Riviera Raft-Up in Melbourne signals the opening of the boating season
Australia’s premier luxury motor yacht builder, Riviera has held their third annual Raft-Up in Port Phillip Bay – a real boating spectacle and hailed as a great success to mark the start of the festive and boating seasons.
Organised by the Victorian Riviera and Belize representatives from Sandringham R Marine Jacksons, sunny skies and calm conditions brought 22-Riviera owners with their family and friends together to raft-up. At Mornington Harbour, an impressive range of yachts formed an arc of luxury motor yachts ranging from a 3600 Sport Yacht to a 575 SUV, on the third Sunday of November.
It was the first of this summer’s Riviera Family Raft-Up celebrations around Australia’s coastline from the Gold Coast to Perth. These events are an exclusive opportunity for Riviera owners to come together for a special boating experience and friendship.
For Kevin Harris, proud Scottish skipper of Optus Primus, a Riviera 445 SUV, the raft-up has become a permanent fixture in his boating calendar.
“It’s a tradition now, I put it in my calendar and look forward to it every year – it’s the only event I’ll miss church for on a Sunday! It’s great to see different people all enjoying the same wonderful boating life we love so much with their family and at the same time, realising what we have here in Australia.
“This year it was a bit lumpy getting there but once we were in the harbour it was flat calm, and it turned out to be a lovely sunny day. The band was fantastic, and everyone loved the music, it was lively, and it really hit the spot.”
Tied off from the raft-up this year and holding centre stage was a Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge, its expansive cockpit providing the perfect platform for the four-piece band. The team from R Marine Jacksons, helped to carefully position the motor yachts in place and an anchor was dropped from every third yacht to keep the raft stationary.
“It’s a really smooth rafting-up process. R Marine Jacksons have a tender and a great team to help with the ropes and fenders. With Volvo Penta IPS, it’s just so easy to hold off the raft-up until it’s your turn and then to manoeuvre into position using the joystick control,” Mr Harris said.
Sergio Cinerari agrees the raft-up was a Sunday afternoon pleasure. It was also his third raft-up, and now his family are enjoying their third Riviera, a new 4800 Sport Yacht, Dory.
“The band was well set up and the afternoon was really social. You’re jumping around from boat to boat and talking to different people who you have this fantastic shared interest with. It’s a like-mindedness about a way of life and the brand of motor yachts that we all so enjoy, it’s just easy to strike up a conversation and then you just drift along with it.”
“My wife likes Riviera motor yachts so I like them! They’re well built, comfortable, well optioned and the level of service and back-up is really important to us, as are events like this,” said Mr Cinerai.
Seeing the yachts lined up like a brilliant string of pearls leaves no doubt of the capacity of their skippers and family to appreciate beauty and enjoy the lifestyle so inherent and unique to Riviera ownership.
Riviera owner, Rodney Longhurst, said it was fantastic to see the Riviera Family enjoying themselves in such an impressive way right around Australia.
“It is so rewarding for our incredible 600-strong team and myself to see our owners having the time of their lives aboard their fabulous Riviera motor yachts. The popularity of the third annual Port Phillip Bay raft-up, hosted by R Marine Jacksons showcases that when you own a Riviera you gain much more than a motor yacht, you join a family of fun-loving-people with whom you can share boating experiences and new adventures. It simply doesn’t get any better than that!”
Stephen Porter from R Marine Jacksons said the visual spectacle and the peals of laughter that rang out from the raft-up drew the attention of nearby beach goers and boaters.
“Even from a distance, you can see that our Riviera owners really know how to enjoy themselves, sharing laughs and having a few drinks. People paddled out from the beach on their SUPs to get a closer look and other boat owners cruised by to marvel at the sight.
“We host the raft-up around the same time each year to welcome-in the boating season in southern Victoria in style. It’s a great reason to get your boat ready for the season, bring family and friends along and meet other Riviera owners. It really was a wonderful day.”