate in the saloon, where the 46 offers an L-shaped lounge in lieu of the lower driving station. It’s opposite a slightly abbreviated U-shaped dinette, so two or three extra people can join the conversation or watch the 43in TV that resides in its own dash recess.

An internal, seven-step stairwell immediately inside the saloon leads to the flybridge, with large and well-angled timber steps, stainless-steel handrails, and a metal-framed glass hatch at the top. The space beneath is utilised for a fridge and kitchen cabinetry.

The aft galley has Corian benchtops and homestyle appliances for gourmet chefs. There’s plenty of storage, too, and an awning window and sliding door to feed the cockpit. Its seamless connectivity with the alfresco deck provides a 30 per cent extension to the saloon.

The lower cockpit is segregated, so launching water toys or fishing and barbecuing won’t interrupt guests.

Walkaround side decks with handrails allow you to access the foredeck with sunpads and adjustable headrests – many owners will store a tender with davit here.

Standard power is dual Volvo Penta D8 IPS 800s developing 600hp apiece, the same as found in the 465 SUV – the SMY offers an upgrade: D11 IPS 950s pumping out 725hp. They’re both six-cylinder, turbocharged and supercharged powerplants, but the three-litre displacement boost is significant.

An 11kW Onan genset is also upgradable to 13.5kW.

Drinking from a 2500lt fibreglass fuel tank, the bigger motors deliver a maximum range of 1560nm (2890km) if you’re content to putter along at 5 to 6 knots (11km/h) at 600 revs. Prior to planing, 9 knots (16.6km/h) is an ideal coastal cruise speed with a 465nm (861km) range.

The real deal comes at the 2560rpm WOT, where the litre/nm curve remains virtually flatlined from earlier planing speeds. In other words, you can gallop along at 34 knots (64km/h) without suffering guilt trips.

Volvo Penta’s auto-trim system, employing Interceptor transom tabs, allows the driver to concentrate on speed and steering while also levelling heel through turns. A Seakeeper 6 gyro for lower speeds and comfort at anchor is an option, while Siren Marine remote monitoring technology allows owners to check onboard systems via their phones.

Price from: $1,673,000 (Price correct as at April 2023.)
  • LOA: 15.9m
  • Hull length: 14.3m
  • Beam: 4.76m
  • Draft: 1.44m
  • Displacement (dry): 21,920kg
  • Fuel capacity: 2500lt
  • Water capacity: 500lt
  • Berths: 6
  • Standard power: 2 x Volvo Penta D8 IPS 800 (600hp)
  • Power as tested: 2 x Volvo Penta D11 IPS 950 (725hp)



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