Riviera Golden 40 Fly Bridge

Smart Player: How to save $100,000 - Or More!

The Highs: Save big bucks. Fishbox has a nearly indestructible diaphragm pump. All pumps are located in the engine room, so the cabin stays quiet. Bow pulpit has twin rollers for multiple anchors. Bowdeck prewired and molded for a davit.

The Lows: A lackluster 33.7-mph top end and 24.6-mph cruise. Fishbox has no insulation. Hatches accessing stowage under bridgedeck settee aren't hinged. Freshwater lines in the engine room need more support.

Toughest Competitor: Luhrs 41 Convertible lists at about $100,000 more than the Riviera and offers similar performance. With a 600-gallon fuel capacity, however, the Luhrs has better range. It also offers 4" less draft.

I'm eyeballing the leather settee, teak cabinetry, dishwasher, windlass, 11kW freshwater-cooled genset, and entertainment system with a 20" flat-screen TV and wondering how the hell Riviera does it. How do they pack all these standard features into a boat with a base price that kicks the competition's butt? Riviera's 42'11"-long, 14'11"-wide Golden 40 Fly Bridge lists at $537,199. Compare that to competitors across the board from Cabo, Egg Harbor, Jannace, Post, Luhrs, and Ocean Yachts. Similarly equipped, they all cost $100,000 to $300,000 more - quite a difference, even after you add the $36,850 shipping cost to get the boat from Australia to the U.S. of A. That makes the Riviera the least expensive boat in its class. Period. The company says it accomplishes this financial feat three ways: Its new plant was designed for maximum manufacturing efficiency; it has lower labor, land, and equipment costs than here; and currency exchange rate favors the Australian dollar. But the question begs to be asked: Do they skimp on construction? Certainly not on the important parts. The stringer grid is molded glass cored with foam. The hull and deck are sealed, through-bolted together, and fiberglassed into one piece at the joint while the hull is still in the mold. The hull has a vinylester barrier coat, and there's a watertight collision bulkhead belowdecks. So were expenses cut by buying cheap pieces and parts? You can't fault the boat's leather, high-gloss teak, Amtico decking, and accessories from such companies as Onan, Icom, Strata Glass, and Seafire. And let's not overlook the snazzy Grohe showerhead with 52 skin-massaging holes. So what about fit and finish? Poke your noggin into the salon cabinets, and you'll see fully finished interiors and undersides. Throw the engines into reverse and you'll discover a transom door seal so fine you'll have to really work the throttles to get any water flowing through. Bottom line: This boat is one of the best buys on the market today. Just open your eyes and you'll see it, too.

rpm knots mph gph naut. mpg. stat mpg. n. mi. range s. mi. range run angle sound level
900 7.8 9.0 3.6 2.2 2.5 925 1064 0 68
1200 9.5 10.9 6.8 104 1.6 593 682 1 72
1500 11.2 12.9 12.0 0.9 1.1 398 458 1 78
1800 16.1 18.5 20.0 0.8 0.9 342 394 3 76
2100 21.4 24.6 30.0 0.7 0.8 303 349 2 80
2400 27.4 31.5 42.8 0.6 0.7 272 313 1 82
2550 29.3 33.7 50.4 0.6 0.7 247 285 1 83

LOA 42'11" ****

Beam 14'11" ****

Draft 4'0" ****

Displacement 29,760 ****

Transom deadrise: 15 ****

Bridge clearance: 12'0"

Max. cabin headroom: 6'8" ****

Fuel capacity (gal.): 473 ****

Water capacity (gal.): 119

Price (w/standard power): $537,199 ****

Price (w/test power): $556,010

Standard power: Twin 460-bhp Caterpillar C-7 diesel inboards.

Optional power: Twin diesel inboards to 1,020 bhp total.

Test boat power: Twin 490-bhp Cummins in-line-6 QSC 490 diesel inboards with 504.5 cid, swinging 23" x 30" four-bladed Nibral props through 1.77:1 reductions.

Standard equipment: Entertainment center w/AM/FM/CD stereo, 20" flat-screen TV, DVD player; 16,000-Btu a/c w/reverse-cycle heat; hot/cold transom shower; cockpit bait refrigerator and rigging station w/sink; fisbox w/diaphragm pumpout; fresh/raw-water washdowns; anchor w/rode; anchor windlass w/foot controls; 40a battery charger; battery parallel switch; 6 bridegdeck rocket launchers; dishwasher; 2-burner cooktop; microwave/convection oven; 11kW freshwater-cooled Onan genset; vacuum-flush commodes; compass; depthsounder; Icom VHF radio; auto. fire extinguish system; electro-hydraulic trim tabs; oil exchange system; central vacuum system; hardtop.