Boat of the Month - Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge

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  • Trade-A-Boat

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The headline-grabbing Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge <I>Investigator V</I> has done the yards and proven her mettle as a long-distance explorer, writes CASSANDRA MEYERS

Boat of the Month - Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge
Boat of the Month - Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge

She was designed with long-range cruising in mind, she has graced the pages of national and international boating magazines, and she was chosen for a special adventure. She is Investigator V, a Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge custom-built in 2008 for veteran sailor Ian Reynolds for the sole purpose of helping him fulfil his lifelong dream of circumnavigating Australia by powerboat.

To achieve this goal, Ian needed a very special boat, one that could withstand the long voyage, something comfortable yet practical, something reliable and sturdy, garnering the latest in electronics and last, but not least, something he could trust — choosing the Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge.

Released in 2006, the 56 EF was recommended to Ian because of her newer hull design, larger fuel capacity and bigger engines. This model also had two special options ideally suited for the 9000nm journey — an additional 1800lt fuel tank under the cockpit to support the 5700lt midships tank.

The option of a forward U-shaped galley also appealed to Ian. "I chose this simply because I prefer the lounge area in the aft section. I believe it is a more comfortable ride on long voyages," he said.

Investigator V retained the standard internal staircase to the enclosed flybridge, however Ian made a few changes specifically for the long voyage. "I decided to reduce the water tank capacity from 1000lt to just 380lt," he explained.
"This would save considerable weight and I installed an HRO watermaker that can produce 142lt/h."

Investigator V is Ian’s fourth Riviera and he has experienced some wonderful adventures on board, including the shakedown cruise to Lord Howe Island, which totalled 842nm. He fulfilled his lifelong dream to circumnavigate Australia aged 79 and as if these two trips were not enough, he now plans to embark on a new challenge at the age of 81 — his most recent journey to Papua New Guinea was a 1380nm passage, where his boat was the first powerboat to participate in the annual Louisiades Rally.

Keith Hansen, Ian’s travelling companion who has been in the boat for every trip bar one, said the Riviera 56 was just fantastic, there were no issues at all, and Caterpillar generously serviced the twin C18 1015hp engines at every major port of call.

"The engines never missed a beat," Keith told Trade-a-Boat," and nothing went wrong with generators, gearboxes, any of the engineering.

"Because we set the boat up with smaller water tanks (320lt and two 50lt hot-water services) and saved weight there, packing fuel instead, were relied a lot on the HRO desalinator. We mostly made our water when offshore and never needed a new filter, not even the paper prefilters," Keith explains, laughing at the suggestion the on-board cellar saved them instead. "The watermaker was used mainly to make ice," he chuckles.

"It’s absolutely a good buy," says Keith. "The factory knew what we were out to do. The boat went down the production line but there were customisations such as bigger shafts and more fuel. That was to give us our maximum range. We average 5.8lt/nm at average displacement speeds of 9.8 to 11.3kts," says Keith, adding that the props were chosen for mid-range performance foremost.

"The boat has about 1300hrs on the clock, which is nothing, they’ve all been taxi hours and the boat’s been serviced impeccably. There’s been no deterioration through lack of use, which as you know is a big problem, and while the generators were used a lot, 24/7, we changed impellers and performed all the oil changes," Keith insists.

Investigator V has proven her bluewater capabilities and reliability having travelled more than 15,000nm in the past three years and now she is searching for a new explorer. After helping Ian fulfil his dreams and goals, Investigator V is ready to move forward and help a new adventure seeker achieve their boating dreams whether it be long-range coastal or inshore cruising; entertaining or sportsfishing.

Packed full of features, an impeccable maintenance record, extensive inventory and reliability, Investigator V is a must to inspect. Asking price is $1.69 million.

She is currently lying in Sydney for a limited period following her display at the Sydney International Boat Show. For more information or to arrange an inspection contact R Marine Sydney, d’Albora Marinas, Rushcutters Bay, phone (02) 9327 0000 or visit

Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge
Investigator V

FOR SALE: $1.69 million
TYPE: Monohull
LENGTH: 19.2m
BEAM: 5.29m
WEIGHT: 30,000kg (dry)
ENGINES: 2 x 1015hp Caterpillar C18 turbo-diesel
CONTACT: R Marine Sydney, phone (02) 9327 0000

Fast or slow, this Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge has proved to be an extraordinarily versatile enclosed flybridge cruiser. In her short life, Investigator V managed to clock more than 15,000nm in three years. She has circumnavigated Australia, had a shakedown cruise to Lord Howe Island, and more recently travelled to Papua New Guinea. For long-distance cruising, the original owner added an extra 1800lt tank under the cockpit taking fuel capacity from 5700lt to 7500lt. To compensate for the extra weight, freshwater was reduced from 1000lt to 380lt, with a watermaker pumping out 142lt/h making up the shortfall. Among the specifications for long voyages was a forward galley, leaving the lounge area aft where the ride is more comfortable and will remain that way in years to come. Unstoppable, dependable and most definitely comfortable.

Photos: Ian Reynolds, veteran of circumnavigating Australia and other long-range cruising exploits; Investigator V anchors at Lord Howe Island; Investigator V anchors at the Lord Howe Island fuel wharf; Investigator V cruising the Kimberleys;
Investigator V passing through Sydney on the first leg of circumnavigating Australia; Ian Reynolds on the bow of his Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge after returning home from his 11,000nm journey circumnavigating Australia.


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