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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The following article was recently published over at Boatpoint.com.au

Read the original at http://www.boatpoint.com.au/news/2013/maritimo-2013-wrap-40493

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Full steam ahead with a new 65 in 2014 with quad-engine option and four shaftdrives!

Australian boat-building doyen Bill Barry-Cotter hasn’t re-invented the wheel but he has created a new lean Maritimo manufacturing model that is paying dividends.
The markets in America and, to a much lesser degree, Europe have rebounded; his revised Maritimo formula focussing on efficiency and quality is being well received; and the three key new models released in 2013 were runaways in at least relative terms.

At the annual end-of-year media press conference on the Gold Coast last Friday (December 6), Barry-Cotter looked relaxed with Maritimo’s achievements, direction and future. He will tell you, as indeed he did us, that this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was the “best ever for Maritimo, with multiple sales recorded.”

There’s a lot else to share, not least being an all-new 65-footer in a “custom line” with an interesting quad-engine option. Barry-Cotter says he has tried it before and, espousing its efficiency once up and running and switched to twin-engine-only operation, will now seek to create the ultimate long-range motorcruiser. Never a dull moment as long as he’s at the helm!

A NEW TEAM – Experience and enthusiasm led the way Launched 10 years ago, Maritimo has seen something of a changing of the guard of its management team of late. Barry-Cotter has brought in new blood, namely Greg Haines (a Maritimo owner) from the eponymous Haines Signature boat brand to handle marketing, CEO Garth Corbitt, and most recently Phil Candler, a new General Manager of Operations, who worked for Barry-Cotter at Riviera for 15 years.

Suffice to say, it’s a formidable team, with a great depth of experience, not only from unsung shipwrights in the background, but from Barry-Cotter (72), who might hint at slowing down, although there’s no sign of that yet. In fact, there seems to be a spring in the step from the boatbuilder and his new team.

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The big hits in 2013 have been the M58, which has been embraced in America especially, the M50 that replaced the M48 (108 sold), and the low-profile S50 Sedan variant sans flying bridge.

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The story goes that Barry-Cotter had the first S50 lined up for his own use, with a new upgraded Miele appliance package and more tweaks — the boat fits under the bridge downstream from his waterfront home — until the sales team found a buyer and off it went.

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THE WINNING FORMULA – The full-beam stateroom, walkaround decks and efficiency Maritimo says its success with these boats rests with the combination of walkaround decks, aft galley, enclosed flybridge with internal staircase — and the big one — a full-beam master stateroom. Achieving that in the M50 and S50 with traditional shaftdrives instead of pod drives has impressed the market and rightly so. The stateroom is said to be 230 per cent bigger than in the M48 it replaces.

Some time ago, as fuel prices started heading north, Barry-Cotter made the decision to work even harder on efficiency and economy. His slippery and easily-driven hulls with low shaft angles and large fuel capacities lay claim to “as much as 17 per cent better fuel efficiency than the competitors [in the 50-footer and 58-footer classes],” declares Haines. Maritimo has also run its fuel figures up against a Nordhavn of [presumably] a similar size and, at 9.8 knots, claims their M58 is 40 per cent more fuel efficient. So fast or slow, the Maritimo’s are aggressively pushing fuel efficiency.

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The other big thing for Maritimo has been the focus on fit and finish. The push to greater quality has been well received by the big-boat market especially. The growth in sales of these bigger 50-60 footers has been largely to pre-existing customers moving up to bigger and more luxurious Maritimos.

“Central to the whole review has been the design and performance of all our boats, greater fuel efficiency, sea-keeping capabilities and finally fitout and finishes,” Haines says.

NEW YEAR LAUNCHES – Exciting new 65 with quad-engine option coming! To the year ahead. Against the improving climate, CEO Corbitt says 2014 is looking promising for Maritimo, with a full order book and two new models planned for release.

“We have looked at everything that we do and we have developed systems that now see us doing it better and that ranges from the design of the boats to the layouts and right through to soft furnishings and the interior fitouts,” he said.

The first of the new boats will be the S58 Sedan, which shares the platform of the M58, but without the flying bridge. Not only is this welcome in some canal areas of the Gold Coast, but the single-level Sedans appear to be a hit with seasoned boaters who know how they use their boats — rafted up alongside like-minded company.

The single-level aft-galley layouts work very well for entertaining. Two pre-sold 58s are now in the making. The first one is headed to the Gold Coast, the second M58 to Canada.

But in Barry-Cotter’s inimitable style, the M65 (concept now in development) is truly unique. The deck is due in early 2014, with the boat launch expected to be in the third-quarter of 2014. The revolutionary four-cabin 65 will have oodles of accommodation: a VIP that is as big as a stateroom in a 50, the option of scissor berths in the bow, his and her heads behind the full-beam stateroom bedhead, and optional crew quarters.

What looks to be an enormous saloon on the renderings has three stools fronting the galley/bar, a three-metre long lounge, with an optional second island amenities centre on the flybridge balcony, plus possible internal engine-room access so owners can check on things from their stateroom.

We’re told engine options will include 900hp Volvos, 900hp (continuously rated) Scanias, 1150hp Cats or, get this, a quad engine set-up with smaller engines, costing a similar initial outlay to bigger twins, but offering greatly reduced running costs. Propped light, you will be able to run on two engines at a time at 18-20 knots and enjoy super-long range, says Barry-Cotter.

Barry-Cotter says he’s built boats with four (shaft-drive) engines before. The outboard engines go forward , the aft ones back, and there are two rudders. Effectively, by switching between engine pairs, you’ll be halving running hours and servicing intervals, he says.

Meantime, the new Maritimo raceboat has hit the water and is undergoing fine tuning. The boat will contest the European circuit next year. Its engines alone were three years in the making. Maritimo won the world championships in America last year. In 2014 or 2015, the new boat will compete internationally running UIM engines rated at 850hp.

The boat has been designed by Michael Peters and overseen by Bill Barry-Cotter and the fine tuning and adjustments that have been made to increase its performance have come from Bill and, until his passing this year, Phil Frazer.

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AMERICAN MARKETS – Big boat sales lead the way in USA Maritimo USA President, Dave Northtrop, shared his views on the rapidly improving American market, saying the Maritimos are coveted by experienced boaters who enjoy spending serious time aboard. He even set records this year, with more pre-sold Maritimos in the month of December than at any other time in the States before. Sales for the month were up 700 per cent year on year. He said Maritimo now has the enthusiasm and momentum on its side.

Indeed, the stats Northrop mentioned suggest the American market has certainly improved. He said sales of inboard 41-62 foot boats in October were up 60 per cent on the previous year, and up 50 per cent in the same period for 63-99 footers. They’re still talking hundreds not thousands of boats, but it’s the first big increase in several years.

Northrop said he wrote sales for three Maritimo 50s in one day at the 2013 Fort Lauderdale show. “We’ve gone from one of the smallest to the largest staterooms in our class… it’s been a godsend,” he said, adding that more and more American owners are taking delivery in Australia and cruising the Whitsundays before shipping their Maritimos home.

Why buy a boat built in Australia? Northrop answers the question asked of him many times. It’s not a financial decision, he says, as Maritimos are priced as a premium product in the US…

“There are two things: these are unique boats from Bill Barry-Cotter with ingenuity and functionality; and it’s the labour force. In Australia, boatbuilding is a profession not just a job. The result is the boater’s boat. ur average USA customer is clocking up 300-400 hours per year. And there are more than 150 of them in America now.”

Candler, the new operations manager, points to the depth of experience at Maritimo, hints at expansion and a reinvigoration of the apprentice-training program.

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BILL’S TAKE – Improving fortunes but steady as she goes in Oz Barry-Cotter says he’s going to keep the momentum going in 2014. The US is on the mend and Europe is coming out of it, he says. “We’re the last into recession and probably the last out of it. Property prices are improving so that will help,” he adds.

“We’re pushing efficiency and will keep working on that. We’ll definitely expand into the 60-footer-plus market for our existing customers. He forecasts doing three to four 65s a year. The market right now is all 50-footer and above. Mustang sales are slowing and I can see that coming to an end,” he says.

So bigger boats rather than lots of smaller ones appears to be the trend. Maritimo doesn’t talk numbers but did around 30 boats in 2012, a few more this year, and is looking at ways to expand a bit without compromising quality. Exports accounted for 60 per cent of sales in 2013, but 70 per cent of sales in the last few months of the year.

“I don’t see that changing and if the dollar pulls back it could be improving,” Barry Cotter wraps up before lunch is served.

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Not much……just freakin HAILSTONES…at the Equator n all !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzUjghLO3qc

Hailstones

.

Enjoy your Christmas!!

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HanseYachts buys Sealine


The latest update on the fate of Sealine from Boatpoint.com.au. Read the original article over at http://www.boatpoint.com.au/news/2013/hanseyachts-buys-sealine-40438

Also read the previous story on SEALINE here https://maritimo48.com/2013/06/02/another-one-bites-the-dust-sealine/

German yacht manufacturer purchases English powerboat company

HanseYachts, the second-largest manufacturer of sailing boats in the world, has taken over Sealine GmbH and entered the powerboat market ranked number 12.
In a statement announcing the acquisition, Hanse said that the move marks the consistent expansion of the HanseGroup’s multi-brand strategy and the acquisition of Sealine is a quick way to gain a share of the powerboat market.
“The motorboat market is not only larger than the sailing market, but has also been experiencing growth for some years now contrary to the trend in the sailing sector. Motorboats are also a good way of opening doors to the newer nautical markets, such as China and Brazil.” said Jens Gerhardt, CEO of HanseYachts AG. “I am sure that the sales of both our Fjord motorboats and our sailing boats will benefit from adding the Sealines to our range,” he added.

Following the acquisition of Moody in 2007, Sealine is now the second traditional English brand and the sixth brand overall in the company: Hanse, Dehler, Moody, Fjord, Varianta and now Sealine.
Previously Hanse’s only entry in the motorboat market was the sporty Fjord boats. Hanse said that Sealine now marks a step into the mass-market. For over 40 years, Sealine has been manufacturing luxury motoryachts. The company recently achieved a turnover of around 40 million Euros, however a weak capital base meant the company was forced to file for administration earlier this year.
Production of Sealine boats will be moved to the Hanse production facility in the city of Greifswald situated on the Baltic Sea in Germany. The F380 model announced by Sealine will be completed and is due to celebrate its world premiere at the Düsseldorf Boat Show. There are plans to expand the product range even further in 2014 and details will be announced after Düsseldorf.
Hanse says that worldwide sales will be handled “mainly via the existing Sealine dealers.”

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Enjoyed this article by Alan Grant published over at inSing.com

Singaporeans needs to take a long hard look at wherever they think the grass is greener, and remember Grass grows on BS !!

Things aren’t as bad as they seem, Singapore

by Alan Grant inSing.com – 17 December 2013 1:15 PM

Wah Lau

There are complaints aplenty in this little city Singapore (Photo: Wikimedia)

People like to moan. Even when things are going well, we’re not able to fully embrace the good. Instead, we complain about the little annoyances in life.

I am a “glass half-full” type of guy, but a poorly thought-out protest will still emit from my mouth on occasion.

It’s just human nature.

SINGAPORE’S GOT (FOREIGN) TALENT

Singaporeans love to moan about the growing number and influence of “foreign talent” (FT) here.

I’m not here to restart that xenophobic debate (although I’m sure I’ve already incited a few FT haters), but I wonder if Singaporeans have ever stopped to think why foreigners are so attracted to this country in the first place.

After all, with our long list of gripes about the economy, the crowded trains and buses, traffic jams and the ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) system, elusive taxis, domestic helpers, the weather — why the heck would people want to come live on this overcrowded little red dot?

The answer is because life here to most non-Singaporeans seems to be in many ways better than in their home countries.

Most foreigners are economic immigrants because Singapore has one of the most vibrant economies in the world.

Whether the many manual labourers who help to build the gleaming edifices symbolising Singapore’s boom, or the more educated foreigners helping to service it, most are here because they can earn more money in Singapore than they can in their own countries.

SHE ‘CAN’T FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS’

Of course, not all Singaporeans are thriving in this bustling metropolis, but this is by no means a poor country.

The sheer number of foreign domestic workers highlights this. The Ministry of Manpower estimated that at year-end of 2010, there were 201,000 of them. Yet, this group of people is so often the target of complaints by Singaporeans and residents.

When my family and I moved to Singapore in 2004 from New York, one of the upsides was the prospect of hiring a helper. Having spent four years in the Big Apple, we did what most Americans do: we cleaned, cooked and raised our child up by ourselves.

It has been great having help on hand here in Singapore, and my family has hired the same lovely Filipina for nearly nine years.

She is not perfect, but then again, who is? To our shame, we’ve moaned about her occasionally, but we’ve never seriously considered replacing her.

I always cringe when I hear people talk down to their maids, or giving up on them after a few weeks or months because their English isn’t good enough or that they can’t quite get the floors clean enough.

I’ve heard the dreaded phrase, “Can’t follow instructions”, too many times.

We’re talking about human beings, not commodities to be traded. So the next time you moan about your maid, remember that many families in other countries, rich or poor, can only fantasise about such a luxury.

TRANSPORT SYSTEM, WHERE GOT WORLD CLASS?

Another perennial gripe here is about the taxis, or the lack of them when we need them most. Whether it is this, the taxi booking systems, the perception of taxi drivers as lazy, or a combination of other factors, we should step back for a minute and think.

Is it the end of the world if we have to wait 15 minutes to get our ride home? Can’t find a taxi? Get on the bus or catch the train.

Yes, the MRT is crowded and there have been occasional delays, but we still have a world-class mass transit system in Singapore.

The MRT should be held up as a national treasure, and while it doesn’t quite go everywhere yet, it’s quick, clean, safe and efficient.

I wish the same could be said for the Tube in London, the Subway in New York or the pathetic little single line that serves my native Glasgow, a city of 600,000 people.

These systems are old and creaking, perennially dirty, rarely on time and due to generally smaller car sizes, much more overcrowded than the Singapore MRT.

The bus network here, too, is splendid compared to other cities in which I’ve lived.

Sure, a rush-hour trip in the rain might take longer than normal, but a standing-room-only ride in Singapore beats the cramped, dirty and slow journeys on a daily basis in cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila.

The other target of public ire, the ERP, plays a part in making sure we don’t have the monstrous traffic jams that our regional Asian neighbours have.

What’s wrong with paying a few dollars to get to work in the comfort of your own car? If you can afford the huge expense that is a car in Singapore, you can well afford the ERP charges. And it’s cheap compared to the other ERPs around the world. The Congestion Charge that covers central London from 7am till 6pm on weekdays is a whopping flat fee of £10 (S$20) a day, for instance.

We’ve also been known to moan about the cost of parking our cars in Singapore. The average cost of parking in the heartlands — 50 cents to $1 every 30 minutes — is so cheap that it’s hardly worth talking about it. Even the hefty $5.50 an hour for parking near Raffles Place, Marina Bay etc, is low compared to cities in Australia.

ALWAYS RAINING, SO HOT

Then, there is our daily gripe about the weather. People complain about it worldwide, but in Singapore, we have it made when it comes to weather.

But you know what, residents of Singapore, next time the entrance to your favourite shopping mall gets flooded or a fallen tree blocks your path, be thankful that the waters will quickly recede. The Land Transport Authority will have that tree cut up and removed in a comparative jiffy.

Think of the poor people in places like Dhaka, Mumbai or even Kuantan, who put up with yearly devastating floods, or the millions displaced by the typhoons that strike the Philippines, Vietnam and China every year. Or the Americans who lose their homes to destructive tornados on a regular basis.

So as we sit here in a relative cocoon surrounded by countries plagued by typhoons, earthquakes, mudslides and volcanoes, let’s not moan about the weather.

Let’s all try to stop and think the next time we’re about to open our mouths to wail about some small irritation that, in the grand scheme of things, is a mere blip.

I love living in Singapore, it has so much going for it, and I’m going to try and concentrate on those positives rather than the minor annoyances. You should, too.

Alan Grant has been in Singapore for nearly eight years. He first visited in 1991, then again in 1996 before his latest arrival in 2004. He has placed his journalistic hat down at such legendary Singaporean spots such as The Straits Times and I-S Magazine. He loves the local food, with his favourite haunts being the Indian vegetarian joints dotted around town.

(The views and opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of inSing.com and SingTel Digital Media Ptd Ltd.)

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This Video is a few years old, but it is still just as powerful.

Don’t Drink and Drive. Think before you Drink.

Especially with the holidays a few weeks away.

It’s not about screwing up your own life, it’s about wrecking the lives of others. Think Before you Drink.

Click the picture and watch the Video and think about your loved one.

Dont Drink and Drive

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2mf8DtWWd8&list=TLKEJsBrEf3MXgTHzSN1iPE8sYk4qktILe

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I read this story over at Crystal Blues BlogSpot http://svcrystalblues.blogspot.sg/2013/10/dangerous-liferaft-servicing.html and I would urge all to go there and read the original report about this cruising couple’s personal experience regarding Liferaft Servicing in Thailand.

06 Liferaft tape moving and cannister open

The tape was already coming loose, exposing the contents to the atmosphere. This was truly shoddy and unprofessional work, that had in fact cost a lot of money – over $1,400.00 !

Some absolutely reckless service standards on something that is a boat owners Last Line of Lifesaving when facing a perilous and life threatening situation.

I would say it is a MUST READ for anyone planning to have their Liferaft serviced in Thailand.

Beware of MCS at Samutparkam in Thailand.

Caveat Emptor.

A Must Read !

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As expected Boatpoint is the first to publish a Full and detailed Test & Review of the much hyped Riviera 50.

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You can read the original here http://www.boatpoint.com.au/reviews/2013/flybridge/riviera/50-enclosed-flybridge/riviera-50-enclosed-flybridge-first-test-39332

Here is a copy of that Test and the photos included. Interestingly I believe that this test confirms a lot of the questions that I raised in previous posts prior to the launch of the First 50 Here and Here.

Also it seems that David Lockwood’s comments may also give some weight to the belief that Riviera, again despite their own hype, still need to build a few boats till they get it right, as you can read Here.

Here goes……

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A big new 50 is born after hitherto new levels of design input and extensive customer feedback

LIKES – Deep level of thinking and considered design – Great fit and finish, attention to detail – Worldly interior with more export appeal – Three very comfortable cabins – Large indoor/outdoor living spaces – Loads of utility and great styling

NOT SO MUCH – Small engines save capital but 650-700hp a better fit – Some would-be buyers demand a full-beam stateroom – Dash brow needs to be lower to improve vision – Needs an extra handrail at the start of sidedecks around cabin

OVERVIEW – A very significant boat We have followed the in-depth design process of Riviera’s new 50 Enclosed Flybridge since the boat was designated a 49 on the drawing board early last year. The new-generation Riviera is a significant for several reasons, not least because it’s the first new model to be launched after Rodney Longhurst bought the iconic Australian boat builder in March 2012 and it promptly exited receivership.

One of the first things Longhurst did was return his friend, previous Riviera CEO and learned boat builder Wes Moxey to his former role. Moxey had worked for Riviera for 26 years and had just created a new brand called Belize using a virtual boatbuilding model and a yard based in Taiwan.

We mention this because Riviera now owns that Belize. That brand’s interior designer, Italian-born Giorgia Drudi, has helped craft the Riviera 50’s interior. It’s more European, exportable and worldly than you’ll find on Rivieras of yore.ge5272940067841649979

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Meantime, some effort has also gone into reducing the visible bulk of the flying bridge and the 50 is a striking, well-proportioned, pretty boat. Yet it’s also a b-i-g 50, with Australian-sized cockpit, sprawling living spaces, and three seriously comfortable cabins with the seaworthy lines bolstered by high freeboard forward.

After a long gestation period stretching more than a year, the new 50 must surely be Riviera’s most considered new boat ever. Rather than whip-out a new model and attend to the details in the market place, as has been standard practice, Longhurst told us he wanted to get his boat right from the start. And at 6ft 3in (1.875m) tall, he makes a good walk-through model, we reckon. Hence the high head and shoulder room throughout the 50.

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT – Brimming options list lets you create your own special boat Our Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge was a demonstrator packed plenty of options to showcase the possibilities. From a base price of $1.435 million, the as-tested sticker was $1.619 million. This is with the base engines, a pair of 600hp Cummins QSC8.3s with Zeus pod drives, three joysticks and a Skyhook (station-holding) system.

They are modest engines for a boat of this size, giving 27 knots top speed, and fitted “for price point reasons,” we were initially told.

“Our 51s, which we don’t build anymore [but for the odd special order], were getting up to $1.8 million boats. We have this 50 coming in at $1.6 million as a replacement and it’s a very, very big 50,” Moxey told BoatPoint and boatsales.

As it was, the demonstrator had some key options to enhance your time aboard, the boat’s liveability and entertaining prowess. These included air conditioning, a sunroof, upgraded Pompanette Platinum helm chairs, and aft docking station (helm is forward) in the flying bridge.

The cockpit had second aft docking station (essentially a joystick), an icemaker, rod holders, rocket launcher and teak decks. But the standout item was the upgraded transom amenities centre with double barbecue featuring grill (dinner) and separate hotplate (breakfast). There was a 350kg Davco davit (awaiting tender) on the bow.

A clever option is the saloon lounge upgrade, where the starboard settee has a slide-out ottoman and fold-out table to create a breakfast setting, somewhere for cards or kids, an office work area and occasional table. Appliance upgrades included dishwasher, washer/dryer, plus underwater lights and provision for must-have watermaker.

The interior boasted soft-furnishing upgrades, leather, solid-surface galley and bathroom counters, bathware and more. The hull was painted in Mercedes Tenoritgrau (silver grey). The boat had three cameras covering cockpit, saloon and engine room, and there was an extensive Raymarine electronics suite including two 15in screens.

Clearly, Riviera offers a lot of kit so buyers can build their ‘own’ virtually bespoke boat, as flexibility is a must in today’s new-boat market. Not everyone does things the same, but you will find that Riviera is accommodating. That said, the 50 has some standard design features that create a great foundation of what is a very user-friendly boat.

OUTDOOR AREAS – Enhanced outdoor living space, extended deck, bigger amenities centre, inbuilt seating and vastly increased storage The outdoor spaces on the 50 cater for our way of boating, with a big beamy cockpit that’s desirably low to the water and, thus, well connected. Despite pod drives — the engines are forward and connected to jack shafts — there’s a decent amount of subfloor ‘lazarette’ storage in a larger central bin that can take a loose teak table and chairs. That’s important, as we’ll explain soon.

Storage also includes a side ‘fish’ bin with Gulpa pumps and side cockpit lockers with toe kicks, so you can lean outboard when fishing. There are new integrated Shorepower connections for one 32A or one 15A lead.

Although there are live-bait tank options instead of the central Kenyon barbecue centre, and while you can delete the swim platform and add outriggers, even a fighting chair, Riviera buyers are pleasure boaters foremost, often seasoned and brand loyal, and they prefer to cruise and kickback.

To this end, Riviera has done a sterling job of creating a cockpit living centre where you can pursue a vast array outdoor activities, entertain during raft-ups and relax in comfort. The new twin swing-out transom doors combine with (screw-out) rails along the swim platform to extend the cockpit space around the ‘island’ transom. Families with kids and dogs will love it.

Between anchorages, you can just haul in the watertoys, SUP and kayak and chuck it on the swim platform knowing the rails will prevent it all tumbling back overboard. We’d consider fitting a removable bait-cutting board with rod holders to one of the rails to create a veritable fishing pier, too.

The island amenities centre had the double barbecues plus a moulded 24V insulated top-loading fridge/freezer right where you want it. There is an additional second top-loading fridge/freezer in the conventional location back against the cabin bulkhead, and an optional icemaker opposite.

The moulded lids of all the fridges make comfortable impromptu seats, as they have always done, and the extra elevation of those against the saloon bulkhead lets them double as fish-spotting perches. However, instead of creating mezzanine seating, as with other sister ships, Riviera went for a portside inbuilt lounge under the awning that puts your feet on deck.

With those aforesaid loose table and chairs you can create a highly desirable lunch setting while having minimal impact on floor space, traffic thoroughfare and the expansive deck for those watersports and leisure activities. The addition of an extended Euro-style awning would be welcome on those blistering-hot summer days.

Details like an outdoor GPO, drink holders, LED lights and new more accessible location for the main battery breakers, in an overhead hatch, didn’t go unnoticed. No need to open the engine-room door to fit your keys and start the engines, though Riv’ actively encourages pre-start engine checks. Small clear side curtains add to the weather protection under the awning, too.

Recessed walk-around decks soon step up to conventional side decks, but there’s a transition before the bow rail that lacks any handrail support. It’s not a big issue, but one that needs addressing as it stood out during this writer’s neighbour’s tour of the boat. Riviera said it is onto it.

Engine vents are inboard and Marine Air Flow devised the ventilation system, with positive (24V fan) forced-air supply, passive extraction and two-stage mist eliminators. Such things are a point of difference to, say, the old Riviera 47s. Think long engine and engineering life.

The foredeck has an offset tender cradle so the escape hatch remains unhindered, there was a Davco 350kg davit, Muir windlass with concealed hand remote in place of visible foot controls, self-stow stainless-steel UltraAnchor and 70 metres of chain, plus fresh- and saltwater taps.

Looking back, the 50 has a pleasingly rakish lines enhanced by the curved-glass front window panes. It’s a sharper, cleaner look, with the flying bridge super structure visibly reduced thanks to black mullions.

INDOOR LIVING – Ticks more boxes with aft galley, enclosed bridge and abundant seating The rear-opening awning window and aft galley tick more boxes, not to mention those of the galleying gourmand catering forward or back aft of the U-shaped space traced with Corian counters. It’s packed with drawers for plates, pots, appliances, plus there are overhead cupboards and more storage opposite in the beautifully crafted wet-bar cabinet.

Between the galley and wet bar were four Vitrifrigo fridge drawers and one freezer drawer that, along with the two top-loading fridge/freezer units and icemaker in the cockpit — and yet another drawer fridge in the bridge — provide true liveaboard cruising refrigeration. Cheers.

The two-burner electric cooktop is perhaps a bit underdone, but there’s a combi microwave oven, upgraded drawer dishwasher and the wet bar with bottle and glass locker opposite. Nearby was the C-Zone digital switching and air-con controls, oh, and plenty of GPOs to run multiple appliances.

Riviera has gone the extra distance and lined the stair post with timber to really create an upmarket feel in the saloon. The open-grain satin oak joinery (cherry is an option, as is gloss finish) and rounded edges add to the sense of class and smart modern finish.

Of course, the internal stairs make for a safe transition to the flybridge, where there are abundant guest lounges and his and her helm seats that are height adjustable. With three-sided clears, plenty of natural ventilation and air-con, it’s comfortable travelling up top.

The portside helm dash was a tad too high, but the auto-like stitched vinyl brow will be lowered in future, we’re told. Controls included a Precision (auto)Pilot, Cummins engine-monitoring Vesselview, twin Raymarine 15in hybrid touch screens, C-Zone tank monitors, Muir windlass with chain counter, Zeus joystick and electronic shifts. You also get a separate stereo and wipers with freshwater washes and intermittent setting.

The aft-facing seats alongside the helm are a nice place to sit and chat to the skipper, while the big L-shaped aft lounge features a second dinette and, we’d insist, a convertible double-bed option. The amenities centre has been reduced in size, but you get that drawer fridge, a small sink with hot/cold water and garbo.

The moulded GRP table might look more befitting if it were teak and the open section under the lounges puts stored items on show. Perhaps the old-fashioned moulded lounge bases are a neater approach to storage. But it’s a lovely big bridge all the same, with oodles of communal cruising room in what, to the eye, presents as a sleek top storey offer unfettered views of the road ahead and wake astern.

Back in the saloon, you step up from the galley and staircase landing to the forward living area.  The saloon proper has a nice big dinette to port for six or even eight, which converts to a coffee table. More great views extend out the surrounding glass. The three-person settee opposite featured the clever optional impromptu pop-up table, which creates a breakfast/office/kid’s desk. It’s a design highlight.

There’s a large 40in flat-screen television and Bose AV system for when the sun sets. The master stateroom has a 26in LED TV integrated into the home theatre system, while a supplied 2.5kW inverter operates the entertainment system, one galley GPO and the icemaker when not on Shorepower. Or running the silent 13.5kW Onan generator.

ACCOMMODATION – Three great cabins, two big bathrooms and no compromises While a lot is made of full-beam staterooms in pod-driven boats, Riviera has made a conscious decision to offer three very comfortable cabins instead of one opulent master aft at the expense of the others.

The lack of a full-beam stateroom might come at a cost — the yard might offer it later — as the competing Maritimo M50 is built around that very thing. But that’s not to say this isn’t a comfortable owners’ boat and it will cater beautifully to an extended family.

Although the layout option is to have the master forward in the bow, the 50 Enclosed Flybridge demonstrator had what’s destined to be the more popular layout. The portside stateroom has an island double bed and en suite, the starboard cabin (alongside and also aft) has twin adult-length single beds (and TV with Xbox), while the VIP in the bow sports an island Queen and door to the second communal/ensuite bathroom.

All three cabins enjoy substantial hull windows and opening portlights and/or hatches for natural ventilation, while the beds, storage and floor space are mindfully liveable. In fact, the cabins remind us of those we come across on 60 footers from highbrow European yards. Wide companionways are kept that way by things like recessed opening doors.

The 50 also had a washer/dryer in the third cabin and a dedicated linen press, cedar-lined hanging lockers, mirrors, magnetic door catches, and big ensuites with Longhurst-sized showers, quiet extractor fans, natural ventilation, good room around the heads and, you should note, excellent floor drain and plumbing systems.

Such is the attention to detail and the overall effect is that of a truly luxurious 50-footer that will cut it at any boat show anywhere in the world. Meantime, with a convertible dinette, the boat can sleep eight very comfortably. Add the watermaker and you’re autonomous. Plus a tender and you’re away.

HULL AND ENGINEERING – A bit borrowed from Belize Built in Australia for local waterways, Riviera teams utility with cachet in a modest way. You don’t hear of any breaking and, if there is a service issue as happens with boats, the dealer network will take your call and help you on your way. Even on a public holiday.

The latest Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge builds on this tradition, while breaking altogether new ground for the Coomera-based business. The moulds were created at the Kha Shing boat yard in Taiwan, while a full-sized mock-up of the boat’s interior was built at the local factory. This way, Riviera could walk would-be customers through the boat and garner their feedback before finally shaping it.

To help keep the mould’s integrity, this Riviera 50 hull number one was actually laid-up in the Kha Shing and left it situ in the mould when it was shipped over. By the time the boat was fully fitted out it was some 600kg overweight. All future hulls will be made here to tight laminate schedules, with solid GRP out to and including the chines, cored decks and topsides.

A slightly shorter and taller version of the Belize 52, and with greater displacement, the Riviera 50 has a very similar running surface, we’re told. There’s a small solid GRP keel to assist directional stability and assist docking, that also reduces the boat’s drift rate and, a point not often mentioned with pod boats, prevents untimely skating on the anchor, a potential problems in tight places.

The hull carries its beam well aft at the chines and therefore has an innate ability to carry a good load back aft. The generator might be moved on future boats, as it was it sat up quite high on the forward U-shaped fuel tank. With a gas/water splitter and through-pod engine exhausts, this is a quiet boat even with all three engines running.

Engine room access is via a conventional cockpit hatch and the layout was all rather logical. The Cruisair air-con units are outboard with condensation drains, the strainer for the cooling pump has a clear inspection bowl, while those for the engines, with dipsticks on the centreline, have solid survey-standard strainers that don’t offer at-a-glance weed checks.

Single Racor fuel filters and coolant overflow bottles were forward, where there was virtual standing room, and the C-Zone brains were mounted high and dry. The fuel tank has sight gauges and remote shut-offs, twin fillers and stainless-steel fuel lines. There are two bilge pumps and a high-water alarm, plus fire-suppression system.

The twin battery chargers ensure quick-response charging. As with the Belize built by Moxey, the Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge is a step up in the engineering department.

ON THE WATER – Agile 50 turns off the wheel As is wont to happen, boat number one weighed a bit more than original targets. It felt heavy, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, being steadfast through the water. But it was no rocket ship and, well, we don’t feel the figures from this demonstrator are truly indicative of how this dashing new 50 will end up performing.

That said, the 50 turned off the wheel with alacrity and agility, without skating like some IPS pod boats, and in a tight arc without falling over, either. Offshore, in about 1.5 metres of sea and a similar swell, the ride was smooth and agreeable. The entry is quite fine, which was welcome when we hammered through some decent swells during a run-out tide on the Gold Coast Seaway.

One the way back home, powering down the tightly packed sea at the bar, the Riviera 50 responded swiftly to the wheel, allowing the driver to compensate for slewing and keep the big boat on an even keel. There was a lot of spray, mind you, but we were running hard at near-20 knots down one wave and through the back of the next.

Top speed offshore on the day was 26 knots at 2970rpm, while the official sea-trial figures with half load say 27.2 knots at 2990rpm. We don’t doubt we could have rung a tad more out of the boat. Cruise at 2580rpm, roughly 400rpm off WOT, produced 19.6 knots up-sea. Not fast, no, but definitely comfortable.

According to Cummins’ technical data, these cruise revs should see 157.8 litres per hour of fuel consumption Our maths says that will give a range of 335 nautical miles from 90 per cent of the 3000 litre fuel supply. According to the SmartCraft display on the dash we were consuming 170 litres per hour, which doesn’t seem quite right.

According to Riviera’s projections, the upgraded 600hp IPS800s will give a top speed of 30.1 knots and cruise at 2000rpm of 23.2 knots, which is where this boat should be. We’re told the gains with the IPS are due to a better torque curve and different gear ratio. There’s a $44,000 premium for these engines.

With the upgraded 700hp IPS900s, top speed of 32.3 knots is anticipated, with 2000rpm cruise giving 24.9 knots. These engines cost a $110,000 premium, but boats #2 and #3 have these 10.9 litre lower-revving options, with bigger pods and props for more purchase and, we predict, greater cruise economy. In fitting these, the 50 will be the first Riviera ever with a keel and IPS pod drives.

Having said that, Caterpillar is working on its own rear-facing pod drive system and a new 650hp@2300rpm 8.7L six-cylinder engine will be available here next year. It may well prove the top standard offering for the 50 Enclosed Bridge. We’re keeping a close eye on these new Cat platforms and pod drive and will report back when they arrive.

Meantime, back inshore, we called on the optional Zeus Skyhook function on the Cummins Zeus drives and, despite wind and tide, the Riviera 50 held its position automatically, using satellites, computer brains and engines, to stay in the exact same position. Handy while prepping the fenders and lines.

VERDICT – Class-leading fit and finish in a big 50 Australians have a thing for Riviera boats. Over 33 years they have proven unsinkable, are found from various epochs tied to marinas from Port Phillip Bay to Port Douglas and around the world, with the yard notching up its 5000th build late last year.

The original recipe for success is still relied upon today, but the intrinsically practical cruisers are now usurped by the 50, with a new level of fit and finish, deeper-thinking in design, and ultimately higher quality. Longhurst should feel proud.

Compared with its competitor, the Maritimo M50, the Riviera 50 Enclosed is slightly longer by 4cm, not as wide by 19cm, and heavier by one tonne on paper. This should make it a very good seaboat.

Time will tell on the performance front, as the twin 600hp Cummins QSC8.3s are modest base engines for a boat of this size, especially as #1 was laid-up in Taiwan and overweight, but we’ve got no doubt the new 50 has a long life ahead of it.

In each of the three cabins, the accommodation is terrific. But we’re betting a full-beam iteration will be available in the future for those who want that. The sole layout option as it stands now is to relocate the stateroom in the bow, where it gains an ensuite and slightly enlarged floor space.

Meantime, for the multigenerational boater and serious cruiser, it’s all here: sleeping for six to eight, good range, plenty of domestic power, abundant refrigeration, loads of lounging, a big cockpit, enclosed bridge with internal stairs, autonomy with a watermaker, and a great ride from what feels like a very nice hull.

With so many owners of Riviera 47s in the marketplace, the 50 should be a natural progression. Considered the ideal-sized cruiser these days, it’s not too big for a couple to command, not so thirsty that you’ll be chained to the fuel bowsers, yet its big enough to accommodate the extended family at holiday time.

Just a nice fit, Australian-made and world class.

Specifications: Price as tested: About $1,619,000 with twin 600hp Cummins QSC8.3 with Zeus pod drives and Skyhook, cockpit and bridge docking stations, flybridge air-con, Davco davit, teak-laid cockpit, transom barbecue, underwater lights cabin AVs, dishwasher, washer/dryer, opening stateroom portlights, painted hull, awning upgrade, upholstery upgrade, carpet upgrade, galleyware kit, Raymarine electronics, and loads more. Priced from: $1,435,000 LOA: 17.26m Hull Length ISO8666: 16.19m Beam: 5.01m Draft: 1.33m (max) Weight: Around 23,000kg (dry w/standard Cummins twin engines) Sleeping: 6+2 Fuel Capacity: 3000 litres Water Capacity: 700 litres Holding tanks: 150 litres Engines: Twin 600hp Cummins QSC8.3 turbo-charged, fully electronic, six-cylinder common rail diesel engines with Zeus pod drives   Supplied by: The Riviera Group, 50 Waterway Drive Coomera, Qld, 4209 Phone (07) 5502 5555 See www.riviera.com.au.

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words & photos – David Lockwood

Published : Friday, 11 October 2013

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Do you think Team USA outspent You

Grant, Do you think Oracle Team USA outspent you ? Do I really have to answer that !

Laughter Breaks Out across the room !!!

Watch the clip at    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_pT2aSt54w&feature=c4-overview&list=UU31PWNTrFdNCMVv1s0Y4JCg

The Billionaire vs the Country !!

Larry Ellison’s fiscal 2013 salary was USD 78.4 million, down from the previous year.

Forbes magazine ranks him as America’s third-richest person with personal wealth of US$41 billion.

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Oracle Team USA won. Emirates Team NZ also won, but Team USA won bigger.

Team USA is used to Big. Big Budgets, Big Team, Big Swagger & Big Bravado. They like all that in the US.

Emirates Team NZ must have had a vision, and a desire, and a motivation. I’m guessing that it was to do the KiwiNation proud. It’s clear it meant so much to all the Kiwi’s in KiwiLand.

Team NZ, a nation of 4 and a bit million versus the Billionaire. The odds were never good. Team NZ poured their heart and soul into that campaign. It was obvious what it meant to each and every one of them, to each and every KIWI.

The KiwiNation must be proud of what that team achieved and the way that they did it. Deano Barker did everything that he could, just like all in Emirates Team NZ. At the end of the day Oracle Team USA used their Big Budgets to keep tweaking the boat right up to the last day. They had an extra Boat and an extra Team and finally an extra gear and an extra turbo booster up wind.

Boat Speed. Boat Speed. Boat Speed. As they say on TV “Boat Speed makes a Tactician look Good”

Throughout the whole event and during all the “psyching” at Press Conferences etc, the Kiwi’s handled themselves with humility, professionalism and patriotic pride. They are all, each and every soul, on Emirates Team NZ, a credit to their nation.

To loose the cup after leading 8:1 is hard to take. It must be very raw.

But there are no losers on Team NZ. They have earn’t so much respect from people watching all over the world. They have done the KiwiNation proud.

I hope that every Kiwi in New Zealand give all of the Emirates Team NZ team a hero’s welcome when they reach home. They have done New Zealand proud. No more so than Dean Barker. They all deserve thanks and gratitude for competing right to the end and doing so in true Kiwi fashion. None more so than Dean.

Celebrate what you achieved.

Emirates Team NZ won in San Francisco. Oracle Team USA just won bigger. That’s what Big Budgets do for you.

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