You Can Have Your Cake And Eat It Too
By: Steve Chalmers, Photography: Riva Yacht
The popular English idiomatic proverb means that one cannot or should not try to have two
incompatible things. It is not, however, an Italian idiomatic proverb, hence why Riva has designed a sports coupé with a flybridge.
The big sports coupé is the Ferrari of the yachting world.
With aggressive lines, seductive stances and low-profile rooflines, they’re designed to look as tight as an Italian suit – nothing should ever get in the way of that sharp silhouette. This is fine if you’re the type of yacht owner who thinks nothing of darting down from Antibes to Saint Tropez at full throttle to meet friends for sundowners, but what if you just fancy a leisurely orange juice while gazing from an elevated lounge surrounded by ocean views? Traditionally, that’s the role of the flybridge yacht. Luxurious, spacious with plenty of outdoor entertainment spaces, the backbone of the sub 100-foot yacht sector is seductive, but with its lounge placed high up on top of the main salon roof, flybridges are never sexy…
Looking at the Riva 76’ Perseo from the marina and you would never guess that she’s a flybridge. Italy’s Mauro Michelli and Sergio Beretta of Officina Italiana Design have kept the coupé’s silhouette low and brazen, with a central line raking down from the bow giving the 28-metre yacht the perception of constant acceleration. It’s only when you’re in the spacious aft deck that you realize there’s a staircase to port leading upwards. Up on the flybridge, you have three essential ingredients: a big sunpad rear, the captain’s bench seat (a retractable helm is an option) and a C-shaped sofa forward. As a bonus, thanks to Michelli and Beretta’s wish to keep the roofline as low as possible, the 76’ has unobstructed sea views. It really is an innovative space.
With such striking looks, it’s easy to forget the big Riva is still a luxury cruiser, with the main salon doing its best to cosset and pamper. Split into three separate open areas, including a living room, dining space and wheelhouse, the main salon is the place to be for when it gets too hot/cold for the flybridge or cockpit. Should, however, the temperature be spot on, then the glass panel that separates the cockpit from the main salon lowers out of the way, creating an unobstructed open area that brings the outdoors, indoors.
The 76’s cabins are a quick hop down from the main salon and comprise of a VIP forward, a twin cabin starboard with the master stateroom amidships. This full-beam home from home features a walk-in wardrobe, luxurious marble bathroom and sitting areas, as well as well as a sun-drenched bed, courtesy of that superyacht sized glazing.
All this talk of luxury is missing out on the Perseo’s major draw – it’s breathtaking performance. Mounted on the lower deck behind the master stateroom are two V12 MTU turbo diesels producing 1800hp each. That’s enough grunt to propel the 76’ through the water at a top speed of 37 knots, while enabling a 3150 mile range at a cruise speed of 32 knots. Usually, manufacturer’s figures can be a little bit on the high side, but during our sea trial in Cannes, with 500 litres of water, 3000 litres of fuel and some well-fed yachting journalists on board, we managed to get a top speed of 37.3 knots at 2350rpm, with the Perseo’s hull feeling balanced and predictable.
A flybridge seamlessly infused into the 76’s sleek superstructure makes it a genuine groundbreaker and creates a yacht that can be treated as a sportster, or cabin cruiser, depending on the Owner’s wishes.