New Boat: Riviera 46 Sport Motor Yacht

An australian cruise aboard Riviera’s new family adventure-ready Fishing machine shows a perfect melding of modern and traditional.

An australian cruise aboard Riviera’s new family adventure-ready Fishing machine shows a perfect melding of modern and traditional.

From engineering and design to friendlier and more accommodating layouts, Riviera has learned a lot in building 6,000 boats over the last 42 years. With its reinvention of the flybridge motoryacht, Riviera’s 46 SMY goes back to the company’s roots, but it’s taking the latest in construction, architecture and electronic technology along with her.

I was impressed when I first saw the 46 SMY cruising into Queensland’s Runaway Bay Marina. While externally, I saw a smaller version of the 50 SMY, that’s pretty much where the similarities ended. The 46 SMY is its own boat and the first Riviera flybridge in over a decade to feature an aft helm and an internal staircase. With the aft helm, the area forward has been transformed as either a place to entertain or as overflow accommodation. The large loungers can convert to another couple of berths, which means you can sleep up to eleven—all within the confines of a boat shorter than 50 feet.

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Built for serious fishing, the aft helm allows the skipper to keep an eye on everything happening in the cockpit, so when the action starts, he or she can maneuver the boat accordingly without leaving the comfort of the helm chair. Riviera sees the 46 SMY as a boat that will re-energize the flybridge market, and be an answer to those who still like the feeling of fresh air and a breeze while driving. If you want protection from the weather, zip up the Isinglass screens and close the entire flybridge off from the elements. It’s fully climate controlled too, so you can set the temperature to suit.

From the rise-and-fall boarding platform to the enormous glass door leading into the galley and lower salon, the 46 SMY’s layout is identical to Riviera’s 465 SUV. The lower cockpit features all the usual storage lockers and a massive central wet bin. With inspection hatches directly above the IPS drives, engine room access is via a large hatch in the deck. There is two-door access to the platform, which can also be configured with stainless staples. This opens up the split areas into one—add a bait board and rod holders to the staples, and you have an ideal fishing platform.

Dividing the lower deck from the alfresco (upper) deck is a grill and serving area to port and top loading fridge and icemaker to starboard. Loungers on both sides of the salon can be converted to extra berths with a drop-down table and infill to port providing a full size double. Wide side decks with handy safety rails lead to the foredeck and sunpad.

The interior of 46 SMY hull one is satin walnut, although you have options for gloss and other timbers. The salon is all new with a double lounge forward, starboard side aft galley and internal staircase to the flybridge. The port side lounge converts to yet another double berth thanks to the drop-down dining table, plus another complete berth opposite, if needed. High profile windows radiate natural light into the salon, and the loungers are at a perfect height to take in the world outside.

The aft galley has a composite bench top, large serving spaces and the usual amenities and appliances required to feed a hungry and possibly large crew. The two-part painted cabinets above the galley is a subtle break from all the walnut and offers contemporary elegance. The staircase to the flybridge is the same concept as on Riviera’s larger sport motor yachts, with floating treads on a stainless frame. In the 465 SUV, this space was taken up by a bar area.

The three cabin, two bathroom layout offers a forward master with an island berth, his and hers wardrobes and an extra large en-suite.

You can choose the starboard guest cabin of two singles or another double berth. To port, the cabin has a double berth with plenty of storage. The two guest cabins share the second en-suite, which doubles as the day head.

Boating on The Gold Coast Broadwater takes a keen eye ahead and one on the screen to weave your way around the many sandbars. At the helm, the 16-inch Garmin screen made the transit too easy. The 46 SMY’s handlng is positive, responsive and agile. The extra height of the flybridge had a limited effect on how the boat responded, especially with the Seakeeper 6 and the Volvo Penta interceptors running.

The 46 SMY ran out to around 35 knots in the low swells off Surfers Paradise with a fuel burn of 75 gph for the twin 725-hp Volvo Penta D11 IPS 950s. The best cruise was at 2300 rpm and 29 knots with a fuel burn of 59 gph. Based on 90 percent of the available fuel, that gives you around a 300 nm range.

Fish, cruise, party or whatever suits, the Riviera 46 SMY offers it all in a neat liveaboard package. Riviera has done an excellent job blending modern contemporary with traditional materials, and the result is an exceptional example of what 42 years of evolution can create.

Riviera 46 Specifications:

LOA: 52’2″
Beam: 15’7″
Draft: 4’3″
Displ.: 48,325 lB.
Fuel: 660 gal.
Water: 132 gal.
Power: 2/725-hp Volvo Penta IPS 950

This article originally appeared in the March 2023 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.