As the “SUV” designation implies, the Riviera 445 SUV is a sport utility vessel that can be used for fishing, cruising, entertaining, scuba diving, and all manner of day-boating activities. She is built on the same hull as the Riviera 43 Flybridge and she’s obviously directed to owners who don’t want the flying bridge and are probably more casual about their fishing, people who want a more all-purpose watersports boat without the climb.
The 445 SUV is one of three crossover models in Riviera’s range of do-everything boats. The 445 SUV model measures 47’5” (14.5 m) in LOA, 15’ (4.57 m) at the beam, and has a draft of 3’8” (1.13 m). The forefoot is sharp and deep, the bow has a marked flare, and the bottom has been optimized for Volvo Penta pod drives.
Bluewater Bred. She is a capable open water cruising vessel that blends contemporary styling with modern marine systems. It’s a low-profile design, keeping the center of gravity down, so it should be as at home in areas where bridges are low, as well as offshore. Built to operate in the wide open waters that surround Australia, she is a seaworthy design blending the builder’s traditional indoor/outdoor livability with current operational technology — including pod drives from Volvo Penta and a Mastervolt CZone digital monitoring and control system for lighting, pumps, batteries and a host of other onboard equipment.
Her large cockpit and open plan salon with aft galley will entertain five to seven persons in style. It will easily convert to a fishing boat with the right options. With two en suite staterooms, one of which has three berths, plus a convertible dinette option in the salon, the 445 SUV sleeps those same five to seven persons.
The build is typical of Riviera’s reputation for open-water capable yachts. The hand-laid hull has a solid bottom and chines up to a point above the waterline where coring begins. Vinylester resin is used for the first hull lamination after the gelcoat for strength and osmotic protection. There’s a watertight collision bulkhead forward and independent compartments throughout the hull. The deck and cabin top are cored structures.
• Twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 diesels are standard
• Garmin Glass Bridge MFD available at helm
• Two-stateroom layout with master suite in the bow
• Stylish exterior design with recessed hull windows and opening ports
• Aft salon bulkhead with strong stainless steel sliding door and awning-style window
• Aft deck wet bar and mezzanine lounge seating
• Open plan salon and galley on one deck with opening and fixed windows
One of the most notable features of the 102 sq. ft. (9.47 sq. m) cockpit is the massive, stainless steel framed opening of the tempered-glass aft bulkhead. Once the sliding door is opened and locked to port, there is a rear bulkhead awning-styled window to starboard that hinges up, held in place by stout gas-assist cylinders, to improve the indoor/outdoor connection between the galley and salon with the cockpit. Another practical, seldom-seen feature found here — a stainless steel overhead handrail for a steady transition between the cockpit and the salon, particularly useful in a seaway.
Versatile Cockpit. Forward to port against the bulkhead, there’s a large locker with a solid surface countertop, a top loading refrigerator, and an icemaker below. Anglers might use this countertop as a bait prep counter, or when entertaining, drinks and food can be placed here. To starboard, there’s a two-person mezzanine lounge seat, with storage below. This seat is a good spot for relaxing or watching fishing action. In the sole between, there’s a flush-mounted day-access hatch to the engine room for quick maintenance checks.
Riviera reinforces the sole with a metal alloy plate for future installation of a fighting chair or a fixed table. The transom locker can be plumbed as a bait tank with circulating pump and window, and under the lid, a shelf can be used as a bait prep board. Or, it can be fitted with an outdoor grill, sink with hot and cold pressure water, and a solid surface countertop. Outriggers, padded bolsters, and five rod holders are optionally available, as well.
An extended length version of the swim platform is available, along with a U-shaped stainless steel dinghy rail, to make dinghy or water toy boarding easier. Both the swim platform and the cockpit sole up to the mezzanine level can be teak planked, optionally.
To keep the cockpit uncluttered, there are four under gunwale lockers and one in the transom fitted with stout latches. The in-sole hatches have heavy-duty stainless steel locks and gas struts to hold them safely open. Riviera provides a freshwater washdown outlet, and a handheld hot/cold fresh water shower near the fiberglass transom door.
Several other details stand out on the aft deck. There’s a molded flat to port above the entertainment console where an optional remote joystick and engine control panel can be mounted, a good idea for those who want more visibility and maneuverability aft when backing down on fish or into a slip.
Going Forward. Molded steps in the forward corners of the aft cockpit and the small handrails mounted to the trailing edge of the triangular acrylic clear panels supporting the optional awning. Additional handrails are mounted horizontally on the cabin top. Thigh-high outboard rails mounted on the toe kicks run all the way to, and surround, the bow for safety.
The Foredeck. The optional sun pad for the foredeck is mounted on the crowned surface over the forward cabin that has good runoff qualities for spray, and it has an integral pillow section and is flanked by two stainless steel handrails for added security on the foredeck.
The anchoring gear includes a vertical winch with 164’ (50 m) of 8 mm galvanized chain, a molded bowsprit with roller, and a 45-lb. (20 kg) anchor. (We’d add another 100’ of chain.) A chain counter comes standard, something that is a big help, particularly at night. The anchor locker is divided for chain and rope rode separation, and is equipped with foot switches, a remote switch at the helm, as well as saltwater wash down bibs.
The Open Plan Salon
The new 445 SUV emphasizes clear sight lines with fixed and sliding windows on two sides, and features like the massive, polished stainless steel aft bulkhead awning-style window and sliding door, to further the builder’s inside/outside design concept.
The Galley. When preparing food or drinks in the port side galley, the chef has good contact with family and guests, both in the salon and the cockpit. Storage in the galley is beneath the solid surface countertops and in the portside cabinets overhead. There is a two burner stovetop. Under-counter drawer-style Vitrifrigo refrigerator and freezer drawers are adequate for short cruises and day-boat entertaining. A built-in microwave oven is standard. The galley counters are solid surface with backsplashes and all drawers and cabinets have positive latches. The main CZone digital monitoring and switching system’s touch screen display is mounted on the aft end of the cabinets above.
More Rails. And in another nod to safety in a seaway, there’s an overhead handrail, recessed into the overhead, that stretches from the sliding glass door to the companionway stairs leading down to the accommodations.
The folding table in the U-shaped lounge to starboard can be manually adjusted to several levels. It dines four to six when up or, as an option, converts to a double bed when down. Leather upholstery and multiple density support look good together and add pleasure for those who choose to enjoy the cruise from the main salon. Sliding windows add to the natural ventilation possibilities.
Satin finish oak is used for cabinetry, bulkheads, and trim as standard, with commercial grade Kentucky oak synthetic flooring in the galley and salon. Optionally, a high-gloss cherry interior is available. The cabinet at the aft end of the L-shaped lounge stores an LED television on a lift.
Set to port, the helm is faced by two leather-upholstered chairs that adjust fore and aft manually, and have folding armrests. A two-level angled footrest is provided below the console for both seats.
Views from the helm are good on every point of the compass, with the only exception being the small angle in the aft port corner above the galley. Three pantograph windscreen wipers with fresh water wash downs and intermittent controls help keep the view ahead clear — a good idea in case one fails in a seaway.
Throttle and shift controls are located at a height that is handy for both a sitting or standing captain. The VHF radio and mike are situated outboard, along with the main electrical panel. For natural ventilation, there is an overhead opening hatch and a sliding window to port. A/C and defogging vents are situated forward of the console.
Two optional 12” MFDs dominate the upper portion of the console. In the installation pictured above, the electronic shift and throttle controls, optional autopilot, and trim tabs controls are within easy reach of the helm. There’s room remaining for electronic engine display, the windlass with chain counter, and the stereo control near the right edge. All of the system switches are individually back-lighted pushbuttons that span the upper edge of the lower console section, neatly labeled for fast identification. An anchor windlass control with chain counter and an engine room extinguisher system with alarm and test panel are also found on the console.
CZone. In the galley, this Mastervolt touchscreen system allows owners control of multiple systems for entertainment, lighting, and climate control — just to name a few. It has three pre-programmed modes to cover operation of systems according to their use, be it cruising, entertaining, or at the dock. When the owner wants to dim the lights, control the windscreen wipers, or shut down all power and systems when leaving the boat, it happens at the touch of a finger.
The master suite is forward, with two long in-hull windows for good views and natural light, and an opening hatch overhead for natural ventilation. There are 10,000 BTUs of air conditioning and reverse cycle heat, optionally available, dedicated to the master and the adjoining private en suite head. The queen size berth is easily accessed from either side, and there are storage drawers in the base beneath. Other storage includes two cedar-lined wardrobes, one with shelves, the other with a hanging rail. Most importantly, there is full standing headroom through the master compartment.
The private master stateroom en suite head compartment features a contemporary vanity with solid surface top and modern porcelain bowl sink.
The VIP guest stateroom has two single berths running athwartships, and a third single running fore and aft along the starboard side — a handy feature for a family with three children, or children with a nanny.
When cruising with another couple, they will be glad to have the privacy of this stateroom, even though it does not have full standing headroom by the beds. It does have sufficient headroom for most people at the entrance where the dresser and mirror are located. By mounting the forward athwartships berth on tracks, Riviera’s designers have found a way to join the two to form a double berth.
Two in-hull windows provide good views and natural light, and two opening ports allow cross ventilation, but there is also optional 10,000 BTU air conditioning with reverse cycle heat available. The VIP stateroom has private access to the starboard side head compartment, which also serves as the day head.
The day head compares favorably with the master head in terms of storage, contemporary appointments, and human dimensions. The small teak seat in the enclosed shower adds convenience.
Access to the engine room is either through a day hatch in the aft deck sole, or more conveniently, a wide after section of the sole that rises up with an electric lift. Every wire, loom and plumbing line is color-coded wherever possible for quick identification. The entire engine room is finished off in a smooth white coating that looks professional. All thru-hull fittings on or below the waterline have ball valves and double-clamped hoses. Fuel lines are swaged, and a fire suppression system with automatic/manual controls at the helm is standard. Standard power is twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 diesels.
With the IPS 600s pod powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 33.1 knots at 3630 rpm. Her best economic cruise came is as we dialed back to 2500 rpm and 18.3 knots. At that speed we were burning a combined 18 gph, giving us a range of just over 482 nautical miles, of course, while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 528-gallon (2,000 L) fuel capacity. But with that said, as with most IPS driven yachts, the economy changes very little from roughly 15 knots on up to full speed, so this is more of a yacht that we can operate based on prevailing conditions rather than fuel economy.
As for handling, her solid build really comes into play with a feel of a much larger boat. She transitions through chop nicely and while there are plenty of grab rails throughout the boat, they seem ornamental as the 445 SUV remained steady during our time offshore. She still has the wide turning radius of an IPS powered boat, but reducing speed tightens the turns accordingly. She’s responsive to the helm at both high and low speeds.
When docking, we appreciated the optional IPS joystick in the cockpit that gave us full visibility of the stern as we backed into our slip. Even with a strong crosswind, we had good control authority, needing only small pulses of the stick to ease her into position. This is an important consideration as often there’s trepidation about transitioning to a larger yacht and this alleviates any concerns about being able to handle it at the dock.
• Engine access through cockpit with electric lift
• Emergency fuel shutoff valves outside of engine room
• Onan EQD 9.5 kW generator with freshwater cooling and sound shield (an upgrade to 11.5 kW is available)
• Port side wet bar and grill on aft deck
• Electric windlass, foot control switches on bow, remote control at helm
• Mastervolt CZone digital switching system
• Oak and teak interior, commercial-grade oak flooring to galley
• Cockpit joystick for Volvo Penta IPS
• Cockpit awning with quarter panel clears and integrated grab rails
• 22” LED television/DVD in aft stateroom, also available in master stateroom
• Tropical package air conditioning with generator upgrade to 11 kW
Solid fiberglass construction below the waterline and a reinforced watertight collision bulkhead forming the anchor locker makes it clear that Riviera continues to stress seaworthiness in its SUV line.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Riviera 445 SUV (2016-) is 38.1 mph (61.3 kph), burning 41.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 155.18 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Riviera 445 SUV (2016-) is 21.0 mph (33.8 kph), and the boat gets 1.2 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.51 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 554 miles (891.58 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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