Great Sandy Straits Experience with Riviera and R Marine Jones


For the 500-strong team at Riviera Australia, it’s always very satisfying to see new families being introduced to the relaxing and rewarding Riviera luxury boating life.

It’s inspiring to see them developing their sea legs, gaining new skills and confidence, making new memories and, of course, forging lasting friendships.

And so it was for two families on the Great Sandy Straits Experience, hosted recently by R Marine Jones.

Now in its 10th year, this popular Experience cruising event again attracted a strong line-up of participants – in fact a total of 18 yachts – for a week-long adventure exploring the southern anchorages of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

R Marine Jones dealer principal Randall Jones and his team organised a fun-filled adventure from Queensland’s Gold Coast to Peel Island, on to Garry’s AnchorageBundaberg and picturesque Lady Musgrave Island.

Simply The Best

Emma Weel – who had twice been a guest of Randall and Melinda Jones on previous Experience events – took delivery of her ‘dream boat’ just two weeks before this year’s Great Sandy Straits Experience.

In fact Emma, husband Paul and children Mila (4) and Abby (6), purchased their Riviera 4700 Sport Yacht Satisfaction specifically for the cruise.

“We always knew that one day we would own a Riviera and as a family we had an absolute ball,” said Emma.

“The kids loved snorkelling, jumping off the bow of the boat and that they had their own space in the portside cabin. They especially loved mingling with the other kids of the same age – they were always off socialising.”

Emma said that the cruise provided her first opportunity to drive Satisfaction, and she enjoyed the learning experience just as much as learning how to prepare a fresh meal of crab.

“I’ve only ever eaten crab served on a plate so it was fun learning where to crack them, when to squeeze them to ensure you get the best bits of flesh,” she said.

“I can’t wait to learn more about boating – channels and markers and tying up the ropes – it’s all new and it’s great fun!”

Emma says her favourite aspect of the 4700 Sport Yacht is the layout – the galley being ideally positioned to ensure the host is an integral part of the entertainment, inside and out.

“I can’t wait to go back to Lady Musgrave, and I know Paul would love to venture even further north to the Whitsundays.

“Now we’ve done this first trip, we have greater confidence to go even further afield.”

Learning the ropes

These comments were echoed by fellow Riviera 4700 Sport Yacht owner Ben, who took delivery of Seashaw just four weeks prior to the Experience trip.

“It was really comforting to do something as amazing as this as part of a group – there’s always strength in numbers – and the experienced team from R Marine Jones gave us great confidence,” he said.

“This was definitely the farthest we have ever cruised – we had only really done bay cruising previously so Steve (McPherson) was onboard with us as we left Peel Island for the five-hour run to Lady Musgrave.

“I really can’t speak highly enough of Steve and, in fact, Randall and the entire R Marine Jones team: the level of service was terrific, everything was so well organised … and they really made us feel like part of a family.”

Ben said the adventure had also reaffirmed the family’s decision to purchase their 4700 Sport Yacht, which handled the longer distances with ease.

“She is a very capable yacht and travelled really well – no issues at all at the optimal cruising speed of 24-25 knots which is the speed I like to travel,” he said.

“We also love the inside/outside feel of the Sport Yacht design and the way it flows freely from the back deck – it is very well thought-out, very practical.

“We love the way we can tuck the tender away in the garage and use the swim platform for fishing – she just ticks all the boxes for us.

“And then there’s the way we were able to bond together as a family … we have all definitely got the cruising bug now!”

Riviera and R Marine Jones regularly stage social, educational and cruising-in-company events for the enjoyment of the Riviera Family. For further information, please email or call +61 7 5502 9544.

New model development

Riviera has this year released the 5400 and 4800 designs in the stylish Sport Yacht range, as well as the 575 SUV in its adventurous collection of crossover yachts. All three new models have received high praise from boating aficionados and respected international and national boating media.

The marque has also announced an entirely new model collection – the long-range and luxurious Sports Motor Yacht – that will be available in both 68 and 72ft designs. The very first 68 Sports Motor Yacht makes her World Premiere in at the Riviera Festival of Boating (25-28 May 2017).

The Riviera Advantage

Riviera is recognized as being at the forefront of the luxury motor yacht market, not only in terms of superior build quality but through fully embracing innovative and easy-to-use systems and technology onboard its internationally acclaimed designs.

A 5-year warranty on all Volvo Penta systems is now standard with every new Riviera and Belize with Volvo power, covering helm stations, steering and propellers as well as the major componentry of their high performance drivelines and technically superior engines.

Available worldwide, this extended warranty complements the Riviera 5-year structural warranty and provides even greater peace of mind for the valued Riviera boating family members.

“Riviera has a rich 36-year heritage of enhancing the fun and fulfillment of our global family community of luxury motor yacht owners,” said Riviera chairman and owner Rodney Longhurst.

“Riviera Family members enjoy exclusive invitations to fun-filled social and boating education events, inspiring cruising experiences as well as special offers on genuine parts, electronics and our premium Riviera lifestyle collection of clothing and accessories,” he said.

“International owners are also offered the opportunity to take delivery of their luxurious Riviera in Australia, exploring the Queensland and NSW coastlines aboard their new motor yachts and taking in iconic destinations including Sydney Harbour and the Great Barrier Reef.

“This reflects how we are continuing to reward our owners with ‘the time of their lives’.”