Living la vita Riviera
Should you choose the 43 Open as your next boat, you would be choosing a boat that itself has been chosen - to lead the Riviera Flybridge lineage into the future.
Vital to this has been the realisation that man does not live by fishing alone. A boat must be able these days to also be the consummate entertaining vessel; the ultimate passage maker; the total family getaway; even the perfect home away from home, to afford extended living aboard, without pining for any shoreside comforts.
The main advancements embodied in the 43 Open can be painted in three broad and beautiful brushstrokes.
The first is the propulsion system.
The 43 is powered by the Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System (IPS).
Quite simply, our experience with IPS convinces us of its quantum benefits, now proven over many years and tens of thousands of sea miles.
This links directly to the second sweeping brush-change:
One of the huge benefits of IPS is that it is just so compact and flexible. Unlike shaft drives that demand engines be placed right in the centre of the most valuable real estate on the boat, these powerplants can be positioned well aft.
This immediately opens up huge possibilities for guest accommodations which, on the 43, can now dominate amidships, extend beam to beam, and offer the possibility of up to four additional berths; a generosity of accommodation previously only attained on much larger vessels.
Our third broad brush-stroke covers the area directly above this - the entire saloon, galley, lounge and cockpit - where we've simplified and rationalised amenities.
Instead of dividing the space into a number of small, less-connected areas, we've brought them all together into a unified, flowing, single-level lifestyle space that runs, unimpeded, from swim platform to windscreen.
This makes enormous sense. As we've found from our Sport Yacht owners (for whom this ‘alfresco flow' is the very core benefit of the one-level layout) today's boating usage isn't the least bit compartmentalised.
You don't prepare a meal, all go to the galley; eat a meal, all sit together in the dinette; TV time, all go to the lounge area; nor, come fishing or barbeque time, all head out to the cockpit.
In the real world, many (or all) of these activities can be happening at the same time, and do. Often in a glorious chaos of
Hence, the 43 Open. The multitasking vessel for today's lifestyle afloat.
All hands on deck, and hull, and interior
For all the automation, the construction process also relies heavily on human eye and hand; not just for flawless finishing detail, but for the very hull itself.
Each hull and deck starts with a hand lay-up of fibreglass mat and resin to attain a particular Riviera hallmark: that stable, solid feel in a seaway.
A huge talent pool of artisans, craftsmen, engineers and designers lend their hands to luxurious and practical interiors too.
A choice of timber facings, varnished with a minimum of six tough coats of polyurethane, are hand-sanded and inspected between each coat.
But even the most ingrained wood lover can have too much timber. So glossy swathes of timber work are alternated with stretches of leather or soft-touch designer fabrics, to deaden sound and add plushness.
Sharp edges that could threaten an elbow or shin are designed out. And no wood panel abuts another, instead they are interspersed with fabric panels to enhance sound insulation.
A constant surprise in every detail
The main bed in the guest stateroom - whether a double or two joinable singles - can slide to one side on hidden rails to make bed-making easier.
The very versatile folding saloon table which can be a low coffee or cocktail table (or bed base) or high dining table, folds in half precisely, to prevent telltale fading or shadowing which UV rays can imprint on dress timbers.
Throughout, all drawers glide silently on soft-close dampeners.
Beneath the hull, IPS pods actually serve as a highly efficient venturi, to dissipate the underwater exhausts, so fumes don't follow when running downwind, trolling, or idling through a marina.
The 43 easily gulps fresh engine air and extracts heat exhaust via vents so stylishly embodied into the hull flanks as to seem pure design elements.
Their integrated rows of tightly-spaced ‘gills' - water-vane separators - condense and collect moisture from the air as it courses into the engine bay, draining it overboard.
Three-dimensional computer-aided design now helps us extract maximum storage from a given volume.
On the 43, a surprising amount of potential space has been freed up throughout:
Lockers in the flybridge brow conceal cavernous stowage for bulky items.
Cockpit sides are completely lined with storage lockers and bins.
The master stateroom island bed is ringed by drawers and cabinets. And a full-length cedar-lined wardrobe keeps garments crease-free and fresh.
The guest accommodation area has a large storage cupboard hidden by concealed doors, with space for an optional front-loading washing machine.
The galley floor access hatch lifts to reveal optional removable storage bins.
Forward of the galley is a breakfast bar with two stools and additional storage as well as a dedicated space for the icemaker.
The lift-up flat screen TV is neatly concealed on the starboard dash.
Roll-out drawers offer storage beneath saloon lounges. And lockers lie under flybridge lounges.
High tech, yet timeless
In creating a new Riviera model, we endeavour to avoid fashion and fad which are prone to date.
The look and the lines of the 43 Open are essentially classic, timeless Riviera.
But many, many differences are contained within; some of them obvious, some hard to detect, some even invisible.
This process of innovating without jarring is helped by leading-edge technology. The 43 is designed using Unigraphics three-dimensional CAD software.
Months of research, including owner group interviews, are considered by the design team –and only then does the process begin to digitally model and manipulate to build up a design that fulfils many wishes, but is flexible enough to offer options.
This process also clarifies communication between on-screen design and shop floor; because down there the design parameters are coupled to our custom CNC machinery to produce physical items like precise joinery or lightweight resin transfer moulding.
You can see the results of this flawless precision in these images. What you can't see is the way our modular construction approach allows components to be fitted prior to joining hull, deck and superstructure together to produce a more sure and seamless finish.
What you also won't see is any leaks. Every finished boat is put through a rigorous process where sprinklers drench the outside while vacuums actually lower air pressure within to try to lure stray water inside.
They rarely do so.
Light up your life and imagination
Such fingertip control also extends to the ship's electrics.
The entire network now employs solid-state-of-the-art CZone digital technology to communicate between various equipment to give you complete touch-screen control.
Set a lighting mood for guests; touch the screen button to activate it. Plan an offshore night passage; touch the button as you cast off. Preserve your batteries in a quiet cove; touch the button.
Even when approaching the boat in darkness, without a stumble you can activate your own personal lighting-up sequence – with a button on your key ring.
Custom setting possibilities are almost endless. The technocrat in you can ‘drill down' and fine-tune operations to your personal desires. As CZone and Volvo IPS are fluent in the same digital language, your preferences for engine parameters, say, can be minutely tweaked via the common monitoring network.
Lighting systems are no less advanced.
All illumination, including navigation lights (to USCG ratings) embraces energy and fuel-saving LED technology. Premium Halcyon fittings deliver a glow as warmly close to halogen as possible, with no bulbs to replace.
Finally, a small, but pleasing feature:
Should any electrical circuit overload, CZone anticipates and shuts down the affected area. All you have to do is pinpoint the location and restore full power, by simply ... touching a button.
Propelled into the future
The IPS propulsion system of the 43 is installed in accord with strict standards shared by both Riviera and Volvo.
Central to this is the hull shape aft of the 43.
Enhanced chine strakes run straight, to provide an excellent running surface for both speed and maneuverability, while a moderate vee forward rides well in a chop without sacrificing top end performance.
The IPS system's twin engines are each coupled to geared pod drives to spin forward-facing, counter-rotating twin nibral alloy three-blade propellers that gain constant, firm purchase in nothing but clean, non-aerated water.
Volvo- a company not given to overstatement- confidently claim, by surprising margins, increased efficiency, top speed, acceleration, economy and maneuverability, along with reduced noise level.
Entirely alone, a skipper can easily control the system by either wheel or joystick. In confined quarters, the twin pod units work in tandem to crab the boat sideways or spin within its own length.