The Bro Boat
By Kevin Koenig
During a trip to Australia this past summer, my suspicions of the Down Under lifestyle were officially confirmed. The Aussies have a big-time “bro” culture going on down there. It seems like a good portion of the country—even the women—have a healthy dose of frat in them. They like sports, they like adventure, and they’re not afraid to raise a pint or two of VB with the lads. And if that’s the case, then the all-new Riviera 565 SUV might just be the most quintessentially Australian boat on the market this year.
The 565 is a beast of a machine. With an overall length just shy of 61 feet and a beam measuring 16 feet 11 inches she is significantly larger than her name might imply, and when you’re onboard, you can tell. Accommodations down below are sizable. All three cabins have relatively large amounts of space, but the highlight is the amidships master, which came about due to customer demand. With plenty of stowage, a king-size island berth, and a large en suite head, this stateroom should keep any owner happy.
But where the 565’s layout really shines, at least for me, is in the saloon, where there’s comfortable seating for 11 of your best buds. Included in those accommodations are four Pompanette seats forward. Comfortable, sturdy, and most importantly, forward-facing, they are the perfect option for the rugged voyages this boat was built to undertake. An L-shaped dining settee to port and a three-person bench seat to starboard round out the indoor entertainment area.
The 565 has a robust, hand-laid hull that is solid below the waterline and cored with Divinycell above. The boat is essentially the same as Riv’s 53 Flybridge model, except without the bridge. So yeah, you lose some entertainment space, but the design choice makes the boat a heck of a lot easier to wash down after a trip, and therefore easier to own. She’s basically a wash-n’-wear-type boat. Which is on purpose, because the company pictures her owner as the laid-back hard charger. The kind of guy who’d want this hybrid express cruiser/fish boat for its versatility, ruggedness, and simplified design.
In the engine room the 565 has just what you might expect: Big, powerful engines, to the tune of twin 700-metric-horsepower Volvo Penta IPS900s. Fuel filters and a Cummins Onan generator were easily accessible for maintenance requirements. A 924-gallon fuel tank gives the 565 a range of 380 nautical miles at 26 knots. I took her out in the Pacific Ocean just off Australia’s Gold Coast in some confused 9-foot swells, and she handled the rough stuff with aplomb. She was nimble enough to allow me to maneuver into the best position to crest the waves, and her wide beam helped her remain stable throughout the onslaught. She was quite fun to drive, even in conditions some might consider challenging. And she left me with the impression that this boat is just plain old ready to rock and roll, just as I suspect her owners will be.
Riviera Yachts, 561-267-1995; www.riviera.com.au
: 53,000 lb.
: 924 gal.
: 198 gal.
: 2/700-hp Volvo Penta IPS 900s
: Contrarotating, T3 propset
Volvo IPS joystick system ($15,495); fresh water maker ($21,237); hydraulic lift for swim platform ($49,535); cockpit awning ($4,332); sunpad on forward deck ($2,971).
Air temperature: 75ºF; humidity 30%; seas: flat for speed numbers, 7-9' in open water; load: 264 gal. fuel, 75 gal. water, 5 persons, 0 lb. gear. Speeds are two-way averages measured w/ GPS display. GPH estimates taken via Volvo display. Range is based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at the helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.