Australian luxury motor yacht builder Riviera will expand its 14-hectare production facility as it tries to keep up with international and domestic demand for its boats.
The multimillion-dollar development is under way and includes extending the factory's final fitout capability, increasing the facility's volume by more than 20 per cent.
Once completed, the expansion will allow Riviera to bring the majority of its final fitout under one roof. The company hopes this will further enhance quality, lead times and annual output.
The expansion also includes a facility for Riviera's New Model Development team of more than 35 craftspeople and 13 designers, engineers, naval architects, draftsmen and master boatbuilders.
Riviera has invested in a 100-tonne marine transporter to strengthen on-site logistics by aiding the speed and movement of particularly larger motor yachts around the 15-hectare site. The Marine Travelift TM 100 is a low-loader that can easily move around and within buildings and is operated via a pod-style remote control.
"These latest development works represent a substantial investment in meeting the needs of our yacht owners," Riviera owner Rodney Longhurst says.
"Our current expansion program allows us to further enhance the design and luxury of today's Riviera motor yachts and prepare for our future demand as exceptional new models are introduced to the Riviera model line-up."
The Gold Coast-based company has boosted the number of new motor yacht models. In the past year it has produced more than 100 motor yachts from across its 20-model range. More than half of these models have been exported.
These latest works will expand the yard's capacity, with additions to Riviera's model range set to be released.
Riviera's growing range of Flybridge, SUV and Sport Yacht options continue to attract interest despite the extended lockdown in Queensland. Recently, the range has added a larger Sports Motor Yacht collection.
Riviera's flagship Sports Motor Yacht, launched in 2018, continues to prove popular and the yard recently completed Hull 20 of the Riviera 72 Sports Motor Yacht for an owner in WA.
Along with the recent launches of 72 and 68 SMY boats, Riviera has introduced two models, the 505 SUV and the 64 Sports Motor Yacht. It has started building seven 64 SMYs, and is touring the boat around Australia and New Zealand, with plans to debut it in the US.
These follow the launch last year of the 545 SUV, the 54 Enclosed Flybridge and the three models in the Platinum Edition Sport Yachts, the 4800, 5400 and 6000.
"In coming months, we have further new model premieres and announcements to share that will see our 39 to 72-foot model range further expand," Longhurst says.
"Riviera's 40th year of evolution is seeing continued advances in technology that have been married with innovative designs across our Flybridge, Sport Yacht, SUV and Sports Motor Yacht collection."
Jack O'Rourke is a contributor to Ocean Media
PUTTING BREAKS ON REGATTA
The Pantaenius Breakout Series, originally scheduled August 8, will be postponed, as organisers reassess the practicality of holding the regatta following a rise in COVID-19 cases in NSW.
A large fleet of racing and cruising yachts from Newcastle, Sydney and surrounding areas had entered the regatta, which was to be one of the first major offshore sailing events since the sailing hiatus imposed by COVID-19.
Organisers are considering their options after the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia had to close after an active member of the club tested positive to the virus.
Many yachts, sailors and crew from the club had entered the Breakout Series, prompting a rethink by the hosts, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
Originally, the series was designed with stopovers, with the first race starting on Saturday, August 8, at Sydney Harbour and finishing at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Pittwater.
The next day the fleet would race from Pittwater to the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club.
On August 10, there would be a race to Port Stephens followed by a lay day.
There was to be three days of racing from Wednesday, August 12, with a passage race out and around the islands and back, followed by two more days of racing inside the bay.
Obviously, the series presents a logistical challenge, especially given the recent cap on participation numbers for events.